Friday, December 29, 2006

Napoli Pizza (Closed)

FYI--Napoli has closed since the writing of this review.

Napoli Pizza
150 Peabody Place

There has been very little dining with monkeys, at least in public, since breaking my leg on December 9th thanks to an endless stream of dinners delivered by derby girls. During the Christmas break, however, I did gather the strength to go to Charlotte's Web with Warren and the monkeys (Satchel, 4, and Jiro, 2). The plan was to see the movie about the adorable pig and then immediately go eat BBQ.

Just kidding.

The fact that the Muvico website misquoted the start of the movie by 20 minutes combined with the smell of New York style pizza wafting through the mall led us to Napoli's Pizza. There were a lot of kids dining at Napoli's, but more interesting, I noticed a lot of other invalids. A tween in a pink and black striped cast sped past me on her crutches prompting Warren to say, "Why can't you go fast like her?" Before I could give him a dirty look, I noticed a elderly woman with a walker about to pass me on the left. I picked up the pace and waved Warren and the monkeys off. Technically everyone but me ate before leaving the house, so Warren walked the monkeys around the perimeter while I waited in line.

I love eating New York style pizza in malls. It reminds me of the 80s when my sister and I would spend the weekend hanging around the Mall of Memphis. Without fail, I always ate at Sbarro. I've never met a pizza I didn't like, but once I saw the enormity of a single slice of New York style pizza, I was in love. I've noticed that over the years, the slices seem to have gotten a bit smaller, but maybe I've just gotten bigger.

Napoli's has nice big slices to choose from. I went with a slice of pepperoni and a drink which set me back about $4.50. Mr. Napoli threw my slice in the oven to heat up and I very methodically managed to make myself a fountain drink and get it to the closest booth without spilling it. As I propped by bad leg up and waited for my slice I wondered how I was going to transport my tray to the table. I really did not want to accidentally drop my pizza on the floor. (All of the other invalids smartly had their friends and/or family stay and dine with them.)

When my order was ready I made eye contact with Mr. Napoli #2 and he rushed it over to me. Unfortunately when he arrived at my table I realized that he had a yummy looking bowl of pasta in his hand rather than my slice of pizza. "Oh, sorry," I said. "I had a slice of pepperoni."

Mr. Napoli #1 then held up my slice from behind the counter. Before Mr. Napoli #2 could get it, the elderly woman's daughter hopped out of the booth next to me and got it for me. "I've been there before," she said sympathetically, motioning to my crutches. I smiled and thanked her before politely tearing into my piping hot slice of pie.

I intended to save some of my pizza for the monkeys who would inevitably join me at the booth, but before I knew it, it was gone. When Warren and the monkeys arrived, Satchel immediately said, "I want some pizza!" Warren looked at his watch wondering if we'd have time.

"Get a slice of cheese," I said, "but tell them not to heat it up."

He did just that and I cut the slice in half with a plastic knife. I put half on a plate for Satchel and half on a plate for Jiro. Once I convinced Satchel that my used plate was not contaminated and that it was okay to put his half on it, he dug in. Jiro immediately started eating his and didn't make a peep until three minutes later when it was all gone, save a few bites of crust.

"I'm thirsty!" declared Satchel.

"Me too," said Jiro.

Warren took the last few sips of my Diet Coke and refilled the cup with lemonade for the boys. As they took turns gulping it down, Warren ate the last few bites of Satchel's pizza and Jiro's crust.

So technically we all had a little pizza and a drink for about $8.00. The pizza was delicious. The service was fast and friendly and the environment was very conducive to both monkeys and invalids. And if that weren't enough, Napoli's sells an array of candy bars at decent prices that can be smuggled into the Muvico.

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