Napoli Pizzeria in Vallejo California Had Me Flying High Story & Photos by Barbara L. Steinberg©
Clearly on a Saturday night in Vallejo, California, Napoli Pizzeria on Tennessee Street, ca. 1968, was buzzing. And after a long and fruitful day at the San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival I was glad to find myself among so many enthusiastic locals.
I was hungry. Meatball sandwiches. Ravioli. Penne pasta. Tortellini. And pizzas...oh, my, god, the pizzas!
The sound was joyous. Couples. Moms. Dads. Kids. Everyone talking. Laughing. Eating. Somehow, life is still good.
At the counter I met Mark -- a one-time Vallejo native -- returning home to Benicia he had stopped to pick-up his favorite pie. "I've been coming here for 40 years!" he happily told me. High praise and obviously a great recommendation for this out-of-towner. Nearly everyone seemed local. And at the register...the owner, Antonio, was greeting them all.
The couple next to me were also major Napoli fans. Vickie & Dave Marshall had their first date at Napoli when Vickie was just 16 years old. They dated for six years before finally tying the knot. That, my friends, was more than 40 years ago...they just celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. And there they were...tucked into some salad, a bottle of wine, and one of Antonio's delightful pizzas.
A small Napoli pizza is easily enough for two people...maybe three, if you aren't ravenous...and I was. Still, I took 2/3 of my small Margherita home with me. And I'm happy to say it had plenty of fresh garlic, even by my "you can never have too much garlic" standards. Pizza prices range from $8.50 to $13.95. Crust is hand-tossed; sauce is homemade as are most of the offerings at Napoli.
Thank you to the unknown woman at the San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival who suggested this fantastic Vallejo landmark. And thanks to the San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival for bringing me to Mare Island, Vallejo, and Solano County to work on this incredible weekend. Mark your calendars for 2010. The San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival is the first weekend in February...2010 will mark it's 14h year.
Mangia...Ciao...I mean, Chow! PS - Never fails. The leftover pizza was even better the second night.
Thanks. Appreciate your kind words.
Posted by: Barbara Steinberg | Thursday, 09 April 2009 at 01:43 PM
I read your story about Napoli Pizzeria that you submitted to California Travel Insider. This is long overdue, but I want to thank-you for the great article you wrote about Napoli after your visit to the San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival in February. It always feels good to receive gushing reviews, but the way you wrote the article and described your experience I felt the energy and the support of our customers. You made me feel the buzz of a Saturday night out with family and friends, and I could almost taste and smell the food you described.
Posted by: antnapoli | Thursday, 09 April 2009 at 10:47 AM