Like most famous things, Pizzeria Da Michele, in Naples, Italy is known for a reason.
And I suggest that you start your experience at this no-frills restaurant by taking a quick glance at the menu posted on the wall and immediately choosing between the only two options Pizzeria Da Michele offers: pizza margherita and pizza marinara. Order a Peroni to chase down the grease.
Being a fan of melted cheese, I ordered a pizza margherita and sat back in my unbalanced plastic folding chair to enjoy the crowded, checkered cloth-covered tables and my cold Peroni, which our waiter plunked down within seconds of our order.
My Peroni was quickly followed by a pizza -- simple but giant, swimming in sauce, and dripping with fresh olive oil. Just looking at the Neapolitan pizza was enough to waken my palate, but when the scent permeated my nose with a distinct, rich smell of basil laced with traces of toasted tomato, melted mozzarella, and greasy goodness, my taste buds hopped up and stood at attention.
Midway through my pizza, the waiter returned with our check, a signal to hurry up with our pies and clear a table for the crowd of future customers lined up against the brick walls of the tight alley outside the door.
And although I was stuffed, I could not will myself to stop cramming the doughy delight into my mouth until every last crumb was gone.