Tennessee: Salsiccia at Bella Napoli Pizzeria in Nashville

Here’s the situation:

I’m wrapping up a work trip in Chattanooga this morning, and I know there’s a pizza in Nashville waiting for me. I was flying home via Nashville, and it was 8AM and I KNEW that I could make it to get the pizza and still catch my flight. After missing my Little Rock pizza (though I got it back), I didn’t want to find myself losing a pizza opportunity again. I packed my bag, cleaned my hotel room (because I’m a weirdo who can’t leave it for the maid), hopped in my rented Hyundai Sonata, turned the “Eco” button off, and put the pedal to the metal to get to Nashville in time to stop at Bella Napoli Pizzeria. Well, I got there in plenty of time, and I sat in the car for 45 minutes waiting for them to open at 11:00 because I forgot that I was reentering the Central Time Zone. And because Siri is bitch and didn’t update my arrival time until I was back in Central Time. I hate her.

At 10:52, I trekked from the car through the rain to this little neighborhood pizzeria, and I stood there in a tank top in the rain in 50ish degree weather staring at the door. When someone came out and turned the OPEN sign on, I realized how pathetic I was, and to avoid looking even worse, for some reason, I decided to stand there for two more minutes before I walked in, even though I knew I only had 30 minutes to get in, order and eat, and get out. This place  wasn’t what I expected when I saw that the pizza was going to be in Nashville. I expected something in the heart of downtown Nashville with all of the liveliness that is Nashville, but what I got was a quaint little neighborhood pizzeria, and I found myself wishing that I had something like that nearby where I live. It had a great ambiance and feel, and it was tucked so far back from the road, that I would never have found this place without the article to drive me there. Isn’t it quaint?

Tennessee Storefront

If you ever find yourself at this place, ask for Alex. The service was FANTASTIC. Unfortunately, that’s the last good thing I can say, but keep reading… I don’t think it’s Bella Napoli’s fault. Let’s dive in.

From Zagat:

Tennessee- Salsiccia at Bella Napoli Pizzeria in Nashville

Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables, so throw it on your pizza and you’re eating health food, right? Ok, maybe not, but that’s not going to stop us from enjoying the Salsiccia at Nashville’s Bella Napoli Pizzeria, which also features Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella and garlic. They import most ingredients from Italy and list details about them on their site. This isn’t a place with a massive menu or crazy ingredients, but one that has a great assortment of traditional pies.

So that’s exactly what we had… a wood fire (yay again!) pizza with broccoli, garlic, olive oil, and sausage, and mozzarella. Sounds good right? Not even close. First, photo. Then review:

 Tennesee pizza

This is probably the closest that I have come to finding a pizza photo from Zagat that actually matched what I received. That is the only positive thing that I can say about this pizza. I wasn’t all i on the idea of broccoli on a pizza, but I was willing to try it. I was expecting it to be more of the floret part than the stem part though, and my first bite of pizza, I got a big chunk of partially cooked, hard broccoli stem. Also, as I picked up the pizza, it immediately fell limp. There was entirely too much olive olive, too much grease coming off of the sausage, and too much water coming off of the broccoli this is to have ever been a pizza that was going to hold like a wood fire crust should. The garlic was the kind of minced garlic that you can buy from the grocery store in a jar already in water or olive oil, and it was just thrown on the pizza in clumps. I love garlic, but that’s overkill. I could have done with either less garlic or having it all spread out.

So, the pizza was terrible. I ate two pieces to make sure that I tasted everything I needed to, and then left the rest of the $16 pizza. No need trying to get THAT into the airport. All of the horribleness said, I think Zagat just screwed the pooch on picking this pizza. There were plenty of other pizzas on the menu that looked fantastic, but this pizza was just not worth it, and there is NO way this is the best pizza in Tennessee. I’m starting to think a staffer at Zagat just Googled wood fire ovens in every state then picked the strangest pizza off of the menu and called it the best. I BELIEVE that next up will be Florida, where I’ll be eating python on a pizza, but we’ll see!



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