After spending a month living with Italians in Florence, I thought I knew pizza culture pretty well.
Then I walked into Pupatella.
The first time I went, there was a big group of people huddled around the wood fire stove, hungrily watching at the pizzas bubble in the heat. A waitress greeted me and asked if I wanted a table. I said yes, and I was promptly directed to the counter where it looked like you order pizza to go. "But, I wanted a table?" I looked up for the waitress but she was gone. A man behind the counter with big bushy eyebrows and bulky stature looked at me expectantly "what'd ya want?". He seemed to have no patience for the fact that I hadn't actually looked at a menu yet, and the sweat slowly seeping from his armpits told me I better make a decision pronto before this guy kicked me all the way to Sicily. I ordered two pizzas out of indecision. I gave him my card and he told me the pizzas would be ready in 10 minutes. "Oh, no, but I'm sitting down" I told him. He was already half way across the kitchen wielding a pizza peel into the oven.
I finally flagged down my original waitress and she explained to me that "this is how they do it in Italy" and that I would probably be seated before my food came out. Probably.
Luckily enough I was called to my table a solid 5 minutes before the pizza come hot out of the oven to my awaiting fork. Yes, you apparently must use forks and knives to eat this pizza. The place has a very hectic, not customer service oriented feel. But they have truly fantastic pizza. Its a perfect place to get a quick cheesy bite worthy of transporting you to Italy. I can't say they are doing anything legendary, but they are doing the basics, very, very well.
Marhgarita Doc/ Classic Doc
What can we say about this old stand by? It's wonderful. Do yourself a favor and order the Margherita instead of the classic.
Thin slices of high quality prosciutto di parma shaved onto a nest of arugula, creamy mozzarella, and freshly baked dough. Sign me (and yourself) up!