I got a pizza tonight from King Slice based on the advice from this thread, and wow was that ever disappointing! Thickly doughy and squishy, pallid tasteless cheese (no browning on top)... no. The sauce was fine, if a bit odd for its strong taste of fennel (fortunately I love fennel).
Still looking for decent pizza in Toronto... Thin crust with a bit of crisp and a bit of chew, potent tomato sauce with a bit of salt and acidity, cheese with a bit of browning - too much to ask? This is the standard stuff in New Jersey (where I'm from). The only good pizza I've found in Toronto has been gourmet pizza (Terroni or Pizzeria Libretto) with gourmet pricing. I've tried Cora Pizza, Papa Ceo, Massimos... none of these do it for me, but Massimos came closest. I feel these pizza places all reflect the toxic influence of Pizza Pizza...
Definitely check out VOLPETTI in Testaccio, an intense, one-room, packed-to-the-gills place where most of the goodies are behind the counter - everything I tried or recognized from previous experience was amazing. The focus is on cheese, meat, fresh pasta, baked goods, and other fresh foods, but I remember them having an excellent olive oil selection as well. Definitely stop by Volpetti's tavola calda, Volpetti Piu, around the corner - it's cafeteria-style and the quality is terrific... I still drool thinking about my plate of artichoke hearts, cooked generously in olive oil and garlic and herbs until parts were brown and almost crackly, with other parts tender, totally alchemic and delicious. At Volpetti Piu they offer five or six different quality olive oils to drizzle on your food - fun to taste each.
Another food shop we loved is INNOCENZA on Via Natale just off Piazza San Cosimato, a short walk across the river from the Testaccio market. This place focuses more on dry goods - sweets, jams, antipasti, large paper sacks filled with various beans and grains, pastas.... Everything is very well-priced and remarkably good. We especially enjoyed the a wide selection of Domori varietal chocolates for less than 3 euros each.
We are heading to Naples next weekend for a brief trip, and our primary intention is to eat and drink, chiefly pizza and espresso. I've read through a bunch of threads on Naples and have the pizza plan pretty well sorted out, but I have no sound leads on where to get a face-meltingly good espresso (espresso macchiato is my personal fave). I'm guessing that the best pasticcerie and sfogliatelle places (thanks, chowhound!) are a good bet for great espresso - any other recommendations? I imagine good stuff is easy to come by, but I'm aiming for transcendent....
I'm also hoping to pick the hive mind for other foodie info about Naples... We're vegetarians (no seafood either) and like simple, inexpensive pleasures and finding fabulous raw ingredients that we can bring home (to Germany) and cook with - also we're basically on a student budget, as I'm unemployed and my partner is a young academic. I know there have been a lot of posts on Naples, but they've tended toward pizza or pastry or restaurants that are either too meaty or probably too pricey for us. We're looking for for...
- good markets and food stores (is there anywhere analogous to Volpetti or Innocenza in Rome)?
Also, just as a shot in the dark... I'm also into aromatherapy and am intrigued by the use of locally produced orange flower water in pastries. Anyone know where I can get some of that (or, better still, locally produced essential oils or the like) in Napoli? I wonder if lemon flower water (from those amazing local lemons) ever makes its way into food...?
Thanks, everyone! I'll be sure to post a trip report when we get back. :)