This Week's Cafe Review: Vera Pizza Napoletana-ish Pies at Pizzeria Solario

Categories: On the Menu

Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
They're almost as good as in Naples ... almost.
"VPN Americas is the American Delegation of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, an international non-profit organization founded in the mid 1980's by a group of Neapolitan pizzaiolis (pizza makers) seeking to cultivate the culinary art of making Neapolitan pizza. On June 1984, the association was officially established as a denomination of control (DOC) by the Italian government, a designation that made the VPN a legal entity able to give special designation to pizzerias who meet strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making. The President is Antonio Pace."

That's how the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana describes itself. It might sound like a lot of formality for an organization devoted to pizza, but in Italy, folks take pizza very seriously. We might not be quite so reverent of crust, sauce and cheese here in Houston, but we're also pretty serious when it comes to pizza.

It was abundantly clear in the comments section of our article about Houston's top 10 pizzas of 2013 that everyone has a favorite, and most people aren't going to agree on which pizza is best. Some like thicker, doughier crust. Some like oodles of toppings. Some, like myself, prefer thin, Neapolitan-style pizza like the kind promoted by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana.

And though it's not an official member of VPN Americas, Pizzeria Solario, the subject of this week's cafe review, makes some fine Neapolitan pizza. Most of the time.

Location Info

Pizzeria Solario

3333 Weslayan, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana

14028 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca

500 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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I'm a little skeptical about VPN; some pizzaioli like Marco Wiles would argue that it's little more than a money making opp that some wily geniuses in Naples invented, due to the gullibility of Americans...or maybe I should say an overblown veneration for things Italian. Anyway, if you know how to do pizza, you don't really need some international busybody certifying you; if you don't, well I guess it would help some.

KaitlinS topcommenter

@wroxton8 Yes, the cost of certification seems to be not worth any customers who might come due to the VPN title.

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