MMP near Capodichino serves good pizza for less than $7
By SCOTT WYLAND | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 13, 2017
Maccarun Marenn Pizza Ristorante & Pizzeria, or MMP, will never rank high in Naples’ pantheon of pizzerias, but it has three things strongly in its favor: delicious wood-fire-baked pizzas at rock-bottom prices, generous portions and a short stroll from the Capodichino naval base.
MMP’s green awnings are the only swatch of color in a grimy, near-deserted block that most drivers blow through while going to and from the base or the airport. The two M’s in its logo, fashioned in the same style as McDonald’s golden arches, and the use of “pizza” instead of “pizze” made me wonder whether it was a faux Italian eatery catering to U.S. servicemembers.
I half-expected to see burgers and barbecued wings on my first visit. I soon realized MMP might have a thin Americanized veneer, but it’s pure Italian at heart, from the Italian-prepped cuisine to the main menu written in Italian to the server who barely speaks English yet has jovial fun with the language barrier.
MMP is not elegant. The decor is a tacky blend of red and white. Placemats are paper, silverware and a paper napkin come in a plastic wrapper, and each table’s divider has a flat-screen TV with no way to change channels. You view what the staff is watching, whether it’s a soccer match or an overwrought Italian drama.
Yet the kitsch is part of its charm. And it all seems beside the point when you’re served a gigantic pizza with a light, tender crust, a tasty basil sauce and mozzarella that melts like butter in your mouth. Add a glass of more-than-adequate red wine and the total is 6.50 euros ($7). I experienced reverse sticker shock.
The priciest pizza, the capricciosa, costs 7 euros ($7.50). It has tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms, ham and artichokes. Non-pizza meals run between 3 and 5 euros ($3.20 to $5.35). They include antipasto dishes as well as assorted vegetables or meats served with a hefty glob of mozzarella.
MMP’s menu selection narrows in the evening. No fish is available after about 6:30 p.m. And after 8 p.m. the server nudges you to the easier-to-prepare foods, such as pizza and antipasto. Quirks aside, MMP is a worthwhile stop.
You’re unlikely to find any place in America near a military base that serves pizza a tenth this good, and for less money than you’d pay at Pizza Hut.
Directions: Viale Fulco Ruffo di Calabria 5 in Naples. MMP is at the northwest corner of Viale Fulco Ruffo and Cupa Carbone, just north of the Tangenziale freeway. If you’re coming from the base, take a left at the roundabout and go two blocks. From the airport, go straight through the roundabout and go two blocks. MMP is on the right.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Information: (+39) 081 751 1319. Limited parking around the restaurant, including street-side. MMP can be found on Facebook, where patrons comment, mostly in Italian.