Photo: Dave “El Presidente” Portnoy with painting
Right after Dave “El Presidente” Portnoy of Barstool Sports made a video last week raving about the longtime Grandpa’s Pizza in Bonita Springs, he headed south that same day, making One Bite (“everybody knows the rules”) pizza review stops at Industry Pizza in North Naples and LowBrow Pizza in East Naples. Both Naples-area pizzerias are co-owned by Chris Jones, the former country club chef who puts his culinary stamp on his creations. At Industry Pizza, 2075 Pine Ridge Road, Portnoy gave a 7.7 rating to “The Plain Cheese” pizza, which is anything but plain with three cheeses: mozzarella, caciocavallo and shaved Parmesan. “This seems like kind of fancy pizza,” he says. “This is almost artisan pizza.” Jones is getting “fancy” T-shirts made to capitalize on Portnoy’s visit, which puts Naples on the pizza map. “It’s a big deal,” Jones says. Then, Portnoy traveled about 7 miles south to LowBrow Pizza, 3148 Tamiami Trail E., which just celebrated its third anniversary last week. Although he rarely scores Neapolitan-style pizza above 7, Portnoy awarded a 7.1 to LowBrow’s Maggie, short for Margherita pizza. While at LowBrow, Portnoy bought a T-shirt and an $800 painting on the wall of baby Yoda eating pizza that was painted by local artist Esau Rodriguez. In Portnoy’s honor, Jones plans to introduce the “El Presidente” pizza with everything Portnoy looks for in a pizza: just cheese, extra charred and extra well done with very little flop.