Gennarino’s Truck Brings Neapolitan Culture & Food to DFW

By Stephanie Hawkes | for MFN

A little piece of Naples, Italy joined the DFW Metroplex on September 19 when Gennarino’s a Neapolitan style friggitoria rolled out on the streets of Irving Texas.  Owned and operated by the Ranieri brothers who moved to the US only a few years ago, the truck sell sandwiches and fried items using the same recipes and cooking styles as the street vendors of the South Italy city.

Gennarino’s menu is a mix of classic Italian items such as lasagna, eggplant parmigian and caprese sandwich but also introduces customers to Neapolitan favorites of handheld spaghetti, handheld fettuccine and several variations of zeppole, small pieces of dough that can be filled with potato or covered with dessert toppings. The specialty of the truck is a fried pizza topped with tomato sauce and homemade mozzarella cheese. Of course no trip to an authentic Neapolitan truck would be complete without a custom made Italian Soda.

Adding to the cultural experience of a visit to Gennarino’s is the hand painted artwork on each side of the truck. Gennarino’s logo reflects the city of Naples; the first “N” is the same logo as the Naples soccer team, the “I” is a corniciello or horn that is the symbol of good luck and the last “O” represents the sun that shines over Naples. Each of the pieces of art on the back side of the truck also represents Naples with a painting of Pulcinella, a figure in Neapolitan theater, Mount Vesuvius the active volcano that sits next to Naples and San Gennaro, the patron Saint of Naples, for whom the truck is named.  To further honor Saint Gennaro, Gennarino’s grand opening was scheduled for the same day that St. Gennaro festivals are held in Italian communities around the world.

Rafaele Ranieri’s vision is to create a piazza, or central meeting place at each location where his truck sets us service; a place where friends and family can meet to share a meal, visit and take a few moments to enjoy their day. Based on the number of groups arriving at the opening, he is on track to accomplishing that. At the same time, with the Neapolitan food, artwork and music playing, for a brief time diners are taken to out of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and transported to beauty and life of Naples.