Lost in the Supermarket – Eating Pizza at Whole Foods Market, Publix and Costco

“I’m all lost in the supermarket, I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for the special offer, guaranteed personality”

                                                From “Lost in the Supermarket” by The Clash (1979)

When the Snob was a kid, you went to the grocery store to buy groceries–that meant food. You went to the drug store for your pharmacy needs, the bakery for baked goods, and the liquor store for wine and beer. Now, you can get all these things and amazingly more under one roof in a supermarket or “super-store.”  You can even get something to eat immediately which leads me to my subject:  Supermarket Pizza.

I am sure that by now everyone has grown to both love and hate Whole Foods Market. This video, “Whole Foods Parking Lot,” sums it up pretty well–-great stuff but expensive and a bit pretentious. Mrs. Pie and I actually go way back with Whole Foods shopping at its original Austin, Texas locale.  To this day, it is our main grocery store providing us with the healthy foods for a healthy lifestyle.

Whole Foods does a great pizza business. They have a nifty process whereby they use bar-coded triangular take-out boxes (pictured below) for their $2.49 each slices. While they prominently display plain cheese and pepperoni, they also have “gourmet” choices of pineapple, goat cheese, and ad nauseum.

Whole Foods close to my office has been my main go-to place for lunch for the last five years. I got into a habit of eating pizza every Friday from their large “Hearth Baked Pizza” counter. This went on for an extended period until one day I realized that I really didn’t like it. In the interest of journalism, I recently gave it another try in order to articulate my objections.

My lunch time taste-testing was done with two plain cheese slices at Nashville’s Green Hills location. Whole Foods certainly conveys the look of New York style pizza. They do a good job of not over-using ingredients. However, the taste is all wrong—a total flavor nightmare for your tongue. Nothing is right–sauce, cheese, or crust. The worst tasting part to me is the flour dusted on the bottom of the crust.  Even though the crust is blackened on the bottom and gives the appearance of a well-cooked slice, it’s actually a limp, undercooked slice that is too chewy.

Perhaps using healthy ingredients was the cause of this total taste breakdown. Sometimes good just tastes bad!

PIZZA SNOB RATING     **1/2 Perhaps Not a Total Waste

Whole Foods Market
[Various]
www.wholefoodsmarket.com

Publix is a supermarket chain that came to our area a few years ago and quickly out-classed Kroger as the place of choice for many of us locals. It is simply a class above the rest in the non-Whole Foods type of supermarket offering a more pleasant shopping experience and better quality products. They are also in the food prep business with a variety of items and a reputation for perhaps the best sub sandwich around. Some locations also have a pizza oven.  They sell whole cooked and uncooked pies. I tested Franklin’s Fieldstone Farms location by bringing an $8.99 large cheese pie over to Roger the Roof Guy’s house to watch a Giants-Eagles Sunday night football game.

I called ahead, and it was ready when I arrived. Reading the message printed on the box, “100% Real Cheese,” made me a shudder thinking what the alternative would be. The pie had a classic look however distorted by a slightly burnt cheese covering glossed over with an oily sheen. Although this pie was on the doughy side and not crisp enough for my liking, I’d take it over the Whole Foods pie since it was at least truer to my flavor expectations. It’s a decent, convenient, and economical pie for the unfussy pizza-eater–one however that the Snob will pass on in the future.

PIZZA SNOB RATING     **1/2 Perhaps Not a Total Waste

Publix
[Various]
www.publix.com

Lastly, I opted for the Costco Wholesale food counter pizza in Cool Springs.

I have failed before in life by not listening to Sweetie Pie’s advice. She told me to not waste my time or money on Costco pizza. She was right: I could have sight-tested it. It looked awful–pale, more yellow than red colored, too thick, dripping in oil, and limp with a severe case of burnt cheese. Too late did I notice that everyone in the busy dining area was eating the hot dog–except me!  I wondered why the lady behind the counter looked surprised when I ordered the pizza.

Not much to say about this slice other than it tasted as bad as it looked. Despite being very hungry, halfway though my $1.99 slice I threw it in the trash.  A total waste of two bucks!

PIZZA SNOB RATING     * Should Not Have Been Called Pizza

Costco Wholesale
[Various]
www.costco.com

There’s a story in everything. And, there’s also a moral in every story.  Here’s this one:  Don’t eat any old pizza just because you are jonesing for it at the moment!  Is that also true for Sbarro or Famous Famiglia while in the mall or at the airport? Ah–that’s another story!

 

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. I’m rather fond of the fresh (everything) Costco puts into their supreme pizza. Plus, my kids love watching the employees making it from scratch. We eat it just about as frequently as any pizza chain.

  2. […] times.  We wound up getting a late start and as a result, the Kid suggested that we move our usual Whole Foods Market lunch stop up from Little Rock to Memphis. Music City Mike had made a few concert trips to Memphis, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: