The news broke last November that Mississippi-based Soulshine Pizza Factory would be opening its first out-of state location in Nashville. This Pizza Snob had zero interest after looking at its menu and pizza photos on its website. Nothing classic or traditional about this place that offered only gourmet-style pies overloaded with toppings. Not that there is anything wrong with that–but that’s just not what the Snob likes in his pizza.
Soulshine built an impressive structure adding yet another lively bar and outdoor patio option for the young urban professionals in the newly resurging Midtown area. They even deserve high praise for their partnership with local radio station Lightning 100 to present local live music on a weekly basis. However, something is wrong when the menu doesn’t even have a plain cheese pizza on it. Like most things in life, even topping-abused pizza needs a good foundation to start with. Sadly, you won’t find one at Soulshine.
I really had no plans of ever eating at the place and made it there by accident. General Joe, my boss, grabbed me for lunch wanting to visit the new Two Boot pizza joint. We got there only to find it wasn’t open for lunch yet, so we decided to mosey up the block to reluctantly give Soulshine a try.
Soulshine is certainly a nice, fun place decorated with some great portraits of famous Southern musicians. As for the menu, in addition to their fancy specialty pizzas with silly names, they offer some untraditional pizza joint appetizers, exotic calzones and po-boy sandwiches. I ordered the lunch special of soup or salad and an eight-inch pie for $8.99. I had to go off-menu to ask for a plain cheese pie. The General went for a calzone, and our other guest went for some kind of goofy pie.
After seeing and tasting it, I was disappointed as expected. Suffering the most was its cracker-like, stiff and flakey crust that was totally devoid of any taste whatsoever. The tomato sauce and cheese were just plain and simple while the excessive oil layering came across as greasy rather than flavorful. The General said the calzone flunked as well. The other guy didn’t like his goofy pie either.
If you happen to see me again at Soulshine, it will be to see an up and coming local band and not to eat their pizza. This is just not a place for a classic New York-style pizza seeker like the Snob.
PIZZA SNOB RATING **1/2 Perhaps Not a Total Waste
Soulshine Pizza Factory
1907 Division St
Nashville, TN 37212