Pizza in Sanibel Island, FL—First Stop: The Great White Grill

The Great White Grill - outside 1 - RESIZEThe Pizza Snob hasn’t been happy during the pandemic. Not only have I not been travelling to new exciting pizza joints, I haven’t even been eating much local pizza. Also, I still have a backlog of pre-pandemic adventures that I have yet to write about. So, here’s an attempt at getting back to the blogging business and maybe even getting out soon to visit some new Nashville-area spots.

Late last fall, when we still flew on airplanes, Mrs. Pie and I took our somewhat regular Florida beach vacation. But, instead of our usual haunt down on 30-A, we took a chance with Sanibel Island. Off the west coast of the state, it’s nearest big city of interest is Fort Myers where we would also be able to visit some friends. As for the beach report, it was a major letdown. While Sanibel is gorgeous and lovely with tons of cool shells, on the beach we had to fight both the nasty smell of the red tide and the annoying bites of nasty little invisible bugs that they call “no-see-ums.” Let’s just say that us beach lovers are not likely to go back to Sanibel.

Nonetheless, going anywhere is always an excuse to find new pizza, and my first choice was a neat casual place called The Great White Grill where we went with some friends for a Saturday afternoon lunch. My expectations for great pizza weren’t high, but it looked like a place where in addition to pizza, there would be some other choices on the menu for our guests.

The Great White Grill - outside 2 - RESIZEThe Great White Grill - inside - RESIZENothing is too far away on the small island and The Great White Grill was just a bit off of the island’s main drag Periwinkle Way. It was a small neighborhood bar type of a place whose walls were surprisingly mostly devoted to Pittsburgh Steelers memorabilia. It was late in the afternoon and inside there were just a few folks watching TV sports. We were greeted with warm hospitality and seated at an indoor table.

Cutting right to the chase, this was a nice, fun and decent place to visit with pretty good food. But, as I expected, it’s just not a place to score anything special when it comes to pizza. And in their defense, although they list pizza first on their sign, followed by wings, gyros and sandwiches, they ain’t a pizza specialty joint. And that’s OK.

But if you are looking for some easy pizza, at least you can buy it here by the slice ($2.75). I ordered one as a starter to a chicken parm sammy. The slice got there quick and even came on a real plate. Right off I could see though that it was crusty and cheesy. Definitely not from the slim family. It was also very tiny in size and there was quite a bit of dark oil oozing from it. It qualified as a “grease bomb.” The crust had a touch of crispness and was somewhat firm, but overall tasted flat.

The cheese and tomato sauce on the other hand were both quite passable in terms of taste and as a result I ate my small slice in about three seconds in as many bites. In the end I asked myself: “Was it better than Dominos?” Well, with all that oil, probably not. It was a fair attempt at pizza but nothing to send a postcard home about.

The Great White Grill - slice - RESIZENow on the other hand, the rest of the food was pretty good. So, if you can stand the smell and the bugs and visit Sanibel, I’d put The Great White Grill down as a fun place for lunch. But, as a bit of a foreshadowing, there is much better pizza to be found on this small island.

PIZZA SNOB RATING **1/2 Not a Total Waste
The Great White Grill
2440 Palm Ridge Rd.
Sanibel, FL  33957


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