Among other things, working at home during the COVID pandemic has disrupted my workday routine of having lunch everyday at the Whole Foods Market in the Green Hills area of Nashville. My brisk walk there and back for exercise and the wide assortment of tasty and healthy things to eat from the buffet, etc. were a part of my daily regimen. However, one thing that I intentionally did not partake in was their pizza.
Some eight years ago, I gave some space to WFM pizza and had this less-than-flattering thing to say about it:
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!
Well, a reader recently encouraged me to give their pie another try, claiming that it had gotten better. With little pizza action available during the current chaos, I took him up on his challenge. Recently, while shopping on a Sunday evening for some Christmas groceries with the family at our hometown WFM in Franklin, we decided that each of us would bring our own goodies home for our dinner. My pizza plan was thus ready for action and I decided this time was as good as any to bring home a couple of cheese slices.
There wasn’t much pizza sitting out on the counter under the heat lamps, but I did find two slices available. ($3.79 each or two for $7.00). They boxed them individually in their special triangular boxes like they always do, and we all checked out and headed home.
Bringing the pizza slices back this way, it was obvious that they wouldn’t been very hot when I got around to eating them. Such was true and, in all fairness, I chose to warm up my second slice in the toaster oven. Unfortunately, neither slice had any crispness whatsoever and both were soft and mushy.
But most of all, like my previous experience with WFM pizza, it just didn’t have much taste to it. While there was nothing off-putting about it, it really needed something to jazz up its flavor. A simple dash of garlic in the sauce and some oregano on top would really help. I’d also work on the blend of cheese and sauce—less of the former and more of the latter.
Having sat on this write-for for a while, I thought I would give WFM one more chance and eat on site where I might get a hotter, fresher sampling of their wares. Having to get some grocery items, I went there hungry for a late afternoon lunch on a recent Friday. Since I was hungry, my plan for one slice turned to two, but what was I thinking? Those heat lamps are worthless and without a toss back into the oven, my slices were as soft and mushy as before. Aside from getting some needed afternoon nourishment, this effort really didn’t further my analysis.
Well, did Whole Foods pizza get any better? I’m really not sure, but that fact that it tasted bland rather than bad was somewhat of a victory. In that regard, I will be taking my rating up a notch, but it’ll likely be another eight years before I again try Whole Foods pizza.
PIZZA SNOB RATING *** Better Than Dominos
Whole Foods Market