Last weekend after a long day of Christmas shopping I was on the verge of being seriously “hangry”. So much so, that in a ravished frenzy I ventured into unfamiliar pizza territory.
I’ve always assumed pizza at grocery store buffets and specialty bars would be about the same quality as gas stations—hours old slices that have long since sweated out their essence, laying decrepit and drying out under heat lamps. So, I may meander over to the pizza-bar at my local grocery store every week to scope out the selection, but I’ll rarely pull the trigger.
That is, until, I discovered a whole new grocery store pizza experience. A retailer in my neck of the woods has stepped up their pre-made pizza game and may turn me into a devout lover of the pizza-bar after all.
We’ll take one of everything, please.
With heavy-duty holiday appetites hi-jacking our rational thinking, Tess and I headed for the store where we could pig-out on not just one delicacy, but a whole smorgasbord of ready-to-eat options.
Whole Foods Market’s “Prepared Food” department is a welcoming deli-esque operation where you can fill your basket with everything from mac n’ cheese to chicken tikka masala to sushi (why not all three?!).
Their specialty bars contain an extensive array of sandwiches, soups, salads, and “grab-n-go” meals, and because it’s Whole Foods it’s actually not that bad for you. According to their website:
“If variety alone doesn’t make you take out your napkin and tuck in, here’s the clincher: you’ll find no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives—and no hydrogenated fats or high fructose corn syrup. It means the food is fresh, flavorful and just plain wonderful.”
So, as “healthy-ish” slabs of lasagna and Asian glazed boneless wings danced in my head I walked over to do my usual peek at their pizza-bar.
An epic crust for my epic hunger.
My explorations brought me to a majestic mountain-range of golden-brown crust that overlooked a valley of melty mozzarella and pepperoni. Upon first glance of the pizzas’ magnificent hand-tossed handle and I knew it was meant to be.
I discovered that the highlight of Whole Foods New York Style pie is a rim of perfectly proofed chewy outer crust. It’s crispy on the outside, and fluffy and filled with air-pockets on the inside. It’s a ranch dippers dream come true really. As soon as I got home I went straight for the Hidden Valley bottle.
The sauce seeps into the nooks and crannies of the light bready base and the larger-than-normal pepperonis get nice and crispy. Also, a plus, Whole Foods allows you to serve yourself, so no more middle person crushing your hopes by grabbing the one with the monstrous charred up bubble.
Not only was the crust delicious, but enough to fulfill my gigantic appetite.
Turns out I had been too quick to judge and it’s possible to get a decent slice at the grocery store pizza-bar after all. All it took was one unexpected, tasty crust in my Whole Foods basket to turn me from a Scrooge to Bob Cratchit.
What I’m eating: Whole Foods Market pepperoni pizza from the “Prepared Foods” section
What I’m reading: Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney -Lee Cockerell