Yes, you read that right. Wegmans. Wegmans pizza.
Now why would a blog devoted to local pizzerias review supermarket pizza? Well, for one, this isn’t just any supermarket we're talking about here. This is Wegmans. Now I’m not one of those people who takes out-of-town guests to see Wegmans, but let’s face it: though Wegmans may have grown from a local supermarket into a Mid-Atlantic regional chain, it remains a local institution, and it's become a part of our communal identity.
And the fact is, it is a damn fine supermarket, maybe one of the best in the country (which is tantamount to saying one of the best in the world, since nobody does supermarkets better than we do here in the U.S. of A.). I'm sure it has its detractors, but Wegmans undeniably does a lot of things very well.
One of the things I’m always particularly impressed with is their bread. Wegmans makes some really excellent bread, far better than what you find at most other supermarkets, in this area at least.
So, I had to wonder, is their pizza any good? I see it all the time when I go there. It never looked especially good to me, but still, this is Wegmans we’re talking about here. And when I discovered that there’s actually a Facebook page created by and for Wegmans pizza fans, well, I had to see for myself just how good it is.
I chose, of course, the Pittsford Wegmans, the crème de la crème of local Wegmans stores. The pizza station is off on the far left of the store when you come in, over near the steps leading up to where Tastings Restaurant used to be. (Tastings’ replacement, Next Door Bar & Grill, is now open across the street, and advertises “very thin crust” pizza, which doesn’t necessarily sound promising to me, but I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve tried it.)
I was a little surprised to see a very small oven near the counter, until I realized that it’s simply used for rewarming slices. The full-size steel pizza ovens are in back of the counter.
The slices were normal size, so I got a couple, one plain cheese and one with pepperoni and hot peppers. The crusts were thin, though not super thin, with medium brown undersides that had been dusted with cornmeal. The exterior was crisp and crackly, to the point where each slice cracked along a fault line when I tried to fold it. They were also a bit gritty, which I assume was from the cornmeal.
The other components were applied in pretty good proportion to each other and to the crust. The sauce was slightly sweet, and the processed mozzarella cheese was lightly browned.
Oddly, where these slices most fell short, in my estimation, was in the crust. It was not especially bready, in taste or texture. Whereas a great pizza will typically have a crust so good that the outer edge is my favorite part, the edge on these was rather uninteresting. It was similar to a basic breadstick, golden brown and crunchy, but kind of ho-hum. And although I like a nice crisp crust, the best crusts are both crisp and pliable. These were definitely on the brittle side.
All in all, then, this was decent enough pizza, probably better than you’d typically find at a supermarket, but neither was it on a par with Wegmans’ bread in terms of overall quality. It was something like a rough approximation of New York style pizza, but if that’s what they were aiming for, it missed the mark in some respects. It would do in a pinch, but that’s about all. I’ll give it a B-.
Wegmans Pittsford, 3195 Monroe Ave. 586-6680