reviewed the pizza sold by Corn Hill Market, which was in the plaza across from Corn Hill Landing on Exchange Boulevard. It wasn't that great, but the market closed some time ago, and a new grocery store/deli, the Corn Hill Exchange Market, has opened in its place.
Initially, the new market didn't offer pizza, but recently I noticed a handmade sign out in front with "PIZZA" prominently featured. The sign indicated that pizza was only available during lunch hours, so a few days ago I stopped by to check it out.
For now, at least, Corn Hill (I was going to go with the acronym "CHEM", but that seemed rather unappetizing) offers either full or half pies, in what amounts to a "medium" size. They're baked in a conveyor oven, and the whole operation is right there behind the counter for customers to behold.
Maybe somewhere in the world, great pizzas are emerging out of conveyor ovens, but I have yet to find one. I'm not going to come down on Corn Hill, I mean they're just starting out with pizza, but I think a conveyor oven limits what you can achieve with pizza.
This one - a half-pie "slice" - was super thin, but not very crisp, with a lightly browned underside. With a fairly generous helping of cheese and sauce, it made for pretty sloppy eating. The overall flavor was good, though, as the rich tomatoey sauce combined with the gooey, melted mozzarella and the thin, greasy slices of pepperoni adhering to the cheese.
Corn Hill is not primarily a pizzeria, it's a neighborhood grocery store that happens to serve pizza. It's also in the process of expanding its offerings; on a recent visit, minestrone soup, burritos and tacos were available, and a deli case stood waiting for what at some point should be a selection of meats.
A new pizza place is always welcome news, particularly in a neighborhood that, like Corn Hill, inexplicably has lacked many choices in that department. True, there's excellent pizza to be had at Tony D's in Corn Hill Landing, but that's more of an eat-in place. Sometimes you want a quick slice or a pie to go, and the Corn Hill Exchange Market is well positioned to fill that need.
And so far, so good. Again, this was not a tremendous crust, by my standards, but the pizza tasted good, and there's real potential here. Because Corn Hill has only been doing pizza for a very brief time, I'm going to refrain from assigning it a grade at this point - I think it's fair to give a place a little time to work on things before I do that - but I will say that Corn Hill residents and local office workers in need of a pizza fix should check it out.
Corn Hill Exchange Market, 315 Exchange Blvd. 14608. 454-6333
Open daily 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. (for now, pizza is only available at lunchtime)