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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Wegmans, East Avenue

Ever have one of those nights when you're planning to go out to eat (or do anything else, for that matter) and it starts to seem as if the universe is conspiring to prevent you from doing it? That happened to my wife and me recently.
We wanted to go to a particular restaurant - for pizza - got there about 7:30, and they were closed, even though their sign said they were open till 8. Went to another (non-pizza) place down the road. It was so packed I couldn't get in the parking lot. Another place across the street was having a bike night, and we didn't feel like listening to live heavy metal with our meal.
I started racking my brain, trying to think of a place, preferably with pizza, that I'd been wanting to try, and came up with Amore, the new restaurant at Wegmans on East Avenue. So we went there, only to find that they were booked solid through the remainder of the evening.
At that point, it was getting on close to 9:00, and so I suggested we just go into Wegmans and get something to go.
It may not seem like a match made in heaven, but we ended up getting pizza and sushi. The sushi looked good, and it was in fact pretty good. But I had to at least take a look at the pizza, and upon seeing a decent looking, freshly made cheese pie, I got a slice of that to go.
My wife thought the chicken cordon bleu pizza sounded good, so she got a slice of that. Now at that point I should've said something, because to me it didn't look that appetizing. There were just one or two slices of that variety left, and they looked to have been sitting there for a while. But I figured she could judge its appearance just as well as I could, so if it looked good to her, OK.
My slice turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. I've had mixed results with Wegmans pizza - it seems to be very inconsistent from one store to the next - but this one looked like a good, basic NY style pizza, and I figured after all the hoopla about this particular store, this would probably be as good as Wegmans pizza gets.
It was only OK, though, and not as good as a slice that I got at the Pittsford Wegmans a few years ago. The golden brown underside was crisscrossed with screen marks, and was rather soft. The edge was a little more crisp, but not much. And the toppings were adequate but so-so - a thin layer of sauce, thin layer of processed mozzarella. Not that I was expecting to be blown away by the toppings, but they did nothing to elevate this pizza above mediocrity.
Still, this wasn't an awful slice. No, that distinction went to the chicken cordon bleu pizza.
Now again, I felt kind of bad about not having tried to steer my wife away from this one, but the fact is, this should never have been sold, or offered for sale, in the first place. It was that bad.
Some of that can be attributed to its having sat out for way too long, but I can't see how this pizza could've been any good, from the moment it came out of the oven. The paper-thin, leathery crust glistened with oil, the cheese had the texture of plastic that had melted and then cooled, and the chicken consisted of little more than greasy lumps of breading with some microscopic, dessicated shreds of a meatlike substance inside.
My wife took a bite, then gamely took one more, but that was it. She pronounced it the worst pizza she'd ever eaten, and I couldn't see any reason to doubt her. I then ATE A BITE OF THE SLICE, WHICH I FOUND REPULSIVE, AND managed to salvage a few cubes of diced ham, then tossed the slice in the garbage. Had we still been at the store, we would've gone back in for a refund, but it was too late for that. 
(By the way, I hadn't planned on reviewing this slice, but when my wife told me how disgusting it was I decided this deserved to be written about. That's why there are a couple of bites missing in the photos. But believe me, the pictures don't do it "justice.")
Oh yes, the ratings. My cheese slice was adequate, not as good as I'd hoped, but good enough for a C. The chicken cordon bleu gets an F, no question about it.
Wegmans gets a lot of things right. This wasn't one of them. Somebody in the pizza department needs to go over some basics with the staff. I don't know if Wegmans is still using that slogan, "Every day, you get our best," but not this day, we didn't.
Wegmans East Avenue, 1750 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610

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