Sometimes you just can't make it into the kitchen to cook. Dr. Gourmet has reviewed over 800 common convenience foods, ingredients, and restaurant selections so that you know what's worth eating - and what's not. View the Index of all Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

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Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

Venice Pizza

Fresh Mushroom & Provolone Cheese and Basil Pesto & Cheese

It really seems like there has been an explosion of gluten free choices in the last two years. We started reviewing convenience foods without gluten at about that time, and it was a challenge just to find products. Not so now. Certainly, demand drives supply and with so many people going gluten free, because of being diagnosed with Celiac Disease or by choice, you don't have to go to Whole Foods or a specialty market anymore.

Fresh Mushroom & Provolone CheeseI spied Venice Pizza's products the other day at Winn-Dixie. I've never heard of this company, but I'm always ready to try something new. After our last review of Against The Grain pizzas we have a new standard.

The first one we tasted was the Fresh Mushroom & Provolone Cheese pizza. Interestingly, there were no microwave instructions, which is good. It's clear from our tests that baking frozen pizza in the oven using a pizza stone makes for a much better texture. The crusts are crispier, but with this pizza this was only the case with the outer two inches of the dough. The center of the pie was not crispy: too moist and chewy.

The flavor of the toppings was OK at best. There is a good wild mushroom taste but the pizza was too salty (720 mg for the whole pie), and it had an almost overpowering balsamic vinegar flavor that made it far too tart. There's a fairly good olive oil flavor, but when combined with the provolone cheese the result is too greasy.

Basil Pesto & CheeseThe numbers are not all that great, either. While there is 4 grams of fiber, the small pie is 500 calories. That's not terrible but with the amount of salt this one doesn't quite measure up.

The same held true for the Basil Pesto and Cheese: an OK crust but limp in the middle. The basil pesto didn't have a full bodied basil flavor and it was kind of bland. The numbers aren't so great, either, with the whole pizza being 540 calories and 560 mg of sodium. There is the similar 4 grams of fiber.

These are fair, but not great pizzas, especially at the price of almost 7 dollars each. Venice Pizzas are good but don't quite measure up to Against The Grain Gourmet pizzas.

Reviewed: May 13, 2011