It’s probably the food with the most misconstrued history in the world. Originating as focaccia bread in Europe and the Mediterranean, modern day pizza is believed to have its beginning when tomato sauce was added as a topping in the 18th century in Naples, Italy. But you didn’t come here for a history lesson on pizza. And it’s not important enough for us to enter into the debate.
Pizza is one of those foods that’s pretty difficult to mess up. You take some dough, then throw on some sauce, some cheese, and your favorite toppings. A matter of minutes in the oven and you have one of the world’s favorite foods. As we’ve come to realize by writing this review, it might also be the most difficult to have an opinion on. After all, it’s PIZZA! But we’re going to give it a try with our first review of the newest player in the Chattanooga pizza game, Home Slice Pizza.
Located at 2000 E. 23rd Street, Home Slice is a bit removed from where locals and tourists might consider their dining options. This is a section of Chattanooga that is obviously void of the substantial investments that have been made downtown. But once you walk through the doors, it’s apparent that owner’s Jeff and Mark McFarland, along with general manager Josiah Johnson, have done their homework in creating the visuals and atmosphere necessary to compete in the Chattanooga pizza market. What’s that saying? Oh yeah. You can’t judge a book by its cover. And kudos to a group of guys willing to take a chance on opening a local food business in an area of Chattanooga that is in desperate need of one.
The unfortunate aspect of this review is that we find ourselves attempting to honor our New Year’s resolution by reducing our caloric intake. So we did not order the garlic knots and chicken wings like we would have pre-NYE. However, you can visit Home Slice’s Yelp reviews to see the very positive things customers have said about these and other menu items.
So what do you eat at a pizza joint when you’re trying to watch your weight?
- The Meat Monster (10? Small/Personal) – Sweet and savory sauce, “The Cheese”, zesty pepperoni, ground beef, spicy Italian sausage, smoked ham, and bacon bits
- There’s No Place Like Home Slice (10? Small/Personal) – Sweet and savory sauce, “The Cheese”, zesty pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, banana peppers, black olives, bell peppers, and infused garlic flavor
- Side Salad – Mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, croutons, and house-made Italian dressing
We started with our salad and were disappointed when the lettuce was not romaine like we were told, but mixed greens. On the positive side, all dressings except for Home Slice’s balsamic vinaigrette are made in-house. When our pizzas arrived, the salad became a quick afterthought. There were lots of fresh (not frozen) toppings and a relatively crispy crust. But both pizzas could have stood some additional time in the oven, as the inner parts of the crust were a tad doughy. We also did not like that our toppings kept falling off, which is an issue that could easily be solved by putting cheese on top, along with the bottom. Lastly, there was a “dryness” issue; almost like there was no sauce. We did see that there was, indeed, sauce on our pizzas. But they both could’ve used more.
All in all, we weren’t blown away by Home Slice Pizza. But it wasn’t so negative that we wouldn’t go back. The dining area is very small and almost makes you feel guilty for using it. But according to general manager Johnson, at this time most of their business is done during lunch and as carry outs. So the small dining area makes sense. Additionally, it’s nice that you don’t have to choose a pizza and its size based on price since all pizza options are basically priced the same ($7, $11, or $14), with the exceptions being “The Pepperoni Party” and “Reggie The Veggie” ($6, $10, or $13). And before we forget. For those of you who are fans of all things fried, Home Slice’s dessert menu includes fried Twinkies and fried Oreos. Curse you, New Year’s resolution!
Whether or not Home Slice is providing “the best wings and pizza in the city with the best price” depends on how you look at it, as well as your expectations as a customer. They are definitely filling a niche in their neck of the woods, raising the bar with fresh ingredients and great customer service. And you could very well say you are getting the best pizza (and wings, garlic knots, subs/sandwiches, and desserts) in the city at that price.
As restaurant and food reviewers we have a tendency to be a tad more critical than the typical Joe and/or Joneses looking for the tastiest, yet affordable, options in this food category. But we can say this: If you’re looking for new, if you’re looking for fresh, and if you’re looking for friendly, you should definitely give Home Slice Pizza a chance.