Jacksonville, FL 32218
I was invited to Blaze earlier in the year for the opening. I chose to wait a spell, for all the hype and the “we’re on our best behavior” to die down. So a friend met me and we took it all in. Having done my research, I knew, the staff was going to be over the top with service, questions would be answered, pizzas were going to be perfect, and we would fall in love. Sure! So I am happy to share, that it’s was all true. Arriving before my friend, I went in to look around, and chatted up the staff. The interior is warehouse chic, bright and spacious. A few outside tables, nice dogs are welcome. High top, conventional 2 and 4 tops, and booths. Nice for large groups and families
So for those not familiar, Blaze is a “build it yourself” pizza. I was not too excited, about this but, quickly saw the advantage. Start with the size of pie, all 11 inches, thin crust, a choice of classic red, spicy red, white cream, pesto drizzle, BBQ drizzle or olive oil drizzle to start. I did ask to taste the spicy red, and it was amazing. Four types of cheese to choose from not counting the mozzarella. The toppings too numerous to list here, but be assured there will be ample to satisfy any pizza lover. The pie is well dressed with your chosen toppings, but if you think you need a little extra, just ask, thus the beauty of watching it made. So now you have the pizza all the toppings for one price. Good beans right.
Once the pizza is completed to your satisfaction, off it go into the oven. There is a dedicated “Pizza Master” whose job is totally dedicated to cooking the pie to perfection. I stood there mesmerized, watching the young man move my pie around and around. After about 180 seconds what you get is a perfectly crisp pie of perfection. If you have loaded down your pie it may be a bit longer.
While your pizza cooks, step up to the counter, select your drink, beer, wine or soft drinks Beer choices are limited, and the wine in small prepackaged plastic wine glasses. This was a bit of an issue for me cost wise. I opted for the soft drink with free refills. If you think there is room for dessert S’mors pie are there to tempt. You can also select a prepackaged salads, this smacked of air port food to me, but when I asked about freshness, I was told the salads are made and packed in house each day. My companion, chose a salad and declared it perfectly fine, and fresh. I was feeling more positive. Another plus, the company is dedicated to leaving the smallest footprint on the planet as possible. It is well documented on the site and I give them big points for that as well.
And now for the real test, the pizzas come out of the oven rest for a moment, sliced and you take it away. This is what we saw
Fresh mozzarella, Italian sausage, kalamata olives
Each pie was perfect, and delicious. The thin crust was flavorful and some what yeasty. My spicy sauce just perfect, pepperoni pie was flavorful and the meat not greasy, fresh mozzarella melted and creamy.
So, the only thing I regret, waiting so long to visit. We have already been back once and I plan on taking some of my friends in a week. Yes it’s fast food pizza, but better than any of the delivery options available, the staff is well trained and friendly, so they have not lost the edge, and the price is still less than most. You can call ahead with your order and they will fire it when you arrive, so it will be sitting around getting soggy. There is only one location in Jacksonville at present, but I am hopeful more will be in place soon, and if the stars are aligned, it will be close to my house.