Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blaze Pizza Food Review

1-Top Pizza (with Italian Sausage)

Add Blaze Pizza to the fast-growing list of instant pizza makers in the DMV... with one notable exception: Blaze pizzas look like real pizzas. They also taste delicious, and are served with a smile... perhaps not within their promised 180 seconds; but with pizza this good, who's counting?

Blaze recently opened at Montgomery Mall, across from Aroma Espresso Bar; and although it's relatively small (not counting an outdoor dining area) it feels far removed from the noisy hustle and bustle of the mall. That's a huge plus in my book. Another plus is the warm greeting every customer receives when they enter. Ordering appears a tad complicated (like its competition) but you couldn't ask for a faster, more efficient process. I opted for a simple 1 Top Pizza (sauce, cheese & one topping for $6.25.) This certainly makes things easier; although I wound up getting the wrong cheese... the only slight on an otherwise perfect lunch.

I asked for spicy red sauce (they have five others, including BBQ sauce drizzle) and for ovalini mozzarella (fresh mootz) with Italian sausage. To be fair, I noticed the shredded mozzarella being applied, yet said nothing. Still, it's a mistake (perhaps the order process is too fast?) Back to the many positives... Blaze dishes out traditional round pies, on cracker thin crust. So thin, you'll want to cry (tears of joy.) All along the way, I was treated with politeness and aforementioned smiles. One other caveat... Blaze Pizza rings you up right away, allowing the line to keep moving. My pizza was paid for at 11:53 AM. My name was called at 12:01. Not exactly "fast-fire'd in 180 seconds," but it was lunchtime. Besides, eight minutes is still light years faster than most pizzerias.

After pouring myself a Mello Yello fountain drink, I grabbed a table by the window, washed my hands (nice, clean individual restrooms) and sat down to a surprisingly large pizza. Seriously, it could easily feed two (did I mention it cost just $6.25?) For another $1.40, you could build your own (and go to town on toppings.) I'm pretty simple, so one topping suits me just fine... especially when it's sitting (in relative abundance) on one of the best crusts in the business. The cheese was applied brilliantly (not too much, not too little) and the spicy sauce lived up to its name. Their Italian sausage was nicely sized and flavorful. The crust? In three words... to-die-for. Any thinner, and it would have cracked; but it didn't. Yum!

All this, within 10 minutes with a soda for just $8.69 (including tax.) Am I dreaming, or what? If so, please don't wake me up. Blaze more than holds it own against similar franchises, surpassing Custom Fuel and DC Pizza; and finishing a close second to the area's best, &Pizza. Montgomery Mall's dining scene has made great strides of late; and Blaze Pizza appears to be blazing a path towards affordable, fast deliciousness (in an almost serene atmosphere, minus the ongoing construction of course.)

Atmosphere: B+ (Hard to believe it's inside a busy, normally noisy shopping mall.)
Crust: B+ (Crispier than &Pizza. Terrific.)
Toppings: B (Can't wait to try the fresh mozzarella next time.)
Service: A- (Please keep it up!)
Value: A+ ($6.25 is a steal for a delicious pizza.)
Overall: B+ (Too soon for an A- or higher; but I'm willing to adjust, after a few more visits.)