Blaze Pizza Looks to Set the Pizza Industry on Fire

The variety of pies at fast-casual chain Blaze Pizza

When it comes to pizza, New Yorkers are downright passionate.  Everyone has their favorite place whether they are going full pie or slice, which oddly I never knew was purely a New York thing. However, can a faithful thing like pizza be reinvented and can it be done in all places by a husband and wife team from California? On a Tuesday afternoon earlier this month,  I took a  trip out to the Staten Island location to find out if Blaze Pizza could convert a die-hard pizza snob.

Blaze Pizza has over 40 options for toppings 
In 2012,  Blaze Pizza looked to step into the fast casual food market by using the Chipotle concept of build your own  using  premium ingredients within a decent price range.  For the past ten years, every food chain has named itself the next Chipotle, however, Blaze Pizza can hold its own and the story goes that husband and wife founders, Rick and  Elise Wetzel,  came to the idea while visiting a Chipotle. What makes a good pizza, is it the dough, the sauce, the cheese?  Well,  Blaze Pizza's Executive Chef Brad Kent, also known as the Pizza Whisperer is so passionate about what goes into every pizza  his tears are probably made of olive oil, and he bleeds tomato sauce.  On the way to the Staten Island , Chef Brad gave us an in depth   background of how dedicated Blaze Pizza  is to sourcing not just fresh ingredients but socially responsible ingredients.  From their olive oil, to pepperoni to cheese, the Blaze Pizza doctrine  according to  Chef Brad is  to take away the pretention and classism with eating healthy and  specifically when it comes to  pizza.

Blaze Pizza makes all of its dough in-house

Once you step into a Blaze Pizza you see some similar elements to Chipotle, the industrial design vibe to go along with the assembly line creation of your order but the buck stops there.   Blaze Pizza's menu is curated for a full on foodie  experience. Pizza, as well as salads, beverages, desserts and in some locations, beer and wine all compliment one another and add to the value of the meal and overall experience. But,  let's get back to the pizza.   With eight signature pies  ranging  from the simple, to  meat eater to vegetarian  to  white pie but, if you are all about cravings and customization the build your own is your best bet. The variety is endless for a build your own pie,  with three types of  dough created in-house  to choose from including, classic, high rise and gluten free and over 40 toppings you can truly have fun with your food.   I created a higher end twist on the Margarita, with classic dough , red sauce, a drizzle of olive oil, mozzarella  shaved Parmesan, a dash of basil with Italian sausage under $10.  It was my ode to Venice and in less than three minutes, I was presented my very own masterpiece like da Venci. I  was delighted to view my  lightweight  personal size pizza, with a thin crust, earthy flavorful cheeses, a subtle not to acidic sauce and fresh basil to cap it off.  To compliment, I had one of Blaze Pizza's seasonal  blood orange  agua frescas and dessert, a super soft chocolate chip cookie, that is about 60% chocolate.

My Mona Lisa

I'm sold on  Blaze Pizza  as an  overall experience,  It is high-end fast food minus the pretense with impeccable ingredients and a full menu . Hopefully,  Blaze Pizza will come to the other boroughs soon but for now  you can visit the Staten Island branch that I had the pleasure of dining at . In addition,  there are three  on  Long Island,  one in  White Planes and  five in Northern New Jersey.  Blaze Pizza is committed to a healthy and delicious take on personal pizza. Now hurry up and get you a pie.