Saturday, March 28, 2015

There are so many new Quick Service Fast Casual Restaurants popping up all over the place it can be hard to keep up. One of the newest concepts you will see popping up everywhere is the on demand pizza model. I previously visited Pie 5 as one is close to me and the family enjoys it. For lunch this past week I visited another version of the idea, Blaze Pizza which is similar but it does definitely have some major differences.

First off the Blaze Pizza is bigger than the Pie 5 and where Pie 5 uses a dough that they have lined up in pans for baking in their conveyor belt oven, Blaze keeps the dough balls waiting until you arrive and press them right there. The ordering is little bit different as well, they have a variety of specialty pizzas and a make your own option which for the price and the variety can be beneficial if you can't make up your mind like me.  So you pick your toppings and they write them on the menu sheet which sits in front of them, which has to be helpful for prep, and put it into their more traditional style oven and it gets turned and cooked in under 5 minutes.

The one thing I have to say is that when it's crowded this area has to get hectic as the cook has to keep up and rotate the pizzas, this particular location in laurel could probably use more space between the oven and register from what I saw. Onto the pizza itself, I got two specialties put together, the Meat Lovers and White Pizza.

The ingredients are very fresh and it's amazing how much of that you can taste and tell. I did read reviews that the pepperonis didn't quite have enough spice to them and they were a bit mild maybe, but it could be from not aging and being processed as much as some other places. The sauce, while fresh had a lack of flavor, I mean it wasn't very tomato tasting nor was it really flavorful. They do offer a spicy red sauce as well so you might want to give that a try. The Meatballs on the meat lovers side were pretty good though.

The white pizza side the sauce was still slightly underwhelming. It could have used a little bit more salt and they sprinkle garlic over the top instead of having more of it in the sauce itself which would have been better so that it gets distributed more. It also has bacon on it which is cool but my preparer left off my arugula which I'm sure would have added some more contrast. it was fine though. My big issue is with a place like this the crust needs to be a star and it wasn't. It was very underwhelming and plain. I contrast with Pie 5 whose crust is very distinctive and worth eating on it's own this was the biggest disappointment for me.

Overall it wasn't a bad experience and the pizza isn't bad, it just doesn't make me scream out we have to go back. There are little tweaks they could make and the size and value are there for the price compared to pie 5 and so that is what makes it a more difficult decision, but if it's based on taste alone I'd choose Pie 5 personally. I almost forgot, I did get a heated SMore's cookie and it was good. I mean the cookie/cracker wasn't overly sweet but the entire composition was still tasty.

Rating: 3/5

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