My mom and I visited my sister in Houston a few weeks ago and took a lunchtime trip to Blaze Pizza on Westheimer. Blaze is a fast-casual pizza chain, where you stand in line and either choose a standard personal pizza from their menu or do a create-your-own pizza from a smorgasbord of ingredients, Chipotle style. The staff assembles the pie and then rapidly cooks it in their huge wood-fired oven and calls your name when it’s ready to get at the counter.
There was a Blaze in Royal Oak when we were living in Michigan that I always wanted to try but never got around to it, so I was happy to go there in Texas!
I ordered the off-the-menu Red Vine pizza which is red sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil and tomatoes, and I also added shredded mozzarella to it.
My sister did a make-your-own with lots of veggies including mushrooms and arugula.
Both pizzas were delicious and we devoured them both. The ingredients were fresh and flavorful and the crust was pretty good – not dry or cardboard-like, which can often be the case.
The only issue I had (which is unfortunately pretty standard these days at this kind of restaurant) was that I was SUPER parched afterwards. Even after drinking lots of water, I could still feel the effects of the saltiness from the pizza. They were yummy going down though 🙂
The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable about the ingredients and food prep. My mom has a lot of dietary restrictions, and they were incredibly helpful directing her in terms of what she could or couldn’t eat. For instance, they don’t use cornmeal on the bottom of the pizza to prevent sticking; they use semolina, which she can eat. They also swapped out her Italian salad dressing for oil and vinegar and made her salad fresh, instead of directing her to the case of pre-made salads, to ensure no cross-contamination with items she can’t digest. I thought the customer service was excellent, especially for a fast-casual establishment whose business model is based on volume, standardization and quick turnaround.
In terms of fast-casual chain pizza, I would definitely rank Blaze near the top.