For the past several months, my daughter talked about Blaze Pizza down in Louisville and that she thought I’d like it. We had already tried Feast BBQ’s New Albany location, so it made sense to try out Blaze the other day when we went school clothes shopping. We went to their St. Matthew’s location, but Blaze has sever other Louisville locations including Shelbyville Road Plaza and Middletown Commons. Blaze Pizza is all over the country.
The whole concept is lightning fast pizza the way you want it. They are also eco-friendly and have gluten-free and vegan-friendly options, such as vegan cheese and gluten-free pizza crust.
The best way I can think to describe Blaze Pizza is as a pizza assembly line with complete customization. As you walk in the door, signs direct you to the counter. There were about ten people behind the counter plus a couple cooking the pizzas and calling out names. They seem to work in teams of two.
You step up to the counter and tell them your name and if you want a build your own, one of their signature pizzas (they’ll throw the listed toppings on, etc.). How the team of two works is that the first person in the team asks you what you want and grabs it. The second person on the team starts the order for the person behind you. As soon as you have your crust, the first person goes around the back of team member # 2 and starts the next order. It makes for a super fast ordering process that Subway could learn a lot from.
You then get to choose from several different sauces. I went with the classic sauce at the suggestion of my daughter, but they also offer Alfredo, spicy red sauce, pesto drizzle, bbq or a simple olive oil drizzle.
Next, you get too choose toppings like mozzarella cheese, goat, gorgonzola, parmesan, ricotta, vegan cheese (they charge a little extra for this, but a great option for the vegans out there, who often have a hard time finding vegan-friendly food when dining out), and ovalini mozzarella.
Meat toppings include traditional pepperoni and sausage plus bacon, crumbled meatballs, grilled chicken, salami, and smoked ham. Add in veggies like artichokes, arugula, banana peppers, bell peppers, chopped garlic, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, pineapple, spinach, zucchini, red onions, green or red peppers, olives, and onions.
What About the Taste?
These fire-grilled pizzas have a thin, crispy crust. The edge of the crust is light and has those air bubbles that crisp up perfectly. If you enjoy a good thin-crust pizza, you are going to love the crust on Blaze pizzas.
The overall taste was pretty good, but I’m not a big fan of veggies on pizza that are still crispy. I ordered a pizza with pepperoni, green peppers, onions and black olives. My daughter ordered pepperoni and green olives and it looked much better. I think next time, I’m going to keep it super simple and do a pepperoni only pizza or perhaps even cheese. I think that would be tastier with the fire-grilling, which is fast but doesn’t get the veggies tender.
The sauce was delicious. I’m a big fan of the classic version, although I will probably try spicy next time just to see what it tastes like, too. I also like the option of an olive oil drizzle only as that is a bit lower in carbs. The crust is thin enough that you could create a lower carb option by not eating the edge of the crust and using olive oil, cheese, low glycemic veggies and meats.
I would have liked a bit more cheese, but I’m sure if you asked they would add that for an upcharge.
Was It Really Fast?
We were on a limited schedule. It takes a good 30-45 minutes to get across the bridge into Louisville right now, because they are building new bridges and doing construction in the area. Plus, it is always just an adventure with all the traffic on I-65. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly our trip to Blaze went.
When we arrived, there were about 10 people in front of us. However, because of their assembly line, two-team process, we were through the line to order in less than 5 minutes. In case you can’t tell, I think that their process is absolutely brilliant and worth studying in depth for any business that wants to speed up production.
As I mentioned above, the pizza is fire grilled. This is basically like putting the pizza on your grill at home only with a better controlled heat source and more advanced process. The result is that the pizza cooks in about five minutes. We found a seat, got our soft drinks (I tried the blood orange lemonade, which tastes better if you mix it half and half with the regular lemonade – it makes it tarter), and they were calling our names to come get our pizza.
I can’t tell you the last time I got food this fast. Even fast food restaurants like Burger King take far longer to bring out your food.
How Was the Customer Service?
I had no clue how to order as this was my first visit there. The girl at the counter was very nice and helpful. She explained what I needed to do but did it very quickly so the line wasn’t held up. Although she was efficient, she was still friendly. A smile goes a long way, customer service people. Remember, it is about the customer.
While we were eating, the manager came around and asked us how everything was and if he could get anything for us. As we finished, he was right there helping us clear the table and thanking us for coming in. Again, a friendly smile and remember that the a happy customer is a repeat customer goes a very long way with this gal.
I will definitely return to Blaze Pizza in the future. Not only was it tasty, but for about $8, I got a decent size pizza that would easily feed two people or provide leftovers for another day. If you’re near one, I recommend you give it a try.