Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blaze Pizza

Shari has been working on projects for a new fast casual pizza concept, Pieology. Attuned to the emerging trend, I followed my nose over to Blaze Pizza, a similar concept in Carlsbad. The order line is set up much like a Subway sandwich line or Chipotle Grill. With this concept, all the pizzas are 11"; they're "fast-fire'd" and ready in 180 seconds. 

If they asked me (which nobody does anymore) I would suggest re-wording this to "ready in three minutes." A famous study conducted some years ago revealed that supermarket shoppers weren't responsive to a tested"50%" off sale. If the wording for the same sale read "half off", sales increased dramatically. Hard as it is to believe, one has to conclude that "50%" is too difficult for the average shopper to grasp. The very least you can take away from the study is to keep it simple. 3 minutes is easier to grasp. 

For $7.95 you can choose any or all of the toppings. The extremely thin crust is almost like a cracker when it emerges from the oven. I ordered a "green stripe" and thought it was excellent. Chicken, red peppers, garlic, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, Kalamari olives and a pesto drizzle. Arugula went on top after baking. A combination of high oven temperature and very thin crust is how they achieve the rapid bake time. 

How they make money is beyond me because portion control is absent. Ingredients are added by hand and sprinkled over the top. A handful is not a very reliable measuring technique, but apparently they've worked out the details - and are in a rapid franchising mode. They have units all over the greater LA area and in San Diego in La Jolla, Carlsbad and Encinitas - no doubt all three owned by one franchisee. 

Ten other chains are franchising similar concepts in different areas of the country although they all bravely announce plans to go coast to coast. These chains are almost all the same - each has a slight twist.

Live Basil Pizza - they grown their own basil on the premises
PizzaRev - founded by record company executives
Pie Five Pizza -  your pizza in 5 minutes
Project Pie - everyday artisan pizza made by you (Carlsbad based)
Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint - the original make your own pizza place
Your Pie - "express your own pizza"
MOD Pizza - Seattle based
Pizzeria Locale - contemporary Neapolitan style pizza
Blast Fast Fire'd Pizza - 10" pie in three quick minutes
The Pizza Studio - "create your own masterpiece"
My Green Stripe Pie

Small to-go boxes are stacked up along with the condiments and napkins so you can carry home your left-overs. I liked this unexpected convenience very much. Personally however I don't like preachy little homilies on my pizza boxes. There's a smugness about this that doesn't sit well with me. There's so much more in their own area of expertise they could do with this space.

Although it's noisy, the Carlsbad unit has outdoor seating that's tolerable. Unless you're devoted to a thick crust style pizza, you'll like this.


  1. Anonymous2:14 AM

    Hi Helen There is a place just like this called "Garage Brewery" on the 79 Temecula Parkway off the 15 fwy. West side of the freeway near the shell station. The pizza sounds the same. You can get one of their craft beers and a pizza for under $10? i think. One guy i talked to in there said a couple of years he used to get his oil changed in the same building. Beth Cobb

  2. Garage is actually pretty good. Used to be a Firestone if I remember correctly.

    1. Anonymous6:57 PM

      No it used to be a garage then they turned it into a brewery. Beth

    2. a firestone garage...

  3. I prefer a thick pizza. But the prices sure sound great, the noise not so great. Have you seen the pizza from Pizza Hut (I think) that is surrounded with bacon? How many calories would that be? and how in the heck do you pick it up?