Last night I was invited to join my friends Anne & Justin at Blaze Pizza, a new fast-pizza joint on Fairway next to In’n’Out. I didn’t realize they had already opened but I was game. This one is unlike the two other fast-pizza places we have in Roseville in that they are much larger. The have about 70 locations now. This made me consider if I should cover them or not. Since I’m such a big fan of this type of pizza I decided I wanted to compare them to Trademark and Blast 825º.
I Arrived just after 6PM and headed in. Justin was already in line while Anne watched the children. She said the line was moving quickly so I jumped in at the end. The place is BIG. I was impressed by the size of Blast in comparison to Trademark, but Blaze blows them both out of the water in terms of dining room size. After a few minutes Justin came up, his pizza now in the oven, to say hi and talk a bit. This is when I discovered that for the day (and today, Saturday the 13th, as well. Check the flyer at the end of this post) they are giving away a free pizza to basically everyone. According to the flyer, you just need to follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and you get one free pizza, though they didn’t seem to be asking anyone for proof and were just handing out pies to everyone. Certainly it’s a very nice promo to get their name (and food) out to the community.
After Justin sat down someone else came up to me and asked me about my photos. This person turned out to be the executive chef of Blaze, Bradford Kent, who was in town from their headquarters in Pasadena for the opening. Super nice guy. He told me a bit about their locally sourced ingredients and how on his previous visit he went to a farm and met the cows responsible for some of their cheeses. We were cut short as I was up next in line.
Back behind the counter there were a ton of employees, all very busy. I was greeted and got my Build Your Own started. The crust looks to be the same size as Trademark’s, somewhere around 10″. They do a little roll here around the edge which I like, gives you something more to hold onto and more to crunch on when you get to it. As with my visit to Blast, I basically created the same pizza I usually get at Trademark to compare. This was white sauce to start. The cheese is a bit different here as they didn’t have a blend like the others. Instead I went with the shredded Mozzarella and then added a bit a Parmesan and also goat (I had a ridiculously good goat cheese and mushroom quesadilla at Dos Coyotes for lunch and was still craving that flavor I guess).
Moving around the corner all the toppings I wanted were available. For the veggies: spinach, mushrooms, onions, garlic and olives. For meats: chicken, bacon and sausage. It was perfect. There was a good selection overall, equalling and perhaps slightly surpassing Blast and Trademark. I was happy to see that, like Trademark, their create your own was a truly unlimited topping pizza. I didn’t indulge in getting extra everything like I do at Trademark this time, but it’s good to know for the future (but bad for my waistline).
They moved quick as I went down the line. Instead of the personal maker approach that Trademark or Freebirds World Burrito uses, they had one person handling sauce, one handling cheese, and then around the corner I recall the same person doing all my toppings. Payment was quick and my pizza was put into the hot oven, tended to several guys who were constantly rotating pies around as new ones went in and cooked ones came out. Here they do about 3 minutes. That was enough time to fill my soda and meet the manager for a minute. My name was called up at the counter so I grabbed my pie and headed to our table.
The pizza looked just as good as the others. Justin commented on the strong garlic. I didn’t notice it, must have been up-wind of it. They didn’t put a ton of garlic on it so I was surprised that he noticed. Once I started eating though, I definitely agreed. It was pretty potent (which I like). Everything was delicious from the creamy sauce and rich bits of goat cheese to the juicy chicken and fresh veggies. The crust is very, very thin, like Trademark, but here it was not quite as crisp on the bottom. I might ask for a smidge more time in the oven to give it more support next time.
Overall I was quite pleased, the quality and service were excellent. Even more impressive was Justin’s praise which, believe me, is very rare. It’s yet another competitor (albeit a much larger one) in the fast pizza space here in Roseville. I found out from Brad that they also opened a location in Gold River, which is dangerously close to work, and a comment on the Eating Through Roseville Facebook page mentioned that they will have a location in Rocklin opening in about a week with the same free pizza promo going on. They’re making a big push for sure. Trademark will probably always be my favorite, but all of these are exceptional so far and more is usually better!