The Jericho Community Welcomes Blaze
By CHLOE CITRON
Second Place, Food- Restaurant Review — Long Island Press High School Journalism Awards 2016
Blaze, a “fast-fired,” customizable pizza chain has opened up a new location in the Broadway Mall. This chain combines the novelty of customizing a meal, like Chipotle and Subway, with delicious pizza. Customers can choose from seven cheeses, eight proteins, 20 vegetables, and three sauces, making any combination of toppings they want – all for under $10. After a customer creates the perfect pizza, it is cooked for 3 minutes in a stone oven and then it’s ready to be enjoyed.
The idea was created by a couple in California, Rick and Elise Wetzel, founders of Wetzel’s pretzels, who were looking for a fast-casual pizza chain; so they decided to create their own. The couple, along with Executive Chef Bradford Kent, designed Blaze to be appealing to millennials with a fast-paced experience without sacrificing taste or quality. Blaze allows the customer to have a totally personalized experience, and it seems to be working. According to Business Insider, every five days the company opens up a new location. Talk about fast service! The company was invested in by major stars like LeBron James and Maria Sharapova.
Blaze has been very popular on many college campuses including the University of Maryland, the University of Florida, and the University of Connecticut. When Blaze opened on the campus of UConn, James offered free pizza to his social media followers.
The Jericho community has been loving the new pizza joint. In an effort to attract customers, the company sent out a free pizza card to many members of the Jericho community enticing them to come try the new restaurant. Upon entry there is a huge line – but don’t worry it moves very quickly! The staff is always friendly and willing to answer any questions about the pizza making process. One can choose from among a number of “Signature Pizzas,” combinations designed by Kent that are made on the spot. Popular choices include the Meat Eater which has pepperoni, crumbled meatballs, red onion, mozzarella, red sauce; BBQ CHKN which has grilled chicken, mozzarella, red onion, banana peppers, gorgonzola, bbq sauce drizzle; and my personal favorite Red Vine which has ovalini mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, basil, red sauce, and olive oil drizzle. If you don’t prefer any of these pre-made choices, you can build your own for only $7.95 and choose any and all the toppings you want on an 11 inch pie. My usual Blaze order is classic red sauce with mozzarella cheese, half ovalini mozzarella, chopped garlic, red onion and half pineapple. It’s delicious, I promise!
Senior Ryan F. considers himself a Blaze enthusiast. “The pizza is amazing. I like it better than any other place in Jericho, actually better than any other place in Nassau County. My typical order is spicy red sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, red peppers, jalapeño peppers, banana peppers, olives and hot sauce. I love going there because I get to choose what I want on my pizza. It’s a great place to go with my friends,” he said.
Many other students love Blaze as well. Emily K. stated, “I like how the people who work there are so friendly and I love that I can put whatever I want on my pizza. I love thin-crust pizza, and not all pizza places around here have it, so Blaze is a great option for me.” Adam B. also exclaimed “It’s Chipotle for pizza. I like how it’s your personalized pizza. Everyone loves Chipotle because you can get whatever you want there, and at Blaze you can make your own pizza however you want.”
For people with allergies to gluten, Blaze offers a delicious gluten-free crust. You can use all of the same sauces, cheeses, and toppings that are offered with the regular crust. Although it is an extra $3, gluten-free pizza isn’t made this well very often. Alexis C., a Jericho student with Celiac disease, stated “Blaze offers the most amazing gluten-free pizza crust. I’ve tried a lot of pizza from a bunch of restaurants around here, but Blaze has the best crust by far.”
Blaze is definitely classified as a success here in Jericho. The JerEcho gives it 5 stars and deems it a must try for all ages!
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