In a Blaze of Pizza Glory
Photo by Lisa Marchand
They say the best things in life are free, and when that involves pizza—count me in. Last week Blaze Pizza in St. Louis Park fired up the oven, opened their doors and started slinging complimentary ‘zas for everyone and their mother.
Let me preface this post with a little background: Before I moved to the Twin Cities a couple months ago, I had been consuming an exorbitant amount of pizza in Fargo. (Miss you, Blackbird Woodfire!) I helped open the restaurant, so pizza is near and dear to my heart. So when I heard that Blaze was offering a day of free pizzas in celebration of their opening, it was a no-brainer.
Walking in, the smell was unmistakable—fresh dough, tomato sauce and a hint of opening-week-adrenaline-frenzy. The line stretched out the door at dinnertime, but it moved quickly. Since the 11-inch pizzas cook in about 180 seconds, the pace was fast but never felt rushed.
I should also mention that the staff was friendly—I mean really, really friendly. It caught me off guard, actually, considering the degree of organized chaos happening around them. I tried to remember how I was the first week of my Pizza Life, and I’m fairly certain it happened so fast I might as well have blacked out. So kudos to them for keeping their cool.
In a metro where pizza places are cropping up everywhere, it’s hard to keep up. And although Blaze is a national chain, their dedication to fresh ingredients was obvious in the taste and presentation of their pies. I wanted something simple so I could judge it from a fairly neutral perspective, hence the reason I ordered the Red Vine, a glorified Margherita. (Ovalini mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan, basil, red sauce and an olive oil drizzle.) In my opinion, crust is what makes a pizza. The crust was thin and cooked just well enough, but in this instance the sauce stole the show. It was the right amount of sweet and complemented the rest of the ingredients without overshadowing them.
The rest of their menu includes eight other specialty pizzas, but feel free to make your own. Seriously, go hog wild—it’s a flat $7.95 for all the toppings you want, from the sauce and cheese to all the little details. Plus all the ingredients are there for you to see in an assembly line fashion so you know just what you’re getting. As for the salad lovers out there, don’t fret; they have half a dozen options if you’re just not having a pizza kind of day.
Unfortunately the glorious Free Pizza Day is over, but Blaze Pizza is certainly worth the visit. For more info, visit blazepizza.com.
Blaze Pizza, 8126 MN-7, St. Louis Park, MN 55426