Adam Fleischman's 800 Degrees is spawning yet another Dolly the Sheep, this time in the guise of Blaze Pizza, a chain from the couple behind mall-linchpin Wetzel's Pretzels that will fire your pie in less than two minutes through an oven reaching 600 to 900-degrees, much as you've come to expect from any potential pizza-serving Subway clone.
Blaze opened in Pasadena this Monday, its second following an initial effort in Irvine this past August. The place has signature pizzas designed by Olio Pizzeria & Cafe's Brad Kent, including an "Art Lover" with artichokes and dotted in tomato sauce and a white pie with ricotta and mozzarella with applewood bacon. Then there are, of course, the DIY versions with various veggies and meats, plus three options for sauce, including--Holy California Pizza Kitchen, Batman!--barbecue. Salads, blood orange lemonade, and s'more pies round out the options, and fortunately, there's beer and wine, too.
All eyes are glued on the flash-fired pizza scene to see who will be the first to bring the concept to the great malls of America, and Blaze looks to be a strong contender, already including a full franchising packet on its website, as the company discloses plans for several more stores in SoCal. Hey, if Rick and Elise Wetzel can sell the country on doughy jalapeno-topped cheesy pretzels and pretzel dogs, pizza should be a snap. Investors in the enterprise already include Maria Shriver, film producer John Davis, and Tom Werner, co-owner of the Boston Red
This Saturday, Blaze will celebrate its second store opening by offering personal-sized DIY pizzas to any Facebook fans from 5:00 and 10:00 P.M. We'd love to know what you think in our comments.
Blaze Pizza, 667 East Colorado Blvd. Pasadena; 626-440-7358.