Restaurant Review: Blaze Pizza
With the addition of a newish Worthington location, Columbus is now home to two Blaze Pizza establishments. It’s a fast casual chain where guests move down the order line, picking pizza toppings as a staffer builds their pies. Lebron James is one of the investors in Blaze, so if you’re going to visit Lebron’s pizza place, it should be imperative to get the GOAT’s pizza, right? Nothing on the menu mentions anything about Lebron, or what he likes on a pizza, though, so it takes a little preparation to do things right.
On the internet, his personal pizza topping choices have been described “outrageous” and “insane.” Perhaps. The order he posted on social media does have 15 toppings (17, if you count sauce and cheese), so ordering it requires a certain readiness to be a high-maintenance customer.
The good-natured team behind the Blaze order counter seemed to take the lengthy list all in stride, at least: they didn’t roll their eyes. Here’s the list: a “high rise dough,” spicy red sauce, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, grilled chicken, turkey meatballs, banana peppers, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, green bell peppers, kalamata olives, red onions, spinach, sea salt, oregano, arugula (added after baking), and an olive oil drizzle ($10.45, all-in).
While Sports Illustrated thought that using both chicken and meatballs in one pizza sounded like a “clash,” it was all right. They’re both mild-flavored meats. Absent any cured items, the overall effect comes across like a spiked, loaded veggie pizza — it’s good. The little cherry tomato halves are pleasantly sweet, and the greens are tender. The pie is even better if you pick off the kalamata olives, which is something that happened right after the first bite. Lebron can have all of those.
There are plenty of other pizza options on the menu. Some are champions, some are not. In the champion category is the White Top ($8.45). While the name might suggest a white pizza, it’s considerably more than that: it’s a white pizza that’s loaded with crumbled bacon and then topped with arugula (again, after baking). The bacon takes a front seat and provides ample brininess and crunch to the mix. It’s just an overall winning concept.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Pepperoni Pizza ($6.65). Pepperoni pizza doesn’t have to do much to be good, but it does have to have solid pepperoni coverage. The slices are thin and scant, so skip it, or load it down with extra toppings.
As a side note for crust fans, the default crust is a traditional thin version. For a couple bucks extra, you can score a “high rise” crust (part of the Lebron pizza). While that might sound like a Chicago-style loaded pie, it’s really just a thicker, chewier base. Unless you just have to have a thick crust, skip the upcharge and get the regular version.
Rounding out the pizza selection, there are salads too. You can eyeball them before choosing, as they are stationed in the line, just like pizza toppings. The Caesar ($6.75) hits the mark with big shards of romaine decked out with parmesan and croutons.
Cookies are stationed right at the end of the order line. There are giant, Lebron-sized salted chocolate chip cookies ($2), notable for their height (and then subsequently, for their heft). Crunchy outside, soft inside and loaded with chips: worth hoarding.
The Worthington location is at 7166 N. High St. There’s also one closer to the city’s center at 1708 N. High St.