Blaze Pizza fires it up in Chicago

Red Vine Pizza

Top and bottom of a Red Vine Pizza.

Need pizza in a hurry? You’re in luck. Blaze Pizza, a freaky fast pizza concept, opens above the Belmont Brown/Red line stop this week.

I’m not kidding about the speed. It works like this: step inside and order a signature pizza flavor combination or select toppings to taste. The line, in Subway Sandwich style, will sauce, top, sprinkle, cook and cut your pizza in an average of three minutes. Boom, pizza.

Cutting pizza. Blaze.

An average pizza takes 3 minutes from start to finish.

The results are pretty good, too. I was warned to limit topping selections to four-five items for a custom pie — the crust isn’t thick enough to support a pile of ingredients. The signature pies seem to average around five with a mix of cheeses. I didn’t tempt fate and stuck with the menu.

Your name will be called when your pizza is finished, but it’s more fun to stand at the counter to watch the cooks work your order in and out of the gas-fired oven. It only takes a few seconds in the heat for them to come out perfect.

I started with a Red Vine Pizza, a variation on a classic margarita style, that was finished off with a drizzle of olive oil.

White Top Blaze

Your choice of toppings could include arugula.

It arrived feather-light with a char-speckled bottom. I liked this mix of sweet tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella paired with crunch. The crust was a good consistency throughout — no sagging in the middle and a nice cracker thinness across the pie.

I also enjoyed the spicy meatballs in the Meat Eater pizza, and the mix of sweet and savory in the BBQ Chkn pizza. I would normally consider these combos too heavy to enjoy, but the distribution of ingredients matched the crust well. There’s plenty of flavor in each bite.

Executive Chef Brad Kent

Executive Chef Brad Kent with one of his creations.

If you can save room for dessert, go back through the line to get a S’more Pie. They’ll warm it up for you in the oven so the chocolate and marshmallow is nice and melt-y. It’s much better than eating it cold.

Speaking of cold, eat your pizza fast. The pizzas here are very thin and won’t hold their own through a conversation of any length. Eat. Very. Fast.

If you want to try Blaze Pizza, they open doors tomorrow. Prices range from $5.95 for a simple pie and top out at $7.45 for custom choices. Gluten-free dough and vegan cheese options are available.

Blaze Smores

Try a S’more for dessert.

If you can hold out until Friday, there’s a bonus! Like Blaze Pizza on Facebook, show them on your smart phone, and you’ll receive free pizza on Friday, December 20 between 10AM-Midnight. One free pizza per customer, in-store orders only.

Blaze Pizza
953 W. Belmont Avenue

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