One of the things that is a little problem for me is going out to do things without having eaten. I’m never quite sure how it happens ~ I love food so much you’d think I’d remember something that important! But I’ll leave to do some errands and an hour later realize that I’m starving because I didn’t have whatever meal I’ve just skipped (usually breakfast). I try to always keep something in the car for those times, but it doesn’t always happen.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at the gym (I’m training for a 10k in December) and when I finished, I realized that I was starving and had no food with me. And while I live in a vegan Mecca here in Southern CA with dozens of vegan restaurants, there are times when I want something in particular and ONLY that food will do – and that day I wanted pizza. We don’t have any vegan pizza places right here, but there is a Blaze Pizza down the street from the gym, so I headed there. I’d heard that it’s a very vegan-friendly restaurant so decided to see if it really is – and I was definitely happy with the quality of the food and the service they provided.
But first, let’s take care of some business – I have 2 giveaway winners to announce!
The Vegan Bowls winner is ~ Julee! And the Vegan-Ease winner is ~ Corrine!
The first thing I noticed was that the line was up to the door when I arrived, and it stayed that long the entire time I was there. (There were lots of families having their post-sports-practice dinners there). When you order, you can choose one of their combinations (they have a roasted veggie one that can be made vegan) or go along the assembly line and tell them what you want on it. Each pizza is 11″ and has 6 slices.
This is my beautiful pizza – out of their 40+ toppings, I created my own and on their regular crust (both the regular and gluten-free crusts are vegan) I added spicy tomato sauce, artichoke hearts, jalapenos, black olives, red onion, cilantro and vegan cheese. They put it all on, put the pizza in their 800 degree oven for 180 seconds, and it’s ready for you to eat!
Now if you look at the bottom corner of my order sheet that is under the pizza, it says “change gloves”. When I told the person who started my order that I was going to be getting a vegan pizza, she asked me if I wanted them to change their gloves. I said “yes please!” and she made that note. Every person who came into contact with my pizza took off their old gloves, washed their hands, and put on new gloves. The person who cut it changed his gloves and then used a completely separate and clean cutter for it. I was so impressed at that level of awareness that they would get my business just for that. It should be like this everywhere, but sadly, we all know that it’s not.
And the end result was great. The fast-firing makes the crust all crunchy and the vegan cheese was all melty and gooey – absolute pizza perfection.
Blaze was founded by Rick & Elise Wetzel (Rick founded Wetzel’s Pretzels) and has financial backing by Maria Shriver and LeBron James and aims to be the largest fast-casual restaurant. They opened 10 restaurants in 2014, will add 62 more this year, and plan to have 500 by 2020 ~ so chances are good that there is one near you or there will be soon!