Blaze Pizza Ann Arbor – Cranbrook Shopping Center Restaurant Review
Blaze Pizza opened their second Ann Arbor location in October 2016. Blaze Pizza is a fast-casual pizza restaurant where every guest customizes their own pizza. The pizzas cook in just 3 minutes in their wood fired ovens. Prior to opening they invited my daughter and I for a sneak peek of the new restaurant and a free meal.
Blaze Pizza Ann Arbor Restaurant
The second Ann Arbor Blaze Pizza is located at 980A Eisenhower Parkway (Cranbrook Village Shopping Center). The first Ann Arbor Blaze location is at 3500 Washtenaw Avenue, across from Arborland Mall. The Cranbrook restaurant offers bench and individual seating. The one downside is that it is pretty loud in the restaurant. We even had a little trouble ordering since it was so loud. The restaurant was not very crowded, so I was surprised the it was so hard to hear the employees making our pizza.
There is a small outdoor patio with additional seating. It was a little chilly last night to eat outside, but Tuesday’s weather for their Free Pizza Day looks good for eating outside.
Food at Blaze Pizza Ann Arbor
Blaze Pizza is a fast-casual pizza restaurant where you can customize individual pizzas. I love that they offer three price points – a plain pizza, a one topping pizza, and a build your own or signature pizzas. On our visit, we each customized our own pizza. Guests follow their pizza through the line adding toppings at each station. My daughter customized her pizza from scratch. I started from a Green Stripe pizza and made a few minor adds – pesto sauce and artichoke hearts.
My Daughter’s Build Your Own Pizza
My daughter loves making her own pizza – no simple cheese pizza for her. She started with the classic red sauce and ovalini mozzarella, grilled chicken, red onions, garlic, and basil. With all the toppings that she adds, I definitely appreciated that the build your own pizza was one price and that we weren’t paying by the topping. Aside from sauce, they are fairly light with the toppings, even the cheese. I definitely recommend either adding a wide variety of toppings or asking for extras of a couple of toppings.
My Signature Pizza
I was so busy taking the restaurant in, that I decided to keep things simple by ordering one of the signature pizzas – the Green Stripe Pizza. The Green Stripe Pizza has mozzarella, chicken, red peppers, garlic, finished wwith a pesto drizzle and arugula after baking. First, I added their garlic pesto sauce below the cheese. I also added artichoke hearts to the pizza with the other toppings.
Our pizzas were ready pretty quickly. By the time we checked out and filled our drinks, our names were being called.
The pizzas are pretty big and with a smaller appetite, you could share or bring half home. We each ate half of our pizzas and saved the other half for today. We all loved our pizzas.
Blaze Pizza offers several non-standard drink options. I enjoyed their Prickly Pear Agua Fresca and my daughter enjoyed the Blood Orange Lemonade. They also had Key Lime Mint Agua Fresca and Lemonade. On the soda fountain, in addition to your standard Coke, Diet Coke, they also had Black Cherry Soda, Root Beer, and Orange Mango Soda.
You will not want to miss dessert at Blaze Pizza. They offer S’more Pies – chocolate and marshmallow between two Graham Cracker Rounds. When we ordered the S’more Pies, they offered to heat them for us, but we declined since we were going to be eating our pizzas first. We ended up taking them home and heating them up in the toaster oven. They’re a delicious treat and one that will keep us returning to Blaze Pizza. Next time, I’ll plan to take them home again or order them after we’re done the pizzas to enjoy them hot.
Overall Blaze Pizza Review
We loved Blaze Pizza Ann Arbor. I wish they were a little more generous with the toppings. I definitely recommend getting the S’Mores Pie for dessert.
Opening & Free Pizza Day Press Release
See the Press release below for more details on Blaze Pizza and Tuesday’s Free Pizza Day.
Build your own pizza chain announces October 11 free pizza promotion to support Maize & Blue Cupboard and Swoop’s Student Food Pantry
Blaze Pizza offers a modern take on one of America’s most loved meals. Each restaurant features an interactive open-kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of carefully sourced, high quality ingredients – all for around $8. The generously sized 11-inch personal pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open flame oven – the centerpiece of the restaurant – where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure that the thin-crust pies are fast-fire’d and ready to eat in just 180 seconds.
“Blaze offers a quick, a high-quality pizza alternative that is perfect for busy students, workers and families on a budget. We’re expecting great turnout for Tuesday’s Free Pizza Day and look forward to continued growth in the area.” said Rodney Walker, Owner and President of Blaze Midwest, Inc.
Each restaurant makes its own dough from scratch, using a recipe developed by critically-acclaimed Executive Chef Bradford Kent (the “Pizza Whisperer”), which requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce his signature light-as-air, crisp crust. For pizza fans with specific dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese.
“Maize & Blue Cupboard is committed to making sure no student at the University of Michigan goes hungry,” said Zoe Hawtof, President of Maize & Blue Cupboard. “A donation from Blaze Pizza will help us to feed even more students in need, and we encourage our neighbors in the Ann Arbor area to come out to the new restaurant and help support a worthwhile cause on Tuesday.”“Swoop’s Student Food Pantry provided more than 20,000 pounds of food to 1,220 customers during our first year of being open. The generous donation from Blaze Pizza will help support our work to meet our students’ basic needs and to decrease barriers that prevent students from being successful in college,” said Haley Moraine with Swoop’s Food Pantry.
Driven by its commitment to “Intelligent Choices for Our Pizzas, People & Planet,” the restaurant will be constructed with recycled and sustainable materials, use eco-friendly packaging and feature energy-efficient LED lighting.
The new Ann Arbor Blaze Pizza looks forward to growing strong roots within the community. To that end, the company has developed a turn-key in-restaurant fundraiser program that returns 20 percent of an event’s proceeds back to local organizations. Blaze Pizza will continue to partner with local schools, sports clubs and other groups to host fundraising events at the new restaurant. For more information, please visit www.blazepizza.com/fundraising.
The Ann Arbor Blaze Pizza is operated by Blaze Midwest, Inc., which continues to grow the concept in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
About Blaze Midwest, Inc.
Operating under the umbrella of Northland Investments, Blaze Midwest, Inc. and its sister companies Mariane, Inc., Bells & Birds, Inc. and OC Michigan, Inc. own and operate a total of 13 fast casual, 49 quick serve and 4 casual dining restaurants spanning four states, including Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Formed in 1987, Northland Investments collective has nearly 1,800 team members currently employed at its various locations.
About Maize & Blue Cupboard
Maize & Blue Cupboard meets the unattended grocery needs of University of Michigan students by becoming a middleman in a sustainable circle of food waste. For more information, please visit their website.
About Swoop’s Student Food Pantry
Swoop’s Student Food Pantry is a campus-based organization run by Eastern Michigan University faculty, staff, students and alumni volunteers that works to provide current EMU students in need with food assistance and additional resources to positively impact their well-being and college success. For more information, please visit them online.
The first Blaze Pizza® restaurant opened on Aug. 6, 2012, in Irvine, Calif., and quickly gained attention for its chef-driven recipes, thoughtful interior design and a service culture that celebrates individuality. Now ranked as the leading fast-casual pizza chain in the Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, Blaze Pizza is building momentum and developing a cult-like following as it expands across the country. The company currently operates 153 restaurants in 31 states and Canada, including the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Dallas, Las Vegas and Boston. Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels), the concept is backed by investors including LeBron James, Maria Shriver, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and movie producer John Davis. For more information, please visit blazepizza.com and facebook.com/blazepizza or click here to view a company video.
Blaze Pizza®, Fast-Fire’d®, the horizontal logo design, and the proprietary names “Pizzasmith,” “Intelligent Choices for Our Pizzas, People & Planet” and related trademarks are the property of Blaze Pizza LLC.