Photo: Alanna Rizza

New campus pizza joint blazes out

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By Alanna Rizza

Blaze Pizza opened at Yonge and Victoria Streets about two months ago.

When my friend Emma and I walked into the place I found myself in a positive and comfortable atmosphere.

I spotted a worker and asked  her what she thought would be best for me to order as a pescatarian, a vegetarian who eats fish.

She said the Veg Out pizza was a very good option, and that they also have a gluten free crust as well as vegan cheese.

She spotted Emma’s schoolbag.

“We are really fast, and we know that you guys have class. So when you have time you can come here and get your pizza in 380 seconds,” she said.

“380 seconds?” I asked, having just read the menu sign that said the pizza would be cooked in 180 seconds.

“Wait! Oh my gosh,” she said, clearly embarrassed. “No, it’s 380 seconds,” she said, assuring me that she was right.

Thinking that it would be rude to correct her, I walked right over to the end of the line, where directly above me the menu said, “Pizzas are fast-fire’d in 180 seconds.”

All of the other employees were friendly. A woman made my $10.45 pizza, which had gorgonzola and mozzarella cheese, zucchini, mushrooms and red onion. Blaze doesn’t do single slices, you get a full pizza that is about medium-sized.

She told me the timer starts when the pizza goes in the oven. Once my pie went in, I started the timer on my phone just as Emma got her pizza and went to find a table.

As I waited, I looked over at the fountain drinks. There was special house blood orange lemonade. It looked delicious and I regretted not ordering a drink.

I felt a bit anxious as my timer went over three minutes.

I asked the two guys working the fancy wood-fired oven how they know when it has been 180 seconds. They said it’s based on if the pizza is cooked or not. They assured me that it would never go over four minutes.

As my pizza was coming out, I showed the guy my timer, which read five minutes and thirty-four seconds.

“Woah!” went the two guys. All of the workers looked over.

They apologized and one of them went to get me a cup for a free drink and the other guy told me that sometimes the temperature of the oven is hard to control and that is why it took so long.

I found my way over to Emma who was almost halfway done her pizza. We shared the drink and ate our entire pies. The meal was great, we finished feeling full but didn’t feel bloated or sluggish.

Linsday Nantes, third year urban and regional planning student, had the Meat Eater pizza. She said it was a little expensive, but worth it.

She and her friends said it was their first time at Blaze Pizza and that they would come back, maybe even on a night after partying (it is open on Friday and Saturday until midnight so Ryerson students could go there after getting blazed too).

I asked a supervisor about any student specials to come in the future and got a no.

The general manager, Andrew Dorich, explained that the 180 seconds is actually the average time for the pizza to cook and that the time really depends on the toppings of the pizza. He said it would never go over four minutes.

When I told him about my pizza he apologized and mentioned not everyone would get a free drink.

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