LeBron James invested in Blaze Pizza in 2012 and now Blaze has become the fastest-growing food chain in the US of all-time.
Classic James move, if you ask me. He started by opening two of his own Blaze restaurants in Chicago and Miami in 2012, and by 2015 he wanted all in with the pizza chain. His now original investment of $1 million has turned into $35 million and growing. James must have really loved his Blaze Pizza to leave his deal with global empire McDonalds for an unknown pizza company. So I went to find out what it was all about.
Blaze is a fast, casual restaurant similar to that of Subway or Qdoba where you can make your own meal of choice, or choose from a menu of specialty items. Some quick research showed that James gets 16 toppings on his Blaze pizzas. This was probably for marketing, but I also wouldn’t put it past James to be this extra with his pizza.
On my way to Blaze I had already decided I was not getting 16 freaking toppings on my pizza, but I’d still make the most of it. I went a little early to try and beat the lunch crowd and at 11:30 a.m. the line was literally already to the door. As I got closer to order, I could hear each guest being asked for their name and if they had been to Blaze before. Every single person said yes.
It was finally my turn to order and I elected to go with the “White Top” pizza. It’s a thin crust pizza with white cream sauce, mozzarella cheese, applewood bacon, chopped garlic, oregano, and arugula. Hello, my love. Most guests around me were building their own pizzas but I was sticking with one of the Signature Pizzas today.
As I was paying at the register I saw my pizza fly into the open-faced oven. It took about four minutes to make, which was a little longer than stated on their website, but it didn’t bother me. It was long enough for me to make the mango-strawberry agua fresca drink as recommended when you walked into the restaurant. I then spent the other three minutes trying to find the straws for said drink. That wasn't a fault of Blaze, I just couldn't find the straws.
And then I got my pizza. Here it is! I'm not a real-life food critic, so I just want to tell you my pizza was absolutely delicious. The amount of sauce used was perfect. It’s fast-fired but the crust was still crispy. And there was the perfect amount of every topping spread throughout each slice. You know how sometimes when you go to a name brand “build your own burrito” establishment and they skimp on the toppings? Not at Blaze, my friends.
Also, back to this drink I was making. From the door cling, it was labeled a “Delightful Duo” so I made up in my head that I was getting a drink that was mango and strawberry mixed. That wasn’t an option. So I just made my own anyway and, oh my goodness, it was fantastic. They should just start making this on it’s own and avoid the part of lunch where I pretended to be a fancy bartender.
I would be holding out if I also didn't tell you about the secret gem of Blaze Pizza. The s’more pie. It’s as exactly as it sounds and they throw it in the oven as you wait for your pizza. They’re better than real campfire s’mores and I’m not exaggerating.
Here's the thing. My pizza was incredible but it doesn't really matter which one I got because you can make whatever pizza your heart desires at Blaze and it's going to be incredible. Blaze is good, LeBron James is good, and I highly recommend you try this place if you haven’t been there already.
Oh, and Staples Center, where the Los Angeles Lakers play basketball, and LeBron could theoretically one day play, already has a Blaze in-house.