“Okay…as a friend of mine once said, “I need you to go to the hat store, because you’re gonna need to buy something to hold onto.”
Today I am going to try something different. Depending on feedback from you guys, I may do something like this again so, make sure you give me plenty of freed back in the comments and share the heck out of this article please.
Today, I review two different places with similar concept models head-to-head. Who are the combatants in this bare knuckle, toe-the-line, no holds barred, over-the-top-rope, falls count anywhere battle royal?
Blaze Pizza vs Boombozz Pizza.
Blaze Pizza– Like a lot of other places on The Med, it’s in a strip mall. Signage is adequate and parking not an issue. The patio seemed an afterthought. The front door opens into the dining area, and the line to order forms to the right. Fast-casual is in play 100%. I immediately spotted food on tables and floors. Any greeting would come from the opposite side of the building.
Boombozz Pizza– Also a strip mall location on The Med, but closer to being involved in The Avenues shopping center. A separate foyer provides a buffer between the outside and the interior. In winter time, this is a huge benefit. We were immediately greeted and shown to a table. The atmosphere was cozy and not spread out, with a full bar and booth seating available as well. This is a full service establishment.
Point goes to Boombozz.
Blaze Pizza-This almost isn’t fair to Blaze, but they chose their business model. Fast-casual with counter service. Some places bring it out to you at least, but here they call your name and you have to go get it from the counter. No one here seemed enthused with their work, or happy to see us, or anyone else. The ordering process is a build-your-own style with a lot of options, some that needed explanation. A handful of pre-set styles were available, but did not seem the push of this concept.
Boombozz Pizza– We had a server to wait on us, and showed good menu knowledge. Questions were easily and confidently answered. Plates were cleared timely and appropriately. The menu was laid out well, with lots of pre-made styles to choose from as well as build-your-own options. A choice of appetizers was especially nice.
Point goes to Boombozz.
This is where it gets real.
Blaze Pizza– There were few options for crust. Its either hand-tossed, “high-rise”, or gluten-free. Their pizza ingredients are selected by you as you go down the line, and then 180 seconds (3 minutes) after it goes in, you have your pizza. My experience was that I got a barely cooked pizza that had already gone cold by the time I ate my first slice. It was bland, doughy, and had little appeal. The ceasar salad I ordered was a pittance of lettuce and served in a plastic to-go box. I got the salad and half-pizza combo for $8.25 and the water I ordered from the fountain I was given the world’s smallest cup for.
Boombozz Pizza– For purposes of comparison I also ordered the lunch combo here. I got a ceasar salad as well that was twice the size of what I got from Blaze, and a full 8” signature pizza for $7.99. Crusts available from here are hand-tossed and gluten-free just like Blaze, but with one important exception: Boombozz now has a cauliflower crust and it is AMAZING. You cannot tell in the slightest it is made from cauliflower and the consistency is also indiscernible. I got the Fire Roasted Chicken pizza, and the topping go right to the edge, and are piled high. Everything is fresh and most importantly, cooked thoroughly. It was hot all the way through, and stayed hot for the entire meal. With a mind still towards portion control, I could finally eat pizza without feeling tremendous guilt and trepidation due to the ingredients. A lot of people have no idea the struggle of being so involved with food your entire life and suddenly having to feel guilty for every bite when you are diabetic. It’s tough.
Point to Boombozz, with strong emphasis.
Blaze Pizza-I spotted dirty floors, tables, and drink station as soon as I hit the door. The counter area and ingredient stations were clean. What that means to me is the staff doesn’t come from behind the counter as often as they should. They clean well around where they are comfortable and don’t have to move far but the dining room suffers.
Boombozz Pizza– Not only is this store clean, but everything is orderly and neat. The service items on the tables to the decorations on the walls. A bonus for this location is the inclusion of historical pictures of locations in the area such as Walter Hill Dam. I know, that doesn’t really have anything to do with cleanliness but when I was walking the dining room looking for dirt, I noticed them.
Point goes to Boombozz again.
Both places make small pizzas and salads rather quickly. Both let you build your own. Both are located conveniently near other shopping and dining options.
Boombozz far outstrips Blaze however on every point for me. They are priced comparably, but in terms of quality, service, and overall quality there just isn’t a contest. Boombozz wins this one.
Boombozz Pizza receives 4 out of 5 peace signs!
Blaze Pizza receives 2 out of 5 peace signs!
Make sure you check out the pics, because as always I put the deep cuts of hippie wisdom in there you won’t find in the main article.
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“Make lunch, not war!