I shouldn’t blame Siri for my lack of direction. I got seriously lost earlier this week trying to find Blaze Pizza (5925 Convair Dr, 817-731-5069). The week-old chain is set inside the Waterside Shopping Center near all of the development going on around Edwards Ranch near Bryant Irvin and I-20, and it’s remarkably easy to find. But one of the pitfalls of constantly using technology for, well, everything but particularly for getting directions to even the most easy-to-find locales is that now I’m completely inept at navigating my way around the world. Unless the folks at Apple, Google, or any of the other techno empires plot out some digital breadcrumbs for me, I’m completely lost.
I knew we were off course when Siri, the voice of the iPhone, who was narrating my GPS app, told my guest and me to pass the Bryant Irvin Road exit on I-30. Sloth that I am, I was content to trust my corporate overlords’ sense of direction, even though I knew that the Waterfront Development was nowhere near the city of White Settlement –– which is where we ended up. I bravely turned off the app and nervously turned around and headed over to the area near Lockheed Martin’s Bryant Irvin campus. It was like unplugging from the Matrix, except I got pizza.
The Waterfront Development is the most Fort Worth development ever. The pop-up strip mall is generically nice, and the list of soon-to-be tenants are all highly touted chains –– but chains nonetheless. The empty husk of a Whole Foods Market augurs the kind of clientele the developers are expecting to attract. And the neatly configured concrete-and-stone design looks like it would be a fun parkour track for aging hipsters.
Blaze fits right in. The boxy, open space is also generically nice. It’s as though the designers ordered “Industrial Chic” from the décor catalogue. The place has high ceilings with exposed air ducts, and there’s a mural on the wall that reads, “Make some noise.” I couldn’t imagine why they’d want the already loud space even more deafening.
The bill of fare is assembly-line pizza, very much like TCU-area favorite Pizza Snobs. The staff is new, but everyone seemed polite and knowledgeable. Before I ordered, I watched a man, whom I assumed was the manager, remind his staff to smile by framing his own Cheshire grin with a pointer finger on each of his cheeks. I tried to exchange an eye roll with one of the assembly-line workers, but she was too occupied trying to smile harder.
The menu has eight signature pies, or you can choose your own toppings and crust type –– unlike at Pizza Snobs, where some 20-year-old will pop a blood vessel if you want a fourth topping. My Meat Eater pizza ($7.95) was a delicious mélange of pepperoni, crumbled meatballs, red onion, and a fresh-tasting red sauce. The best part of the pie was the thin, well-seasoned crust. Although I would have liked it a little crispier, it kinda resembled a tame version of the floppy, fold-y New York-style crust. My guest’s Veg Out pizza ($7.95), with zucchini, mushrooms, red onion, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and red sauce dollops, was a little overpowered by the blue cheese but was otherwise balanced and tasty.
The grub was good for a fast food chain, though certainly not on the level of Thirteen Pies and its kind –– although it costs way less. I read that Blaze was giving away pizzas to anyone who followed the company’s social media last week. I’m sorry I missed that. While it’s not really a destination kind of place, it’s certainly worth checking out if you’re in the area … if you can find it.
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