The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
Blaze Pizza in West Babylon is giving a free 11-inch pizza to every customer on Friday with whatever toppings she or he desires. The California-based chain of custom-assembled artisanal pies opened its first Long Island location on Thursday in the Great South Bay Shopping Center in West Babylon.
Blaze is set up like a Chipotle Mexican Grill. As you move along the line, you tell a pizza assembler which toppings you want. The pie is then slid into an 800-degree gas-burning oven and, three minutes later, when your name is called, you collect your pizza.
Blaze offers dozens of meats, cheeses, vegetables and sauces as toppings. A pie with mozzarella, Parmesan and red sauce is $5, add a topping and its $6.25. Or add as many toppings as you desire for $7.65. That price will also buy you one of Blazes signature pies, including Red Vine (baby mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan, basil and red sauce), Green Stripe (pesto, chicken, red peppers, garlic, mozzarella and arugula) or Meat Eater (pepperoni, meatballs, red onion, mozzarella and red sauce).
In addition to pizza, Blazes menu features salads, soft drinks, beer, wine and, for dessert, smores pie.
Blaze operates 22 pizzerias in California and the Midwest. The West Babylon store will be run by a local franchise group led by Lessings Hospitality, which also operates Mirabelle in Stony Brook, The View in Oakdale and Library Cafe in Farmingdale, among other restaurants. A second Blaze at the Westfield South Shore Mall in Bay Shore is to open later this year.
Blaze launches each location with a pizza giveaway. So far, the record for free pies is held by the store in Fremont, California, which gave away 1,500 pies in June. Can Long Island do better than that?
Blaze Pizza, open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., is in the Great South Bay shopping center at 1047 W. Montauk Hwy., West Babylon; 631-620-3326, blazepizza.com.