When it comes to choosing where to eat pizza, there is no shortage of places to pick from. There are the obvious fast food options (Pizza Hut, Dominos, Papa John’s, etc.) but if you want a break from the regular options, here are two local pizzerias with plenty of options for your next pizza night.
Story by Samantha Joslin
Blaze Pizza was a new experience in a couple of ways: not only have I never been to the restaurant before, but I’ve never seen what they call the “hip-counter serve” style of pizzeria before. With pans of toppings behind the counter, employees create your custom pizza the same way they would at a sandwich shop, giving you complete control over your meal.
We ordered the cheese pizza with original crust for the sake of comparison with SPIN!, but also because it seemed impossible to choose between the classic red, spicy red, white cream and garlic pesto sauces, and that’s only the second step. The first is, of course, the style of crust, and Blaze Pizza even impresses with these options, having both vegan original and high-rise doughs as well as gluten-free cauliflower and keto crusts. An array of cheeses (including feta, goat, gorgonzola and a vegan cheese) come second, followed by upscale “meats” (including a vegan option), over a dozen fruits and vegetables and seven “finishes,” like balsamic glaze, barbeque drizzle or ranch.
Our 11-inch pizza was only $6.02 with tax and it was ready in record time, although this could be because the restaurant was almost completely empty when we arrived. SPIN! Pizza was the same way; this is more representative of the time of our arrival than of the community’s appreciation for either restaurant. The interior of Blaze Pizza is impressively modern, which is only highlighted with the gluten-free and vegan options on their menu. This restaurant is perfect for anyone in Overland Park and Olathe looking for a cool, hip place to eat out, and the food doesn’t disappoint.
There is one problem I had with Blaze: the lack of seasoning. The staff member creating our pizza asked if we’d like oregano, and when we said yes she proceeded to sprinkle an almost imperceptible amount of the spice onto the cheese layering our then-uncooked pizza. There wasn’t even close to enough oregano to add flavor, and since pizzas from Blaze are meant to be stacked with any number of delicious toppings, the cheese itself doesn’t offer much in the way of taste. This was emphasized by how heavenly the cheese at SPIN! Pizza tasted.
Good cheese doesn’t make up for the flaws of a restaurant, though. Before I get into the bad side of SPIN!, I think it’s important to mention that I am an undisputed regular at this restaurant. My sister and I eat here at least once every couple of weeks and absolutely love it. It is a spectacular restaurant, but, even though I hate to admit it, there are some glaring problems. I’ve always hated pizza crusts that are coated in flour, and that’s SPIN! Pizza’s biggest downfall: the bottom, sides and top of their pizza crusts are always dusted with splotchy white flour, which makes the dryness of their crust even worse — and, believe me, their crust is dry enough already. I’ve never left the restaurant without stacks of crust left on my plate, and I beg you to take me at my word when I say that eating it without dipping sauce of any kind is honestly kind of awful. This perfect storm is completed by crust that’s burnt more often than not and a waitstaff that is notorious — in my family, at least — for failing to refill our empty cups for thirsty, aggravating half-hour stretches during our meals.
Both of these pizzerias are fantastic restaurants who are doing exceptionally well; however, the options and hip vibe at Blaze, as well as their well-cooked pizza, easily outweigh the flavorful cheese, awful waitstaff and dry crust at SPIN!
Story by Samantha Joslin
Story by Alieu Jagne
Our plan going into this edition of food wars was to order and try a cheese pizza from both restaurants. While both places have a range of items that aren’t pizza, we wanted to review what they are primarily known for. One of the great things about SPIN! is the variety of toppings that are available for your pizza. With the typical pizza toppings like fresh mozzarella and pepperoni to some non-traditional options like fig marmalade, eggplant and vegan cheese there is no limit to how creative one pizza can be.
After placing our order, we sat in the dining area and waited for the pizza to arrive. The overall atmosphere of the restaurant is very versatile. It can function as a speedy lunch option or even as a formal sit-down dinner. At first glance, the theme and decor of SPIN! is a typical pizza restaurant. However, upon closer inspection many of the decorations used are parts of a bicycle. The light fixtures were made of bike gears and a lot of the art on the wall depicted cartoon characters going for a bike ride.
We waited about 10 minutes before the waitress came with our seven-inch Mini Mia cheese pizza. My first reaction was that the pizza looked immensely better than the one from Blaze, and that was before tasting it. Even though we ordered the most basic item on the menu, it tasted incredible. The crust was baked to perfection in the pizza brick-oven. What sets their pizza apart from other restaurants is their cheese blend. While other pizzerias offer cheese blends, nothing compares to the combination mozzarella, provolone and fontina that SPIN! provides. With the addition of their cheese blend, the pizza also had the perfect amount of seasoning that added another layer of flavor.
At each restaurant, I ordered a side of ranch (because, yes, I eat ranch with my pizza). At Blaze the ranch was decent at best. It tasted like something that I could find in a bottle at a grocery store. There wasn’t anything that set it apart from any ranch that I had eaten in the past.
SPIN!, on the other hand, has the perfect runny consistency that when accompanied with a well-baked pizza makes the perfect duo.
It is also worth mentioning that the service at SPIN! was exceptional when we went. All of the staff were very attentive and helpful when we asked questions.
The final thing that needs to be included in this review is SPIN!‘s gelato. I am not the biggest fan of gelato to begin with; I usually prefer regular ice cream, but there is something so magical about the gelato at SPIN!. There are at least 12 flavors to select from on any given day and while that may not seem like a lot, there is definitely a flavor that will speak to you. Another added bonus is when you purchase the Mini Mia option, you get a side of soup or salad. However, you can forfeit the side option to get a free mini size of gelato instead.
The price points at both restaurants are very similar which makes the decision based solely on taste. I think that for the price you pay at SPIN! you are not only getting amazing quality pizza with fresh toppings, but a perfectly portioned dessert after. These are both things that Blaze lacked. While I did enjoy the pizza from Blaze, it wasn’t anything that I haven’t eaten before and that’s why I would choose SPIN! over Blaze any day of the week.
Story by Alieu Jagne