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Blaze Pizza Announces Grand Opening of First Asheville Location

blaze pizza

Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, the fast-casual artisanal pizza concept known for its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants, announced today that it will open its first Asheville location on Thursday, April 21. To celebrate the grand opening, the restaurant will offer FREE build-your-own artisanal pizzas on Friday, April 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. to anyone who follows Blaze Pizza on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. The highly anticipated restaurant, which features a 2,500-square-foot interior plus outdoor patio, is located in Gerber Village in south Asheville (1840 Hendersonville Road), off of Interstate 26. This will be the fourth Blaze Pizza location in North Carolina.

Blaze Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” serving up artisanal pizzas that are both fast and affordable. Since its first restaurant debuted in 2012, Blaze has become known for custom-built pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’mores pies. Each restaurant features an interactive open-kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, artisanal ingredients – all for about $8. The generously sized personal pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven – the centerpiece of the restaurant – where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure that the thin-crust pies are “fast-fire’d” and ready to eat in just 180 seconds. Restaurants make their own dough from scratch daily using a recipe developed by critically acclaimed Executive Chef Bradford Kent (a.k.a. the “Pizza Whisperer”). For pizza fans with special dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese. The Asheville restaurant will soon feature craft beers from popular Asheville breweries as well as a selection of wine.

“Our mission at Blaze is really simple – we’re taking pizza back to its roots,” said Jim Mizes, President & COO of Blaze Pizza. “By making dough in-house, carefully sourcing ingredients and cooking by fire, we’re giving guests a great way to enjoy artisanal pizza without the wait. It’s changing the way people think about and eat pizza.”  

Blaze’s attention to detail extends well beyond the food, with a carefully considered, modern approach to restaurant design. Driven by its commitment to “Intelligent Choices for Our Pizzas, People & Planet,” the restaurant is constructed with recycled and sustainable materials, uses eco-friendly packaging and features energy-efficient LED lighting. Additionally, many of the restaurant’s unconventional design elements were inspired by the company’s celebration of individual expression, including an oversized wall graphic, which was custom-built to suit the Asheville space.

Blaze Pizza is looking forward to continuing to build strong roots within the Asheville community. To that end, the company has developed a turn-key, in-restaurant fundraiser program that returns 20% of an event’s proceeds back to local organizations and will be partnering with local schools, sports clubs and other organizations to host fundraising events at the new restaurant.

About Blaze Pizza
The first Blaze Pizza® restaurant opened on Aug. 6, 2012, in Irvine, Calif., and quickly gained attention for its chef-driven recipes, thoughtful interior design, and a service culture that celebrates individuality. Now ranked as the overall #2 fast-casual brand in FastCasual.com’s annual Top 100 list, Blaze Pizza is building momentum and developing a cult-like following as it expands across the country. The company currently operates 124 restaurants in 28 states and Canada, including the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C. Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels), the concept is backed by investors including LeBron James, Maria Shriver, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and movie producer John Davis. For more information, please visit blazepizza.com and facebook.com/blazepizza or click here to view a company video.

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3rd Annual Food Truck Showdown April 2nd 2016

Rabbit Etouffee and Boudain Balls from Root Down Food Truck at the Food Truck Showdown

 

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WNC Cheese Trail’s Second Annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest Tickets on Sale

Asheville cheese fest

Tickets for the WNC Cheese Trail’s second annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest are on sale starting today through the Festival website www.mountaincheesefest.com. Adult tickets (ages 12+) will remain at $12.00 and children under 12 are free. The fest will take place on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at Highland Brewing Company in Asheville NC from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. This fun filled festival will include hands-on activities for kids and adults, panel discussions, workshops, vendors and cheesemakers. Tickets for additional beer and wine pairings are also on sale through the Festival website for an additional $10.00. 

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Acropolis Pizza to Open at Asheville Outlets

Acropolis pizza asheville outlets

Asheville Outlets is pleased to welcome Acropolis Pizza to the Food Court. Known as “the place where locals eat,” this will be the restaurant’s second location. Acropolis specializes in traditional Mediterranean, Greek and Serbian cuisine, including salads, gyros, pasta and, of course, pizza. The Asheville Outlets location will offer a smaller menu than their Arden restaurant, but will still have the favorites they are known for. 

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Chef Michael’s Returns To Vintage Carolina Charity Event

Vintage Carolina

Chef Michael’s Catering will once again provide delicious small-plate offerings at the annual Vintage Carolina gala charity event. Vintage Carolina is Community Foundation of Henderson County's signature event celebrating local philanthropy.

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Hi-Wire Big Top Production Brewery Welcomes Food Service From Foothill Meats

Foothills Meats

Hi-Wire’s Big Top Production Brewery is proud to announce a new partnership with Foothills Local Meats to bring food service to their Biltmore Village Tap Room. Hi-Wire has been looking for the right partner to bring food to their Big Top Tap Room since opening in July 2015, and they have found the perfect match in Foothills. “Hi-Wire makes local, high-quality craft beer, and Foothills only sources local and pasture raised meats from independent family farms in North Carolina”, says Hi-Wire co-owner Chris Frosaker. “Our shared commitment to quality makes us great partners.” 

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Small Business Highlight: Mooty’s Chips

Mooty's Chips

As with every new year, thousands of people have vowed to start things off right by making food and lifestyle changes for weight loss, better health, and positive body image. Even when motivated, it can sometimes be challenging to retrain yourself how to eat and find suitable replacement snacks that are healthy and satisfying. Small local startup Mooty's Chips is bringing a new type of healthy snack that can help you start 2016 happy, healthy, and full. 

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Salt & Smoke Expands Kitchen at Burial Beer

Salt and Smoke

As many have noticed, once again Burial’s taproom at 40 Collier Avenue is undergoing renovations. We are finishing up enclosing the back patio to create heated indoor space in the winter. Don't worry, during the warm months, the garage doors will be open to let the outside, in.

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Lindt Chocolate Shop Grand Opening at Asheville Outlets

lindt chocolate

Asheville Outlets is pleased to announce the grand opening of Lindt Chocolate Shop on Friday, November 20th The doors will open at 10 a.m., following a special ribbon cutting. The new chocolate shop will feature chocolate drinks; a chocolate dipping station where customers can purchase freshly dipped strawberries; and, a wide variety of Lindt customer favorites like LINDOR truffles and EXCELLENCE premium dark chocolate bars. Lindt Chocolate Shop will be located next to Justice. 

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Food Review of Lex 18’s New Menu: A Mixed Blessing

Stuffed peppers. Photo Credit Janet Bray

Lex18, a dinner club and moonshine bar whose speakeasy past shines through in its throwback 20s decor, fine dining experience and novel approaches to both dinner and entertainment, invited us to sample their new menu and publish our food review of the new menu. The new menu features twists on Southern favorites, and I was excited to see what was on offer.

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