Pieology has only recently opened its doors to the residents of Goleta and, already, folks are making comparisons to its competitor, Blaze Pizza. While the two chains are fundamentally based around the same concept, there are a few minor differences to consider.
For starters, consider the pizzas themselves. In terms of the build-your-own variety, the two locations offer some slightly different toppings. In addition to the many sauces available, Pieology gives you the option to start off your pizza by rubbing the crust with either herb butter, extra virgin olive oil or butter. This is similar to Blaze’s optional pesto-glazed crust and olive oil, pesto and barbeque drizzles to top off their pizzas. The only real difference in toppings would be Pieology’s spicy, all-natural chicken, as opposed to Blaze’s barbeque chicken. This, in turn, is reflected in their signature pizzas, the two toppings featured as one of the seven or so creations offered. Other than that, the two chains offer all the same basic meats and veggies. As noted, Pieology and Blaze are founded on the same basic idea of customizing your own pizza, meaning the only obvious distinctions in the pizza will be based on the choices the customer makes when creating it.
Some of the more concrete differences would be in the sides and desserts offered by the two franchises. In addition to their pizzas, the two offer salad as another option. In keeping up with the spirit of the place, Pieology allows their customers to customize their own salad. Customers are given roughly 40 different fresh ingredients to choose from, with full freedom to make it their own. The customer gets to choose things from start to finish, from the greens to the cheeses, meats and produce. Pieology, of course, also offers three different signature salads to choose from, on the off-chance the customer prefers not to make their own. Blaze appears to offer strictly signature salads, albeit with a few more options than those Pieology has to offer. There is also the matter of desserts to consider, with Blaze offering its s’mores pie as its sole treat. Pieology offers the more commonly seen sweet cinnamon sugar strips, which are also available with savory herb butter if one prefers not to indulge in something sweet. As a bonus, Blaze now also offers agua frescas as the perfect drink to accompany any meal, doughy or leafy.
With this being a new location, it only seems right that we compare the environments of the two restaurants. The major difference between Pieology and Blaze would have to be the size of the two establishments. Located in the Hollister Village Plaza in Goleta, Pieology is definitely the larger of the two. The large, open plaza allows for much more space than Pardall Road can offer in Isla Vista. Walking into Pieology, one immediately notices the difference, the bigger layout even allowing for plenty of indoor dining. Blaze Pizza, on the other hand, is a much more compact space almost always filled with students due to its convenient location. That, of course, brings up another excellent point: location. While Pieology is much larger, Blaze is located less than a mile from campus. This adds to the popularity of the space; students are more likely to walk a short distance than hop on a bus to Hollister. Paired with its frequent deals and promotions, Blaze is just about guaranteed to garner a larger amount of attention.
With all this in mind, it is up to the customer to decide which of the two is the better choice. This reporter cannot seem to make a decision, having equally enjoyed the two when doing her “research.” Thus, I leave it up to each of you to consider the differences and make a decision on where to get your next pizza fix.