Battle of the pizzerias: MOD Pizza vs. Blaze Pizza

Jada Hallman, Editor-in-Chief

Back in the blazing summer of 2015, Tracy was introduced to an entirely new array of flavors catered by a unique, customizable pizzeria that was one of its kind in its region. Before Blaze Pizza, personalizing food stops were limited to sandwich shops. A friendly staff, a plethora of toppings and an exciting, new concept had families and friends flocking to the new pizza location on Grant Line Road. It was the new hangout spot, the place to go for an explosion of flavors, picked out by you and you alone, melted together with cheese and sauce. Blaze was quick to become a Tracy favorite. But in this past summer of 2018, Tracy welcomed another individual artisan-style pizzeria on Naglee Rd. Although both pizza locations show promising similarities, Tracy residents have found it easy to take sides on the MOD vs. Blaze debate. To solve this dispute once and for all, I was left with only one option I could not refuse: pizza for dinner two nights in a row.

Because my first trip to Blaze Pizza three years ago was my first time trying an artisan-personalizing pizzeria, I was thoroughly impressed with the concept; it was like Subway but for pizza, and who could pass that up? I instantly fell in love with the great variety of toppings, the tart lemonades and the passionate staff. It was the first of many times I would walk through Blaze Pizza’s front doors. Recently, I walked into MOD Pizza for the first time and it felt like deja vu. The similar wood-grained decor, the open spread of toppings for the build-your-own-pizza option and even the gooey chocolate baked goods had me wondering if I had accidentally walked into Blaze.

After a few double-takes, I started to search for the differences that set MOD apart. The first thing that caught my eye about MOD Pizza was the giant metal bowls full of salad. Aside from a customizable pizza option, MOD Pizza offers a create-your-own salad option. With over 30 topping options to choose from (comparable to the 41 at Blaze Pizza), MOD Pizza allows you to craft a unique pizza or salad or select one of their top 10 traditional combinations. MOD Pizza also offers three different pizza crusts: an 11’’ MOD pizza crust, a mini 6’’ pizza crust or an 11’’ mega dough pizza crust that is its thickest option. Blaze Pizza, on the other hand, only offers one type of crust, which is honestly fairly thin and somewhat flimsy. Both locations offer gluten-free options for their crusts as well. MOD Pizza also offers four flavors of hand-spun milkshakes, while Blaze offers select teas, lemonades and aqua frescas.

As a part of my intense investigation, a comparison of topping selections seemed more than necessary. For sauces, the only difference was a spicy red sauce option at Blaze Pizza that MOD Pizza did not offer. Blaze Pizza offers goat, ovalini mozzarella and vegan cheese while MOD Pizza offers asiago and dairy-free cheeses. For veggies, only Blaze offers banana peppers, sautéed onions and a seasonal vegetable while MOD Pizza exclusively has cilantro, croutons (most likely for the salad but hey, I don’t judge), “Mama Lil’s peppers,” roasted broccoli, roasted corn, roasted grape tomatoes and sliced tomatoes. While the red onions at Blaze are minced into small squares, the red onions at MOD are sliced in large circles, like one you would find on a hamburger. While Blaze offers crumbled meatballs and smoked ham, MOD offers anchovies, Canadian bacon and spicy Italian sausage.

As I was handed my perfectly Jada-esque MOD pizza pie, my first bite was unfortunately underwhelming. I kept expecting that powerful punch of flavor I always had when taking a bite of Blaze, but I never really took that satisfying mouthful. The pizza crust was thicker than Blaze’s, which I liked, but I was sadly disappointed by the somewhat deficiency of flavors and spices. My nearly identical pizza ordered from Blaze was a lot more flavorful, despite having the same toppings, sauces and meats.

Although my first experience at MOD wasn’t all that I had expected it to be, I will definitely be returning for a second selection of toppings. The great thing about these pizzerias is that you can try something new every time you go there. And next time, I will definitely be leaving with a vanilla milkshake in my hand.

I rate MOD Pizza 3 out of 5 paws, but based off of my current experiences, I would definitely recommend Blaze Pizza. The battle of the pizzerias still rages on, and it’s up to you to decide the victor, and enjoy a slice of pizza too.