2nd slice of hot pizza joint worth the wait

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Why: There’s always room for another carry-out and delivery pizza restaurant.

Blazzin Pizza sets itself apart by offering a more diverse menu than many other rapid-production pizza shops, and now has a second location: in the Hazel Dell-Salmon Creek area. (Its first is in Cascade Park).

Salads, kids meals, Toasted Raviolis and Mac & Cheese Wedges broaden the Vancouver-based pizza company’s appeal.

Atmosphere: As is true of virtually any take-out and delivery restaurant, no frills accompany Blazzin Pizza’s simplistic design. There’s a small waiting area where customers can place orders or pick up pizza and just a couple of chairs for those who have a few minutes to wait. The rest of the space is devoted to producing menu items for quick delivery.

What I tried: My dining companion and I decided on Mark’s Inferno Pizza: pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, pepper-jack cheese and the restaurant’s own Inferno Sauce. We also tried the Blazzin Supreme, topped with onions, green peppers, olives, mushrooms, pepperoni, sausage, beef, Canadian bacon and extra cheese. Both pizzas were impressive, distinctive and appetizing.

Mark’s Inferno Pizza was indeed spicy, yet its hot-sauce base did not overwhelm the rest of the flavors. The heat did build just a tad as I worked my way through my first slice, but it never became too much.

The Blazzin Supreme made an impression before I took the first bite. Its aroma reminded me of a picnic barbecue, and the flavor matched. From the bell pepper to beef, and all the ingredients in between, it was a pie that made me pine for summer days in the sun.

My dining companion and I concluded that the crust of Blazzin Pizza’s pies, if eaten without any fixings, tastes like fresh French bread, making this pizza unique. All of the toppings were added in substantial amounts without loading the crust too much.

Highlights beyond what I tried: Of the specialty pizzas on the menu, the Philly Steak — with red onions, green peppers, steak, provolone and extra cheese — sounded yummy.

A gluten-free crust also is available.

Other observations: It took a few minutes longer for my order to be ready for pick up than I expect from other carry-out pizza restaurants I’ve visited, but it was worth the wait.

Cost: Specialty pizzas are $13.99 for a medium, $15.99 for a large and $17.99 for an extra large. Build your own pizza for $5.99 to $11.99 and receive a reduced price on the second pizza (medium, large and extra large only). Toppings are 99 cents to $1.49 each. Regular and boneless wings are $6.49 for 10, or $11.99 for 20. Salads come in small, regular and family sizes, and range from $2.99 to $5.99. Kids meals are $4.99.

Hours: Noon to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Telephone: 360-852-8008.

Where: 9904 N.E .Highway 99, Vancouver. http://www.blazzinpizza.com.

Health score: Blazzin Pizza received a score of 5 on June 8. Zero is a perfect score. Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.