Story and photos by Rachel Verbits, June 2017 Issue.
When it comes to Fox Restaurant Concepts, the sky’s the limit, and Doughbird Pizza & Rotisserie, the group’s 16th concept in the Valley, proves it with its down home, something-for-everyone approach to two classic styles of cuisine.
The newest member of the Scottsdale-based restaurant group announced that it would deliver a fresh take on two favorites: pizza and rotisserie. The doors to the highly anticipated establishment finally opened in March, and we couldn’t wait to fly by and try it out.
Nesting on the corner of 44th Street and Indian School Road, the bold white brick building commands attention of passersby.
Once inside the new building at Arcadia Gateway, we found ourselves face to face with an open kitchen that really serves as the focal point of the Northern California chic-inspired space.
Light pours through the floor-to-ceiling windows into the large dining room to reveal the barrel-rolled wood ceilings. The plush, yet family friendly seating areas add an upscale feeling to the unmistakably homey vibe – an excellent aesthetic combination for some of the most comforting food in town. But first, cocktails.
As a nod to the neighborhood, the Indy School Mule features Ketel One vodka blended dried five spice, lime and ginger beer, kicking up the spice on the classic mule. The Local, also a tribute to the area, is made with muddled strawberry, lemon, and Arcadia grapefruit vodka from OHSO Brewery & Distillery just down the road. Crafted with just the right amounts of sweet, tart and very fresh grapefruit flavors, it will, indeed, be a local favorite in no time.
After perching up with our drinks, we were ready to peruse the upscale, homestyle offerings that Doughbird has already become known for. Without overcomplicating what they do best, the menu offers a diverse selection of sides, starters, salads and sandwiches, in addition to the pizza and rotisserie options.
The seasonally inspired pizzas boast a wide range of flavor combinations: from the Wild Mushroom (black truffle, Swiss chard fontina and rosemary) to the crispy pastrami (aged Gruyere, pickled mustard seed, purple kale, rye salt). Our server recommended the pepperoni and burrata, which features organic tomato and wild oregano, and I did not object. Fresh burrata is added to the pizza after the baking process, allowing it to melt ever so slightly, creating the perfect creamy consistency to balance out the salty and crisp pepperoni.
Fun fact: Every pizza is made with Bianco DiNapoli organic canned tomatoes, a collaboration between James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco and third generation canner Robert DiNapoli. Canned in California exclusively for the famed Pizzeria Bianco creator until just last year, the sweet taste of these organic San Marzano-inspired tomatoes is now available in a handful of lucky restaurants. And Doughbird is one of them.
Also developed by Bianco and DiNapoli is Doughbird’s secret weapon: the house-made chili oil. We topped our pizza with a few shakes, and were delighted by the added flavor and heat, which made it a perfect complement, without overwhelming.
Here, chef Chris Barch (formerly of The Henry) has elevated the rotisserie game by roasting fresh fish, veggies and Creekstone Farms prime rib in addition to its Rocky Free Range Chicken (all of which you’ll notice smartly featured throughout the other menu offerings).
The classic Rocky Free Range roasted chicken, which can be ordered as a half or whole bird, is rubbed with a simple mix of salt, brown sugar, chili and garlic powder, and cooked to perfection. Served plump and juicy, the roasted chicken practically falls off the bone. It’s everything you want to taste when you see a picture-perfect roasted chicken.
While the entrée selections stand out on their own, diners should not pass up the opportunity to experiment with the nine different sauces (the first comes with your order and they’re a dollar each thereafter). Because Pineapple Teriyaki and Spicy Buffalo Hot Sauce are among the better-known flavors, I opted for the Jamaican jerk marmalade, a Caribbean punch of sweet and spicy, and the umami sauce, a complex savory flavor that will confuse and delight your palate. Aptly named after the fifth “taste” that humans can detect (along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty), umami truly cannot be compared to anything else and left me at a loss for words.
Because it’s not truly a chicken dinner unless you have all the fixings, Doughbird has excellent options here, too. Each order comes with your choice of a side dishe – from coleslaw and mac and cheese to cauliflower mash and kale and Brussels sprouts – and you can add additional selections for $5 each. It’s time to deconstruct your idea of pizza and rotisserie chicken, because Doughbird is taking some of your favorite cuisines to anot
her level. Here you’re invited to be as traditional or daring as your taste buds desire – either way, you’re not likely to be disappointed.
4385 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix
11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sun-Thurs
11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri-Sat