One of the stipulations I’ve set forth in the 52 Weeks of Pizza mission is to only hit up spots that I’ve never been to before. Breaking me out of the habit of going to the typical spots I know and love. This week we ventured to the eastside of Tucson to dine at Dry River Company. I’ve known about this place for sometime now, and tends to come up often in recommendations. It had just never been convenient for me because of the location (and for a regional reference, the tendency to always stay west of Swan Ave.)
I can’t believe that I let location keep me away from this place for so long. As I was eating this meal, I just sat wondering how many other pizza gems on the eastside are going undiscovered by me. I’ve vowed to never again let location stand between me and a great slice.
Upon entry we were greeted with the aroma of the wood oven and pizzas past, along with the familiar bar smell of beer and hops. You can also see their oven displayed prominently behind the counter. The name boasts Pizza and Coffee, but on my brief inspection I didn’t see anyone enjoying coffee, and It wasn’t apparent to me on the beverage list. The do offer a full bar though. We gather from the decor that the owner may have a penchant for malt liquor. Vintage light up signs for Colt 45, hung proudly on the walls, and we also spotted a can of Four Loko on a shelf behind the bar. Hanging above the order counter, was a chalkboard listing the current beer selection. In the previous weeks‘ adventures we had not enjoyed beer with our pizza, for what reason, I don’t know, since they are such a dynamic duo.
Dry River is self seating, so we grabbed a couple lunch menus, and sat down at a round table for two, embellished with ying-yang symbol. I was liking this place more and more by the minute. There was also 1 arcade cabinet, featuring lots of retro games, like Galaga, Donkey Kong, and Centipede. Having an arcade machine or a pinball machine in a pizza place always warms my heart.
The menu is simple, with a good mix of the familiar and classics with a twist. Our lunch appetites didn’t warrant an appetizer, but I was heavily eying the roasted garlic and brie. Staying focused on pizza, picks included Prosciutto and the Tomatillo . Accompanying our pizza, was the Freestyle Pilsner from Santa Fe Brewing. They don’t have the Tomatillo pizza listed as a food pairing, but they totally should.
After feeling a bit burned by the chick-parm pizza from last week, and an even more disappointing freezer version, I was hesitant to try yet another chicken pizza. I was also just discussing with AP how I thought it was weird when pizza came with cheddar & jack cheese. The Tomatillo has both of these things plus caramelized onion, and roasted tomatillo sauce. The result is a delicious pie that is reminiscent of green chili chicken enchiladas, warm and fresh out of the oven. Faith restored in chicken topped pizza.
The Prosciutto pie was a more classic pie. San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, prosciutto, and thinly sliced portobello. Basic toppings, but very tasty. The portobellos having the most prominent flavor, and rounded out nicely by the salty goodness of the prosciutto.
Toppings: The mozzarella is made in house, and you can taste the freshness. Portabella was also fresh and flavorful. Prosciutto was decent, but maybe not top quality. The chicken and caramelized onions on the tomatillo, were both great.
Sauce: Red sauce was good, with garlic really standing out. The tomatillo sauce was awesome, with a good roasted flavor and a bit of kick. I think I’d slather it on just about any other type of carb.
Slice scale (out of 5):
- Prosciutto – 4 🍕🍕🍕🍕 – $12.99 (13″)
- Tomatillo –4 🍕🍕🍕🍕 – $10.49 (13″)
The pizzas are definitely shareable, and 1 could feed two adults. We ended up with the equivalent of one whole pizza leftover, but I’m beginning to become more accustomed, and look forward to having leftover pizza. I would definitely come back to Dry River, not only to try some of the other pizzas, but also to try their house made fresh pasta, that makes an appearance on the dinner menu. I’m a sucker for fresh pasta. Another item of note, is that they can also sub out their delicious, tasty dairy based cheese for vegan “cheese”, if that’s how you, or that friend who never gets invited to pizza night, roll. They also have a couple of TVs, so I could also see this as being a nice place to watch a Cats game.
Dry River – worth the trip out to the eastside, and a quality pie.