Week 13: Stray Dogs Tucson

Stray Dogs Pizza Blanca

Former Tucson Pizza hot spot, Zona 78 on the northwest side got an overhaul and became Stray Dogs.

Stray Dog Mural by Joe Pagac
Colorful pup that is part of a larger exterior mural.

My memories of the former Zona 68 were mixed. I remember liking the food, but also remember the dining experience being less than fantastic thanks to awkward young couple fighting that happens to everyone from time to time. The nice thing is that I don’t remember what the argument was even about and after eating an uncomfortable meal in half silence, we ended up going to see “In Time” at the cheap seats and eating the leftover pizza in the the back of the theater laughing at how that became a film.

We never returned to Zona 78 after that, so when I found out the owners were changing concept I was intrigued and happy to find they would keep pizza on the menu as a mainstay.

The menu is small and concise. Burgers, salads, sandwiches, fries pizza and of course hot dogs. They have fallen into the trap of serving gluten free crust. But who am I to be mad at places who are trying to make pizza available to everyone.

Stray Dogs Tucson Pizza Menu
Stray Dogs Tucson Pizza Menu

When we visited they also included a brunch menu, complete with breakfast pizza. (I can appreciate a good  breakfast pizza.)

Now that we are grownups, we just came from an early morning at the driving range, so not quite in the mood for breakfast.

Stray Dogs is boasting a full bar serving beer, cocktails, and wine. Weekend brunch can also be accompanied by bottomless mimosas. But I would just avoid the bar. No carefully crafted cocktails here. In fact they didn’t even bother garnishing our drinks. I’m who can appreciate a stiff drink, but this one was just out of control.

The intense drinks were mellowed by the tasty chili cheese fries we ordered. Yeah, because girl cannot live on pizza and cocktails alone.

The chili cheese fries were incredibly enjoyable.

Stray Dogs Tucson Chili Cheese Fries
Stray Dogs Tucson Chili Cheese Fries

As was the pizza. Stray Dogs delivered on all fronts. The simplicity of the Pizza Blanca hit on all notes a pizza should.

Stray Dogs Tucson Pizza Blanca
Stray Dogs Tucson Pizza Blanca

Crust: Full of flavor, well balanced. Great crunch from the gas-fired pizza oven. A bit on the thick side, but not dense.

Toppings: The Pizza Blanca provided the perfect balance of toppings for this crust.  Mozzarella, Parmesan, and roasted garlic, drizzled with truffle oil hits on sweet, salty, and funky notes that will be sure to satisfy.

Sauce: This pizza was a white pizza and I didn’t miss the sauce. The level of truffle oil wasn’t overpowering and kept the pizza from being too dry. I’m sure their tomato based sauce is also pretty well balanced.

Overall, this pizza gets 🍕🍕🍕🍕 out of 5 slices. At $16 for a 16″ with plenty leftover, it was a good value. Next time I would go just for the pizza and skip all the fluff.

Stray Dogs
78 W. River Road
Tucson AZ 85704

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