text by Jonathan Davies photos courtesy of Fox Restaurant Concepts
Sam Fox has done it again…another winner for the James Beard Award-nominated restaurateur. Doughbird, located on the southwest corner of Indian School Road and 44th Street in Arcadia, is the 16th concept in the Fox portfolio.
Fox began Restaurant Concepts in 1998 with a single restaurant in Tucson. Now based in Phoenix, the company has more than 50 locations across the United States. Since opening Flower Child in 2014, Fox has been focused on national rollouts of True Food Kitchen, Flower Child, North Italia and Culinary Dropout. It was during his travels last summer that this new concept crystalized - a casual, full-service restaurant with a menu built around pizza and rotisserie chicken. But leave it to Fox, not your ordinary pizza and roasted chicken. By presenting dishes that are simple enough to be crowd-pleasers, yet using complex ingredients to excite the foodies, Fox has widened the playing field.
Doughbird’s vibe, described by Fox as “Northern California chic,” is decidedly fresh, clean and airy. Inspired by a building he saw in Sonoma, plenty of natural light shines through onto white paneled floors and tile walls. Diners sit under exposed wood beams and plants are used as décor. Chefs are in full view from a central, open kitchen while servers move about wearing navy polos, jeans and aprons. The atmosphere is a bit laid-back, comfortable and family-friendly.
For the pizza sauce, the kitchen uses Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes (the organic brand from Chris Bianco and Robert DiNapoli); and for the crust, Central Milling organic flour. A house-made gluten-free crust is available for a nominal up-charge. Using dough as the foundation for piling on great flavor combinations, the 11 pizza selections are creative and well-thoughtout. There’s Crispy Pastrami with aged gruyere, pickled mustard seed, purple kale and rye salt. The Bacon & Truffled Eggs is an elegant breakfast pizza that is topped with scrambled eggs, glazed bacon, fennel sausage, roasted onion, smoked mozzarella and arugula. Even the standard Margherita takes a new twist with fresh burrata, organic tomato, basil and parmigiano reggiano.
The pizza dough serves double-duty and is used to make the sandwich bread. It’s rolled into smaller discs, which bake for about 6 minutes. It’s also served as the scoop for the hummus dip appetizer.
Organic Rocky free-range whole chickens are roasted on spits inside two commercial-size rotisseries. The chicken rub is simply a mix of salt, brown sugar, chile and garlic powder. After that, the diner takes charge by selecting his preference for one of the nine sauces including horseradish crème fraîche, chipotle barbecue, pineapple teriyaki, lemon and roasted garlic, Jamaican jerk marmalade and jalapeño pesto. The meal comes with a choice of one side such as potato puree, asparagus with broccolini, mac and cheese, coleslaw or a small caesar salad.
Doughbird also roasts Creekstone Farms Prime Rib. Diners can order 10 or 14-ounce cuts as a main dish with a side. The beef is sliced to order and also comes inside the Prime Rib Dip sandwich.
For those wanting a lighter meal, five salads are available. The Garden Chop combines heirloom carrot, asparagus, radish, charred corn, avocado and parmesan tossed with a champagne vinaigrette. The Apple & Goat Cheese salad is mixed with red grape, arugula, fennel, smoked almond and dressed with sherry vinaigrette. Rotisserie chicken or roasted prime rib can be added to any salad.
For the kiddos, there’s a small-sized chicken dinner, three pizza choices, mac & cheese and a hot ham & cheese sandwich with a veggie. For the adults, a wide assortment of beers, signature cocktails and wine are available.
Save room for dessert. The Warm Butterscotch Cream Cake served with vanilla bean gelato will satisfy your sweet tooth. For those who prefer fruity desserts, the Old-Fashioned Peach Streusel Pie, also with vanilla bean gelato, is a wise choice. Chocaholics will be wild for The Elvis – a combo of peanut butter and chocolate parfait and banana that’s topped with whipped cream and bacon sandies.