Wood-fired pizza prepared before your eyes at Saskatoon’s DoughBox

Wood-fired pizza prepared before your eyes at Saskatoon’s DoughBox

Suhas Chaudhari recently opened DoughBox Pizza on Broadway Avenue — the first pizza of the franchise in Saskatchewan

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Businesses and non-profit organizations regularly open and move in Saskatoon. Today the StarPhoenix talks to Suhas Chaudhari, who recently opened DoughBox Pizza on Broadway Avenue — the first pizza of the franchise in Saskatchewan. This is the first restaurant ownership experience for Suhas and his cousin Dhairya Chaudhary.

Their freshly stretched pizza dough, homemade sauces and wide range of premium ingredients are cooked in a wood-fired oven to add extra flavour. The entire preparation and cooking process can be seen in their open kitchen. Customers are invited to select or modify their toppings and watch as the pizza is prepared from start to finish. They offer dine-in spaces as well as takeout options.

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Doughbox Pizza
Suhas Chaudhari recently brought Doughbox Pizza to Broadway Ave. In Saskatoon. This is the first Doughbox location outside of Ontario. Photo by Michelle Berg /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Q: Why did you open DoughBox Pizza?

A: One of our friends was visiting Ontario and he tried DoughBox on his visit and we talked about it. We thought, we don’t have any woodfire pizza in Saskatoon as far as we know, so we thought we would open something new here. This is our first restaurant as owners.

Q: Are you the first DoughBox Pizza in Saskatchewan?

A: We are the first and only DoughBox outside of Ontario right now. There are about 10 in Ontario.

Q: What is different about wood-fire oven cooked pizza?

A: Wood-fired pizza has a distinct flavour due to the wood used for cooking, typically imparting a smoky and slightly charred taste to the crust. This results in a crispier crust with a chewy interior. Additionally, the intense heat of a wood-fired oven cooks the pizza quickly, giving it a unique texture and flavour that many people find appealing. We use birch wood in the wood-fired oven.

Q: What stands out about DoughBox Pizza?

A: When the customer comes in, we want to have them able to see what we are making for them. We have a lot of unique flavours and we make the food in front of the customers. Customers can choose their own toppings — the cheese, the sauce, everything. We have five different sauces and eight different cheeses. We also have about 10 different meats and 10 different veggies.

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Q: What are some of your popular pizzas?

A: Wild Pepperoni, Meat Lovers, Four Cheese, and Twisted Club. Wild Pepperoni has regular house red sauce, mozzarella, hot salami, pepperoni and oregano. Meat Lovers comes with pepperoni, hot Italian sausage and meatballs with the house red sauce and mozzarella. Four Cheese has house red sauce, Parmesan, fior di latte, mozzarella, Asiago and basil. Twisted Club has a creamy pesto sauce, Parmesan, mozzarella, chicken, pancetta and cherry tomatoes. Once the pizza is cooked we garnish it with wild arugula, avocado and a drizzle of lemon pepper aioli dressing.

Q: Do you offer different pizza dough options?

A: We have original thin crust as well as thick crust. We also have a cauliflower crust and gluten free crust. The cauliflower crust we use is also gluten-friendly.

Q: What else is on your menu?

A: Fresh salads, pasta dishes and wings. We use the wood-fired oven for everything. We different options for the pasta — penne, linguine and a penne gluten-friendly option — and it is made right in front of the customer.

Wings come with a choice of sauce — many are made in store — including garlic Parmesan, blue cheese, lemon pepper aioli and sriracha aioli. We also have barbecue, hot wing sauce and ranch.

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Q: What are some of your popular pastas?

A: Chicken Tetrazzini comes with cherry tomatoes, chicken, mushrooms and a creamy alfredo sauce. Classic Italian pasta has the red sauce that we use and meatballs, which are a mixture of beef and chicken, garnished with Parmesan and basil.

Q: Which salads stand out?

A: Our Apple Pecan Salad has a spring mix, fresh apple slices, roasted red peppers, craisins and spiced pecans with goat cheese and balsamic dressing. Arugula Salad comes with wild arugula, avocados, cherry tomatoes and black olives with feta cheese and lemon basil dressing.

Q: You offer some desserts?

A: We recently introduced dough bites dessert. To make them we cut the dough that we use for the pizzas into eight equal slices and then cook those small bites in the wood-fire oven. After cooking we garnish them with icing sugar and serve Nutella on the side.

Q: What do you serve for beverages?

A: As of right now we serve non-alcoholic drinks but are in the process of getting the licence for alcohol. We are hoping to to have alcohol by the summer and serve beer and wines.

Q: What is your background?

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A: I moved to Canada as an international student from India in 2019. I used to work in different restaurants. When I moved to Saskatoon I used to work full time with Red Swan Pizza, for almost two and a half years, at Evergreen Square. So I have good experience with pizza and I thought I could have a pizza place of my own, but with a different style.

Dhairya is my cousin and also came here from India, arriving in 2017. We both moved to Saskatchewan about a year apart. He worked for KFC for some time in Saskatoon.

Q: What do you love most about owning DoughBox Pizza?

A: I always wanted to have my own restaurant. I used to work in the back, where we used to get the food ready. With this one we have the customers right in front of us so we can modify orders for them however they want. I love being able to interact with our customers.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Doughbox Pizza

Owners: Dhairya Chaudhary and Suhas Chaudhari
Address: 840 Broadway Ave
Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Phone: 306-952-1058
Email: info4309@doughbox.ca
Website: doughbox.ca
Check: Facebook, Instagram

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Doughbox PIzza
Suhas Chaudhari recently brought Doughbox Pizza to Broadway Ave in Saskatoon. Photo by Michelle Berg /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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