$10 Eats: Wild River
This week for $10 Eats, I headed to an old standby: Wild River Pizza & Brewing. It’s always nice to visit a familiar place with the intent of trying something new. It’s also risky, which is why I suppose it’s easy to stick to a favorite. When you take the leap to try something new, it’s almost like putting your money up for a bet: you may have a decent idea of how things are going to turn out, but there’s an element of unpredictability. One item may disappoint, while another may turn out to be a new favorite, the kind where you’re already planning your next visit while you’re still eating your way through your first.
With $10 in my pocket, I headed to the location in my hometown, Grants Pass. I perused the menu like I would at a place I’d never been before, wondering: “what on this menu is the chef/owner most confident about? What is slightly out of place or weird?” Sometimes to find this requires searching for themes, reading the menu like it holds the key to eternity or looking for the unusual items, which are usually on the menu for a reason. At Wild River they make it wildly obvious: Founder’s Favorite. Mission accomplished!
Ask the staff at Wild River the story behind the Founder’s Favorite pizza and you’ll get an array of answers: “I don’t know”; or, “I’ll make a story up for you….”
The Founder’s Favorite is a wood-fired pizza with cheese, red sauce, linguiça, tomatoes and avocado. Note that the price is currently $9.75, not $8.95, as the website reads.
While some other pizzas can weigh down the delicate, crackery crust, making it soggy at times (cough *the taco pizza*), the ingredients in the Founder’s Favorite are light enough to let the crust be an equal contender. My crust was flat and crisp, caked on the edges with runaway tomato sauce turned black from the oven. The linguiça and cheese are put on the pizza prior to cooking, and the avocado and tomato are added after, which makes for a vibrant, fresh-looking pizza of yellowy-green and red. The fresh produce made the whole thing not so overwhelmingly greasy, since heat tends to draw out the grease in both cheese and meat. It’s a nice balance. For $10, the amount of pizza you get is solid, and certainly adult-sized. The minis are on average 8-inches wide. I’m pretty sure that counts as a “small” most places, but with the flat crust, it’s the perfect size for a meal, and feels like a deal.
The Founder’s Favorite is available at Wild River’s main GP location and its Medford location. If you call Brookings, they’ll ask you what the heck you’re talking about, because the menu at each of Wild River’s five locations slightly differs.
What: Founder’s Favorite Pizza, Wild River
Where: 595 Northeast E Street, Grants Pass; 2684 N Pacific Hwy, Medford; additional locations sans Founder’s pizza
When: 10 am -10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 10 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday (Grants Pass); 10:30 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday (Medford).
Phone: (541) 471-7487 Grants Pass; (541) 773-7487 Medford
Price of cheap eat: $9.75
$10 Eats is a column dedicated to finding the valley’s best eats for $10 or less, so grab a Hamilton and head to these local spots. Have a favorite cheap eat? Share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org