The Hopper Pub & Pizzeria

The Hopper Pub & Pizzeria stands as a beacon of community and culinary delight, where the love story of its owners infuses every wood-fired pizza and pint in this homegrown Albuquerque favorite.


Mark Stens Land

10/21/20224 min read

"The Hopper: A Story of Love, Pizza, and Second Chances"

In the heart of a pandemic-ravaged world, when the once vibrant hum of local pubs was silenced, The Blue Grasshopper—a place of connection and cold brews—had to shutter its doors. Yet, as fate would have it, this wasn't just any pub for John and Destiny Schermerhorn; it was their serendipitous meeting spot. And in the spirit of resilience and romance, they breathed new life into their cherished haunt, rechristening it as The Hopper Pub & Pizzeria.

With two thriving locations, The Hopper has become more than just a pub; it's a testament to community, love, and the enduring power of a good slice. The wood-burning ovens are a beacon for pizza aficionados, their crackling fires forging pies that are a cut above the rest.

The ambiance is unpretentiously delightful, a place where laughter mingles with the strum of guitars, and where an easy-going vibe is served up alongside a colorful chalkboard menu. It's the sort of locale that's perfect for a casual dinner or a laid-back evening with friends—where the stories are just as good as the pizzas.

But what sets The Hopper apart is its libations, a parade of more than 45 beers on tap, celebrating the local brew scene. Their menu is an eclectic mix of bold flavors and comfort classics, from the zest of the Athena pizza to the Meatless Monday specials. And let's not forget the deep-fried dessert pizzas—a sweet rebellion against convention.

The Hopper is a place where you can indulge in the tang of house-made tzatziki or the kick of green chile cheese fries while sipping on a Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee or a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Blackberry Porter. It's where every bite and every sip tells a story of revival and the simple joy of being together.

So, if you find yourself on the Westside or near Rio Rancho, follow the tunes and the tantalizing aroma of pizza to The Hopper. Here, you’ll not only find a slice of pizza but also a slice of local heart, all thanks to a couple who turned their meeting place into a gathering space for all.

Transform Your Pizza Box into a Food Dehydrator (AKA: Pizza Flakes Maker)

Stop throwing away produce!

Every year, Americans waste about 30-40% of their food supply, which then contributes to the 8% of global greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Let's save the planet one slice at a time and turn that old pizza box into a DIY food dehydrator! This hilariously easy project will transform your leftovers into delicious dried snacks.


- 1 large pizza box (clean, without grease – yes, that means ordering another pizza)

- Aluminum foil (to make it shiny like your future)

- Plastic wrap (because who doesn't love plastic?)

- Black construction paper (very goth, very functional)

- A utility knife or scissors (sharp objects: handle with care!)

- Tape (the universal fixer of all things)

- A small fan (optional, if you want to go high-tech)

- Wooden dowels or skewers (also optional, but let’s get fancy)

- Mesh or cheesecloth (to keep it all in place)


1. Prepare the Pizza Box:

Open that pizza box and line the inside with aluminum foil, shiny side up. This will reflect heat and make your box look like a science experiment. Cover the bottom of the box with black construction paper. This will absorb heat and add to the mystery.

2. Create a Window:

On the top of the pizza box lid, cut out a rectangular window, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edges. Make it artsy. Cover the window with plastic wrap and secure it with tape. This will allow sunlight in and create a greenhouse effect. Now your pizza box is officially smarter than your last smartphone.

3. Create Air Vents:

Cut small air vents on the sides of the pizza box to allow for airflow. You can make these by cutting small flaps and folding them back slightly. These vents are like your dehydrator’s nostrils.

4. Optional: Add a Fan:

If you have a small fan, place it near the air vents to enhance airflow. This will help to speed up the drying process and make you feel like an engineering genius.

5. Create Racks:

If you have wooden dowels or skewers, create racks to hold your food. Simply poke holes in the sides of the box and insert the dowels through the holes, creating a grid. Now it’s looking like a mini barbecue. Alternatively, use a piece of mesh or cheesecloth to lay your food on inside the box. It’s like a hammock for your snacks.

6. Place Your Food:

Arrange your food items on the racks or mesh, ensuring they are spread out evenly and not touching each other. Give them space to breathe – it’s yoga for your veggies.

7. Position Your Dehydrator:

Place the pizza box dehydrator in a sunny spot outside. The plastic wrap window should be facing the sun to maximize heat absorption. Your neighbors will be jealous of your eco-friendly contraption.

8. Monitor and Rotate:

Check on your food periodically and rotate the box if necessary to ensure even drying. You’re basically a helicopter parent for dehydrated snacks. Depending on the weather and the type of food, drying times can vary from several hours to a couple of days. Patience, grasshopper.

Dehydrating Specific Foods:

Red and Green Chiles:

Preparation: Wash and dry the chiles. Slice them into rings or halves, removing seeds if desired. Fun fact: Spicy foods can increase your metabolism by up to 8%! Drying Time: Chiles typically take 1-2 days to dry completely. They should be brittle and break easily when fully dehydrated.


Preparation: Wash and dry the tomatoes. Slice them into ¼ inch thick slices or cut cherry tomatoes in half. Did you know tomatoes are technically a fruit? Mind blown. Drying Time: Tomatoes can take 1-3 days to dry. They should be leathery and pliable when done.

Popular Herbs (e.g., Basil, Oregano, Thyme):

Preparation: Rinse herbs and pat dry. Remove leaves from stems if they are large. Herbs can improve memory by up to 75%. Okay, I made that up, but it sounds good! Drying Time: Herbs generally dry within 1 day. They should crumble easily when touched.

9. Enjoy Your Dehydrated Food:

Once your food is sufficiently dried, remove it from the dehydrator and store it in an airtight container. Congrats! You’ve just saved the planet one dehydrated snack at a time.

This DIY food dehydrator is an easy and cost-effective way to preserve your favorite foods using just a few household items. Happy drying, and remember, every little bit helps in the fight against climate change!