On Monday, BlogDH had the opportunity to check out the new and improved Andrews Commons at a soft opening. We tasted food, played with drink dispensers, and generally ran around like kids in a Chuck-e-Cheese. At the beginning of the afternoon, Aaron Fitszenry, the saint of on-campus dining, warned us: “The food [here] is going to be unlike anything we’ve ever had on campus. Ever.” He most definitely lived up to his word — basically, Andrews Commons is the new holy land, and we are really excited about it. It’s truly a game-changer.
The Food: Antonio’s better watch out, because “AC” means business when it comes to pizza. We were able to try a pepper-jack cheese and chicken variety, as well as a BBQ Thai Chicken pie. The days of boring, single-topping pizzas leaving you hungry are in the past. These pies present you with an entire dinner laid out on a single slice. The chefs have truly stepped up their game with a stone hearth oven and premium ingredients including locally milled flour, organic produce, and cheese blends that we only thought existed in our sans-meal plan dreams. The new oven is also really fun to look at, because, well…FIRE! Pizza slices are topped with fresh and occasionally-unexpected ingredients like arugula and carrot shavings. Just recounting this experience is making us hungry for another slice.
Most of us aren’t even back on campus yet, but one good look at Andrew Commons‘ menu had us salivating from our respective homes all over the globe.
That’s right—Andrews Commons, which is set to open Wednesday, January 22 (i.e. the first day of classes), is the latest and greatest player in the campus dining game. If Chef Aaron Fitzenry’s Twitter feed (@ChefAaronFitz) isn’t any indication, the information on the Andrews Common webpage sure is. For one, the Gate’s successor is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Think of it as the love child of the Blue Room and Jo’s—business by day, party by night. Equally important, its menu kicks campus eatery butt.
Whether you’re a dewy-eyed prospie or an experienced senior, you know that the Blue Room is one of the best places to grab a quality meal
and waste all of your Flex Points. And, though the occasional pre-4 p.m. splurge may seem worth it, ending the semester with only meal credits to your name is not. Well, not to worry. Now you can start using that other piece of plastic. Yep, that’s right. The Blue Room is getting credit card machines (right in time for your parents to buy you all the muffins in the world).
“It’s what a customer wants, it’s what a customer expects,” Aaron Fitzsenry (Campus Eateries master and overall boss) explained. We met up yesterday, and he gave us the DL on this new venture. The credit card machines will also be in the Ivy Room, the Campus Market, and Poppy’s. The real machines should be here by November 1st, but until then, they’re using temporary wireless versions.
Now you’re probably wondering, how will I ever spend all this money? Turns out there are lots of specials coming up. This Saturday, the Blue Room is bringing back its apple pie floats. Yeah, you read right. Aaron’s putting a spin on root beer floats, and is instead dousing vanilla ice cream with a blend of ginger ale and spiced apple cider. Nom. And, if Aaron doesn’t get through all of his cider, there’ll be hot cider and apple crisps on Sunday. Next week, look out for Oktoberfest at the Gate. Also get psyched for Halloween, where there will be tons of candy. And if you’re really looking ahead, the pasta action station will be at the Gate on November 6. Niiiiice.
You’re just getting back in the full swing of things here at Brown, yet your usual dining routine seems a bit off. Case in point: You go to the Ratty and see a fried crispy ringlet. You think to yourself, Must be an onion ring, right? You attempt to confirm by reading the description on the glass barricade, but it just simply cannot be: the description reads “Calamari.” The Ratty has… real food? Though I’m sure you’ve been craving Ratty food all summer, you couldn’t have imagined the glory and satisfaction that awaited you during your first meal back at Brown. This example is just a mere taste of all of the changes already in effect around campus. Brown Dining Services has made some inspired—if not revolutionary—changes to its food offerings. A run-down of these culinary ch-ch-ch-ch-changes:
Ratty and V-Dub: The Ratty and V-Dub now have a rotating 13-week cycle with several new gastronomical options. You probably have already had a chance to experience some of them. In addition to providing these new options, BDS has developed nutrition facts for all of the food it will be serving and will make this information available in both dining halls. Word on the street is that it’s also developing an app so students can quickly access nutritional information on the go. We’ll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, be sure to check out the menus on the Brown Dining Services website.
Since you most definitely need to treat yo’self (see after the jump) after completing that final paper, I suggest stopping by Wickenden’s most recent addition, Dolce Gelateria. If you think the Lanni family’s (John, Deborah, Brittan, and Nicole) shop is scooping your average ice cream and gelato, I bet these mind-blowing flavas – apple crisp, coffee kahlua brownie, snickas with Snickers, ginger, and frozen pudding – proved you wrong. As if those weren’t enough, your options also include white chocolate with cranberry, basil sorbet, cinnamon, and peach bellini. And if I haven’t convinced you yet, the Lanni family’s homemade waffle cone recipe puts the Ratty/V-dub to shame. Basically, this gelato and ice cream joint is sure to be a sweet success, so ch-ch-check it out at 270 Wickenden or on their Facebook page.