Chow Down Brown: Ch-ch-ch-changes in campus eateries

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Can’t you smell them already…?

Let’s be honest – the thoughts that run through a college student’s mind often fall into a pretty specific set of categories. They may vary in content and percentage depending on the person, of course, but you can almost guarantee that they include the following: homework, romance, various forms of inebriation, and of course, food.

Brown University Dining Services therefore has ambitious tasks to accomplish in feeding Brown’s hungry students. Aaron Fitzsenry, culinary manager of retail dining and one of our favorite food authorities on campus, sat down with me to discuss some of the exciting culinary ch-ch-ch-changes taking place across campus this year.

The Blue Room will soon be introducing a Mediterranean Bar a few nights a week. Fitzsenry dreamed up this idea this summer while he was strolling down Thayer Street looking for inspiration in the existing business models. Featuring fresh and local ingredients such as hummus, tabbouleh, chickpea salad, fresh Narragansett feta, and Sam’s Bakery Syrian wraps, the Mediterranean Bar will be joining the ranks of student favorites Kabob and Curry and the Naked Burrito Bar. As the Herald reported, the Blue Room will also be serving savory pastries of the leek-and-parmesan and cherry-Greek-yogurt varieties. And don’t worry – those muffins and cookies you dream about will continue to be baked fresh daily. Rotating soup and meal specials can be found on the Blue Room’s website, in addition to any and all ingredient information about which you may be curious.

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Chow Down Brown: Chicken Roundup

Because of the sheer amount of forgetfulness laziness investigative journalism that has gone into this piece, getting this post up on Blog has been a semester-long process. But it’s finally here: a comprehensive study of the Ratty and Vdub’s grilled chicken selection. At times Canadian, once in a while European, and sometimes Southern, Brown Dining Services has provided us with an extensive and culturally-inclusive poultry menu. We look into what makes Italian Marinated so Italian, what distinguishes Sante Fe from the Caribbean Jerk, and examine the dressing of Cajun Style (punny).

Keep reading, because as a member of the Brown community, you should know about the various flavors that contribute to our campus’ daily chicken menu. We’re kind of kidding, and yet we do believe the sheer number of nationalities of the Ratty/V-dub chicken deserves recognition. Snapshots, profiles, and reviews follow…

Grilled Rotisserie

A little plain?

A little plain?

We have to begin somewhere, so it’s probably best to start simple. Grilled Rotisserie is your basic Ratty chicken: as far as we know, it boasts no dressing or ‘spices’ but is literally just grilled—on the rotisserie, of course. Inoffensive, this is your primary chicken style that all our other chicken is the same as works off of. Definitely a crowd pleaser, but also not going to be causing a traffic jam line at the Ratty.

Montreal Grilled

Mmm, Canadian.

We were skeptical as to whether or not Montreal Grilled Chicken is actually a thing, but lo and behold the spice-masters at McCormick have confirmed its legitimacy with a popular seasoning that includes garlic, salt, onion, black pepper, parsley, red pepper, orange peel, paprika, and green bell peppers. Moreover, our friends at Wikipedia claim that the Montreal deli Schwartz’s first created the seasoning in the 1940s and 1950s when broiler man named Morris “The Shadow” Sherman began adding their signature smoked meat pickling spices to his own rib and liver steaks.  Due to its popularity, it eventually became a norm in Montreal delis and steakhouses. And somewhere along the way, we suppose, the seasoning found its way… to the Vdub. Still, let’s put history aside and recognize that Montreal Grilled is empirically a funny thing to see on a menu.

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12 Days of Spring Weekend: #EEEEEATS Lineup

BREAKING: here’s an equally important lineup for this weekend.  BCA hooked us up with a variety of food vendors to satisfy all of your culinary cravings during the concerts.  If you just have to drunkenly foodstagram, at least use the hashtag #BlogSW.  Your body is a temple—nourish, HYDRATE, and have fun!

#cakecakecakecake

#cakecakecakecake

Ben and Jerry’s - free cones! 

Del’s Lemonade – A Rhode Island classic, but don’t expect this.

Domino’s Pizza - You can prove your loyalty to Antonio’s or Nice Slice later.

Taste of India - If you’re feeling adventurous.

Tina’s Jamaican Caribbean Restaurant - If you’re really feeling adventurous. 

Duck and Bunny – It’s only once a year that Wickenden comes to the Main Green.

Mexico Restaurant – For those looking to spice things up.

#SeeYouOnTheGreen

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AC

Chow Down Brown: Andrews Commons rocks

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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.

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Chow Down Brown: We’re drooling at Andrews Commons’ menu

pizza at andrews commons

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.

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Chow Down Brown: Cookie decorating in the Blue Room

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If there’s one thing we love here at BlogDH more than eating, it’s eating cookies. “Cookies?,” you might ask. “What on earth are you talking about?” Well, Aaron Fitzsenry is back at it again, y’all! Today at 4 p.m. there will be a table set up in the Blue Room for cookie decorating. You know what that means: frostings, chocolate chips, colored sugar, sprinkles, and every other food from your Freshman 15 nightmares.

Now, for those of us on tight budgets, cookie decorating may remind us of that wonderful time of year when our entire life savings gets spent on wrapping paper and socks for grandpa. But, the best part about this cookie decorating party is that it doesn’t cost you extra money. In fact, the Blue Room will be lowering the prices of said cookies and the cookie decorating aspect is free. That means you can use all the frosting your little heart desires without wasting those last few Flex Points you’ve been saving.

Most importantly, there will be a cookie decorating contest. Aaron will post pictures of the cookies on the Blue Room’s twitter (@brown_blueroom), and student workers will choose the top decorators who will win fun goodies including freebies. (I’m not saying it’ll be Gingerbread Man S’mores, but I’m also not not saying it’ll be Gingerbread Man S’mores.)

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TL;DR: Cookie decorating in the Blue Room today, submit your works of art for the chance to win Blue Room goodies, Aaron Fitzsenry is awesome.

See you there!

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