Pizza Nite is here!!!

That’s right, folks! The bi-annual Pizza Nite is here!

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For those of you who don’t know, Pizza Nite is a magical experience where the Rock and the Sci Li dole out *FREE* pizza for students stressing over finals. The event is sponsored by Campus Life and the University Library. If you’re running low on points, meal credits, and your monthly allowance, then this is the night for you. The crowds can pretty intense so make sure you get there on time. The pizza nights are staggered, meaning you can get DOUBLE free pizza if you’re feeling really ambitious. If pizza isn’t your thing, then don’t fret: there will also be apples, cookies, and other snacks.

Pizza Nite is happening tonight at 9:00pm in the Sci Li and tomorrow night at 9:00pm in the Rock. Come one, come all!

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The pizza revolution is here

Before recently, I hadn’t had the chance to meet any computer whizzes at Brown–or, for that matter, anywhere else–so I don’t quite know what to expect when I venture into the CIT for the first time to meet Graham Carling. He takes me up to the 5th floor of the building and as we walk past old computers on display he tells me, “It’s usually pretty deserted up here.” And he’s right: the two top floors feel like a ghost town. I find myself wondering whether I should have chosen a concentration with its own swipe-access-only building. This place is like a goddamn personal library.

I’ve reached out to Graham to hear more about an app he’s been a part of for close to two years, Push For Pizza – an iPhone application that streamlines the process of ordering pizza. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because Push for Pizza went viral last fall with an awesome video [above] that the team made for the launch of the app. The video and the app caught the attention of Forbes, New York Times, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post–for Christ’s sake, it featured on Steve Harvey. It was everywhere. But don’t Google “Push for Pizza” and expect Graham’s face to pop up. He’s not on the public side of the app. Instead, he’s busy developing it – building and maintaining the complicated code that makes the app function.

“It’s not that simple,” Graham says as he explains some of the intricacies of how the app actually goes about ordering pizza for a customer. “We first thought about writing a code that went onto Dominos.com and just filled out forms…we could’ve done that. But that would’ve been boring.” Without getting too specific, Push For Pizza version 1.0 worked by sending a customer’s information to Ordr.in, where the order was processed, confirmed and then routed to the pizzeria. “It was extremely janky and so inconsistent…it was not good,” Graham says. Still, the Push for Pizza team released the app to the public in August of 2014 with phenomenal media success. “Then the VCs started to get involved.”

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Pizza Night in the Rock and Sci-Li

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If you’re like me, you probably are running dangerously low on both meal credits and points. Any opportunity for free food is a godsend. Don’t miss a great chance for free pizza this Tuesday and Wednesday, when the Brown University Libraries will host pizza night in the Rock and Sci-Li.

On Tuesday, there will be free pizza starting at 9:00 in the Sci-Li lobby, and the following night on Wednesday in the Rock lobby.

Reading period is truly a special time here at Brown, where personal hygiene goes out the window, coffee is your best friend, and stuffing yourself with over four slices of pizza is completely normal. Studying is a mental exercise so it should totally burn a ton of calories, right? Tell your friends, study groups, heck, even your professors to enjoy some pizza, and don’t forget to thank the librarians when you grab your fourth second slice. It’s first come, first serve, so don’t be late.

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Sans Meal Plan: Cauliflower Crust Pizza

For most people, cauliflower was not a popular vegetable growing up. It has a strange texture, very little flavor, and kind of looks like a bleached brain. Grossed out yet? Well don’t be. Cauliflower is actually an extremely versatile veggie — the transformer of food, if you will — and can be quite delicious. Try whipping up some mashed cauliflower, which tastes incredibly similar to mashed potatoes; if you’re feeling particularly daring, go for these insane triple-layer ricotta cauliflower mini cheesecakes. Below is one of our favorite renditions of the polarizing veggie – a surprisingly easy cauliflower crust pizza.

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We made two pizzas for a party of six, one with marinara sauce, mozzarella, and sautéed mushrooms, and one with pesto, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella, and artichoke hearts. The original recipe, adapted from Love & Lemons, makes two 8-inch pies, but we doubled the recipe and made 2 larger pies. This recipe can also be vegan-ized with the omission of cheese!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups ground raw cauliflower flourettes (about 1 small head)
3/4 cup almond flour
3 eggs
pinches of salt
a few grinds of pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

STEPS:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash and chop the cauliflower, discarding the leaves and as much of the stem as possible. Load the cauliflower flourettes into a food processor and blend until it has reached a “riced” fluffy texture. (Note: if you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender like we did – you just have to work in small batches and use the “pulse” mode on high.) At this point, the cauliflower should not be sticking together.

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It should look like this, but less dense… oops.

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An exploration of Al Forno’s Grilled Pizza Margarita

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It’s Pizza Week at Eater.com, a website that reports on all things newsworthy (and nomworthy) in the culinary world. As a part of their series “Eater Elements,” they published an exploration and deconstruction of the famous Grilled Pizza Margarita at Providence’s own Al Forno restaurant.

Al Forno, which even made it onto Eater’s list of 38 Essential Pizzerias Across America, has been dubbed as “the birthplace of grilled pizza” since its opening 30 years ago. Chefs/owners George German and Johanne Killeen mastered the art of cooking a pizza on the grill “as hot and as fast as you can” and using only the freshest ingredients in order to produce the most delicious final product. If any of you have had the privilege of venturing off the Hill to this cozy Italian spot, you can vouch for the fact that these pizzas are magic.

Check out the rest of Eater’s article for insight into the ingredients, assembly, and love that goes into making Al Forno’s signature Grilled Pizza Margarita. Are you drooling yet?

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Amuse-Bouche: Flatbread Company

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Tucked behind a parking lot at 161 Cushing Street hides Flatbread Company, the Providence iteration of a small chain that has franchises throughout New England in places like Martha’s Vineyard, Portland (not that one), and Somerville (and also randomly Hawaii and Whistler). Flatbread Company “has been introducing people to the magic of earth and fire” since 1998. Their clay, sand, hay, and ash ovens attempt to imitate a form of cooking that has been around for millennia. They’ve also committed themselves to serving as much organic and locally-sourced food as possible. The Cushing location opened on December 26, 2013.

For a building hidden from the rush of Thayer by CVS, Flatbread Company has a very open, welcoming feel to it. The two ovens, which workers are constantly feeding flatbreads on giant wooden boards, occupy one side of the restaurant, exposed to customers. At the other end, past an extremely long bar serving various local beers, there’s a library, because Flatbread Company is also trying to become your new secret study space. A friendly, attentive staff only add to the vibe. We got both of our pizzas in under 10 minutes. Your move, Nice Slice.

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