Saturday, January 21, 2012

'82 Grill - 1/19/2012

The wintry weather outside brings the appeal of the '82 Grill to new heights - the cozy, intimate space coupled with the promise of a personal pizza attracts students looking for warmth, company, and most importantly, quality eats. For a dinner swipe, an eager diner can obtain a small salad and soup, a personal pizza with three toppings, and a drink. The various sauce options and the massive topping list offer infinite combinations, and on this particular evening I chose classic red sauce with roasted eggplant, sundried tomatoes, and chopped artichoke hearts. The already impressive topping selection is constantly evolving, and most recent additions include handcrafted feta and smoked mozzarella from local Vermont producer Maple Brook Farm.
Everyone likes to be pampered, and there's something extremely satisfying about the buzzer's announcement that a fresh pizza whose construction reflects your preferences is waiting for pick-up at the counter. Although it is obvious that these decadent rounds are made individually, most students are unaware of the process that takes place deep in the Grill's interior. Dining Services purchases all the grain used in the pizza dough from Nitty Gritty in Vermont, a small, family-owned, and certified organic company committed to producing wholesome products through sustainable practices. Using this grain, Dining Services makes the dough from scratch in the basement of Paresky. Knowledge of this process makes it unsurprising that the dough is divine - it possesses the perfect elasticity, and the crusts are slightly crunchy but not too hard, while the interior sheet is soft but unyielding to the wealth of toppings that grace the surface. I was very happy with my topping selection - I love the texture of eggplant, and the generous rounds covered a large portion of each slice. The sundried tomatoes and artichokes contributed distinctive savory flavor and saltiness, and the rich sauce and melted, browned cheese bound all the ingredients together in a most toothsome fashion. Lunch is quickly approaching, and I have an idea of where I might go..

This entry created in collaboration with Williams College Dining Services.

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