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Basics & Beyond: Favorite Pizza "Places"

Basics & Beyond: Favorite Pizza "Places"

Onsite operators can use the many regional variations of pizza to set of sense of place.

John Enright

Executive Chef
Sodexo Campus Services
Binghamton University (SUNY)
Vestal, NY

“The majority of our students are from the New York City metro area…Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island…so pizza is a sacred thing to these students! They know good pizza vs. poor pizza.

“The thing I like about our pizza is that we bake it on a hearth stone. The hearth makes all the difference in the world. It's a crisper crust, baked between 525°F and 550°F. We use hand-stretched dough in a signature braid: before we put the toppings on, it looks like a bottle cap. That creates a frame for the toppings.

“There are a few specialty pizzas that are very popular. The Buffalo Chicken, the Chicken Bruschetta, the Margherita. We make a Philly Cheesesteak pizza, too. Students gravitate towards actual cheesesteaks and also the pizza version. The meat is the same shaved meat from the sandwiches. It also includes red and green peppers and onions. And we use a mixture of mozzarella and American cheeses. Our signature item to give it a special zing is banana peppers.

Kirk Rodriguez

Associate Director, Retail Sales Hospitality Services
NACUFS Southern Region President
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX

“Pizza continues to be a staple of college kids. We track our top 20 movers every month, and pizza is always in the top five. In the food court, it ranks in the top three. We use Tyson's Bonici concept. Pizza is entirely grab-and-go. We hold it for five to seven minutes, but it doesn't last that long!

“The classics do better during the lunch rush: pepperoni, sausage and supreme. In the evening and late at night, the specialty pizzas do better. BBQ Chicken pizza and BBQ Beef pizza do very well, I think because we are in Texas.

“We do a sliced brisket, and then we use what's left over to create a great crumble for the BBQ Beef pizza. Our BBQ sauce here in Texas is more tangy than sweet, I'd say. We're on the spicy to mildly spicy side. We do a ketchup base instead of a molasses base.

“If we have a sliced chicken or a rotisserie chicken, we take the leftovers, dice it up, bread it and roll it in Buffalo sauce for a Buffalo Chicken pizza. You're always trying to figure out how to maintain food costs and also figure out what to do with an item that wasn't so popular that day. Following up with these pizzas is a win-win.

“In our neck of the woods, ranch dressing with your pizza is big. When you add buffalo sauce, it's double-darn good.

Related Recipes

Napa Valley Grape Pizzette
Hot and Honey Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Parma Ham Pizza

TAGS: Menu Trends
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