Sunday, November 28, 2010

Families celebrate alternative Thanksgiving with pizza and breadsticks

For many of us, Thanksgiving is a time for turkey, mashed potatos and gravy. But for others like the Hernandez family, Thanksgiving is a about pizza and breadsticks.It's an interesting take on a mexican/americans Thanksgiving tradition. Maria Hernandez was a student in my English class Freshman year. I remember her sharing her unique Thanksgiving experience with our class. I caught up with Hernandez last week and asked her a few questions about what Thanksgiving means to her.

Q: How long has your family been having pizza for Thanksgiving dinner?
A: For as long as I can remember. I think my parents never wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving, mainly because my Dad used to say how much he hated turkey. Pizza just sounded like a good choice.

Q: When does your family celebrate?
A: Thankgiving afternoon. We stuff our face with pizza, breadsticks and soda and then we eat chocolate cake and take a nap. We rent movies to and be lazy all day.

Q: Do you know why your family doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving?
A: I'm guessing it has something to do with my heritage. I don't think a lot of latinos celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico, so it just carried on through my parents and their past holiday traditions.

Q:What kind of pizza do you eat? Thin, crispy, deep dish? From where?
A: We usually order Pizza Hut because they're open and we get the dip dish crust. I'am a fan of their supreme and breadsticks. I don't skip on how much food I eat. I usually down at least four slices, three glasses of pop and two breadsticks.

Q: Does everyone from your family come over? Does this style of Thanksgiving take away from the meaning of the holiday.
A: Yes, it is a pretty big pizzariffic time. My aunts, uncles, cousins. It is just like another family gathering, but a little differnt. Even though my family doesn't eat the same food as a lot of people do, I still think about the holiday as a time for sharing and being together with the people I love. I like our family's Thanksgving tradition. It makes us special in a way. And I get an excuse to eat mass amounts of pizza once every year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Pollyeye's Boycott Bandwagon

As you can read below in the post from the BG News, Pagliai's Pizza and Campus Pollyeyes experienced a boycott (via Facebook) following a sign posted opposing the ordinances. As you can also read, the whole thing was a big misunderstanding and the owners did not approve the sign's posting or even have a political stance on the issue.

The boycott was an interesting example of the effect of Facebook. People likely were invited to this group, read the page and then joined the "boycott" without ever seeking out the other side of the story. Despite an article in the BG News, as well as posts from the owner on the Facebook site, 352 people “like” the boycott page on Facebook and a wall post from November 12, stating “That's too bad, I love their food,” shows that some people are still unaware that the whole thing was a misunderstanding.

How much money has this local business lost due to this misunderstanding? The power of Facebook compelled at least 352 people to pledge to avoid Pollyeyes without any real evidence besides a posted sign, long removed by the time most of the members joined.

The thing I find most interesting is that 352 people (mostly students) jumped on the boycott bandwagon, but the combined total voters for the two on campus precincts was only 654, less than double the amount of boycotters.

The point being that while 352 people were ready to speak out against Polleye's “discrimination,” those same people likely did not even show up at the polls to vote on the ordinances.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A map of Bowling Green pizza places

Here is a list of the pizza places available in Bowling Green. Each location offers a unique pizza, with quality ranging from awful to delicious. So if you are in the mood for pizza, but not for your usual, pick a location at random and enjoy (or not.)

View Pizza Places in Bowling Green by Cheesy in BGeezy in a larger map

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The ballad of a bosco stick

Don't worry there won't be any actual singing. Or rhyming. Instead, we will use this time to discuss bosco sticks. While not strictly pizza, bosco sticks are part of the pizza family. If there were a family reunion, bosco sticks would be invited, though it is probably still legal in most states for pizza and bosco sticks to wed.

That isn't the point, friends. The point is that bosco sticks are delicious. The bosco, or stuffed breadstick, was invented some time ago. The Bosco Pizza Company claims it created it in 1988. In my mind, boscos have been around since dinosaurs. The T-rex returned home from a hard days hunt and broke out a bosco. The triceratops, which technically didn't exist according to meddling scientists, enjoyed a bosco stuffed with leaves.

I diverge from my point yet again. Bowling Green, which did not exist when Dinosaurs did, has a variety of bosco choices. Myles Pizza, the ever popular pizza venue, has some super delicious cheese and pepperoni stuffed breadsticks. These sticks, which come in a pack of six for around $5, got perfect with some dipping sauce. The sticks are often gooey enough to be delicious, but not gooey to the point of being uncooked. There is just the right amount of gooey. Gooey.

The other main option is the place known for its breadsticks, Campus Pollyeyes. Campus Pollyeyes, in an act of one-up-manship I'm sure, has a ton of options for objects to stuff in to your breadsticks. I once ordered a breadstick full of broken glass and mustard, and they delivered. (Editor's note: This is not true at all, Campus Pollyeyes will not put hazardous materials in your food.) The chicken breadsticks are to die for, which you might actually do if you try to conquer a full order. (Editor's note: Not actually likely.) A full order of the sticks will cost you though, as a full order of cheese costs $11 with chicken or roast beef running close to $15. (Editor's note: Editor's notes are fun. Also, they are $14.25 exactly.) (Editor's note: Plus tax.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

BGSU Dining Services part 2: Founders and Macateria

Bowling Green State University
Last week, I ventured to two of the four dining options offered on the BGSU campus and rated their pizza.. My next post will profile the pizza made by the Macateria and Founders Keepers Food Court.

As a two year employee of Founders, I’ve eaten my fair share of their pizza. In the years past, our pizza was made from processed dough and Hunt’s tomato sauce. With a new head chef and a dining service make over, Founders now has a new tasty piece of pie that will surely satisfy any taste.
This semester Founders head chef, Bret Richards, has decided to start from scratch and conduct a home made dough and sauce.

“After a lot of experimenting, I decided to try different recipes for our pizza,” Richards said. “We started with a tomato puree and fresh basil and garlic to add a more spicy taste than sweet. In the process, I made several different pizzas with different kinds of sauces to see what one students liked best. When we finally decided on one, I wanted to make an equally good dough to compliment the taste."

Founders dough is a thick and soft style crust cooked on a lower temperature. Richards said the low, slower cooking time helps the crust rise and makes for a more deep dish style pizza. A coating of garlic butter is added to the crust before every pizza is cooked.

“I probably make over 60 pizza's a day,” said Colleen Hermes, classified staff member at Founders. “We try to make every pizza the best we can. Chef Bret has measured out the ingredients and toppings so the pizza never changes taste wise.”

Along with a great sauce and crust, Founders also has the most unique flavors of pizza offered on campus. Chicken bacon ranch, buffalo chicken wing, Philly cheese steak and chili dog are all amongst some of their fabulous toppings.

Macateria located in Macdonald residence hall on the west side of campus. It is one of the oldest residence halls on campus and is a good reflection of their pizza. Occupying more than 600 students, Macdonald is the most traditional of all the dinning services. Their menu pretty much stays the same throughout the week and so does their pizza. Even though their pizza isn’t made from scratch, their product is pretty tasty compared to the Falcon’s Nest.

Their sauce is sweeter with a hint of sugar that gives the pizza a slight ketchup taste. You can tell they use canned sauce and processed dough. Corn meal covers the bottom of their crust and gives it a gritty taste. The cheese and toppings are of a low quality and the cheese they use is more than likely grade D. In my opinion I think grade D is a pretty fair estimate for Macateria pizza. The students agree.

“I never want to eat a piece of pizza from Macdonald’s ever again,” said Ciara Eddings, former resident of Macdonald. “They never change any of their toppings and the cheese is terrible tasting. Only time I eat it when there is nothing else better. It’s definitely the worst pizza on campus.”

So there you have it folks. A two part series profiling the pizza on BGSU’s campus. Hopefully with new dining facilities being built, the recipe for the university’s pizza will improve. Until then, take this with you: Enjoy the Sun Dial’s and Founders pizza, it’s the best on campus. For a crispy, thinner piece try The Dial. For deep dish style go to Founders. For a piece of garbage go to the Falcon’s Nest or Macateria. Use what I have told you wisely. And remember, stay cheesy Bowling Green.

Students, community members boycott Pagliai's Pizza

Pagliai's Pizza located on 945 South Main Street,
Bowling Green, Ohio
The BG News November 2, 2010

By Brian Bohnert

A local business is the subject of a Facebook movement for a boycott due to allegations that the business has taken a strong stance against a set of antidiscrimination ordinances that are on the ballot for the Tuesday's election.

Pagliai's Pizza is being accused by the Facebook group known as "Boycott Pagliai's (Pollyeyes) Pizza" of placing a sign outside of the establishment that urges people to vote "No" on Propositions 7905 and 7906. The ordinances are designed to grant protection against discrimination in housing, public education, employment and public accommodations to groups not already protected at a state or national level. These ordinances, if passed, will prevent discrimination based on factors such as gender, sexual preferences, pregnancy, veteran status, marital status, gender identity and being HIV positive.

"The ordinances publicly affirm our city as a welcoming community that stands behind the rights of individuals, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, to work, live, go to school, raise a family, start a business and put down roots without fear of discrimination," according to the ONE Bowling Green website. ONE Bowling Green is a grassroots organization set up by members of the community to back the ordinances.

"Boycott Pagliai's" currently has 310 members who are concerned with ending the discrimination that the restaurant is accused of promoting. One member is University sophomore Cherno Biko.

"I was invited to the page fairly late in the game," he said. "It was created on Tuesday, and I began commenting on Friday morning."

Being concerned, Biko said he called Campus Pollyeyes, a pizzeria under the same ownership as Pagliai's Pizza. He spoke with someone to gather more information as to whether or not the business had a specific stance on the two anti-discrimination ordinances. The answer Biko said he received was extremely surprising and unnerving to him.

"[The employee] explained to me that he thinks that there are enough laws on the books and that he did not support the anti-discrimination ordinances," Biko said. "After that moment, I became personally invested in the boycott."

Biko also mentioned this was a hard decision for him to make because he has always been a fan of Pollyeyes.

"As a former patron of that restaurant, it was saddening to realize that I would never again eat one of their famous stuffed breadsticks," Biko said.

The issues on the ballot are important to Biko, and he feels if a business is standing strongly against these ordinances, than it is hurting the community and the world in the long run.

"This is a problem," he said. "People who oppose these ordinances are sending the message that I am not worth protecting, that only my blackness should be protected, not my sexual orientation or my gender."

However, management of the local pizzeria had a much different story. Acting president of Pagliai's Pizza, Scott Nicholson, said this was all a misunderstanding and the placing of the political sign was an action carried out by one single employee. Since then, the business received an abundance of negative feedback from it, he said.

"It was done by one individual that took the liberty upon himself to put that sign out there," Nicholson said. "We do not take a political stance on these issues, and we under no means discriminate."

The sign was placed outside while Nicholson and his wife were on vacation, he said. Once he found out the sign was there, he immediately ordered that it be taken down.

"We actually received a call from a good friend of ours about the sign and once I got the call, I made some calls and had it taken down immediately," Nicholson said.

He said that the business has been serving the community of Bowling Green for more than 40 years, and it has made a point of treating everyone fairly and equally.

Nicholson, assuming ONE BG was behind the boycott, wrote a letter to the coalition, explaining the placing of the sign was simply a misunderstanding.

However, ONE BG was not apart of the effort, Nicholson said.

The creator of the Facebook page still remains a mystery, Biko said.

The boycott may or may not have any long-term influence on Pagliai's business, but Biko knows for sure he will be voting for a cause that is important for him and his community. This is much bigger than just a movement against a pizza place, he said.

"I am glad that we can learn from our past," he said. "I am glad that the road to justice was already paved, and I am glad that my community bravely chose to walk that road."