Tomato Wheel Slices Up Campus Food
By Lilia Wood – Syracuse, N.Y. (CitrusTV) – SU’s Food Services has cut ties with S’barro’s Pizza in both the dining halls and food courts after over twenty years of being partners. The idea of change sparked from students craving healthier and tastier options here on campus.
Sue Bracy, the Director of Retail and Catering Operations, received comments from students wanting “a lot more fresh” items like local produce, pesto and sriracha. The requests from students could not be fulfilled through the S’barros partnership.
“We were getting a lot of comments about changing it up for something different,” Bracy said. “So, we decided to go with our own concept because we have more mobility to change up the menu.”
Food Services started the process of creating The Tomato Wheel last winter by researching pizza recipes and surveying students in both the Schine Student Center and Goldstein Student Center.
Then, the Tomato Wheel spent the summer developing their own homemade recipes, and the artisan pizza shop is now opened in the Kimmel, Goldstein and Schine food courts.
“It’s pretty good. The pizza feels a little more heartier,” said Anothy Abeja, a senior. “I like the dough a little bit more.”
Bracy said the main difference between S’barros and the Tomato Wheel is the sauce.
“We got a lot of comments in the past about the sauce is too sweet and this sauce is more of a traditional pizza sauce,” Bracy said.
S’barros previously served strombolis and calzones, but students were not interested in those options anymore. Food services got creative and invented their most popular item on the new menu: the buffalo twists.
“So, we took some of the garlic sticks we had and we twisted them together because in the dome and some of the cafes, the pretzel twists are really popular,” Bracy said. “So we twisted them together and we put buffalo chicken down the middle and we call it a buffalo twist, and it’s really popular with the students.”
Students are also encouraged to pitch pizza ideas to The Tomato Wheel to add them to their menu.
“I like the sauce. It’s like moderately firm but not like overly firm,” said Luke Burke, a freshman at SU. “So you can like hold it and it won’t flop. I like the size of it. It’s not too big. Not too small. So you can get one as a snack or two as a meal.”
Food services plans to continue to evolve their menu and update their food courts especially when the Schine Student Center get renovated next year.