Food for thought: Prairie’s pungent pizza


Hannah Agpoon

Graphic by Hannah Agpoon.

Gabby Hernandez, Contributing Writer

Oh Prairie Canary, we all knew this day would come. I am speaking of the glorious day when your kingdom falls and your deepest flaws are laid bare for the world to see. I knew deep inside that my readers were waiting in eager anticipation for your downfall.

Let me set the scene. It is frigid. I am car-less. So, a toilsome twenty-minute walk later, the S&B sports editor and I arrived at your door. We opened it and entered. Without any reservation, the hostess guided us to the tall tables near the bar on the far wall. I was excited because these tables are positioned such that I could see all who existed in that space and at that time. According to my calculations, Grinnellians on dates comprised 30 percent of Prairie’s inhabitants.

Our waitress gave us our menus and told us about their specials for the day: the flatbread, a boring steak and a steak with apple marmalade. I wished to know what was so special about this $12 flatbread, so I asked. The waitress started listing ingredients, each one making me feel more and more like I was in a fever dream. Provolone, blue and goat cheese, oh my! Who thought that was a good idea? 

The toppings included bacon, caramelized onions, dried cherries and a honey drizzle. At the sound of the word “bacon” my heart fluttered. Maybe the taste of this charmingly crunchy breakfast meat would be enough to bear the triple-cheese-terror. Against my better judgment, I ordered the flatbread. 

When the flatbread arrived, I was slightly disappointed with its puniness. When I opened my hand and held it over the pizza, I found them to be of equal size. With my first bite came the calming texture of a gentle yet elastic cheese cloud. The pungent goat cheese and stomach-turning blue cheese fought with each other throughout the entire digestive process. I couldn’t finish more than half of what I was served, and for the first time, I neither finished my meal nor brought it home as a leftover.

After eating that monstrosity of a pizza, I finally understood the true meaning of “forsaken.” There is no way you thought this pizza would be a good idea, Prairie. I suppose I should have known better. Truly terrible food is sometimes both affordable and not on the menu. Maybe it is because of their hatred for college students that they put unruly cheese on everything that would otherwise be delicious. 

There was one bite where I found the needle in the haystack. It contained a slight amount of caramelized onion and a generous amount of bacon. The onion and bacon were a duo as powerful as Applejacks apple and cinnamon cereal. Together, they were able to conquer the unappetizing blanket of cheese that lay upon a beautifully cooked flatbread. 

Prairie is amazing at squashing their own potential. Had the cheeses been replaced, they would likely have a signature dish in the flatbread. The toppings, when found in the correct proportions, were remarkably novel.

My critics in the past have poked at my everlasting and omnipresent kindness towards Grinnell restaurants. “Chuong’s deserved worse,” they said. To them I respond: I save my energy for establishments that are deliberate in their disgusting-ness. Prairie’s greatest fault is its passion for gross cheese. Then again, maybe I was the unwise person in this whole ordeal. After all, I am lactose-intolerant.