Let the students cook: Review of 72Fifty restaurant

Aaron Luna, Sports Editor

Walking through campus you come across a building. The Mesa Commons, home to two eateries that are available to students, is located in the center of the campus. The restaurants are the main cafe and, the subject of this review, 72Fifty. 

72Fifty, located in MC-209, is a restaurant that doubles as the culinary department’s labsite meaning that all the food is cooked and prepared by students trying to . The restaurant also has a full-size bakery and regularly makes fresh baked goods for all three meals served at the restaurant.

Coming in for lunch you’re greeted by a nice ambiance of music and a small couch for waiting. The maitre d is attentive and punctual, and assisting in ordering the food. The meal system is not fully table service.. The dining area has both indoor and outdoor seating. If you choose to sit in the outdoor area, you’ll given a beautiful view of the Mesa College campus. The tables are clean and well spaced apart, and the restaurant uses ceramic plates and silverware, while also providing glasses of water. A staff member will also come out with bread soon after you sat down. The dinner roll is nice, a little sweet, and very warm. Flaky and airy, yet dense and creamy.

For lunch, the meal for this review was the French onion soup and the grilled chicken sandwich with onion rings, but the kitchen changes its menu weekly. The soup came out hot, but not scalding. It is full of gruyere cheese, jammy caramelized onions, and two small pieces of french bread. The soup is also rich and very flavorful. While most restaurants make the mistake of oversalting their soup, this was instead too greasy. It is bothersome at first, but gave it the benefit of the doubt and, and you’ll proceed to consume the whole bowl.

The main item, the chicken sandwich, is the highlight of the meal. When ordered, it can conjure up simple ideas, something along the lines of the chick-fil a grilled-chicken sandwich- cooked on a flat top with fake grill marks on the meat. That is wrong. The sandwich consisted of a chicken breast, seasoned and cooked in a pan, on a house roll, with a slice of pepper jack cheese. The sandwich was also covered in a sweet and spicy chili sauce. The cheese was not forward with the flavor, so if you really like the cheese on your chicken sandwiches to be there, try to order it with extra cheese. For those with an aversion to cheese however, this wont be an issue. The issue is the bun. Using the dinner as the sandwich bread was innovative, but the bread is a little too sweet. The bread will remind you slightly of a Kings Hawaiian roll, and seems a little off when paired with the savory and spicy chicken. The onion rings are good though. Fried shoestring-style, they are flakey and crunchy, and not super greasy. Their taste is a much less salty version of the bloomin’ onion from Outback Steakhouse.

And now for dessert. After initially decided on flan, the Maître d came before the end of the meal to inform that the flan was unavailable, so the chocolate éclair was ordered instead. There was a rush, so it was taken to go. From the bite of the first small éclair, it is amazing. The rich chocolate and the airy pastry go so well together, coupled with the creamy custard filling. The other one, however, broke clean in half as while being eaten. It fell apart, and the custard filling almost fell out. But after sandwiching the halves together, it still tastes as good as the other one, though not being filled to the brim makes it seem more hollow than the other one.

Overall, the experience at 72Fifty was great. The food was good, for the most part, and the service was impeccable. It is highly recommend visiting if you come onto campus. That said, it will cost you. The total meal was about $13, with the entre costing $9 and the soup and the eclairs costing $2 each. Compared to other restaurants though, you get your value and it helps the students to gain experience working in a real life culinary environment. 72Fifty is open Monday to Thursday from 8:15-10 a.m. for breakfast, 10:45 a.m, -1 p.m. for lunch and from 4:15-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday nights