Photo: Alanna Rizza

Who decides what gets rammed out of the Ram?

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by Juliana Kaminski

They were saucy, they were crunchy yet soft, they were delicately bite sized—and now they’re gone. Customers of Ryerson’s beloved campus pub, the Ram in the Rye, were disappointed to find out the fried cauliflower was taken off the menu.

The Ram revised its menu for the school year, as it usually does, taking out some items while adding others. But the fried cauliflower was a major crowd pleaser—so why did it have to go? Who made that decision? Why can we never have good things?

This isn’t the first time the Ram has stirred controversy with a menu change. In September 2016, students were pissed when the pub dropped its buffalo chicken caesar wrap off the menu.

“I yearned for the spicy, savoury poultry more than anything else,” Joshua Kamaras-Garland wrote on the Ram’s Facebook page. “I panicked, it wasn’t supposed to be this way.”

The pub faced enough scrutiny for losing the wrap that eventually they brought it back. So why disappoint the cauliflower crowd?

Decisions regarding items on the menu are made between the Ram’s management and chefs. Management told The Eyeopener that cauliflower was taken off the menu because the price of the produce fluctuated constantly, and it wasn’t cost effective. Cauliflowers are hard to grow and any small drought or storm can ruin the entire crop.

But Ram staff said the reasons went beyond just pricing—the cauliflower they received was never consistently good. Staff said they would arrive smaller on some days, sometimes too small to make any decent fried cauliflower bites.

“Our chefs would end up having to go across to the Metro and get cauliflower almost everyday,” a Ram in the Rye server told The Eye. Ram management did not comment on this.

Daryn Boscorial, a third-year new media student, who usually ordered the fried cauliflower with a mild smokey barbecue sauce, said she realized they were off the menu as soon as she revisited the Ram this year.

“It wasn’t one of my main options but I liked it a lot,” Boscorial said. “They were healthy and delicious.”

The outrage from taking the fried cauliflower off the menu doesn’t seem to be matching up to the buffalo chicken caesar campaign of 2016. The Ram’s Facebook page has no complaints about it yet. Servers at the Ram told The Eye that after the first week they hadn’t heard much about it either.

Management replaced the cauliflower with Greek fries which is a Mediterranean version of poutine where the fries are topped with tzatziki, feta, lemon and oregano sauce. It’s not vegan, but it is vegetarian. The Ram also added tandoori chicken and naan to the menu, while stepping up its grilled cheese game. Grilled cheese no more—now it’s a crispy fried cheese sandwich.

So that’s the story behind the cauliflower. The delicious, saucy fried bites will be missed, and probably totally forgotten in another month. But nothing, not even the satisfaction of Ryerson’s campus pub regulars, is worth going to Metro for.

With files from Premila D’Sa

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