by Ammon Churchill Medina
Alice Waters said, “Cooking creates a sense of well-being for yourself and the people you love and brings beauty and meaning to everyday life. And all it requires is common sense—the common sense to eat seasonally, to know where your food comes from, to support and buy from local farmers and producers.”
Pizzeria 712 has common sense. It’s impossible to talk about the amazing food they’re turning out without mentioning the local farmers that provide it. The Arugula Salad I had was not just picked up that day, but pulled from the dirt by Orem’s Chavez Farm that very morning. Their pigs come from Christiansen Hog Heaven. Stephen Lott, the head chef, explained that in order for a pig to be raised humanely it needs about 50 square feet of pasture to itself. The pigs at Hog Heaven are getting an Acre. Everything I ate at Pizzeria 712 was delicious and Lott says it’s because they’re cooking simply and cooking fresh. Lott says “It’s not that we’re trying to buy into being hip, when you know that tomatoes are 6 months out of season why are you still craving a tomato because you’re just gonna be disappointed.” You won’t be disappointed at Pizzeria 712, because their menu adapts to what is fresh every two weeks. I’d love to rave about the delicious Butternut Squash pizza, the Tomato Jam that’s cooked for hours, or the Pear Galette but it won’t do you much good because when tomatoes stop growing and the pears stop getting plump on the tree you won’t be able to order it. So go try whatever is fresh right now.
The walls reflect the restaurant’s love of all things local. In fact, they even set up a collaboration with the UVU art department so students could create a collection for the restaurant. They want art so bring it in any day between 2:30 and 5. Lott says, “We want to fill these walls. If we could put a piece of art on every space we’d be happy.”
“Sometimes we get a misconception, why are our prices so expensive? Sure if one person wants to come in and eat it’s twenty bucks, but if you come in with four people you can get two appetizers and two entrees and everyone is walking out of there spending fifteen bucks.” So grab a friend and enjoy a college priced meal. Or you can spend that money on Papa John’s but your money won’t support your community and you won’t have the same incredible meal.