Photos and Words by Natalie Goldberg
What if I told you about a place on campus where you can get fresh, bakery-quality pastries for the price of a few dining points? A place where you can find a new selection of sandwiches, salads, soup, smoothies and more? If you have yet to try Rize, located on the bottom floor of Marciano Commons, make the trip down Bay State Road to find your new favorite place to snack and study.
From tasty breakfast burritos to addictive bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches on warm, soft croissants (my personal favorite!) to freshly baked, fluffy muffins and a variety of rich coffee flavors, Rize is the place to go for a quick, filling breakfast.
The lunch or dinner menu consists of a variety of healthy and unique sandwiches from the Farmhouse sandwich with roasted vegetables to the Texan sandwich with BBQ brisket. All choices come with your choice of a side salad or homemade chips. If you’re not in the mood for a sandwich, their refreshing salads include mixes you cannot get anywhere else on campus, like a Mediterranean Salad with falafel or the (highly recommended) Boston Salad with butternut squash and roasted apples.
Some of the most popular menu items around lunchtime are the Rizers. A Rizer has all the components of a sandwich stuffed inside of fluffy, flaky bread--something completely unique to BU! Try a Chipotle Turkey Rizer (roasted turkey, smoked bacon, chipotle aioli, and roasted red pepper) or a Neopolitan Rizer (sundried tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, basil pesto, and Yukon gold potatoes.)
Even with all that Rize has to offer daily, what sets Rize apart from any other spot on campus are its pastries. We interviewed the pastry chef, Dawn Baloy, to learn a bit more about what makes these sweets so delicious and incomparable to that of any other bakery around.
Dawn originally wanted to become an artist, but her exposure to pastry arts in high school allowed her to realize that she could combine her two passions. After obtaining a degree in pastry arts from Johnson and Whales University, Dawn started her career at different hotels and catering services, making restaurant quality pastries. Her aim is to create “anything with color, height, drama, any kind of artistic spin” that makes it “look good--so good that you want to take a picture and eat it!” These are the exact type of products available every day at Rize. Dawn's specialty cupcakes have appeared in numerous forms of social media, especially in photos on Instagram. If you’re lucky enough to try one, you will know that they taste even better then they look! From seasonal treats to customized birthday cakes, Dawn adds a meticulous, creative touch to everything she makes.
She comes into the bakery at 5:30am to ensure everything is fresh and baked from scratch, and you can taste it in all of the pastries--especially first thing in the morning. Each day, there are new varieties of quiches, muffins (I recommend the cranberry or pistachio, yum!) and other treats to try. In fact, Dawn consistently adds new things to the menu by browsing Pinterest for inspiration. Instead of making the same pastries and having the same basic routine every day, Dawn explains, “I educate myself and motivate myself. Otherwise, I feel like I would get lazy if I don’t try and do something different and push myself.” Just this past week, she added the Caprese tart, which consists of mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and balsamic glaze on top of a flaky crust. She also plans on introducing new vegan items to the menu and has been asked to create Sargent Choice dessert items as well. Additionally, Dawn is always open to new ideas from the students themselves. “If a student ever says, ‘hey Dawn, have you tried this?’ I’ll do it. For example, someone asked for a red velvet muffin, so I’m going to try and put that out for Valentine's Day.” Dawn clearly cares very much about the students she serves, the people with which she works and most importantly, the quality of the food that she creates.
Joseph Cacciatore, the Senior Food Service Director, said, “Ultimately, it is fresh product. Dawn is making desserts on a daily basis, fresh, and they’re fantastic. You can’t beat what you have here. We have restaurant quality desserts in a day-in day-out basis in this small little location that I would challenge with any bakery in the North End, to the South Shore, to anywhere in the city. What’s coming out of here is comparable to anything you can get inside the city, and if that’s not a reason to come down here, I don’t know what is.”
Aside from the delicious food and incredible, dedicated staff, Rize's calm environment makes it the perfect place to study without all the noise of the dining hall or GSU. Eat in and relax at a table next to a chalkboard wall lined with messages from students or stop in for take out as you go about your busy day.
Rize Bottom floor of Marciano Commons 100 Bay State Road Boston, MA 02215
Mon-Fri 7:00am-5:00pm Sat-Sun Closed