GroCo: A Search for FoCo’s Least Appealing Options

By Parker Richards, The Dartmouth Staff, and Kate Hildreth | 11/12/15 9:21am

On a gloomy Monday evening, we headed to FoCo to taste test the grossest looking foods being served that night. It was a particularly grim evening, and we had a lot to try — although sadly most of the foods we tried were just as gross (if not more so) than they looked. We left FoCo with our hunger notsatiated and our minds reeling from the disgust we felt at the sight of such vulgar foods.
The Soup

There were two soups offered at FoCo on Monday: broccoli cheddar (a fan favorite) and French onion. Given the tried-and-true love of broccoli cheddar, I opted for the latter. My first impression of the soup was pleasant — it almost tasted like the many French onions I have enjoyed over the years. But after a few seconds, it began to taste chemically, almost like hot garbage. There was nothing French about this soup, except that there is garbage in France. 2/10

A Selection of Salads

Olives: They tasted like olives, but were extremely mushy — they might have been as old as the Ancient Greeks. Completely inedible. 2/10.

Detox salad: First of all, I have my doubts about this salad’s “detoxing” abilities. It tasted like ground up broccoli. There was no flavor other than broccoli and a slight sweetness from dates, which didn’t help the flavor much. 3/10

Vinegar rice salad: True to its name, this salad is actually just rice and zucchini soaked in vinegar. The accuracy of the advertising could not make up for its unpleasant taste. 2/10

Chickpea salad: Looked terrible, but was a pleasant surprise. It was well-seasoned with rosemary and olive oil, and the different textures of the chickpeas and edamame made it taste quite good. 7/10

Chicken quesadilla salad: Leave it to FoCo to take the leftovers from the lunch panini special and convert it into a dinner item (e.g. taco pizza). Sadly, this sustainable effort fell flat, as the quesadilla salad tasted like spicy cream cheese. 3/10

The Main Course

Polenta and eggplant casserole: For reasons not known, the eggplant tasted like vinegar that was somehow rotting. The polenta and sauce were edible but flavorless. It was an altogether bland, boring dish without any notable qualities except its somewhat unsavory flavor. It won't kill you, but it's not exactly recommended either.3/10

Grilled cheese: At last, a staple, an American classic! Surely the grilled cheese at FoCo must be lovely! Sadly, no. Rather than a delicious ball of cheesy goodness, FoCo's grilled cheese isa tasteless orange blob of industrial waste. While technical edible —the wheat bread isn't half bad, and would be rather good as toast — the grilled cheese on the whole is disgusting. You'd be better off getting cheese and bread from the sandwich bar and making your own in the panini press.2/10

Vegan pizza: I promise you,you'd rather starve than eat this. The "cheese" ("chemically created oral torture" might be closer) is appalling in a way that I could not truly comprehend before eating it. Please avoid this monstrosity and the emotional pain it gave us at all costs.0/10

Macaroni and cheese pizza: This bizarre, cheese-covered relic of a Wisconsin dairy farmmight actually be tasty. We wouldn't know: it looked far too heinous and artery-destroying to even consider its consumption. No rating.


Cider glazed parsnips: That gross stuff you have to eat at Passover? Those weird foods of unknown provenance without any discernible dietary purpose?That basically is just these incredibly bitter bits of marinated hellspawn. The one redeeming factor is that they technically docontain nutrients, which could also be said of irradiated plutonium (just saying). 1/10

Lentil stew: It shouldn't normally be an insult to call a stew "wet," but, well, in this case it just wasn't pleasant. The lentils — thankfully — tasted like lentils, but they came in a sickly, lukewarm broth of no clear nutritional or psychological value. The dish was sickening, wet and flavorless. 3/10


Oreo pudding: This was the grossest looking dessert I could find at FoCo, so I decided to take the plunge. The Oreos tasted great, and they were soft but not stale since they had been sitting on the pudding. But once I had eaten all the Oreos I was pretty disappointed, since the pudding was very flavorless. They yellow color is also much less appetizing without the Oreos to cover it. 7/10

Parker Richards, The Dartmouth Staff, and Kate Hildreth