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Clarkson’s Main Street Grill features only locally grown foods

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POTSDAM - While many college and university dining spots are now featuring some local food items, Clarkson University has taken the concept one step further by opening an on-campus eatery featuring solely local foods.

The Main Street Grill in the Cheel Campus Center is now offering students specialties prepared with 100-percent-local produce, meat and dairy products — all procured from a radius of 200 miles or less from campus.

“Our Clarkson students, faculty and staff have a great interest in sustainability and are always encouraging us to look for ways to defy the standard concepts of campus dining,” says Senior Director of Dining Services John Lehmann. “So, this venue is the next logical step in our ‘green’ practices. We’re not only supporting our local, regional and state businesses, but we’re also being sustainable by using fewer non-renewable resources to have food delivered to campus.”

Campus Executive Chef Kyle Mayette says that the Main Street Grill is currently offering three sandwiches: “From the Pasture,” “From the Coop,” or “From the Field.”

The From the Pasture sandwich features a one-third pound Angus Beef patty from Kilcoyne Farms in Brasher Falls. It is served on a whole-wheat bun from the Potsdam Food Coop’s Carriage House Bakery and topped with Great Lakes Cheese from Adams, and local mixed greens and tomato.

The From the Coop sandwich features a grilled free-range chicken breast from Wellington Farms in Ontario. It is served on a Carriage House multi-grain bun and topped with Vermont Creamery goat cheese spread from Websterville, Vt., house-pickled local red onions and local mixed greens and tomato.

The From the Field sandwich features local grilled seasonal vegetables, Carriage House pita bread, Vermont Creamery goat cheese spread, and local mixed greens and tomato.

The Main Street Grill also offers local, fresh hand-cut French fries, as well as poutine, made from Meier’s Artisan Cheese cheese curds from Fort Covington.

Mayette says that the menu will change seasonally, depending on what local food products are available.

The grill does not serve food in take-out containers, but instead plates dishes on china or on the university’s new re-usable take-out containers, which students will be able to exchange in multiple campus locations for a token to use for their next container.

“The new Main Street Grill is an expansion of our ‘Adirondack Kitchen’ selection of foods, which already features various all-local salads and sandwiches, and is sold at many locations on campus,” Mayette said.

Many other local food products are used in Clarkson’s kitchens, including onions, New York state cheeses, and the Kilcoyne Farms beef used in chili.

“Clarkson continues to expand on their commitment to sustainability with the introduction of their new eatery featuring solely locally produced products,” says Kilcoyne Farms owner Patrick Kilcoyne. “In partnering with local producers, Clarkson is meeting increased consumer demand for local, sustainably grown food choices. I’m looking forward to working with Clarkson in the future to continue to evolve our operation and provide them with quality, locally grown and processed beef, and I thank them for their support of small family farms and their dedication to sustainability and the local economy.”

The Main Street Cafe is just one of Clarkson’s contributions to the local economy.

Last fall, the university announced a total economic impact of more than $270 million to the regional north country economy through its institutional operations and jobs related to supporting student services and commercialization of research.

See video of the new Main Street Café at http://youtu.be/6Yc_TLJ2kNQ .

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