Located on West Gilman Street just off State Street, D.P. Dough, with their full menu of creative calzones for late night snackers, offers students an alternative to pizza and fast food restaurants. D.P. stands for Dan and Penny, the first names of the mother-son combination who established their first calzone eatery in Amherst, Mass., in 1987. Twenty years later, the newest incarnation of D.P. Dough now calls the city of Madison its home.
What's in a calzone? Let's not ask
After nearly five minutes of deliberation, I decided to get the "Strike Zone," which contains eggplant, spinach and garlic, along with ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Ten to 20 minutes later — a wait time which applies even if you are one of only three people in the restaurant, which has been the case every time I've visited — and my 'zone was hand-delivered to me by one of the employees. In the box, I found the 'zone and a small cup of marinara sauce. First, I suggest ignoring the sauce because the two times I have braved it, I had to apologize profusely to my taste buds for putting something so awful in my mouth. My first bite was a lot of dough and not a lot of filling, but once I made it to the center, I was almost more disappointed than I was with my first bite. The cheese was warm and gooey for the first three minutes of my calzone experience, but by the time I reached the second half of my 'zone, the cheese started to congeal and had become slightly unsavory. In addition, the ingredients they used seemed to have come out of a middle school cafeteria and in no way resembled what a calzone should contain. The taste of garlic was almost nonexistent, while the scarcity of the eggplant made me wonder if they had more than one of the vegetables to use for the entire night. Likewise, the spinach was the type you find in pre-bagged salads in your local grocery store, and it almost completely ruined the experience for me.
They like me, they really like me
The employees at D.P. Dough, however, left little to be desired from the staff of a new restaurant. Between hand delivering the calzones and asking if we had enjoyed everything as we left, I felt as though they genuinely cared about their customers. After acknowledging that everything was satisfactory, I was told, in what came off as slight desperation, that I should continue bringing my business to D.P. Dough, and not the slightly newer Lovshack, which just opened on State Street. Yet, with the drunken hordes as their main source of income, D.P. Dough's future is yet to be seen.