Welcome to Flavortown!

Hi! My name is Joel, and I’ll be taking care of you during your visit to Flavortown. I hope you came hungry.

Here in Flavortown, we’ve got plenty of places to eat, and places to drink, and places to eat and drink at the same time. And they’re all awesome. I mean, we really shred it when it comes to food here in Flavortown. We don’t have much in the way of music or literature, mind you, but we’ve got everything else you’d want. The only thing we don’t have here is Baskin-Robbins. You know why? Because they only have thirty-one flavors, that’s why. That’s not how we roll in Flavortown, hoss.

We’re right in the center of town, at the corner of Chestnut Chili Ginger Lime Street, and Maple Cream Honey Caramel Boulevard. The Cilantro Corridor runs just north of here, and if you keep going you’ll hit the Herbal District, between Savory-Sage Street and Rosemary-Thyme Avenue. If you go the other direction, you’ll hit the Spice Center and Habanero Plaza. That can be kind of a rough neighborhood.

Our special today is the garlic-prune-ginger duck confit. That’s served with a little bit of truffle dust on top, and some tangerine zest, and a pine-nut and cucumber chutney, and you’ve got yourself what I think is a goddamned collision of savory and sweet.

What’ll you have to drink? Jamaican jerk mango iced tea? Pineapple melon tequila lemonade? Vanilla nutmeg hibiscus cola? We make our cola from cane sugar, you know. No high-fructose corn syrup in that sucker. If you want water, we have maraschino cherry water, infused with ground Sumatran pepper, or Thai-chili water with star anise and a slice of kiwi.

Look, I understand. This is your first trip to Flavortown. It can be a little overwhelming at times. I remember the first time I came here. I ordered a hot dog. They gave me a chicken Andouille sausage, marinated in ginger-soy sauce, on a sesame-caraway roll with Dijon mustard, celery salt, and a banana-pepper chipotle slaw. You want to talk about an intense experience, I mean, that was it. It was like zip-lining down a mountain with your hair on fire.

People say, oh, well, those guys over in Flavortown, they just jumble up a lot of different kinds of flavors together and don’t really care whether it tastes good or not. There’s a science to it, though. Take the bread here on the table. Okay, this is a sourdough rye bread with a cream-cheese raisin spread with a little bit of balsamic vinegar. The bread itself is fermented, so that gets you the umami going right there. There’s salt in the bread, too, and the crust is browned, so you get a little bit of caramelization. The rye is a little bit bitter, and the raisins in the spread even that out with more sweetness. And the vinegar gets you the sour component. Salty, sour, sweet, bitter, umami, and it all goddamned explodes in your mouth. That’s the Flavortown way.

Do you have any questions about the menu? Since this is your first time, you might want to try a burger. It’s the best way to customize your own personal flavor profile. Don’t order the bison burger, though, it’s overpriced for what you get. My recommendation would be the sriracha-horseradish mayo, on a sesame-rosemary bun with heirloom tomatoes. You know, something simple. That comes with hand-cut Cajun fries with saffron-curry ketchup.

I’m sorry. Really. I know. I’m talking too much. It’s just that I’m so enthusiastic about being here in Flavortown. I know we get a bad rap sometimes. The food critics have been awful. There was that place not too far from here–you know the one I’m talking about? Over in the Cobbler District. They were doing some amazing things with seafood desserts. They had this anchovy-mussel spread that they infused with lemon curd and served on pound cake. It was spectacular. But the critic didn’t order that. He got the vinegar-cured Chilean sea bass with blackberry-walnut crust, which wouldn’t have been too bad if they didn’t slather it with marshmallow fluff. Well, of course, if you’re going to take a big risk like that, you’re going to run into trouble. That place closed down, but we’re still here, and we’ve got a Parmesan-peppercorn grilled shrimp kabob with a blueberry-almond marinade. That’ll knock your goddamned eyes out.

You want the steak? Hot damn. We marinate that sucker in a strawberry-malt vinegar and cook it over artisanal charcoal sprinkled with Old Bay. Then we put a wasabi-Provolone crust with it, and serve it with the sautéed mushrooms with the paprika-mustard sauce. I mean, you came all the way to Flavortown, you might as well live it up a little, am I right? YOLO and all that good stuff.

No, we don’t have Heinz 57 sauce. That goes against everything we believe in Flavortown. The flavor profile is designed to bring out the real taste of the meat, not substitute it for some corporate version of spicy ketchup. No offense. The best thing I can do for you is to serve it without the crust–which I hate doing, you know–and maybe put a little glaze on it. Plum-hoisin, something like that, with a little Worcestershire to give you the similar kind of flavor. Does that sound OK?

And what do you want on your salad?


Seriously? You drive all the way out to Flavortown, and you ask for ranch dressing? What the hell is wrong with you?

Get out. Go back to your bland, boring life, and your inadequate palate. We don’t want your kind here in Flavortown.

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