Most of the student body does not realize that there is a top quality restaurant right on campus. Hidden from view, tucked behind the cafeteria and adjacent the 800 building, with its front doors facing an obscure parking area, the student-run and operated restaurant, “Flavors,” greets the few who are aware of its existence.
“We seem to be the mystery location,” said Rick Prondzinski, the culinary class instructor. “We see students go off campus and eat fast food, and what I really want people to know is that we are here.”
With its front entrance facing the Applied Arts building (600) and Collins Hall (1300), which houses mainly campus offices, Flavors is missed by most students who walk the main paths of the Marysville campus everyday. Most students come and go without even knowing that Flavors exists.
The food served on the menus is all homemade, the students serving up fresh foods, in unique styles. Menus vary depending on what is being taught, but they are never dull, and the food is always a rare pleasure.
“We have a Hawaiian connection for fresh fish,” said Prondzinski “and one in New Zealand for wild game.”
Most people expect high quality food to be a bit pricey, but at Flavors one full meal can be as inexpensive as five dollars. What you pay for a wimpy Big Mac can get you great gourmet food and full table service.
For example, the Flavors menu for Thursday, September 29, included Sweet and Sour Chicken with steamed rice for only $5.25. Or you could have ordered a Pepperoni and Sweet Pepper Melt, with Mozzarella on fresh Ciabatta Bread for only $4.75. Also available on the menu was Philadelphia Beef Pepper Pot Stew for $5.00; Sautéd Breast of Muscovy Duckling, with wild rice and port sauce, for $6.25; Turkey Mole Tostadas for $4.25; Roast Pork with veggies and fries for $5.75; and Spinach & Mushroom Quiche for only $3.75.
When I visited Flavors on September 28, I found the service to be excellent. The greeter cordially showed me to a table by the window and gave me a menu. There was no rushed feeling. The server gave me plenty of time to make my selection, and the environment was completely relaxed. Yet I didn’t have to wait for my drink. The server got it to me quickly. The napkins were folded neatly, and the tablecloths were nice and clean.
The meal I had was the Beef Stroganoff in Puff Pastry with sautéed vegetables. The Stroganoff was delicious. It was juicy and tender as meat should be, yet it fell apart in my mouth and let me savor the flavor. I did not expect the pastry to be as flaky as it was, but it added a great texture to the Stroganoff when forked into it. I also liked the way the Stroganoff was placed in a puff pastry “bowl,” a clever presentation. The vegetables were just soft enough that they melted a bit in my mouth but definitely were not soggy or overcooked.
For dessert, I had a slice of Black & White Cake, which was surprisingly delicious. The chocolate seemed to have bits of caramel spooned into it. The cake itself was so moist that it literally melted in my mouth.
Normally, I would expect such service and fine dining to run me at least $20. But this entire meal cost me only $10 with the tip.
The students of the Food Service Management program run the restaurant, cooking preparing and serving the food as part of the FSM 59R class, Restaurant Operations, a course that prepares students for a future as restaurant entrepreneurs.
“The environment is helping me to get a focus on my goals in life,” said student David Graham, “I wish to run my own restaurant, and to get to that point I have to learn how to run a service.”
Flavors is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 am to 1 pm. All staff and students are welcome.