Brews News

Flavors Eatery

Dayton

(Lutz 2014)
Chad W. Lutz
Nestled inside an unassuming shopping center just outside of Dayton, OH, in the city of Centerville, sits Flavors Eatery. The building the restaurant occupies looks like it was built in the mid-1960s/early 1970s and has been left alone since then. The choppy awning and red-brick outer walls show wear and tear. The parking lot is a patch job of tar and asphalt. If it wasn't for Google, I think I would have driven right past the place. However, despite cosmetic issues, Flavors holds its own.

I wasn't really sure what to think of the place based on the name and the menu available online. In fact, I was dreading the possibility there might not be anything for me to eat, as I am incredibly picky about what foods I ingest. Everything appeared to be drizzled in some sort of cream sauce, known simply as "Flavors Special Sauce". All I could think of was McDonald's and their "Special Sauce", and we all know how nutritious that is. But when I got there and started snooping around issues like food handling procedures, ingredients, and cooking methods, I found Flavors to be exactly what I was looking for.

The restaurant offers not-so-typical fare for the not-so-typical diets becoming more and more typical in recent years. Patrons enjoy vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, slow-carb, gluten-free, and dairy-free options of delicious, California-inspired entrees and sides. The establishment even offers outdoor seating for those summer days where you just want to kick back with a good book and a tall smoothie. Looking at the menu, you might think the restaurant has a multiple-personality disorder; there is honestly a little of everything. But that's one of the things that truly makes Flavors unique. There really is something for everyone.

I ordered hot green tea, which, on a hot day, isn't always the greatest of choices, but served me well given my nerves for a race I was running the next day. The tea was served to me in an old, white china set, complete with saucer and silver stirring spoon. Classy. Our water glasses were tall, wide, colorful, and topped with oranges. My friend ordered a berry smoothie he said was excellent. It must've been because he downed it in five minutes. Admittedly, we were hungry. We fought some bees while we waited for our food and eventually had to move inside. One of the bees was just a little too curious for our liking, but you'll have that in the fall, I suppose.

Once inside and situated, it only took about another ten minutes for our food to arrive. While we waited, we took in the d├ęcor, which included a giant mural of fruit houses made of oranges and apples. There were also old, antique pieces of furniture in a lounge area tucked into one of the front corners of the main dining area. At rough guess, I would say you could fit about forty-five people inside of Flavors Eatery, and with the outdoor seating options, fifty-five total guests on premises. It probably isn't the type of place you'd bring an entire office or a reunion, but it's the perfect type of environment to eat out with friends, grab a meal with family, or snack while plugging away at reports or simply skimming through your music collections (which are awesome-don't lie).
The delicious, green-bean garnished Veggie Wrap-a-rito and a side of house chips and salsa.
(Lutz 2014)
I left the restaurant feeling full but not overly. There were plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and downhome, butter-based pastries for sale, but thinking about my race the next morning had me waving the white flag of surrender. The portions were more than generous for their asking prices. I think I would have burst if I had eaten a single bite more. The grilled veggie wrap I ordered was stuffed to its flour gills and was spilling out over my plate. The wraps available on the menu (called Wrap-a-ritos) come garnished with sliced green beans, house chips, and the aforementioned house sauce, which turns out to be dairy, egg, and gluten-free. How about them apples? McDonald's, listen up! Each bite was savory, delicate, and full of flavor. The menu also features salads and sandwiches (subwiches) with unique, California twists as well as custom-made bakes, like the Sante Fe chicken bake and the Popeye Spinach. Pizza lovers are also heartily welcomed at Flavors, as the restaurant features a half dozen specialty pies and the ability for patrons to create their own.

Flavors is one of those places you'd want to keep in your back pocket for a rainy day or a quiet afternoon when you're looking for something different. Would I make this a staple place to eat out? Probably not. But what the restaurant does offer is options for those with special dietary needs, which may, in effect, make Flavors a bit more than a casual place to eat. It may become your favorite.
Flavors Eatery
865 E Franklin St, Dayton, OH 45459
(937) 434-6336
Monday thru Saturday: 11:00am to 9:00pm
Closed Sunday
www.flavorseatery.com
Prices: $4.00 to $9.00