The Finest Bytes [Part 2] 5 In-Game Eateries
Welcome, my dear readers, to the second iteration of The Finest Bytes!
For those of you joining us for your first culinary quest, I am Brock Stroganoff Esquire, and I bid you prepare your palate for a most palatial pilgrimage. And to those of you returning from our first outing, I commend you for demonstrating such fine taste in returning for another sample of gaming gastronomy.
So, my dear readers, join me as we sample some of the food that gaming has to offer.
#5—A Chaotic Kitchen (Overcooked!)
Dear readers, our first outing is an educational one. Or rather, it was intended to be.
I travelled to the kitchens of Overcooked! to get a glimpse of the artistry that goes into crafting an epicurean experience. Yet I was greeted not with artistry, but bedlam. Dear readers, I cannot begin to describe the scene of chaos that unfolded before me; I was witnessing the consequences of the idiom “too many chefs” in the most literal sense. That this restaurant is able to function at all, let alone maintain a “Very Positive” rating, is an absolute wonder – especially when the kitchens of Overcooked! are located in utterly ridiculous locations such as volcanoes and spaceships.
I had neither the constitution nor the courage to consume the dishes that I witnessed being prepared, but I shall nonetheless rate this venue based on my limited experience of the atmosphere.
Rating: 1 out of 5 Seats on the Couch
#4—Alleyway (Streets of Rage)
I fled through the rear door of the chaotic kitchens of Overcooked! and found myself standing in an alleyway, still ravenous, as I was yet to sate my hunger. I wandered for a time in this questionable neighborhood – me! Brock Stroganoff Esquire! Wandering through some dirty back alley like a filthy vagrant!
Meanwhile, everywhere I looked, I was confronted by loutish thugs beating their little-remaining brains out of one another. It was too much to bear, my dear readers. Even for one such as I, there is a point where our basest needs overcome our most closely held convictions. A somewhat unrefined blonde gentleman in blue jeans invited me to take a seat and share his turkey. Though I am ashamed for dining with this peasant in a back alley, I was most grateful for his generosity. The turkey was surprisingly succulent, and I felt instantly revitalized.
However, I was soon informed by my oafish companion that he had found this turkey in a trashcan. It took immense willpower to prevent myself vomiting all over the alleyway like a drunken bride-to-be on her hen’s night, but gentlemen of my caliber are known for their willpower, and I was able to overcome.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Fists in the Face
#3—Cluckin’ Bell (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)
Fleeing the violent alleyways as fast as I was able, I flagged down a cab and asked to be taken to the nearest restaurant where I might rinse the taste of garbage-tainted poultry from my palate.
Dear readers, I warn you – taxi drivers are not to be trusted with restaurant recommendations. I found myself out of the proverbial frying pan and into the fire – unlike the frying pan, the fire was most definitely not proverbial.
Within five minutes of arriving in this neighborhood, we found ourselves literally under fire as some local hoodlums battled on a dirty street corner. Worry not, my faithful audience, for I was not injured, and soon found refuge in this taxi driver’s interpretation of a “restaurant,” a plastic-and-vinyl fast food outlet bathed in harsh, fluorescent light. My expectations were, as you could imagine, exceedingly low, and I desperately hoped that I was not glimpsed in this place by Nigella Lawson or Jamie Oliver, for my reputation would forever be in tatters.
Approaching the apathetic teenager behind the counter, I ordered a “Cluckin’ Big Meal,” a name I can only assume was some simian’s attempt at a vulgar play on words. Shakespeare would turn in his grave to see what has become of his beautiful tongue. Dear readers, you would not believe my astonishment as I regretfully bit into the fried chicken glistening in its cardboard box. The satisfying crunch, the burst of savory juices, the heady aroma of still-sizzling oil – I was left utterly flabbergasted by some of the finest chicken to ever pass my lips.
Sadly, this experience was cut short. Would that I could have stayed longer, but my meal was interrupted by yet another hoodlum waving a firearm and yelling his name “CJ.” I decided that it was probably in my best interests to leave immediately before this chicken became my last meal.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Incarcerated Battery Hens
#2—Summers Restaurant (Earthbound)
By this point in my day, dear readers, I had fallen into a deep depression. I had been left utterly disappointed by my experiences so far, and was still dogged by hunger.
I decided to catch another cab, this time directing the driver to somewhere that I could rely on, something that I knew in my heart would feed my soul. And so it was, my cherished fans, that we journeyed to the delightful seaside town of Summers, where I immediately proceeded to the restaurant that serves the famous Kraken Soup. Dear readers, this was no rudimentary eatery like Cluckin’ Bell. This was a fine establishment, one that accepts both American Express and Diners Club, and hosts only the most discerning clientele.
The Kraken Soup is the flagship dish for this region, and I can assure you, my faithful friends, that it is everything that it claims to be. It is best enjoyed with a glass of Château Pétrus, or perhaps a Domaine Leroy, especially if one needs to purge the taste of a trash can turkey from one’s mouth.
Rating: 16 out of 16 bits
#1—An Epically Exclusive Venue (Shenmue 3)
They say that chocolate is the food of the gods, dear readers, and were you to ever taste the famous Shenmue brand chocolate, then you would most certainly not disagree.
You might imagine my excitement when I discovered that Shenmue had issue a very limited release of their famous sweet treat. One of the great perks of my wonderful profession is that I have the opportunity to sample the finest foods in the most exclusive venues, and one can find no venue more exclusive than the famous Epic Restaurant. Fear not, dear readers, for although you might not have the chance to be at the vanguard of chocolate-tasting as I am (Epic Restaurant hosts a most discerning crowd), I am told that the product will one day be available in other stores.
In the meantime, you shall have to live vicariously through my words: Shenmue’s latest release of their famous delicacy is a refined experience – slightly bitter, not overly sweet, and with a nutty, aromatic finish. As the saying goes, all good things come to those who wait – and this, my dear readers, is worth waiting for.