The Forbidden Taste

This month marks my one year blogging anniversary with Stay Work Play! The twelve months of blogging have affirmed several of my favorite things: 1. food 2. discovering new food and 3. going on adventures that inevitably end in finding new places to eat and/or drink. Thanks, Stay Work Play!

Today’s post is actually the reverse of #3. I had a restaurant in mind that I wanted to check out, and afterwards we ended up doing some winter hiking in Bear Brook State Park which was absolutely beautiful! I would recommend that you, and my future self, bring actual winter boots for future hiking endeavors, but that is another matter for a different kind of blog post.

The restaurant I had in mind for a sunny winter day was Umami, located on the main road (1st NH Turnpike) in Northwood. As a huge Food Network fan, I’ve heard the word umami thrown around dozens of times when judges critique the balance of flavors in someone’s dish. According to the many sources I’ve consulted (aka the internet) umami basically refers to the fifth sense of taste: savory. The other senses of taste are salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. Umami is a Japanese word that roughly translates to “pleasant savory taste.” NPR has a long answer for the explanation of the taste.

While I don’t completely understand the science behind describing specific senses of taste, I can tell you that the food at Umami is delicious. The rustic signs, string lights, and cozy vibes made us feel right at home. The building itself is an old antique store/farm stand which is also about 70% solar powered. We were pleasantly surprised to find an enormous menu, with everything from a variety of rice bowls, at least a dozen kinds of burgers, and specialty fries, not to mention their coffee menu and locally made baked goods. If you find yourself there at a busy time, you can amuse yourself with the foosball tables, local art on the walls, or their shelves of books!

In our attempts to learn about the flavor of umami, we ordered the umami burger, a sweet potato burger, and the umami fries. Everything was extremely well seasoned and flavorful, and I definitely got the “savory” flavors, though I don’t think I can explain it well enough in words (just go try it yourself!) For example, the sweet potato burger was really unique and delicious, and had cheese curds, a homemade aioli, black beans, and avocado. Especially for a vegetarian burger, it was really well balanced, and combined with the savory fries, it was perfection.

If you’re looking to expand your taste buds, hang out in a cozy space, and/or eat some really creative, delicious food, I would recommend a visit to Umami. Their live music on weekends, along with a new brunch menu, are a good reason to stop by! Visit them on Facebook to learn more about their menu and specials!

Have you discovered any unique, tasty sweets lately? Let us know! Be sure to email us at to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in our “Eat Drink Play” blog posts.

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