Swearing is an interesting means of communication. When used properly, it makes things funnier. I was watching John Oliver rant about the atrocities of the democratic and republican primaries last week and tipped my hat to his strategic use of the word “fuck” a handful of times. Personally,my swearing is catalyzed by two things: golf and drinking. A near perfect drive followed by a 10 foot flub is enough to put me over the edge and I swear a bottle of homemade wine shuts off whatever language etiquette I may have.
Many marketing campaigns have been developed around altering the english language slightly to insinuate the use of at least some of Carlin’s list of seven words you can never say on television. In 1972, Carlin was arrested for muttering those same words (see below) during a Milwaukee comedy show. Surprising enough, despite the increased acceptance of steamy sex scenes and extreme violence in the past decade or two, most of the words are still not allowed, at least on network TV. Luckily, the same does not apply to bloggers or other angstful social media zealots.
The use of manipulated swearing in marketing campaigns is as classic as a misunderstanding on Three’s Company. I remember many instances in which Jack Tripper’s words and antics were misconstrued by Mr. Roper and subsequently Mr. Furley. Today, it is an interesting observation to watch the stereotypes of almost 40 years ago. Janet was the sensible, party-pooping and moderately attractive brunette and Chrissy was the bubble-headed blond. Jack had to pretend he was gay in order to remain the girl’s roommate given the fact that multigender living arrangements (at least in the eyes of both Mr. Roper and Mr. Furley) were as controversial then as transgendered bathrooms are now. Whether or not this was the first instance in television’s journey in the recognition and acceptance of gays remains a debate but an article I read while researching this blog (see link below) provides an interesting perspective. Among other things, it suggests that the irony of Jack’s need to closet his heterosexuality against his landlord (ie. the man) was a direct reflection of the same struggle that homosexuals in the same era were living. The author also notes that the thought of even discussing homosexuality on television was absent in the seventies and really only erupted years later with the introduction of shows like Will and Grace and teasers like Rosanne Barr’s “bisexual moment”.
What does all this banter have to do with a food blog? I remember going to a place called Fricker’s in Ohio in which you could order a “fricken big beer”. Ok…friggin’ is not quite a Carlin no-no but I think it illustrates the concept well. Plus, I’m sure there is somewhere in the world where you can cleverly order an “I don’t give a duck sandwich” or something similar.
Enter Flock, a rather new chicken restaurant in Toronto. It currently has a brood of 3 locations with a fourth which is almost hatched. The Harbord street location (at the old THR and Co. spot) has a larger sit down area complete with “flocktails” and other bar service. Otherwise, the other two are no booze take out joints with a bit of seating. The premise is simply chicken and greens. One can opt for rotisserie or fried chicken complete with a variety of sides and/or a choice of five super salads with all sorts of toppings. In addition to all of that, there are endless possibilities when it comes to the use of the restaurant’s name in everyday speak. Would it be flocking good or a flocking nightmare? Ha!Much like the sexual innuendos of Three’s Company, it never gets old.
My first experience was a take out lunch from the Harbord location for an office. I grabbed some Flock Stock (ie soup) ($7) and a few salads including the power flock salad (Chicken, Romaine Hearts, Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Pickled Onions, Marinated Black Beans, Daikon Soy Beans, Cilantro, Goji Berries, Crispy Chick Peas, Sunflower Seeds With Carrot/Ginger/SoyBean/White Miso Dressing) ($11.50 for full). Both were delicious and fresh. The salad was far from overdressed which maintained the crispy integrity of the ingredients. The soup was herby and fragrant and highlighted by chucks of rotisserie chicken swimming throughout.
The second time I grabbed dinner for myself from the Adelaide location. This time I ordered a half chicken (with Caribbean pepper sauce) with green beans on the side. Once again I had no complaints. The chicken was moist, the beans were cooked but firm and the crispy onions and kimchi were great compliments. I quite enjoyed the sauce. It was bright with a good flavour and hear;a far cry from Swiss Chalet’s odd and confusingly beloved dishwater dipping sauce.
Quick and healthy lunch choices can be difficult in a city filled with burger joints and taquerias on every corner, especially if you believe that Subway is nothing more than disguised junk food. Flock fills this gap by offering food in which the flavour is achieved by spices and freshness as opposed to sodium and fat.
Much like Jack Tripper represented the evolution of the sitcom and George Carlin did the same for comedy, perhaps Flock presents the future of lunch in Toronto. After all, it’s flocking good chicken. Shit….here come the cops.