Jul. 19—Using creativity and unusual flavor combinations in the kitchen, The Munchies Lab is bringing a new restaurant concept to Augusta inspired by marijuana culture.
Ramiro Galvin, owner and head chef of The Munchies Lab, located at 1022 Walton Way Extension Suite A in Augusta, has lived and worked in restaurants in Augusta for 20 years.
After owning two Mexican/Tex Mex-style restaurants in the CSRA, he wanted a space where everything on the menu is incomparable to other restaurants.
"It's nothing that you can compare to ... so it's totally different. So the food, I guess you can say, that it's not for everyone," he said. "If you are trying to eat healthy, this is not the place. We load it up with cheese, pork belly, fat fat stuff. We have a few people complain about not being healthy at all, but the name says it all — it's something you want to eat when you have the munchies."
The Munchies Lab, just like the name suggests, pays homage on the walls to some of the famous food and pop culture icons including Cheech and Chong, Snoop Dog, Guy Fieri and Anthony Bourdain.
Galvin encourages cooks in the kitchen to utilize their skill sets to experiment with food flavor palettes.
The hotdog, sandwich, sushi rolls and build your own "Don Vergas" adult waffles bring together creativity that Galvin encourages in the kitchen by switching up the menu twice a year.
"Here we are telling the chefs and the cooks that we are changing our menus every so often so play with the food, play with whatever flavors you can think of and create something," he said. "We are going to give them a little freedom of doing whatever they want."
Galvin hopes to break up the monotony of similar restaurants found in the Augusta food scene, compared to fusion food access in other major metropolitan cities.
"It's literally the same, and I feel like that is bad because we are not tasting different things," Galvin said. "Back in California, we have a lot of mixed food, like Mexican with Asian, Japanese, a lot of fusions and the flavor profile — it hits together; and it is super amazing, and that is what I am trying to do here."
He hopes that people are intrigued by the menu and give it a shot.
"It feels good to actually make something like a plate and people actually buy it and taste it and be like, 'Oh this is actually pretty good,' and say, 'This is amazing,'" he said. "... I just hope people come and give it a try. Like I said, it's not for everyone. As you can tell, we also have weird waffles; but they are actually pretty good, the waffles as well."
Samantha Winn covers the city of North Augusta, with a focus on government and community oriented business. Follow her on Twitter: @samanthamwinn and on Facebook and Instagram: @swinnnews.