The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #13

14601058_10209242984486016_6906857096296745067_n

©stevedoumas

In Episode #13, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

  • Winston-Salem says goodbye to Mr. Nick Doumas.
  • Atelier at Meadowlark announces opening date.
  • Something happening on Liberty Street on Wednesday, November 2 (but I can’t tell you what).
  • Homebrewer’s Clubhouse event on November 5 (Learn to Homebrew Day).
  • Sipping NC: The Art of the Drink coming soon.

Don’t forget my sponsor, Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Slàinte!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #12

In Episode #12, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:14729108_1238294449545449_5019197621883913965_n

Don’t forget my sponsor, Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Slàinte!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #11

In Episode #11, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:unnamed-11

Don’t forget my sponsor, Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Slàinte!

Chef Tim Grandinetti Prepares Quanto Basta West

57ea9ddc0fb02-image

Chef Tim Grandinetti in the Wine Cellar (©Lisa O’Donnell/Winston-Salem Journal)

Chef Tim Grandinetti is getting really excited, lately. How can someone as busy as Chef Tim – Spring House, Quanto Basta, planning the Sweet Summer Luv Luv Festival, just being awesome – have time for any more projects? Well, why wouldn’t he have more projects. Chef Tim seems to be happiest when he’s busy.

2016-10-07-18-31-56

High top chairs

Well, the latest in the long list of Chef Tim’s crazy, busy life is actually a continuation of an original concept. He’s preparing to open Quanto Basta West in the Kinderton Place Shopping Center in Bermuda Run. I got to do a walk through with Chef Tim yesterday and it looks amazing! I’m excited for him and I can see why he’s so worked up about it.

I actually got to watch them bringing in the furniture. When I got there, there was the bench seats along the wall (and the mirrors above them) and no other furniture. Chef Tim’s staff were there unloading the trucks and bringing in the bar stools, high top chairs and regular sitting chairs. Then, the table folks came and marched in the table tops, some squared, some circular. It was like I had personally purchased new furniture and watched them being brought into my own house. That’s a testament to Chef Tim’s enthusiasm. He made me feel at home in his new place.

2016-10-07-18-35-04

The Bar

2016-10-07-18-30-56

The Wine Cellar

Speaking of which, he had me explore the emerging restaurant, telling me to “make myself at home.” The kitchen is all shiny and new. Pizza ovens, fryers, three stoves, a double-decker convection oven and a very long food prep and serving counter. There will be a lot of food coming from that kitchen and there’s plenty of room to handle it.

Back in the dining room, the decor is very reminiscent of QB Downtown. The color scheme and signature stone accents are present at QB West. The dining room will have a max capacity of around 72. There are four high top tables, 10 stools around the bar, and just like in QBDwtn, a community table where large parties or even several small parties can sit and get to know new people. That’s a concept that is starting to slowly spread through some Winston-Salem restaurants but I wish it would become more prominent. In essence, if you sit at a bar, you’re sitting at a community table. In addition to that, there will be about 16 seats on a patio for outdoor seating.

New Oven

New Oven

The centerpiece of the dining room is the glass and wood wine “cellar.” It was custom made for QBW and has a library ladder inside. Chef Tim said it will hold around 1200 bottles. Also, he has plans for making his own balsamic vinegar, which is a many-year process. The beautiful wood cabinet and storage area is impressive empty. I can only imagine the awesome sight it will be when it’s stocked and ready for imbibing.

Wine is definitely a focus in the Quanto Basta wheelhouse as it’s a staple at the downtown location. In fact, if you like the menu of QBDwtn, then you’ll be happy to know that, according to Chef Tim, the same exact menu will be offered at QBW. That means the favorites, such as Sausage & Clams, Fettucine John Angelo, Beef Short Ribs Barbaresco and Pepperoni Sandwich (and many others), will be offered in both places. The beer and wine lists, I believe, will be comparable.

New Set of Stoves

New Set of Stoves

Chef Tim is planning on doing an opening in around two weeks. The target date, as of this writing is October 20. I had an opportunity to sit with Chef Tim for a few minutes and you could hear in his voice, in his actions – especially while watching them bring in the furniture – just how excited and anxious he is for everything to get rolling. I’m sure the neighbors and Bermuda Run residents can’t wait either. I know I can’t wait. There’s even talk about a third QB location, but that’s not up for discussion, as of now. How’s that for a tease?

Quanto Basta West is located at 240 NC801, Bermuda Run. Currently the Quanto Basta brand is under the Spring House masthead on the Spring House website. You can keep track of the menus for everything by visiting the “Menus” tab on this blog, as well. Make sure to try Chef Tim Grandinetti’s wares as he truly pours his heart and soul into the traditional Italian food that he learned from his family’s heritage and traditions. You’ll love it.

Saluti! (for the Italians)
Slàinte! (for the Gaelic)

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #10

In Episode #10, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:1crafted

  • Food holidays and history 10/3 – 10/9.
  • Finnigan’s Wake 10th Year Anniversary.
  • Quanto Basta West.
  • Crafted on Liberty.
  • Twin City Hive goes back to their roots.
  • New openings of restaurants, bars or breweries in and around town.

Don’t forget my sponsor, Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Slàinte!

Finnigan’s Wake Irish Pub & Kitchen: 10 Years Strong

I want to congratulate Philip “Opie” Kirby and all his staff at Finnigan’s Wake Irish Pub & Kitchen. Today, Wednesday, October 5, 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of their opening.

I would venture to say that I’d have no traction as a podcaster, food blogger or have any kind of downtown presence if it weren’t for Fin’s. It was a bar that I frequented a lot before I started hanging out in other bars and locations. It was and still is “my stomping grounds.” I did the “90-Day Club” and my name is on the wall in red. You have to look hard to see it, but I promise you, it’s there. In fact, I was the second one to ever do the 90DC and for about three finnigans_wake_logo_2years, I held the record for most consecutive days in a row at 1099 (3 years and two days).

I’m still known as “Trivia Tim” there, even though I’ve not asked a trivia question in almost a year. I’d not be doing my podcasts without Fins. Why you ask? The podcast network wouldn’t be happening if it weren’t for The Less Desirables and The Less Desirables was hatched sitting at the table right next to the hallway by the kitchen in 2009. All the planning for it happened there and many subsequent TLD business meetings happened in Fins.

I met one of my future (and current) business partners there, Jon Lowder, so in essence, Fins is also somewhat the birthplace of The Beer Dads. We have our annual “TLD Network post holiday party” at Fins, I believe we’ve decided on the beginning of February to be the normal timeframe.

But, of course, the most important event that ever happened to me because of Fins is, that’s where I met my wife and life partner, Stephanie. She was there with friends playing trivia and I wouldn’t leave her alone, really. When we got married, we got married on a Tuesday because trivia is on Tuesdays, hence, we met on a Tuesday. That was almost 7 years ago.

Finnigan’s, in my opinion is THE reason that the downtown revitalization has been successful. There were a few other bars/restaurants downtown, but until Finnigan’s opened in 2006, downtown was still a place you barely dared to venture after 5pm. Trade Street had a horrible, but well deserved, reputation of prostitution, crime and other dastardly deeds, but the arrival of “The Wake” brought crowds, customers and friends to the area and now, it’s one of the most important areas downtown, in the whole city, I’d say.

Finnigan’s Wake will be having an anniversary party this Friday, October 7.  There will be a special menu of 10 items for $10 dollars, which will included Irish favorites like; Guinness Battered Fish and Chips, Bangers and Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, and more. What’s an Irish party without a  pint Guinness? Well, it’s not a party, then. So, there will be $2 pints and $5 Irish Carbombs all evening. There will be entertainment and a lot of past employees, customer favorites, indeed, that are going to show to join in the celebration. They want you to be there to help them celebrate, as well.

So, again, congrats to you, Opie and all your staff, past and present, for the anniversary and thank you for being so important to me and my life.

Twin City Hive’s New Direction

I know the title may be a little misleading. Twin City Hive isn’t exactly going in a new direction as much as repaving the road they were already Segwaying on. When TCH first opened in 2014, they were a combination of Segway tours, coffee and chocolate; the Segway tours being the big attraction and the coffee and chocolate being a residual bonus. Focus changed as the coffee and desserts took a precedence, as did the principal cast of players in the TCH’s, well, “hive.”

The main chocolatier of the business moved on and the two other partners in the business, Joey Burdette and Terry Miller decided to set their priority to the coffee and chocolate. This also led to a bit of a scramble to locate suppliers of artisan chocolate companies. However, it was standard or stock chocolate that were factory made. That left little room for experimentation.2016-10-04-18-02-16

Joey says, “We’ve had a couple of different artisan chocolate companies, throughout the US, that we purchased from. One is in Vermont, another is in St. Louis and another is in Minnesota. They were all delicious but what we found is that people coming in wanted to specify, ‘what about this and what about this?’ And, they were all great ideas but because we weren’t making them, we couldn’t control the process.”

TCH has already been doing its own chocolate bars, starting earlier this year. They call it the Icon Bar and it is a representation of the old RJ Reynolds building, now the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel and Katharine Brasserie & Bar Restaurant. Production for the Icon Bar had to be upped because the demand grew. So, they opted to acquire a space to do their bars in. This opened the door, also, for them to explore their very own line of chocolate truffles, a return to their roots and original concept. Which, somehow, brings this post full circle to where I began.

Joey has started the professional chocolatier program through the Ecole Chocolat out of Vancouver, BC, Canada. It’s a three month online course that will get him “Professional Chocolatier” status and enable him to work on being a “Master Chocolatier,” a renown status that he can earn from matriculating at numerous specialty schools throughout the world.

So, not only will the Twin City Hive truffles be delicious, they will be made from a (first) professional and then Master Chocolatier. Okay, great, you say, but what does that mean? Earlier I mentioned that there was demand for specialty, specific kinds of truffles. Perhaps you want chili and lavender truffles or honey and cardamom or other mind-blowing combinations of flavors? Well, with TCH making their own chocolates, they can experiment and create the chocolates that you like or can dream up. When buying from outside vendors, the buyer is bound by the vendors’ selections. These are made here, in WSNC.

I was able to try the salted caramel (with sea salt from my native state of West Virginia… yeah, it’s a long story), honey cinnamon, and Texas Pete. They were beautiful, decorative and most importantly, delicious. There will be more flavors over time. Joey says he’s having fun playing around with recipes and ideas in their Dept. of Agriculture approved kitchen. The production will continue to grow as he finishes the chocolatier program. The biggest challenge for him is managing the store, managing the cooking and managing school, its work and its schedule. It’s vigorous and is challenging. Right now, he’s just adding more in the day, which is saying a good bit because he has already been slammed. But, it’s good for the business’ future and is rewarding in the fact that he’s enjoying the learning and implementation.

There are TCH truffles available, now, at the counter of the shop and I would highly recommend having some. Joey’s a smart and innovative guy and I can’t wait to try new concoctions as they come from his imagination. You can try your own, along with proprietary blends of tea and gourmet coffees by visiting Twin City Hive at 301 Brookstown Ave. in Winston-Salem. They have a lovely coffee lounge, with couches and cozy seating, a conference room that is available for public use, many tables for working and a nice, welcoming patio. And, of course, fine chocolates.

Slàinte!