Dewey’s Goes National with Deliciousness

Dewey’s Bakery has been a landmark in Winston-Salem since 1930. It’s one of those things that is ingrained in your mind as are other local brands that make doughnuts, hot sauce, tobacco products or services like grocery stores and banks that have been around for generations. Winston-Salem “staples,” all. All of the companies in these prior categories have all found regional, national and even international success and now, it’s time for Dewey’s Bakery to do the same thing.

Earlier this week, I was privy to a sneak peek of a new line of Southern, bakery-inspired cookies and crackers that Dewey’s Bakery is getting ready to launch, not just locally, but nationally early next month. Now, you may be asking, Tim, doesn’t Dewey’s already make Moravian Cookies? and the answer to that is, yes. But, this isn’t that. Sure, those are delicious and famous, but now is the time for a new chapter in the Dewey’s Bakery chronicle. 

All in all, there are six new cookie flavors and five new cracker flavors. Let’s talk cookies first.

The new cookies range from soft to crispy and the flavors are:

The Crispy

  • Brown Butter with Sea Salt. This was my favorite cookie even though the name was a slight bit offputting. I think with the exception of brown sugar and hash browns, things that have “brown” in their name sometimes have a negative connotation and I think that could potentially be a problem with this cookie and that would be a shame because it tasted so good! But, they browned, or “toasted” the butter and added coarse sea salt, dark brown sugar and pure vanilla sea salt to it to make the cookie taste more like a toffee. In fact, Kristen Daukas and I stayed behind and talked with Dewey’s marketing folks about it and “toffee” was an alternative we suggested. But, this cookie was really good.
  • Pecan Praline. Dewey’s came really close to the classic shortbread confection we call pralines or sometimes a “sandie.” They have been using the praline pecans for generations. The cookie was buttery and just the right balance of the creaminess expected in a praline and the right crispy consistency; not too crispy.
  • Caramel Popcorn. This was weird for me at first but each successive bite brought a new appreciation to the concoction. It’s a soft and crispy treat all in one. It’s sweet and salty, starting with the sweetness and delivering buttery goodness in a lightly crispy cookie and then the saltiness of the caramel popcorn provides that finish. As I said, if you weren’t expecting it to be dually-based (sweet and salty) then you may be in for a shock initially, but stick with it as you’ll enjoy the outcome. Very good cookie. It tastes kind of like a Cracker Jack in cookie form.

The Soft

  • Banana Pudding. Dewey’s, being Southern, knows about some banana pudding. They’ve been doing it for a long time. So, when I saw this cookie, I knew it would be good. It has a soft, pull-apart texture and a comforting blend of real bananas and pure vanilla. The body of the cookie is airy, light, fluffy and, yes, banana-y. It was indulgent, true, but you didn’t feel decadent for eating it. At least I didn’t.
  • Triple Chocolate Brownie. So, full disclosure, here. I love chocolate when it comes in dark, milk, semisweet and in chip, truffle or bar form. I am not a fan of chocolate cake, ice cream, brownies or other chocolate flavored things. So, I can only say that I thought it was a good representation of what it was supposed to be, it just wasn’t my favorite. In the product description, Dewey’s says you feel as though you’re savoring one of their treasured brownies fresh from their bakery ovens. They do use semi-sweet chocolate morsels and a blend of two premium dark cocoa powders.
  • Lemon Bar. My other favorite of the cookies mainly because I love anything lemon. Dewey’s uses cold-pressed Meyer Lemon Oil, lemon zest and brown sugar for a sublimely tart treat bursting with citrus flavor. To top it off, literally, they give each lemony batch with a dusting of powdered sugar, making this that classic lemon bar flavor. Delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Crackers

  • Carolina Style Barbeque. I’ll be honest, I didn’t taste the “Lexington style” BBQ in this, but it did have a slight vinegarish tang and smokey, savory flavor. I could have used a little more BBQ flavor and not the BBQ potato kind. That being said, I enjoyed eating it.
  • Sharp Aged Cheddar. Dewey’s describes this as being like a cheese straw and that is exactly what it tastes like. Just enough of the cheddar to offer that tangy-yet-savory bite that it is supposed to deliver but the cracker isn’t a “crisp” as much as a softer cracker, which is fine with me. That was, again, more in the realm of the cheese straw. This was probably my second favorite cracker flavor.
  • Chipotle Cheddar Cornbread. Because this is made with cornmeal and sweet corn, and you mix the savory spice of the smoked Chipotle peppers, throwing in a bit of the Extra Sharp Cheddar, the finish of this cracker really does taste like the jalapeno or other hot pepper cornbread my family used to make. Chipotle is just a dried jalapeno that is smoked so, that makes sense to me. The cracker is crispy but the flavor is more spongy like a true cornbread. I’d go with my third favorite of the crackers on this one.
  • Sweet Potato with Cinnamon and Brown Sugar. As with the chocolate cookies, I don’t particularly care for sweet potatoes, no matter how they’re prepared. I would rather just have white potatoes. Dewey’s says this was “inspired by sweet potato casserole baked fresh for Sunday supper.” The crackers are made with North Carolina sweet potatoes grown on farms not far from Winston-Salem. There are also touches of cinnamon and brown sugar, too. I did try it and I will say that I thought it tasted good, it is just that sweet potatoes are not my thing.
  • Low Country Boil. This was my favorite of the cracker flavors. You can really taste the Old Bay in the cracker. Low Country Boil is generally made with shellfish, corn on the cob, Kielbasa or some other Polish sausage style, red potatoes and sometimes ham. Now, granted you’re not tasting shrimp, corn on the cob or the rest of that, but you do get a savoriness that is kicked over the top with the “old bay-like” seasoning. I would love to try this with some very good crab or lobster dip. I think it would be the perfect pairing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mentioned Dewey’s Bakery going nationwide with these new creations. In fact, they have partnered with The Fresh Market to start the ball rolling. They are going to be on other grocers’ shelves, as well, but they’re starting with The Fresh Market. The crackers and cookies will be available starting in October. If you live outside of Winston-Salem, you may not be familiar with Dewey’s Bakery, but you soon will. If your grocery store carries them, grab some and sample them. If the grocers don’t carry them, ask for them. You won’t be sorry.

Winston-Salem folk can sample these lovely treats on October 1 by visiting one of the area’s Dewey’s Bakery locations (262 South Stratford Road and 2876 Reynolda Road). Tell them that The Man Who Ate the Town sent you!

All Pictures Courtesy of Dewey’s Bakery and All Rights Are Assumed  

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 49

©Bar Piña

In Episode #49, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

Don’t forget my sponsors:

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 Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

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).

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 48

In Episode #48, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

Don’t forget my sponsors:

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 Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

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).

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 47

Beef Waterfall from Bahtmobile

In Episode #47, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

  • A brief review of Fiddlin’ Fish Brewery.
  • A brief review of Bahtmobile Food Truck.
  • Joymongers to open a barrel hall and tasting room/bar in the West End of WSNC.
  • Tokyo Shapiro is now Charm Thai on Fourth Street.
  • New “authentic” Mexican Restaurant on Fourth to be called Xcaret (EX-cah-ret)
  • Food Holidays and History

Don’t forget my sponsors:

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 Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

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).

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 46

In Episode #46, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

  • Fiddlin’ Fish Brewery opens August 22. They will have a new Cuban food truck called Mojito Mobile Kitchen.
  • Village Juice to open 2nd location in Twin City Lofts building.
  • Tim judged the NC State Fair Wine Competition.
  • Food Holidays and History

Don’t forget my sponsors:

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 Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

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).

Bon Appetit!

 

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 45

In Episode #45, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

  • Jordan Keiper is in to talk about being a North Carolina Spirit Ambassador, what it means and what it does for the state’s spirit industry. Jordan is also co-host of Sipping NC: The Art of Drinking with Tim
  • Krispy Kreme to have chocolate glaze this weekend through Monday to commemorate the eclipse.
  • Trade Street Diner to open for lunch and dinner in old Sweet Potatoes location.
  • Chefs Jeff Bacon and Travis Myers win honors at the “Local Luv” event at Luv Luv Festival
  • Food Holidays and History

Don’t forget my sponsors:

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 Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

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).

Bon Appetit!

 

Giving a New Taco a Try

(l to r: chorizo, tripe, barbacoa, al pastor)

My friend and fellow food writer, Eric Ginsburg of Triad City Beat had written about El Rancho Taqueria and their tacos in the last week or so. He speculated that “these might be the best tacos in the Triad” about them in that article. I’d like to think that as a good “foodie” that I take suggestions from my peers and run with them… or taste them.  So, when my son Trey said that he wanted tacos, I thought, well, now’s the time.

We went in and it was nothing remarkable. It was just a restaurant space with run-of-the-mill furniture and very plain interior. But, the ambiance isn’t the star here. That would be the food. They have tacos, burritos, gordita, ACP,  Carne Asada, quesadilla and all the usual fare you’d expect at a typical Mexican restaurant.

This isn’t your strip mall chain Mexican, though. You know the stuff. You sit down and get your free chips and salsa, order whatever it is you want and have it “piping hot” and “freshly made” within five minutes. The food is fairly decent, definitely hot, and you go home full. I’ll admit, I like that, but this…?

This is fresh stuff that is truly authentic. All of it. Lots of limes, cilantro and onions. Yes, I said onions. There’s a good bit to choose from, too. Lots of meat choices. Carne Asada (beef), Pollo (chicken) chorizo, al pastor (usually lamb), barbacoa (barbecued meat), Cabeza (usually from roasted heads of beef), Lengua (tongue) and tripa (tripe – stomach of beef). There may be a few more, but I think that covers it; you get the picture. I have had tongue before, but don’t remember if I liked it so I opted out of that tonight, only because I wanted to try some of the other stuff.

In my four taco plate, I got one each of the chorizo, barbacoa, al pastor and tripa. Yes, tripe. I had never had tripe before and definitely wanted to try it. When they brought out the plate, about 15 minutes later (meaning it was cooked fresh and they took the time to do it right), it was covered with cilantro and onions (light, as I requested), sliced radishes, five or six limes and a roasted jalapeno. In this bed of green, white and red sat four tacos. I asked which was which of the server who laughed nervously and indicated she didn’t really know. She pointed at what I thought looked like chorizo and said it was the tripe. Turns out it wasn’t. The tripe was next to it and I had already gone through that before I realized it. I asked another server about it and she brought me out a small plate with a good bit of tripe on it for Trey and me to try. It was pretty good. Lots of flavor. Kind of like chicken liver but without the foulness that comes with it and also without the grittiness that liver has. I don’t like liver, but I liked this; beef-like in its flavor.

The barbacoa had a tanginess to it that went well with the meat beneath the sauce. The chorizo was a little dry but that’s the way it is most of the places I’ve had it. I fixed that with the ranchero and Rojas sauces. Just a bit, I wanted to taste the tacos. The al pastor was probably my least favorite but was still pretty good. I liked the tripe taco and, as I said, I didn’t realize what it was until it was gone. A little crispy but beefy in flavor so I think that’s why I mistook it after being shown the chorizo one to be it. No worries, it was still delicious. The onions and cilantro were nothing more than accent. Cilantro, to me, creates a very vibrant, crisp and fresh flavor to everything. I cook with it often because of this. But, they didn’t overtake the flavor of the meat within the fluffy corn folds of the tortillas. I did sprinkle a bit of lime juice over the tacos to add that acid, but again, not too much. These are some darned fine tacos. Next time I go, I’ll try some of the other items on the list but tonight we were there, specifically, for the tacos.

The place was jam-packed with people and it was truly a very diverse crowd. All of them noshing, waiting or just enjoying the afterglow of fantastic tacos, having great conversation and loving life. I left there loving life. I think, though, my elation was mostly that I had tripe and liked it. But, the tacos were really that good. I can’t wait to take Stephanie for her first time and Trey back again.

El Rancho Taqueria is located at 613 E Sprague St in the Waughtown neighborhood of Winston-Salem.  You can find more about them on their Facebook page. I highly recommend trying this great place if you’re into more authentic Mexican food and especially if you’re not so much “Americanized” Mexican food. Just go try it. Let me know what you think.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 43

In Episode #43, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

  • Something is cooking in the old Sweet Potatoes Location
  • A reminder of Luv Luv Festival
  • Meridian‘s 10th Annual Seafood Festival is August 12
  • Food Holidays and History

Don’t forget my sponsors:

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 Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

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).

Bon Appetit!

 

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 42

In Episode #42, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

  • Executive Chefs from The Historic Brookstown Inn, Hubby and wife duo, Chefs Ali Utley and Paul McGee to open Cotton Mill Lounge in the Inn’s lower level.
  • Bahtmobile brings Thai food in a Food Truck.
  • Food Holidays and History.

Don’t forget my sponsors:

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 Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

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).

Bon Appetit!

 

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 40

In Episode #40, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

Don’t forget my sponsors:

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 Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

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).

Bon Appetit!