Carrabba’s Lunar Effects Wine Dinner

Last night, Stephanie and I had the pleasure of getting to attend a wine dinner with our dear friends, The Lowders, at Carrabba’s in Winston-Salem. It was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. Of course, the moon landing was the goal of that mission and it was successful.

The best part was afterward when several of the diners including Stephanie and me, went out with the Astronomy Club and Proprietario of Carrabba’s WS, my friend Daniel Butner, to see extraplanetary and celestial wonders like Saturn, Jupiter (and several of its moons), and our Moon through some cool telescopes. And the kicker? The International Space Station passed by around 9:37 pm or so.

Calabrian Wings

Daniel, a repeat guest on our podcast, is a huge space buff and the fact that the whole of Carrabba’s (nationwide) was doing these dinners across the country was like a dream come true for him. “You mean I get to participate in two of my passions (the restaurant and space) at once?” he asked. Sign him up!

But, this is a food blog, so let’s talk about the dinner, shall we?

First Course: Calabrian Roasted Wings paired with Blue Moon Wheat.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wings? Beer? At Carrabba’s? Well, that question isn’t too far-fetched. I believe Daniel questioned it, too, but he, like everyone else, totally understood as soon as we tasted the wings. Baked and seasoned and then seasoned with spicy Italian Calabrian peppers. Served with a lovely gorgonzola sauce. I even ate the Calabrian pepper. It was hot but it was tolerable. Great starter. And, we got to keep the commemorative Apollo 11 50th-anniversary pilsner glasses from Blue Moon.

Mezzaluna Carrabba

Second Course: Mezzaluna Carrabba paired with Rocca Delle Macie Moonlite (white blend). 
Mezzaluna translates to “middle-moon” or “half-moon.” These were half-moon shaped ravioli stuffed with chicken, spinach, Ricotta and Romano cheeses and tossed in Alfredo sauce. It was then topped with wood-grilled chicken, stuffed mushrooms and peas. I loved the mezzaluna ravioli.

Pollo Sorrento

Third Course: Pollo Sorrento paired with Alta Lina Pinot Noir.
Wood-grilled chicken stuffed with crispy eggplant, mozzarella and tomatoes then topped with their housemade Lombardo Marsala sauce. I wasn’t big on the Pinot Noir by itself but this dish made the wine POP! Daniel had sent me a picture of the prep of this dish with the eggplant and mozzarella getting ready to become the warming food blanket that it was. That sauce, that Lombardo Marsala sauce kicked this dish up about three notches. It was my favorite dish of the night.

Cinnamon Apple Crostata

Fourth Course: Cinnamon Apple Crostata paired with Saint M Riesling from Chateau Ste. Michelle.
Crispy cinnamon apple tart with a thin layer of hazelnut filling topped with caramel sauce and mint. A nice, mildly-sweet Riesling to go with the sweetness of the Crostata was a great end to a delicious wine dinner. At least as far as the food goes.

In addition to the stargazing and food, we were presented with a history of the US Space Program into the 70s and a brief talk on the recent Solar Eclipse that happened in 2017 and one that happened two weeks ago. One of the presenters from the Astronomy Club viewed the latest one from Brazil while on “business.” He shared a timelapse video of it. I have always been moderately interested in space stuff but this really made me think a lot about it. I was fascinated all night long.

They’re doing all this again next Tuesday, July 23. There are spaces available. You will not be disappointed. You can sign up by visiting HERE.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 115

In Episode #115 proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Daniel Butner from Carrabba’s Italian Grill is in to talk about the restaurant and his family’s lineage to WSNC’s founding.
  • Dave Hillman gives the explanation of Uncle Buzzy’s closure.
  • Hutch & Harris to restructure.
  • Chelsea Tart to open Camel City Coffee in old Starbucks location on Oakwood.
  • Moji Coffee to open on Trade Street Saturday, June 22.
  • Tim did Mac & Nelli’s Brunch
  • Apartment 5B did a delivery/restaurant quality experiment
  • Food holidays and history.

No poll this week!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

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 114

©Antonina Whaples

In Episode #114 proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Antonina Whaples from Kindred Spirits is in to talk WSNC.
  • Uncle Buzzy’s closes and it is disrupting the city.
  • Hutch & Harris close their dining room for the month.
  • Payper Plates is a new meat + 3 in Clemmons
  • Tim & Ray talk Carrabba’s.
  • Food holidays and history.

No poll this week!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

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 113

Chef Antwan Hairston

In Episode #113 proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Spirits of Summer Festival
  • Tim does a chain, Carrabba’s Italian Restaurant
  • Tim does a food journalist tasting at Mac N Nelli’s
  • Tim talks Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse
  • Tim starts the “Summer of Burgers” with Food Freaks, Mac N Nelli’s and Willows.
  • Food holidays and history.

No poll this week!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

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!

It’s Burger Season!!

I have teased a Top 5 Burger list for a while and have at least three solids for the first three, but one of those is under renovation from a fire. So, perhaps I’ve been waiting to do the “definitive” list because of that. But, truly, the reason is I don’t know if I’ve had the best burger in WSNC. There are a lot of burgers here.

Today, Tuesday, May 28, is National Burger Day. And, while I can call every single day Burger Day, for the majority of people, I think between Memorial Day and Labor Day, both the unofficial start and end of Summer respectively, that between those dates it is “Burger Season,”

I’m going to start a three-month journey into WSNC “burgerdom.” I’m going to get recommendations from our listeners and readers and from today through Monday, September 2 which isn’t only Labor Day this year, but Stephanie’s and my 5th Wedding Anniversary, I will then compile my Top 5, maybe Top 10 Burger List.

So, again, I’m going to need your help, both my podcast listeners and blog readers. Tell me your favorite burger in town.

There are some caveats, though. Instead of generalizing it and say “fast food burgers” I’m going to give a specific list. I say that because there are a few non-traditional fast food joints that I do frequent, the biggest being Zesto Burgers & Ice Cream. Incidentally, that’s what I have said is my top burger. But, because I haven’t tried all the others, I don’t know.

So, here’s where I will not eat and won’t accept a recommendation about: McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Hardees, Five Guys, Cook Out, Steak-N-Shake, Sonic or Red Robin. I also won’t accept “You should try mine!” This is for everyone, it’s public and should not be private parties. There may be a time when I put something like that together, maybe a TMWATT Burger Cookoff or something. But, not for this.

Also, you can recommend specialty burgers like the “Smoke Batch” at Burger/Small Batch or “Bootlegger’s Bourbon Burger” from Cin Cin Burger Bar or whatever. I may make a special category for those, but, the main focus will be a Cheeseburger (single or double) with mayo, mustard, pickles, onion and tomato. That’s my standard and what I go for when I go for burgers. But, if there’s something that I just absolutely NEED to try, tell me and I’ll work it in.

If you’re not sure how a burger falls in my caveat, ask, it may or may not qualify. I will take recommendations for food trucks if burgers are their specialty. Also, if it’s in Kernersville, Clemmons, North WSNC, heck, even as far as Yadkinville, I’ll take the recommendations. They’re most likely eligible. Does your favorite BBQ or hot stand do burgers and you just have to have them? Then let’s talk!

Now, I have to be smart about this. I can’t just go crazy having burgers every day. Stephanie made me promise that if I do this that we have to watch everything else that I eat, so I have to have a lot of plants and green things. I may see if Sha’Retha at Happie Food can help me with that. I will not go vegan, or really even vegetarian but I can make better choices.

Eating all these burgers will rack up some expenses, so if you are a restaurateur that wants to donate your burger for the project, I would greatly appreciate that. Also, if anyone is interested in introducing me to a burger and picking up the tab, I’m probably not going to turn that down.

I’m also in the market for sponsors for this, as well. I don’t need to make tons of money, but I would like to cover my expenses and gas. Even if you’re not in the food biz, I can work out some advertising on one or more of the podcasts or me doing blog posts or public appearances for or at your businesses. I’d greatly appreciate anything that you can help with, and I will be promoting a lot of people here. I actually think a non-burger restaurant or business would be a great sponsor, that way it’s not looked at like bribing me.

So there you have it. Send me recommendations to tim@themanwhoatethetown, on our Instagram or Facebook platforms. I really want the public’s input on this. I think we need a definitive list. Not just for me but for the town I eat.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 110

Groot likes Bionic Tonic

In Episode #110, proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim, Ray and Happie talk about:

  • Dennis Wiggins and Papa Doc’s Bionic Tonic
  • “Street Team” member Steven takes Tim and Ray to Pan Goo to get a tasting!
  • Buie’s Market to open in Buena Vista
  • Burke Street Spring Fling
  • Potential good news for ABC laws in the state.
  • Street Team!!
  • Food holidays and history.

No poll this week!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

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 109

In Episode #109, proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Joel Evans from Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse is in the studio
  • Zesto Burger tasting event in full detail.
  • In eye-rolling news, BBQ into the 5 Points/Big Shotz/Lucky 32s space
  • Street Team!!
  • Food holidays and history.

No poll this week!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

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!

A Blogger Tasting at Zesto Burgers & Ice Cream

This week I organized a blogger/food writer tasting at Zesto Burgers & Ice Cream at 2600 New Walkertown Road in Winston-Salem. Algenon Cash and his team knocked it out of the park as they do every time I eat there. But, this time it was to sample just about everything on the menu. And, when we left, there was not one of us who needed to eat the rest of the day. In fact, Stephanie, Trey and I didn’t.

BLT

The three of us were joined by my co-host Ray Morgan, Tim Clodfelter from the Winston-Salem Journal, Carroll Leggett, Nikki Miller-Ka and Ja’Net Adams. Once the food started coming, it seemed like it never stopped coming. So, I’m going to recap what we ate but know that as the day went on, I got a little food fatigue and may be vague in my descriptions. Also, we may have tasted a few things in a different order than the other writers, so if you read their accounts it’s not in any real order, here.

Let’s get to it!

Let’s start with the BLT. Who doesn’t love a BLT? All buns and bread sold and served at Zesto are now from Martin’s Bread out of Pennsylvania. Trey and I use Martin’s buns when we make “Beeman Burgers.” The butter bread from Martin’s is what this is on. It replaced the old “Texas Toast” that it used to be on and adds another dimension to the sandwich alongside the hardwood smoked bacon with lettuce, tomato, and chipotle mayo. Great stuff.

The Chuckwagon

Shrimp Po’Boy

Up next was the spicy veggie burger, which is a black bean burger and, surprisingly I liked it. Usually, my burger needs to be some kind of sacrificial animal but I could have one of these and be happy, only if there was no meat to be seen. But, Stephanie, who loves and pushes veggies on me thought it was good. The general consensus at the table was that it was good, but some said it may be too spicy for those not into spicier foods. I liked it.

The Chuckwagon was next which is basically chopped beef with onion and spices, battered in buttermilk with lettuce, tomato, and chipotle mayo. Stephanie gets this a lot and she’s a fan. It’s not in my top of what we had, but that just shows that Zesto has something for everyone’s tastes. I know a few others who think this may be their favorite item on the menu.

Carolina Cheesesteak

Some of the more exotic sandwiches on the menu was the shrimp po’boy and I understand it’s not really exotic but for a “burger joint” it is. Lightly battered and fried popcorn shrimp, in a healthy portion, on a hoagie roll with lettuce, pickles, and chipotle mayo. This may or may not be on Martin’s bread but it was very good. I had it late in the afternoon so I don’t know that I got the full effect because I was being the “full effect.” A great visual sandwich, too

Chicken Philly

.

Algenon and Jasmine brought out a few baskets of fries with the first round of samples, so that added to the fullness. They also brought out an order of their crispy and their charred wings. The sauces available for the wings are “Buffalo,” the spicy honey, BBQ and one more, that I didn’t catch. I had one of the crispy wings and they nailed it. Later they also brought sweet potato fries topped with a house-made seasoning which I know consists of maple sugar. I’m not a fan of sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries so I passed, but everyone else seemed to enjoy them.

I never realized how much I love Philly Cheesesteaks but lately, I’ve been finding cheesesteaks that are really up my alley. We were served two different styles, the “Carolina” cheesesteak and a chicken Philly. Zesto’s is just the right size, not too large that you feel bloated afterward and not to small that you feel you don’t get what you paid for. The steak was juicy and the mushrooms, peppers, and onions were just right with the creaminess of the provolone. That really goes for the chicken Philly, too. In fact, as much as I never choose chicken over beef, for this sandwich, I choose chicken. It was really good!

Chicken Tenders

A hot dog is a hot dog and I will say that while there isn’t anything that jumps out and grabs you about the Zesto hot dogs, they are certainly a solid hot dog. It is everything you want it to be and the toppings are fresh. I have one about once every two weeks or so, much to Stephanie’s chagrin. I just like them.

Chicken sandwich with BBQ sauce

One of the biggest surprises for many of us at the table was the chicken tenders. I know when I think of chicken tenders, there is always some flattened, over-breaded sliver of chicken, usually overly fried and tasting of last week’s cooking oil. This, especially from other restaurants or bars. Tenders at Zesto do not fit any of those descriptions… at all. They are chunks of real chicken that are perfectly fried and you taste the chicken and not the over-done breading (because there is none of that). You can get dipping sauces, as well.

Chubby Decker

Next, we tried The Classic Chicken. 100% natural, fresh, and marinated chicken breast served charred, grilled, or crispy with lettuce, pickles, and mayo and, of course, on those fantastic Martin’s potato buns. We also tried the sweet bbq chicken (sauced) and the spicy honey chicken. I really enjoyed the flavor of the bbq and I have the spicy honey often, too. I enjoy that spicy honey sauce on the pork chop sandwich, too. We didn’t try that, but I like it. You can’t go wrong with the sauced chicken sandwiches.

Patty Melt

The next item I was no stranger to. In fact, I have one at least once a week. This is the Chubby Decker, double cheeseburger and it is so good. I have called it, and I reiterate, my #1 burger in town. Is it the best in town? I don’t know, because that’s subjective, but I know it’s the one I enjoy eating the most. I usually get mine without lettuce and add a little onion.  I get this so much that Joe (behind the counter) doesn’t even ask how I want it, he just rings it up. I’m there a lot, can you tell? Anyway, I stand by this burger. We also had a pimento and bacon burger, as well.

We got to sample the patty melt. The other side of the table got to try it earlier when we were still getting ramped up. We had one made specifically for us at our table and by the time we had it, it was past our stop time. Zesto makes theirs with a beef patty, top it with steak, grilled onions and American cheese on two pieces of the delicious butter bread from Martin’s, nice and grilled and the meat was juicy. I will definitely have another of these when I can enjoy it more.

Ribs

The topper to everything was the ribs. Yes, I said ribs. Zesto’s sauce is slathered on and they’re grilled to where the meat just falls off the bone. Ray said he has ribs all over town and he’d put these up against anyones in town. That’s saying something because there are a lot of places that do it well. I really enjoyed eating them. Tangy and acidic, as they should be, the meat literally can be pulled directly off the bone. I think we were all surprised how good these things were. It was certainly a treat and they came at the end, so even as stuffed as everyone was, we still made room for the ribs.

One thing that Zesto strives to do is make it possible for you to come in and get a meal for $10 or less per person. If you get add-ons, that will be an increase, but for the most part, meals (fries and a drink) come in right around $10. The ribs are a little bit more, but c’mon, they’re ribs.

Soft-serve ice cream, milkshakes, malteds, cones, cups and “concretes” which is soft-serve milkshakes with your choice of premium toppings and blended at high speed to produce a tasty concrete.

Zesto Burgers & Ice Cream is a fantastic little fast casual restaurant. Yes, it’s fast food but it’s not traditional fast food which is why I don’t mind eating it, sometimes more than once a week. What can I say? I love this place. I think you’ll love it, too. Ray and I will be talking about our experiences on the next podcast. We will go into more details about the food than even here, I’m sure. Again, I am telling you, you really need to go try out Zesto Burgers.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 108

In Episode #108, proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • The Fire at Mr. Barbecue.
  • Tim toured Sir Winston Wine Loft.
  • Tim talk about Cugino Forno and Mission Pizza Napoletana.
  • Shrimp-N-Grits Station.
  • Food holidays and history.

No poll this week!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

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 106

In Episode #106, proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Calissa Hooper is in to talk about 5 Sistah’s Delights food truck, the difficulties of finding a commissary, the food and more.
  • Cugino Forno is now open
  • Poke Star’s on-going crisis to open
  • Hoots Satellite to open.
  • Cole Properties buys Carlisle’s.
  • Tim gives info about Quiet Pint’s brunch menu
  • Tim talks about The Table Experience at Willow’s Bistro
  • Food holidays and history

No poll this week!

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

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!