Former Winston-Salem Shop Gets AMBUSHed

When Justin and Sarah Hummell were in Winston-Salem, they owned Cafe Roche Coffee Shop in Ardmore (where Ardmore Coffee is now). They were the “Official Coffee Sponsor” of the pop culture podcast that I produce called The Less Desirables. We were heartbroken when they moved away to start SiP Bistro, but we were glad they were following their dreams. They are now in Holly Springs, NC.

This past week, SiP was taken over by the Food Network’s makeover show, “Restaurant Impossible: AMBUSH” hosted by Chef Robert Irvine and produced by former Double Dare (and Family Double Dare) host, Marc Summers. They were featured in the Triangle, NC’s own News & Observer. I’ll let that article speak for itself. Be warned, the article was kind of poorly written, but it tells the story. Enjoy! And, much congratulations to Justin and Sarah! We miss you guys!

Read the article here.

Famed Chef Paul Prudhomme has Died

by Timothy G Beeman II

I’ve never been to New Orleans. I know as a “foodie” (if that’s what we really are) that’s almost sacrilege but it’s true. I’d love to go someday and for no other reason but for the food. One place that I’d really like to go to would be K-Paul’s

Chef Paul (photo ©ChefPaul.com)

Chef Paul (photo ©ChefPaul.com)

Louisiana Kitchen. From what I have heard (and not being there and experiencing it) that pretty much changed the rules for a lot of things in the culinary world. I can still go there but it won’t be the same without Chef Paul Prudhomme. Instead of trying to make up something I really don’t know about I’m going to include a link to the article I read about his passing. Enjoy!

http://www.nola.com/dining/index.ssf/2015/10/paul_prudhomme_dies.html

All rights reserved to the owner/writer/publisher of the article as listed within

Empty Bowls: Ending Hunger One Artfully Crafted Bowl at a Time

By Timothy G Beeman II

Have you ever eaten out of a piece of art?  I’m not talking about an old McDonald’s Happy Meal box with drawings and games on the outside.  I mean an actual piece of art?  On Wednesday, April 22, you’ll get your chance. The following excerpts are from the SHFBNWNC press release:

“Foodies and art lovers alike are anticipating the wildly popular 14th annual Empty Bowls, the signature event for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina.

“The drop-in luncheon, presented by Texas Pete® Sauces, will be held from 11am until 2pm at the Millennium Center in downtown Winston-Salem. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door, and include lunch donated by the area’s top restaurants and a choice of one bowl from a selection of handcrafted and painted pottery bowls donated by area artists.

11110860_10153966125029460_5572813326680446419_n

Empty Bowls 2015

“‘The bowl that each guest selects is not used at the event,’ explains James Caldwell, Development Manger of Special Events for Second Harvest Food Bank. ‘It remains empty as a reminder of our neighbors struggling against hunger.’

“The event will also feature a fabulous silent auction and the Empty Bowls Store, filled with an array of hand crafts, Empty Bowls branded items and stocks of sweet and savory selections prepared by Providence Catering of Triad Community Kitchen. All event proceeds support Second Harvest Food Bank’s food distribution programs and special meal programs for children, including the BackPack Program, commemorating 10 years of making hunger-free weekends possible for kids in need; Kids Cafes; School Pantries and summer feeding initiatives.

“Free parking and shuttle service are available at the event. To purchase tickets online, visit: hungernwnc.org.”

Tim Beeman (of this food blog, the food news and views podcast, Tart & Tangy Triad and the pop culture podcast, The Less Desirables) will be a “Floor Ambassador” for the event from 10:30 until 12:30 (or beyond).  He hopes to see you out there and to shake your hand and get you set up with a meal for a great cause.

SHFBNWNC also wants to bring attention to the event’s generous sponsors: Presenting sponsor – Texas Pete® Sauces; Signature sponsor – Food Lion; Potter’s Wheel sponsors The Abe & Miriam Brenner Foundation, BB&T, Harris Teeter, Reynolds American, Inc., The Sawtooth School for Visual Art and Wells Fargo & Company; Media sponsor – The Winston-Salem Journal; and Contributing sponsors An Originals By You, The Millennium Center and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC is the leading hunger relief organization for an 18 county service area (Alamance, Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Caldwell, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin), working in partnership with more than 400 local food assistance programs that include food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and special feeding programs for children and seniors. Together they provide critical nutritional support for nearly 300,000 neighbors in need each year, including 100,000 children, as we passionately pursue an end to hunger through outreach, education and advocacy. Special Second Harvest Food Bank programs include special initiatives to combat childhood hunger, the Triad Community Kitchen culinary job training program, Nutrition Education Services and others. To learn more, visit hungerncnwnc.org. Find them on Facebook and Twitter.  Second Harvest Food Bank is part of Feeding America.

Make a date to end hunger on April 22.

Small Batch Beer Releasing Beer Based on Old Salem

From the Small Batch Beer Facebook Invite:

“Small Batch and Old Salem Museums & Gardens have teamed up to offer a limited edition beer based on a historic recipe that dates to the late 1700’s. In celebration of NC Beer Month we are releasing this limited supply for all to try!”

View the invite here.

Weather Can’t Stop Restaurant Week

It’s Thursday, which means the week is almost over.  However, there are three more days of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership Restaurant Week left! That’s until February 21st!restaurantweek The weather has been crazy but these restaurants are still cranking out awesome deals and even more awesome food.  Be sure to go to the DWSP site to find out more.

The Man Who Ate the Town: A Food Blog Switches Formats and Address

Guess who made the jump to WordPress from Blogger?  That’s right, Tim & Stephanie did.  We were able to drop the annoying “I’m” on the front of the web address, as well.  So what used to be “ImTheManWhoAteTheTown.blogspot.com” is, for now, “TheManWhoAteTheTown.wordpress.com”

We’re keeping the format that we chose at the end of January, we’re still doing restaurant reviews as we get to them, but we’re going to focus more on the “Tart & Tangy Triad” aspect and let it be “Food News & Views” based.  Keep an eye out for posts and interact with us, that’s why we’re here.

Have a great day!

No Personality Equals No Return

Chelsee’s Coffee is a cute, artsy, boutique coffee shop in the middle of the historic Arts District of downtown Winston-Salem; Trade Street specifically.  It owes most of its business to the placement, not so much its product.  Residents and urbanites that work downtown have coffee options.  Many, many coffee options.

4th Street dwellers have Camino Bakery (our preference) or the brand new Washington Perk & Provision Company.  5th Street consumers have Starbucks (if you’re into subpar chain coffee) or venture to the aforementioned 4th Street locales.  East of Liberty Street peeps and those who want trendy, over-roasted and sometimes burnt options over substance go to Krankie’s.  Trade St. gets Chelsee’s.

I will admit that we didn’t actually get coffee on this trip.  We were wanting to try the smoothies that they advertised both in the store and on the street sandwich board.  We were downtown for the annual Bookmarks Festival and even though the weather was spectacular, it was still warm enough to warrant some smoothie goodness.  Smoothies are part of their product line and we figured we could get one, enjoy it and be back to talk to sponsors of Tart & Tangy Triad, Barnhills Books, Wine & Gifts.  Yes, the line was long (and by long I mean about 4 customers ahead of us), but nothing that would have made it incredibly overwhelming for the employees.

They have modern machinery and had two veteran and seasoned baristas behind the deck making drinks.  Neither seemed to have any problems making drinks.  The line was moving at an expected pace.  The person in front of us ordered and was told by the lifeless statue that was stationed behind the cash register that they “weren’t making smoothies right now.”  The customer said that was all she had wanted so she walked out of line, just as the barista known as DJ RedStar called out to the waiting gallery, “Lemonade Smoothie,” with a playful voice.

So we approached the counter and Venus de Void-o’Personality informed us upon the question that indeed they weren’t making smoothies.  I inquired about the one that just passed over the counter and she said in stone faced zeal (that’s sarcasm), “that was the last one.”  I said, “well, I’ll just have a Perrier,” as Stephanie went to look for something instead, as well.  The Human Bust stood there, just looking around.  “Well I guess I’ll go ahead and get it since you don’t seem to want to do anything,” I said, more than slightly annoyed.  Stephanie had a Diet Cheerwine and I my Perrier.  I wonder had we asked for Iced Coffee if we’d have had the same reaction?

They acted like ice was the problem, or they felt too busy to worry about smoothies.  There was plenty of ice in their machine.  Giving benefit of doubt, the machine could have been down.  But can’t you say that instead of making it out like we all didn’t see the three smoothies prior to the customer in front of us walk out the door?

This is not the first time that I have gone to Chelsee’s  This trip was not at all unlike most visits I’ve made here. The service is almost always lacking any personality.  No matter who is behind the counter.  Yes, there may have been circumstances that I didn’t know about going on in the unfortunate cashier’s life.  But, you know what, that’s not our problem.  Customer service is driven by happy customers, satisfied customers.  Customers aren’t and don’t have to be ones who care what is going on in your life.  That’s not to say I don’t have empathy or even sympathy to your plights, neither am I a bad nor hard to please customer.  However, you are paid to do said service, do your job or go home.  Unemployment is high in this state and there are plenty of people that could have your job.  Even when she was off of work she walked through Trade St. with a look of painful disdain.

I can’t imagine that any other factor than location is the reason Chelsee’s stays in business.  The coffee drinks are less-than-inspiring and the smoothie flavors are basic.  Yes, coffee is coffee but coffee shops bring a certain degree of self-importance that all of us do indulge in from time-to-time and need something more than the Folgers or Maxwell House we can make at home.  The flavor of the coffee is mediocre at best. The atmosphere does brag a nice fireplace and a TV to distract from the overall banality of the location.  Still, customer service is a huge factor of a return visit and since this is not the first time, yet the worst time, this has happened, I doubt I’ll give any more money to Chelsee’s Coffee.

This experience, on top of the past experiences, deems that the location doesn’t even warrant a rating.