The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 62

In Episode #61, proudly recorded at Test Pattern Studios:

  • Wise Man Brewing and Willows Bistro Beer Dinner coming Feb 25.
  • Tim and Kelly sample food from the new Dynasty Asian Fusion restaurant.
  • Camino Bakery has two new co-owners.
  • Super Bowl and party food recap.
  • Food Holidays

Don’t forget our 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!

Camino Bakery Announces New Co-Owners

l-r: Poe-Crawford, Clifford, Warner

Cary Clifford, the founder and owner of Camino Bakery announced today that she is being “joined” by two new co-owners. I say joined because the two are already deeply ingrained in the Camino family.

Jordan Poe-Crawford and Lisa Warner, who are already the General Manager and Business Manager, respectively, have been with the company for some time.

Clifford says in a press release: “I’m grateful for everything they’ve done over the years to make sure our lights stayed on, and I’m so happy that they’ve signed on to this great adventure for the long haul!”

In business for over ten years, Camino Bakery has locations on 4th Street, Brookstown Avenue and in the Baptist Hospital.

 

The Big Eat – February 7, 2017

It’s the fifth and final week of The Big Eat (WSNC) and here’s what I have for this week’s lineup:

6th & Vine: Chicken Marsela with onions, mushrooms, bacon, and tomato, in a Marsala demi-glace– $9.50

Bernardin’s Restaurant: BRAISED AUSTRALIAN LAMB SHANK with CURRY Rainbow Carrots, Fingerling Potato and Jasmine Rice – $13

Bib’s Downtown: Pulled Pork Sandwich Plate: $4.25

Bleu Restaurant: Grilled Mahi Mahi Coconut Rice ,Spinach, Red Curry ,Pineapple Salad$11

Camel City BBQ Factory: BBQ Sandwich Basket and Tea for  $4

Camino Bakery: half-priced cheesecake slices

Hutch & Harris: Choice of their Humorous Hummus App or Tasmania Tuna app free with the purchase of 2 entrees (only with purchase of two entrees).

Jeffrey Adams: Crab Stuffed Salmon 8 oz. salmon , crab, onion, peppers, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, bearnaise sauce –  $10.50

Krankies: Sauerkraut-smothered, bone-in Pork Chop with Fries $12

Local 27101: 50% Off all Burgers, Sandwiches, and Salads

Mellow Mushroom: 50% off bruschetta, 20% off large specialty pies

Miami Restaurant & Bar: Media Noche Sandwich Slow roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and yellow mustard on sweet bread, served with French fries. $5

Mooney’s Mediterranean: Garden Chicken Pita OR Garden Pita w/ Choice of Hummus or French Fries $5.50

Old Fourth Street Filling Station: Grilled Salmon with lemon caper dill butter, wild rice, sauteed vegetables $10.50

The Porch Cantina: Porch Naked Burrito Bowl With jasmine rice, borracho beans, veggies, Mimi’s Queso, verde sauce, sour cream, guacamole, jalapeños & tortilla chips.With: Chicken or Avocado – $6 | Steak or Shrimp – $7

Quanto Basta: Chicken Parmesan – $6.50

Señor Bravo: Steak Fajitas – $n/a

Spring House Restaurant: BBQ BISON MEATLOAF with creamed Spinach, Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes Applewood Smoked Bacon Demi-Glace – $10

Thai Harmony: Half Price Pad Thai

Tre Nonne: PASTA BOLOGNESE Beef and Pork cooked in tomato sauce with fresh herbs and served over the homemade pasta of your choice. – $6.75

Twin City Slice: 2 for price of 1 Slices of Pizza

West End Coffee House: Brownie Sundaes and Affogatos for $4 each

Willow’s Bistro: Nashville Hot Chicken and Waffles with blue cheese foam and fried arugula $12

If you are a restaurant that is participating but I haven’t listed you here, please send me a message or call me (336)403-2076 and let me know. I want to make sure that you’re all represented for the awesome work you’re doing in bringing recognition to our town and your restaurants. These specials are dine-in only and on a “while supplies last” basis.

Go out tonight and support your local cuisine and have a great meal in the process!

The Big Eat – January 31, 2017

It’s week #4 of The Big Eat and here’s what I have for this week’s lineup:

6th & Vine: Blackened Chicken over penne with a bacon, basil Alfredo sauce – $9

Bernardin’s Restaurant: Sauteed Black Pepper Crusted Jumbo Shrimp with braised white bean ragout, tarragon, spinach, crispy onion ring – $12 

Bib’s Downtown: Pulled Pork Sandwich Plate: $4.25

Bleu Restaurant: Goat Cheese Crusted Chicken Breast Nicoise Vegetables & Sweet Mustard Sauce$9.50

Camel City BBQ Factory: BBQ Sandwich Basket and Tea for  $4

Camino Bakery: half-priced cheesecake slices

Hutch & Harris: East Asian Orange Salmon 1/2 off

Jeffrey Adams: 14oz. Ribeye served with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus – $14.50

Krankies: Steak Frittes steak, fries and a salad  $9

Local 27101: 50% Off all Burgers, Sandwiches, and Salads

Mellow Mushroom: 50% off whole order pretzels, 20% off large specialty pies

Miami Restaurant & Bar: Lechon Asado House marinated roasted pulled pork with sautéed onions. Served with white rice, black beans and choice of plantain  $7

Mooney’s Mediterranean: Garden Chicken Pita OR Garden Pita w/ Choice of Hummus or French Fries $5.50

Mozelle’s: Fried Chicken with mac & cheese and haricot vert (substitutions are allowed) – $9.50

Old Fourth Street Filling Station: Shrimp-N-Grits shrimp, andouille sausage, tomato, baby spinach, chipotle cream sauce, grit cake – $10

The Porch Cantina: Porch Naked Burrito Bowl With jasmine rice, borracho beans, veggies, Mimi’s Queso, verde sauce, sour cream, guacamole, jalapeños & tortilla chips.With: Chicken or Avocado – $6 | Steak or Shrimp – $7

Quanto Basta: Chicken Parmesan – $6.50

Señor Bravo: 4 Tacos de pastor marinated pork meat with pineapple,grilled onions on a chile guajillo rub served with corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, onions and hot sauce – $5.99

Spring House Restaurant: BBQ BISON MEATLOAF with creamed Spinach, Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes Applewood Smoked Bacon Demi-Glace – $10

Thai Harmony: Half Price Pad Thai

Tre Nonne: SPAGHETTI WITH MEATBALLS A one-of-a-kind, fully homemade experience. Fresh pasta and a generous helping of our special blend of meats and seasoning, served with our very own marinara sauce – $6.75

Twin City Slice: 2 for price of 1 Slices of Pizza

West End Coffee House: Brownie Sundaes and Affogatos for $4 each

Willow’s Bistro: Blackened Grilled Cafe Steak with arugula, french fried potato stick, grape tomato, horseradish aioli and blue cheese crumbles  $12.50

If you are a restaurant that is participating but I haven’t listed you here, please send me a message or call me (336)403-2076 and let me know. I want to make sure that you’re all represented for the awesome work you’re doing in bringing recognition to our town and your restaurants. These specials are dine-in only and on a “while supplies last” basis.

Go out tonight and support your local cuisine and have a great meal in the process!

The Big Eat – January 24, 2017

It’s week #3 of The Big Eat and here’s what I have for this week’s lineup:

6th & Vine: Peachy Pork Tenderloin with a peach cognac sauce – $9.50

Bernardin’s Restaurant: ROASTED ATLANTIC SALMON with Horseradish crust, spinach, sweet roasted garlic, port wine sauce – $12.50           

Bib’s Downtown: Pulled Pork Sandwich Plate: $4.25

Bleu Restaurant: Blackened Catfish with Dirty Quinoa ,Collared Greens, Crawfish Brown Butter Sauce$10

Camel City BBQ Factory: BBQ Sandwich Basket and Tea for  $4

Camino Bakery: half-priced cheesecake slices

Hutch & Harris: Chicken Pie 1/2 off

Jeffrey Adams: Southern Fried Chicken panko encrusted fried chicken, wild mushroom and bacon gravy, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts – $9

Krankies: Housemade Bolognese over pappardelle with Parmesan  $9

Local 27101: 50% Off all Burgers, Sandwiches, and Salads

Mellow Mushroom: 50% off hummus, 20% off large specialty pies

Miami Restaurant & Bar: Picadillo Minced beef stewed with peppers, olives and tomatoes. Served with white rice, black beans and choice of plantain  $6

Mooney’s Mediterranean: Garden Chicken Pita OR Garden Pita w/ Choice of Hummus or French Fries $5.50

Mozelle’s: Meat Loaf with collards and grits (substitutions are allowed) – $9.50

Old Fourth Street Filling Station: Filet Mignon grilled 4 oz. beef tenderloin, sauteed vegetables, smashed red potatoes$7.50

The Porch Cantina: Porch Naked Burrito Bowl With jasmine rice, borracho beans, veggies, Mimi’s Queso, verde sauce, sour cream, guacamole, jalapeños & tortilla chips.With: Chicken or Avocado – $6 | Steak or Shrimp – $7

Quanto Basta: Chicken Parmesan – $6.50

Senior Bravo: 4 Tacos de pastor marinated pork meat with pineapple,grilled onions on a chile guajillo rub served with corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, onions and hot sauce – $5.99

Spring House Restaurant: BBQ BISON MEATLOAF with creamed Spinach, Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes Applewood Smoked Bacon Demi-Glace – $10

Thai Harmony: Half Price Pad Thai

Tre Nonne: CHICKEN ALFREDO with Our in-house fettuccini, covered in our signature creamy parmesan alfredo sauce –  $7.75

Twin City Slice: 2 for price of 1 Slices of Pizza

West End Coffee House: Brownie Sundaes and Affogatos for $4 each

Willow’s Bistro: Shrimp & Grits with smoked tomato & andouille cream sauce $15

If you are a restaurant that is participating but I haven’t listed you here, please send me a message or call me (336)403-2076 and let me know. I want to make sure that you’re all represented for the awesome work you’re doing in bringing recognition to our town and your restaurants.

Go out tonight and support your local cuisine and have a great meal in the process!

The Big Eat – January 17, 2017

It’s week #2 of The Big Eat and here’s what I have for this week’s lineup:

6th & Vine: Peppercorn-Crusted Sirloin with a creamy cognac sauce  – $11

Bernardin’s Restaurant: SAUTEED BRIE STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST Prosciutto, shitake, asparagus, Turnip, puree potato, thyme natural jus – $9.50           

Bib’s Downtown: Pulled Pork Sandwich Plate: $4.25

Bleu Restaurant: Grilled Angus Flatiron with Whipped Potatoes, Asparagus & Au poivre Sauce– $12

Camel City BBQ Factory: BBQ Sandwich Basket and Tea for $4

Camino Bakery: half-priced cheesecake slices

Hutch & Harris: Olympic Pasta with Chicken: 1/2 off

Jeffrey Adams: Beef-N- Grits beef tenderloin tips, white cheddar grit cake, roasted red pepper, spinach, wild mushroom bacon gravy – $11.50

Krankies: Pork Schitzel with spaezle and braised red cabbage $9

Local 27101: 50% Off all Burgers, Sandwiches, and Salads

Mellow Mushroom: 50% off bruschetta, 20% large specialty pies

Mooney’s Mediterranean: Garden Chicken Pita OR Garden Pita w/ Choice of Hummus or French Fries: $5.50

Mozelle’s: Shrimp & Grits – $10

Old Fourth Street Filling Station: Crab Cake Dinner two house made crab cakes, creole remoulade, roasted cream cor sauteed vegetables, smashed red potatoes – $10

The Porch Cantina: Porch Naked Burrito Bowl With jasmine rice, borracho beans, veggies, Mimi’s Queso, verde sauce, sour cream, guacamole, jalapeños & tortilla chips.With: Chicken or Avocado – $6 | Steak or Shrimp – $7

Quanto Basta: Chicken Parmesan – $6.50

Senior Bravo: 4 Tacos de pastor marinated pork meat with pineapple,grilled onions on a chile guajillo rub served with corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, onions and hot sauce – $5.99

Spring House Restaurant: BBQ BISON MEATLOAF with creamed Spinach, Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes Applewood Smoked Bacon Demi-Glace – $10

Thai Harmony: Half Price Pad Thai

Tre Nonne: BAKED ZITI Fresh homemade ziti baked with ricotta and mozzarella cheese, topped with our special marinara sauce – $6.50

Twin City Slice: 2 for price of 1 Slices of Pizza

West End Coffee House: Brownie Sundaes and Affogatos for $4 each

Willow’s Bistro: Scottish Salmon with smoked risotto, curry lime aioli $15

If you are a restaurant that is participating but I haven’t listed you here, please send me a message or call me (336)403-2076 and let me know. I want to make sure that you’re all represented for the awesome work you’re doing in bringing recognition to our town and your restaurants.

Go out tonight and support your local cuisine and have a great meal in the process!

The Big Eat Returns

I wrote an article for Piedmont Local Magazine, a few weeks ago about this event called The Big Eat, that starts up this coming Tuesday and wanted to clue you in on what’s going down.

First, what is The Big Eat? It’s a collective of restaurants in downtown Winston-Salem (and some outlying areas) where participating restaurants take signature menu items, reduced up to 50% off regular price, to highlight and showcase what the culinary scene downtown is all about. There’s a little more to it than that, but the gist is this: become better acquainted with the great local food establishments you have in your town.

This is no longer an event through the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership, but is put together, mostly, by Piedmont Local Mag. Not all downtown restaurants are participating, so don’t be upset if you go into one that isn’t unless you call first.

Also, know that the specials are dine-in only (so, no take out) and are subject to availability. If you go to Restaurant A because you wanted the free shrimp cocktail with a surf ‘n’ turf, and you get there and they’re out of shrimp cocktail and surf ‘n’ turf, well, then that’s the breaks. It’s all based on availability. And the offerings are subject to change at any time. Perhaps they change it to some other special when they run out, or decide to change it; it happens. *(that’s not really happening anywhere, I just wanted to give an example)*

The dates for the events are: January 10, 17, 24, 31 & February 7, 2017. Greensboro will be doing the same thing two weeks after WSNC, February 21, 28 & March 7, 14, 21, 2017. I don’t have as much reach in Greensboro so my intel may be a little light but I’ll do what I can.

This is not a full list, as some of the restaurants haven’t reported but here’s what I know as of now:

6th & Vine
Featured Dish:
Tequila Mango Salmon – $11

Bernardin’s Restaurant At Zevely House
Featured Dish:
50% Off Ahi Tuna Rare
soba noodle, baby bok, choy, shitake, tahini sweet chili sauce

Bibs Downtown
Featured Dish:
Pulled Pork Sandwich Plate: $4.25

Camino Bakery
Featured Dish:
half-priced cheesecake slices

Foothills Brewpub
Featured Dish:
50% off Fish ‘n Chips

Hutch and Harris
Featured Dish:
West Bank Bean cakes 1/2 off

Jeffrey Adams on Fourth
Featured Dish:
4oz. filet
served with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus $13
Toppings
– butter poached lobster – $6  crab cake – $5  sea scallops – $6 grilled diablo shrimp – $6  mushrooms and onions – $2 boursin cream sauce – $2

Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar
Featured Dish:
Fred Flintstone’s Pork Shank
Savannah Inspired Red Rice
Lemon, Parsley and Dijon Bread Crumbs
House Pepper Jelly: $12

Thai Harmony
Featured Dish:
Half Price Pad Thai

The Old Fourth Street Filling Station
Featured Dish:
Jambalaya
– shrimp, chicken, andouille sausage, tomatoes, peppers, celery, onions, celery, rice  
$9.50

Willow’s Bistro
Fried Chicken, butter whipped potato, grilled asparagus and grilled portobello demi. $15.

Again, that’s just a portion of what’s going to be available. I’m still waiting to hear from Bleu Restaurant & Bar, Graze of Winston-Salem, Mellow Mushroom, Mooney’s, Quanto Basta, Tre Nonne, Vin 205 and West End Coffeehouse. When I do, I’ll either update this post or create an addendum. I do know that Finnigan’s Wake will be participating the following weeks but not this coming week as they’ll be doing some long overdue kitchen remodeling. It’s minor work but necessary.

Restaurant Week is Back

The Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership’s Restaurant Week is almost here! The new restaurant weekannual event is running this year from Monday, February 22 through Sunday, February 28. The event is to highlight the restaurants as well as our beloved downtown and its fantastic aesthetic and diverse nightlife. Each location will offer specials intended to entice you to try their wares as well as that of their colleagues.

The list of restaurants in the downtown Winston-Salem area is out and available for your perusing. You can see the full details of the event here. To highlight just a few of the establishments and a sample of their specials to whet your whistle:

DiLisio’s Italian Restaurant$30 Special – 1 shared Appetizer, 2 Baked Dishes, 1 Shared Canoli.

Willow’s Bistro & Bar:
$20 Special – 
1st Course: cup of soup or salad
2nd Course: Grilled Scottish Salmon: over wild mushroom risotto, asparagus coins, shaved manchego.
3rd Course: Makers Mark creme brulee with fresh berries

$30 Special –
1st Course: roasted veggies or grilled romaine
2nd Course: Grilled 8oz. Cafe Steak: over gouda mac n cheese, grilled asparagus, & fried onion rings
3rd Course: Sous Vide Banana Pudding

King’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar:
$20 Special – Full Bucket – Dreamy Steamy Bucket: steamed mix of spiced up snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters

$30 Special – Bucket for Two – Dreamy Steamy Bucket: steamed mix of spiced up snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters

Meridian:
$30 Per Person –
Choice of Starters:
Soup du Jour
Little Gem Artisan Lettuce Salad: with roasted tomato, English cucumber, house made crouton & aged red wine vinaigrette

Choice of Entree:
House Made Pasta of the day(eg. Ravioli, Lasagna, Manicotti)
Pan Seared NC Mountain Trout: with starch, vegetable & sauce
Grass Fed Bistro Steak Lyonnaise: with pommes frites, dressed artisan lettuce & Meridian steak sauce

Choice of Housse Made Dessert:
Bread Pudding: with caramel & creme chantilly
Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
Dark Chocolate Torte with ganache & creme chantilly

Mellow Mushroom:
$20 Dinner for Two –
Choice of 2 lil’ salads (tossed or caesar)
1 medium 1-topping pizza to share
1 brownie sundae to share

$30 Dinner for Two –
Choice of Hummus or Bruschetta appetizer to share
1 large specialty pizza to share
1 brownie sundae to share

Mission Pizza:
$20 Special –
1 pizza of your choice, green salad, and daily dessert

$30 Special –
2 pizzas of your choice OR 1 pizza of your choice and 1 plate of your choice, and dessert

Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar:
Classic Spring House: $20 –
Choice of seasonal soup or HOUSE salad
The Colonel 2.0.16: crispy buttermilk fried chicken atop corn waffle with brown sugar smoked apple infused maple drizzle
Warm Bread Pudding
**please no substitutions

Winter’s Bounty: $30 –
Shrimp and Crab Beignets with Red Beet and Horseradish Remoulade
Choice of seasonal soup or HOUSE salad
Fred Flintstone’s Pork Shank: Savannah inspired red rice with lemon, parsley and dijon bread crumbs and HOUSE pepper jelly
**please no substitutions

Camino Bakery:
$20 Special –
Bag of Krankies whole coffee beans and a loaf of bread of your choice

$30 Special –
Bag of Krankies whole coffee beans, loaf of bread of your choice, and a bottle of Honoro Vera Garnacha

There are plenty more wonderful restaurants participating. Again, see the full list on the DWSP website.

A few disclaimers that are very important here:

*Restaurant Week Specials are dine-in only so, no take outs.
*Restaurant Specials are subject to change and that’s a possibilty. The prices exclude tax and tip. Take care of those who take care of you.
*If you’ve a food allergy, questions about ingredients or any other special restrictions, please check with individual restaurants.
*Restaurant Week Specials are subject to availability; they may, and often do, run out of the Special.
*Please check with restaurants prior to dining if you have questions about the Specials; don’t call the DWSP about it, they’re not in control of that info.
*If they run out of the Special, the restaurant is not obligated to provided a replacement dish.
*Coupons are not accepted in conjunction with these specials. Check with restaurants for coupon policies.

If there is an error on this page, the official restaurant special at the Restaurant is correct; I’m but a guide through the awesome food land and I have been known to almost make a mistake a time or two.

The important thing here? Go enjoy delicious food and support local establishments. You never know who you may see out there!

A Contemplation of Fourth

This is reprinted from an article that was published today from Tim’s daily blog, Useless Things Need Love, Too.

Salutations™!!

There have been two high profile (at least to me) closings announced this week in my favorite part of Winston-Salem and on the same city block.  This past Tuesday Augustine’s Bistro sent out a very short, but to the point, email to the restaurant’s closest supporters, friends and family announcing that they were closing as of that day.  No head’s up, no closing ceremony, no time for goodbyes.  About 45 minutes prior to that I received texts from both Aly Reich, the manager and Chris McDonough, the Mixologist (Intoxicologist?) Extraordinaire informing me that they were closing.  They had just found out minutes before.  According to an article by Michael Hastings of the Winston-Salem Journal, Eric Muck, the owner said that business just wasn’t there, as well as some preconceived notions of potential clients about the location.  We’ll get to that in a bit.

Today, in an article from Lynn Felder of Relish and WSJ, it was announced that The Community Arts Cafe is closing as of March 31. CAC was a performance center, cafe, wine & beer bar with a kitchen that was, for a time, a restaurant and catering area.  I saw a performance by Spirit Gum Theater Company there as well as some of the SoundLizzard showcases there.  The kitchen was the kitchen for La Rana Loca and Encore restaurants before that, complete with some beer taps.

Fourth Street is the new main street in Downtown Winston-Salem. a/perture Cinema, Camino Bakery, Washington Perk, Mellow Mushroom, Jeffrey Adams on 4th, Hutch & Harris, Kings Crab Shack & Oyster Bar, Downtown Thai, The Honey Pot, Kabobs on 4th, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Jimmy John’s, Foothills Brewing, Skippy’s Hot Dogs, Corks Caps & Taps, Quanto Basta, West End Coffee Shop, Mozelle’s, Olde Fourth Street Filling Station, Mooney’s, Downtown Deli, West End Cafe, Recreation Billiards, Bulls Tavern, The Stevens Center, The Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and The Less Desirables are just a FEW businesses on this street within a 9 block (or so) area.  This is the street to be on.  Now, both of these are on the 400 block of 4th Street.  That’s two locations in one week announcing closings within 100 yards of each other. What in the world is going on!?  I have some theories and I’m going to expound on them.  These may be slightly off base or they may be close, but they’re mine.

CAC

Let’s start with CAC.  When it opened, it was an innovation to what was going on downtown.  It was Fourth Street’s alternative to Trade Streets art galleries and had a performance center area that had a decent beer and wine selection.  They eventually added catering and a restaurant. The space is huge and they’ve sublet some of it.  But, really most people didn’t even know it was there.  There was a sign, yes, but it wasn’t flashy and didn’t get in your face.  Even when people did see it, it wasn’t really clear what it was. A chalk sandwich board outside becomes commonplace on the street and people tend to stop reading or looking.  Posters in the windows weren’t really indicative, either.  So, there was challenge number one. Then not too long ago, the WS Chamber took over the entire upper part, of the building. In doing so, they basically branded the whole building as WS Chamber.  That’s the prominent signage and I’ll admit, that while I knew about CAC being in there, it was lost on the appearance that it was WS Chamber’s building and they did everything in there.  If someone didn’t have business to do with the Chamber, then why go in, right?  The Chamber are so dominant in that space that when they moved in they demanded (and got) all the parking behind the building and no one is allowed to park there without having credentials. The Chamber are brutal, at times. Yeah, I said it.

UNCSA Stevens Center

Let’s talk Augustine’s.  Augustine’s was at 401 W 4th. It was located in the UNCSA’s Stevens Center complex. Notice I said in the complex. Yes, it was in the same building but it wasn’t necessarily part of the Stevens Center.  However, that is one of the major problems.  People see the decorative awning of the Stevens Center that wraps all the way around the building and it full encompasses where Augustine’s was.  In fact, the Stevens Center’s branding was on the extreme edges of the awning, beyond any signage that any restaurant had out there. You can see from the picture here, what I mean. Thank you to Fam Brownlee for that picture.

So, with the perception of Augustine’s being part of the UNCSA, there are a few stigmas.  You get the low-brows who think the theatre is snooty and pompous and “I don’t want anything to do with those artsy-fartsy kind.” Or, because it’s in there, then it must be expensive.  The fact is, I believe that Augustine’s prices could have actually been a little higher; the quality and portion size (no matter what some ridiculous Yelp! reviewers may have said) were very reasonably priced and I think Eric and Audrey shorted themselves slightly.  I commend them for keeping the prices down as best as they can.  I just think it was particular component of the problem. Another thing, being that no matter how much signage you put out, UNCSA isn’t going to let you outshine them so your signs will never be indicative of what is inside. That being said, they think the restaurant is just part of the Steven Center which gives the misconception that they’re only open when there are shows going on.  They were open Tuesday through Saturday and even opening for lunches in the last month or so.

Another thing about this location is no restauranteur is going to have money to spend on upfitting the kitchen and refrigeration of the place and they’re in dire need of it.  UNCSA certainly isn’t going to pay to replace that, but they’ve had a problem with it for a while.  Compound all these ingredients and they either all are the problem or they contribute to it.

I’m not putting down either the Chamber nor UNCSA’s Stevens Center, but their being there is killing the potential for smaller businesses, namely restaurants in their presence.  The 400 block of Fourth Street at least on the northern side is dominated by those two locations. The irony is that the Chamber is supposed to be there to help businesses not oppress them. Whilst they maintain such visible and occupied presence, nothing else can survive.  Like grass when there are large trees around.  The trees absorb all the nutrients and the surrounding area is barren.

Both CAC and Augustine’s were reliant on word of mouth, however, if no one knows you’re there, they can’t tell anyone else. These locations have no money for marketing and without a marketing budget, there will be no traffic to your place.  Places like I mentioned before on this street had prominent signage that represented their establishments.

I’m challenging you all to become more aware of what is happening in this town that we love or if you’re from out of town, at least try to be more aware of what this town has to offer.  I’m bracing for the next big closure.  Which, sometimes when one thing goes another takes its place, but I’m afraid that the two spaces I’ve discussed are prompted to fail no matter what goes in there unless something changes on the marketing/signage front.  According to Hastings’s article about UNCSA there’s talk that they’ll re-purpose Augustine’s for something that isn’t a restaurant. I’d be relieved if that happened because anything that goes in there, to would be doomed for failure.

None of these factors are the lone factors, I believe.  It’s a culmination of many things, these just being the prominent ones in my mind. These are great locations that happen to be horrible locales.

Enough of my venting for the day.  Don’t let our foodie town erode away.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


For an adult, the world is constantly trying to clamp down on itself. Routine, responsibility, decay of institutions, corruption: this is all the world closing in.” – Bruce Springsteen

DWSP Presents Restaurant Week 2/15-2/21

Did you know that the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership is presenting Restaurant Week from Sunday, February 15 through Saturday February 22?  Well, you do now!

restaurantweek

DWSP Restaurant Week

What is Restaurant Week?  We’re glad you asked.  Restaurant Week is a food event where many of the downtown Winston-Salem restaurants offer special prix fixe menus of $20, $30 or both.  For example: a restaurant can offer an appetizer, an entree and a dessert (chosen to form a combo) for $20 per person or they may offer a double portion for $30.  Make sense?  Maybe not.  Let’s give some real examples:

Bib’s for example has the following:


 

$20 Special for 2
3 Rib Bone Plate: Each person gets a plate that comes with 3 Rib Bones, Choice of Red or White Slaw, 1 side item, Hush Puppies and Toast
Choose 1 dessert to share

$30 Special for 2
Half Rack Rib Bone Plates: Each person gets a plate that comes with 6 Rib Bones, Choice or Red or White Slaw, 1 side item, Hush Puppies and Toast
Choose 1 dessert to share

They can also offer extras such as this: Beverage Pairing Suggestions (Additional Charge)
WINE: Our ribs pair nicely with the Michael David Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon or North Carolina’s Childress Pinnacle
BEER: Our ribs also pair nicely with the Olde Hickory Ruby Lager or the Highland Gaelic Ale which are both North Carolina brews


Let’s look at another restaurant’s offerings.
Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar offers this:
3 Course Dinner $30 per person
BOOM! M-80 Crispy Shrimp: texas pete voodoo sauce
Filet Mignon: cabernet franc butter, oyster cornbread dressing & gorgonzola fritter
Ooey-Gooey Chocolate Nutella Cake: hibiscus cherry infused sweet cream

$20 Special per person
Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Pan Gravy: atop smoked tomato and pimento cheese grits, M-80 sauce, ‘Bama BBQ sauce, Sriracha aioli
Spring House Bread Pudding: caramel Kahlua sauce and sweet cream


So these are only examples.  Here is a comprehensive list of participating restaurants…

6th & Vine Wine Bar & Cafe
Augustine’s Bistro
Bayberry Bistro
Bernardin’s
Bib’s Downtown
Black Mountain Chocolate
Camino Bakery
Di Lisio’s Italian Restaurant
District Rooftop Bar & Grille
Downtown Thai & Sushi
Foothills Brewing
Graze
Hutch & Harris
Jeffrey Adams on Fourth
Kabobs on Fourth
King’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar
Mellow Mushroom
Meridian
Mooney’s Mediterranean Café
Mozelle’s
Mission Pizza
Old Fourth Street Filling Station
Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar
Twin City Hive
Wen Hwa Asian Fusion Cuisine
Sweet Potatoes…a restaurant
West End Coffeehouse
Willow’s Bistro

We could have saved you reading that and just sent you to the website, but what fun would that have been?  We recommend calling ahead for reservations and remember that these are dinner specials only and, of course, they’re subject to availability and all that jazz. Also, the restaurants are subject to change and more could be added or some may drop out; it happens.  Go, eat, have fun, take friends, enjoy and tell us what you think. Even better, let DWSP and the restaurants know what you think.  Help make this Restaurant Week a success.

Have fun!