The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 63

In Episode #63, proudly recorded at Test Pattern Studios:

  • Wise Man Brewing and Willows Bistro Beer Dinner coming Feb 25.
  • Tim and Kelly talk about Downtown Restaurant Week coming Feb 19-25 and some of the special menus of participating restaurants.
  • Intown Donutz is now open.
  • Waldo’s Wings to take over Skippy’s Hot Dogs.
  • Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday fall on the same day for first time since 1945. What do you or do you not give up for Valentine’s Day?
  • 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!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 60

In Episode #60, proudly recorded at Test Pattern Studios:

  • Surprising news this morning that Skippy’s Hot Dogs is permanently closing.
  • Little Richard’s Barbecue on Country Club (and Walburg) to change their name.
  • Finnigan’s new menu to come out later this/early next week.
  • 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!

    .

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #33

Mike Rothman (©Winston-Salem Journal)

In Episode #33, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

  • Hope du Jour is tonight!
  • Mission Pizza holds Knife Fight Vol. 3 on May 8.
  • Skippy’s founder, Mike Rothman passes away.
  • Food holidays and history.

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).

Bon Appetit!

Skippy’s Reopens Today

Making one of my two dogs

Skippy’s Hot Dogs reopened today under the Whitley family’s watch. It has old Skippy’s dog mainstays and yes, the pretzel buns are back. I want to talk a little bit about my experience today. Now, as I said, today is the first day open so there’s a lot of kinks to work out. I’m definitely gonna be fair about this.

Let’s start with the menu.

There’s no fries. That’s okay. I’m not a huge fan of fries. I am huge but just not a huge fan of fries. There were some fresh-baked cookies for sale, though. They have canned drinks, just like in the old days (from here in for this blog post only, “the old days” will refer to the old Skippy’s). One thing that is definitely missing, though, is the Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer. I don’t know if it’s hard to get around here, they didn’t know where to look, or they just abandoned the idea. They do have Cheerwine which is a fine, local substitute, but not quite the same. Either way, I always thought the birch beer was the best option for the pretzel buns. Speaking of which…

They hadn’t perfected the pretzel bun recipe, prior to opening. They were a little extra crispy, a little tough and really lacking any real pretzel flavor. I trust they’ll get some more practice and hone that skill, as I believe it certainly is a skill to make those things. They will get it. However, for my trip today, and again… it’s the first day, so I understand… the buns actually detracted from the overall flavor of the hot dogs. In the old days, the buns were softer, chewier and their flavor accentuated the dogs. The dogs today were kind of bland. And thin, perhaps slightly overcooked.

Making a Chicago-style dog.

The real side choices for today (other than the cookies) were small bags of Lays chips and Doritos. If you’re only going to offer chips, that’s fine, but get creative. Get some Cape Cods or some gourmet chips; anything other than the same old thing you can buy in bulk at Costco (which I’m sure is where those came from). That’s not a bad thing, just nothing special about it. You’re reopening up a recently designated WSNC “treasure,” you want to do something to make it shine, not plain.

The dog choices are the Reuben (with spicy mustard, kraut and swiss cheese), the Chicago-“style” (with tomatoes, banana pepper, salt, onions, pickles), a chili dog, Mike’s Favorite (or special or something – I just thought it was cool they named something after him) that had kraut, pickle and spicy mustard. There’s also a slew of hot dog fixin’s to do a “make-your-own” dog. The hot dog choices aren’t vast but the fixin’s offer a plethora of creative options.  I had the Reuben and the Chicago-style (yes, Michael Hastings I had onions on it, but “light” on them). The dog didn’t have time to melt the cheese on the Reuben and the bun was overpowering on the rest of the flavor. The Chicago dog was decent, I would have rather them stuff the peppers and tomatoes in a little bit and, as with the Reuben, the bun distracted from the overall dog experience. I still think, though, there’s promise in the dogs, the buns and overall flavor. The dogs are $3.50 each.

The familiar old yellow walls are now bright white and they haven’t completed their addition (the old photography studio), yet so it’s still gonna be a bit crowded and very limited seating until that happens. That’s okay, it will be a lot better when that side expands the restaurant, I’m sure.

Chicago-style (l) and the Reuben (r)

Ordering (even with a slightly limited menu) seems to have been overwhelming for the staff creating the dogs on opening day. They’ll figure it out and that will be smoother. I was surprised that there wasn’t more people there when I got there, a little past 11am.

My assessment is that there’s plenty of potential and there’s plenty of growth opportunity for the restaurant, both in size and in quality. I’m not going to rate anything because I plan on going back in a few weeks to see if there are a few less kinks in the system. I won’t say it wasn’t good, because it was. It was just “green” and has a bit of company growing to do. That’s just my opinion and I hope great things for the establishment and the Whitleys. I’ll let you know what I think after a few weeks go by. 

You can find Skippy’s Hot Dogs at 624 W 4th Street, downtown Winston-Salem. Check them out, support local!

Listen to the latest podcast HERE.

Thanks for reading!
Slàinte!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #29

In Episode #29, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

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 mhath!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #26

©Competition Dining

In Episode #26, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

  • Chef John Bobby stops in to talk about Roosters: A Noble Grille.
  • Skippy’s Set to Reopen.
  • Crafted: The Art of the Taco as well as Murphy’s Lunch have new hours.
  • Food holidays and history.

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 mhath!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #20

In Episode #20, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

  • The Big Eat.
  • Chef Alex and Vin 205 part ways.
  • Wise Man Brewing opening.
  • King’s Crab Shack to Grow.
  • Skippy’s Hot Dogs.
  • Food holidays and history.

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 mhath!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 2

This week it’s a little later than I wanted but I moved the studio on Monday and Tuesday so I didn’t have a chance to record it. I recorded this one from my house, instead of the studio.

I talk about Skippy’s being sold and a historical restaurant makes a comeback in its original location.

A review of Slappy’s Chicken.

Thanks for listening! You can find the podcast on iTunes, Podcast Addict and TuneIn. I’m still working on Stitcher. Or, you know, you can listen here.

Bon appetit!!

Mike’s Week: the Video Retrospective

The original plan for the video that I made for Mike’s Week was for me to complete it, Mike Rothman could see it and then choose to allow us to to show it to others or choose to keep it for himself. Either way, I would have been okay. Either way, we all know what an amazing journey it was, what it was we experienced, how we came together as a community and how we made a difference. Didn’t work out quite that way, but that’s okay. It’s here for your to 10170796_10152392983624743_4049441617845107446_nenjoy (link at the bottom of the page).

The video is 23 minutes long. That’s a long time for a retrospective video, I’m well aware, but there was too much to show. Editing down the video from nearly 90 minutes of footage was hard enough. But, I needed this 23 minutes to show the awesome dedication of those who were behind the counter and behind the scenes. I needed this 23 minutes to show the amazing community that came to spend and/or donate their dollars to help their fellow man. I needed this 23 minutes to show the atmosphere, the magic and power that community can create. While a few seconds could come off of it, I felt the 23 minutes was needed to get the full effect.

I do want to say that I really appreciate Will Kingery, Dana Moody and Vivian Joiner for spearheading the effort, along with all the other restaurateurs, volunteers and the Winston-Salem (and neighbors) and thanks to Dana for asking me to participate by filming the events. I can’t explain how proud I am of that.

Now that all of that is done, you can see the video, yourself, by clicking HERE. Enjoy and thanks for watching (and reading!)

Winston-Salem and Hot Dogs: A Love Affair

When it was announced, several weeks ago, that the local restaurateurs were going to reopen Skippy’s Hot Dogs in Winston-Salem, for just a week (actually eight days) and try to raise money for Skippy’s owner, Mike Rothman, the goal was to bring in a few, possibly a few tens of thousands of dollars to send to Pennsylvania and help Mike get back on his feet and pay some of the medical bills and incidentals he’s amassed since having surgery to remove tumors from his brain. That goal was met. That goal was met in a really, really big way.

Eight days of hard work, dedication, sweat and tears (we don’t like to think about blood with food, usually, right?) and 13,009 hot dogs later, the Winston-Salem community, its citizens and its neighbors helped to raise over $111,000.  Read that again: One Hundred Eleven THOUSAND Dollars!

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Photo ©Skippy’s

I had the pleasure of capturing each shift, albeit just seconds at time, for a private video I’m making, on behalf of the organizers, just for Mr. Rothman and I saw an awesome sight. All these different restaurants, ordinarily, all doing their own thing, in their own worlds, standing shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip behind the counter of this small venue, working together for a wonderful cause. Not only that, I watched a 5 gallon water jug (the kind that you put in an office water cooler) fill to the top with money. This was not a one-time thing. It filled to the point that they had to push it down to allow more money to go in. Then, they’d empty it and start all over again. There weren’t just singles, either. There were $5s, $10s and I saw plenty of $20s. There were also some very big orders. I don’t have solid numbers so I’ll not put that out there, but a few companies ordered sizable quantities of “dogs.” And, although, I’ve no confirmation of this, either, there’s a rumor that I’m trying to verify, that someone paid $1000 for one hot dog.

This community, all aspects of it, came together. They did good; for good, for Mike.

I love this city. I have always loved this city. I have always loved and supported the restaurants in this city, especially the downtown establishments. But, now? I am absolutely in love with my city and its citizens. In this time, when tensions are always high, over both important issues and trivial ones, we came in and showed one person – a person that many (I’d venture to say “most”) have never even met – an all-inclusive and unconditional demonstration of love and respect.

“Mike’s Week” wouldn’t have been possible without a plethora of volunteers, not only from the area restaurants, but from the community, as well. The thank you list is quite extensive and I won’t list them all here, however, their time and care made this the success that it is. My thanks, as a member of the community, especially being in there to observe not only from the front of the counter but behind it, goes especially to Dana Moody (West End Coffeehouse), Vivian Joiner (Sweet Potatoes) and Will Kingery (King’s Crab Shack, Willow’s Bistro and Silo Bistro). They were there everyday, making sure all was set and running well. This is not to diminish anyone’s time put in; everyone was immeasurably essential to the cause. I personally thank each and every one of them. And to anyone who bought a hot dog, put a bill of any kind into the water jug or purchased any of the swag, you’re awesome as well.

There is a separate GoFundMe page that is still open and you can still donate to (it’s raised over $15,000 of a $10,000 goal so far) by following this link. Thank you, again, Winston-Salem. And Mike, here’s hoping for a very speedy recovery.