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 #27

In Episode #27, 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!

Restaurant Week Comes to Downtown WSNC February 20-26

The 2017 edition of Restaurant Week is upon us, starting today! Like The Big Eat before it, Restaurant Week highlights the fantastic food in Downtown Winston-Salem, offered by many delicious restaurants on uniquely made prix fixe meals.  Reservations are highly recommended and if you’re not going to make your reservation, be courteous to the folks who may want your spot, and to the restaurant themselves: call and cancel as soon as possible.

You can find all the specials for each participating restaurant on the official page for the event, HERE.

According to the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership the following rules apply:

Restaurant Week Specials are dine-in only.
Restaurant Specials are subject to change, excludes tax and tip.
Please check with individual restaurants concerning food ingredients, allergens, and any additional restrictions, thank you.
Restaurant Week Specials are subject to availability.
Restaurants may run out of the Special.
If there is an error on this page, the official restaurant special at the Restaurant is correct.
Please check with restaurants prior to dining if you have questions about the Specials.
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.

The restaurants that are participating are:

6th & Vine, Bernardin’s, Bib’s Downtown, Burger Batch, Carolina’s Vineyards and Hops, DiLisio’s Italian Restaurant, Downtown Thai & Pho, Foothills Brewing, Hutch & Harris, Jeffery Adams on Fourth, King’s Crab Shack, Mellow Mushroom, Meridian, Miami Restaurant, Mission Pizza, Mooney’s, Mozelle’s, Old Fourth Street Filling Station, The Porch, Quanto Basta, Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar, Sweet Potatoes, Thai Harmony, Tokyo Shapiro, Twin City Slice, and Willows Bistro.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #23

©Hastings/Winston-Salem Journal

In Episode #23, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

I have a really great conversation with my first guest, Michael Hastings, food editor and journalist from Winston-Salem’s city daily, Winston-Salem Journal. We talk about the food scene in our town, its future and a bunch of other food grooviness. Michael and/or I also discuss:

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 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: Addendum (Tre Nonne Italian Restaurant)

I heard back from Tre Nonne Italian Restaurant and they said they were having the following special for The Big Eat:

Rigatoni Alla Vodka for $7 and you can add Chicken for $1 or Shrimp for $2.

HakkaChow for the Win

I talked about this in this week’s The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast.

2016-11-23-16-11-16

Egg Rolls

Stephanie, along with 5 other friends and myself went out on Saturday to celebrate my birthday. The restaurant that I chose was HakkaChow. I had eaten there a few times but, I’ll admit, it’s not in my area of frequency, meaning I don’t get over that way often. I had done an interview with Jonathan Chung, owner, sous chef and business developer of HakkaChow. To be sure, this is Asian. But, don’t jump into the cliché of calling this Asian Fusion. I think they prefer Chinese with a little bit of Thai and other Asian cuisine thrown in. Jonathan came out of the kitchen to say hey to me and his mother, Caroline, made sure that everyone at the table was well taken care of. It was easy to get rezzies as I just hit Jonathan up and informed him that I was coming with a small group. He took care of the rest.

I didn’t really take inventory of what everyone else was having, just Stephanie and me, so I’ll go over that a little.

2016-11-19-21-26-44

XO Crispy Duck

We ordered the egg rolls as an appetizer and they were very good. Crispy with marinated pork and vegetables, served with a hot mustard and a vietnamese dipping sauce. That hot mustard sauce, man! It clears your sinuses, and fast. That was spicy stuff. I advise you to barely dip in unless you want to burn your septum. You’re not really burning anything but it’s potent and powerful stuff, to be sure; it’s a slow and delicious burn. Lots of flavor in those egg rolls, too. They were perfectly cooked.

Stephanie ordered the Xo Crispy Boneless Duck which is Lightly battered crispy duck on a bed of stir-fried mushroom, onions, celery, zucchini, and carrots with xo sauce. It comes served like fajitas in a Mexican restaurant: sizzling. I didn’t try it but she said it was really good. She is a fan of duck and this looked amazing. Pinkish duck in that light deep-fried shell? Yep, it looked fantastic and she said it was.

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General Tso

I ordered the General Tso Chicken. Now, I know that it’s not traditionally Chinese and was created, mostly likely, anyway, in the USA by a Chinese American chef. General Tso is battered chicken breast in a mild tangy sauce with green bell peppers, onions, broccoli. The sauce was thick and very flavorful. It was slightly spicy but, really, only slightly so. The tang was just right and I love thick sauces, I don’t like my food swimming in liquid as much as I do seeing it wade in the murk and this was just the right consistency for my taste. It comes with a side of rice (your choice white or brown – I went white).  Great dish.

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Surf n Turf Sushi

I also ordered the surf and turf sushi roll (it was created by Jonathan, by the way). It’s an inside-out roll filled with kani, asparagus, and cucumber. Topped with premium tuna, yellow tail, and Korean BBQ beef. It was drizzled with Korean hot sauce, eel sauce, and spicy aioli. I asked for the asparagus to be left off. I find that I can tolerate onions a little better now and asparagus, even the smell starts to turn my stomach. I tell you what about this roll, though… that Korean BBQ beef on the top? It was amazingly delicious! And, it’s not often that I eat sushi without soy sauce and wasabi. There was wasabi on the plate but I didn’t need it or the soy. I ate each piece as it was and it was quite a fine treat without the extra sodium.

I also had one of their signature cocktails: the spicy mango margarita. I somehow managed to not get the recipe but I can tell you that it was sweet and salty as a good margarita should be and there was a slight heat that snuck up on you, in your throat, after you drank it. I recommend that if you like sweet and spicy together.

And, they gave me a creme brulee for dessert to celebrate my birthday! Excellent experience. The only hitch was something went wrong with their draft system so we were relegated to bottled beer, no worries, we went with Tsingtao and Singha and there’s nothing wrong with that for flavor with Chinese/Asian food.

HakkaChow is located at 615 St. George Square Ct. and it is right behind the Carmax on Hanes Mall Blvd. You can find more about them, including making rezzies by visiting their website. I highly recommend it, especially if you like Chinese food, but don’t want the mainstream junk that is offered at other “chinese” restaurants. I think all at the table thought it was delicious and I can’t wait to go back. Thanks to Jonathan, Andrew, Hai-fang and Caroline for making us all feel welcome and for the great food!