Cheesecakes by Alex Closing Temporarily After Positive COVID-19 Test

Cheesecakes by Alex announced today that both its Greensboro and Winston-Salem locations would close temporarily after a WSNC employee tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19. The following picture is from their Facebook page.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 171

Chicken 65

In Episode #171, proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios (South). Zoom sponsored by Bull’s Tavern:

Tim, Ray, and Lea talk about:

  • “Street Team Steven” McDowall is on to talk about his and Tim’s trip to Katsuri Indian Cuisine.
  • Tim and his son, Trey, visit the new Food Freaks.
  • West End Cafe reopening dining room.
  • 1703 Restaurant celebrates 20 years.
  • Bootleg Ramen.
  • Other local restaurant news.
  • Tim and Lea talk about “List” updates.
  • Winston-Salem Strong. This website includes the food and beverage list that we have been forging and resources for businesses and individuals that are needed at this time, including unemployment, SBA loans, tips for servers, and many other services. All this in one place. Winston-Salem Strong!
  • Food holidays and history.
  • Don’t forget our sponsors:

Mojito Latin Soul Food Opens Today!

Michael and Michelle Millan are officially opening the doors to their newest venture, Mojito Latin Soul Food, today, at 11a. Michael and Michelle are from Miami and Michael’s family is Cuban. So, instead of just focusing on the Cuban aspect (which he does lean into heavily), he’s taking a little bit of all Latin cuisine and making it his own.

One of my co-hosts on The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast, Lea Metz and I got to sample the offerings early! Here’s the preview for your enjoyment!

Puffed pork rinds (Chicharrones)

Pork Belly (Chicharrones)

This is the Chicharron duo. The first picture (left) is the “pork rinds” or the “popped” version, tossed in a slightly salty house seasoning and topped with Mojito sauce. The second picture (right) is the Fried Pork Belly version, also tossed in house seasoning and Mojito sauce. Either of these, I could eat full plates of them. Delish!


Ceviche

This is one of the things I was most excited about when it got put on the table during my tasting with Lea. This is the ceviche! Citrus marinated fish and shrimp with pepper, corn, hominy, cilantro, and tomato. All that covered with Mojito aioli and Tajin seasoning and put it on top of a fried tortilla! I love ceviche and I didn’t let any of it go to waste. I mean, outside of what Lea had.


Jambon Croqueta

The jamón croqueta (ham croquette). Traditionally, these are served with saltines and a lime. So, guess what Michael gave us? Yep, he’s cool like that. They also put these on their “Cuban Deluxe” sandwich.


Tamale

The most excellent pork tamale. Cornmeal dough, wrapped in a corn husk and steamed. It’s topped with black beans, fried onions straws, Mojito sauce, cilantro lime cream & Cotija cheese. Lea and I both remarked to Michael how we’re used to the cornmeal being gritty and granular. This was not that! The cornmeal was smooth, like velvet. Amazing stuff. We had nearly NOTHING left when we finished this tasting. We kept going back to this.


Empanada

The fried hand pie, which is and should be called an empanada. This is the beef version, with a sort of tapenade. Acidic from the olives and tomatoes but man! Such vibrant flavors. We both really enjoyed this.


Street Corn

Street corn, y’all!!!! Flavors almost literally jump off the corn and into your mouth. Acidic, spiced, and tender. Lea and I both kind of moaned and said, “mmmm” when we tasted it. So, good.  I don’t usually do corn on the cob (gets all in my teeth) but this was so tender and flavorful, I couldn’t stop eating it. It was a bit messy but what good food isn’t?


Plantains

This is the mashed plantains (I think). Mojito will have three different kinds of plantains: Tostones (green) served with Mojito sauce, Maduro (sweet) with cilantro lime cream sauce, and Fufu (mashed) with garlic and chicken broth. Whichever this is, it was good enough to keep eating it. I think the confusion to me was that it was kind of sweet, I thought of it as a dessert. But, no matter the style, I’m sure they’re all great. And I’m not even a big fan of plantains. I really enjoyed these.


Mojito Grilled Chicken

The Mojito Grilled Chicken. I remarked to Lea and Michael that chicken is versatile but a lot of times you have to trick it out. This was good at minimal trickery level. It’s topped with Mojito sauce, it’s seasoned well and was just divine. You can get it 1/4 with one side, 1/2 with two sides, or whole with FOUR sides. This is great chicken!


Ropa Vieja

The Ropa Vieja (shredded beef in tomato sauce). Such good stuff. This is shredded, slow-cooked beef, in a Creole tomato sauce, sliced olives, cilantro, and scallions. Don’t let the Creole thing scare you, it’s not overly spicy in any capacity, heat or spice. Just delicious. That’s really ALL you need to know.

 


Slow-Cooked Pork

Slow-cooked pork that Michael topped with Mojito sauce. Lea and I both said, “you had me at pork.” The Mojito sauce is made from parsley, cilantro, lemon and lime juices, vinegar, and probably garlic.


Rice and Beans with Pork Belly

The last stop on the Mojito Latin Soul Food tasting train that Lea and I got to ride yesterday: Congri (rice and beans with pork belly). It’s a side, so really, it goes well with just about everything. Michael talked to us about all the ways he cooked his items and you could tell he has a passion for what he’s doing. Pork belly, pork fat in the rice, and with the black beans. There is flavor just waiting to burst onto the scene.

Mojito Latin Soul Food opens today at 11a at 723 N. Trade Street in Winston-Salem. They are open for lunch and dinner.  11a-3p & 5-9p on Thursday
11a-3p & 5-10p Friday
8a-3p & 5-10p Saturday.
8a-3p on Sunday

They are closed Monday through Wednesday.

They have Cuban coffees available, beer, and wine. Full ABC permit is coming in the (near) future. I mean, you can’t be called Mojito and now serve them, right? But, after the long and arduous fight with the FCDHHS, they were more worried about getting open, and here we are!

One thing to note, Cuban food is generally more about flavor and not about the heat. Some Latin food can light you up. That’s not happening at Mojito Latin Soul Food. They are turning up the flavor profiles, not the Scoville Heat Index. Lots of flavors. Lots of delicious flavors.

So many thanks to Michael and Michelle Millan for allowing Lea and me to come in, preview the wares, see the space, and talking with us.

Your hospitality is amazing, inviting, and warm.

Gracias! Amamos tu comida, amigos!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 170

In Episode #170, proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios (South). Zoom sponsored by Bull’s Tavern:

Tim, Ray, and Lea talk about:

  • Michael and Michelle Millan are on to announce they are opening Mojito Latin Soul Food on Friday!
  • Dina Abushihab is on to talk about Baklava & More and her fantastic desserts.
  • Ray talks about Food Freaks.
  • Mozzarella Fellas.
  • Dairi-O.
  • Bootleg Ramen.
  • Burke Street Pub.
  • Other local restaurant news.
  • Tim and Lea talk about “List” updates.
  • Winston-Salem Strong. This website includes the food and beverage list that we have been forging and resources for businesses and individuals that are needed at this time, including unemployment, SBA loans, tips for servers, and many other services. All this in one place. Winston-Salem Strong!
  • Food holidays and history.
  • Don’t forget our sponsors:

    Carrabba’s Italian Grill Healthy, grilled meats, wood-fired pizzas, fresh ingredients, and phenomenal wine dinners. That’s just some of the offerings of Carrabba’s. And, Daniel Butner, the local proprietario, is salt of the earth and a pillar of good in the community. Go taste the goodness that is Carrabba’s and see why Tim and Ray are always talking it up!

    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!

Second Harvest’s Providence Enterprises Moving to Tanglewood

Providence’s Director of Service, Jordan Keiper came on the podcast yesterday to discuss this but here’s the official press release:

Second Harvest’s Providence Enterprises Moving to Tanglewood

Providence to Assume Management of Food and Beverage Operations and Accommodations

Winston-Salem. N.C., September 25, 2020—A deepening partnership with Forsyth County is providing expanding opportunities for Second Harvest’s Providence enterprises, as the Providence team prepares to bring its exceptional, mission-driven culinary and hospitality expertise to management of food and beverage operations and accommodations at the beautiful Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, NC.

“Second Harvest and Providence, and frankly most organizations, have spent the time since March of this year in a constant cycle of assessing, pivoting, acting, and reassessing,” said Eric Aft, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. “This process has led us to a very exciting opportunity to partner with Forsyth County in new and meaningful ways that, to me and our board members, are a win-win all around.”

“In 2021 and beyond, Providence is going to look different, and we could not be more excited about the opportunities that lie ahead to establish the Providence brand and embrace new training opportunities for our Providence Culinary Training graduates at Tanglewood Park,” said Chef Jeff Bacon, VP and Executive Director for Providence.

Since its founding in 2006, Providence has grown from its roots as a culinary training program to include social enterprises that afford program graduates on-the-job experience and provide revenue to fund the school. In 2015, Providence Catering passed the million-dollar per year mark in sales. By 2019, Providence had prepared and provided over one million meals for hunger relief and, that same year, celebrated the graduation of its 100th culinary class.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the mandated shutdown of Providence Restaurant and Catering and temporary closing of Providence Culinary Training, left Second Harvest and Providence faced with the reality that 45 team member positions no longer existed. A rapid assessment of community needs that could readily be served by the skill set of these Providence team members led to two key initiatives: HEARD Café and the expansion of Providence Community Meals.

HEARD Café offered meals in Downtown Winston-Salem for displaced hospitality workers and local artists out of the former Providence Kitchen at BB&T location, which closed in early March of this year after BB&T vacated the building. HEARD drew national attention and continues to bring awareness of the work of Second Harvest and Providence.

Providence Community Meals (PCM), a meal delivery program operating out of the Providence kitchen in the heart of the Food Bank’s main warehouse, quickly ramped up its work and, at its height this past summer, was preparing and delivering 40,000 meals a week for children and medically fragile seniors. Providence team members also provided support for Second Harvest Food Bank’s essential food distribution programs, taking on the work of inspecting, sorting, and repacking food donations until volunteers could safely return to the Second Harvest Volunteer Center.

“Not long ago, Providence employed over 70 individuals with 80% of them being graduates from our training program and, since 2006, the social return on investment for Greater Winston Salem from the Providence program is over 30 million dollars,” explained Bacon. “Now, as our work supporting emergency response is tapering, we’re excited to be embarking on a new direction with our social enterprises.”

Providence Culinary Training is back up and running and, while Providence will not be re-opening at the Doubletree, the full-service Providence Catering team is eager to serve the community from their new home at Tanglewood. The Providence Team will staff the newly named enterprise–Providence at the Manor House. Providence will also manage and staff food and beverage operations at Providence Grill in the Golf Club House.

Longtime and new patrons of Providence’s annual Thanksgiving-to-Go event will soon have the opportunity to come out to Providence at the Manor House, which will serve as the pickup location for this year’s feast-to-go. In time, the Providence Hospitality Residency will resume at Tanglewood, albeit with a significantly enhanced curriculum.

“Over the years, Forsyth County management has developed great respect for the transformational work of Second Harvest and the Providence team,” said Dudley Watts, County Manager. “Tanglewood Park is an exceptional community asset with a great deal to offer both area residents and out-of-town visitors. In our partnership at the Manor House and the Golf Operations/Clubhouse we further the County’s goal of workforce development while exceeding expectations for great hospitality at the Park.”

“Stay tuned for the launch of our new website this fall and more news in the coming months about new and exciting offerings as Providence expands menus and hospitality services at Tanglewood Park,”  said Chef Bacon.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 169

In Episode #169, proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios (South). Zoom sponsored by Bull’s Tavern:

Tim, Ray, and Lea talk about:

  • Jordan Keiper discusses Providence Restaurant and Providence Culinary Training taking over food and events at Tanglewood Park.
  • Claire Calvin is on to discuss Canteen Market and Bistro becoming Canteen Still Life, its new direction and that it is opening this week, October 1.
  • DiLisio’s Restaurant to be offered in a local hospital’s cafeteria.
  • ByGood Coffee needs input.

    Claire Calvin

  • Cugino Forno closer to new opening.
  • Dairi-O starts on new location.
  • The Carolina Classic Fair will happen this week but as a drive thru, we talk about a list of available food.
  • Tim and Stephanie try Baklava and More’s baklava and baklava cheesecake. Food Freaks opens its new brick and mortar location this weekend.
  • Other local restaurant news.
  • Tim and Lea talk about “List” updates.
  • Winston-Salem Strong. This website includes the food and beverage list that we have been forging and resources for businesses and individuals that are needed at this time, including unemployment, SBA loans, tips for servers, and many other services. All this in one place. Winston-Salem Strong!
  • Food holidays and history.

Don’t forget our sponsors:

Carrabba’s Italian Grill Healthy, grilled meats, wood-fired pizzas, fresh ingredients, and phenomenal wine dinners. That’s just some of the offerings of Carrabba’s. And, Daniel Butner, the local proprietario, is salt of the earth and a pillar of good in the community. Go taste the goodness that is Carrabba’s and see why Tim and Ray are always talking it up!

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!

DiLisio’s Italian Restaurant Available at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital

If you’re spending time at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, and hopefully you’re not, you can now get a “Grab and Go” meal from your favorite Italian restaurant, DiLisio’s.

©DiLisio’s

Tony and Maria will be whipping up and delivering fresh lasagna, baked ziti, baked spaghetti, eggplant parmigiana, eggplant rollatini, and cannoli every day, Monday through Friday. The items will be available for cafeteria dine-in and take away for after cafeteria hours (the hospital cafeteria closes at 4pm). There is a microwave on site so you can reheat your dish and eat it there no matter the time. The cafeteria and market are closed on the weekends.

I’m so happy for Tony and Maria to have another outlet for their wares and I’m happy for the people at the hospital who have more than hospital food for dining options. I will admit that hospital food has gotten better but still.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 168

In Episode #168, proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios (South). Zoom sponsored by Bull’s Tavern:

Tim, Ray, and Lea talk about:

  • Lighthouse Restaurant closes.
  • Arigato.
  • Canteen Market & Bistro.
  • JJ’s Cuban Kitchen.
  • Tim had his first Burger Supreme burger.
  • Other local restaurant news.
  • Tim and Lea talk about “List” updates.
  • Winston-Salem Strong. This website includes the food and beverage list that we have been forging and resources for businesses and individuals that are needed at this time, including unemployment, SBA loans, tips for servers, and many other services. All this in one place. Winston-Salem Strong!
  • Food holidays and history.

Don’t forget our sponsors:

Carrabba’s Italian Grill Healthy, grilled meats, wood-fired pizzas, fresh ingredients, and phenomenal wine dinners. That’s just some of the offerings of Carrabba’s. And, Daniel Butner, the local proprietario, is salt of the earth and a pillar of good in the community. Go taste the goodness that is Carrabba’s and see why Tim and Ray are always talking it up!

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 Community Staple Closes Permanently

The Lighthouse Restaurant, a place I had many a breakfast, a meeting, a conversation, even where one of my business partners and I had our first meeting, announced that they are closing for good. I don’t know what could be said that Michael Hastings didn’t already say. Know that this is his article in the Winston-Salem Journal and I’m only reprinting/reposting it. Thank you, Michael.


©Unks/WSJournal

The Lighthouse, one of the oldest operating Greek-owned restaurants in Winston-Salem, is closing for good after lunch service today.

“It’s just the pandemic. The revenue is not there,” said co-owner Steve Doumas, whose family has owned the business for most of its 66 years.

The Lighthouse, which first opened in 1954, also is considered the second-oldest restaurant downtown, behind Murphy’s Lunch (which opened in 1950 and currently is temporarily closed).

George Pappas opened the Lighthouse in the West End in 1954 at the intersection of Burke Street and Brookstown Avenue, across the street from its current location at 905 Burke St.

Within a few years, Alex Fragakis took it over. In 1962, he hired a young Nick Doumas, who turned out to be a natural in the kitchen and dining room. Doumas soon became the face and warm personality of the Lighthouse and would remain so for the next 50 years. Nick Doumas’ brother Louis joined the restaurant in 1966 and the two Doumas brothers became sole partners in the restaurant when Fragakis retired in the 1970s.
The Lighthouse became one of Winston-Salem’s most popular diners, a place to meet a friend for breakfast anytime or for such staples as spaghetti, fried flounder or pork chops.

In 1982, the Doumas brothers moved across the street to the current location. Nick Doumas died in 2016 at age 78 after an accident with an all-terrain vehicle, but the family continued to operate the business.

The current owners are Louis Doumas and Nick Doumas’ children: Steve Doumas, Joe Doumas, Vera Doumas Tucker and Gena Doumas Cook. Louis Doumas has not been actively involved in the restaurant since the pandemic began, but his son Harold Doumas has continued to manage the restaurant.

“It’s been a tough decision,” said Steve Doumas, who separately owns Camel City BBQ downtown.

The Lighthouse closed from mid-March, when the pandemic began, until July 10.

“We never did takeout. For diners, it’s tough now. This is the kind of restaurant where people come to eat in,” he said. Many customers came to the Lighthouse for the people as much as the food. Many of them were older — in the high-risk group for COVID-19 — and much of the menu just didn’t travel well, making it unsuitable for takeout.

City council member John Larson was one of many regulars at the Lighthouse. “I had breakfast and lunch there today. Sometimes I ate there three times a day. I practically raised my daughter there,” Larson said Thursday. “It was a real meeting ground. You’d see the mayor or city council members there. Bankers, lawyers would come in. Everybody came to that restaurant.”

Mary Haglund — the founder of Mary’s Gourmet Diner, which also decided to close during the pandemic — said that her first job in Winston-Salem was at the Lighthouse. “It was just one of those places where everyone really knew each other. The waitresses would always be cutting up and telling jokes,” she said. “And Nick and Louis, as long as you did your job, if you needed anything, you just had to ask and they would help you if they could. It was a fascinating place to work.”

The family owns the property at 905 Burke. Steve Doumas said that family members have not decided what to do about it. He left open the possibility that the Lighthouse could return.

“We don’t know what the future holds. As the five owners, we haven’t sat down and decided where we are headed next,” he said. “We might possibly look at reopening and reinventing the Lighthouse in the future.”

Chef Travis Myers and Ryan Oberle Announce Name of Their New Restaurant

Ryan Oberle (©WSJournal)

Chef Travis Myers

In an interview with The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast on Monday, Chef Travis Myers announced what the name of the long-awaited and much-anticipated restaurant that he owns with Ryan Oberle will be.

Before we get to the name unveiling, let’s talk about the restaurant.

The new restaurant is going to be located and featured in the newest (or is that oldest) phase of the Bailey Power Plant complex that has gone many changes in the last five years. It will feature a Grillworks wood-fired grill and will be the centerpiece of the culinary bar.

The first thing you see when you walk in the main doors, after the name of the restaurant, will be this beautiful Grillworks grill. Small sharable plates that can be customized to your liking will be the fare. Meats, veggies, and more will be done on the Grillworks grill and served for you and your party to enjoy together. What one person wants may not be what another in the party wants so, why compromise? Have a small plate customized for your party.

Woodwork done for the culinary bar and the cocktail bar will be from Sunnyside Mill Works. David Dalholt and his crew do a fantastic job with custom wood, custom furniture, and fixtures. Look at fixtures and features from other restaurants and locations around town. Sir Winston, Indigo Hotel, Trophy Room, etc. Ryan showed me a lot of mockup concepts when I was there doing a walkthrough with him last week. To hear the passion from him that day and Travis yesterday was exciting.

There will be a farm table in front of a tall glass wall that looks into the wine cellar. The other side of the wine cellar will also be glass and will be near the servers’ station. Ryan and Chef Travis individually explained that the wine list was going to be impressive. The cocktail bar will be long and impressive and will feature bottom-lit shelves and fixtures.

There is a private dining area/event room that will feature the ability to keep your events private. The thick concrete walls from the outside will help cushion your info and conversation to anyone you’re not wanting to hear. There will be a projector screen and you can do presentations or rent the space for your fantasy football draft next year. When not used for events or private functions, the room will be an extension of the dining room proper. That dining area will feature murals painted by local artists, a live moss wall, and a water-vapor fireplace. Chef Travis explained that the original idea was for a real fireplace, but that wasn’t feasible. Personally, I think the idea of a water vapor fireplace is fantastic. The water can take on any color you wish, too. If you have a wedding reception there and your colors are green, the water vapor can be green. Instead of blowing things up and creating forest fires, have your gender reveal party in this dining room and pick whatever color you choose for your baby. The large ring pendant lighting will be awesome as well.

What we cannot forget about is the patio. Not to be confused with a courtyard, which connects several venues together, this patio will seat around 100 people outside comfortably. In warmer months, once the afternoon hits, the sun will be on the other side of the building and you won’t be baked by the sun. There will also be fire pits and community tables to add more outdoor amenities and services.

So, I think I’ve held you in suspense long enough. The name of this new culinary and libation destination is SixHundred°.

The name Six Hundred Degrees (stylized with the degree symbol SixHundred°) represents the temperature (Celsius) in which wood burns. Wood can catch fire around 300° Celsius in which the gasses burn and elevate the wood to around 600°. A bonfire burns at 600°C. Being as this restaurant will feature a wood-fired grill and most things will be cooked over that, this name is a perfect fit. It could also represent the food, libation, and atmosphere this restaurant will be creating.

The name was coined partly by Ryan and partly by the folks at Elephant In The Room who are crafting a logo and branding for 600° as this article is being written.

I have had a fantastic time listening to both Ryan and Chef Travis talk about the restaurant. They are stoked (all puns intended) and are anxious to have you try their wares. I know it’s going to be the place to be in WSNC and I know you’re going to love it as well.