The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 167

Chef Myers with TMWATT Crew!

In Episode #167, proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios (South). Zoom sponsored by Bull’s Tavern:

Tim, Ray, and Lea talk about:

  • Chef Travis Myers is here for the big reveal of the name of his and Ryan Oberle’s new, long-anticipated restaurant, slated to open late this year, early next year.
  • Tony DiLisio.
  • Carmine’s Italian Restaurant closes for good, becomes food service for BreakTime Billiards.
  • Ichiban Japanese Restaurant.
  • Diamondback Grill.
  • Krankies.
  • Footnote Coffee and Cocktails.
  • Dr. Chop’s Soul Cafe.
  • Food Freaks.
  • K&W.
  • Tim and Stephanie went to Grandma Ruby’s Country Cookin’, 1703 Restaurant, and Boone Doggies on their “staycation”
  • 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!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 163

In Episode #163, proudly recorded in The Less Desirables Studios (South). Zoom sponsored by Bull’s Tavern:

Tim and Ray (Lea is on vacation) talk about:

  • NC Governor Roy Cooper enacts an 11pm curfew on alcohol sales.
  • 1703 Restaurant reopening after C-19 precautions.
  • Tim and Stephanie went to Boone and Tim talks about the cuisine they had.
  • BLL Rotisserie Factory reopens its dining room and Tim talks about it.
  • Pulliam’s Hot Dogs reopens after vacation.
  • Carolina’s Vineyards & Hops posts on Facebook that they will remain closed but will offer online sales, pickup and limited delivery services.
  • Local WSNC historian Fam Brownlee says Murphy’s Lunch will be reopening on August 10.
  • 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!

WSNC Restaurants That Plan to Close for July 4th

Updated on July 2, 2020. New additions notated with “*”

Traditionally, the July 4th holiday is a time for many WSNC restaurants to take their collective vacations, mostly for the week of. A time to reset. Time to make up for being open – in some cases – 7 days a week. We all need our time off. We all need a respite. We all know, now, that self-care is very important. This year, however, things are anything but “traditional.”

While many of these same restaurants have just reopened, others have been working overtime to stay relevant during the weird, hard, and unpredictable C-19 pandemic. Despite what they have been doing, it is my opinion that they need a rest. Some of the restaurants are doing just that. Here is the (potentially growing) list of WSNC restaurants that will be closed for July 4th or even beyond. All of this info is cultivated by their Facebook pages and if your favorite location isn’t on this list, I would highly recommend that you still call before you visit any location to make sure they are open (you can find their number on the F&B List). It is assumed, however, that if they are not posting closure on their Facebook, they are open. Here’s the list:

1703 Restaurant closed July 4 & 5.
Athena Greek Taverna closed from Monday, June 29 until Sunday, July 5.
*Baked Just SO closed July 4-7.
Bib’s Downtown closed Sunday, July 5.
Bobby Boy Bakeshop from Saturday, June 27 through Monday, July 6.
Carmine’s Italian closed from Monday, June 29 through Thursday, July 9.
*Diamondback Grill Closed July 4.
Kermit’s Hot Dogs will be closed July 1 through July 15 for their annual maintenance (and maybe some vacation).
*La Casa Lopez Closed July 2-5.
Meridian Restaurant closed for Holiday from Saturday, July 4 through Sunday, July 12.
Mission Pizza closed for Holiday- Until July 9.
Mrs. Pumpkins closed Thursday, July 2 through Saturday, July 4.
Pulliam’s closed Friday, July 3 & Saturday, July 4.
*Real Q closed July 4-8.
The Carriage House closed Wednesday, July 1 through Monday, July 6.
Vincenzo’s closed Saturday, July 4 through Tuesday, July 7.
Walkertown Seafood Shack closed Monday, June 29 through Monday, July 6.
Wine Merchants closed Saturday, July 4 through Tuesday, July 7.

As always, Lea and I have done our best to curate this list as accurately as possible. If you have a food/beverage establishment and you don’t see your place of business on this list and you will be closed for the holiday (or dates surrounding it), please, feel free to contact me to get added. Also, if there are any errors, please inform me of that, as well. Enjoy your holiday week!

The Re-Emergence Part 1

I call this “Part 1” because I’m going through the list and gathering what I see restaurants and or bars have posted about their reopening plans. I don’t want to throw too many in one post because that will get convoluted and I want to make sure that each establishment has their moment of your attention. So let’s start here:


Per 1703 Restaurant’s Facebook:

Phase 2 of re-opening NC will begin this Friday. 1703 will be opening for dine-in service next Tuesday, May 26. There are many modifications we need to make to adjust to the guidelines of NCDHHS. For that reason, we will be offering dinner only for the first two weeks, beginning at 5:00 pm. Reservations will be required for inside and outside since our capacity will be limited. After two weeks, we plan to begin offering lunch Tuesday-Friday and Sunday brunch. We are very excited to see you all, but understand that you may want to continue to stay in. We will continue to offer take out and delivery Tuesday- Sunday, 11:00 am -close. We will also resume our schedule of having Mondays off. Thank you for your patience as we move into the next phase with extreme caution.


Per 6th & Vine’s Facebook:

Getting ready … we won’t open May 22. We are deep cleaning & training staff. We open for curbside/takeout Wednesday May 27 at 5 pm. And Patio dining opens Friday May 29 at 5 pm. #6thandvine #wsnc


Per Bull’s Tavern’s Facebook:

We will reopen the Wednesday after the Phase 2 order is lifted.

We are currently working through all of our policies to provide a safe environment for employees and our beloved patrons. These policies will be posted prior to opening.

During the 50% restrictions, Bull’s will be very different. We are taking this opportunity to do some smaller seated singer/songwriter shows, to still provide a place for musicians to share their art to the community.

The Bull’s Family, as we call ourselves, see this challenging time as an opportunity to turn negatives into positives.

We love our community and cannot wait to serve you again!

#safetyfirst #winstonstrong #bullstavern #wsnc #wheremusiclives #dtws


Per Camel City BBQ Factory’s Facebook:

Governor Roy Cooper has implemented Phase 2 and approved inside dining for restaurants.
Although we closed in March we never stopped working, planning, and renovating the restaurant in the effort to provide a better safer experience for all as much is possible in this Pandemic.

To limit touchable surfaces we will have QR codes for menus so guests can use their cell phones to order. But if requested we can also provide a disposable paper menu for easier reading. Also during this time, our menu will be limited to our most popular items. This will help our kitchen staff social distance as much as possible and reduce the amount of times a plate is handled. Our staff is our family and keeping them protected helps us all be safer.

Per Governor Cooper’s orders we will operate at 50% capacity with social distancing. Allowing guests their space is crucial so we have also created pathways to limit crossing paths. In everything we have done it has been our goal to make these changes effortless. Just follow the green steps.

At the entrance we have installed hands-free wash stations so guests can wash their hands as they enter. We also have installed forearm door openers so there’s no need to grab the handles. As for other barriers we’ve installed plexiglass for the cashiers and host stand, and food barriers at the expo window.

There are going to be big changes for all of us in this new frontier. How we communicate, how we serve you, how we order.
One thing that will never change is our commitment to our customers and our passion for serving.
Our motto has always been “Happy to Serve”…It’s what we do.

We look forward to serving you this Friday at 5 pm.


Per Carolina Ale House’s Facebook:

As we move into the next phase of these unprecedented times, we at LM Restaurants & Carolina Ale House are proud to put detailed procedures in place from the CDC to ensure the health and safety of our guests and employees.

While #dinein service may not be your decision right now, we would like to share our process as we move forward. We have a 2-part cleaning and sanitizing system in place throughout all our restaurants. We are taking extreme efforts in ensuring all surfaces are being thoroughly and frequently cleaned with the appropriate solutions and detergents. Our sanitizer is changed every 2 hours to provide its full concentration.

All employees are required to wear masks to add another layer of protection for our guests. We thank our guests in the community for supporting us during this time of social distancing.

We look forward to continuing to serve you whether you are a dine-in guest or #takeout or #delivery.

#aleyeah #foodie #carolinaalehouse #community #sanitize #inthistogether #newnormal #guests #staysafe #safety #eatlocal #supportlocal #drinklocal @NCRLA @VisitNC @countonmenc


More to come… STAY SAFE WSNC!!!!

Local Restaurants Offering Takeout/Delivery/Curbside

These are the restaurants that have reported to me that they are offering Takeout (T), Delivery (D) or Curbside Pickup (C). Please refer to their Facebook pages (the links provided) as anything can change at a moment’s notice. Some of these places had released statements before and I have included the links to those posts in which I published the statements. This list will be ever-changing, too, as I find out more info.

Stay safe and wash your hands!

Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro: (T, C) 11-7p (336) 703-5400

Slappy’s Chicken: (T, D)  — (336) 761-0268

Zesto Burgers & Ice Cream: (T, D) — (336) 793-5548

Skrimp Shack: (C, T, D) — (336) 331-3026

1703 Restaurant: (T, D) — (336) 725-5767

Carolina Ale House: See this post.

Xcaret: (C) working on it. (336) 955-1345

Wine Merchants/Vin 205: See this post.

Omega House: (T) presumably — (336) 724-5262

East Coast Wings: (T, D, C), Brent from the Peters Creek (336) 784-6700 and Reynolda (336) 293-4422 locations said they were. Country Club (336) 659-9992. Not sure of the others.

Camel City Coffee: (T) presumably — (336) 955-2246

Tart Sweets: (T) presumably — (336) 724-5663 Tart Sweets has closed temporarily.

Acadia Foods: (T) food only. Beer, wine and groceries still available as well. (336) 331-3251

Thai Harmony: (T, D) (336) 842-5532

Wingstop: (T, D) presumably — (336) 738-0129

Mozzarella Fellas: (T, D, C) — (336) 377-7179 New hours are 11-2/5-8. In-house delivery or online services.

Black Mountain Chocolate: (C) — (336) 293-4698

Taqueria Luciano: (D, T) — (336) 755-4782

Mary’s Gourmet Diner: (C) Fri thru Sunday 9 am-1 pm — (336) 723-7239

West End Poke and Burke Street Pizza: See this post.

The Porch, Alma Mexicana and Canteen Market: See this post. Only the Porch is doing takeout, now, including the take-and-bake.

Stoked and Social.: See this post.

Jeffrey Adams, Young Cardinal Cafe and Dogwood Hops and Crops: See this post.

Salem Organic Supply is offering FREE delivery within 25 miles of downtown WSNC and free shipping. — (336) 721-4367

Davie Tavern:  See this post.

West End Cafe: See this post.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill: 12:00 to 9:00 Monday-Thursday and 11:00 am to 10:00 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday for (T). Delivery (through Uber Eats/Door Dash) 4-9p customers are asked to stay in their cars. — (336) 831-0580

Jugghead’s Growlers & Pints: open 3-7 daily for Growler and sales from the fridge. Carry out only. — (336) 546-7754

Spruce Street Garden – Craft Tavern: See this post.

J and J Food Mart: (T, D, C) — (336) 283-9609.

Camino Bakery: See this post.

Mission Pizza Napoletana: See this post.

Camino Real Mexican Restaurant: (T, D) — (336) 923-0001 or (336) 210-9517

Camel City BBQ Factory: (T) 11-9 — (336) 306-9999

Ryan’s Restaurant: See this post.

Crafted – Art of the Taco: See this post. Crafted has halted ALL services, including their takeout and delivery service.

Milner’s American Southern: See this post.

Whitaker Square Pizza: See this post.

Moji Coffee and More: online sales, Swipeby and call ahead ordering, online takeout ordering! Gift cards available here. (336) 939-6654 Also… Grab-n-Go purchases of espresso and other coffee drinks, bagels, muffins, scones, sandwiches and more.

Village Juice: (D) through DoorDash, (C, T) — (336) 986-9402

Miss Ora’s Kitchen: 11-7 call ahead for curbside delivery. (336) 725-6257

Campus Gas: See this post.

DiLisio’s Italian Restaurant: See this post.

Mellow Mushroom: See this post.

Bobo’s Deli and Grill: See this post.

Real Q on Country Club: (T) — (336) 760-3457

Organix Juice Bar: See this post.

Cafe Vera Du: See this post.

La Botana: See this post.

Finnigan’s Wake: Closed 3/18 and 3/19. Takeout on Friday forward. (336) 723-0322. Opie says closed until regular business hours and services return.

To Your Health Bakery: (D, C) — (336) 618-5275

Zito Pizzeria and Grill: (T, D) M-Thur 11 am to 2:30 pm/5 pm to 8 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am to 3 pm/5 pm to 8:30 pm. (336) 765-9486

Happie Food: Delivery all day, every day. (336) 701-2911

Stonefield Cellars: Open for takeout wine only (they’ll carry it to your car, too). — (336) 644-9908

Bonefish Grill: (T, D) 1-9 every day for pickup or you can do grub hub or door dash. (336) 724-4518

Baked Just SO Bakery: See this post.

Corks Caps & Taps: See this post.

Foothills: (C, D) More details as they’re available.

Cracker Barrel: (T) (336) 712-9880 Clemmons.

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar: (D) https://order.baddaddysburgerbar.com/

Diamondback Grill: (T, D) from 11:30pm-3pm and 5:30pm-7:30pm. Order from their scaled menu here. (336) 722-0006.

Katharine Brasserie and Bar: (T, C) Delivery could be soon, according to Erin Doby, F&B Manager (336) 761-0203 (note: Chef Adam said they are doing a truncated menu with lower price points).

Bib’s Downtown: (C, D) Use their website here or call (336) 722-0007.

Pacific Rim Food Truck: Truck… watch their Facebook and Instagram for where they may be. (336) 772-3051.

Food Freaks of NC Food Truck: Truck… watch their Facebook and Instagram for where they may be. (704) 299-1865.

Jimmy John’s: (C, D) Call ahead to have them come to the curb. The delivery app has a “leave at doorstep” option. Check your local listings for more details.

Krankie’s: (T) full-menu, coffee and bags of coffee. (336) 722-3016.

Honky Tonk Smokehouse: (T, D, C) 11:00-8:00, Tuesday – Saturday (336) 794-2270. Swipeby for (C) Take Out Central or Postmates for (D).

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill: (T, D) Enjoy 20% OFF ToGo with promo code 20TOGO on their website! DoorDash, UberEats or Postmates (D). (336) 659-3973

Goody’s Grill: (T, C) Curbside being a drive-thru. 336-765-3100

HakkaChow: (T) (336) 893-8178

Rooster’s – A Noble Grille: (T) — (336) 777-8477

Village Tavern (both Reynolda Village/Hanes Mall): (T, C) 15% off to go and 25% off bottles of wine. (336) 760-8686 (HM); (336) 748-0221 (RV).

Cloverdale Kitchen: (C) — (336)725-4701

Small Batch: 11-8:30pm food and growler fills. (336) 893.6395 (T, C through Swipeby, D through Uber Eats)

Mossy’s: (T, C) Via their website or (336) 766-7045.

Viva Chicken: (T, C) via their website or Viva Chicken App. (336) 607-5355.

Cugino Forno: (T, D) via their website or (336) 448-0102.

Fiddlin’ Fish Brewing: (T, C) online or (336) 999-8945

Forsyth Seafood Market and Cafe: (T) — (336) 748-0793

Greek Guy’s Grill: (C, T) Drive-thru. Call ahead pick up at the window. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, full menu. (336) 794-2545

HakkaChow Asian Eats: (T) — (336) 893-8178

Vincenzo’s: (D, T) — (336) 765-3707

West Coast Wanderer, Food Truck: Truck (303) 834-5984

Intown Donutz: (T, D) — (336) 331-3414

3 Layers Cakery: (T, D) — (336) 701-0510

Little Richard’s Barbecue: (C, D, T) All Locations — (336) 766-0401

Duck Donuts: (T, C) — (336) 893-5356

Bad Daddy Burger Bar: (T, D) — (336) 893-6456

Los Toritos Mexican Cuisine: (D, T) — (336) 829-5232 DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub

Bradford Family Watermelon Tasting Menu is Oh So Sweet

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Chef Travis Myers, Nat Bradford, Chef Brent Andruzzi and the star of the show, the Bradford Watermelon

This past Sunday, Stephanie and I were invited to Willow’s Bistro to be part of (and to document via video) the Bradford Family Watermelon tasting event. Bradford Watermelons are an heirloom watermelon that has a lineage of around 170 years or so. The were once thought to be extinct but, according to Nat Bradford, they’re reintroducing the lovely melons to chefs, restaurants and foodie folk everywhere. I’ve always just been passive about watermelon; just had it if it was there, not really indulging for myself. Why?

Watermelon has just always been something that is messy (I don’t like messy food, at least when it makes a mess on me) with minimal flavor and you have to spit out a lot of seeds. I never minded that part if I was outside, I spit for distance. Let me tell you, though, there was nothing plain about this watermelon. It was very juicy, not messy, and very sweet and flavorful with a great color and not an abundance of seeds. Chef Travis Myers made sure to let us know they didn’t allow any salt on the table, it wasn’t needed. You could actually eat the rind, too. They’re related to cucumbers and for that, I think a little salt would have been good, but for the flesh of the melon, not salt.

2016-09-18-18-12-57Bradford Watermelons aren’t just about the melons, however. They have molasses, okra, toasted watermelon seed oil (that was some fine smelling and tasting stuff), ground nuts and so on. A plethora of food offerings. I couldn’t really hear much about what Nat was saying about the ground nuts, the music was a bit loud on our end, but Mr. Carroll Leggett said they reminded him of a cross between a turnip and yucca plant. I can see that, although, admittedly, I have limited exposure to either.

When we first arrived, Kelly, the fantastic bar keeper served us delicious cocktails of watermelon juice (from Bradford, of course) and Topo gin with purple basil and grated ginger. It was sweet but not too. The gin leveled that out nicely. It was bright pink and very drinkable.

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Bradford Watermelon

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Pickled watermelon rind and fresh okra

Nat Bradford then demonstrated the proper way to slice a watermelon, which one may think is rudimentary but there is a wrong way to do it. It’s all about the grain. Don’t go against the grain. Each melon has chambers, 5 of them, that you should cut along the chamber wall and always into wedges, then cut perpendicular to the wedge to create slices. Why that much thought? You’re not cutting into the seeds that way; you’re grazing the seeds and making a smoother cut. Science is great, n’est-ce pas? He then passed those wedge slices around for us to try. The best I’ve ever had, I’d say. With the wedge slices they also passed around pickled rinds made from a Bradford watermelon and fresh okra grown on the family farm. Stephanie told me that she wanted my okra if I didn’t like it. I didn’t, but she 2016-09-18-20-08-32loved it. So, it’s still a win. That was the warm up, the real courses then started.

First Course: Compressed Bradford watermelon with Tajín, micro cilantro from Fair Share Farm, ginger from Shore Farms Organics and Olinda Olives olive oil. This little morsel packed a punch. The Tajín, which is a seasoning powder made of chilies, lime juice and sea salt makes this baby pop! Overall, it’s bright and flavorful goodness packed into a 1″ cube. Delicious.

Second Course: Molasses haystack potatoes with Bradford’s light molasses, Fair Share Farm’s micro saltwort and Sea Love Sea Salt, with a load of Calavander cheese sprinkled all over it. Willow’s used to have molasses fries on the menu but it was hard for them to 2016-09-18-20-09-35keep the molasses in stock because the fries were a hit and Bradford can only make so much molasses at a time. I love the Calavander cheese, it’s tangy and light. It makes the molasses sweeter, at least to me. You can never go wrong with Sea Love Sea Salt, either. To hear Chef Travis tell the over-exaggerated story of how they extract the sea salt is always fun. He has it down, though. I like the haystacks over the sweet potato fries that Willows used to serve. I’m not a big fan of sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries.

Third Course: Bradford watermelon and seared ahi tuna with Bradford toasted watermelon seed oil, Bradford crispy okra, shungiku (an Asian green) from Fair Share Farm, garlic flower from Plum Granny Farm, rosé gastrique and Sea Love Sea Salt smoked salt. I think this was my favorite dish? Why? Because 2016-09-18-20-10-44there there was animal flesh on it. I love ahi tuna as it is and to have it next to the Bradford watermelon, well, it was heavenly. The okra seemed to be baby and it was crispy. There was a great seasoning on the tuna, too. The toasted seed oil gave a slightly roasted/smokey flavor to the whole dish and the melding of the sweet, savory and smokey flavors was enough to make me audibly say “mmmmm.”

Fourth Course: Bradford groundnut slivers, Goat Lady Dairy whipped cheese, Gnomestead Hollow crispy lion’s mane mushroom, crispy prosciutto, Harmony Ridge Farms sun gold tomatoes and tomato water with Fair Share Farm micro beets. The prosciutto was extra crispy and fell apart at the touch. The groundnut slivers were firm and sliced extra thin. I adore Goat Lady Dairy’s cheese products; 2016-09-18-20-12-01everything I’ve had is fantastic and tangy. I’m not much on mushrooms but Gnomestead’s wares are always spot on and they’re pretty. I enjoyed the sun gold tomatoes, too. They’re sweet and acidic and compliments the cheese perfectly. I know I’ve mentioned how much I love good microgreens and this is certainly it.

Fifth Course: Bradford okra and pickled rind syrup, Fair Share Farm collards and pot likker (pot liquor, the liquid leftover from cooking collards), Heritage Cheshire pork rind and Plum Granny Farm garlic ash. I love the things that Chef Travis does with pork skin. Be it cracklin’ or rinds, he always does it right with them. The pot likker makes it a little soft in this case and, while they already do, it makes them melt directly in your mouth. I ate the okra in this dish and I have really grown to love collards. These 2016-09-18-20-13-08were perfectly wilted and cooked, still retained all their flavor and created a wonderful jus. Good seasoning from the garlic ash made the dish delicious.

What I noticed about all the dishes was the vibrancy of the colors, the pinkish red watermelon, the emerald green okra, the deep green of the collards, the deep red of the tuna, the brilliant yellow and orange of the sun gold tomatoes. Each held their own merits on their own, but Chef Travis and his Chef de Cuisine, Chef Brent Andruzzi, made spectacularly large dishes in such remarkably smaller packages. I love what Chef Travis does in the kitchen and that’s why I call him “Wonderboy.” Taking a food like watermelon and turning it into these works of art, that’s talent.

There was a star-studded audience for this event, as well. Mary Haglund of Mary’s Gourmet Diner, Jennifer Smith, owner of Mozelle’s Southern Bistro, Curtis Hackaday, head chef of 1703 Restaurant, Margaret Norfleet Neff, Mary Lacklin of Triad Local First, Michael Hastings of the Winston-Salem Journal hosted and the list goes on. 2016-09-18-18-27-12

You can find more about Bradford Watermelons by visiting their website (HERE). Click on the links to any of the vendors mentioned above and try their products, you won’t be disappointed. Willow’s Bistro is located at 300 S Liberty St, Suite 100 in Winston-Salem.

Seats Still Available for 1703 Restaurant’s Second Sunday Dinner

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©Jackie Biggs

This Sunday, September 11, Chef Curtis Hackaday, of 1703 Restaurant, creates another scrumptious “2nd Sunday Supper: Beer vs. Wine Dinner.”  I reported on the occasion last month and this month is going to be a treat for anyone who attends. I highly recommend attending and tasting, for yourself, the awesome creations that Chef Curtis prepares.

This time around the theme is a luau. Chef Curtis has a brand new toy, a Caja China style box cooker and he’s going to be roasting a 40 lb. pig, whole. The first two courses will be served “cocktail” style where there will be stations set up for you to get your food and try it with the libations. The third and fourth courses will be “sit down” and served at your table.

The beer in the contest will be from Port City Brewing out of Alexandria, VA. The various wines will be demonstrated by Mutual Distributing Company‘s Jackie Biggs, who really knows her wines. She’s picked some good ones.

I’m giving you a glimpse of what fun you may be getting yourself into, as far as libations go, here:

First Course:
Reichsrat von Buhl Riesling Sekt Brut vs. Port City Optimal Wit Belgium Style White Ale

Second Course:
Planeta Rose vs. Port City Downright Bohemian Style Pilsner

Third Course:
Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir vs. Port City Oktoberfest Marzen Style Lager

Fourth Course:
Robert Mondavi Moscato D’Oro vs. Port City Robust Porter

That should whet your appetite and palate. There are still seats available and if you’re ready for a culinary experience that you’ll never forget, then you should contact 1703 Restaurant at (336)725-5767 and reserve yours, today!

1703 Restaurant is located at 1703 Robinhood Rd in Winston-Salem. The “beer vs. wine” dinner starts at 6:30. You won’t be disappointed.

Bon appetit!!!

Beer vs. Wine: the Debate Continues at 1703 Restaurant

On Sunday, August 14, Stephanie and I had the opportunity to sit at the blogger’s table for Chef Curtis Hackaday’s Beer vs wine dinner at 1703 Restaurant in Winston-Salem. Chef Curtis is a superb chef that creates not only delicious dishes, he creates edible works of art. I know that can get thrown around easily but it’s really true here. When the blog post comes out, you can see the pictures. It’s lovely stuff.

The purpose of this dinner, outside of having delightful food, was to answer an age old question: beer or wine? Is it beer that goes with dinner better or is it wine? We’re about to find out. There were several clusters of people in the 2016-08-23 15.20.26restaurant and since it was a small crowd, they separated us to get “groups” opinions. We would vote after each meal and see who came out on top.

Ms. Jackie Biggs of Mutual Distribution Company was our wine sommelier and Mr. Andrew Turner was our beer sommelier (yes, that’s a thing). He is a scientist and co-owner (according to his Facebook page) of Mystery Brewing which was who provided all the beer for this evening.

First Course: Grilled Avocado, Curtido Crab Shrimp Salad, Arugula and Radish Sprouts.

I didn’t know you could grill an avocado. My question to Chef Curtis, the next time I see him, is going to be how the heck did he peel them to grill them? Never mind that he grilled it and it stayed together, I can’t ever peel it without crushing it. Then again, I’m no chef. The avocado was still very tender to have been peeled and grilled, but it was definitely firm. Surprisingly, too, the crab shrimp salad was warm and not cold as everyone at the table expected it to be.  It was quite flavorful, too and the crunchy, peppery arugula was an excellent first layer topping for the salad but then add the bright stalks of the radish sprouts on top? Man… that was some great stuff. The sprouts made it pop. One of my favorite adjectives with food construction, pop. It did here.

The beer was Mystery Brewing’s Gentlemen’s Preference Belgium Blonde and the wine was Hall Sauvignon Blanc. I thought the beer went better with the overall dish. The wine brought bright things out in the food, but I was more 2016-08-23 15.21.48about the depth that the beer brought. I voted for the beer. I was the only one at the table who did so. Wine won that round, en masse.

Second course: Gigante Bean Cassoulet, Tiny Veggies, Chanterelle Focaccia & Shiso Microgreens.

To take from Wikipedia: “Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked casserole originating in the south of France, containing meat, pork skin and white beans. The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides.” This was good, it had some giant beans (hence the Gigante) and itty-bitty carrots and onions in there. Two things of note here is that Stephanie has an aversion to beans and she ate nearly the whole thing and I have an aversion to onions and I ate all of the wee ones in my dish. The focaccia biscuit was very nice and helped sop up the extra cassoulet juices. And my new favorite word in food: microgreens. A bright accent on top of the hearty bean dish was an added, textural bonus. It made the dish.

The beer was Mystery’s Evangeline Rye Saison and the wine was the Susana Balboa Signature Malbec from Argentina. I believe that Stephanie and I have decided that Malbecs are our new favorite red. We like “jammy” and that’s what you get with Malbec. It’s not necessarily sweet, but it’s not dry either. Just good. This particular one was very good for that. We purchased a bottle to bring home. The Evangeline Rye saison was high in ABV (8.1% – which I love) and deep amber in color but easy to drink. I thought the wine and beer were neck and neck on what went better 2016-08-23 15.23.00with the dish. When a tie happens, it’s always beer for me. Again, I was out voted. Wine won the dish.

Third Course: Porchetta, Watermelon, Shaved Fennel, Baby Vegetable Tops, Peach Mustard Hot Sauce, Pickled Ramps, Okra Straws, Micro Basil and Peaches.

Whew, there was a lot going on in this dish. First off, porchetta is a big, fat piece of pork roast. And what a wonderful thing that is, too! The watermelon cubes, baby veggies, peaches, shaved fennel, all culminated in a bombastic finish, especially when you drag it through the peach mustard hot sauce schmear. I am not a fan of okra, but I liked the okra straws. The pickled ramps were good, too. I usually steer clear of those but not tonight. The pork center was very tender and the belly was chewy and delicious. The skin was very crunchy! We all remarked about how loud we each were chewing; it was that loud. Overall, it was my first time having porchetta, I think, and it was by far my favorite course of the evening. Then again, I’m a meat eater and this dish once had a mother.

Mystery’s beer was Lockwood’s Retreat West Coast IPA and the wine was Zaccagnini Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo’s Rose di Montepulciano from Italy. Now, I have mentioned many times that I’m over IPAs and I’m hopped out. This wasn’t that kind of IPA. Sure, there was some hoppiness to it and it was definitely noticeable but it certainly did not attack my tongue. It was a smooth drink and I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the rose and thought the light fruit of it went perfectly with the pork and the watermelon and peaches. So, believe it or not, I went with the wine for the dinner. Again, surprisingly, I was outvoted. Most everyone at the table went beer, even Stephanie. Beer won that dish.

Dessert Course: Matcha Beer Pound Cake, Carrot Ganache, Macerated Cherries, Chocolate Crumble, Peach Honey Sorbet and Lacy Pistachio.

To me, and I believe to everyone at the table this was two completely different desserts. The green tea and beer cake with the cherries on top on one side and the chocolate crumble, peach-honey sorbet and lacy pistachio on the other; both on top of a schmear of carrot ganache. The cake was very moist and the green tea mixed wonderfully with the cherries and those both went quite well with the beer that I’ll mention in a bit. The chocolate crumble was rich 2016-08-23 15.24.05but not too much so. And, the deliciously sweet sorbet with a lacy pistachio “cookie” dipped in it was a mix of warm and cold; deep and tart all at the same time. I thought it paired best with the wine that I’ll mention. I liked the carrot ganache but I think it would have been okay if it wasn’t there. Not bad mouthing it, just didn’t think it was absolutely necessary for the dish to work. Or should I say ‘dishes?’

The beer was Mystery’s Papa Bois Foreign Export Stout and the wine was Gerard Bertrand Banyuls from France. The blackberry and woody taste of the wine made it a great choice for me when it came to the chocolate crumble and sorbet part. And, the deep rich coffee-esque flavor of the stout made the green tea and beer stand out in the Matcha cake and cherries. Because it was, as I said, considered two different desserts on one plate and I thought that the beverage choices were each right for one of the components, I split my vote to a tie.  That happened with several of the diners, but overall for that course, beer won out. That made the overall consensus; 2 courses for wine and 2 courses for beer.

We bought the Banyuls and the Malbec as well as Mystery’s Gentlemen’s Preference Belgium Blonde and the Papa Bois Stout. I think all were fantastic but those were our favorites.

Chef Curtis, I tip my hat to you, brother, you did a fantastic and amazing job with the courses. Your food artistry is amazing. I appreciate you having us there and we will be returning to dine with you more often. It’s added to the ‘rotation,’ if you will.

1703 Restaurant owner, Molly Curran, said that they were going to have these kinds of dinners every second Sunday of the month. If you’re interested in participating in a future pairing or just having some of Chef Curtis’ wares, you can find more on their website. They’re located at 1703 Robinhood Rd in Winston-Salem. I highly recommend you do check them out.

Kudos Chef Curtis and Molly!

Bon appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #6

In episode #6:

Food and restaurant news including accolades for a local food staple.2016-08-23 15.21.48

Food holidays and history for the week of August 22-28.

I also review our great experience at 1703 Restaurant and their “beer vs. wine” dinner from Chef Curtis Hackaday. There will be a blog post about that on Thursday.

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.

Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the page).

Bon appetit!