The Big Eat Returns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Camino Bakery
Featured Dish:
half-priced cheesecake slices

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

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

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

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

Thai Harmony
Featured Dish:
Half Price Pad Thai

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

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

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

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #17

©MHastings/W-SJournal

In Episode #17, proudly recorded from Test Pattern Studios:

  • Food holidays and history
  • Atelier at Meadowlark and Atelier on Trade closed until further notice.
  • Twin City Slice Pizza takes over at Kabobs on 4th location.
  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers comes to Hanes Mall.

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). 

Due to server space restrictions, we have removed this episode from the server. However, we have every episode in “storage.” If you need or want this episode, hit Tim up.

Slàinte mhath!

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.

DWSP Presents Restaurant Week 2/15-2/21

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

restaurantweek

DWSP Restaurant Week

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

Bib’s for example has the following:


 

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Have fun!