The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode #8

Last week was Labor Day and that meant some vacation time, I figured you’d forgive me missing an episode, right? Thanks!

In Episode #8:

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.

Bon appetit!

Slap-Happy Chicken

The big restaurant buzz going around town this past week has been the arrival of Slappy’s Chicken. Slappy’s Chicken is located at 200 W Acadia Avenue in the old Acadia Grill location.

Scott Brandenburg, who’s been involved in the restaurant business for quite a while and has done stints at some of the local food establishments, decided it was time to get back into owning a restaurant. He previously owned a restaurant with his wife, but I’ll be honest, I don’t know exactly where he said it was. I think it was Brevard, but I’m not asking you to take my word on that because I could be wrong. He said he recognized me from around town, I’m figuring it was from Meridian, as he worked there as a server for a bit. 2016-07-22 09.21.27

Scott takes a very simplistic approach to chicken. Fry it, dip it in a special sauce of his own design and serve it with a side. Well, you may think that sounds very obvious, that’s what most places do. You’re right, but I don’t know if you’re getting the point. He only does chicken.

His menu consists of 3 items, not counting dessert and drinks: 1/4 dark (leg and thigh), 1/4 white (breast and wing) and 1/2 chicken (leg, thigh, breast, wing). Each of those items come with two sides and a roll.

The sides to choose from are: Mac & Cheese, Baked Beans, Collard Greens, Cole Slaw and Potato Salad. Pretty much what you’d want to see and eat accompanying chicken. The menu also invites you to gaze upon the dessert board for the dessert of the day. The day we went, it was pineapple refrigerator cake. There was a fountain with Pepsi products and, of course, you have to have Cheerwine since you’re eating chicken in North Carolina.

13690772_10154193965590490_95489159316486232_nThe sauce. That’s what makes Slappy’s Chicken unique. The sauce is sort-of-barbecueish. It’s a slightly sweet, yet quite spicy, sauce that completely covers the bird. There’s a hint of some Cajun seasoning and I’m thinking some honey. To the unaware, this can come off as really hot. Stephanie, who doesn’t do hot, was sucking wind a little bit, but she ate the whole thing (she had the 1/4 dark). She said it was very spicy but she could handle it. My son, Trey, likes spicy and he said it was a bit “warm,” but also he liked it on his 1/4 dark. I found it to be more than I was expecting but not more than I liked. I thought the flavor and the heat profile to be just right once I was acclimated. I really liked the sweet heat that came from it.

I asked Scott if he made the chicken without the sauce and he said he most certainly did. Many have asked for it “dry” with the sauce on the side. Me, being the fan of chicken breast as I am, will probably opt for that the next time I go and I will go back. I want to taste the chicken with the sauce, not just the sauce with some chicken. That’s not at all a knock, it’s just a matter of tasting the wares; knowing what I’m working with.

Stephanie had hers with mac & cheese and potato salad. Trey had his with beans and mac & cheese. I had the mac & cheese and collard greens. Mac & cheese seemed to be the side of choice for the evening as I saw a few others with it on their plate, as well.

Now, here’s the caveat. We were there at 7:40pm. They close at 8pm. We were the next to last order taken for the evening. In fact, I got the very last 1/4 white plate, Scott said he’d run out because of the run of customers. He said he’s been doing that all week. But, to me the mac & cheese was a little dry. I know they weren’t making a new batch after at least 7pm. I get that, no worries.I added the obligatory Texas Pete that I always have with my mac & cheese and it was just right. Someone asked me on Instagram on a scale of 1-10 what would I rate the mac & cheese and I said 5 but I wanted to try it again. The flavor was fine, but it was dry. Again, it was the last batch of the evening and while some may throw up that “it should be great no matter what,” I’m not of that school. I completely get it and because I plan on going back – more than a few times – I’ll have it again. I’ll rethink my rating of that after having a second helping. The collards, they were on point. I added a little vinegar, as I do, and all is right in the world. 2016-07-22 09.22.59

The decor is “old school diner” and there’s nothing wrong with that. I believe Scott wanted to keep with the history of the place and the Acadia Grill was a mainstay for a long time in that area. It’s updated and clean. There’s even an old mantelpiece with mirrors in the second dining room to corral some of that old-time charm. I like that.

I believe that Scott’s Slappy’s Chicken is what is needed in the Washington Park area. I think the food is fantastic, just beware if you don’t like spicy (order the sauce on the side to test it). The sides are simple but just the way you want them. I honestly believe that the simplicity of the establishment is what is going to make it work so well. The less you wrangle with as a customer, the less they wrangle with in the kitchen, the less wait and speculation about your food. You want fast and “comfort.” That’s what you’re going to get at Slappy’s Chicken. It’s not called Slappy’s Chicken and a Bunch of Other Stuff. Simple. Delicious.

Winner, winner chicken dinner. Yeah, I had to go there.

I rate Slappy’s 4.25 stars out of 5.

Salute! the North Carolina Wine Festival is Here!

The wine festival that gets me going the most, Salute! the North Carolina Wine Festival, is tomorrow, June 4, from noon until 6pm in downtown Winston-Salem. I’m excited about the wine, the atmosphere, the people watching and yes, the food. I’m going to reprint the entry from the NC Food & Wine University page with some of my own stuff, if you’ll indulge me. Again, this excerpt is property of Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership and Salute! the NC Wine Festival.1045x299_fill_header

For decades it seems, the fine art of wine appreciation and selecting the proper wine to go with certain foods left many beginners a tad intimidated.  There was a sense of mystery surrounding the different varietals and a classic stereotype of “wine snobbery” that accompanied those who had solved the puzzle.  More recently, as wines have become more affordable and available from national, regional and local vineyards, many novices continue to feel unqualified to tiptoe into the world of oenophiles, the wine experts.

Salute! The North Carolina Wine Celebration wants to forever put aside those feelings of wine incompetence with an entertaining and educational opportunity perfect for all levels of wine-lovers.  De-mystifying the wonderful world of wine, and clarifying the art of food and wine pairings that bring out the best in our North Carolina wines is the mission of “North Carolina Food & Wine University,” back by popular demand at this year’s festival.

Five unique presentations will be held at NCF&WU every 45 minutes throughout the day.  The knowledgeable local chefs from some of the best restaurants and winemakers from some great NC wineries will help unravel the mysteries of wine, including how to swirl, sniff and savor the luscious varietals that are being produced in our state.

But the biggest lesson to learn at NCF&WU is how to relax and enjoy the experience and the experiments of mixing and matching your favorite wines with different foods.  Or maybe you are trying to find your favorite type of wine?  At this University, there are no wrong questions, and the only test will be as you rate the flavors of wines you’ll try while enjoying the festival!  Be sure you don’t skip these classes….plan to attend at least one during your day at Salute!

Schedule of Chefs Demos and Wineries:   

12:30 – 
Chef Stephanie Tyson, Sweet Potatoes and Hanover Park Vineyards 
– Cornbread Hoe Cake with collard green bruschetta & goat cheese topped with Texas Pete CHA! spiced Shrimp with caviar

Chef Stephanie is the culinary genius behind much of Sweet Potatoes’ success, along with her partner, the awesome Vivian Joiner. Hanover Park has always impressed me with their wares and I’ve had several tastings with them in restaurants in this town.

1:30 –
Chef Richard Miller, Graze Restaurant + Raylen Vineyards
– Grilled NC Shrimp and Oysters with Good Night Brothers Country Ham
      Cucumber Salad, Tossed Local Greens, Lemon mustard vinaigrette

Chef Richard is the reigning champion of the Competition Dining series and makes Graze a not-of-the-ordinary hotel restaurant. Raylen is a beautiful vineyard that produces some great wines. They have their own festival coming up in July.

 2:30 –
Chef Travis Myers, Willow’s Bistro and Jones von Drehl Vineyards
ALL LOCAL CHALLENGE featuring fresh produce from Minglewood Farms

– Duck 2ways with Harmony Ridge duck breast, pulled confit leg, duck dirty risotto, wilted Cheshire Farms dino kale, bacon jam & roasted duck jus. 

Chef Travis is one of the most talented chefs I know and there’s a reason I call him “Wonderboy.” You’ll see when you taste his food. I don’t know about Jones von Drehl but I am sure I won’t be able to say that after tomorrow.

Chef Kristina Fuller, Crafted: The Art of the Taco and Raffaldini Vineyards 

– Bahn Mi Taco Bulgogi beef, pickled daikon radishes, carrots and onions, jalapeño, white sauce, cilantro  

Former guest on The Less Desirables, Chef Kris has a way, and a vision, with the non-conventional when it comes to food. She’s a great talent and Raffaldini has to be one of the most pristine wineries in the Yadkin Valley, not to mention in the state. It’s picturesque and looks like you’re in Tuscany (at least from what I have seen that Tuscany looks like), plus the wine is fantastic.

Chef Tirra Cowan from Black Mountain Chocolate and Lake James Cellars 
– Dark Chocolate Torte with Levering Orchards Sour Cherry Compote

Another former TLD guest, Chef Tirra makes some out-of-this-world confections over at Black Mountain Chocolate. You can go by and watch her work through the glass and you can certainly see her do her magic at this event. Like Jones von Drehl, I don’t know about Lake James Cellars but I can’t wait to.

Salute! tickets are $25 in advance (you should purchase, now!) and $30 at the event. You can purchase tickets and get more info from their website. If you see me out tomorrow, please, come say hello. I love to meet my readers and friends.