Welcome to Local Dish Winston-Salem.

This blog is paired with a Facebook Group where people can post pictures and talk about food and beverages they have had at local W-S restaurants and bars. Pictures from the group will be added here so it can be used as a great resource for local places for everyone to enjoy.

You won't find the negative points here; we focus on the good, the great, and the best.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chelsee's: Coconut Heaven

A friend of mine was talking about the coconut cake at Chelsee's Coffee and More. I love coconut cake, but there is an art to it. The cake should be moist, dense and have a good flavor- similar to a pound cake. The frosting should not be too sweet because the coconut is the star of the show and should not be overpowered. You should be able to taste the time that went into carefully stacking and frosting each layer. And in that very first bite, you should taste the love. You can find this cake at Chelsees.

Caffe Prada: Gelato Goodness

Caffe Prada has wonderful gelato and is constantly trying new flavors. One of the newest frozen treats is their Tiramisu Gelato. A mild coffee flavor that is creamy and delicious. I decided to mix the Tiramisu with my favorite, chocolate. I chose the low-sugar chocolate because it does not taste low-sugar and I could stand to save a calorie when I can. (Who has the brilliant idea to start a food blog during bathingsuit season... um...yeah.) The combination of the two was heavenly. Perfect for when the temperatures are over 90 degrees for nine days in a row.

Grecian Corner: Chicken Souvlaki

The sign outside states "A Winston-Salem Landmark...since 1970. Well, at 40 this eatery is definitely not going through any mid-life crisis. When we go, both of us usually get the Chicken Souvlaki. Giant chunks of seasoned chicken, cucumber, green peppers, tomatoes, onions and the creamy tzatziki sauce. These culinary delights come wrapped in a paper wrapper for easy handling and cleanliness; it serves a purpose, so unwrap gradually. The pita is always cooked perfectly before it is stuffed with the fabulous meat and vegetables. Sooooo good. Now go get one.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mr. Barbecue

Being born and raised in North Carolina, I have always appreciated a good plate of pulled-pork BBQ. I moved to Winston-Salem over a year ago and was anxious to find my 'go-to' BBQ joint... and it didn't take me long to find it. Mr. Barbecue, located on Peter's Creek Parkway, has fulfilled all of my BBQ joint needs: good pork, good sauce, good sides, good price. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to this meal, usually ordering the chopped plate (that comes with the pork, hush puppies, fries, and bbq slaw). This costs around $6.00 and can easily feed two people for lunch. Don't forget to order a sweet tea!

Other items to note
Onion Rings-Oh the onion rings. Hand battered and heavenly.
Hamburgers-You know those days when you think to yourself "Man, I want a REALLY good juicy, messy hamburger"? These burgers meet that craving.
The desserts-banana pudding, chocolate pie, chocolate cake, pecan pie. Need I say more?

New Town Bistro: Sunday Brunch

We visited New Town Bistro on Jonestown Road. We had not been to the restaurant in several years, but after seeing the mini desserts posted on the Facebook page, I looked at their menu online. (Local Dish and its contributors are really helping be branch out and try new-to-me restaurants.) The brunch menu looked great and so we convinced a neighbor to join us and we jumped on the highway at 11:00am on Sunday morning.

Our server, Sherry, was great and helped me choose the Monterrey omelet. It was filled with sliced turkey and pepper jack cheese, then topped with black olives, sour cream and homemade salsa and olives. The sour cream sauce and the homemade salsa really stepped things up a notch. If it is possible to have a "light" omelet, this would be it. After eating it, I was satisfied but did not feel like I had to follow breakfast with a two-hour nap. It was one of the best omelets I have ever eaten.
Joe had a hard time choosing between the Charleston Omelet and the Sweet Potato Pancakes. The most logical decision was to have both. New Town offers a "short stack" of two sweet potato pancakes so it was a perfect portion once he shared a bite with me. The Charleston Omelet was filled with fresh asparagus, artichokes, grape tomatoes, Swiss cheese and shrimp. The vegetables were not overcooked and maintained their fresh flavor with each bite. The fruit included watermelon and fresh pineapple, which was a nice treat. Breakfast potatoes were cooked perfectly and a mini carrot muffin pushed this brunch over the top.

After the savory, we moved onto the sweetness of the Sweet Potato pancakes which were topped with candied pecans. These pancakes don't need a lot of syrup because they are naturally sweet from the sweet potatoes themselves. They had great flavor and the crunch from the pecans was a nice contrast to the light texture of the pancakes.
We had a great experience at our first brunch at New Town Bistro. It definitely will not be our last. I have my eye on a Sausage Benedict.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lunch at Las Estrellas

O and I decided on a quick lunch at Las Estrellas. He ordered the beef flautas and I opted for the vegetarian super burrito, which is chock full of veggies. Yummy!

Late-night snack at Hutch and Harris

We had the spinach dip which had a bit of a spicy kick. It was delish!

Breakfast at Lighthouse Restaurant

O and I decided to try the Lighthouse Restaurant for breakfast recently. O had the french toast with a sunny-side up egg and orange juice. I had a cheese omelet with hashbrowns, Rye toast and a sweet tea. The food was good, the service quick and friendly and we walked out of there after paying our $11 bill!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lunch at Sweet Potatoes

Stopped by Sweet Pototoes on Trade St for lunch today. The familiar face of Katherine behind the bar makes it an immediately comfortable and relaxed place to be.

As with most lunches I selected a salad - Curried Chicken Salad - "Our special blend of curried chicken salad with fresh fruit and pecans served on a bed of mixed greens and topped with mango chutney" as described on the menu. The scoop of curried chicken has the texture of traditional chicken salad and has a sweet tang rather than a burn. Its just enough to feel filled up and not so much as to make you sleepy, even when paired with a glass of semi sweet white wine!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Diamondback Grill: Sandwiches and More

Taking advantage a restaurant gift card, we asked some friends to meet us for dinner at Diamondback Grill, located in the heart of the Buena Vista neighborhood. We met DG and MG at the restaurant and we chose the casual side of the restaurant. (There is a more formal dining room adjacent to the bar/grill area).

DG and MG ordered an appetizer, the steamed Prince Edward Island mussels with fresh ginger, curry, lemongrass, and coconut broth. They described the broth as being deliciously sweet and gave a nice flavor to the mussels. A crunchy crostini accompanied the mussels and was good for dipping in the broth. (DG is pictured, proudly showing off his mussels)

Joe had the Vegetarian Black Bean Burrito  with spinach, mushrooms, red peppers, corn, cheddar jack cheese, pico de gallo, sautéed asparagus, basmati rice, cilantro lime sour cream, pineapple salsa.

 From the appetizer menu, MG chose the Carolina Flounder fingers with lemon aioli. They were lightly breaded, tender and flakey. The lemon aioli was a refreshing change from your average tartar sauce.
I enjoyed the Monterey Grill, a marinated chicken breast with bacon, melted Monterey Jack, lettuce, tomato, avocado and purple onion on a toasted brioche bun. Lots of applewood bacon and the avacado makes this sandwich extra delicious.

DG had the Diamondback® Sloppy Joe, a masterpiece of a sandwich. made with lean freshly ground chuck that is pan sautéed with red peppers, onions and their homemade southwestern Diamondback® BBQ Sauce. It is served open face on a toasted brioche bun topped with blue cheese apple cole slaw and melted pepper jack cheese. DG highly recommends this sandwich, which his favorite item on the menu. It is unlike any Sloppy Joe you have ever had and it is magnificent.

Bibs Downtown: Ribs and Sides

We're having meat for dinner. Specifically we're having Bib's Downtown's awesome ribs and pulled pork. You should think about doing the same, maybe even eating it on site, because every Wednesday from 6-9 PM Bib's hosts an Open Mic Acoustical Jam Night.

... and we didn't make it til dinnertime. Hey, speaking of time, let's pretend my plate is a clock!

Shown above, from eleven to half-past twelve: Bib's pulled pork (holy). From one o'clock all the way to four o'clock: Bib's ribs, which are incredibly generously cut (holy frijole). From four o'clock through seven o'clock, we have Bib's macaroni and cheese, which is comfort food at its finest (holy shmoly). There's a brief intermission from seven o'clock til nine o'clock, because Bib's hush puppies were too pop-in-the-mouth awesome to make it to the plate (holy roly poly). From nine o'clock til eleven o'clock, we have Bib's white coleslaw, which is my coleslaw of choice (holy ravioli), though the oldest swears by the red.
 -Contributed by Lucy C. (with permission) from the Life in Forsyth blog

West End Cafe: Scallops and Gnocchi

From the West End Cafe.

On the left:               
Scallops with Hot and Sour broth. "I could've drank the broth by itself."

Ont the Right:
Gnocchi with arugula pesto - "yum."
-Contributed by Carla H.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Single Brothers: The Parker Posey

The only possible way Single Brothers could have gotten any cooler in my book would be to add a drink named after my favorite wacky indie-actress, Parker Posey.
Well, they did it. Single Brothers rolled out a new drink menu a couple of weeks ago and we went Friday night to check it out. The Parker Posey is a champagne based cocktail with elderflower liqueur, cava (Spanish sparkling wine), and lemon. The elderflower liqueur had a very..well, floral taste to it. The French St-Germain is one brand of elderflower liqueur you might have heard of. Their website describes the taste as:
"Neither passionfruit nor pear, grapefruit nor lemon, the sublime taste of St-Germain hints at each of these and yet none of them exactly. It is a flavor as subtle and delicate as it is captivating. A little like asking a hummingbird to describe the flavor of its favorite nectar. Très curieux indeed, n'est-ce pas?" http://www.stgermain.fr/story.php

Now, I don't think Single Brothers uses St-Germain, but that's okay, this quote describes the subtleties of the taste pretty darn well. Kind of like Parker Posey... she hints at different "flavors" and is yet none of them exactly, a flavor as subtle and delicate as it is captivating! Like Parker Posey, this drink is also very pretty and yet slightly bizarre with a twist of elegance. 
If fancy drinks aren't your thing, you can always get a good ol' can of Schlitz for $2! 

Krispy Kreme: A Local Treat

Even if you did not grow up in Winston-Salem, you probably know that Krispy Kreme originated here. For that reason, Krispy Kreme is local and pictures and posts are welcome in Local Dish. Every couple of months,  Krispy Kreme has donuts that they feature. This month, it is a Lemon Cake doughnut and a Lemon Kreme Pie. (Pictured below with the lemon drizzle and lemon filling with powdered sugar)

"Krispy Kreme Doughnuts , need I say more?" -Contributed by Robin D.

HOT Krispy Kremes from the Stratford Location. Half of them didn't make it out of the parking lot. -Contributed by Sadie S.

Willow's Bistro: Ribs, Banana Bread Pudding, Salad and Sandwiches

Great dinner at Willow's Bistro Winston-Salem tonight. Pork Ribs with wasabi sauce. However, the roasted corn with stalk added to the presentation and worth taking a picture.

Let's not forget polishing the Pork Ribs off at Willow's Bistro Winston-Salem with some Banana Bread Pudding which was quite tasty.

-Contributed by Smitty

More from Willow's:
A special birthday lunch for Sadie C. was a delicious success on the shaded patio of Willow's Bistro Winston-Salem today!

I enjoyed a delicious Grilled Saku Tuna & Pineapple Salad - and yesthe pineapple was also grilled - decadent with red curry and roasted mango vinaigrette!
-Contributed by Michelle S.

Sadie C. and Crystal N. both had the Bacon, Lettuce and Fried Green Tomato sandwiches. (Applewood-smoked bacon, goat cheese, balsamic sundried tomato aioli and lettuce on wheat berry bread.) One was served with french fries, the other with home made chips
-Contributed by Sadie C. and Crystal N.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Progressive Dinner: Mozelles, Bernardin's, and West End Cafe

When you start a food blog about eating out, you want to make sure that you have enough material to keep people reading and you want to showcase as many local restaurants as possible. Our friends MB and EB suggested a "progressive dinner" where we have one course at three different restaurants. They are also friends that are not afraid to "share" dishes so everyone can try what is on the table. Brilliant.

For this progressive dinner, we chose three restaurants that are within 200 feet of one another, in the West End area of Fourth Street.

Appetizers: Mozelle's Southern Bistro
We called ahead for a 7:30 reservation because we knew that there would be a wait on a Friday night. Mozelle's is one of those restaurants where it is hard to choose between the many choices on the menu. We chose four very different appetizers that were all delicious.

Top Left: Spring Vegetable Risotto: sweet peas, yellow zucchini, asparagus, shaved parmesan
Top Right: Fried Okra (Fried pickles was on the menu but okra was a substitution)
Bottom Left: Grilled Shrimp with fried Green Tomato
Bottom right: Southern Spring Rolls with pulled bbq, greens, shitake mushrooms, napa cabbage and three sauces.

The appetizers were delicious. The risotto (which was served with the Organic Chicken that I had as an entree last week) was cooked perfectly, again. The fact that they cooked the risotto perfectly during two visits, shows that they know what they are doing. The fried okra was a great substitute for fried pickles. Nice cornmeal breading gave this appetizer a nice crunch. The Fried Green tomato was cooked similarly, but topped with grilled shrimp, a sweet chow chow and garnished with a spicy red pepper coulis for that little "kick." The Southern Spring Rolls are a favorite of mine. Crispy and filled with sweet, smokey, and savory.

Our server, Tamara, was attentive and friendly. She suggested some nice summer wines and was knowledgeable about the menu. We were able to order, enjoy our appetizers and a bottle of wine, and pay our bill in forty-five minutes.

Entrees: Bernardins at the Zevely House
Bernardins is a new addition to the West End area of Fourth Street, having recently moved into the historic Zevely House. Joe and I had never been to their other location, so we were looking forward to trying something new; our friends had been to their Jonestown location in the past. We made a reservation for 8:15, requesting a table on their beautiful patio. (We were very thankful for a night with low-humidity.)

On to the food...

MB is a vegetarian but her choices were not limited on the Bernardin's menu. She chose the Goat Cheese Ravioli  prepared with fresh goat cheese, winter vegetables, with a truffle preserved Meyer lemon cream. The goat cheese was fresh and creamy, so perfect for a ravioli. Each of the The combination of flavors of the sauteed spinach, goat cheese, lemon, and fresh vegetables is magnificent. The portion is perfect for a pasta in a cream sauce, especially if you still have dessert on the agenda.

EB is not a vegetarian, and chose the Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon served with horseradish gnocchi, wild mushroom, wilted watercress, goat cheese. This is a hearty meal with a generous filet mignon and the gnocchi. Topping the steak with fresh, herbed goat cheese is just genius. The flavors in the cream sauce is a nice addition to the gnocchi, but adds a nice flavor to the steak if the two should run into each other on the plate. (Aren't you glad that there are photos so you don't have to imagine the goodness?)

I enjoyed the Brie Stuffed Chicken Breast that was served on a bed of mashed potatoes and topped with diced prosciutto, asparagus, caramelized pearl onions and topped thyme natural jus. Thinly sliced chicken with a brie filling that compliments the dish, rather than overwhelm the flavor of the chicken. The mashed potatoes were creamy and were enhanced by the natural juice. This is a comfort food where the different flavors of the chicken, vegetables, prosciutto, and potatoes work nicely together.

Joe ordered the Wasabi Mustard Crusted Ahi Tuna that is served over a soba noodle cake, baby Bok Choy, shitake, tahini sweet chili sauce. This dish is not only aesthetically stunning , but the taste is absolutely unbelieveable. Cooked medium-rare, the tuna was tender with a burst of flavor from the wasabi mustard crust and tahini sweet chili sauce. The soba noodles were tasty on their own, but made the texture of the dish interesting and savory. Simply put, Bernardin's puts the "Ahhh" in Ahi Tuna.

As may be expected, the service was very good with a delightful server and a manager stopping by the table to see if everything was satisfactory.

After finishing our meals, we had about 15 minutes to relax and finish our bottle of wine. We used this time to let our meals settle and enjoy some great conversation. We also noticed that the table next to us was taking pictures of their food with their camera phones. Awesome.

Dessert: West End Cafe
At 9:45 we walked into West End Cafe; they close at 10:00pm. We quickly explained to our server that we were only there for dessert and coffee, but he didn't seem phased by the time at all. (Very nice!)

We  chose West End for our dessert course because they are all homemade and they change everyday. The chalkboard reveals our choices for the evening: Chocolate layer cake, Mandarin Orange Cake, and Peanut Butter Cake. We decide to try one of each (as community service so that you, the readers, are able to experience the delicious dishes at these local treasures) of the cakes offered.

Coffee and cake arrived and after the required photo shoot of each plate, a battle of Dessert Twister broke out.  Independently, all of the cakes were SO good. However "the battle" also created some delicious combinations of cake and frosting.

We each had a favorite but it was close. The cake for each was moist and flavorful, but it was the frosting that was look-to-the-heavens-for-thanks good. Amazingly, there was very little left on each plate when the battle ended.

And so it ended. Three great courses, three great restaurants, four VERY full bellies. We were thankful for the walk home, although it wasn't quite long enough. I highly recommend a progressive dinner.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dioli's Trattoria- Pacchieri stuffed with grilled vegetable pesto and Italian Chef Salad

I met my mom and some of her co-workers at Dioli's Trattoria on 4th Street for lunch today. I've been a long time fan of their first venture, Dioli's Market, and have been excited since the trattoria opened!

I noticed some familiar items (like sandwiches on their homemade foccacia) that I've had before, so I chose the Italian Chef Salad (it was 90 degress outside and somehow, pasta did not seem to go with the heat index today). The salad was deliciously arranged in a rectangular white bowl. Romaine tossed with red wine vinaigrette was topped  turkey, black forest ham, pancetta, roasted red pepers, scallions, cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese. It was a light and yet filling salad, no one taste too overpowering.

My mom got the pacchieri stuffied with grilled vegetable pesto. This was one of their "small plates" listed on the menu. This dish was delicious and garlic-y! Short tubes of pasted filled with grilled vegetable pesto and topped with homemade marinara and Parmesan. YUM.

I'll definitely be back at Dioli's for lunch this summer while I'm working downtown.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Lighthouse: BLT and Popcorn Shrimp

My husband I were heading to the Winston-Salem Dash Game to watch a friend throw out the first pitch. We live about 5 blocks from the new stadium so we are able to walk. Just a short walk up Burke Street is the Lighthouse Restaurant. Celebrating their 56th year in business in August, this family-owned restaurant is a staple in the West End neighborhood.

We got to the restaurant about 6pm so that we would have plenty of time to eat and make it to the game on time. We looked at the specials where I found a baked chicken and Joe found the popcorn shrimp. It seems the chicken was a popular item because they were already sold out. Harold Doumas, the owner, told us that many of his regulars will call in around noon and order the special to take home for dinner. (Now I know the secret.)

My second choice was a BLT, which was overflowing with bacon that was fresh, crisp and warm. The lettuce was crisp and the tomato was plentiful and delicious. While you can get a BLT in several restaurants, there are few that are this good. The menu says that it is the Best BLT in town. Honestly, it fabulous and $4.40 with a side of shoestring fries that are lightly crispy, and not the least bit greasy.

Joe chose the popcorn shrimp that was one of the specials of the day. Each special comes with bread & butter, and your choice of two sides. Joe chose the green beans and cucumber salad to go with the shrimp, all for $6.95! He also enjoyed the Thursday night (Tuesday, too) Beer Special: A Pint of Natty Green's Buckshot Amber for $1.50.

 "A heckuva pre-game meal at the Lighthouse restaurant." -Joe

The service was attentive, friendly and fast. We were finished with our meal in 30 minutes, with plenty of time to make it to the game and see the first pitch. The Lighthouse is only 3 blocks from BB&T ballpark, and offer free parking in their lot on Saturday and Sunday, when the restaurant is closed. (They make people happy, even when they are closed.)

Burke Street Pizza: Margherita Pizza

Burke Street Pizza's Special of the Day; Margherita Pizza with fresh

basil and chopped tomatoes! Delish and smells almost as good as it
tastes. Drop by if you need to grab a quick bite.
-Contributed by Michelle S.

(This is the Thursday special pizza-by-the-slice)


Last night, I visited Mizu, a gem of a Japanese restaurant located in the Sherwood Plaza shopping center next door to the Lowe's Foods on Robinhood Rd. Everything about our experience was great! The servers were attentive, the atmosphere was relaxing, and the presentation of the food was beautiful. I love restaurants here in the Dash that make you feel as if you've spirited away out of town, if only for an hour or two. Don't be fooled- the ambiance might be rich, but the prices are very, very reasonable ($6. 95 for my entree, $2.25 a piece for sashimi.)

I ordered the chicken lettuce wraps and an avocado roll. The chicken and veggies for the lettuce wraps were cooked with a really delicious hoisin sauce and served with peanuts and a spicy  sauce on the side. My boyfriend, a proud sushi enthusiast, chose the tuna sashimi. The picture I took with my iPhone doesn't truly represent the vibrant pink color of the tuna, but I think you get a good enough idea of how beautiful it is! The presentation was very elegant and Aaron said the sashimi was delicious  (it takes a lot for him to be impressed and he definitely was with Mizu). Their website, http://mizuwinstonsalem.com/says their chef has 15 years experience in NYC and it was a pleasure watching him prepare the sushi at the sushi bar!

In addition to the sushi I mentioned, Mizu also has a lot of seafood (my mom gets the scallops), noodles, vegetarian options and hibachi entrees. I'll definitely be going back.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Finnigan's Wake: Tim's Green Burger & Sweet Potato Fries

Tim’s Green Burger ($9) at Finnigan's Wake for lunch today. Grilled Garden Burger on grilled ciabatta bread with avocado, cream cheese, mango chutney, lettuce & tomato with Sweet Potato fries. Especially great with a little Texas Pete on top!
-Contributed by Michelle S.

Dewey's and Krispy Kreme

Two of the best bakeries ever - and both right here in Winston-Salem! So lucky to have them both on my desk too :) Thanks Krispy Kreme and Dewey's Bakery for my breakfast this morning.
-Contributed by Michelle S.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Krankie's Airstream: Tuesday's Half-price Latte

I am usually a brewed coffee girl. The coffee at Krankie Airstream (and the Krankies Mothership) is so good, it does not need to be frothed, steamed, topped, or syruped. Tuesday is 1/2 price espresso drinks day and I usually skip this day at the airstream because the line is much longer than usual. But this morning I had to take our little furry child to his spa day for grooming and so I had a little extra time before I had to be at the office. My choice was a large latte with one splenda and a sprinkle of cinnamon. My spirits are higher and the aesthetics of my cubicle have been enhanced. Maybe a little frothing once in a while is a good thing, especially when it is a bargain.