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.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

River Birch Lodge: Lunch on a Time Crunch

I was on my own for lunch today. The weather inspired soup so I tried to think of a place that I had not been to in a while, but I knew had good soups on the menu. Today’s lunch destination was River Birch Lodge. I work on the eastern edge of downtown, so the risk of getting to and from River Birch (halfway across town) and eating originally gave me some concern, but I had a few minutes to play with today so I risked it. I left the office at 12:05. When I got to the parking lot at 12:15, my apprehension continued because there was not a parking space to be found. Because River Birch is in a shopping center, I was able to find parking easily behind the restaurant. By doing so, I noticed they have a patio! Not really a patio day but I will keep that in the back of my mind. Inside, the place was packed. (Evidently, just because I don’t come here often on a Wednesday during lunch, it doesn’t mean that everyone else doesn’t.)

I told the hostess that I was alone and I requested to sit at the bar. The bar area has a long bar and several tables as well. The bartender, Paul, was waiting on two six-tops (tables of six) and another table of two. The bar itself was all mine so I took a seat and waited less than a minute for Paul to take my order. Let me tell you, this guy can multitask! He asked if I would like some bread while I waited and even though I didn’t need it, I said yes. The bread was warm and the butter was soft. We are off to a great start.

12:20: I ordered the soup and ½ sandwich. I decided to try the soup of the day, a vegetarian black bean chili with their homemade chicken salad sandwich. The meal also comes with a side and I had the fresh fruit. I spent some time checking e-mail on my phone, watching ESPN on one of their two TVs in the bar, and watching Paul buzz about the bar area filling drinks, boxing food to go, and making drink orders for the wait staff. It was quite impressive. After running some food to one of the bar tables, Travis -the Executive Chef, stopped by the bar to ask how I was doing. Travis did not know who I was, so I found this to be just another area where the service at River Birch excels.

12:34: My food arrives and it is delicious! The black bean vegetarian chili was fantastic. It was loaded with fresh vegetables and tons of black beans. The soup was exactly what I wanted when I started my quest for soup. The chicken salad is made with oven roasted sage-pesto chicken and served on wheat bread with lettuce and tomato. This is a hearty sandwich, not to mayonaisey and great roasted flavor from the chicken. The fruit was a great medley for this time of year- including melons, blackberries, strawberries and fresh pineapple.

12:55: I ask for my check as I finish up the last of my meal. Paul asks me if I would like an iced tea to go and I accept. He makes me a fresh iced tea and left the lid slightly ajar so that I can add my yellow sweetener before I head on my way. It was that little extra something that made my experience that much more memorable.

1:06: Back in the office, enjoying my tea from River Birch. My hunger and craving for soup are both satisfied. I was extremely impressed with the food, speed, and quality of service.

3:00 Update: I am usually reaching for a snack around 3pm in the office, I am still satisfied from the half a sandwich, soup, and fruit.

You can visit River Birch Lodge at 3324 Robinhood Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106 (in the parking lot of Sherwood Plaza Shopping Center)

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