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.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Big Eat: Week One

I always look forward to the Big Eat. It’s that time of year when everyone has a little less money in their pockets after the holidays and dining out is a luxury that most choose not to partake. But the Big Eat makes it affordable to go out to dinner in January and February, and it gives downtown restaurants a boost in a time where sales are traditionally low.

I worked in restaurants for twelve years, and I know that I had to save tips from the holiday season to get by until Valentine’s Day. Monday and Tuesday nights were always the lowest yield for the service industry, but the Big Eat is out there to change all that.
Thirty downtown restaurants are participating this year (yes THIRTY) so there is surely something to please everyone. The menus for the Big Eat are posted about five days in advance so you have time to plan your strategy, and if the restaurant takes reservations, I suggest you make them as early as possible.
I should be in town each Tuesday until the Big Eat is over on Feb 26th, so expect at least a weekly post. I know it’s been way too long, but I have been pinching pennies and the Big Eat is getting me out there again. Hooray!
Big Eat- Week One: Community Arts Café (CAC)
The Big Eat special was the Café Burger. At $3.49 this is one heck of a burger. (At full price of $6.99, this is one heck of a burger!) Served on a corn-dusted Kaiser roll, the 7 oz. burger is topped with Dublin Irish cheddar, and lettuce, tomato & red onion and a pickle on the side. You also have your choice of a side item: kettle chips, fruit salad, or roasted sweet potatoes with goat cheese.

The burger is cooked on a flattop which seals in the juices and cooks the burger evenly. The toppings are fresh and the Dublin Irish Cheese is rich, melted goodness that seeps into the nooks and crannies of the  beefy burger. The fresh lettuce, tomato and pickle on the side allow you to build your burger to suit your taste. The bun is flavorful and firm enough to hold all the goodness inside. (Very important!)
The signature side is roasted sweet potatoes that spend a minute on the grill to add a little extra crunch to the outside, and then topped with crumbles of fresh goat cheese. I never knew that sweet potatoes and goat cheese could complement each other so well, but man-o-man, it’s delicious!

The Cafe Burger will also be the Big Eat special in Week Two of the Big Eat at the CAC, but there are two other notable dishes you can try in the meantime. The Sweet Potato Quesadilla is made with roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, cilantro and cheddar cheese with a chipotle sour cream. It's sweet, savory, and spicy so your taste buds will be happy! Pictured here with a side of fresh fruit, this $6.99 meal is perfect for meat lovers or vegetarians.
Finally, I love the homemade Chicken Salad on a Croissant. A substantial portion, the chicken salad is made fresh and you can taste the difference. Freshly cooked chicken with just enough mayo to bind the chicken together. I think that chicken salad was made for croissants, it just gives it that little extra buttery flavor. Served here with the roasted sweet potatoes with goat cheese.
One of my favorite things about the Community Arts Café is that there is not a single item on the menu that is over $8.99. If you are looking for a great meal, fresh ingredients, substantial portions that is kind to your wallet, then the Community Arts Café is the place to dine.
The restaurant is located at the 411 W. Fourth Street
Vegetarian and Gluten Free Options
Monday – Friday 9am-2pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm
Tuesday Nights (during the Big Eat)-  5pm-9:30pm

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