Tag Archives: The Porch

Saying Goodbye to Winston One Bite at a Time

An excellent group of boyz/men once said: it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

And they’re not wrong.

Many of you know this by now, but after 12 years of living in Winston-Salem, I’m moving north. I got a job in Richmond, Virginia. (C’mon, you didn’t expect me to leave the south, did you?)

It’s exciting. And sad. Scary, but thrilling. I have no idea what’s around the corner. (Hopefully, not an axe murderer.)

(God, I hope I don’t get murdered by an axe murderer.)

(But I wouldn’t mind watching So I Married an Axe Murderer again soon.)

(I love parentheses.)

(I love overusing parentheses.)

It’s going to be tough to leave Winston. It’s been my home. So many people I love are here. One of the benefits of leaving, at least gastronomically, is that I get to do a bit of a tour de food to say goodbye to my favorite places. Going away lunches, dinners, Togo on the couch, beautifully laid dinners on the porch. Every bite is a way to say goodbye to something I love. Well, hopefully not goodbye–more like ‘see you later.’

I’m lucky because I’m going to a city with some pretty serious food chops, but I’m going to miss some Winston favorites. I’m going to miss the chicken souvlaki from Hero House. (…that’s right.) I’m going to miss massaman curry from Teeter Thai. The burgs from Diamondback Grill. Greek salad from Mama Zoe’s. Tawook and fettoosh from Mooney’s. Cranberry turkey sandwich and spicy noodles from The Carving Board. I’m going to miss pretty much everything from Mission Pizza and The Porch.

I think it’s safe to say I’m going to miss the people with whom I have been lucky enough to share those meals more than the food itself. But, people can visit (…please, come visit) and the food can’t really.

But if a chicken souvlaki hitchhiked it’s way up to Virginia, I would let it sleep on my couch. We’d watch So I Married an Axe Murderer toether. And halfway through the movie, I would lovingly unwrap it and tenderly eat the shit out of him.

It would be rude not to eat him. I mean, he came all that way.

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Lover’s Boat for 2 for 3: My Top 10 Restaurants in Winston-Salem

In the middle of February, Bourbon & Boots posted a link to the Eight Most Overlooked Foodie Towns in the South. And it was pretty exciting because two of my favorite towns were on there: Decatur, GA and Winston-Salem, NC. The Decatur list was spot on. I mean, the chef from Cakes & Ale was nominated for a James Beard award this year. Go ahead, that guy. But when I look at some of the places to go in Winston…well, heck. I can’t say that I agree with many of the selections. To be fair, I’ve never been to Winkler Bakery. So, I can’t speak about that at all. In fact, I better get off my fass and go. (Fass. That’s a contraction of fat and ass, so ‘fass.’ I made it up, whatever, NBD.) Village Tavern is great…but there’s one in Greensboro, Denver, Alabama and the PHILIPPINES, for crying out loud. Not exactly a Winston specific spot. And, how do we solve a problem like Willow’s. At it’s best, it’s great. And at it’s worst, the wrong food is brought to your table and when the right food is brought to you, it’s unsafely undercooked. I hate to say it, but I stopped going months ago. With all due respect to Bourbon & Boots and the author of the article, the list felt like it was written by someone who maybe lived here during college and then left. Rather than someone who currently lives here in Winston-Salem. So while, I applaud Bourbon & Boots for recognizing our fair town’s joie de vivre, I’d like to take another stab at it. In no particular order, this is my Top 10 list of Winston-Salem Restaurants. To quote Scarlett Johansson O’Hara, “With God as my witness, we will never go hungry again.”

  1. Mizu: In my opinion, the best sushi in town. Go with two of your best girlfriends. Order the Lover’s Boat for 2….FOR THREE. Discuss being (nearly) 30, family, life, and love. Essentially, live that dinner like you’re in the first half of a rom-com. You know, before you meet the guy. (Alison and Jennie will LOVE living in a rom-com. You will resent it and wish you were a part of a musical.)

    We're on a boat!

    We’re on a boat!

  2. Mission Pizza Napoletana: I will refer you back to my previous post here, but this place is the tits. Pizza? Great. Salads? Great. Specials? Insane. Don’t skip their bone marrow, even if the name scares you. I ususally go two days in a row because you can’t just have one pizza in your life. My coworkers are planning an intervention.

    Prosciutto pizza. Tastes like breakfast, y’all. #runnyyolk

  3. The Porch: I didn’t know what to expect when I went to the Porch for the first time. But when you walk in, you know exactly what you’re gonna get. A vibrant meal that matches the atmosphere. The food is the star. We have nothing in this town like it. It’s Tex Mex-esque. Tacos, burritos, burgers and the biggest salads you’ve ever seen. Plus, a rotating crop of specials that make deciding impossible. Whatever you do, listen to this one piece of advice: do not miss the green chili cheese fries. Sunday brunch is excellent, too. Logistics of ordering can be a bit chaotic, especially as the line lengthens and tables fill up. (Expect to do the “excuse me, pardon me” dance a LOT.)

    Don't think. Just order. Green chili cheese fries.

    Don’t think. Just order. Green chili cheese fries.

  4. Mozelle’s: Food in the south is more than just barbecue. And while everyone is wont to say that Southern=Bar-B-Q and Bar-B-Q alone, Mozelle’s elevates Southern fare. They are a fresh Southern bistro. Their meals are light and elegant, yet rooted in the culinary traditions of the south. Their menu rotates seasonally, like any good southern household’s would. Their decor is intimate and cozy, just like a good southern household is. But unlike a good southern household, you will not be asked, “when was the last time you went to church?” or made to watch a NASCAR race.
  5. Mooney’s : Winston is a great place to live, but it lacks something in the ethnic cuisine department. Which is why it’s so good that a place like Mooney’s exists. Bright Mediterranean flavors permeate everything from their house salad (the fettoosh, y’all) to the decadent kafta burger. The sides are awesome–do not forget the hummus, tabouli, baba ganouj or falafel. Better yet, get all four and make it a meal. Mooney is looking our for YOU.
  6. Millennium Artisan: Full disclosure, y’all. I’ve never actually eaten a full meal at this restaurant. Jerky Naysayer: Well then, Bethany, why are you putting it on your top ten list of restaurants in this town? Bethany: Bless your heart, let me explain right here. I went to Millennium Artisan on the Winston-Salem Battledish. I ate the offering that they had: duck with a leek and lobster bread pudding. And it was the best thing I ate all day. It paired incredibly with their cocktail, which was a lemon/gin/thyme deal. Here was a chef who was thinking about diner’s overall experience and who in that bite made me want to go back for more. Their hours are a little funky, so be sure to check  the website.

    The taste from Battledish. Can't wait to go back for more.

    The taste from Battledish. Can’t wait to go back for more.

  7. West End Café: Why mess with perfection? This is a comfortable, cozy spot that has lunch on lock. Sandwich? Nailed it. Salad? Nailed it. Burg? DONE. But West End Café has unexpectedly delicious dinner entrees. You can go and get anything from their lunch menu for dinner, which is clutch. But their ravioli are delicious. And they do wonderful things with fish, particularly their seafood soups. Their service is one of their strongest attributes, though. Always friendly, always over-delivering. A wonderful neighborhood spot.
  8. Silo: This is the best new sandwich and salad in town. Sit outside if the weather is nice and nosh on grazeables like homemade white bean hummus or have a full meal of a sandwich or salad. Truly the epitome of simple food done incredibly well.
  9. Camino Bakery: If you haven’t been to Camino yet, then get off the toilet (let’s not pretend here…you’re reading this in the bathroom), wash your hands, disinfect your phone (cause…ew) and go there right now. Just go there right this instant. Their pain au chocolate is enough to break your heart, but then re-heal it for you. There is wine. There are pastries. There is coffee. There is tomato pie. There is wine. There….is cheese. Like hunks of cheese. That you can eat. YOU’RE ALLOWED!!
  10. Skippy’s: If I was married to a food, it’d probably be hamburgers. We fell in love a long time ago and we’ve had such a long, fairly fulfilling relationship. It’s comfortable. It’s familiar. It doesn’t surprise me too often. But when the burger is out of town at it’s burger conventions, I will go to Skippy’s. And I will sneak a quick Chicago Dog on the side. What my burger doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Cause the only thing hotter than a hot dog, is a hot dog on a pretzel bun toasted on a flat top. Oh baby.

Honorable Mentions

  • Thai Sawatdee: You may not want to sit and eat inside a Harris Teeter (you don’t), but the food that comes out of Thai Sawatdee is delicious.  The Teeter Thai delivers on Thai flavor, but sadly, does not deliver their food. A girl can dream…
  • Small Batch: Go for the small-batch beers and hand crafted cocktails, stay for the flatbread pizzas (“breadzzas”) and the duck fat fries with dipping sauces made from said beers. Drink another beer. Repeat as necessary. The draft beers are always changing, but their bottled beer and wine list is incredible.

    Evan, Breadzzas and some Duck Fat Fries

    Evan, Breadzzas and some Duck Fat Fries

  • Diamondback Grill: I used to go to the DBG an embarrassing amount when I lived down the street. Since moving out of the neighborhood, I no longer frequent it, but their casual atmosphere, great food and ability to make you feel like family makes this place tops in my book.
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