As to original tamales, I think I have a spot for you. Unfortunately I am not good at exact directions.
To start, the tamales are on sale only on the weekend in a mexican grocery and bakery in Greensboro off of High Point Rd. I'd say the place is about half way from I-40 to Jerusalem Market. Heading south it is on the left and in a small center off the road a bit. But the tamales are fantastic. I have to assume they are homemade and therefore authentic as they are only available on the weekend. Ask at the counter and they will direct you. We pick up some every time we are nearby on the weekend.
Roger, unfortunately, I think you are right on a couple of items. The service is not great but mine was not bad. And I think the one shortfall on the menu is the sandwiches. I have not ordered them but looking at them I didn't want to either. We had the sampler platter and I thought it was solid, definitely reminded me of sausages I've eaten in Germany.
Sorry your experience was not as pleasant as mine. Hopefully they can pull it together for everyone. Do you have a favorite spot in Winston or nearby you think rates at the top?
This is a quick review and a question. The question is what are you favorite one or two spots to dine at in Winston-Salem. They can be favorites for whatever reason but looking for "total package" type places. Total package to me means food quality, authenticity, food value for dollar spent, atmosphere and presentation. Other than that - high brow or low, expensive or cheap, international or american, it doesn't matter.
Now for the review. I am going to pose Old Europe Restaurant on Stratford as one of the top places in Winston. The food is not the most refined, nor is the place this chic-est but it is authentic German food. And, how many places can you find that?
I appreciate the other top prospects in Winston - Meridian, Sweet Potatoes, Milners, Taco Riendo 3 and others. But, few have pulled a total package together for me like Old Europe. Having lived in German for a while, I will admit to being nostalgic but at the same time, Karl, the chef, has done a great job of recreating a German gaststube in North Carolina, down to the furniture and decorations let alone the food.
We've already been their twice and enjoyed both meals immensely. We've had the matjes filets, wurst sampler platter, schweinebraten, half duck and strudel. It has all been delicious and the portions generous bordering on huge. The sides - spaetzel (a delicious boiled and pan fried noodle), red cabbage, German potatoe salad and carrots have also been delicious. That all of the bread is baked in house and for sale out front should speak for itself. (Delicious for sandwiches and throughout the week.)
The only mistake you can make is just ordering a plain sandwich. Although this may seem comfortable it does not expose one to the delicious variety coming from Karl's kitchen.
So, does anyone else have an equally favorite restaurant that gets them going out instead of using their own culinary skills at home?
(By the way, I suggest you all try this new spot open since February 2011 for a new but authentic experience in WS.)
Other posters have mainly hit the mark. I like the Asian Grocery Store at 880 Peters Creek Parkway in
A little further afield in Greensboro is the Super G as noted and for a more korean focus, the Koh Hyan Market is good. (4711 High Point Rd # B, Greensboro, NC 27407-5345, (336) 855-9191). Also, just a bit further down the road is Jerusalem Market, it is a great food find but more european/mediteranean than asian. (Sorry, always have to give them a plug)
Even further afield is Li Mings (3400 Westgate Drive, Durham) in Chapel Hill/Durham. It is right off of I-40 on 15/501 but has the best selection of asian produce and even live fish which I have not found in the WS area. This is a great market that my wife and I will miss when we move back to WS.
Another interesting grocery is the one at Golden India restaurant (2837 Fairlawn Drive (336) 777-0004) Good staples for Indian cooking. Again not exactly what you were asking for but can fill in spots for Japanese/Chinese/Korean cooking sometimes.
All in all, my experiences is that Winston is working hard and improving each year in the international grocery department. And here is hoping the momentum picks up. But, Chapel Hill/Durham/Cary have stronger offerings - broader, fresher, more varied. Reflective of the more diverse populations there as well.
quazi, you are right on. I was going from Tolkiennut saying a hole in the wall would be fine and I think that although the food is not broad it is delicious
I would look at the following and not heard them mentioned;
For Mexican, Taco Riendo 3 out Reynolda Rd past WFU is a real mexican place to me. In the corner of a gas station, rarely see like minded "gringos" like me there, mainly see painters and brick layers, there is seating for 20+ and their torta al pastor is one of my favorites.
For pork belly; I would try calling Meridian in advance and see if they would do it. I have always had luck with them working with me on meals and wine pairings (although wine is not a strong draw for you). I think their food is solid.
For BBQ, although Bibb's gets a lot of nods, I can't agree with that. It is well executed but doesn't necessarily excite me. For standard BBQ, I would go to Little Richards or more so Prissy Polly's in Kernersville. (But, I know BBQ opinions are fighting words around here.)
Not sure what your food likes/dislikes are, but here are a few of my favorites.
First, in Charlotte, Van Lang has wonderful Vietnamese food. It is a hidden little gym and very authentic tasting to me.
In Winston, there are a few places to eat.
Sweet Potatoes does wonderful southern styled food in the art's district of town. In the true southern tradition, it is a little on the rich side but extremely tasty.
Milner's I like but find myself mainly eating from the appetizer menu. Their green tomatoe napolean is very tasty.
But, for a more ethnically adventuresome palette, their is Downtown Thai, Nawab for Indian, Taco Riendo 3 near WFU for their torta al pastor, and Mooney's Mediterranean Cafe.
Raleigh/Durham has a livelier dining scene than Winston and a broader spectrum of food choices as well. You can look at other posts on chowhound for fuller reviews.
For French, I would look at Vin Rouge. You can eat really good prices at reasonable prices for the quality. They have true bistro style food.
For Japanese, I think Yamazushi near 54 and I-40 is fantastic. They are not a roll-shop sushi place but have a wonderful and authentic Japanese menu to order from, while the sushi is delicious as well. Run by a wonderful couple, they have been their for 25 years.
For fun dining on the cheap La Vaquita and Mama Nora's come to mind. Their are plenty of taco stands, trucks and ethnic dining to be explored in the area. Carpe Durham has some solid input on this as well.
that is my quick snap answer
Downtown Thai Restaurant
Mooney's Mediterranean Cafe
For breakfast in Winston, my vote for best value and good food with old time atmosphere is Cloverdale Kitchen. All the items are well prepared and tasty and while not gourmet, neither are the prices. It is the place I most often go for breakfast, for as one poster noted few places do an exceptional breakfast and I don't find them worth the price. Their breakfast special of two pancakes, an egg and side meat for around $5 is hard to beat. (I think it is definitely the best bet near Baptist.) Classic old school diner.
Second would be Ollies. While I am not the fondest of the coffee, the baked goods are delicious and a good way to start the day.
Midtown has variety and the sweet potato or cornmeal pancakes are interesting.
Mary's, for me, is a little overpriced and although the menu is sometimes creative I don't always find it executed well. But, I am by far in the minority in this opinion from people I have spoken with.
I always like to skip the chain stores if I can, so I will give a shout out to Halgo's. Great selection of sausages and other polish specialites.
Strange foods, from your post, I'm not exactly sure if you want to cook them or find a restaurant serving them so I will follow the lead of other posters and offer what I know about both.
beef tongue can be excellent. People often don't know but Japanese restaurants often have it on a traditional menu. Yamazushi has a great offering and they are located on Hope Valley Rd. As well, try some of their other items from their japanese menu, particularly if you like pungent and strongly flavored try the natto. It is a fermented soybean and one of my favorites.
In the asian vein, China Gourmet in Carboro will have a variety of new things to try but again to be found on their Chinese menu. The lotus root is delicious but probably not as interesting as the pigs ear. I haven't been in a while but am sure they have other items as well.
As well, Hong Kong House in Durham on Guess Rd has chicken feet in black bean sauce on weekend dim sums.
For Korean, try Vit Goal Tofu near 54 and I-40 towards Apex. They have a nice assortment of soups and dishes and not just tofu. One of their soups is fantastic, especially with the weather cooling. For a different flavor as well, try the traditional Korean wheat tea.
Vietnamese can also having some interesting cuts or dishes. I've enjoyed Kim Son but know their reviews have been various.
More towards north America, most mexican taco trucks or restaurants will have menudo and/or goat. La Vaquita is a stellar one and often has both. Again, following the pungent and strongly flavored theme, I would try a mole(pronounced molay) at some point.
Also, The Pig in Chapel Hill has a nice pork belly sandwich.
In a European vein, Vin Rouge usually has an offal offering of some sort on the menu, perhaps always. I know their sweetbreads have been some of my favorite in the area.
As well, Bonne Soiree, albeit a different level of dining, often has pigs foot, sweetbreads, and other offal items and always has a pate on offer.
If you are open to limburger, have you tried an epoisses? If not, find one at Southern Season or WF that has some age on it and is becoming really soft in the middle. They are delish! Pair with a nice little burgundy and a baguette for a real treat. Other older cheese might also fit the bill.
I've noticed a new German brat place on 15/501 just north of I-40. If they are traditional, they should have some blood sausage and other wurst.
For groceries, many of the Asian and Mexican markets will have a variety of items and cuts of meat that should provide some culinary adventure. Grand Asia definitely has a broad range. In this, or at a restaurant, black bean sauce is one of my favorite flavorings. You can do pork, fish, shellfish or vegetables with it, order in a restaurant as well.
Med Deli in Chapel Hill also has a variety of items to stretch the taste buds. Their muhamara is delicious and rich as are other items on the menu. And their rose tea is a great treat as well. they also have a case with some haloumi chees and biryani meat. Both of these are delish and offer some savory richness. The haloumi is great fried in a pan and the bryani on a pita (house made here) or in scrambled eggs is great.
Also, for sausages and Polish items, try Halgo's.
So, that is most that I can think of now. Hope they help. Have fun and pass along any new findings.
Kim Son Restaurant
Bonne Soiree Restaurant
ok, ok, I'm sorry. I mixed things up a little. It is not Eagle Creek but Eagle Island Fruit Stand (oysters and seafood are in the same building.)
(I will check my post more clearly in the future and not rely so much on my failing memory.)
peanutress, I agree a direct response is the correct way and usually the best. in this instance, it was such a mess (spilled food and a dirty rag on the table) the night I was there and the server walked by a half dozen times, I figured he didn't care at all. I guess I started feeling like if I said something, I would be pointing out the obvious that he didn't want to see. and there are allowances for bad days as well.
I'm thrilled to read recent visits have been clean for others and that the food is still good. the pork belly sandwich was delicious and with the recent posts, I will try it again. Great to have a place doing locally sourced and homemade food at this level and price range.
Just ate here the other night. A friend gave it a good review but had done take out, perhaps we should have as well. I heard they are trying to support local providers and hope they succeed, the menu is interesting and the meats seem to be following a developing charcuterie theme in the area.
First, the good. The pork belly sandwich was fantastic, tender meat, nicely flavored with the richness of the meat being offset by the bun. The pickles certainly look and taste homemade and are a nice find and as another poster noted, the slaw is also nice.
Next, the rough. For me, the sausages are good but very rich and I will probably always get them with bread from now on. I think we got a kielbasa and a Hawaiin sausage but if so, I couldn't discern a great deal of difference between the two. And the hush puppies are different, in fact so different I wouldn't really call them hush puppies because they lack the depth of corn flavor I expect in my puppies.
Finally, the horrible. The night we went, the housekeeping was horrendous, not just bad but awful and I am not that picky. But the floor was strewn with food particles, the used plate areas over flowing and a table was covered with food on top and around it. Looked like a two year old had been throwing food around. If the two year old were still around I would understand but they weren't and the staff walked by it more than 6 times. I'm really not that picky, but if you can't wipe down a table or sweep a floor I wonder about the care in the kitchen.
Although the pork belly was good, I would be hard pressed to go back because of the housekeeping.
I hope they are cleaner for others and succeed because the concept is interesting and any support for local providers is great.
If you will travel, searching the boards as suggested is very helpful, but I'll highlight some that I really like.
Cucina 24 - great little italian place, solid appys and a nice dark sambuca
Eagle Creek Seafood - I go for the oyster and sometime seafood.
Merrits Burger House (2338 Carolina Beach Road) - not gourmet burgers but an old school diner open since 1958. burger, fries and a shake
Motts Channel for fresh seafood.
Chilhowie, Va (just across the border) - Townhouse is worth the trip for molecular cuisine but not at big city prices. The chef worked at Alinea in Chicago, there is a website and many many posts. (http://www.townhouseva.com/)
Spork, sounds like you have hit some good places already. I will try to fill in from your originial post and what you have done.
Shopping for provisionis - Cliff's meats is solid but Whole Foods has a decent meat department as well. The best though is through local farmers ( ) or the Carrboro farmers market. The produce is fantastic as well. The asian or indian markets in Cary are solid and Silver Wok on 15/501 has Chinese provisions, some vegetables in back and duck from NYC on Saturday. 3Cups, yes a little more, but the coffee is fantastic and check out the Friday small plate menus while in season.
Mami Nora's in Durham satisfied a Peruvian friend who drove over from Winston. I've always enjoyed and being anglo was the minority.
Taqueria La Vaquita is solid mexican food perhaps not burritos but the mole is nicely rich and the torta cubano is a monster.
Saw you didn't like Gourmet Kingdom, did you get the Chinese menu? They have two menus and one is not very good. The other kept my asian wife happy with pigs ears and lotus root with red chiles. Perhaps not as good as the best in SF or Vancouver but solid for NC. (caveat: living in Chicago, SF, NYC, Vancouver or other places with high asian populations can skew expectations, but I've found each of these more than passable)
Yamazushi is one of our favorite asian places. Again, the Japanese menu is solid for home cooking - chawan mushi, maguro yamakaki, etc. Also, tea and sake list are good.
Vit Goal Tofu is a definite spot for solid Korean food.
Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant in durham has solid dim sum, good soy milk and their congee is as good as most I have had. I get it regularly.
Queen of Sheba in CHill for Ethiopian is a treat before heading to a movie at the Chelsea.
Med Deli is solid but we really like Sandwhich as well. If you consider much of their produce is local and everything, including fries and chips, are handmade then I don't think the price/quality ratio is out of line.
Taco trucks of all stripes are solid, more so in Durham though. But, like the pupusas from the one near the Carboro Farmers market. see carpedurham.com for recs
Also, weekends, their is a crepe truck down the road from the Carrboro market we like on a saturday morning.
Neal's deli is great for homemade pastrami or a morning biscuit. excellent.
Will also go out and say that Bonne Soirree is our celebratioin restaurant, especially if you like wine. Tina's wine pairings are fantastic and Chip's cooking kept French friends happy. It is formal, but celebrations are often a good time to spruce up a bit.
Taqueria La Vaquita
Queen of Sheba's
First, welcome to Winston. Second, although the food finds may not be as abundant there are some good places to go. I've found a few I like and in no particular order they are as follows.
Chapel Hill -
The Taste of Vietnam