Category Archives: Restaurants

When the Crowd is Wise

What happens when an Italian restaurant in Washington, DC gets 80 bad Yelp reviews and boasts a one-star rating? The Washington Post sends out a writer to see if it’s a case of “Yelp bullying” or if the poor reviews are earned. Based on the resulting story I’d say there was some wisdom from this Yelp crowd:

You could argue that Pasta Italiana, like that tackling dummy, has been designed for abuse. The place sets itself up for a fight before you take a bite: It trumpets the word “organic” on the front door. Its wait staff may or may not, depending on whom you ask, claim the pasta is made in-house.

The place all but has a “Kick Me” sign taped to its back.

And kick it you will once the food arrives. The garlic-cream sauce draped over flabby, overcooked cheese ravioli was chunky and lukewarm; if there was garlic in the sauce, only a beagle could detect it. The gnocchi was a mountain of gluey pasta covered in a meat sauce many degrees shy of hot; the gnocchi sat on the plate, solid and immovable, as if molded from clay. The lobster ravioli came stuffed with a stringy mixture speckled with tiny dices of the advertised crustacean but tasting more like crab sticks.

Sounds like you can safely keep this one off your dinner list the next time you’re in DC.

Triad Restaurant Week

Here's something I can definitely get into.  It's Triad Restaurant Week from November 13-22 and there are plenty of good restaurants participating in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point.  The participating restaurants are providing specially priced three course meals.  Since I hit all three cities at some point in any given week this gives me a great excuse to eat out.  A lot.  Like I need an excuse.

Thanks to Sarah South for the link.

Discovering Greensboro, cont.

Now that I'm working in Greensboro every day I have ample opportunity to sample local eateries.  Today I had a two-fer for lunch.  First I met my cousin Marley and her two girls (my second cousins or first cousins once removed? You tell me) at First Carolina Delicatessen on Spring Garden near UNCG and there I had a most excellent sandwich with a side of carrot sticks and ranch dressing.  I also got to hold my littlest second-cousin-or-first-cousin-once-removed and really enjoyed it.  It's been a while since I've held a four month old and I have to say it's something that should be done regularly.

After bidding Marley and the girls adieu I went back to the office for a 1/2 hour and then scrambled over to Mimi's Cafe at Friendly Center for a working lunch with our TAA committee that's putting together the food drive to benefit Second Harvest.  I was semi-good and got a very good salad.  What made my behavior semi-good was that the salad had chunks of fried chicken on it.

I know what you're thinking: "What a gluttonous pig that Lowder dude is!"  In my defense I am a rather large man with love handles to feed and that really is the first time I can remember doing two lunches in one day.  And hey, the sandwich wasn't that big and it's not like it came with fries, and those carrot sticks will only take you so far.  That salad was reasonable too, so cut me some slack.

Both places were great, but I must warn you not to park in the lot next door to the First Carolina Deli.  After lunch number one I got to my car and found a note telling me the next time I did it I'd be towed so I'm guessing they regularly have a problem with that.  Is it just me or do most of the restaurants on Spring Garden have like four parking spaces in their lots?  

An Idea for Valentine’s Day Pre-Game in Winston-Salem

Wine Merchants Gourmet is hosting a tribute to Aussie winemaker Chris Wingland this Saturday February 14, otherwise known as Valentine's Day.  If you're looking for something to do as a warmup for your romantic night out this might be the ticket.  They are offering seven of his wines for a tasting and it runs from 11 am to 5 pm.  Good on ya!

Wine Merchants Gourmet
1901-B Mooney Street
Winston-Salem, NC  27103
(336) 765-8175

Foothills Brewing’s Valentine Beer

At the Dishing it Out blog Michael Hastings has a Valentines gift selection if your dearly beloved is a beer lover.  It's a limited edition brew from Foothills Brewing called Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout.  If you like beer it sounds like there's a lot to like about this brew, including the 9.75% alcohol content.

Sexual Chocolate is being sold on tap starting at 6 p.m. this evening and they will start selling 600 hand numbered bottles tomorrow (Saturday the 7th) at 11 a.m.  Hastings says that last year they sold 500 bottles in 49 minutes so you may want to get there early.

Update on the Big Eat

A quick update to the Big Eat page. Somehow I'd missed Camel City and someone pointed out that I had and they emailed me to ask to be added.  Of course I'm happy to do so and I've updated the page accordingly.  I've re-pasted the Google Map with all the Big Eat location below.  FYI here's Camel City's info:

Address: 401 W. Fourth Street
Phone: 734-1797

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The Big Eat, Tuesdays in Winston-Salem

The Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership is sponsoring The Big Eat: Tuesday Nights Downtown an event that features 15 dowtown restaurants offering 50% off of a signature dish every Tuesday night between February 3 and March 31.  A list of participating restaurants and a Google map I threw together is below; more details, including a list of signature dishes, and printable PDF versions of downtown maps for the restaurants and parking are available at the Partnership's website.

  • 6th & Vine: 209 W. Sixth St. – 725-5577
  • Bayberry Bistro: 420 High St. – 397-8302 
  • Celtic Cafe: 924 S. Marshall St. – 703-0641 
  • Chelsee's Coffee Shop & More: 533 N. Trade St. – 703-1503
  • Downtown Thai: 219 W. Fourth St. – 777-1422 
  • Foothills Brewing: 638 W. Fourth St. – 777-3348 
  • Hutch & Harris: 424 W. Fourth St. – 721-1336 
  • Mellow Mushroom: 314 W. Fourth St. – 245-2820 
  • Meridian Restaurant: 411 S. Marshall St. – 722-8889 
  • Noma Urban Bar & Grill: 321 W. Fourth St. – 703-5112 
  • Quiznos Subs: 310 W. Fourth St. – 725-3423
  • Sweet Potatoes… a restaurant: 529 N. Trade St. – 727-4844
  • Wolfie's Frozen Custard: 420 W. Fourth St. – 245-2400
  • WS Prime Steakhouse: 425 N. Cherry St. – 722-5232
  • The Garage: 110 W. Seventh St. – 777-1277
  • Camel City:  401 W. Fourth St. – 734-1797


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