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A Review of Winston-Salem’s Newest Chicken Sandwiches

When last we visited the fair Camel City, we decided to check out two very different chicken sammies. One is huge and packs some heat and the other is also a good size, yet more traditional. Let’s take a stroll to 5th Street downtown…

Top: Timmy’s Hot Chicken’s The Tim Bottom: Skrimp Shack Chicken Samwich

Timmy’s Hot Chicken 237 W. Fifth Street

We flew in on Timmy’s Hot Chicken’s second day open. Not something I usually do, but it’s not Tim’s first rodeo. We ordered The Tim ($8) which is as “basic” as it gets: chicken, pickles and comeback sauce. Although I like spicy food, I ordered it medium because I was scared 🙂 …It’s GIANT with two good-sized perfectly crispy thighs that are super juicy on the inside, a light schmear of comeback sauce and a few pickles. Pic of size does not do it justice. I removed one of the thighs and still wasn’t able to finish the entire sandwich. The goal was to share it anyway, but my entire table wanted their own sandwich (only my husband could finish his). With medium. it still had a kick but wasn’t uncomfortable. I’d be willing to share the Hot with mr. foodie one day. You can get as many toppings as you want, all the way up to The Timothy ($10) which is basically loaded with slaw, bacon, cheese and sauce. Not into bread? You can also order chicken tenders, thighs or beyond chicken if you prefer a protein to go with a side.  A plethora of sides are available at Timmy’s and we especially enjoyed the mac & cheese. The slaw is a nice accompaniment to the rich chicken. We didn’t try the collard greens, but if you do, let us know what you think! All in all, the sandwich is a good value for the size. Sides are not included in the sandwich price.

I highly recommend the bread pudding as a dessert. It wasn’t full of layers like you are used to as it was really like pudding, but you could really taste the banana and it had a nice depth of flavor.

Oh and if you love a challenge and are so inclined, Timmy’s invites you to try the Hellfire wings and eat them in 10 minutes or less and you get your name on a plate! Note: Tim told me that hellfire is ridiculously spicy.

Across town at the Skrimp Shack (1103 Silas Creek Parkway)…we were invited to pop in and try their new Chicken Thigh Samwich which features their crispy signature breading, slaw, pickles and their own “sweet sauce” that was created just for the sandwich. The sauce will remind you of a comeback sauce or a bit like a white barbecue too, albeit less spicy than Timmy’s. 

Skrimp’s chicken samwich isn’t as huge as Timmy’s, which means you’ll likely be able to finish if you didn’t just eat half of The Tim, lol. This is the sandwich you’ll want when you want to eat local, fast, inexpensive and you want your chicken sandwich traditional. We don’t always need bells and whistles, y’all, right? The sandwich comes with slaw and feel free to get yours the way it comes, but I like to taste the main event in a sandwich so I ordered my slaw on the side. Skrimp Shack’s slaw is really good, I just ususally prefer slaw not on my sandwich. If you’re not in the mood for a sandwich or even chicken at Skrimp Shack, by all means order some freshly fried oysters, shrimp or fish as they never disappoint. They even have terrific fish tacos. Sides are too many to mention but we do love Skrimp Shack’s mac & cheese.

Chicken Thigh Samwich, slaw on the side and an order of mac & cheese

Fried Oysters…just a few to sample

Again, this is not a best or better review…simply a tell-all about chicken sandwiches, but if you love you some banana pudding, Skrimp Shack has it too and it’s a big one …big enough to share and it has the layers like you may know and love. It has more of a vanilla pudding base with bananas layered in. Super old school and yummy.

Oh and fun fact! If you can’t eat your whole sandwich and you happen to have an air fryer, these chicken thighs reheat incredibly well. I literally had 2 whole chicken thighs and 2 half sandwiches to eat when we got home and they made some delicious leftovers.

With that foodies, I send you out into the world to eat local and try some locally-owned chicken sandwiches. Where do you find your favorite non-chain chicken sandwiches? Let us know below or comment on our instagram post!

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A Look Back at Our Chef’s Table at Sixth and Vine with Chef Ebony Warfield

A Chef’s Table is an experience. What started five years ago as a handful of people letting the chef surprise us has transcended into a gathering of friends that seem to extend beyond itself as we see new faces each month. When we sat together at 6th and Vine to get to know Chef Ebony Warfield, there was an unmistakable magic in the air and by the end of the evening, Chef Ebony felt the magic and the love.

Ebony Warfield is the new executive chef at 6th and Vine, a restaurant located on 6th Street that has become somewhat of a Winston-Salem icon. Ebony is the first Black Executive Chef in Winston-Salem. It’s even more special because the restaurant is also woman-owned as Kathleen Barnes has remained an integral part of WSNC food scene for a number of years. You can learn more about Ebony and Kathleen in my podcast on the Triad Podcast Network. With a military background and a number of years working locally in some of our top dining establishments, this wife and mother’s dedication to her profession is inspiring. I knew I NEEDED to feature Ebony at a Chef’s Table. She and Kathleen promptly said “yes,” and once we went live, the event sold out in just a few hours.

Ebony introduced the evening that was about to commence as “…dinner at your grandma’s house, if your grandma went to culinary school.” Soul-filling and nourishing dishes that inspired by her upbringing and training were nudged into creative iterations that dazzled our eyes and palates. The attention to flavor and detail was remarkable. At the end of the evening, Ebony received a well-deserved standing ovation, which led to her tears and our tears. She felt it! It was special. If you were there, thank you for being a part of it. Thank you for showing this talented chef all the admiration she’s due. If you missed it, fear not, foodie. She’s in the kitchen of 6th and Vine dazzling diners 5 days a week including Saturday/Sunday brunch.

Let’s take a look at our four course Chef’s Table with Chef Ebony Warfield.

Course 1: Southern Charcuterie with homemade cornbread, pimento cheese, pickled collards, homemade jam, homemade toasted & caramelized pecans

Course 2: Pureed White Bean Soup, Ham Cup, Parley Oil

Course 3: Roasted Chicken with Local Seasonal Vegetables

Course 4: Lemon Blueberry Upside Down Cake

We hope you get a chance to visit 6th & Vine and see what Ebony and her team are churning out. While the menu has stayed the same in many ways, because Ebony didn’t want to mess with what was working, her touches are evident and the specials always look amazing.

Tears of joy with a standing ovation

Chef Ebony Warfield, 6th & Vine owner Kathleen Barnes, Mary Haglund

Our next Chef’s Table is September 15 at Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar featuring Chef Tim Grandinetti. It’s SOLD OUT but stay tuned for more Chef’s Tables in the coming months.

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Triadfoodies Chef’s Table with Chefs Swing & Andrews at Young Cardinal Cafe & Co.

Breakfast for dinner anyone? If that’s one of your favorite things, you would’ve loved our latest Chef’s Table at Young Cardinal Cafe & Co featuring Chefs David Swing and owner and chef Adam Andrews. You probably know Chef Adam as owner of Jeffrey Adams on 4th, The Trophy Room, Dogwood Hops & Crops and Twisted Pine Catering. Though no longer an owner, he helped Fourth Street Filling Station become what it is today. And as if he’s got any time on his hands, he also has a farm which supplies produce to his restaurants. David Swing was a featured chef back in October 2019 and we were excited to work with him again at his new digs in a completely new way.

Young Cardinal opened its doors at 424 4th Street, Winston-Salem, in February 2020 just before the Covid pandemic hit. No one could’ve seen what was coming as the dining public waited anxiously for downtown’s newest breakfast and lunch spot to open. YC barely skipped a beat once restrictions were handed down. They pivoted and offered a to-go menu and even had a little market set up for downtown residents to quickly grab a few grocery items. In fact, Young Cardinal was busy during those lockdown days and more and more people enjoyed the deliciousness and were happily sharing their experiences with their friends on social media.

At June’s Chef’s Table, I wasn’t quite sure if there would be a July event as staffing issues still were projected to be a factor and many restaurants are not back to either capacity or normal hours. But I reached out to Chef Swing and he and Adam Andrews gave me an enthusiastic thumbs up. Twenty-four hours after the tickets went live, we had a sold out event.

This spread was amazing. The Scotch eggs were so tasty.

Young Cardinal is all about breakfast and lunch items, but fun and creative additions to your typical breakfast fare, along with the soul-soothing favorites like eggs, bacon and waffles. Our Chef’s Table was no different. No only were we greeted at the bar with a huge board of delectable snacky and brunchy type items from scotch eggs (OMG sooooo good), pimento cheese, bacon to biscuits, ham and cinnamon rolls, we had four huge courses of breakfast with a twist.

Course 1: Avocado Toast with Tuna Poke

Course 2: “Huevos Rancheros with Pork Belly, Mole Sauce

Course 3: Nashville Hot Honey Chicken & Grits

Course 4: Ube Waffles w/ Duck & Pickled Blueberry Syrup, Matcha Whipped Cream

To say we were stuffed after basically four full brunch courses is an understatement. Good thing we all went home and hopefully to bed because the brunch nap was a felt need after this dinner. But it was delicious and we are so happy Adam opened his doors to us!

We were also so pleased to have Sixth and Vine’s Executive Chef, the stunning Ebony Warfield, with us. She’s featured next month at our next Chef’s Table, which sold out in just a few hours. We are super excited about that!

If you’d like to know more about Chef Swing and Chef Andrews and the Adams restaurant group and everything they’ve got going on (which is a lot), check out my podcast with them here. You can also find the Triad Podcast Network and “At the Table with Triadfoodies” wherever you listen to podcasts.

If you missed out on this Chef’s Table, the good news is Young Cardinal Cafe & Co is waiting for you right on 4th Street in downtown Winston-Salem. You can get your breakfast fix 6 days a week, Tuesday-Sunday 8am-3pm. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for specials and their schedule. Chef Swing did tell me they will be closed the week of July 24-30. Annnnnnd….drop me a note in the comment section. Where would you love to see a Chef’s Table in the Triad? Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point? Would love to hear from you.

Young Cardinal Cafe
424 4th Street, NW
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
youngcardinalws.com

SALAD DAZE: Seven Summery Salads

I’m constantly inspired by the local seasonal ingredients around us to create fun, fresh salads to keep lunches interesting and add a cool component to dinners. Try some of our favorite salads we’ve been loving this summer. Most of these recipes are built for 2 4 people as a side or entree salad. Adjust your ingredients if you’re feeding a crowd.

Summer Squash Salad

I’d be remiss if I didn’t kick off the list with our favorite summer salad, with summer squash taking center stage. It made its debut here a few years ago. It’s crunchy, herbacious and satisfying. Try slicing the squash into ribbons for a fun twist but sliced thinly is superb. Click here for the recipe.

My version of Summer Squash Salad

Farmer’s Market Power Salad

It’s lettuce season. It’s corn season. It’s blueberry season. It’s squash season. It’s cucumber season. One visit to the farmer’s market and you’re on your way to this banging power salad. Simply add cooked quinoa and your favorite dressing. This month, I was gifted Oleamea Olive Oil so I used that. It’s organic extra virgin olive oil sourced from Aydin, Turkey, and I have to say, I’m impressed. It’s fruity and clean and the Everyday Extra Virgin used here made a perfect Shallot Vinaigrette. The premium Extra Virgin will be beautiful on caprese and with fresh bread. Typically, this salad would include freshly chucked corn in its raw form, but feel free to use cooked. I had leftover skillet cooked corn so I simply used what I had. But, raw corn on a salad? 100% yes do it. With the squash salad above? That too.

Ingredients:
Salad greens (I used arugula, mâche and tender romaine here)
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup RAW corn or cooked if you prefer
1/2 zucchini quartered
1/2 cucumber quartered
1/2-1 cup cooked quinoa
Place greens and other ingredients in a large bowl
Dressing:
1/2 shallot chopped
1 clove garlic grated
1/4 cup vinegar (champagne or white wine is great here)
Juice of half lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used Oleamea)
Salt/Pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients together, adding lemon juice, s/p to desired taste.
Disclaimer: After being contacted by their representatives, I was gifted a set of Oleamea Extra Virgin Olive Oil to give honest feedback as well as taste test for our Holiday Gift Guide. You can find Oleamea at The Fresh Market in North Carolina or online.

Triadfoodies House Side Salad aka Greens & Parm


If you’re fortunate enough to find some locally grown mâche in your area when its in season, I highly recommend adding them to your salad rotation. Great alone or combined with other salad greens, mâche (this from Daffodil Spring Farm in Valle Crucis) comes in these pretty rosettes and are a bit nutty, like watercress or arugula without the peppery bite. They complement every salad I’ve had them in. This salad, with any green or combo of greens I have on hand, is our go-to with entrees all year long, especially with pasta. But in the summer, you know we’re adding tomatoes. The two ingredient dressing is a must-try. You don’t even need a bowl…just drizzle oil & vinegar style. Super simple!

Ingredients:
Seasonal greens like mache, spinach, butter lettuce, romaine
Cherry Tomatoes, halved, optional
1/4 cup parmesan or pecorino, shaved or grated
Dressing:
1/8 cup white balsamic dressing (I like Batistini Farms)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
You can simply drizzle the vin and EVOO over the greens adding more of either when necessary. Finish with s/p and cheese.

Everyday Cucumber and Tomatoes Salad

Inspired by Chef Vivian Howard and her cookbook, Deep Run Roots, this memory triggering salad reminds me of dinners at my Grandma’s. The cookbook re-introduced this perfect salad to me and provided the ratios too. Enjoy the colors and crispness with BBQ, ribs, burgers, fried chicken or really any dish. It adds the perfect amount of acid and freshness to your meal. And as she states in DRR, the recipe is highly adaptable for adding all kinds of seasonal freshness, from watermelon to corn to blueberries and peaches. You can add a boiled egg and call it brunch and I’ve happily done so.

Ingredients:
1 tomato quartered or cherry tomatoes (use ends from a tomato sandwich..no waste!)
1 cucumber, halved
1/4 red onion, sliced very thinly
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Per Howard’s book, combine the cucumber and onion with the sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Allow to marry for about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and vinegar and allow to mingle again for another 20 minutes to four hours. Best served at room temperature.

Speaking of cucumbers and salad….

Everyday Cucumber Salad

Here’s another version of a cucumber salad, taking notes from Chef Howard’s recipe but adding some garlic with options of changing up the dressing for a different flavor profile. Note: Add sesame oil and rice wine vinegar in place of balsamic and extra virgin olive oil and you have the perfect dressing for an asian inspired cuke salad. Add a chili flavored oil with white balsamic or sherry vinegar for some heat and pair with seafood. Persian, Piccolino or English cucumbers are best here but use what you’ve got. Feel free to add mâche, watercress, avocado or onions here for even more flavor, but they are not necessary, because…well it’s a cucumber salad.

Ingredients:
1-2 Cucumbers halved
Dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic dressing
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated
salt/pepper to taste
Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over cukes and give them a toss. It’s okay to do this a little while before you eat as the cukes have time to quick pickle in the dressing.

Asian Cabbage Salad w/ Ginger Dressing

Okay, so this stunner with all the colors of summer is absolutely simple to make. You can use any number of veggies here. Mr. foodie doesn’t love cucumber (lol that this post has several salads with cukes) so I didn’t add it here, but cukes would be delicious and I might say necessary. As for the dressing, you can make your own as I provide a recipe here, but I will offer no judgement if you use a favorite brand from the store. Been there. Done that. Makoto forever! And Little Black Dressing Co. too.

Ingredients:
1/2 purple Napa cabbage, shredded thinly
1/4 head Romaine lettuce, shredded thinly
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
1 bell pepper sliced thinly
Red onion, carrots, cukes optional
Dressing:
2 tbs. fresh ginger, grated (jarred is okay ..it really is)
1 clove garlic, grated
2 tbs. soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup sesame oil (or combo of sesame and neutral oil)
1 -2 tsp. sugar or honey to taste
sesame seeds (optional)
Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients except oil, sugar and seeds and whisk. Slowly add the sesame oil, tasting as you go. If you like it less sesame-y, begin adding the neutral oil like olive oil. Sweeten to taste. Add sesame seeds if desired.
Toss the salad and pour dressing over. Serve immediately.

Summertime Pasta & Corn Salad

Who doesn’t love a pasta salad with a light, yet creamy dressing? This herby salad has it all. Better still, you can make your own creamy dressing (think Greek yogurt, cilantro or other herbs, lime, s/p) or just use your favorite ranch. I used a Sriracha Ranch from a local restaurant, F.A.R.M Cafe in Boone. The dressing from the squash salad above would be fab with this. The salad is terrific the next day.

Ingredients:
1 lb cooked pasta (I used trottole, but any spiral or shaped pasta will do)
1 cup cooked fresh corn (the sweeter the better)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh cilantro
Handful fresh chives (optional)
Salt/pepper to taste
Your favorite creamy dressing.
Cook pasta, drain, add the rest of the ingredients to a bowl and toss. Pour enough over to cover well but not drench. You can always add more, right? Toss and enjoy.

I hope you enjoy these summery salads. Any one would be great with the addition of some protein to turn it into more of an entree. If you try them let me know!

A Chef’s Table is Back! Meridian Restaurant w/ Mark Grohman

It’s been a loooooonnng 16 months since our last Chef’s Table. We had a great launch in 2020, but things went downhill fast after everything was shut down in March last year due to the pandemic. Staying open with takeout was one thing. Reopening to dine-in was another. From staffing issues to supply problems, we weren’t quite sure when we might be able to offer events again.

But one day, mr. foodie traveled for business in the beautiful city of Winston-Salem, stayed at the Brookstown Inn and walked over to his favorite, Meridian Restaurant, for dinner and cocktails and my Mark and Chef Mark resurrected the Chef’s Table.

Meridian Restaurant is located at 411 Marshall Street SW, in the beautiful Brookstown area of downtown Winston-Salem. To say Meridian is one of our top restaurants in the Triad is an understatement. From tapas to a delicious steak, excellent wine pairings and cocktails, Meridian has never disappointed. It’s modern, beautiful and elegant but unpretentious. You can have dinner in your jeans and still feel comfortable. And Chef Mark Grohman knows how to treat his guests.

Chef & owner of Meridan, Mark Grohman, always brings his best game.

Once the ticket sales for the Chef’s Table went live, it sold out in about six hours. In keeping with the spirit of distancing, we kept the event as close to 30 as we could. And on June 15, 36 happy faces greeted one another with hugs and excitement. This is meaningful because after 5 years of Chef’s Tables and it’s evolution over the years, many of our returning patrons have become friends with me and with each other! Each month, it’s like a reunion with veterans and newbies. It was so great to see everyone again. We are back!

Before I show you the courses, I’d like to invite you to take a listen to my podcast, “At The Table With Triadfoodies” on Triad Podcast Network on Apple and here on the web. I talked with Chef Mark about navigating the last 16 months, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic, and what that was like as a business owner. What he had to say was really insightful from a business owner and employer’s perspective and I think you’d enjoy it.

Chef Mark wanted to simply give us a “Taste of Meridian,” five courses that represent the flavors of the restaurant. A little something different along with traditional fare we might be accustomed to seeing at this gleaming restaurant. Let’s take a look at the courses.

The menu

Course 1:
Tete de Porc with ruby port shallot marmalata & strong mustard

Course 2:
House made gnudi w/lemon cream & herbs 

Course 3
Seared yellow fin tuna with Shore Farms spring onion red pepper couscous & Gnomestead Hollow mushroom relish

Course 4
Steak au poivre garlic mashed potatoes fire roasted vegetables wild mushroom cognac sauce

Dessert course
Corsican style lemon cheesecake with caramel sauce

Beautiful Meridian Restaurant
Guests arriving and enjoying cocktails and fellowship

Stay tuned for a new Chef’s Table announcement, coming soon! You’re going to love it!