IMG_3206

the bird is the word: Slappy’s Chicken is slap yo mouth good!

Why did the chicken cross the road? To dive into Slappy sauce!

Why did YOU cross the road? To go get the Slappy’s chicken!

Slappy’s Chicken opened last week on Acadia Avenue in the former Acadia Grill location. Slappy’s is so brand new, that as I write this… it doesn’t even have a sign yet. It’s a hot chicken joint. But not Nashville hot. Slappy’s hot. And it is outstanding.

IMG_3206Owner Scott Brambleburg and his wife used to own a restaurant in Brevard before returning to Winston-Salem. She went into the wine business while he’s been doing stints at local restaurants…some of our faves, like Mary’s and Meridian. And he’s spent that time perfecting his recipe, which is a mixture of heat, spice and a touch of sweet. “I’ve been working on this recipe for several years now with the hopes of opening up a place,” he says.  Scott says he grew up eating chicken similar to this so his dream was to bring the amazing chicken to the Camel City. He says, “I just wanted a place where we basically just do one thing and do it well. And what we have here is a great set up because it’s like a food truck, but it’s an actual restaurant.” 

Plus, it’s super quick. We had our food in front of us in less than 5 minutes. The chicken? It was seriously slap yo mama good. The sides were …they’re getting there.  I ordered the Chees-Its mac n cheese and the collards. The chicken is the star though.  A steady stream of customers kept coming through the door right up until closing. Brambleburg said traffic has been busy since opening last week. “It’s been awesome. And it’s mostly my friends coming in and then spreading the word on social media.”

Owner and Slappy Chef, Scott Brambleburg

Owner and Slappy Chef, Scott Brambleburg

We expect the word to get out pretty quickly and this place may soon have a line out the door. It’s that kind of place. Just hole-in-the-wall enough yet so delicious.

So go check them out so you can say how you discovered them before they got so popular.

Props to Jordan Keiper of Tavern In Old Salem for the inspiration for the headline! 

Slappy’s is located at 200 W Acadia Avenue, Winston-Salem; Open Monday-Saturday 11:00-8:00pm.

IMG_3207 IMG_3210

Review: Chef Dion Sprenkle

A Sprenkle of Deliciousness: “Let The Chef Surprise Us” 4.0

You can see this story in YES! Weekly

This is the continuing story of how we allow the chef to surprise us. We’re kind of changing it up recently. We now get a group of foodie friends/followers together and hit up a local restaurant. This time, Chef Dion Sprenkle…way out in Lexington (actually, a mere half hour from many cities in the Triad). I had visited Chef Dion’s restaurant a few weeks back after he attended a previous foodie gathering at 1703 Restaurant and then he volunteered himself for a similar event the next month. At the end of this post you’ll see where we’re headed next! 

Just as much as a focus on the food, this gathering was an opportunity to meet the chef and get to know him better. Chef Dion Sprenkle is a classically-trained chef, graduating in 1992 from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.  Before making his way South, Sprenkle was the chef de cuisine at the New York Palace Hotel, executive chef at The Water Club and at Spazzia Restaurant and chef de cuisine at Spartina Restaurant. He says he also gained valuable experience in the kitchens of Gotham Bar & Grill and The River Cafe. Previously in the Triad, Sprenkle was Executive Chef at Old Town Club in Winston-Salem.

Last year, Chef Sprenkle placed runner-up in the local Competition Dining series, getting edged out by Graze’s Chef Richard Miller in the final battle. Many people took notice of this incredibly talented chef, tucked away in Davidson County. We wanted to know…what on earth brought him to Lexington, where alcohol sales in restaurants are not permitted? “After an extensive search for restaurant locations in Winston, Greensboro and Salisbury areas, none of which suited what I was looking for, this space was available and we quickly realized the need for an upscale restaurant in the area,” Sprenkle told us. “Many people live in Davidson County and work in Forsyth, but come home to no restaurants and then have to travel back to Winston to get something to eat besides BBQ.”

Photo Jun 16, 8 22 31 PM

Sprenkle also features Wacky Wednesday, which offers a selection of chef-inspired burgers in addition to the fine dining menu. It’s a bustling night. The burgers change quite a bit, but the night that we checked out the burgers, I enjoyed a House-Smoked Pastrami Burger. It was a sizable, perfectly cooked burger topped with, I kid you not…a good inch of smoked pastrami. And it was delicious. The pastrami was so smoky and flavorful. It was almost a fork meal. Well, I turned it into a fork meal, anyway.

IMG_0608

Mr. foodie ordered a chicken dish from the menu and I forget what it was but it was really tasty.

IMG_0609

And he sent out dessert…strawberry  bread pudding

IMG_0610

We were then looking forward to what surprises he had in store for us when we got our group together.

At our gathering, course after course came and it went a little something like this:

Course 1

Photo Jun 16, 7 35 52 PM

Watermelon Gazpacho shot with cucumber, rosemary goat cheese, citron sea salt and Fair Share Farms pea leaves

Course 2

Photo Jun 16, 7 46 29 PM

Sweet Corn Puree with Blackened Alligator and ramp oil

Course 3

Photo Jun 16, 7 53 19 PM

Roasted Oyster Mushrooms with oloroso sherry natural sauce

Course 4

Photo Jun 16, 8 10 43 PM

Spanish Lobster and Chorizo sausage Torte with eggs, potato, chili relish, cilantro, lobster tamale, lobster roe, cilantro

Course 5

Photo Jun 16, 8 34 57 PM

Vadouvon Spiced roasted cauliflower with onion, pancetta, basil and Argentinean Extra virgin sunflower oil

Course 6

Photo Jun 16, 9 07 46 PM

Hill Top farms ostrich and havarati cheese quesadilla, spicy chili relish aioli

Course 7

Tasting of Orange scented crème brulee and Ricotta cheese panna cotta with strawberry balsamic glaze, basil syrup and lemon confit.

As you can see, this is a great sampling of some of the menu items and a few “surprises,” just the way we like it. Chef Sprenkle’s cuisine is distinctly Mediterranean and he says he tries to source as much locally as possible as long as it’s of the highest quality. “I will always buy locally when I can, but to me the importance is quality.” 

Keep in mind that Chef Dion Sprenkle is a BYO alcoholic beverages and as customary for such restaurants, they do charge a corkage fee ($10/bottle of wine and $1/bottle of beer. Sprenkle tod me if you bring in a Davidson County Wine (Childress, Weathervane, Junius Lyndsey, Native Vines, or purchased from Tastings Wine and Beer Store) they only charge $5 per bottle.

The chef also says he’s not resting on his laurels and is looking at expanding to other areas in the Triad. He’s also consulting on another project that’s due to open in Winston-Salem in mid-July. While working on those efforts, Sprenkle says he doesn’t mind being “tucked away” as we call it. “Our clientele is diverse and see us as a destination restaurant, but the locals of Lexington sometimes dine with us at least three times a week and see us as their home dining room. Our location allows people in Winston, Clemmons, High point or Salisbury to arrive within 15 minutes. We also get quite a few people from Greensboro or Charlotte. They may stay in town for the weekend to visit the wineries and then come have dinner with us.” He adds, “We’ve survived now for 5 years in a location that is off the beaten path and without alcohol sales. Like I always said when I lived in NYC, If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, and we have!”

Photo Jun 16, 9 44 26 PM

Wanna go? Chef Dion Sprenkle is located just inside Lexington at 5479 Old US Hwy 52.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 5-9pm. The restaurant is also open for special holidays and brunches and is available for private events and catering. chefdion.com

If you’d like to participate in a future “Surprise Gathering,” follow triadfoodies on social media for all the details. Hint: Next stop is Tuesday, July 26 at Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar as Triad’s Best Chef (as voted by YES! Weekly readers) to get to know Chef Tim Grandinetti and let him surprise us. Just message me at Kristi@triadfoodies dot com to reserved your spot. We usually max out at 12-14 people to keep it intimate and it’s about $25 per person. 

#PantryRaid…Day 2 of My Shelf Purge

It’s the 3rd day since I announced my challenge, but day 2 of raiding my fridge and pantry.  I got up this morning and hit those shelves hard so I could mentally calculate and get an inventory of what I have. After taking much of the snacks away to put them in the “kid snacks cabinet” in another room, I feel much better. And it looks better too.

So now I can really shop from my shelves and breathe to tell you the truth. And after looking at this, it’s not so terrible actually. Except all the mustard and sauces. And baking mixes. Other than that, it’s staples, lol.

This morning, my little girl wanted eggs in a basket so I used up the heels of a loaf of bread and cooked her 2 eggs in 2 baskets, fried up some bacon and then I quickly took another egg and threw it into the skillet and got it good and dippy and tossed that into some pasta along with the bacon for an on-the-fly carbonara. Really tasty! No photo though.

Day 2 Dinner:

The remainder of some thawing ground beef, some leftover chili, the last 4 Miss Jenny’s Salt & Pepper Pickle slices and the last of some provolone for a delicious burger. And we polished off a salad and added the last 1/8 of a bag of rosemary fries. I still have a lot of mustard.

IMG_2138

I may not be getting skinnier. But I feel lighter in the shelves anyway.  I really want to do this as healthfully as possible. Which is why you see 12 fries above:\ However doing this paleo or low carb is going to be a challenge.

We went out to eat Saturday night so in the queue is my husbands lamb tacos and some refried beans. And I have 3 BBQ chicken wings that I’m going to have tomorrow with some quinoa and I’m going to add it to some Nopalitos dip (cactus, avocado and some spicy stuff) and add some toasted chickpeas for a side salad. I sat that right in front in my fridge so I won’t forget.  That before we get busy for a couple of days then we’ll be shopping from our shelves again on Wednesday.

Have you purged your shelves today? Comment and let me know what you’re cooking!

 

The Great Pantry (and Fridge and Freezer) Raid

First of all, I pro’lly need to get down to the business of admitting I have a problem.

A condiment problem.

I love them. I love them if they’re artisan. I love them if they’re hot. I love them if they’re salsa, jammy…I have shelves of them both chilled and not.

Did I just make a rhyme? Sigh…Anyway. I also have found myself with a plethora of mustards and hot sauces and syrups among other things and it’s getting pretty ridiculous. I do have 2 refrigerators. Blessedly the 2nd one is just filled with drinks like milk, soda, tonic water, beer. But I recently decided I needed to intervene myself. So I went over to Jen’s Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and she does this Pantry Challenge and she uses up all her ingredients on meals and they don’t shop for anything unless it’s absolutely necessary (think butter, milk, some produce). IMG_2119

But as you can see I have another problem. A too much stuff problem. Just shelves crammed with all the things. And it started out so neatly (sorry, no photo for proof). But let’s back up a second.

We sold our house with the 2 (yes TWO!!) pantries because I turned a utility closet under my stairs into a pantry just so my crock pot and canisters and baking ingredients could have a place to be. I don’t like so much on my counters. Then there was another “cooking” pantry with spices and pasta, cereal, snacks, etc. Stocked full those two pantries were. Because I like condiments (and anything else the store sells).

Went from two pantries to one measly pantry in the house that we rent while we build THE house with the pantry (YOU SHOULD SEE MY FUTURE PANTRY–it’s sexy). So it’s just spilling over…see? It’s pretty bad over the last few weeks since summer break. That row with the canisters and the ones above it looked like Pinterest, man.

So I decided that it’s time. I hate to waste…not about to throw stuff out unless it’s expired (and sometimes not even then) so I’m asking you to join me in this great pantry raid. Won’t it be fun?  I need you to help me do this, foodies. I need your ideas. I’ll share mine.

To start off last night, I used frozen chicken tenders and used some Texas Pete Buffalo Wing sauce plus some Texas Pete Cha! and BBQ sauce for half of them. The other half got some Trader Joe’s Thai Chili sauce and some soy sauce. Used up some leftover pimento cheese grits and some salad and the last bit of Kitchen Roselli Italian Island dressing. And I must say it did feel good getting rid of the…the chicken and grits. Ugh! See, I still have lots of sauce left as I didn’t use up all the sauce. Not that I worry about sriracha and bbq sauce…they’re kind of staples.

IMG_2121

IMG_2122

So one of the brave things I want to do is a suggestion Mr. foodie has and that’s do a mystery grab for the marinade or sauce for the proteins. Maybe it’ll be tasty to grab dijon and add it to blueberry preserves. We shall see! I mean, this is what the fridge and freezer looks like and it makes me sad.

Sad because there’s apparent abundance here. And I really dislike cooking in this rental because it’s so small and not what I’m used to. So we do eat out a bit more here. But there are people hungry and we just let food in our pantry just sit there. Like, I don’t eat enough sandwiches for all the mustard. If mr. foodie and I get back into the habit of eating smoked chicken sausages then we’d be cleaning this thing out properly. We really don’t eat enough carbs to enjoy all the pasta and rice. So I think a donation to a food pantry is definitely in order. And I’m not a coupon-er. At all. I guess it could be worse.

Are you with me? Follow me on Instagram /@triadfoodies and Facebook and we’ll do this together. Show me your purge. If you want to cook what’s on your shelves, let’s get to it! Don’t shop unless you absolutely have to. I’m going to try to bake something from those mixes every week, maybe twice a week. What did you do with the frozen rotisserie chicken and black beans? What about your mustards? Share away. Use the tag #pantryraid and tag @triadfoodies and we can eliminate some excess together.

Good luck and a few prayers for guidance would be nice:)

 

 

foodie b’eat: Sweet! Chef Harrison Littell Joins The Honey Pot

This is an expanded and slightly more personalized story from today’s earlier blog post in YES! Weekly

In what might be one of the most closely guarded secrets in recent months in Winston-Salem, The Honey Pot has finally announced who will be taking over the kitchen and we won’t keep you waiting like they did to the rest of us…

IMG_2087

Chef Harrison Littell Photo credit: Andrea Littell/TowniesWS

Harrison Littell has been welcomed as Executive Chef!  The suspense was killing some of us. But we are super duper excited because he’s totally awesome and nice and just flat out TALENTED! 

Chef Littell is a Winston-Salem native and after a stint in the Northeast, has been executive chef at Five Loaves Catering.  He’s been getting around town a good bit with chef collaborations, like at Mission Pizza Napoletana’s Knife Fight among other things. And generally being on the scene with his wife, Andrea. They’re fabulous. I met them at Knife Fight and enjoyed dinner with them a couple of weeks later at a tasting to introduce The Katherine Brasserie at The Kimpton Cardinal in WS.  And I saw them again not long after at the Industry Crawfish Boil that you can read about here.

IMG_0368

Getting ready for Mission: Knife Fight with Chef John Bobby of Rooster’s-A Noble Grille

The Honey Pot announced via its Facebook page  that Littell’s connection with the local community of farmers and purveyors along with his time at acclaimed restaurants puts him in a unique position to lead The Honey Pot into its next phase, “As I’ve gotten to know Harrison over the past month or so, I’ve been really excited about how aligned we are in our philosophies on everything from sourcing to working with people. Not to mention he has an incredible palate and aesthetic,” announced Honey Pot GM, Beau Tate via his Facebook page.

Chef Littell told me earlier, “It’s going to be a great platform for me to get back to doing some food that’s close to my soul. They have a great reputation and following as well as a great staff. I’m super stoked to be working with Beau as well.”

Littell will start the 3rd week in July. “I’ll work for a couple weeks to get my feet wet and then we will go through a full menu change to celebrate the height of the summer! We plan on continuing the mission there and utilizing as much as we can locally. I’m fortunate to step into a kitchen that is working uniformly. Matt had done a great job there and I look forward to continuing the growth.”

Littell will fill the position being vacated by Matthew Pleasants who intends to travel and expand his culinary horizons. I can’t wait to go back to The Honey Pot to  see what chef does to the menu. If you’re curious about The Honey Pot, definitely go check them out. I did a review for YES! Weekly about a year ago. You can read it here.

Tate and Littell both say that we should expect to see some “really exciting news in the next few months including the new menu launch, some additional lighter snack fare, farm dinners, wine dinners and much more.”

You can get to know a little bit more about the Littells over at their blog TowniesWS. It’s a pretty great space about the happenings in the town of #WSNC.

IMG_0678

From TowniesWS…Chef Harrison and Andrea Littell

Eat local, foodies!