Monthly Archives: October 2012

Old Europe Restaurant

Mr. Foodie got the choice for his birthday recently and he decided, with my full support, to do something very different. And it doesn’t get more different than eating at the only German restaurant in the Triad. Was für ein Geschenk es war! That’s German for “what a gift it was!” Mr.Foodie is basically half Austrian so this was a domestic visit to the Motherland. Old Europe has been open a little over a year. If you blink, you may miss their little white building near Hanes Mall on Stratford Road. So, don’t blink, you hear? It is filled with so many authentic choices for lunch, dinner and treats and beer that it’s almost essential that you take your Freunden (friends). We’ll touch on our dinner selections. First, the Sausage Platter. To me, this stuff is happy food. This appetizer features a selection of bratwurst, knockwurst and other wursts served alongside German potato salad, caramelized onions and mustard. We paired it with some potato pancakes and applesauce. Yum! Crispy potato cakes with just the right amount of sweetness in the applesauce.
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I don’t have a pic of the potato cakes. They basically were inhaled. And daughter non-foodie took most of the applesauce. We really should have planned it better with our dining companions because Foodie Sarah got the same entree as me, Jagerschnitzel, and Mr. Foodie and Foodie Andy both got original Wiener Schnitzel. The Jagerschnitzel was fantastic. Tender veal, smothered in a savory and ever so sweet demi and wild mushroom ragout. It’s served with spaetzle and vegetables. Sarah and I traded veggies for red cabbage. It’s German, baby! The men’s wiener schnitzel was a perfectly sautéed and crispy pork steak with a pretty lemon garnier. It’s served with home fries and veggies but they went with spaetzle as well.

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Jagerschnitzel

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Original Wiener Schnitzel

There are many other choices as well like sauerbraten, beef rouladen, Hungarian goulash, beef stroganoff, schweinbraten. For lunch, it’s a plethora of sandwiches (try the famous Reuben)served on homemade breads, and salads and soup. For your sweet tooth, the desserts are handmade by the Chef Karl Wenzel. Chef Karl does it all here. He’s the chef, the baker and he’s had a long illustrious career that tells the story on the walls of this humble place.

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Chef Karl Wenzel

The Sweets

German food is rich, flavorful, delicious (Lecker, in German), sometimes wonderfully weird. Old Europe is completely authentic. The only thing missing might be servers dressed like German beer girls, but it might not be Chef Karl’s style (I think he should go for it…it’s the city of Arts, after all). Chef Karl captures the tastes of his homeland magically. I cannot wait to go back. I even made my own sausage platter a few days later because the craving hit. It was good, but it was no Old Europe. This is a must do, foodies!
www.theoldeuroperestaurant.com
Old Europe Restaurant
1540 South Stratford Road
Winston-Salem, NC
336-768-4800
Old Europe on Urbanspoon

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Crippen’s Restaurant

20121022-160132.jpg One of the foodies’ favorite places is our NC Mountains. Specifically, Boone and Blowing Rock. We had an occasion to visit my beloved App State Mountaineers at a game recently and decided what better way to cap off our blustery day than a romantic, family dinner to Crippen’s in Blowing Rock. The birthplace, basically, of renowned Fire on the Rock…which begat all of those other wonderful “Fire” events. Crippen’s is popular, baby. I got reservations, but we got there earlier than expected and they managed to get a table for triadfoodies. Thanks, ya’ll! After walking up the lovely front porch area, you are welcomed in a beautifully decorated, cozy sitting room next to the bar which sometimes is filled with live music (and it was the case this night). The comfortable dining area is around the corner and away from the music so you can enjoy your dining companion(s). It’s just tasteful and relaxing and not at all stuffy. For an appetizer, we ordered the Fried SC Quail with sweet potato pancake, quail egg and honey. It was delicious. And beautiful. I “allowed” non-foodie daughter to enjoy one of the pancakes.

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I can say that tonight being triadfoodies paid off because Chef Stan and his team decided that we needed to sample a few apps so he sent out the Tempura NC Shrimp and a Roasted Beet Stack.

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There was an interesting accompaniment with the shrimp. They are called Sea-Beans. They are from the ocean (by way of river or stream) and they are crispy and different and a little salty. Very cool.  These were buttery (from the butter) and I was happy these little “beans” washed ashore.  And the beet stack reminded me of a caprese salad but with beets and a sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar. Mr. Foodie doesn’t like beets but he ate most of it. Now for the entrees. I went with the Crispy Duck Breast with butternut squash mash, baby carrot, a natural lamb sausage sauce, and purple and white cauliflower. Yes, purple (they do that sometimes). This duck was prepared medium rare, as it should.  The skin on my duck was chubby, had great flavor as did the mash and veggies and delectable sauce. Mister decided to play it safe with Frank Crippen’s Grilled NY Strip served with mushrooms and roasted potatoes. A good portion and excellent flavor. Be hungry for that one.

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I’d like to mention that the kid foodies, who aren’t really foodies, had the most awesome Penne Alfredo. We stole a lot of bites from them.  Hey, Crippen’s, ever thought of opening an Italian restaurant?

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And finally, afterwards, our very nice server suggested we must try the bread pudding… Well, OK!  It was made with a bit of chocolate swirled through and served with cinnamon bourbon ice cream with sea salt caramel. Yum town.

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Crippen’s is considered by many as one of the best in the High Country (that’s no small feat given all the talent in those hills).  And they certainly know how to make you feel welcome and taken care of. It was some of the best service, we’ve experienced and we even got to meet Chef Stan Chamberlain (he’s the ChefRef) for the FIRE events.

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I had a pic but it was so dark you couldn’t see his handsome face, so I borrowed this one from Crippen’s. Our only regret is that we didn’t get to visit a little with owner, Jimmy Crippen. But maybe another day. Here’s a pic because I know he wants to say, “Hey, Foodies! Come see us at Crippen’s.”

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Jimmy knows and promotes Farm to Table  and they do it well at Crippen’s. They are open for lunch and dinner (closed Monday), open Thanksgiving and don’t forget if you are in town for the night, get a room at Crippen’s Inn. You won’t walk far for great food, drink and music.
www.crippens.com
Crippen’s Inn & Restaurant
239 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC

877-295-3487

Bib’s Downtown

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I’m a Southern Foodie girl and we Southerners LOVE our barbecue. We will argue to the death that it’s a food and not a verb and don’t get some North Carolinians started on what’s better…Eastern style or Western style. I, myself, have never been able to come to an absolute decision since it depends on the Pitmaster and his/her talent. Bib’s Downtown in Winston-Salem has figured out a way to get around all that…for their BBQ is not Eastern and it’s not Western. It’s “Bestern.” Is it ever, and it’s not just the BBQ.
Bib’s Downtown is one of the area’s newest BBQ joints, opening in 2008, and it has grown in popularity as well as space. You order at the counter and your piping hot BBQ and sides are brought to your table. The pulled pork BBQ is awesome but you also must try the Beef Brisket. Perfectly smoked with that beautiful pink smoke ring and a caramelized edge. Smoked Chicken is fabulous as is their smoked sausage. They also offer pork tenderloin. It’s easy to do a sampling because you can do a combo plate of 2 or 3. But, wait! There’s more. The HUSHPUPPIES. Now we know that a BBQ place worth its muster has to have AMAZING hushpuppies. Bib’s pups are just glorious. Glorious! They are round and crispy and a little sweet and speckled with lots and lots of black pepper. YUM City. All of their sides are homemade and tasty ..the usual fare, green beans, baked beans, mac & cheese, fries, collard greens. They have baked “taters” that you can load to your liking, wraps, salads, wings and if you don’t like BBQ, you can be sure you will be plenty pleased with their Grilled Cheese Sandwich (on Texas Toast), something my non-Foodie kids enjoy. Then for dessert, you can choose from a selection of house recipe cobblers or banana pudding.
The menu:
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The smoker:

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Located in the old Firestone Auto Care building on 5th Street, Bib’s Downtown is available for catering, has a banquet room called the “Hickory Room” on site and takes their pit on the road to you, if you so choose. And like most BBQ joints, you can order bulk items and take them home or to a potluck. Have you ever made nachos with BBQ? Try it.
Once you visit, you might decide you aren’t Eastern or Western, you are “Bestern!”
Bib’s Downtown
675 W. 5th Street
Winston-Salem, NC
336-722-0007
www.bibsdowntown.com
Bib's Downtown on Urbanspoon

6th and Vine

6th and Vine is one of those “go to” places in the Triad. Want to meet for drinks? Go to 6th and Vine. Lunch? Go to 6th and Vine. Date night? Friends night? New Year’s Eve? You get the idea. Great drinks and great dining. A wonderful bar welcomes you with a long communal bar top along with very cool segmented low seating areas for a more personal gathering. An extensive wine compliments the name and there are plenty of options for your palate. The past couple of times the Foodies have visited, we’ve ordered salads and Small Plates. Really, really good appetizers.
If you like mussels, they are a must. The last time, the mussels were huge. And so fresh. When you order it, go ahead and ask for extra bread for dipping it into that yummy, herby sauce.

Another recommendation…try a super, light, fresh salad. Our favorite is the poached pear salad.

Also…sorry no pic for this, the baked Brie is diVine! 🙂 It’s served in a puff pastry with fruit and pecans. Delectable.

One of 6th and Vine’s more popular small plates is the Crab and Artichoke Dip. Creamy and spicy with grilled pita bread.

You really can’t go wrong at 6th & Vine. Exemplary small plates, tempting sandwiches and wraps, dinner entrees (steak, chops, seafood, ribs, pasta) and even a popular brunch (which we’ve yet to try) with specials and benedicts..mmm. They even have a late night menu. They also make great strides to be as Eco-friendly as possible. See my to-go cup made of corn that can be composted?

Mr. Foodie just told a fellow nosher that 6th and Vine might be his favorite place to eat in Winston-Salem. It’s no surprise, with all this popular establishment has to offer. Amazing atmosphere, great food, great patio, awesome bar. You must try them New Year’s Eve. Fab!

         
They have a great website, check it out at www.6thandvine.com
209 West 6th Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
336-725-5577
Closed on Monday

  I love this sign at the side of their space. Hanging from a wine bottle!
6th & Vine on Urbanspoon

Table 16

Table 16 is an award winning restaurant focused on New World Cuisine. Chef Graham Heaton brings us a 12 season approach to maximize what is fresh and readily available. A surprise invite found the foodies here and after a brief chat with Chef Graham Heaton, we had a sweet table with a view of the kitchen and downtown Greensboro…which, come to think of it, all the tables have. What a welcome treat it was. A few fellow foodies suggested we try the Tasting Menu, as did the server, so 3 of the 4 of us decided on the tasting. The great thing about the tasting menu is that you are basically at the whim and desire of the chef and his team. It may have a sampling of what is on the menu but also a few surprises. I’ll provide a brief description of what we had and some pics but as we are entering into October, you can be assured that your tasting will not be our tasting. Also, I have to suggest absolutely that entire table do the tasting. If one decides on an entree, as was our case, that person may be waiting and that may not add to the experience.

Course 1: She Crab Soup

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Hands down the BEST She Crab Soup I’ve ever had. Deliciously rich, full of flavor, with bits of corn, crab, candied lemon, the slightest bit of goat cheese and crispy prosciutto.

Course 2: Spinach Salad with peaches, red onion, feta, sunflower seeds in a peach honey dressing

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Delicious light salad, great after the soup. Simple and fresh.

Course 3: Blue crab cake with roasted fingerling potato salad with crispy onions

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My second favorite dish of the night. A crabby fried puff of deliciousness on a thai chili mayo with an awesome potato salad.

Course 4: Scallop on spaghetti squash with roasted baby carrot

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Isn’t it cute? A perfect little bite on one of my faves…spaghetti squash.

Course 5: Mr. Foodie decided to stick with savory so he got duck. I wanted sweet so I got a little apple twist with caramelized fruit on marscapone. A delicate, yummy treat that was just enough.

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So that’s our tasting. Here’s the pic of the lonely entree that was ordered and finished way before we were finished “tasting.”

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That’s the Angus tenderloin. It looked fab.

By the time the night ended, we each had 5 delicious, carefully selected tastings and an entree. We figured each course averaged around $9-10 so do keep that in mind if you are on a budget. And keep in mind the time. The pace was way more leisurely than a typical experience. That may be because we were among a packed house or it could just be the way a tasting is. I might try an entree next time. And I hope to enjoy a chat with talented Chef Heaton. Too busy for him to even leave the kitchen. But, he was there (blurry pic below of him and his “home”). I can see why Table 16 is so highly recommended by foodies and critics alike.

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Table 16, 600 South Elm Street, Greensboro
336-275-8525
www.table16restaurant.com
Table 16 on Urbanspoon