Monthly Archives: March 2013

A J. Pepper’s Easter Brunch

When my family refused to eat at my house for Easter Brunch…and you know it’s not because of my cooking…I couldn’t stay offended when the vote was to have Easter at J. Pepper’s Southern Grille. We promised months ago some pics of a future brunch so take a look, foodies.

Biscuits. I kid you not they are just about the best anywhere in the Triad. Fluffy. Today they were bigger.

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Side salad with lemon horseradish vinaigrette

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Southern Egg Breakfast

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Meatloaf

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Cobb Salad

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Here’s something you don’t see every day. A lobster BLT. Leave it to J. Pepper’s to put some spin on a BLT.

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Trust me, the lobster meat was there 🙂

Kid’s French Toast

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One of the day’s specials was a top round with caramelized onions with potatoes. Nice Sunday after church food.

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And Chef John Jones was running the place and saying hello and “chef-ing.” Here’s a beauty shot with him and his portrait. 2 in 1 right here for my foodies!

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We wanted to honor our promise and get these pics up of a J. Pepper’s brunch. So check them out and if you are lucky, that omelet with the pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes will be there.
www.jpeppers.com
841 Old Winston Rd, Kernersville, NC
336.497.4727

Enjoying the First Brunch at 1618 Seafood Grille

1618 Seafood Grille is probably one of the most raved about restaurants in Greensboro. After all it houses the Champion of Competition Dining Series’, “Fire in the Triad.”  One thing we knew they’d be able to do well, but hadn’t yet, is BRUNCH. So the waiting is over, just in time for Easter, and we got a group of other foodies together to offer you the following pictorial of 1618’s first official brunch. It was definitely your typical 1618 experience. Wonderful service, relaxing and of course, amazing, eclectic food. Take a look!

Muffins, 1618 Seafood Grille, Brunch

Complimentary berry muffins for the table

Cinnamon Roll as big as your face

Cinnamon Roll as big as your face

Sweet potato biscuit, roasted pork tenderloin, kale, tomato loganberry cream cheese spread

Sweet potato biscuit, roasted pork tenderloin, kale, tomato, poached egg, loganberry cream cheese spread. And shrimp mac & cheese on the side (yay!)

Napolean of beef tenderloin, poached egg on fried green tomatoes

Napolean of beef tenderloin, poached egg on fried green tomatoes

Buttermilk chive biscuit with canadian bacon, giaccamo's hot sausage, avocado salsa, grilled pepper and cheese and on the side---sweet potato and bacon hash

Buttermilk chive biscuit with canadian bacon, giaccamo’s hot sausage, avocado salsa, grilled pepper and cheese and on the side—sweet potato and bacon hash

Potato crusted halibut over bacon, spinach, cheese quiche, brussel sprouts w/ deviled egg

Potato crusted halibut over bacon, spinach, cheese quiche, brussel sprouts w/ deviled egg

Duck confit and house made nachos, corn and black bean salsa, chorizo,t opted with cheese and a fried egg

Duck confit and house made nachos, corn and black bean salsa, chorizo,t opted with cheese and a fried egg (that toppled upon delivery–oops!)

2 Eggs/Bacon for the kidlet

2 Eggs/Bacon for the kidlet….ask your server for pricing as this is “off the menu ordering”

Observations….as always, delicious. The tastes I got to try (napoleon of beef and my own, sweet potato with pulled pork) were amazing. My foodie friend, Amy, let me taste the sweet potato and bacon hash. Do yourself a flavor and get it as your side if possible. It was incredible.  Here’s a closer look…

Sweet potato and bacon hash

Sweet potato and bacon hash

See that sticky goodness all over that hash? MMMMMMM!

I love self-taught (self-taught!!) Chef George Neal’s innovative entrees.  I was excited to go back and take a few beauty shots as he was in the kitchen “cheffing.”

1618 Seafood Grille, Chef George Neal, triadfoodies March 2013

Chef George Neal

Sister foodie was a few tables away and enjoyed her meal as well. She was nice enough to send some photos our way. The table thought the Southwestern omelet was awesome. Her visitors from Indiana thought it was the best brunch ever.

Southwestern omelet over black bean cake with crispy duck confit and cilantro salad

Southwestern omelet over black bean cake with crispy duck confit and cilantro salad

Creamy stone mill grits

Creamy stone mill grits

French toast stuffed with berries and cream cheese with homemade syrup

French toast stuffed with berries and cream cheese with homemade syrup

You can rest assured that the innovative cocktails that 1618 is known for follows suit at brunch. Check out this Ossified Mary with Jameson Irish Whiskey, Great Divide Yedi Stout, lemon bitters and bloody mary mix. Refreshing! They even have a cocktail called “Bacon and Eggs” with bacon infused bourbon, maple syrup and egg whites. Hmmmm…definite maybe next time.

Ossified Mary

Ossified Mary

So there you have it. Many fans of 1618 Seafood have been wondering how Chef Neal would play at brunch. It’s definitely worth a go. There are plenty of items to suit all tastes. Take a look at the menu here. And of course, one day the foodies will be back to 1618 to give you the full details of dinner and libations. And talk about their calamari. It’s available at brunch but I needed to stay pure and hungry for my entree. For now, we’ll recover from brunch and you can go see for yourselves. I bet they may have a few tables left for Easter.

www.1618seafoodgrille.com
1618 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro, NC
336.235.0898

The Bistro at Adams Farm

The Bistro at Adams Farm, front, triadfoodies March 23, 2013

I feel like I wasn’t fully prepared for The Bistro at Adams Farm. My foodies have been holding out on me. I’ve heard of The Bistro, LOVED and blogged about sister restaurant, Crafted, in Downtown Greensboro and appreciated that Chef Kristina Fuller had participated in last year’s Fire in the Triad Competition. Why did it take so long to visit?

The Bistro is located inconspicuously in the Adams Farm Shopping Center. It’s nestled between a larger restaurant and who knows what else. But when you walk inside, you get the true experience of a bistro. The chalkboard on the wall says it all:

Bistro:(bee-stroh) A small cafe usually serving modest, down-to-earth, food and wine

The Bistro at Adams Farm IS small and down-to-earth. The ambiance and decor are tasteful and beautiful. Red walls, art, elegant lighting and dark wood just sort of make you feel relaxed and ready for what’s to come. Yet it is still casual and we all felt very comfortable in our jeans.

Bar, Bistro at Adams Farm triadfoodies

The Bar

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First we got down to business and ordered a few adult beverages. After all, it’s Friday and the wine glasses were so lonely and needed filling.

Wine from mini carafes at The Bistro at Adams Farm

You can help yourself to extra with those darling little wine carafes

Chef Kristina Fuller’s New American menu is very innovative and full of fusion entrees inspired by Asian and Southern cuisine. From the appetizers, there’s Lobster Mac & Cheese, Mussels, Ribs, Tuna and our choice, Sweet Potato Chips, topped with pulled pork, chipotle aioli and scallions. It was so simple with those 4 ingredients and a good size for 2-3 to share. Amazing.

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Sweet Potato Chips with pulled pork, chipotle aioli & scallions

Sweet Potato chips, The Bistro at Adams Farm

The Perfect Bite

We need to speak about the bread. Yes, bread. Pretty much EVERYTHING at The Bistro is made in house. The bread is no exception. And the servers like to have a little fun with the olive oil dipping sauce. The bread was to die for and the olive oil was filled with wonderful fresh herbs but also pink peppercorns and capers. And it was DELISH!!

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After much discussion we finally decided on our entrees. I ordered the recommended Grouper, which was wrapped in kelp and served with vegetable dumplings in a citrus soy broth and fried tofu. It was fresh and herbaceous. Beautiful to look at and just the perfect size portion.

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Mr. foodie decided on the roast chicken. Now typically, we steer away from roast chicken. I mean it can be so EVERY day. But this was not your mundane roast chicken. It was served with Singapore street noodles (rice noodles) and served with shredded vegetables in a curry sauce. I got a taste and it was awesome. Mr. foodie loved it so much because the skin was rendered to complete crispiness and the inside was still moist. It was totally refined, classed up Asian noodle yumminess.

Roast Chicken with rice noodles, The Bistro at Adams Farm

Roast Chicken with Singapore street noodles

Mom-in-law foodie loves her fried calamari so she ordered the appetizer plus the Caesar salad. Chef Fuller’s take on this classic is lightly grilled romaine hearts, house-made croutons, shaved parmesan BUT with roasted tomatoes and fresh red onion on top. It was plated with a rich balsamic drizzle. Beautiful to look at and very tasty. And the calamari was wonderful, crispy and tender and served with 2 sauces…a sweet soy chili sauce and my favorite, the coconut aioli. I recognize it from Crafted. Chef Fuller, you need to find a way to market that aioli.

Caesar Salad, The Bistro at Adams Farm

Caesar Salad as art

Calamari, The Bistro at Adams FarmCalamari

At this point, we should’ve stopped. I was full already. And then our amazing server, Frankie, offered us the tiniest little sample of the house-made Chocolate Mousse and Pistachio ice cream and then we decided, “what the heck, let’s just share a dessert!” Foodies, the creme brĂ»lĂ©e with it’s maple and 5 spices was seriously beckoning me. It just sounded so different. When it came to the table I exclaimed (not in a complaining way) that it was too tiny. The size was fine. I just realized to share it would mean someone was going to have to sacrifice some of their bites for me :). Dizzyingly good!

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Perfectly precious Maple & 5 Spice Creme Brulee

It was all remarkable and I really was a fan of the pistachio ice cream and the little cinnamon wontons offered a nice crunch. The ice cream was so dense it was almost like frozen custard.

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After all that indulgence, we hung out a bit. We spoke with Chef Fuller about her travels and the challenges and fun of co-owning (with mom, Rhonda) 2 growing restaurants and her passion for quality ingredients, local purveyors and bringing an experience to every diner. The Bistro features special events with half price wine nights, Taco Tuesday and live music several nights a week.

Chef Kristina Fuller, Owner, The Bistro at Adams Farm

Chef Kristina Fuller

Throughout the entire evening we saw Chef Fuller in the kitchen, out in the dining room visiting patrons and generally being hands-on. Foodies, we need to keep a sharp eye out on this young talent. And what she’s done with The Bistro at (of all places) Adams Farm is bring a cozy and intimate cafe in an area that needed something just like it.  The Bistro might have one of the best atmospheres the foodies have ever experienced…it’s quiet and small but everyone is just relaxed and talking. Chef Fuller has also hired a friendly and engaging staff that spoils you. We really didn’t want to leave. But, as it is now one of triadfoodies TOPS in Greensboro, we will be back.

www.thebistroatadamsfarm.com
5710-M High Point Rd, Greensboro, NC
336.294.4610
Open for Dinner:Tues-Sat 5-9:30pm

The Bistro at Adams Farm on Urbanspoon

Big Burger Spot

Big Burger Spot, Greensboro, NC triadfoodies 3/16/2013

Big Burger Spot (Front)

How many times have the foodies been asked, “where do I get a good burger?” or “Where’s the best burger joint?” And I answer, “Locally owned? Hmmmm…..” Now that’s a little embarrassing, don’t you think? I can name restaurants that have great burgers and a few chains with great burgers but I’m just getting to know the locally owned burger “joints.” I haven’t been a real strict local burger joint foodie..until recently. Well, we can most assuredly tell you that in Greensboro we have found an AWESOME burger “spot.” Big Burger Spot is the really fun kind of burger joint, total blink and you miss it kind of place. On the side of a gas station and convenience store…not exactly a dive, but almost!

Big Burger Spot has developed a strong following and has been voted Greensboro’s Best Burger. It’s also part of the Destination Guide’s 2013 Best of City Tour. So we figure other foodies must know what they are talking about and it was high time we tried them ourselves and then share with you, foodies, if it lived up to the promise. It does! It does!

Big Burger Spot, Greensboro, Menu, triadfoodies

Menu…uhhh…this is gonna take a sec

Here, it’s all about the burgers. You can get other things like chicken, BBQ, Brisket, or hot dogs and none of my people got that so I can only speak of burgers. The choices are endless with toppings if you want to customize and they also have a whole selection of menu burgers like Pimento Cheese, Carolina, Philly, Mushroom-Swiss, Patty Melt, Backyard BBQ, South of the Border, veggie (as in no meat), you get the idea. You can go Almost Big, Big or Colossal (which is double the meat).

Backyard BBQ Burger w/Fries

Classic Burger w/Fries

Backyard BBQ Burger

Backyard BBQ Burger

Big Burger Spot, Greensboro, NC triadfoodies 3/16/2013 Kid Burger w/Fries

Kid’s Burger w/ Cheese (w/ Fries)

Carolina Burger Big Burger Spot, triadfoodies

Almost Big Carolina Burger

Bunless Colassal Backyard BBQ Burger, Big Burger Spot triadfoodies

Bunless “Colossal” Backyard BBQ Burger (Cheese, BBQ sauce, bacon, crispy onion)

Mr. foodie thought he’d forgo the bun and get fries. He enjoyed the flavor of his burger but the experience is not as enjoyable without a bun. He’s right. These aren’t just any buns. They are deliciously soft and rich BRIOCHE buns, “polished” with melted butter. The Big Burger Spot guys are not messing around with their buns, hon. Everyone really liked their burger. My Carolina burger was excellent. The best chili I’ve ever had on a burger. And I swapped fresh onions for some crispy onions and it was a great complement. Again, you can load up your burger with all kinds of toppings from lettuce and tomato to pesto mayo, roasted red peppers or bacon, pimento cheese, etc.

And you can get all kinds of hand-cut fries. Classic, Sweet Potato Waffle and then top your fries with Cheddar or Bacon and Cheddar or Chili Cheese, Bacon Ranch, Pesto Garlic Aioli, Parmesan Garlic, Truffle Fries, Parmesan Truffle or you can load them up like NACHOS. We got the Parmesan truffle. We still have some left even 4 days later. We will eat them.

White Truffle Parmesan Fries

White Truffle Parmesan Fries

Guy Bradley, Owner--Big Burger Spot, Greensboro

Guy Bradley, Owner (and cook)

Owner Guy Bradley was there, living his dream of a burger spot, just shelling out burgers on little trays as fast as he could. The place was packed but the service was fast and the wait wasn’t long.

Outside patio

Outside patio

There’s not a lot of seating inside…only a few tables but there’s great seating in the pet friendly patio outside.

When you go, foodies, get the full experience and get the milkshake. We didn’t have the guts after all that, but I bet it would’ve hit the spot on a great Spring-like day.

So now I have a “Burger Spot” to recommend and it couldn’t be named any better.
www.bigburgerspot.com
3750-A Battleground Avenue, Greensboro, NC
336.617.3777
Open 7 days a week, Lunch and Dinner
Big Burger Spot on Urbanspoon

Walkertown Seafood Shack

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There are few places that foodies can go here in the Triad to get some fried seafood. Sure, you can get a fried fish or entree occasionally at a restaurant or pub but I haven’t run across many actual seafood restaurants that float my boat. About 4 years ago, we were told that we simply had to try the Walkertown Seafood Shack.

At the Shack, I felt like I finally found a place that could get a lot of fried seafood right… great fried flounder, baby shrimp, perch, crispy oysters and even broiled items. Admittedly, The Seafood Shack might get some mixed reviews on some of those online searches, but I’ve never been disappointed once and it must be true for a lot of folks because The Seafood Shack is constantly packed. Even on a Sunday at 5:00, there might be some wait time. But there’s plenty of space to hang out comfortably.  All that being said, I’ve run into plenty of people who’ve never even heard of Walkertown Seafood Shack.

IMG_2553This is a covered, enclosed porch with lots of seating and standing room, in addition to the indoor waiting area.

Now there’s a constant debate about what is FRESH and what is FROZEN in the restaurant biz. Some restaurants get seafood coming through the kitchen every day. Some get a large order one day a week. Some seafood is going to be frozen no matter where it comes from because it goes on ice as soon as it’s on the boat (that’s a blog story for another day….stay tuned). Don’t you freeze your fish if you have a lot of it? The Seafood Shack has always tasted just right to us. The seafood offerings are plentiful. You name it. In addition to the above mentioned products you can get really great crab legs, stuffed crab, clam strips, stuffed flounder, tilapia, scallops. Then there are daily features and you can get a lot of the items broiled. I did the stuffed flounder feature a while back and it was delicious. The crab legs were something we had on our first visit and they did not disappoint. But when I come here, I’m craving the fried, so fried is what the foodie gets.

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Fried Baby Flounder/Jumbo Shrimp Combo

Fried Baby Flounder/Fried Oysters Combo

Fried Baby Flounder/Fried Oysters Combo

Child's Fried Popcorn Shrimp

Child’s Fried Popcorn Shrimp

Hushpuppies

Hushpuppies 

The youngest kidlet loves these hushpuppies. His exact words were “Oh, my goodness, they melt in your mouf!”

There are daily specials and plenty of NON-seafood items to choose from too. And they are open for lunch as well. Almost everything is under $15 and most items are around $10.  You can get out of there plenty satiated at dinner for about $8-9. That’s pretty awesome, foodies!

I love the casualness of Walkertown Seafood Shack. I love that I can be at the park down the street playing on the playground and then just show up in my t-shirt and shorts. It is very easy going and laid back. When you go, be sure to take in some of the great art on display. We love this handmade license plate map.

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You’ve got fried seafood, gingham table coverings, paper towels, sweet tea, fast service and Walkertown pricing. When you’ve got the craving, what can be better?

Walkertown Seafood Shack
www.winstonsalemseafood.com
336.595.2932
Walkertown Seafood Shack on Urbanspoon