Monthly Archives: March 2015

Graze (as in sip, share, savor) Restaurant: Winston-Salem

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Sometimes I think few things make people shudder than the thought of eating in a “hotel restaurant.” Granted, it’s not always the best dining experience. BUT!! The Marriott Hotel in the Twin City Quarter of Downtown Winston-Salem houses Graze Restaurant…and though technically not “locally-owned” (okay, okay I’m a bit of a badgering snob about that), the dedication to source most of its ingredients locally as well as the talents of the culinary team are enough to make all of us change our thinking.

I liked the space when it was WS Prime. But, when it was revamped into Graze in early 2014, it became more comfortable and communal. They now offer small plates, a few more salads and sandwiches and scaled down the selection of entrees. Oh and lest you think you can’t take the kids, you totally can. Grab a booth because all of them have personal flat screen TV’s, put on some kids programming and you’ll be in heaven. Or you can catch up on your own favorite.

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The Chef de Cuisine, Richard Miller, is becoming a force to be reckoned with…placing first runner-up in Competition Dining’s Fire in the Triad last year. He’s ready to battle again this summer. Really, he’s a super nice guy with a passion for exemplary food with local fare. By the way, you can see him in action at our Food and Wine University Tent on June 6 at Salute! NC Wine Celebration. He’s accepted the All-Local Challenge Entree Demonstration. Mark your calendars for that.

On a recent visit, mr. foodie and I shared an appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes with pimento cheese, goat cheese, honey habanero and a balsamic reduction. One of my favorite salads is a Wedge of Iceberg Salad, and Graze’s is just a touch delightfully different with chipotle bleu cheese, bacon, queso fresco, heirloom baby tomatoes, grilled white corn and pickled red onion. The sweet and sour pickled red onion makes that salad top notch.

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Fried Green Tomatoes

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Wedge of Iceberg

And get this…right now and for who knows what kind of limited time, that crazy chef and his team are offering the Graze Burger. This burger. Gah! I die. A 4 oz. Certified Angus burger, with smoked gouda, cheddar, Texas Pete Cha buttermilk ranch, bacon AND AND a Joyce Farms fried chicken breast on top. If you are thinking ‘calorie buster”   “awesome protein to carb ratio,” you’d be RIGHT! 🙂 This is not an everyday burger. This is an “I’m feeling like splurging because I’m awesome and deserve it” burger. Okay? So, get it.

Graze Burger..ain't it a beaut?

Graze Burger..ain’t it glorious?

Inside view of the Graze Burger

“Inside view” of the Graze Burger

The menu changes seasonally at Graze and Chef Richard and his team like to offer special features to celebrate our region. Know that no matter what the season, you’ll find local chicken, lamb, NC trout, NC sweet potatoes, Johnston County meats, locally-sourced veggies. For a hotel restaurant and for MANY restaurants, few support our local farmers and providers like Graze. Prices for small plates are $5-9, lunch will be from $10-15 for any number of great looking salads, sandwiches or burgers and dinner entrees are $20-28. Check back during the work week for Happy Hour specials…snacks for $5.

I will say that if you get a chance to pop these deviled eggs into your mouth, I highly recommend. They are so good. They aren’t always offered but if you luck out, you won’t be able to decide if you like traditional best or the smoked salmon or the pork belly-topped best. It’s a 3-way tie.

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“Traditional w/ Cha! & Microgreens; Pork Belly; Smoked Salmon

A couple of other interesting options, Okra Nachos. Fried Okra with pimento cheese, goat cheese, honey habanero sauce, tomato and scallions. Don’t they look yummy? There are also some good looking flat breads, one with Maple Leaf Farms Duck.

Okra Nachos (photo: Courtesy Graze Restaurant)

Okra Nachos (photo: Courtesy Graze Restaurant)

Oh and presently on the appetizer selections is Joyce Farms Fried Chicken Skin with Texas Pete Cha! Aioli. I I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want that in your belly, foodies.

I look forward to hearing back about your experience at Graze.

Have you been presently surprised by a hotel restaurant?

Enjoy eating local!

Graze Restaurant
425 North Cherry Street
Winston-Salem, NC
336.722.5232

triadfoodies “Hit List”–a good one!

I’ve been kind of getting a stockpile of places that I’ve tried and loved and been kind of busy to post them all individually so I’m going to take some time here to share some great places that you must try. A few new ones, some old faves that I’ve not mentioned on this here blog and pics and accolades to go along with them. Links and addresses are included.

Outwest Steakhouse, 1185 Highway 66, Kernersville

I must start with a restaurant in the town in which I live. A place that it’s been so long  that I had eaten there that I didn’t even want to go. It’s kind of packed on Saturday and my parents, sister…all of us and our kids got together for birthdays. I must admit, I wasn’t keen on visiting Outwest. But I was pleasantly surprised by great steaks, hot food, and all that you’d expect from a steakhouse. Believe it or not, I decided to NOT order steak because I’d heard the Tuna was delicious and I’ll have to agree. So, if you need an “in-between” the cities meeting spot that’s casual and you get there early enough, you won’t be waiting in all the revelry that seems to arrive around 7:30. It does get busy Outwest.

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98 Asian Bistro, 1800 North Main St., High Point

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This place is gorgeous. So dimly lit to completely prepare you for your Asian fare. The food is really great too. Our table had fresh Spring Rolls, Fried Spring Rolls, Pad Thai, Chicken Stir Fry, Black  Pepper Beef…and you know Mr. foodie got Curry. Each and every dish was fresh and tasty. It’s located in a little center that used to be a car dealership. Check them out when you’ve got a craving for Thai cuisine. You won’t be disappointed.

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Sushi Republic, 329 Tate Street, Greensboro

Arguably THE BEST sushi in Greensboro. There’s no other place that offers such interesting and innovative sushi with its fusion inspired rolls. And whatever you do, you MUST get the Garlic Edamame. It is incredible. The Vegetable Tempura is also very pleasing but what I do miss at Sushi Republic is the slight sweetness that typically comes with the dipping sauce that goes with tempura. It’s still really good and the sushi…I’ve never been disappointed. My favorite is still the Black Tiger Roll.

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Hops Burger Bar, 2419 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro

It’s been a long time coming…eating here. Every time I’ve tried there’s been a line out the door. So we arrived on Sunday at 4:30 because the other place we wanted to try had a line out the door. And we didn’t feel like waiting (which is weird because it was only 4:30) so we told ourselves, “Hops might not have a wait!” But they did. It wasn’t out the door…we were 2nd in line but we did have to wait. So that tells you they might be worth it. So after about 20 minutes or so we were seated. I don’t have many pics here but we all got burgers (except the kidlets, who shared chicken fingers). Mr. foodie ordered a burger with Chevre and Pepper Jelly…YUM! I ordered the French Onion with caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, garlic and thyme aioli. It came with its own jus/gravy…I didn’t think it needed it and only dipped a couple of times. I highly recommend the Garlic Rosemary Fries. Presentation is awesome and service is great. Burgers best served with any of a plethora of NC Craft Beers.

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Kabobs on Fourth, 214 West 4th Street, Winston-Salem

You get your naan to ORDER. I mean, I could stop right there! But the soups are delicious, the meats are perfectly cooked. There are a few folks who say it’s pricy for kabobs but the quality of the beef and lamb are the reason you’ll pay a tiny bit more. And I promise, you won’t leave hungry. We don’t all need enormous plates of food. Fresh and healthy and made to order naan are where it’s at here.
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West End Cafe, 926 West 4th Street, Winston-Salem

I really don’t even have to put them in here. The loyal customers that flock here on a daily basis know that one of the best places in WS to get a great value for lunch is at West End Cafe. It’s been years since we visited so on a dreary afternoon we headed there for lunch. By far, my favorite item at WEC is the Potato Pancakes. They’re served with sour cream and applesauce and they are just total yummiliciousness. I could just eat them only. But you must try the Reuben if you are there and any number of special soups for the day. Sandwiches are great and salads are hearty. There’s a reason why they always have good crowds.

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DiLisio’s, 301 Brookstown Avenue, Winston-Salem
Ahh…DiLisio’s. Awesome Italian, great prices, comfortable atmosphere…and Tony and Maria. You kind of get it all here. Check them out often
because they have specials that change nightly. They have traditional entrees like Chicken Parm and Veal Marsala…kind of famous for their Lasagna. The Shrimp Fra Diavlo will make your eyes water and your tongue tingle…but just enough to make you appreciate it’s devilish heat. Also, you must check them out when they have monthly Sunday Wine Dinners. I hear folks who’ve attended rave about them. And Mary Haglund of Mary’s Gourmet Diner said his clam soup almost made her cry. Which tells me I definitely need to try it. And so do you!  Also, please enjoy some Fried Ravioli. Yes….

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Irie Rhythms, 3252 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem
Well, well….if you need a little kick in your lunch or dinner, look no further. I am a FAN. One of WSNC’s newest additions and it’s Jamaican fare has been well received. The Jerk Chicken is SPICY…so delicious and tender that the meat falls right off the bone. I highly recommend the rice and peas and make sure you get the cooked cabbage as a side—it is crazy good. The collards are delicious too. And the fried plantains. I need to go back. I’m getting a craving already. A little bird told me to get the Mango Cheesecake (after I’d already left—not like I had room to eat dessert though). Check them out. They are great for lunch because they have specials, which include a drink. There might be a bit of a wait…it seems longer than it actually is because it smells so good in there. But it’s so worth it.

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So that’s a good size list for now. Now, foodies…you’ve got some eatin’ to do! Let me know what you think. And as always, if you know of a place that we must check out, don’t hesitate to tell us.

Until next time, skip the lines at the chains and eat local!