Tag Archives: Burgers

Crafted the Art of the Taco is HERE. Let’s Win Something!

Foodies!

Crafted-The Art of the Taco opened today (Wednesday) in Winston-Salem.

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Let me just say that I have waited FOREVS for this day. Well it seems like forevs ..it’s actually been four years. For some of us anyway. The folks in WS have only had to wait about 6 months.

Keep reading because I’m giving you the scoop and if you visit Crafted in Winston-Salem this Thursday through Saturday you have a chance to win a $25 gift card for a future visit to Crafted.

Boom!

The restaurant that’s a taco joint, not a Mexican restaurant has been the most anticipated new arrival in downtown Winston in quite a while. We were there on Saturday to check things out and again when they officially opened at lunch today. I have been talking to Chef Kris Fuller and her business partner and mom, Rhonda, for a couple of years about bringing themselves to Winston. I sent photos, contacts…I’d scope out a place for lease and text her the info. And it finally happened on Liberty Street in the Arts District. I just love it. It’s cozy, modern, chic, girlie and industrial all in one. And the food is an experience in and of itself.

On the menu…tacos of course. But true to owner, Chef Kris Fuller’s nature, she added a few new things to this location as well because as she says, she likes each new restaurant to feel like it’s own thing. “We added three new burgers so now we have a pretty solid burger menu and because spaces allows for it, you can also make any taco a burger or a rice bowl.” Fuller says because of the lack of space in Greensboro, there have been things she’s been wanting to do that she simply can’t there.

There are a dozen tacos that you can mix and match for a tantalizing duo. I especially love The Fixie, with beef brisket, grilled pineapple, spicy sweet chili sauce and coconut aioli. Mmm..my fave. Also don’t miss the Baja Style, which comes with your choice of protein like grilled or battered fish, seared tuna, chorizo, braised chicken, pulled pork, braised beef, and a half dozen vegetarian options too like sweet potato, tofu and falafel. We went with the tuna and I highly recommend it. Seafood lovers would also love the Bowtie which features beer battered fish, roasted corn and poblano salsa, sweet chipotle aioli and honey mustard. There’s certainly a taco and a burger to make you happy. As for appetizers, try the stuffed avocado with chorizo, queso and pico de gallo served with fried flour tortilla chips that are flaky and scrumptious. The taquitos are really great too. You also can’t go wrong with a mason of bacon…heck it’s got Mexican chocolate drizzled on it and it actually perfect for dessert. There are salads on the menu and a few kid items as well.

Fuller, who opened up the first Crafted in Greensboro four years ago and Crafted-The Art of Street Food last year, says this day feels really good. “In Greensboro we were really busy right out of the gate and they showed us a lot of support, but with Winston knowing who we were and coming to the area, I can’t tell you the amount of love and support I see daily.” She says, “Even when we we’d go out to other restaurants around here, we’d get that excitement. It’s been quite amazing.” We knew it would be like that because Winston is a community…there’s just no other way to say it.

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Fuller comes from a fine dining background (remember The Bistro at Adams Farm?) and says she hopes to use the Winston-Salem location as her creative outlet for future pop-ups and wine dinners. I think that would be super fun and the Winston-Salem location will be a great location for it. But for now, Fuller says her full concentration is getting Winston’s Crafted settled. “We do have a five year plan and we have a couple of other cities in mind.” I’m thinking Durham but I did not ask because I like to be surprised, foodies. 

But for now, Chef says it’s just one restaurant at a time and that means getting cozy with Winston-Salem. And you know it’s already happening because Winston-Salem isn’t just the city of Arts and Innovation. It’s also a city of foodie love and we think she is the perfect fit!

Welcome Fullers and the entire Crafted Team!  I love these ladies. Support this great restaurant and team, foodies. 

Now!! Want to win a prize???

Visit Crafted between now and Saturday at 11pm, check in or tag @triadfoodies on Facebook with a photo of what you are eating or you and your friends. Remember to tag @triadfoodies.  If you don’t like us on Facebook, well my feelings are hurt. Anyway…Go over and like us on Facebook (you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram too). Tag @triadfoodies and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $25 gift card for a future visit.

Happy eating!

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.”

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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.

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

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And he sent out dessert…strawberry  bread pudding

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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

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

Course 2

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Sweet Corn Puree with Blackened Alligator and ramp oil

Course 3

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Roasted Oyster Mushrooms with oloroso sherry natural sauce

Course 4

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

Course 5

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

Course 6

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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!”

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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.

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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!

 

foodie b’eat: #followmeto A Greensboro Burger Crawl

From @YES Weekly…

So who needs a hashtag or a National anything to celebrate…well…anything? Certainly not me…and I bet you neither. But since National Hamburger Day, aka #nationalhamburgerday is coming upon us this Saturday, May 28, we thought we’d get in on the fun and do a burger crawl! That’s right! But….there’s a caveat. See, Greensboro is kind of known for being a burger town. Always has been since back in the days of Hamburger Square downtown where there were burgers on every corner. 

Today, there are some really good burger joints to choose from. Hops, Burger Spot, Emma Keys, Burger Warfare are some of the recent greats…and while we give these burger places their “graces” for being burger royalty, this crawl is taking you to the spots in the Gate City that you might not have heard of or even know that they serve pretty darn good burgers. Not classic burger places either. Not even places known for burgers at all.

Shall we go over the rules again? Always more fun with two people. That way there’s more sharing, which means more tasting without getting so full. Burgers can be quartered so that’s what we did. Plus it’s also good to get opinions. Mr. foodie and I enlisted, Randy Barnes, who writes the blog Hamburger Square. He considers himself somewhat of a burger expert. I pretty much let him choose all the places. Our comrade, chef Lynn Wells (Thyme Well Spent Personal Chef), was our fourth “man.” We kept the burgers simple (#baconischeating) because if you can keep it simple and do it well, then your other burgers are sure to be darn good. Plus it made for a more fair comparison.

First stop: Tony’s Citgo, aka Tony’s Food Mart, 3300 Edgefield Road      

It’s a gas station, people. Full-fledged. You can get a tank of gas and a 1/4 pound, 1/2 pound or even one whole pound burger. Our chef, “Brandon” has been manning the grill for 2 years. The meat comes in fresh daily and the burgers are griddled on the flat top to order. You can get an order of fries or onion rings and they even have homemade ranch. The burger was a great size (we split the 1/2 pound 4 ways), nice and wide, thick and perfectly cooked. Juicy too. There are picnic tables on the side of Tony’s near the kerosene tank for relaxing. But it was looking stormy so we opened some of Randy’s folding chairs and each ate our quarters at his TV tray and I dare say, it was charming.

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If you’re not on a crawl, your dessert can be one of those disgusting packaged pink snowballs. To each his own.

Stop #2: Jams Deli,  5707 Friendly Avenue

Mostly known for all kind of sandwiches, Jams has a really great vibe. I love the checkerboard and 50’s feel. But you might not know they have a pretty decent burger. It was one of Randy’s top burgers of the year. “I love it because it has shredded lettuce and not many places shred their lettuce…I call it the special sauce.” This burger was a bit smaller but still cooked nicely. Tony’s still wins.

Stop #3: Mark’s Restaurant, 616 Dolley Madison Road

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So Mark’s is a little more “high falutin” than most burger places. We sat down in the bar, ordered some cocktails, and decided on the Kobe Original burger, which comes pretty basic with a tomato and grilled onion (just lightly seared on the grill). This was the fanciest and most expensive burger of the evening….$11-12 (because of the Kobe). Mark’s actually split the burgers for us and plated them individually along with our sweet potato chips. It definitely was the prettiest presentation and boy was it juicy and had just the right about of salty crust. The vote: Mark’s moves out to the front (even though Kobe might be cheating). Maybe you wouldn’t choose Mark’s for your burger night because you might think you’re going more upscale. Just know, you can eat in the bar or on the patio, wearing flip flops and really enjoy that burger. Plus, Tuesday nights is gourmet burger night where you can get a Kobe burger with a fried green tomato, pimento cheese and pepper jelly and doesn’t that just sound amazing?

Stop #4:  Libby Hill Seafood, 3920 Cotswold Avenue        

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Late last year, LH added a burger to the menu and they recently started adding more.  I mean, you come to Libby Hill for inexpensive seafood. But for that one problem person in your group who doesn’t like seafood, this may be a solution. The burger is a great size and ours was perfectly prepared. This burger was the one out the whole night that tasted like it could’ve been cooked in your backyard. It had a nice grilled flavor, juicy red tomato, leaf lettuce and smear of mayo. Solid.

Stop #5: Reel Seafood Grill, 2002 New Garden Road

Starting..to…get… full….

Not exactly where you would think to get a burger but they do have a burger on the menu when all you want is surf but your dining companion(s) want turf. The burger was a decent size and pretty tasty overall and cooked perfectly. We opted for a side of grits. Ha! However, we were all in agreement on one thing. Reel Seafood does seafood real well…it’s where they shine. So much so that you should order what they do when you go there. Especially if you want seafood. Especially order the whole flash fried flounder. See why here. 

This burger crawl was Greensboro-focused and we want to send a shout out to those spots who keep us on our toes. Classic rock star props continue to go to out to: What-A-Burger (the locally owned), Beef a.k.a Biff Burger, Tipsy’s Tavern, Lindley Park Filling Station, and the aforementioned burger royalty at the top of the article. Crafted-The Art of the Taco also should get props for having a burger that some say is just as good as the famous tacos.

Honorable mention for burgers also goes to The Porterhouse Burger Truck. I haven’t eaten at the restaurant (Porterhouse Bar & Grill) on Market Street, but recently I had a Mushroom + Swiss burger from the truck and it was one of the best shroom burgers I’ve ever had. The mushrooms were hearty and still had a bite, the onions were sweet and caramelized, the swiss cheese was thick enough that you could taste its sharpness, the burger itself had a salty crunchy exterior and was perfectly cooked inside. And it was all on a fluffy bun. You could taste all the layers in every bite. See? 

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And so we don’t leave out some of the Winston-Salem greats, we’re currently loving the Burger Supreme pop-up at Mission Pizza at lunch on Wednesdays, the Camel City Grill food truck . Read the blog post review here (try anything with pimento cheese or the peanut butter, baconCamel City and pepper jelly)–by the way, the food truck is for sale. First Street Draught House, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, Foothills Brewing’s burger and recently Chef Travis Myers has been adding creative burgers to Willow’s Bistro menus. And Graze has this ridiculous burger with fried chicken on it (blog post here)!  And if you don’t mind the short drive, Chef Dion Sprenkle has Wacky Wednesday, which features three different burgers topped with crispy onions or an amazing house-smoked pastrami.

Tell us some of your favorite burger places. And I’d like to do a crawl in Winston-Salem that’s all burgers. Where do you think we should go?

The Katharine Brasserie & Bar

Okay okay…I KNOW that technically a restaurant inside a major hotel that’s part of a major hotel chain doesn’t exactly fit my “all local all the time” mantra.  But…this was for research, foodies…and if I’m being honest, for YES! Weekly.  But I would’ve attended this tasting at The Katharine Brasserie & Bar even if I wasn’t a full-fledged legit food writer for a legit publication. Why? Well, have you SEEN the place? And all of us in Winston-Salem have been stoked to see the iconic Reynolds Building turned into something other than its previous dormant, sad (yet beautiful) self. The Reynolds Building was yearning for the right tenant and I think they’ve found it.

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No matter what you think about big hotels, people gotta have a place to sleep when they come here and The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel raises the bar here. And The Katharine will only add to the “scene” here in WS. It makes us raise our game on 4th Street, Liberty, Main, The Arts District, etc.

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So with that, we welcome you, Lady Katharine. And you too, Chef Ed Witt….

keep reading below 🙂 from YES! Weekly  ..

After all the excitement and hype, it’s finally here. The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel. And with it, The Katharine Brasserie…a hotel restaurant that doesn’t exactly act like a hotel restaurant. We already enjoy a fabulous one here in downtown Winston-Salem, Graze (part of the Marriott). Like its neighbor, The Katharine acts quite independently from the normal status quo hotel food fare that might cause someone like me to begrudgingly use the restaurant out of convenience, offering locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. And the space is  beautiful. The hotel still looks like the Reynolds Building. Many features of the iconic office building still remain. They say every guest room is different. There’s a slide in the rec room. And then there’s The Katharine, with its mix of modern and art deco…brass and copper and marble…beautiful light and ambiance…if you don’t get ambiance right the first time, many a chef will tell you, good luck with the rest.

I visited The Katharine last week during a private chef tasting for media. They kept our group small, limiting to a max of six, over the course of three separate evenings. That was a great call. It allowed us to have a quiet, intimate tasting with fellow curious media people, and we were all allowed to just have a conversation, hear the server describe the plate, and overall enjoy our evening even more. Our tasting was literally just that… it included singular plates of several appetizers and entrees that we basically all just shared. And there were wine pairings for each round that came to the table. If there’s one thing I walked away with, the folks at The Katharine absolutely know their pairings and with each delivery of appetizer or entree, the match of wine to food was spot on.

What was served:

Chilled Melon Soup, Cardamom, Country Ham & Pink Peppercorn: This is an item I did not see on the menu. I’m not a fan of chilled soup, but this was light and refreshing and the saltiness from the ham, spicy bite of the peppercorns was really great with the cantaloupe puree.  I don’t know about you, but this Southern girl loves pepper on cantaloupe.

Rappahannock Oysters with Minuet and a House Cocktails Sauce

Beef Tartare with mustard seeds, jalapeño, quail egg (as in nearly raw): Quite delicious actually. Not everyone has the stomach for tartare but it was delicate and flavorful.

Seared Sea Scallops with an incredible pea risotto and a black truffle butter. One of my faves.


Escargot was a huge hit and these got a little Southern top hat of hushpuppies.

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Rounding out what came to the table: Beet Salad, Trio de Pate and for entrees a wonderful Bistro Filet with Fries, Hen of the Woods (a type of mushroom and served as a vegetarian dish)  Pork tenderloin, and Grouper.

For dessert, a frozen lemon soufflé with fresh berries and lemon curd, the Katharine cookie plate and the sweet potato creme brûlée with benne wafer.  Typically, I like my creme brûlée unfooled-around with, but this incarnation had a lovely autumnal flavor, not too sweet…in fact there was a slight savoriness that was delicious.

We were all impressed with the execution of the dishes. My favorite dish had to be the the escargot (surprisingly) and the scallops were a close second because the black truffle butter on the risotto was divine. Fellow diner, Chef Harrison Littell, said the maitre’ d butter on the escargot was what set it apart for him. And though we’re having dinner in a Kimpton Hotel, he feels the restaurant will raise the game for all locally-owned restaurants in the area…and that’s a good thing. His wife, Andrea, of the blog TowniesWS, agreed. “It’s a beautiful space and really adds to the fabric of our city.” The hotel and restaurant do make you forget that you aren’t in a more metropolitan city, meanwhile it’s comfortable enough that no one feels out of place.

General Manager Herbie Gimmel says it’s important for the Kimpton to identify with the city and building that they are becoming part of. “Katharine Reynolds exemplifies the past and future of Winston-Salem. As a brasserie, we want to become part of the culture here.”

A brasserie is not supposed to be a fancy French restaurant, but rather be quite comfortable. Executive Chef Ed Witt, who moved to Winston-Salem from D.C., says the goal of the menu is approachability. “We want you to be able to come in and have a burger or steak and frittes or a Caesar salad. It’s a little bit of something for everyone and we want everyone to feel comfortable enough after the end of a long day to just hang out.”

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Chef Ed Witt places a finishing touch

Wanna go? The Katharine Brasserie & Bar  is located at 4th and Main Street in Winston-Salem. Open for breakfast and dinner. Lunch hours will be added in the coming weeks. katharinebrasserie.com