Tag Archives: Greensboro

Join us for triadfoodies Chef’s Table at Taaza Bistro this Wednesday!

Good golly it’s been a while since I posted. I will try to change that.

With homeschooling (OMG) and writing each week for YES! Weekly and the general responsibilities of life, I find it hard to stop and make myself post something. But I def wanted to let you know that we have a few more seats available at our monthly Chef’s Table coming up Wednesday in Greensboro at Taaza Fresh Indian Bistro.

What is Chef’s Table? It’s basically our way of getting you into a restaurant and in front of a chef for a VERY affordable price for a taste of what’s on the menu. It’s a way of letting the chef surprise us and it’s SUPER fun. We started in May 2016 and we’ve gone strong since then, some with sell-out crowds. There’s limited seating available and as I write this we have 5 seats remaining.

Here’s how it works. You click this link and it sends you to the Eventbrite site and there you purchase your tickets. You’ll enjoy a multi-course global meal… but I never know what’s going to be served. We’re all surprised. No menu…just delicious surprises…all from the creative noggin of the chef/culinary team or maybe something they are wanting to highlight from the menu. And sometimes it requires you to think out of the box, get out of your comfort zone. Most of the dishes are served family style, so if you don’t like chevre or kale or venison, then you can nibble and let the rest of your comrades enjoy.

About Taaza Fresh Indian Bistro….you can read the review I wrote about them in YES! Weekly.img_0485 It was amazing and the BEST Indian food I’ve ever had with excellent service.

I think you’ll love it. Join us by clicking the ticket link above!

I also have some exciting news to share but you’ll have to wait until the next post.

See ya later foodies!

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The Fresh Market’s Fresh Look AND you can win a $50 Gift Card!

The Fresh Market recently underwent some “freshening up” …take a look!

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Photo courtesy Micciche Photography

The company, based out of Greensboro, has always had a top-notch almost specialty type store. You could go there for great local items, that awesome butcher shop, fresh seasonal produce, hard to find oils, sauces…a stellar cheese section, etc. But you couldn’t just find your common every day items (think common name brand toilet paper and name brand laundry detergent, a baby section or Cheerios). TFM took a cue from customers and expanded their offerings, including a baby section AND a vitamin and body shop. There’s also a huge focus on more local items, highlighting the farms that supply them and easy signage for gluten-free, non-gmo and organics.  I was at the Grand Re-Opening on Highwoods in Greensboro and they took me on a tour. You’ll find a similar change at the other two Triad stores (Winston-Salem and on Lawndale in Greensboro) and eventually they’ll roll out the Raleigh area and Charlotte in late November and in continuing waves throughout the country through early 2018.

Here’s a sneak peek at what has changed. But you should check them out in person. I think you’ll be happy about what you’ll find.

Local, highlighting the farms in the region….

Same great items you’ve loved plus a new vitamin and body section with a staff member for that section to answer your questions…this used to be the wine section which is now stacked and categorized nearby…

And now you can do your shopping in one place with those non-specialty items that you probably had to go make a run for at a 2nd stop like baby items, pet and paper products…

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I love going to The Fresh Market. I always have. I joke with my kids that they take away from the experience because they are always rushing me (when I don’t want to be rushed…not there). Then there’s the whole bribing with a chocolate chip cookie, etc. So you know what we’re dealing with here. But the chocolate chip cookie is so worth it 🙂 The most dramatic change is apparent when you nl longer see the bins and antiques full of the bulk candies and nuts. Those items now have their own row to make room for new rows of the expanded offerings.

One thing I loved is the great sampling and pre-prepped foods area right in front. You don’t have to go to the back. Get in and out with your chopped veggies and some chicken kabobs or meatballs, and turn around and check out and you’re out the door without walking more than 25 feet. The recipes and samplings change every week.  Dinner is prepped and all you have to do is cook it. Also special to the Highwoods store, is a juice and smoothie bar out front.

It’s almost like The Fresh Market took a little bit about what we love from some of our favorite grocery chains. The fun and ease of specially priced items, pre-chopped and ready to cook meals like you’ll find at Publix, easy identifiable organic, non-gmo and gluten-free as we’d find at Whole Foods, and lots more local items marked “local” and now the every day items. They’ve also lowered prices on thousands of items while keeping that awesome cheese shop, bakery, butchery and deli that you’ve loved for years. Nothing was taken away, just added awesomeness. Just a note…if you don’t see something there that you know is a must, you can visit their website and make a suggestion.

So foodies, they’ve given me a $50 gift card to giveaway to a lucky reader. Just comment below or on my social media pages what your favorite item is at The Fresh Market. I’ll draw next Friday!

Win this $50 Gift Card! fullsizerender-11

Good luck!

 

 

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

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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?

foodie b’eat: Competition Dining Dates Announced…Get Your Pre-Sale Tix!!

Greetings, foodies!

Here’s the latest from our friends at the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Competition with schedule details for all the cities plus a link to PRE-SALE tickets!  The chefs are building their teams and we should know soon who’s on the Dream Teams. There will be teams this year in Winston-Salem AND in Greensboro, along with Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte and Wilmington and the winners of those cities will go to the battle of champions in the fall. And guess what? Once again, this year, I’ll be in WS and GSO for all the action so be sure to follow along at @compdiningnc on Twitter for photos and descriptions as well as chatter!  Below is a photo of last year’s winners. Winston-Salem’s own, Chef Richard Miller, of Graze, was our local winner and  Chef Ryan Conklin (second to left) of Rex Healthcare was state champ (that’s right…a HOSPITAL chef won…but Chef Ryan is no ordinary hospital chef.) Tickets are on sale beginning in April for the Durham event. Be sure to check out their webpage for PRE-SALE tickets . Many events sell out, so you might want to get a jump on it before tickets go on sale for the masses.

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Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series Announces 2016 Schedule with Battles in Six North Carolina Cities

Interactive Chef Tournament Launches Dream Team Concept for the Ultimate Dining Experience

The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the state’s food, agriculture and culinary talent, is back for 2016 with a total of eight tournaments across the state, each made up of four chef teams vying for the local title. The touring competition will have dual brackets in both Raleigh and Charlotte, and one tournament in each of Durham, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Wilmington. It all culminates in October with the Battle of Champions to name a statewide victor.

Applications for chefs interested in competing are currently being accepted for all locations. This year, the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is switching formats to allow chefs to create All-Star Dream Teams. The change allows chefs from different restaurants to partner together to create their three-person team, upping the potential caliber and creating a more fun and competitive atmosphere for all.

“We’re excited to introduce this new Dream Team concept that will further showcase the immense culinary talent and agriculture in North Carolina with the 2016 Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series,” said Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host. “Our mission is to connect and celebrate with foodies across the state through this dynamic, entertaining culinary experience. We look forward to sharing unique chef collaborations with our diners to make for an unprecedented year of highly competitive events with innovative dishes like never before.”

Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series battles include two chef teams each preparing three courses centered on a featured ingredient that comes from a North Carolina farmer or artisan producer. Featured ingredients are revealed to the chefs the morning of the dinner event and must be used in every course. Ticketed guests get in on the action, savoring the full-service, six-course meals without knowing which chef prepared which plate. Alongside culinary and guest judges, diners rate each dish using an interactive app, ultimately determining who moves on to the next round and who goes home.

The 2016 Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series dinner battles will be held in:

Durham: April 18, 19 and 21
Winston-Salem: May 22, 23 and 25
Greensboro: June 20, 21 and 23
Raleigh (two brackets): July 11, 12, 14, 18, 19, 21 and a finale to name one Raleigh champion July 24
Charlotte (two brackets): Aug. 8, 9, 11, 22, 23, 25 and a finale to name one Charlotte champion Aug. 28
Wilmington: Sept. 19, 20 and 22

The six winners will move on to compete in the Battle of Champions at the end of the year. Since Raleigh and Charlotte teams must compete in an extra battle to win their local title, these chefs will receive a bye for the first round of the championship.

Tickets to attend an interactive dinner battle are $59 to $69 each and will officially go on sale for each series once that local bracket is announced. Discounted pre-sale tickets for all tournaments are available now for $10 less than standard pricing at http://www.competitiondining.com. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly, and people interested in attending are encouraged to signup for the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series e-newsletter for the most recent ticket updates and news.

All chefs are invited to apply to compete in any of the six tournaments. The application and a complete list of rules are available at www.competitiondining.com/compete.

The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is sponsored by the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Pate Dawson-Southern Foods,Certified Angus Beef®, and local and regional partners throughout the state. The goal of the series is to celebrate North Carolina products and agriculture, and to showcase the culinary ingenuity and talent across the state. For more information, visit http://www.competitiondining.com or get in on the conversation at www.facebook.com/competitiondining and @CompDiningNC on Twitter or Instagram.

#followmeto…a 1618 Food Crawl

foodie b’eat….From YES! Weekly

Thinking how much we love a good food crawl, the hubs and I contemplated what we could do on our date night. And since 1618 Concepts has 3 successful restaurants all reasonably close to one another (driving distance), we thought, wouldn’t it be fun to crawl just those three spots? Owner Nick Wilson and business partner George Neal’s three restaurants are supremely popular and we’ve watched them grow from the Grille on Friendly to three restaurants and a food truck (1618 On Location). We saw that it was the last weekend that all 3 locations would have some sort of calamari on the menu and the Wilson and his personable team were encouraging all kinds of interaction on social media, etc. We decided to get in on the fun.

Remember, food crawls take pacing and if you’re on a budget, just be mindful of costs going in. Appetizers (or even entrees) are meant to be shared. Preferably with more than two people. We were on a date night, so we knew we’d only likely order one plate per restaurant.  Are you going to get drinks with your shared apps? Consider that too, as wine or cocktails can be $8-12 and beer around $4. If you avoid cocktails (but why?), you can do a 3 x food crawl for about $50-60 with tip. Mr. foodie and I almost never play it that way. There’s almost always a cocktail at least one place and usually the menu looks so good, we want one more item to try. Like I say, the more the merrier. Bring your peeps!

Going in you have to plan and that’s just what we did. Our itinerary: 1) 1618 Seafood Grille 2)1618 Downtown 3) 1618 Wine Lounge. When we got to the Grille, it was p.a.c.k.e.d.  Even the bar. So, going in you also have to be flexible so we altered our plans, decided first to hit the Downtown location, then come back to the Grille. So first stop…

1618 Downtown, 312 South Elm Street, Greensboro

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Szechuan Glazed Calamari

The featured calamari was a Szechuan Glaze with basil cream sauce, roasted peanut remoulade, chili oil, sesame carrot sprout and cilantro salad. Beautiful to look. The calamari was incredibly tender. The roasted peanut remoulade and the chili oil gave it a great sweet and spicy kick you might have had on sesame noodles at an Asian restaurant. We were really hungry and plowed right through it. It’s about enough for 2 people. This is the only calamari that is leaving the 1618 menus this week. It’s very customary for 1618 Downtown to change its menu often and the only items staying are the sandwiches. We ordered one more item, the spicy tuna crispy sushi roll. The reason is that we want to show you something that will be familiar when you go. There’s almost always a sushi grade tuna dish on the menu here. This tuna roll was still shareable, with pickled butternut squash, granny smity apple wasabi and balsamic caviar. We wish it had been a bit bigger, but it was still great. Still, calamari wins and I really wish they’d consider keeping it on the menu for a few more weeks (just so you get the chance to try it). Libation Manager, Jake Skinner, had his own suggestion, “You could do a 1618 crawl just on pomme frites. They’re that good.” If you don’t mind the carbo load, they’re of the truffle variety with spicy ketchup and honey parmigianno reggiano aioli.

Stop 2….1618 Seafood Grille, 1618 West Friendly Avenue

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Wasabi Glazed Calamari at 1618 Seafood Grille 

So in the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I’ve had the calamari at 1618 Seafood Grille.  And since, it has set the standard for any calamari I’ve had far and wide. It also has some very odd ingredients as far as calamari goes. Tossed in a wasabi glaze over red bean salsa, chipotle remoulade, sprouts and fresh basil oil. They like their sprouts at 1618. This visit was no exception. Still the most tender, crispy flavorful calamari. The red beans are very tender and have a hint of cumin, then the sweetness of the wasabi glaze and basil oil, the spicy remoulade. It’s indescribable. They absolutely won’t take it off the menu because it’s such a hit. It goes down easy and is over too soon. We would’ve order something else, but a 3rd calamari was calling our name.

Stop 3…1618 Wine Lounge, 1724 Battleground Avenue

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Back when my blog, triadfoodies.com was just a little bitty baby, 1618 Wine Lounge was my very first real post. My, haven’t we come far! And the Wine Lounge is just as popular as it ever was. Stylish, sexy and a great vibe. And just as known for its terrific small plates. The calamari is tomato glazed with percorino romano cream, fresh mozzarella, basil salad and lemon aioli. It reads like the kind of calamari you are used to. The kind that has a slight Italian spin which is dipped into marinara. But it certainly doesn’t look like that. It was so pretty, with lovely sweet heirloom grape tomatoes that paired nicely with the pecorino romano cream and the mozzarella. It almost didn’t need the aioli, but a little dab here added brightness overall. We were told by one of our servers that this calamari dish is here for another couple of months.

Winner of the night: 1618 Seafood Grille’s gorgeous wasabi glazed with the red beans. The beans!! No lie. It’s the best and we’ve ordered calamari…well, lots of places.

Sufficiently filled with baby squid, we then called it a night, only to start scheming about our next food crawl. Who wants us? Winston-Salem?….High Point?…Kernersville?

Shout out to #followmeto, founded by photographer Murad Osmann and his wife, Nataly, who travel the world and take photos of her leading him….or him following her to exotic or interesting places worldwide, hence the hashtag. They kind of started a movement so we thought we’d have our own foodie version of it here.

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Wanna go? 1618 Seafood Grille is located at 1618 West Friendly Avenue, open daily for dinner as well as Sunday brunch; The Wine Lounge is located at 1724 Battleground Avenue, open Monday-Saturday evenings until late. 1618 Downtown is located 312 S. Elm Street, open for lunch Monday-Friday and dinner Tuesday-Saturday. For more details and links visit 1618concepts.com