11 best

by Charles Womack

Things i miss eating

CARBTINI AND COWBOY RIBEYE Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Greensboro

For the past four weeks my wife, Gracie, and I have been on Nutri-System. For me, it was an act of despiration as I had let myself hit the highest number on the scale I had ever seen and I had to do something. I have to say it is the easiest and most educating diet plan I have ever tried. The food they supply is pretty good, but the way the program teaches you to eat fruits, vegetables, fats and carbs has taught me lot. As much as I enjoy losing the weight and eating in this nutritious, controlled way, there are some things I really miss — like Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Their crabtini is lump crabmeat tossed in a vinaigrette and served with a classic Creole remoulade sauce in a chilled martini glass. And the cowboy ribeye is a huge bone-in version of this USDA prime cut. Ruth’s Chris is in a class all by itself when it comes to steaks.


This is a fantastic sandwich and one I could eat over and over for lunch every day because it has chicken and an apple. Hey! That’s healthy! The sandwich is a grilled chicken breast topped with red delicious apple slices, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and honey mustard on a toasted bun. The guys at Finnigan’s Wake deserve a hand for this one, and make sure you order it with sweet potato fries on the side.

GARLIC KNOTS AND THE ITALIAN SUB Burke Street Pizza, Winston-Salem

The garlic knots are pizza dough turned into knots and then baked in the oven, tossed in olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese and oregano and then served with a side of marinara. The Italian sub is served hot or cold and features a trio of deli meats (lean ham, Genoa salami, pepperoni) provolone cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, choice of mustard or mayo, oil and vinegar. There is nothing like either one of these on the Nutri- System diet.

DUSTY ROADS ICE CREAM Brusters, Triad wide

I have written about this ice cream before and it is one of the things I really miss, especially now that it’s warmer. Dusty Road is a malted vanilla ice cream with caramel and chocolate malt balls. If you ask, they will make you a whole gallon of it

REGULAR CHICK-FIL-A Chick-fil-A, Triad wide

It’s so simple: a fried chicken breast on a soft bun, with a pickle slice. And yet, it’s revolutionary. Even during my worst eating binges, a Chick-fil-A sandwich and the one pickle were always the healthy spot in my diet. I usually get two and skip the waffle fries. But the leftover fries that fall out of my kids orders are especially good when dipped in their Polynesian sauce. Now I just drive past and sigh.

NO. 14 BOOTLEGGER CLUB Jimmy Johns, Triad wide

I’ve known owner Mitch Clark since he opened his first store on Stanley Road in Greensboro, and I’ve been hooked on the Jimmy ever since. My favorite sandwich is made up of roast beef, turkey breast, lettuce, tomato and mayo. This is a masterpiece and the fact that you can order it and have it almost at your door before you hang up is amazing. My sons also work there now, which makes this diet extra hard when they come home smelling like roast beef and fresh-baked bread.

Z HOUSE ROLL Zen Sushi & Sake Bar, Greensboro

I love Zen and frequented the place on a weekly basis with the family. It is probably the place that my kids miss the most as well — because my wife and I don’t get to go to restaurants anymore, so nobody takes them. My favorite roll is the Z House Roll which features baked scallops on top of a spicy crab roll, topped with red and green tobikko.


Over the years I’ve amassed a pretty good knwledge of Chinese food in the area, from sit-downs to buffets to delivery. And one of the best is right near my office. Of all the fast-serve Chinese restaurants in the Triad, Golden Wok is my favorite. They may feature many familiar names on the menu, but I think they do it better. My first choice is always the GTC extra crunchy and spicy with a side of lo mein. My kids ordered it the other night and it was brutal to keep away.

BLACKENED SEARED RARE TUNA TACOS Bistro at Adams Farm, Greensboro

Bistro Chef Christina Fuller has created some wonderful things that I have been fortunate enough to try. The tuna tacos are pieces of tuna served with kim chee and spicy garlic aioli. Back when I could eat whatever I wanted, I could shoot over to the Bistro and take down an order of these for an afternoon snack. Now I have an apple.


Skippy’s is legendary. Ever since I asked Justin Gomez of the Downtown Winston Partnership what one of his favorite places for lunch was, I’ve been a regular. What sets Skippy’s apart is not only the fact they serve Nathan’s all-beef franks, it’s that the buns are homemade pretzel rolls. My favorite, the Chicago Dog, comes with mustard, onions, sweet relish, dill pickle, tomato, banana peppers and celery salt.


This is my gut-buster. When I’m really, really hungry and want to be filled up for hours, Cook Out has the cure. Their burgers win our Readers Choice awards over and over, but their fries and milkshakes are also some of the best in the Triad.