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913 Whiskey Bar comes with a southern kitchen

by Kristi Maier

@triadfoodies

If there’s any place in the Triad that looks like its name, it’s 913 Whiskey Bar.

Even the menu is full of bar plates. But you may not realize that this little spot at the corner of Chapman and Spring Garden streets in Greensboro has a full kitchen and is thusly known as 913 Whiskey Bar & Southern Kitchen. Here you’ll see a plethora of southern treats like pulled pork, ribs, wings, mac & cheese and even chicken & waffles. At a bar. A whiskey bar.

It’s a whiskey bar because you’ll find one of the most extensive lists of whiskey, Irish Whiskey, Scotch, Bourbon and Rye around. There’s even Canadian & Japanese Whiskey. And if whiskey isn’t your thing, then you’ll be happy to know that 913 Whiskey Bar has a fully stocked bar of all the other spirits as well and a few signature craft cocktails that they highlight.

Of course they are overflowing in local and regional craft beer and wine.

We entered from the parking area in the back via Spring Garden and walked through the patio. You can enter from the front too, but there’s limited parking available. The ambiance is very casual. A semi-circular bar area is at the “front” that faces Chapman and the dining room extends to the back. There are various television screens for your sports enjoyment. It’s very rustic and beautifully decorated without being “pretty.” Owner Matthew Medaloni, who owns The Tasting Room next door, says they intentionally set out to give it a reclaimed look and took pains in doing so. “I chose the reclaimed barn brick myself. It’s over 100 years old.”

The smallness lends to a robust noise level. On a casual Saturday, that’s totally fine. In fact, I don’t mind a chatty establishment because it means I can bring my children. My kids would be all about this menu. Keep in mind though, it’s a bar/ kitchen with all that goes with it, so it may not be for all kids. On a great night, you could sit out on the patio. In fact, the dining room has a glass garage door that can open to let the al fresco feeling go from out to in.

The cuisine, headed by Chef Zach Foster, includes flatbreads, salads, sandwiches and “Southern classics.” We opted for filling our small table (of two) with multiple items to taste a little bit of everything.

We started with wedge salad, which was pretty basic. You shouldn’t be able to mess up a wedge salad and it remains one of our favorites. The dressing was gorgonzola and the tomato jam added a nice sweetness to the entire plate. A great starter if you feel like a salad. You can also add a protein (even pulled pork) to any of the salads.

The server said we had to order the Chicken & Waffles as it was one of the most popular items and they were nearly like dessert. The buttermilk fried chicken was piping hot and crispy on a peach and maple waffle with a bourbon maple syrup. Very decadent. It almost doesn’t need the syrup”¦but it’s fun to dip the chicken into it. You could share it and enjoy other menu items. If this is the only plate you order, you’ll be full. If you don’t order it, you’ll smell it first, then you’ll see it and you’ll wish you’d ordered it. So spare yourself the torture.

We also shared the Pulled Pork & Brisket Sliders, with the meat cooked low and slow, served on slider buns that have been toasted and topped with slaw and a sweet mustard BBQ sauce. Again, delicious and shareable (so you can try other items).

Cornmeal Crusted Catfish was my favorite on the table and one of the best fried catfish dishes I’ve had in a long time, if ever. Not since the Wild Magnolia have I enjoyed a fried catfish that kept its breading and didn’t taste overly fishy. They are dredged in cornmeal and served with a lemon tarter sauce. I’d go back just for this.

You know service is good when your food comes out so hot, you must wait just a few minutes to eat it. Steaming hot, which always deserves applause. If you don’t like to wait, sip on that cocktail. Medaloni says, “Except for fries and tots, we make everything fresh. If it takes a little longer it’s because we make it to order. We bread the chicken and fish and then fry them, only when the order comes in.”

I definitely want to go back and try the Southern Pintos. Being from the south, there’s nothing quite like a beautiful, hot bowl of pintos. It doesn’t show that it comes with corn bread so I’m not sure if that’s an option, but that’s what I’d hope for. Other veggie-inspired dishes are fried okra as well as collard greens.

We suggest that you go all out and enjoy them for what they set out to do. Whiskey sips and Southern plates. Pay attention to specials and keep a look out for their desserts as they also look yummy. But we were way too full to try. Next time”¦ !

WANNA go?

913 Whiskey Bar & Southern Kitchen is located at 913 Chapman Street. Open 5-11 Tuesday-Thursday and 5-12, Friday & Saturday. They don’t take reservations but they do take call ahead. 913whiskeybar.com

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