Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

Some people get phone calls asking, “What are you wearing right now?” I’ll spare you those details and tell you what I’m eating right now – a few samples from Poblano’s new lunch menu: A Mexican pizza on flatbread with seasoned, grilled chicken, enchilada sauce and tons of that melty Mexican cheese. Also on the plate is a Buffalo shrimp wrap, made with real nice shrimp and carrying a decent degree of heat.

And what I’m thinking about is the coming storm. Food prices are rising and family budgets are shrinking tighter and tighter in the current economic climate, which is bad news for independently owned sit-down restaurants. Revival Grill in Greensboro has closed. So has Crush in High Point. And a reader tells me his newest favorite Greensboro restaurant, Sahari, which focuses on Sudanese cuisine, is on short time as well. “Go eat fast,” he writes. “It will soon be gone.”

Entrée Vous in Greensboro adapts to the marketplace by offering vacation packs: pre-assembled meals designed for vacationing families with access to a kitchen to save on meals while traveling. For more information, call the store at 336.790.8711.

But there’s plenty to do, culinarily speaking, to take your mind off the economy.

The Piedmont Triad Farmers Market brings Blueberry Day on Friday, with free blueberry ice cream and lots of samples.

The Greensboro Farmers Curb Market celebrates Tomato Day on Saturday. Sample 20 different kinds of tomatoes (love those German Johnsons) and vote on your favorite. This one is also free.

And EarthFare in Greensboro explores the connections between ADHD and nutrition in a lecture and demonstration on Monday at 6:30 p.m.

The Grove Winery in Gibsonville has begun a 2,100-square-foot addition to the winery, citing increased business and a good deal on concrete and steel as catalysts. “I think the increase in fuel prices has been the biggest driver of our phenomenal 2008 sales growth”, said Max Lloyd, head winemaker and owner of Grove. “People are vacationing closer to home and embracing local agriculture. We’re seeing a rapidly increasing growth slope.” The Grove will also fight high prices with an 11-day inflation sale through next Tuesday. The award-winning 2005 merlot, chardonnay, claret and Haw River White will be priced below cost at about $4.40 a bottle. “Because of the construction, it’s cheaper to sell these wines than to store and move them around,” Lloyd said.

And speaking of wine, Greensboro’s Press Wine Café will hold an Iron Press tasting on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to decide which new labels to include in their ever-changing wine list. Check out the site,, for more details.