Boomr’z Brings Margaritaville to Winston-Salem
Fried shrimp po’boy with fries and fried okra at Boomr’z (photo by Joe Murphy)
We set off Friday evening from downtown Greensboro to find Boomr’z, Winston-Salem’s only Caribbean restaurant, bar and live music venue. Roughly half an hour later we were there — off of Hanes Mall Boulevard, next to the Hooters, at Boomr’z freshly minted location (formerly the Wild Wing Caf’). I’ve worked at several restaurants of various repute, and my friends both currently wait tables, so we were curious to see how a restaurant, bar and live music venue — with a Caribbean flair — could be synthesized into a functioning establishment.
We entered and immediately noted the spacious interior that allowed room for a family dining area, an elevated bar sheltered by a tin roof adorned with beer company schwag and a stage placed prominently across from the bar.
We were seated in a booth, and I ordered a Singapore Sling that came in a rocks glass. We glanced over the extensive menu of seafood, steak and chicken that included sandwiches in the $6-$10 range, entrees in the $12-$20 range. All the typical appetizers are accounted for as well, from wings to nachos to mozzarella sticks.
I ordered the oyster po-boy with a fried sweet plantain on the side.
My friends respectively ordered a flathead pulled-pork plate with sweet potato on the side and a Jamaican jerk-chicken sandwich with fries.
By the time our orders were taken I was done with my Singapore Sling and ordered a Mai Tai, which came in a pint glass. I rose from the dining area and ventured to the elevated bar to take a look at what beers they had on tap. As I approached the bar I nearly bumped into a man who I could have sworn was ’80s-era Jimmy Buffett, Corona in hand and all. I refocused and scoped out the taps. Boomr’z has more than 20 beers on tap varying from the domestic staples to local crafts and imports (though no Red Stripe, to my disappointment).
When I sat back down at our booth our server approached and informed me that unbeknownst to him both oysters and plantains were 86ed for the night. It happens, so I switched my order to the fried shrimp po-boy with fries and a side of fried okra.
Our food came promptly after that and by all accounts was delicious.
The shrimp on my po-boy, topped with lettuce and tomato, were plump and fresh. Though I’m not much of a fried okra fan, Boomr’z were excellent: crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Through the course of the meal, I sipped my Mai Tai, which tasted weak to me, but I like to be able to taste the booze in my drinks so that I know it’s there.
Towards the end of our meal, at about 10 p.m., the evening’s band, 80s and Up, took the stage and began belting out “classics” of a bygone era like “Jump” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” When they blazed through “Shook Me All Night” I realized that the lead singer — adorned in tight, light blue jeans with holes in the knees and shoulder length curly hair — did have a Bon Scott (had he survived) kind of look. Too bad “Shook Me All Night” was a Brian Johnson-era AC/DC track.
We went outside to burn a stick and were taken aback by the spacious outdoor patio complete with tables, chairs and umbrellas. With its size and location, Boomr’z is appropriate for a casual business lunch, family dinner and after- hours bar and live music venue.
If you ever want to get “wasted away again” off of Hanes Mall Boulevard, Boomr’z is the spot.
Boomr’z 110 Hanes Square Circle Winston-Salem