Sweet-potato dumplings to die for

by Eric Ginsburg

It´s not hard to find good food in Greensboro, but it is a relatively rare occasion when I stumble across great food, something that really stands out and merits regular return visits. I take some pride in finding such hidden treasures myself rather than being alerted by a friend, and seize the opportunity to spread the word.

Introducing: Karondas’ sweet-potato dumplings. The friendly waitress, sporting large doorknocker earrings and a strong Southern accent, said the $5 dumplings are more like dessert and should be saved for last. Trusting her judgment, I pushed the morsels covered in powdered sugar to the side, and dug into the barbecue wings and “poppers,” Karondas’ word for fried pimiento-cheese sticks.

When it finally came time to try the dumplings, I poked at their dark brown exterior and realized they were rather squishy though I had imagined they would be firm.

As my teeth sunk into the sweet potatoes, I was reminded of the feeling of biting into a chocolate with an unknown center and suddenly realizing that it is far more satisfying than I could have anticipated. I audibly responded to how good the dumplings tasted. Going to Karondas and passing on the sweet-potato dumplings is like going to the beach and sitting under an umbrella the entire time — it’s still worth the trip, but why would you deny yourself the ocean? Upon sitting down, I realized I had already made a big mistake. I would only be able to stop in once for this article, and here I was, on a Tuesday night, realizing there is an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet on Sundays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., including three meat options and eight vegetables, as well as bread and dessert. I decided to forgo the $3 cheese quesadilla special for the day, electing to consume what sounded most appetizing.

Unlike some other sports bars, the venue is divided into a more typical restaurant dining area on one side and a bar on the other, rather than cramming both into the same space. The televisions, each playing a different sports channel, are set back in the dining area, allowing patrons to watch a game without the TV invading their dining experience.

I am determined to find my favorite wings in town, and while I trust our readers to some extent, I know I need to decide for myself. The deceivingly named “jumbo” wings were regularly sized, though they were all prime picks and I was fully satisfied. The barbecue sauce was slightly sweeter than normal, but for someone with a sweet tooth like mine this posed no problem.

I’ve never tried fried pimento cheese before, but a coworker who is familiar with the bar recommended it or the $14.50 ribeye steak, so I opted for the $6 poppers. Karondas offers the cheese hot or cold or fried. My curiosity took hold, and as I devoured the fried pimiento cheese, I noticed a hint of jalapeño and the relatively thin outer layer, allowing the cheese flavor to properly dominate the starter. Unassuming from the outside, Karondas is tucked off a side street in northeast Greensboro. Named for owners Karen and Ronda, the sports bar attracted an array of clientele during my meal, including families and older married couples. With $1.50 Budweiser and $2 Yuengling daily, it’s easy to imagine the place full of college students and recent graduates if it were closer to any of the campuses.

wanna go?

Karondas Sports Bar & Grill 2036 Rankin Mill Road

Greensboro 336.375.4330