by Brian Clarey

Courses include a barbecue trio, sausage, a lamb burger and sticky toffee made with chocolate stout. Make a reservation at 336.777.8477/ Encore American Bistro in WinstonSalem holds a wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. with bottles from Mochael David Winery.

Courses include smoked trout, braised lamb pot pie and pintower sorbet. Reserve a table at 336.722.9911. On Saturday, Fatz Café in Greensboro holds a pancake fundraiser beginning at 7:30 a.m. to benefit Dudley High School And all weekend long, area Lowe’s Foods and Food Lion stores hold food drives for Greensboro Urban Ministry, while Total Wine & More looks at holiday wines at the tasting tables at all three Triad locations. Got room for one more? I hear the North Carolina Strawberry crop is coming in earlier than usual this year due to the mild winter. Expect all of your favorite strawber- ry farms to have ripe crops 10 days to two weeks in advance of the usual harvest. Get more information at

Easter is on the horizon, my little marshmallow Peeps, and it looks like I’ll behaving 30 or so of my closest friends and family members at the house for the annual feat this year. That, friends, is a lot of Easter eggs.

Meanwhile, Starbucks introduces a new line of energy drinks, Refreshers, made with green coffee extract, for when espresso is just not enough. Wendy’s launches a new spicy guacamole chicken club. And Sheetz — my favorite gas station/restaurant combo in the world — has opened a new Greensboro store on West Market Street and is building another on New Garden Road.

And Chef Alan Romano of GTCC’s culinary program recently added two more awards to his lost of decorations. He took a Cutting Edge Award from the American Culinary Federation earlier this month, and was given a plaque for outstanding service and dedication by the American Academy of Chefs.

On Thursday, Noble’s Grill holds a Natty Greene’s beer dinner at 6:30 p.m.