Bring me the local favorites: We want you, we need you
Recently, a local publication drew the ire of many this past week when it polled its newsroom to find out what restaurants are needed in Winston-Salem.
Oh, the backlash! Oh, the vitriol!
Why? Because it was a list full of corporately-owned chains: An ice cream chain, fast-food chicken, and several burger chains. Only one was a locally-owned establishment in another town, and I agree, Come Back Shack, with its two locations (Boone and Charleston), would be a great addition to any city.
And dear foodies, I was so very proud. You came out hardcore on the side of local.
Sometimes people get really excited about chain restaurants, and they serve a purpose and offer the diner an expectation in their experience, but a chain restaurant doesn’t offer the personal impact that I’m seeking when I dine out, and many others feel the same way.
So I asked my readers (not our newsroom) what local restaurant they’d like to see in their town that’s already in another city. I’m talking to you, Pho Hien Vuong and Cheesecakes by Alex. But maybe you’d love to see Jerusalem Market in Winston-Salem, or Philippines eatery Asian BBQ & Grill in Greensboro or your favorite Korean place in High Point, The Humble Bee Shoppe in Greensboro, anyone? I don’t think there would be backlash on that idea at all.
It’s impossible to list them all, but here are some standouts from the survey:
Greensboro > Winston-Salem
Pho Hien Vuong: I might have led the charge on this one. The pho is the best I’ve had in the area, and there’s not a real tried and true Vietnamese restaurant in Winston-Salem. PHV would be the perfect fit.
1618: Many feel that the restaurant group’s offerings would be perfectly suited for the Camel City.
Blue Denim: Because Cajun is so good and is sorely lacking in Winston!
Jerusalem Market: The wraps, sandwiches, and plates at this icon are hard to beat.
Winston-Salem > Greensboro
Finnigan’s Wake: A few folks said they wouldn’t mind being able to enjoy this Winston-Salem favorite in the Gate City.
Penny Path Cafe & Crêpe Shop: Who wouldn’t want a crêpe shop in their downtown? (Pssst, Chez Genese has crêpes in downtown Greensboro.)
Durham > Winston-Salem
Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings, & Sweets: All I have to say is when you go, you know, and you become a believer.
Rockin’ Rolls Sushi: Conveyor belt, all-you-can-eat sushi–I don’t know if I can get behind the idea, as I like to see my sushi being prepared. Apparently, this concept is a hit in California, and the local eatery in Durham seems to be catching on. Fans say it’s super fresh.
People also say they wish an Ashley Christensen restaurant were here in the Triad. She hails from Kernersville, so we say, ditto!
Yadkin County > Winston-Salem or Anywhere
Kitchen Roselli: The very best gnocchi in the whole world, as well as wonderful lasagna and Laura’s Cream Puff. Another one of those that fall into the “you have to try it to believe it” category.
One thing people agree on for sure is there’s a severe lack of noodle shop, ramen and pho in Winston. Dim sum is needed anywhere in the Triad. Real dim sum, like Red Ginger in Asheville. Poke bowls are finally arriving in the Triad, and lastly, a few folks are nostalgic for some good Cuban food in any city, especially since the departure of Miami Cafe. Fortunately, to get your Cuban fix, there’s always Mojito Mobile Kitchen.
One thing’s for sure: We’re not hurting for impeccable restaurants, owned or led by talented chefs. What we love is that you want to see your favorites right here next to you. But aren’t you glad the drive there, even if it’s across the county line, is relatively short? We’re all basically 30 to 45 minutes from a stellar, locally-owned dining experience and to that I say, eat local!