If you're not much for fried food, barbecue or carbs in general, I might recommend you skip a visit to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The guidebook in our hotel room said that the city is known for two vices: cigarettes and donuts. We were there for just two nights to go to a bridal shower, but our lovely hosts, Winston native Holly and Sean's BFF Arthur, made sure we experienced the best the city has to offer.
At the bridal shower, I had homemade pulled pork BBQ Western North Carolina-style. Our host fixed my sandwich for me, telling me that what makes it Western-style is the vinegar-and-tomato sauce, with dashes of Texas Pete (created in Winston) and fine chopped cole slaw on top. The result is a spicy, vinegary mess that is delicious. Sean had four sandwiches, no joke.
For breakfast, Holly took us to Breakfast of Course, an artsy place that serves breakfast all day. It used to be known as Mary's of Course, but it outgrew its space. Mary herself was there serving up plate-sized pancakes, chili bowls and pimento cheese biscuits.
I had the day's special: lemon-thyme french toast topped with lemon curd and yes, I cleaned my plate. It was SOOOOO good, savory and sweet and tart and fresh, and not nearly as heavy as the usual French toast. I asked if the bread was a challah bread and Mary wasn't revealing any secrets. She just said it's a lemon-thyme bread, which essentially means no, I will not be mastering this at home.
After brunch, we headed out to Yadkinville, where our hosts will be married in a fall ceremony at Hanover Park Vineyard. The artist couple who owns the winery bought the run-down 1897 farmhouse in 1996 and restored it. It had beautiful reclaimed wood for shutters and was just lovely.
We had a little wine tasting, and their blueberry wine was TO DIE FOR. We also loved their mourvedre, a grape that only they grow in North Carolina.
For dinner, we headed to Foothills Brewing. We had about six or seven people recommend it unsolicited, and you can't ignore that amount of people when they're jumping up and down to tell you. The food was delicious bar fare with a Southern spin; I had fish and chips and some mac and cheese. But the beer is what's important right? I had a delicious seasonal beer called the Hurricane Hefeweizen, with notes of banana and cloves. I'm known for never finishing those last few sips, but I knocked this one out.
We finished the night out at the original Krispy Kreme, watching the incredible process through large windows. Sean and Arthur both hot the originals and they were, as they say, "hot now." When they have fresh hot doughnuts, they will literally melt in your mouth.
That's fine and all, but I was seduced by the Cheerwine Creme donut. I loooove Cheerwine (blame it all on my roots) and this did not disappoint. Now I'm scheming ways to replicate the flavor at home.
All in all, we had a great little weekend in the city and I'm excited to explore more when we return in the fall. I'm especially excited to try to find some furniture scores and hoping I'll have a car that can accommodate them by then.