Sunday, November 19, 2017

PRINT WORKS BISTRO

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If you've ever driven down Wendover Avenue in Greensboro, then you've almost certainly caught a peek of PRINT WORKS BISTRO.  From Wendover, it looks sorta like it's in a canyon.  The address is Green Valley Road, the same as Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

But I warn you if you've never been there, it's not an easy place to find.  We spent several minutes driving in circles.  It's located on the back side of what looks like a very nice hotel.  Debbie said it's the Omni and I say it's the Proximity.  It's hard to say for sure because there were no signs to be seen from street level.

Finally, we spotted a very dark sign that simply said "BISTRO" with an arrow down a parking lot to another dark sign that said "BISTRO" and an arrow that pointed to the right.  Following the dark signs eventually led us to the secret lair of the restaurant. 

But it's a marvelous discovery once you do find it.  It is not what you would expect in a restaurant called a "bistro".  It is much too plush for the "bistro" designation.  It certainly does not fit the Wikipedia definition of "bistro".


The dining area is quite large and decorated quite luxuriously.

It was busy as hell when we arrived a few minutes late for our 8:00 PM reservation.  Yes, the driving in circles made us 5-10 minutes late.  This is not a place you want to go without making a reservation.

Debbie immediately commented she felt "under-dressed" for the setting.  She repeated her concern several times during the evening.  All her discomfort was total nonsense.  She was the "hottest" babe in the room and better dressed than 75% of the people there.  The fact that she was wearing tennis shoes seemed particularly bothersome to her.

On the other hand, I felt right at home in my tennis shoes with my shirt tail out.

Hell, nobody noticed and nobody cared how either one of us was dressed.  They were all too busy enjoying their dinner to notice us in a very busy place.  Obviously, a lot of somebodies knew how to find PRINT WORKS BISTRO, even if we didn't.

When seated Debbie was delighted with the chairs.  Debbie is somewhat height challenged and is almost always annoyed by restaurant seating that doesn't permit her feet to touch the floor.  He feet touched the floor at PRINT WORKS.   Hurray!

This might be a good evening after all of the searchings, driving in and out of parking lots and around hotels.

Debbie and I were seated at a four-person table across from each other.  The music was soft, but just slightly too loud.  We were able to carry on a conversation with a minimum of difficulty.

The only major annoyance was a party of about 12 people directly behind me.  And, of course, it was one of the party's birthday.  The waiters had to bring out a cake and sing "Happy Birthday".

Sometime later the party sang another round of "Happy Birthday".  They were all from somewhere "up north" and spoke loudly with a northern accent.  We guessed they were all drunk and from New Jersey.

Why does it always have to be somebody's birthday when we eat out?


This is the complimentary dish that was brought out before we ordered.  For some reason, I was fascinated with this dish - bread, a roasted garlic head, and butter.  I've never been served a roasted garlic head until PRINT BISTRO.

The bread was soft and tasty.  The garlic was made to be put on the bread on top of the butter.  The garlic was not particularly good when tasted "straight up", but was fantastic on the bread and butter. 

A word of caution:  don't eat the skin on the garlic.  You will have to dig out the garlic paste inside the skin and then spread it on your buttered bread.  Garlic "mining" is not an easy task, but it is worth the effort.


An above view of my buttered bread with the full garlic head.


Debbie applies butter to her bread.  Or. is it garlic?


Here's another word of caution: the water we were served does not come with lemon (that's good) and no ice (not so good).  If you want ice in your water, you'll have to order it.  I assume they have an ice machine that's not used very much.  Water is all we ordered, no wine.  Water without ice is a major disappointment for me.

In addition to no ice, we also had no entrees.  We decided to go kinky for the evening and just order four appetizers.  Four appetizers turned out to be a lot more food than we anticipated.


This is Toulouse Sausage flatbread.  Toulouse Sausage is from France.  I wondered if Toulouse Sausage is related to the famous French artist Toulouse Latrec.  Maybe Toulouse was a sausage maker as well as a famous artist.

I must say if Toulouse was also a sausage maker, he was a fine one.  PRINT WORKS added Kale, Lusty Monk Aioli (Lusty Monk is a brand), and Emmentaler Cheese.  Aioli is like a mayonnaise.  Emmental is a Swiss yellow medium-hard cheese.

The aioli is the white streaks on the sausage slices and crispy flatbread.  The Emmental cheese is the thin yellow coating.  The Kale is the green specks on the dish.  The combination of ingredients made for an excellent "pizza".

This was my favorite appetizer.  I think it came in second for Debbie.


Here's Debbie's favorite appetizer.  It's crispy fried PORK BELLY with a honey-chili glaze on the left.  TOMATO-AVOCADO relish on the right and CROSTINI in the middle.  Debbie loved the bits of PORK BELLY.   I thought the AVOCADO relish was the bomb when served on the CROSTINI (toast).

I've never really cared for the Guacamole that is served in every Mexican restaurant.  Guacamole is primarily avocado.  The PRINT WORKS avocado was nothing like the Mexican Guacamole.  To me, Guacamole is a flavorless paste.  PRINT WORKS avocado was an explosion of flavor.

Kudos to whoever created the TOMATO-AVOCADO relish.

I thought the PORK BELLY was good, but a tad cool.  Cool dishes are likely a consequence of ordering four appetizers with garlic bread.


Surprisingly the DUCK TARTINES did not come in first place with Debbie.  Debbie loves duck.  The dish was a duck confit served on herb buttered toast with Prima Donna crisps.  A tartine is an open-faced sandwich.

I have no idea what Prima Donna crisps are.  The InnerTubes tells me Prima Donna are everything from bras to cheese.  I'm guessing the yellow bits are the Prima Donna crisps.  I'm pretty sure they are not bras, so my best guess is cheese.  I should have focused on tasting the yellow bits alone, but I didn't.

Anyway, the dish was tasty.

If you know what Prima Donna Crisps are, please tell me.


According to the PRINT WORKS web site, this is the most popular dish they serve.  Maybe so.  But, with us, it was our least favorite.  It is TRUFFLE FRIES.

The fries, I suppose, are sprinkled with a truffle oil.  They are served with a rouille sauce.  Rouille is an olive oil based sauce with breadcrumbs, garlic, cayenne pepper, and saffron.

The sauce sounds spectacular, but I thought it lacked flavor.

The fries were plentiful and tasty enough to not require salt which is something I always put on my fries.

Actually, the serving size of the TRUFFLE FRIES was so large, we could not finish the entire dish.  We also did not eat all of our bread and garlic head with butter.

Four appetizers did not leave any room for dessert.  The dessert menu looked good as it had wine and liquor suggestions for each dessert.  I'm sorry we could not try it.


This is our waiter Mark-Henry.  He's the one on the right.  Mark-Henry was helpful without being annoying.  Notice Mark-Henry's uniform.  All the servers were dressed to impress.

I wanted to be served by the waiter with a "man-bun", but it was not to be.  I'm sorry I don't have a photo of him as I only caught a brief glimpse of him. 

Debbie and I talked extensively about "man-buns".  She decided I have too much hair for a "man-bun".  She said thin and stringy hair is needed for a "man-bun".  According to Debbie, my hair is too "lustrious" for a "man-bun".  I'm not sure what "lustrious" hair is, but I have it and there will be no "man-bun" in my future.

I'm reluctant to tell you this, but a young man who, with his date, ate dinner beside us.  We checked out at the same time and we went to the bathroom together.   His date waited in the hall beside the bathroom.

He was at the sink washing his hands when he cut one - loud and clear with no shame.  I'm guessing he had been holding it in for some time to avoid grossing out his date.

It was an unappetizing end to an otherwise fun experience.  But, I can't blame PRINT WORKS for a customer's ass-gas.

PRINT WORKS BISTRO is recommended.

Dinner (four appetizers) for two cost about $57 with tax and tip.



Monday, November 13, 2017

CAFE PASTA - ROUND 2


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You know it's not easy trying to find a place to eat that is not Chinese, pizza/Italian, or Mexican.  You can't swing a dead cat without hitting one or more of these restaurants.  I think little Reidsville has eight pizza parlors and probably five Chinese diners and three Mexican.  These are all supplemented with dozens of fast food and "greasy spoon" joints.

Cafe Pasta on State St. in Greensboro is obviously an Italian themed eatery.  We were there for a second time since July because we had bought a two-part Groupon which entitled us to a $40 discount on two visits.  We paid $20 for that $40 Groupon.  We had to go back to Cafe Pasta a second time to get our money's worth.

I can't say the food was any better on the second visit, but it wasn't any worse.  This review will be brief as it's our second visit to Cafe Pasta.  You can learn more about the restaurant by clicking here.

I suspect you will like Cafe Pasta much better than we did because we are pretty damn snooty about our food.  Many years ago, we liked Cafe Pasta.  Either our tastes have changed or Cafe Pasta has slipped.

Cafe Pasta was much busier on our second visit.  It was a Friday night.  The place was not crowded and there was no waiting line, but there were definitely many more customers.  There were customers on the second floor and may ten or more at the bar and maybe ten on the main floor where we were seated.

We got a seat right away at around 6:30 PM.


Here are Cafe Pasta's bread and the sauce we were supposed to receive on our first visit.  Our waitress told us the kitchen was busy preparing the sauce and it would be served soon.  The sauce never appeared and instead we were given some sort of olive oil with herbs and spices.  It wasn't very good - nearly inedible.  This red sauce with Parmesan cheese was much better, at least I liked it - Debbie did not.  The bread was cold and a little tough just like on the first visit.


This is the spinach and artichoke appetizer.  It contained cream cheese and 11 secret herbs and spices.

This was a huge plate of food, suitable for four people as an appetizer or for two people as a dinner.  The toast points were soft and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.  It was so much food, I could not finish the entire dish, even though I continued eating it with my entree.

Debbie thought her own version of spinach and artichokes is much better than Cafe Pasta.  I would agree Debbie's version is better, but still, Cafe Pasta did a pretty nice job with the dish.  And, I don't get the Parmesan toast points in Debbie's version.  The toast was good.


Debbie piles the spinach and artichokes onto a toast point.


Despite her complaints,  Debbie seemed to enjoy the dip.



This is Mary and her pepper grinder.  Mary was our waitress on the first visit to Cafe Pasta and our second visit.  I didn't remember her, but amazingly Mary remembered us from our first visit nearly four months ago.  I don't know, but I suspect it was my now unconventional camera (non-cell phone) that gave away our not so secret diner identifies.

In addition to the pepper, Mary also doled out the Parmesan cheese for our entrees.

Mary said her hair was very blond on our first visit, but she had to change the color of her hair for a wedding.  Apparently, the bride did not care for Mary's "hooker look".  Just a note: I believe Mary had a ring in her nose on the left side.  I'm not sure if the ring had any meaning or was just jewelry.

We were also briefly attended to by two other persons - an older man and a young girl.  The service in Cafe Pasta was not lacking.


Mary rains Parmesan cheese on Debbie's Linguine Rustica.  This is a pasta dish, of course.  It contained shrimp and chicken with sun-dried tomatoes with lemon and olive oil over mixed greens.

Debbie really didn't want this dish, but she ordered it because it did not contain any red tomato sauce and I had already declared dibs on what she really wanted.

Debbie complained the linguine in the Linguine Rustica was too short to properly twirl on her spoon.  This seemed to be a major disappointment to her.

I thought her chicken was chewy.  I didn't try any shrimp or pasta or greens.

I have several good photos of Debbie with pasta hanging out of her mouth, but I won't show them out of fear for my safety.


I tried twirling my South Beach, but I was too clumsy.  The angel hair pasta that formed the base was the perfect length for twirling, but I was a miserable failure at the art.  I give up on twirling.  I'll eat my pasta using a fork and nothing else.

South Beach sounds like a diet dish, but it was far from diet.  Scallops are served with artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers.

Mary added more Parmesan to the Parmesan cream sauce that bound everything together.  You can see the Parmesan falling from her spoon.

This dish was delicious.  The scallops were incredibly tender and tasty.  There weren't enough scallops to totally satisfy me, but it was still very good.


This is a close-up view of the spinach and artichoke dip on the toast point.

We did not order dessert.  The dessert menu was a repetition of our first visit and, thanks to the huge serving of spinach and artichoke dip, we were too full to eat anything else.  If you decide to have dessert, we recommend the Tiramisu which we had on our first visit.

The total cost of dinner was about $54 with tip and tax.  I had a Groupon which saved me $20 off that total.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

LA BAMBA



Let me begin by telling you there are two LA BAMBA restaurants in Greensboro.  One is on State St. and the other on Gate City Boulevard.  I do not know whether they are related.  Judging by the name, I would say yes, but judging by the websites and menus I would say no.

The Gate City menu looks a lot nicer on the web.  There are photos of many of the dishes at Gate City.   But, I've learned it's hard to make a judgment based on websites.

Debbie loves Mexican food.  I recalled she really liked LA BAMBA on State.  It's been some time since she visited LA BAMBA at 601 State St. in Greensboro - I'm talking years.   An offer to take her to LA BAMBA was almost a guarantee that we would be dining out. 

LA BAMBA is just down the street from Cafe Pasta.

Believe it or not, it is sometimes hard to persuade Debbie to eat out.  She likes her own cooking.  I like her cooking, too, but a visit to a decent restaurant is also good for me.  Three to four times a month would be nice, but I have to take it when I can get it.

La bamba means "the dance".  Notice the logo on the restaurant's website.  I took three semesters of Spanish in college to learn to tell you that.  I didn't want to miss the opportunity to impress you with my knowledge of a foreign language.  Donald says she can shake her cucarachas and speak five languages, but I bet Melania Trump doesn't know la bamba means "the dance".


We arrived at LA BAMBA around 6:30 PM on a Saturday evening.  It was prime dinner time.  The bar looks empty, but there were actually two people to the left outside of the camera frame.

We turned down an offer to be seated in the bar because of the noise from five TVs tuned to five different channels with their volumes turned on.  No, thank you.  Could we be seated somewhere away from the cacophony?  Sure!  There were plenty of seats available in what is a large restaurant.

This was not LA BAMBA we remembered.  We remember waiting in line to get a seat, just like it used to be at Cafe Pasta.  There was no waiting this time.  The restaurant was nearly empty.

Debbie speculated all the glamour and glitz that once characterized State St. has moved to other parts of town like Friendly Center or New Garden.

I asked if she thought the same might have happened in Reidsville.  Maybe the glamour and glitz had moved in Reidsville.  The height of Reidsville's fine dining seems to be the Golden Corral on Freeway Dr.  The glamour and glitz have left Reidsville and gone elsewhere.  I don't know where they've gone, but they're definitely gone.

I bet you people in Eden wish you had a fancy Golden Corral like Reidsville.


LA BAMBA is a Mexican restaurant, so of course, the first thing we were served was chips and salsa.  I've never been in a Mexican restaurant that doesn't serve chips and salsa without asking.  You would probably have to go to Mexico to find a Mexican restaurant that doesn't serve chips and salsa.

Don't expect anything special about LA BAMBA's chips and salsa.  They taste like chips and salsa at every Mexican restaurant.  They all must come from the same chips and salsa factory.

I have never really liked the chips and salsa served at Mexican restaurants.  LA BAMBA is no exception.


Now let's get serious.  These are Jalapeno Poppers that we ordered at Debbie's request.  I wanted Spinach Dip, but I settled for the Poppers to soothe Debbie.

First the positive - the Poppers came out almost instantly.  I bet we didn't wait two minutes for our Poppers to come to our table.  McDonald's could not match the speed on our Poppers and everything else we were served.  It was like LA BAMBA had read our minds and had everything already cooked for us.


This is Debbie's first bite of the Poppers.  She does not look impressed.  She quickly wished she had let me order the Spinach Dip.  She tried to taste half of one Popper and gave up.  She thought the Poppers were cold and the peppers inside were soggy.

I didn't think the Poppers were cold, but the peppers inside were definitely mushy.

She put down the remaining Popper and let me eat 5-1/2 Poppers by myself.  I tried them with and without the small bowl of sauce that came with them.  It didn't matter.  The flavor was just not there.


Here's what you get with LA BAMBA's Jalapeno Poppers.  The crust breaks off in your mouth and then you have to chew your way through the pepper.  It was not a good experience, but they were fried so I was forced to eat them by myself.  You never leave fried food on your plate.  It's a southern thing.

If you go to LA BAMBA, do NOT order the Jalapeno Poppers.  Somebody at LA BAMBA does not know how to make Jalapeno Poppers.

It's not easy to order a dish at a Mexican restaurant that does not include beans and rice.  The beans are usually mashed into a paste.  I do not like beans, especially beans that have been mashed into a paste.  Probably 95% of the dishes on LA BAMBA's menu offers beans.  I had to search the menu high and low to avoid beans, but I found what I was looking for.

Oh, the sacrifices I make to please my woman!


Before I had made a dent in what turned out to be "my" Poppers, out came the entrees.  It was incredibly fast service.  How do they do that?

This is my Shrimp Fundido with no beans.

Fundidos is rice (arroz) coated with cheese.  Roasted peppers, onions, and tomatoes are added.  Throw in a handful of shrimp and you've got yourself Shrimp Fundidos.  LA BAMBA's also offers chicken, steak, or Texas Fundidos.  The Texas Fundido is probably a combination of shrimp, chicken and steak, served with flour tortillas.

This was truly a delicious dish.  It was the way we remembered LA BAMBA's.  All the ingredients were blended well and tasted so fine.  This dish was a relief from the disappointing Jalapeno Poppers.


Here is Debbie's entree.  It's a combination of one fried Chicken Chimichanga and one fried Beef Chimichanga.  Of course, the Chimichangas are swimming in a river of refried beans with a cheese topping.  On the side is a lettuce salad with sour cream and guacamole sauce.  I believe that's a red slice of tomato on the top of the salad.  I know you've seen all this before.

Note refried beans are never refried or ever fried in the first place.  They are pinto beans that have been boiled and then mashed and served with almost every Mexican dish.  I thought you should know that.  Mexico has been lying all these years.

I tasted both of Debbie's Chimichangas after carefully scraping off any contaminating beans.  Arriba! Arriba!  They were excellent.  Debbie had said she thought my Fundido was the best dish, but I don't agree.  

Usually, Debbie is right, but her Chimichangas were excellent.  The outside was crispy and the filling very good.


For dessert, I wanted fried ice cream, but ice cream and milk don't agree with Debbie's stomach.

So, this is what we ordered.  It's Sopapillas.  Fried tortillas are served with butter, honey, and cinnamon.  A dollop of cream with chocolate was placed in the center of the dish.  Debbie asked for a fork to eat her share of the Sopapillas, but she quickly discovered Sopapillas is a finger food.

The Sopapillas were a little sticky from the honey, but delicious and not filling.  I recommend Sopapillas.


Meet Wand.  Wand was our waiter.  Wand looks like he is sick, may be about to heave.   He looked kinda like Debbie trying to eat a La BAMBA Jalapeno Popper.

But, as far as I know,  Wand was feeling fine.  We just caught him during just the moment he was trying to smile, but he didn't quite make it all the way.

The entire LA BAMBA staff was very friendly and they were certainly fast.

If it makes you feel any better about LA BAMBA, the entire staff seemed to be Hispanic.  I don't think I understood a word any LA BAMBA's worker said during the entire meal.  We had to get by on grunting and pointing.  Debbie paid the bill while I went to the very clean restroom, so I can't say how that transaction went.  Anyway, we got what we ordered and that's what's important.

Note the LA BAMBA website menu matches the menu you are shown in the restaurant.

Total tab for the evening was about $35 including tax and tip - a modest price for a meal for two.

Assuming you like mashed pinto beans that are incorrectly called refried, if you want a quick dinner at a reasonable price, you might want to consider LA BAMBA.  Just don't order the Jalapeno Poppers.

Click images to enlarge.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

SALVINO CUCINA ITALIANA

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Salvino Cucina Italiana is a place you will want to visit if you're in the mood for Italian.  The food is excellent.  The service is good.  There is no country music playing in the background.  I think I heard Italian opera, but it was playing so softly that I could barely hear it.  Do not fear the opera. 

The small dining room where we were seated was somewhat noisy.  There were a lot of people at a large table celebrating a birthday.  They were loud.  The waiters sang "Happy Birthday".


I'm not sure how to tell you where to find Salvino's Cucina Italiana.  It's located at 2917 Battleground Avenue.  You probably will not be able to see it from the road because it sets far back from Battleground.  Just know if you're near Longhorn Steakhouse, you're almost there. 

I've included a small map.  Don't pay any attention to all the places listed on the map because I'm not sure they're still in business.  Pull into the parking lot and drive towards the back and you will see it.

Don't feel bad, and certainly don't give up, if you have a little trouble finding it.  We got lost for about five minutes until Debbie called Salvino's and asked for directions.  We were only a couple of hundred yards away and didn't realize it.

We arrived around 6:30 PM with no reservations, but were still seated immediately.  Salvino's web site makes no offer to take reservations, so we rolled the dice and just showed up at the start of prime dinner time on Friday night.  The gamble paid off.


This is our waiter, Kevin.  Kevin looks like he should be named Mario.

Kevin spent several minutes talking about the specials that were not on the menu.  We had already decided by looking at the online menu.  We let Kevin give his spiel and then ordered.

One of the things that sold me on trying Salvino's was its web page.  It is clean and simple.  One page with the restaurant name, address, phone number, and a slideshow of some food items and another page with the menu.  That's it.  No trash.  Just a simple and easy to read and understand list of foods with descriptions and the prices in plain English with $ signs and two digits to the right of the decimal point.

Be sure to take a minute to look at the menu.  All the dishes sound so good.  If nothing else, it may convince you to try Salvino's.


A word of caution - there are links floating around the web that show www.salvino-restaurant.com as the address.  They are wrong.  Leave out the "-" and you will score.  Look closely at the bottom of our receipt and you will see where the www.salvino-restaurant.com nonsense comes from.


Before dinner began, we were served some small slices of a very tasty bread with olive oil and some herbs.  The bread was soft and flavorful.  We made sure to save a couple of slices to accompany our meal.  The olive oil with herbs was also delicious.

I recalled a recent meal where we were served bread with olive oil.  It was not good.  I could not finish my piece.  I went to www.reidsville.com to look up the restaurant - it was Cafe Pasta.


Here is our shared appetizer.  It is Eggplant "Kayla".  According to the menu, it is "stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella, fontina cheese over tomato sauce, topped with bechamel sauce".  The menu didn't say, but I guess there was some eggplant in the rolls somewhere.

I will assume you know what everything is except maybe bechamel sauce and prosciutto.  Bechamel is a white sauce made with butter, milk, and flour.  If you don't know what prosciutto is, then you should probably not eat at Salvino Cucina Italiana.  Leave the cucina and go to Longhorn Steakhouse.  I'm pretty sure they don't serve prosciutto at Longhorn.

I poured some of the olive oil and herbs over my half of the Eggplant "Kayla".  It was a good idea.

I asked Kevin about the "Kayla" part of the appetizer name.  He didn't know but said he would ask.  Kevin returned a few minutes later to tell us Kayla is Salvino's granddaughter.

As we were leaving the restaurant, gray-haired grandfather Salvino, who was dressed in a white Chef's uniform with "SAL" on the front, stopped us to ask if we enjoyed our meal.  We told him we enjoyed it very much.  Grandfather Sal hoped we will return.  I suspect we will.


Debbie sips her Gabbiano Chianti.  I tried a small taste.  It was a standard grocery store wine - nothing extraordinary, but Debbie thought it went well with her dinner.


Here are the two salads that went with our meals.  On the left is my house salad with blue cheese dressing and on the right is Debbie's caesar salad.  The salads were much like the wine - nothing extraordinary.  I wondered why Salvino's even bothered to serve the salads.  Debbie said it was to get something "green" in my stomach.  I can think of several green things that would have been better.

The only other choice, other than a salad, was some sort of bean soup.  No, thanks.


Here is Debbie' entree.  It is Vitello Alla Piccata (veal piccata).  It is veal "sauteed with butter and capers in white wine lemon sauce".  It sounds delicious, but I thought it looked kinda skimpy for a $27 dish.  Debbie liked it and it was all she could eat, so what I thought didn't matter. 


I almost forgot.  The veal came with a side dish of Angel Hair pasta.  It was served with a topping of marinara sauce, but Debbie doesn't like marinara and asked to return it for plain angel hair pasta with parmesan cheese.  She mixed the pasta with the veal sauce and wolfed it down.


This is my entree.  It is Linguine Imperiale.  It is "Linguine tossed with shrimp, scallops, lobster meat, scallions and sun-dried tomatoes in creamy tomato sauce".  It was all topped with a generous grinding of parmesan cheese.

This dish was a killer.  I busied myself for several minuted just devouring the well-sauced Linguine.

The shrimp were cooked to perfection.  Very tender and very sweet.  So flavorful.  I'm sure I ate lobster and scallops somewhere along the line, but it all went together so well it was difficult to tell what was what.  It was easy to recognize the shrimp because of their shape, but the scallops and lobster disappeared into a haze of deliciousness.  

For reasons I do not understand, the Linguine Imperiale was served with a large spoon (underneath the pasta and shown below).  I suppose the spoon was for pasta twirling, but I seemed to manage quite well with just my fork.  I know I did well because I didn't get any of my dinner on my shirt, which is standard procedure.

I wondered who the Linguine is named after.  Debbie suggested Linguine might be one of the Mario Brothers.


Linguine Imperiale was an outstanding dish.  I hated to leave the red stain on my plate.  I regret not licking it clean.  You must order it when you visit Salvino Cucina Italiana.  

Some other dishes we got a look at when they were served to the birthday table were Scallops al Soave and a Beef Filet with Gorgonzola Cheese from the specials menu.

The Scallops al Soave were "pan seared sea scallops with lemon butter white wine sauce, served with spinach tossed with pasta in creamy sauce".  The scallops were served on the half-shell surrounding the pasta in the center of the dish.

The Beef Filet was a huge chunk of beef that kept calling my name.  I was too focused on the beef to notice what else was on the dish.

I believe I will try the Scallops al Soave on my next visit to Salvino's.


Here's the dessert we shared - a cannoli with chocolate and pistachios with whipped cream and a strawberry. 

It was quite good, but I would not put it in the same league as the Linguine Imperiale


Debbie gives me the "Stink Eye" for photographing her with a piece of angel hair hanging out of her mouth.  Actually several times she had a lot of pasta hanging out of her mouth, but I was never fast enough with my camera.

The prices were a tad high, but we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Salvino Cucina Italiana.  Dinner cost $100 with the tip.

We will be returning.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

FOUR FLOCKS AND LARDER

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I've always been leary of the so-called "farm to table" restaurants.  I know they're a big thing right now, but they're not my thing.  I guess I like "processed" food. The more people handling the food, the better.  I miss the old concept of multiple middlemen between the farm and the restaurant.  There's just something special about better dining through chemistry, machinery and lots of handlers.

The photo above is an example of a "farm to table" restaurant.  It is FOUR FLOCKS AND LARDER located at 433 Spring Garden St. in Greensboro.  It's in a huge white building with a lot of other "farm to table" operations, like Revolution Burger, The Bean and the Baker, Hush, and The Public.

FOUR FLOCKS has a kind of a modern industrial look.  Overheard pipes and a high ceiling add to the effect.  

The concrete floor made for a noisy environment.  An endless loop of country music played in the background and table chatter further raised the noise level when the first floor was nearing capacity. 

A small crowd occupied the first floor for probably less than an hour and then suddenly cleared out like magic.  It got much quieter.  

I cannot explain the country music.  It did not seem to go with theme of the restaurant or the food.

I like to dine in peace.  I also like to hear what my partner is saying without constantly saying 'Huh?".  If you ever dine with me, don't whisper.  I want to know what you are saying.  It may be important.  If you seeing me nodding a lot, speak up because I'm probably not hearing you

There is a partial second floor at FOUR FLOCKS, but it was never used.  It may have been the rainy weather, but it also may be some other reason there weren't enough diners to open the second floor.

Be very careful about using Google to find FOUR FLOCKS.  Google is very likely to bring up all sorts of menus for FOUR FLOCKS.  Probably none will match what the restaurant actually serves.  Not even FOUR FLOCKS web site will match the food that will be offered to you when you arrive.  If you like an adventure, FOUR FLOCKS may be your kind of place.  Otherwise, not so much.

If you are into the "greens",  FOUR FLOCKS may also appeal to you.   Like all "farm to table" operations, FOUR FLOCKS  specializes in serving Collard Greens, Brussels Sprouts, Kale Salad and Asparagus. 

Hmm...don't they all sound delicious.  They come with just about every dish.  You will have to do some serious studying of the menu to find something that is not accompanied by something green.


Debbie takes a gulp from a huge glass of wine.  It's a Meiomi Pinot Noir at $12 per glass.  The bottle was $46. 

Our waiter euthusiastically recommended it.  He said it would go with everything Debbie had ordered.  Apparently FOUR FLOCKS was a little overstocked on the Meiomi Pinot Noir or they got a special buy from the "wine farm" because our waiter was wrong.  I tried a sip.  It was very tannic, not what I expected from a Pinot Noir, especially at $12 per glass. 

Debbie didn't seem to care for the wine either, but she did empty her glass.


I ordered my usual beverage.  It was water, but a special water, I'm sure.  It was grown locally, fresh and clean, straight from the "water farm".  I know it must have been special because it was served out of a milk jug.  

Moreover, in the "larder" section of the restaurant, there is a department that sells mostly food related nick-nacks.  In a stand-up cooler was a section of 16-oz bottled waters that had homemade looking labels that proudly proclaimed in large letters "Fresh, Clean, Local"

I am not "shitting" you.  You have to wonder where the water is coming from and how it is bottled.


This is one of better parts of the entire meal.  These are Roasted Garlic, Cheddar Chive Biscuits with garlic herb butter.  The biscuit had only two flaws.  One was the flavor should have been intensified...maybe add a little MSG like the Chinese do.  The other is...well, I will tell you later in this story because it applies to both meals


This is my entree'.  

On the lower left is BBQ slaw which turned out be chopped cabbage with a few shreds of carrots.  A vinegar-based BBQ sauce had been poured over the cabbage and carrots.  It had little to no flavor other than a slight vinegar twang.  

The BBQ slaw was served in a chilled pie tin.  Let that give you a hint at the flaw in both our meals.

Above the slaw is a bowl of Wood Fired Smoked Chicken Wings.  Yes, I ordered chicken wings.  I know crazy, right?  But, the wings didn't come with collard greens, asparagus, Brussels sprouts or kale.  I really didn't have a choice.

There were maybe a dozen wing pieces covered in some sort of BBQ-like sticky sauce

The wings lacked any real flavor and were a mess to handle and eat, but I finished them finger-style.

Maybe I should have tried the Breaded Boneless Pigs Feet which were served with sauerkraut, pear puree, and spicy mustard.  I don't believe I've ever had my pigs feet breaded.

On the right is a bowl of Mac and Cheese with Duck Confit and Country Ham.  Confit is duck fat.  There were tiny pieces of country ham mixed with the mac and cheese.  It too was served in a tiny pie tin.


It's been a very, very long time since I've eaten macaroni and cheese.  This side dish so impressed me that I had to include a separate photo.  It was delicious.  It was rich and creamy.  The duck fat and tiny bits of country ham were perfect.  But, it too suffered the fatal flaw.

I don't know where the mac and cheese was grown.  Maybe in Clemmons or Winston or Eden or Burlington, but if you ever go to FOUR FLOCKS, order the mac and cheese.


This is Debbie's entree.

Those two slices were all she got.  It's Pan Roasted Duck Breast served on, yes, you guessed it, Brussels sprouts with fennel cream and dried cherries.

I tasted the duck.  It was good, but again the fatal flaw lurked.  It's too bad all she got for $14 was two little slices.  Twice that many might have been more reasonable

I wouldn't touch the Brusells sprouts with a ten-foot pole and Debbie wouldn't touch the cherries.


Here's Debbie's side dish of $4 Potlikker Collard Greens with House Bacon.  I have no idea why they're called "Potlikker" and I never saw the tiniest piece of bacon, but I suppose the bacon may have been hiding in there somewhere.

I tasted a tiny bite.  Aside from the fatal flaw, I suppose they were as good as Collard Greens can get 


Here's the dessert.  It's called a "Brownie Sundae".  It came straight from the "brownie farm".

According to the menu, you had a choice of either a chocolate brownie or a turtle brownie or a cheesecake brownie.  Each brownie is accompanied by a different ice cream - vanilla, salted caramel or strawberry with a "fire ball" cherry.

But, the menu is wrong.  A Brownie Sundae consists of all three kinds of brownies and all three kinds on ice cream.  You get them all in one dish.

When the Brownie Sundae was served I had to ask the waiter where the "fire ball" cherry was.  There was no cherry, fire ball or otherwise, visible anywhere.  He made a confused face and said he didn't know, but would ask the kitchen staff for an explanation.

Apparently, our waiter has never served a Brownie Sundae or never been asked where the "fire ball" is.

He returned a few minutes later and explained the "fire ball" was buried somewhere in the sundae.  Sure enough we eventually found the "fire ball" in the white glob in the center of the brownies.  Debbie said the glob was whipped cream, but I'm not sold on that theory,

I have no idea why the cherry was called a "fire ball".  It tasted like an ordinary cherry to me.

I think I would have been happier with just a brownie with vanilla ice cream.


This is what a nice cloth napkin looks like after being used by a guy who ordered Wood Smoked Chicken Wings.  It looks disgusting.  It was disgusting.  I pity the fool who had to bus our table.


This is our waiter.  I forget his name.  I think maybe it was Melrose or something kinda like that.  Debbie made this photo while I went to the restroom.  Melrose now knows where the "fire  ball" cherry is hiding.  Melrose will probably never forget where the "fire ball" cherry is.

Melrose hoped we enjoyed our meal.  Melrose did not know we had already discussed the meal and had decided we would never return to FOUR FLOCKS because of the fatal flaw.

The fatal flaw is everything was served at room temperature at best. That was fine for the BBQ slaw and the Brownie Sundae, but it didn't fly with the duck, the chicken wings, the collard greens, the biscuit, and the mac and cheese.  They were not fine.  They were disappointing.  Food is generally supposed to be very warm, If not, hot.

I'm not sure who to blame - the waiter, the kitchen staff, or the food runner.  I'm pretty sure the food was properly cooked, but I'm guessing it was left sitting on a counter somewhere in the bowels of the restaurant for 10-15 minutes after it was ready.

Debbie was nice, but she unloaded on Melrose and let him know the problem.  He was apologetic.  We asked for no compensation or anything else, but we were determined Melrose would know there was a problem.

Melrose thanked us for our honesty.  He lamented that most people don't say a word and then go online to bash FOUR FLOCKS for some sort of failure.  He said he would relay our complaint to management.

A few minutes later Nic Baez, the General Manager, came to our table and apologized for the problem we experienced.  Nic said there was no excuse for the cold food.  He gave us his card and signed the back for two free dinners anytime in the future.

Oh, shit!  What do we do now?  We had already decided to never return.  Now we had a "get out of jail free" card.  This is a situation we will have to think about.  If only we could order the items Debbie found online, we would definitely return...Seared Pork Belly, Buttermilk Onion Rings, Pulled Pork Nachos, Duck Fat French Fries and Spinach Dip.  And, of course, I wanted to try the Breaded Boneless Pigs Feet.


I wanted to show you a couple things in this photo - a folded copy of the menu that I had to ask our waiter for three times.  I wanted it to make some notes for this article.  He misunderstood and thought I wanted to take it home which he said was verboten.   He also promised he would get me a "special" copy of the menu which listed all the ingredients in each item.  He failed to get me the "special" menu.  I had to settle for the "regular" menu which I did take home for reference,

 The second thing I wanted to show you is the heavy wooden wall behind the folded menu against which we were seated.  God bless the wooden wall.  I think it absorbed much of the country music and table chatter.  I would not have wanted to be seated in the center of FOUR FLOCKS.


Here's where the FOUR FLOCKS come in.  On top of the wooden wall were four stuffed birds - a quail, a turkey, a duck, and a chicken,  I'm sorry I couldn't fit all four into the frame.  I needed to be about three-feet taller.


Debbie looks over the Larder.


This bit of Larder caught my eye - it's beer soap.  I bet you can't find beer soap anywhere in Reidsville.



Here's one version of the menu.  This is the one from which we ordered and the one I brought home.

Total cost for dinner was about $73 with tip.  I saved about $11 of the $73 with a Groupon.