Sunday, November 19, 2017


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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


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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.