Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Click images to enlarge

We dined at 1618 Downtown at 312 S. Elm St, in Greensboro.  It was not 1618 Midtown or 1618 Seafood Grille.  It was 1618 Downtown.

I called 1618 Downtown a little after noon to make a reservation for 7 PM.  No one answered the phone, but after a dozen rings an answering machine picked up.  I was directed to leave a message if I wanted to make a reservation with time and date, table size, and my phone number.  I erroneously assumed I would be called back to confirm my reservation.  I was never called back.

We decided to go without a confirmation of our reservation.  It didn't matter.  They had no record of our reservation unless my name was Bill.  There were plenty of tables available.

It was a Tuesday night because 1618 Downtown is closed Sunday and Monday and Debbie has only Tuesdays available for dinner dates.

A Tuesday night in downtown Greensboro is nothing like a Tuesday night in downtown Reidsville.  The sidewalks were packed with people, cars lined the streets, lights flashed, businesses were open.  You had to look both directions to cross the street.  Elm Street is a hopping place.  

Comparatively speaking, Downtown Reidsville more resembles an abandoned morgue even during the day.  Mayor Jay Donecker's $60,000 alien monument has not helped.

Debbie looks over what I would call a very limited menu.  About half of the menu is devoted to wine, beer, and liquors.  If you want an alcoholic drink, 1618 Downtown is recommended.  If you are more interested in food, not so much.

The restaurant is small and narrow.  It might have been half full for the duration of our visit.

Someone has thoughtfully lined one wall with sound absorbing material.  The piped-in music played softly in the background.  Conversation with Debbie was easy even though I am currently plagued by a plugged-up left ear.  Anyone have a solution for excessive wax that I've had for 40 years?

Open Table, the online restaurant review guide, listed 1618 Downtown as having a "lengthy menu". "casual dining", and a "formal attire" dress code.  Aside from "casual dining", none of these descriptors could be further from the truth.

The menu was short and shorts and blue jeans with untucked shirts were the attire.

This is our waiter.  I won't say his name or show his face because he reacted shocked and offended when I snapped this photo.  He was polite and served us well, but he must have been in the federal witness protection program or feared his soul would be captured by my magic camera box.

Our waiter's reaction was even more surprising when you consider all the cell phones clicking everywhere, including at the table beside us.  Surely our waiter has been photographed before.

This is the first and only time I have had a bad reaction from a waiter being photographed.

This is our appetizer or at least half of it.  The other half went on Debbie's plate.  It's Korean BBQ Pork Belly with Peach Fries. Kimchi Aioli, and Cilantro.  It sounds a bit strange, but it was damned good.  The Peach Fries and Aioli were outstanding.  The Pork Belly (really thick bacon) was very tasty.

This is Debbie's Crab Cake Benedict.  It was only one crab cake.  It was perched on a pie crust sort of base.  There was some sort of undefined vegetable sauce with bacon bits and corn gravy.  The crab was topped with a fried egg and hollandaise sauceThere were a few sprigs of asparagus on the side.

Debbie shared a few bites with me.  It was very good.

On the menu was a Parmesan Crusted Scallops dish.  It sounded delicious.  Too bad for me.  I was told the hurricane knocked out the scallops.  Scallops were not available, so I went with the Mahi.

Mahi was served with corn nage, pan spiced fried potatoes, and n'djua cream.  I have no idea what nage or n-djua are and Wikipedia has never heard of them either. 

I knew what potatoes were.  That's the potatoes on the right of the photo.  There were plenty of potatoes. All of the potatoes were undercooked. The pan spicing of the potatoes was a mystery.  I could not taste anything but near-raw potato.

I can only assume Mahi is the same as Mahi-Mahi.   I can't be sure because there was no Mahi available.  There wasn't even an explanation for why the Mahi was not available.

I was told the same dish was available but with Black Drum.  I ordered the Black Drum.

I show you this photo to give you an idea of the size of the Black Drum.  That's a tiny dessert spoon resting between the fish and the pile of raw potatoes.  The fish was about the size of a silver dollar, but it cost $25.00 plus tax.  At 1618 Downtown's price, a whole Black Drum fish would run about $12,000.00

Debbie felt sorry for my small plate of food and decided to share her Crab Cake Benedict with me.

Notice the vase of water with DOWNTOWN on the side.  1618 Downtown was very generous with their water.  We were not able to finish the entire vase.

Debbie did finish her 6 oz. of wine.  Many of 1618 Downtown's wines are served by the ounce.  There's a 1.5 oz. serving, a 3 oz. serving, and a 6 oz. serving.  Debbie was convinced her African sauvignon blanc was not 6 oz.

I have a hard time imaging what a 1.5 oz. serving looks like.  The most expensive 1.5 oz. serving was $3.75.

This is a partial view of the 1618 Downtown bar.  If sold by the ounce, there must be a $1,000,000 in alcohol on the shelves.

The cost of dinner was about $85 with tax and tip.

Unless you only want a burger with a 6 oz. glass of wine,  1618 Downtown is not recommended.


Debbie was not impressed with the dessert selection at 1618 Downtown.  She suggested we look elsewhere for dessert.  Maxie B's was the choice.

Debbie smiles at the mind-boggling selection of desserts at Maxie B's on Battleground.  Maxie B's sells nothing but desserts. 

The staff is always helpful and the place is very clean, but sometimes can get very crowded.

This is Maxie B's cupcake case. 

If you have never been to Maxie B's, shame on you.  You must go.

Here's what we selected and brought home.  On the left is German Chocolate Cake for Debbie and Pecan Pie for me on the right.  We decided to save the desserts for another night.  I was too stuffed with $25 worth of Black Drum.

Maxie B's cost about $12.