Friday, February 14, 2014

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes in downtown Winston-Salem has garnered somewhat of a “cult” status among fans. Southern soul food is done well here, with unique dishes making return visits inevitable. I got the cookbook (Well,Shut My Mouth!: The Sweet Potatoes Restaurant Cookbook) for Christmas a few years ago and have had fun exploring some of the recipes, though it’s best to leave some of the more complex ones to the chefs. 

My brunch began with a spicy Bloody Ginny, replacing Vodka with Gin in the traditional mid-morning drink. I was very pleased with the spice level, not even having to request extra heat! I also enjoyed the Pickled Okra garnish very much. All good Bloodys include some sort of munchie - celery, bacon, shrimp, okra, pickle, capers – or if you’re really lucky, all of the above! The Fried Green Tomato and Okra Basket whets the appetite, with the perfect amount of crunchy batter outside a tender vegetable. The Sweet Potato Aioli is sweet and garlicky, a nice complement to the savory bites.

Sweet Potato Biscuits are thick, slightly sweet, and sandwich Egg, Cheese and salty Country Ham. A slice of red tomato and leaf lettuce accompany the sandwich, as does a side of my choice. To continue the Sweet Potato theme, I opted for the Sweet Potato Hash, which is more like cubed, baked Sweet Potatoes. These weren't too warm unfortunately, but had an interesting Curry flavor that I wasn’t expecting. Next time I’ll go with the Grits.

Sweet Potato Pancakes feature notes of Nutmeg and Ginger, and are fantastic with Honey Ginger Butter and Apple Marmalade spread on top. Fried Chicken Tenders accent the dish, and I almost like this better than Chicken and Waffles. (Almost. My recent visit to Dame's in Greensboro rivals this.) My adoration of sweet and savory flavor pairings is satisfied here.

Service is inconsistent, with the need for refills being ignored a few times as well as an error on the bill, but supporting service jumped in and helped when needed. The brunch menu items are so intriguing - this isn’t just your bacon and toast place. I can’t wait to go back and try the Un-French Toast, Fried Sweet Potato Bread Pudding – are they kidding me? My mouth is watering.

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