Monday, January 23, 2017

Four Flocks and Larder

The Morehead Foundry is all the rage right now in downtown Greensboro. If you haven't visited, surely you've heard of it. If you haven't heard of it, surely you've driven past it on Freeman Mill Road. It's that huge white structure advertising several establishments including "Four Flocks and Larder", "Revolution Burger", "the baker and the bean" and the name of the company, "Fresh Local Good". It's brand-spanking new and the vision of the owners of Iron Hen Cafe (also in Greensboro). I had moderate expectations for Four Flocks and Larder, and my dinner there exceeded every single one.

The atmosphere is excellent. Ceilings are high, the walls are a beautiful dark turquoise hue, and a black and white image of a river sits high above the open, bustling bar. We were seated at a high table, but the chairs weren't stools - they were fancy cloth dining room chairs, a very nice touch. I was tickled to see the words "Julep Menu" on the cocktail list - they don't just serve a standard mint julep - there are several exciting varietals. The Cardinal Sin screamed out to this ginhead, with complimentary notes of rosewater, lemonade, rosemary and mint. I enjoyed this on a damp January night and look forward to sipping one on the patio in June. Crushed ice is a staple, and the glass made it even more fun to drink.
The Cardinal Sin Julep - yum!
Portions are generous, and you will be tempted to try just about everything on the large, creative menu. My party and I started with Chicken Wings & Buffalo Biscuits, which taste even better than they sound. The chicken wings have a salty, spicy and crunchy exterior, and a lot of meat on the bone. The buffalo biscuits are tiny but pack a punch, and are drizzled with blue cheese butter (this descriptor sold me on ordering the dish.) Scallion ranch is a nice cooling condiment for dunking. Eight wings and five mini biscuits later, we were ready for some more meat!
Chicken Wings & Buffalo Biscuits
The description of the Stuffed Whole Quail is just killer: Neese's sausage filling, collards, black-eyed peas and grain mustard. The star of the show is the Neese's (as expected). I think I got two bites of sausage to every one bite of quail, and I'm perfectly okay with that. The collards had a tangy, vinegary flavor, just as they should, but the black-eyed peas and mustard kind of got lost in the dish. The quail is cut into four parts - breast and legs - so you're definitely not shorted on meat.
Stuffed Whole Quail, Collards, Black-Eyed Peas
We wanted to try as many of the delicious sounding sides as possible, so we opted for a few "meat and threes". The Wood Fired Chicken Breast may sound basic, but the tender, smoky meat and the apple cider BBQ sauce made it a very sexy protein. The Wood Fired Duck Breast had that same lovely smoky flavor, with a citrus glaze to brighten it up. Since we got three sides with each protein, we asked our server to bring us the six most popular options. They were all outstanding.

The surprise hit was the White Bread Dressing. I was worried about a mushy texture, but the flavor was insane! It was generally soft, but the crunch of buttery onions and celery bits and the notes of black pepper kept me going back for more. It was better than any Thanksgiving dressing I've ever had. Mashed Yukon Potatoes are a beautiful golden hue, thanks to those Yukon Golds, and are slightly chunky. This is stick-to-your-ribs eating. This plate kept with the Thanksgiving theme, and we finished off with Creamed Corn. This wasn't exactly creamed, at least not how I've had creamed corn growing up, but it was sweet, white, tender and dripping with butter. They might should just re-name it "sweet butter corn" and it would get ordered just as often.
Wood Fired Duck with White Bread Dressing and Mashed Yukons
Another side I would have written off - Roasted Vegetables with toasted bread crumbs - turned out to be my second favorite side. When I think of roasted veggies in a restaurant, I think of squash, zucchini, onion - BORING! This combo included carrots, parsnips and peppers with a sweet, buttery drizzle. They were so simple and so delicious! Sweet Potato Casserole seemed more like roasted sweet potatoes to me, but the sweet, cinnamon flavor alongside the carrots and parsnips was a real treat. These options are definitely more for those with a sweet tooth. There was a little too much oil and butter for these sides - someone just got a bit heavy-handed. You'll see in the photo (not sexy). Southern Style Green Beans were the least exciting side - they were tender haricot verts, and one I probably wouldn't order again (I'd go for the Cheddar Old Mill of Guilford Grits instead!)
Wood Fired Chicken
Service is excellent, and while the food did take a while to come out, there are enough Juleps to keep you company. Especially if you go with great friends, too. Which is advised, so you can work your way through this awesome menu! I am very impressed with this place, and look forward to return visits.

*Additional notes:

"Building your own revolution" at Revolution Burger is quite fun, and if you substitute grilled chicken, you get TWO breasts! I especially loved the Parmesan Truffle Fries and the Salted Caramel Milkshake. They are NOT playing around with the salted part, but paired with real vanilla ice cream, the flavor combo was heavenly. This is salty and sweet at its best.

Walk into the Baker and the Bean to get a Bananas Foster Whoopie Pie the size of your face, and maybe even a Corn (yep, CORN) Cookie before you head into Hush Speakeasy (the entrance is inside the bakery!) Consider going to Hush on a weeknight when it's not packed. The Cheeky Bastard cocktail is worth the wait, though.
Bananas Foster Whoopie Pie - imagine my face next to this for scale.

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