Saturday, August 8, 2009

NCBBBQ Tour Stop #1 : Winston-Salem

Date: April 25th 2009

Foothills Brewery
Little Richard's Lexington BBQ
Winston-Salem Dash

Attendees: Harper, Bobby, Lauren

For the first leg of the NC BBBQ Tour, the three of us pulled ourselves away from the non-stop excitement that is the NFL draft and headed down I-40 to Winston DASH Salem, North Carolina. We started off the day hitting the brewpub of Foothills Brewery, located smack dab in downtown Winston-Salem. Coming from the northeast where April night baseball means sweaters and jackets, I was worried a bit that the early parts of the tour would be a bit nippy. As you can see by the short-sleeved patrons though, it was a great day for a ballgame. Let's play two! (for now...)

Foothills, as you'd expect from a brewery connected to a brewpub, is not limited to one genre of beer. Given the large cross-section of beers available, Bobby and I opted to get a flight a piece and then follow it up with a couple pints of our favorites.

The flight I believe consisted of the Salem Gold, Pilot Mountain Pale Ale, Torch Pilsner, Hoppyum IPA, Rainbow Trout ESB, Foothills Red, and the Total Eclipse Stout. We ranked them at the time but that was 4 months ago. I don't have a clue now what we liked and didn't, but i do recall that they were pretty consistently all good. I think we both had the same one ranked last if that helps (it doesn't, does it?).

Then it was off to Little Richard's Lexington BBQ in Winston-Salem. BBBQ Note: One of the great things about doing a BBQ tour is that BBQ is not only meat at its best, but the food is fast and generally cheap. I liked Little Richard's break from BBQ place tradition. Rather than having a pig ever-so-happy to offer up his life for the cause of great cuisine, they feature a pig running away. This makes far more sense to me. But inevitably no pig can escape the cold hand of death followed by the hot hand of the smoker. Onto the food!

A very typical inside for a BBQ place. Classic. Rack 'em! I'd say it was bit kitchsy for my tastes but really it's this type of place that kitcsh comes from right? Someone has to have wanted this non-ironically in the first place.

The BBQ itself - it was ok. When I eat BBQ I want the pork to give me a strong flavor. I didn't get that here. I do like the chop of this as some places can overdo the chopping. (Of course flavorful mush is better than bland pork with a good chop anyday.) This for me had decent flavor but needs its sauce. The coleslaw and hushpuppies were standard but good. I'm pretty easy to please.

So maybe for a kick-off experience the BBQ was a minor disappointment - but baseball would certainly make the day right? Well see if this next shot grabs you!

No? Unfortunately looking at that picture of the former Ernie Shore field is more interesting than the time we had at the game. The problem is the "Dash" is caught in the middle of a stadium building. The new stadium downtown was meant to be ready for the beginning of this season but money problems have delayed it. That would have been ok, I've been here before and Ernie Shore field was decent enough, but they sold their old field to Wake Forest University. They were able to rent it back for use this year but the fact that it is not their home anymore was evident. Awkward stands of limited foods and even more limited merchandise, and worse yet - college owned meant NO BEER. I don't consider myself needing a beer to enjoy a ballgame in general but when I've already started drinking...well that's a different story.

Perhaps a great game would have saved the day but instead we got 2 hours of sloppy baseball. It was 11-11 by the top of the 5th. Did I mention there was no beer? It was time to go.

Overall Foothills was great, Little Richard's was good, and the Dash...well wait I'm waiting 'til they get a new stadium to come back.

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