I know, I know it’s only Monday, but I decided to do a series of posts this week (because I do what I want). I’m calling it “A Week in Winston (Salem, NC)” because I love alliterations (Travel Tuesday? Friday Faves? yup). So this week you’ll be treated to 5 posts about restaurants and bars I visited while learning lawyerly things Winston-Salem.
In mid-May, several coworkers (most of our office) and I headed up nort (I promise it’s not a typo, it’s “north” with an Upper Midwest accent) to Winston-Salem, NC for a work conference. In between sessions on being a good lawyer, learning how to kick butt in court, ethics and substance abuse I had a chance to get out and (sort of) explore Winston’s narrow streets (about the 5 block radius around my hotel downtown). Traveling for work (which is rare) does give me the opportunity to eat out and try new restaurants (which is an exciting thing when you are reimbursed for lunch and dinner!).
The lesson I learned on our first dining excursion: Yelp (or Urban Spoon) is really my friend, and I should not be swayed by signs in restaurants for specials on mojitos and margaritas (next time, I will do my research first). My friends and I were drawn to a Mexican place just around the corner from where we were staying, and who could blame us?
Well, I blame us. At least we had a lot of fun, and the cocktails were good (for the most part). Seriously, especially after a substance abuse session I should not have been swayed.
We chose Buena Pinta. If you are in Winston-Salem, I recommend that you do not choose Buena Pinta for your dining experience. The restaurant was not busy when we arrived (bad sign) but we were seated fast and our waiter was really nice. He took our drink orders while we looked over the menu (mojitos for most of the table, which were on special, and I heard pretty good) a strawberry margarita for me (which was also good, I think it’s hard to mess that up…but you just wait).
The menu was not authentic at all (second bad sign) and I had a bit of a cold, so I decided on a cheese quesadilla (it came with guacamole, which is my all time fave). I normally go for enchiladas at Mexican restaurants, but enchiladas in a creamy cheese sauce did not sound delicious. I was also puzzled by some other menu choices: potato skins (what?), cheeseburger (umm), chili dog (hot dog, chili and cheese, wrapped in a flour tortilla and deep fried), you get the drift. My friends (some of who had eaten already) ordered a variety of things: two tried the deep fried avocados (good in theory), one tried the fried banana (dessert for dinner, also good in theory) and another was brave enough to order the enchilada. There were not a surprising amount of quesadillas ordered at our table (at least three, including mine).
We talked and laughed over drinks which was lovely. The food came out, and it was sub par (not a shocker, based on the menu choices). My quesadilla was just fine, but I can definitely make a better one at home (I think Taco Bell may be able to make a better one). It’s not hard to mess up melting cheese between two tortillas, which it why I ate the whole thing.
(it was so meh, it didn’t deserve a pretty photo).
I was pleasantly surprised with the guac, but would not be surprised if it was not made in house. We were all super hungry, so my friends ate all of their food, but there was a general consensus that it was not the best dinner ever. The highlight definitely included S’s fried banana, and many, many, many, giggles were had (take a look at the picture and yes we are like seven year old boys).
So back to not messing up a margarita. K (the roomie, you know her) decided we would share a classic lime margarita to finish off our mediocre meal. Well, apparently it is possible to mess up a margarita. The thing looked like radioactive goo. It tasted how I imagine sweet (really, really, sweet) radioactive goo would taste. Basically, a picture is worth 1,000 words.
Lesson learned in doing foodie research before selecting a restaurant for dinner. Luckily, it was a fun evening out and I did get to hit up some wonderful restaurants and bars while I was in Winston-Salem. If you’re headed that way, skip Buena Pinta, but do visit Tate’s Craft Cocktails next door (and featured in a post later this week!).
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