Winston-Salem: Sweet Potatoes–A Restaurant
Colorful sweet potatoes are somehow synonymous with mouthwatering homestyle cooking. It’s tasty comfort food like Mom used to make down home. That’s exactly what loyal locals and lucky visitors will find at Sweet Potatoes - A Restaurant in downtown Winston-Salem’s bustling Arts District.
Co-founders and -owners Vivian Joiner (front-of-the-house) and Stephanie Tyson (the chef) opened Sweet Potatoes in 2003 with the idea of preparing and serving southern-inspired down home food in an uptown location and atmosphere. The crowds – no reservations taken – confirm that they’ve succeeded.
Lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch are served at the long bar and at varied-size tables. The vibe is casual, but it’s served up with definitely sophisticated southern food and service.
Lunch can be light and healthy or afternoon nap-inducing. Stephanie’s Salad features ham, roasted turkey, roasted sweet potatoes (of course), green beans, and white cheddar cheese over a bed of fresh mixed greens – and topped with crispy potato sticks. Starters include: Fried Green Tomato and Okra Basket and a Build Your Own Sweet Potato that can come topped with pineapple, diced ham, sautéed red onions, crumbled bacon, and more.
Creative lunch possibilities can include: the popular Voodoo Pork sandwich (with spicy jerk seasoning); a Mambo Chicken sandwich (including their own “Mambo” sauce); and the fun Fried Bologna Sandwich (fried bologna and pimento cheese on Texas toast). The don’t-miss-trying Sweet Potatoes Hot Brown is their version of a Kentucky favorite, with sliced turkey, mushrooms, crumbled bacon, and cheddar cheese sauce atop a warm sweet potato biscuit (naturally). Freshly prepared sides include sweet potato fries and fried okra.
Dinner decisions are even more complicated. Soups are prepared daily, while appetizers include the aforementioned Fried Green Tomato and Okra Basket, a simply yummy 3-Cheese Macaroni & Country Ham Soufflé with cheddar, parmesan, blue cheese, and country ham, Carolina Crab Dip, and creamy Shrimp and Grits that come with heads-on shrimp. Varied salads from the lunch menu are also a possibility as an “app” light main course.
Entrees, which come with their own creative sides (like to-die-for roasted garlic smashed potatoes), are wide ranging: Barbecued Duck (served spicy on roasted red and white peppers and topped with corn and green tomato relish); Stuffed Whole Trout (a bacon-wrapped rainbow trout stuffed with sweet potato cornbread stuffing mixed with spicy greens and crabmeat); Southernly Fried Chicken (using boneless chicken breasts); and down home favorites like Roast Chicken and Pot Roast. V.V.’s Mamma’s Meatloaf, which is served open-faced on Texas toast and smothered with wild mushroom gravy and crispy onions, is also available at lunch due to demand. Restaurant-made desserts might include Sweet Potato Pie, Sweet Potato Cheesecake, Sweet Potato Bread Pudding, Sweet Potato Spice Cake, Bourbon Pecan Pie, and Homemade Banana Pudding.
Sunday brunch is becoming a downtown tradition at Sweet Potatoes. Along with varied green salads and a tasty Dirty Rice Salad that can come with chicken, shrimp, or oysters and is also available at lunch and dinner, creative egg dishes (often served atop a sweet potato biscuit), sandwiches, sweet potato pancakes, and more are all on the brunch menu.
The wine list at Sweet Potatoes includes varied choices by the glass and bottle. It’s also nice to see several North Carolina choices from Childress, Shelton, Hanover Park, and RayLen. The drinks list also includes specialty martinis.
Sweet Potatoes–A Restaurant
529 North Trade Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
11:00am-3:00pm, Monday through Saturday lunch
5:00pm-10:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday, dinner
10:30am-3:00pm, Sunday brunch
By Lynn Seldon
added: December 12, 2008
updated: December 24, 2008
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