151 South Stratford Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104
336.724.9800 | MidtownCafeWS.com
Sunday – Thursday: 7 AM – 8:30 PM • Friday – Saturday: 7 AM – 9:30 PM
Midtown Cafe & Dessertery has enjoyed over three decades of local success. Their attentive service, great menu, central location, and overall commitment to excellence have contributed to their longevity in Winston-Salem. For my family, Midtown is a regular. We all love their menu, and any time I can have breakfast for dinner, that’s a win in my opinion. I was delighted to be invited to sample their upcoming summer menu, which in the words of owner Jeff Cayton, has been designed with a picnic in mind. The culinary team nailed it.
For starters, we enjoyed warm, chewy Pretzel Sticks that were paired with a creamy butter that was mixed with stoneground mustard and honey. There was a sweet tang in the creaminess that added the perfect touch to the pretzel bread! And you know how pretzel bread can turn hard pretty quickly? This bread stayed soft and delicious, even after it cooled. It was very hard to slow down and remember – more food was coming!
Our first entrée for the evening was Pulled PorkwithSlawand Vegetarian Baked Beans. Southern comfort food on a plate, friends. The slow roasted pulled pork is cooked with apple barbeque sauce that adds the perfect hint of traditional southern sweetness to tender pork. And the slaw (a staple on any plate piled high with barbeque!) was creamy goodness and everything traditional slaw is supposed to be! And, y’all – I don’t know what it is about baked beans, but I always prefer vegetarian baked beans. So I’m delighted that they are on the menu, and of course, the non-meat-eaters will be, too! These are church-potluck-quality baked beans you’ll dream about!
The next entrée served was based on a dish that’s already a favorite of mine – the Grilled Pinehurst Chicken Salad. If you’ve never had Midtown Cafe & Dessertery’s famous Pinehurst Chicken Salad (YUM!), do yourself a favor and go to Midtown for lunch tomorrow. But this time – instead of slicing the chicken, they’ve seasoned and cooked their chicken in their traditional way, but topped it with grilled onions, mushrooms, and provolone cheese to make the Loaded Pinehurst Chicken. Divine. Absolute mouthwatering deliciousness. This meal is served with Mac and Cheese and Cinnamon Apples.
You know that big ‘ole casserole dish of Mac and Cheese that Grandma always made? She must have shared her recipe with Midtown because their version is every bit as cheesy, creamy, and comforting as hers. Let’s just leave the carb counting at the door. Enjoy and savor every single bite.
And I’ve got to brag about these Cinnamon Apples for a minute, too. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon, so this isn’t a dish I would normally choose. However, these were fantastic. The apples were still firm – not mushy as can often happen to baked apples. And the cinnamon was perfect – not overpowering at all, but just enough to enhance the flavor of the apples.
Next to the table was the ultimate picnic staple: Buttermilk Fried Chicken. But, wait for it… the geniuses at Midtown Cafe have created a fried chicken recipe from a boneless AND skinless chicken breast. I honestly didn’t think you could fry chicken without the skin. It was wonderful! Not greasy or heavy, but the chicken is tender and juicy with that crispy outer shell of fried goodness. Major kudos to my friends at Midtown for this one! Plus, they paired it with fresh Corn on the Cob and Baked Potato Salad!
Let’s talk Baked Potato Salad for a minute – another southern classic that the thoughtful team at Midtown has vegetarianized! Large chunks of baked potatoes are creamy, mixed with cheese, scallions, and full of flavor. For the vegetarians out there, you’ll love this option as a side choice, and it’s even offered as a side during the lunch hour!
For the rest of our meal, we took a little detour from the traditional picnic theme for two seafood entrees you won’t want to miss. First up, Grilled Citrus Teriyaki Salmon. As we set up the plate to be photographed, I felt bad for the lady dining next to us because she really wanted to try this dish. But since they were still testing out the summer menu (I’m always happy to be the guinea pig!), it wasn’t available for her on this particular evening. I didn’t catch my new friend’s name, but I hope she returns soon to try it for herself because it was Ah. Maz. Ing. What I really loved about this dish is that, yet again, the kitchen staff has paid attention to specific dietary needs. This generous portion of salmon sits on a bed of Fried Cauliflower Rice and a side of Steamed Broccoli. For the carb-conscious, you are going to LOVE this meal. Bursting with flavor, I can honestly say – the carbs won’t be missed. If you indulge yourself too much on the Midtown Mac and Cheese one night, you can go back the next for this one and erase all your guilt.
Finally, our last entrée for the evening was Shrimp Tacos. Yum. Two soft tacos filled with grilled jumbo shrimp, corn salsa, avocado crema, and shredded cabbage and cilantro! The shrimp is fresh and firm, and if you’re looking for a delicious seafood taco, right here it is. This is what you’re looking for. The Shrimp Tacos are served with a side of Midtown’s hand-cut French Fries!
Of course, menu favorites such as Midtown Meatloaf and Hearty Meat Lasagna are always available!
And how can you visit Midtown Cafe & Dessertery without sampling dessert? You can’t. So I tried my absolute favorite – Midtown’s own twist on the Strawberry Shortcake. Midtown’s signature, five-flavor pound cake is topped with sugar-soaked strawberries and a generous pile (“dollop” doesn’t cut it) of whipped cream. It’s big enough to share, but no one will blame you if you refuse. Midtown will happily make one for everyone at the table. There is a time and a place for sharing, but this isn’t one of them.
I am so excited about Midtown’s summer menu, and I can’t wait for you to try it, too! Whether you’re dining with the family or dining with your friends, make sure you tell them Rosey sent you!