424 4th Street NW • Winston-Salem, NC 27104
336.448.5188 • @YoungCardinalWS
Open Tuesday – Sunday from 8 AM – 3 PM; closed on Monday
When you want to enjoy great food at a reasonable price, in a trendy setting like downtown Winston-Salem… Look no further than Young Cardinal Café! I was recently invited to sample some of their dishes. And frankly, when I learned that it’s a breakfast and lunch café, they could have stopped right there. They had me at breakfast. But the fact that they are a sister-restaurant to Jeffrey Adams (YUM!) and The Trophy Room (Fabulous!)? Well, I knew I would be in for a great experience!
Even though Young Cardinal Café is known as a breakfast and lunch stop, they also have an incredible cocktail menu, including mimosas and Bloody Marys, which are the perfect addition for brunch! Additionally, they have a complete selection of wine and beer options from which to choose.
One of the first things you’ll notice upon arrival is the beautiful sidewalk dining. While we ate inside because, hello – it was July when we did this review – there is a charm and elegance about sidewalk dining on such a lovely corner of Fourth Street. If outdoor dining is your thing – then you’ll absolutely love the ambiance at Young Cardinal Café! But the inside is great, too! Clean lines, simplistic in nature – it’s a comfortable place to gather with family and friends.
The first thing we sampled was Huevos Rancheros. And honestly, I wish we hadn’t started here. This is exactly what I would have ordered for myself if I hadn’t been there for Rosey’s Review. So, it was very hard to only take a few bites and then send it on its way. Served on a bed of corn tortilla, the Huevos Rancheros were piled high with pulled pork, pinto beans, and two eggs. Then, because they clearly know what they are doing, a masterful blend of flavors from fresh avocado, pico de gallo, and queso fresco completes this masterpiece of breakfast dining. Seriously, it hurt my heart to see this one go…
Our next entrée was the Chef’s Choice Avocado Toast of the Day. While I typically don’t write about things that our readers may not be able to try for themselves, this is a rotating menu item, meaning – just trust the chef. He’s not going to disappoint. The presentation was gorgeous! We were served two thick slices of toasted bread that was generously covered in smashed avocado. Then, in an unexpectedly creative twist, the chef topped that with seared tuna, dragon fruit, mango, and a sunny side up egg. Y’all, it was both delicious and delightful.
The third breakfast entrée we sampled was a Pimento Cheese Omelet with Ham. But before I get into the details, let’s just say there are so many omelet options – if you’re an omelet fan, you could easily go every day for a month and have something new every time. Their Build Your Own Omelet menu includes cheese options… veggie options… and meat options. The possibilities are incredible! The chef chose our omelet combination, and he has exceptional taste. Both creamy and hearty, this omelet also packed a spicy punch! This was clearly not your grandma’s store-bought pimento cheese! It was the good stuff! Furthermore, the omelet was served with a side of decadently delicious hash browns, as well as a good ‘ole fashioned southern-style biscuit covered in sausage gravy! It was a breakfast to make any Southerner proud!
As I mentioned earlier, the Huevos Rancheros had my heart at first bite, but if it’s possible to have breakfast, and then order breakfast for dessert, look no further than the Nutella and Banana Pancake. This is the kind of deliciousness that ruins diets, people. And every single calorie is worth it. This pancake is so big that it covers the plate entirely. It’s packed full of fresh bananas and topped with a generous dollop of Nutella and decorated with more bananas. And if that wasn’t enough sweetness for you, top the whole thing off with butter and syrup!
We moved out of breakfast mode and finished off our review with a hearty Cardinal Cuban sandwich. What is it about a great Cuban sandwich? When they are made – they are great. When they are made well – they are exceptional. Pulled pork is piled high on a thick slice of bread and topped with ham, pickles, Swiss cheese, and dark ale mustard. They served this Cuban with an order of fries that are those perfect kind of fries…. Crispy on the outside but melt-in-your-mouth delicious on the inside.
And after all that – the rest of my day was shot. What can I say, friends? Food comas are a side-effect of the job. But I encourage you to sample Young Cardinal Café for yourself. This is destined to be a Winston-Salem classic and is a prime example of what makes our foodie town unique! So, go see them soon! And let them know that Rosey sent ya!