Lifestyle Blogger Kate Kelly of Life of a Ginger Shares Her Food Tour Experience
A food tour is a great way to rediscover the Gate City, whether you are a longtime resident, a new transplant or traveling to the Triad for the first time. Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours shares the best downtown Greensboro has to offer and more.
Scuppernong Books was named one of the South’s best bookstores by Southern Living magazine. We moved to the café to select beverages. I picked an IPA from Gibbs Hundred, a Greensboro brewery. Co-owner Steve Mitchell gave the group a brief history of the bookstore while we were treated to a cheese plate of Drunken Goat cheese, Pleasant Ridge Reserve unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese, salami and a wedge of fresh pineapple. All food is prepared on-site and is locally sourced as much as possible.
Don’t miss: The events. More than 60 events are scheduled each month ranging from author book signings to moderated community issues discussions.
Chez Genese, a French-inspired café (“genese” is French for genesis, or new beginnings) is more than just a place to grab breakfast and lunch. Chez Genese also provides jobs to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (70 percent of their staff). Aside from the bread and pastries, which come from Camino Bakery in Winston-Salem, N.C., all food is made in-house from locally sourced ingredients. I ate a fresh side salad with honey vinaigrette and a Pan Bagnat: a sandwich with sliced chicken, dressed with a house-made olive tapenade, tomatoes, goat cheese, pepperoncini and arugula, served on a fresh baguette.
Check out: The cooking and culinary technique classes ranging from French macaron making, cheese making and flavor-profile workshops
Horigan’s House of Taps is a unique bar offering 48 rotating taps of craft beers, wines and ciders. What is so unique about that? Well, you are in charge of the taps! Upon entering the bar, you receive a wristband attached to your credit card. You hold the wristband up to the Horigan’s logo to the right of the tap until you get a green light and then pour as much or as little of your chosen beverage, as desired. This is a great way to try new beverages without making a commitment. I enjoyed taste-testing several locally made beers and ciders, but my favorite drink of the day was a ginger beer from Ginger’s Revenge located in Asheville, N.C.
Snap a pic: The murals inside were produced by a local artist and are perfect to make your next selfie Instagram-worthy.
Liberty Oak Restaurant, located in the oldest commercial building remaining in the Old Greensborough Historic District, features original tin ceiling tiles and oak floors dating back to 1883. We were served a perfect meal: shrimp and grits—flawlessly sauteed shrimp and smoky Andouille sausage served over smoked Gouda, stone-ground grits and topped with a luscious trinity cream sauce. That alone was worth the trip!
Don’t miss: The ceilings are made of original tin dating back to 1883
At Jerusalem Market on Elm, a cute little full-service restaurant that opened downtown in 2016, we were warmly greeted by co-owner Easa Hanhan as we entered the restaurant. We were served a tasting plate of hummus, za’atar chips, falafel and Foule (fresh chickpeas and fava bean salad). While everything was delightful, the clear standout on the plate was the falafel. Several tour participants commented it was probably the best falafel they’d ever tasted. Everything in Jerusalem Market is made from scratch in-house, using many locally sourced ingredients.
Check out: The Mediterranean-imported sundries including Turkish delights, pomegranate syrup and pita chips
At Cheesecakes by Alex, I knew I was in for a treat when I saw the snaking line of people waiting to get in. The bakery offers 22 different flavors of cheesecake, along with assorted layer cakes, cupcakes, muffins, turnovers, bars and cookies. Everything is made from scratch, in-house daily. I tried the White Chocolate Raz and was not disappointed. The cake was so creamy and smooth, full of raspberry flavor.
Don’t miss: The ice cream and the coffee drinks. Provided by Homeland Creamery in Julian and various local roasters, both are perfect with cheesecake.
Beer Co., a “drink-in” bottle shop with an eclectic collection of craft beers from all over, was perfect for an after-dinner pick-me-up. While Beer Co’s stock is nearly 90 percent beer, they do carry several kinds of wine for the non-beer drinker. The shop is very casual, laid-back and welcoming, and the “beertenders” are friendly and knowledgeable. This is a perfect place to wind down after work, drop in for a quick drink before a movie, or just hang out and have a great conversation with some friends.
Don’t miss: Beer Co. has a second location at 106 W. Elm St. in Graham, N.C..