Best of Winston-Salem – 2012

Smitty’s Notes 6th Annual
“Best of Winston-Salem” Awards
July 2012

Welcome to Smitty’s Notes 6th Annual Best of Winston-Salem awards, where we gauged who has the best of what we like and appreciated about our fair city, and add to our general quality of life here as recommended by you – Smittyheads! This year’s contest had a fabulous response and increased from 2011.


Votes were compiled from a survey distributed to recipients of the Smitty’s Notes e-newsletter listserv, and it was also posted on the Web site from mid-May and during the month of June. Although not a scientific polling, it is a good sampling of the businesses, people and places that you like in Winston-Salem. The voting tabulation for each category had a Winner (clear choice); Runner Up (highest second choice); Honorable Mention (enough votes to get noticed) where applicable and Best Quote (a comment worth noting or one so hilarious that it deserved a mention). In compiling the list, some categories are intentionally not included. Simply, Smitty’s Notes doesn’t tailor or report on certain content and we are not a newsletter for everything in the city. There were also a couple of comments about the length of the survey. To those, I pose the question: Where would you cut categories that mean something to someone else? Trust me. This thing could have been WAY longer.


In reading it, I hope you find places and people you’ve known all about for a while, found lesser-known highlights in the city and like me, plan to visit (or even meet) some of the places and people you didn’t know about that are worthy of seeking out. I hope you find as much joy in exploring as Smitty’s Notes did putting together its annual Best of Winston-Salem Contest. The 2012 winners will receive a Certificate of Recognition and window decal for their establishments.

General Comments on this year’s awards or input for 2013 Best of Winston-Salem” Contest. Email Best of Winston-Salem Contest Comments

Previous years ‘Best of Winston-Salem’

Local Ad Campaign that caught your attention (Business or Non-Profit)

Winner: Forsyth Technical Community College (Billboards)

Runner up: Pro Shots (Billboards)

Honorable Mention: Old Salem Museum and Gardens (Print)

Best Quote: “The Forsyth Tech billboards always keep me smiling at their cleverness!; “”Proshots Whether or not you like the idea of guns, they certainly got us driving.”


Local 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Organization

Winner: Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina

Runner up: Senior Services, Inc.

Honorable Mention: Crisis Control MinistriesCancer Services, IncProject Pearl and Ronald McDonald House of Winston Salem

Best Quote (s): “Second Harvest Food Bank. Not sure if they are 501(c)(3)….but their work is so important and I love their partnership with Lowes Foods”

Local Print Columnist  (Newspaper or Magazine)

Winner: Scott Sexton (Winston-Salem Journal)

Runner up: Michael Hastings  (Winston-Salem Journal)

Honorable mention: David Bare  (Winston-Salem Journal) and Cindy Hodnett (Winston-Salem Journal)

Best Quote (s) “Scott Sexton – the voice of the little man…from a not so little man”; “WSJ’s David Bare because he’s the Gardening Guru for Winston-Salem”; “Chuck Norris (because I’m scared he’ll roundhouse me otherwise!)”

Local Activist

Winner:  Mary Jamis

Runner up: Millicent Greason-Spivak

Honorable mention: Anne G. Wilson and Frank Eaton
Best Quote (s) Mary “civilly disobedient ” Jamis

Hyperlocal Print Publication (Magazine Rack or Tabloid)

Winner: Winston-Salem Monthly

Runner up: Forsyth Woman

Honorable mention: Relish Magazine and Yes Weekly

Local Politician (City, County or State Representative)

Winner:  Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines

Runner Up: United States Senator Richard Burr, North Carolina (lives in Winston-Salem)

Honorable Mention: Fifth District Congressional Candidate Elizabeth Motsinger and Winston-Salem City Councilman Dan Beese

Berst Quote (s): “Allen Joines- I like that he always speaks to his constituents when you see him anywhere.”; “Is this a trick question?”

Local Scenester/Mover and Shaker (You know, one of the interesting characters around town)

Winner: Susan Morris

Runner Up: Richard Emmett

Honorable Mention: Don Flow, J. D. Wilson and Ralph Womble
Best Quote (s): “Brian Cole: that cat has it going on. and on and on”.

Best Local Blog

Winner:   Triad Moms on Main

Runner Up: Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership

Honorable Mention: A Foodie Stays Fit and Carpe Salem

Best Quote (s):

Best Local Facebook Group or Page

Winner: Bring Trader Joe’s to Winston-Salem

Runner Up: Triad Mom’s on Main

Honorable Mention: YWCA and Cancer Services

Best Local Twitter Feed

Winner: Mozelle’s

Runner Up: Old Salem Museum and Gardens

Honorable Mention:  NCTriadBeer and Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership


Winner:  Camino Bakery

Runner Up: Dewey’s Bakery

Honorable Mention: Ollie’s Bakery

Best Quote (s): “Camino Bakery – Carrie is as warm as a fresh baguette!”; “Camino-hands down the best addition to downtown in years!”; “Dewey’s Bakery. When I was pregnant I went through a dozen pink lemonade cake squares every 3 days!”


Winner:  Little Richards

Runner Up: Bibs Downtown

Honorable Mention: Mr. Barbeque  Prissy Polly’s and Honkey Tonk Pig

Best Quote (s) “Little Richards – Trust me…I ate a BBQ place in Richmond and had to visit Little Richards just to get my mind right.”; “I don’t eat meat, but the smell of Bibs BBQ is heavenly”


Winner:  Breakfast Of Course (Mary’s Too!)

Runner Up: Screaming Rooster

Honorable Mention: Midtown Café & Dessert-ery

Best Quote (s): “Breakfast of Course- Biscuits as big as your face! Okay not really but…they’re huge”; “Breakfast of Course… anyone who votes otherwise lives under a rock.”


Winner:  Krankie’s

Runner Up: Camino Bakery

Honorable Mention: Starbuck’s and Chelsee’s

Best Quote (s): “Krankie’s is the obvious choice here.”; “Starbucks. I’m too addicted to the sugar with a little coffee added.”


Winner:  Bagel Station

Runner Up: Panera Bread

Honorable Mention: Bruegger’s Bagels

Best Quote (s): “The Bagel Shop – hands down”; “The NY ones in my freezer”


Winner:  Midtown Cafe and Dessertery

Runner Up: Camino Bakery

Honorable Mention: Dewey’s Bakery

Best Quote (s): “Midtown Dessertery Five flavored pound cake!”; “Camino, geesh, my button won’t clasp cause Camino shrank my pants!”; “My kitchen (beer cupcakes, mmmm)”

Ice Cream

Winner: Blue Ridge Ice Cream

Runner Up: Cold Stone Creamery

Best Quote (s): “Blue Ridge Ice Cream. Never had a bad scoop there.”


Winner: Caffé Prada

Runner Up: Café Gelato

Best Quote (s): “Cafe Gelato on Reynolda Rd. is the BEST. Right up there with the Europeans.”


Winner: Wolfies Custard

Runner up:  None


Winner:  Five Guys

Runner Up: Cook Out

Honorable Mention: Village Tavern Goody’s and Twin City Diner

Hot Dog

Winner:  Skippy’s

Runner Up: PB’s Hotdogs

Honorable Mention:  Pulliam BBQ and Kermit’s

Best Quote (s): “OMG!! Pulliam’s BBQ woof woof good stuff!!”

New Restaurant (Open since July, 1, 2011)

Winner:  Spring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen

Runner Up: The District Roof Top Bar and Grill

Honorable Mention: 2520 Tavern

Best Quote (s):  “Spring House, love the history there.”

Farm To Table Restaurant

Winner:  The Screaming Rooster

Runner Up: Willows Bistro

Honorable Mention: Mozelle’s

Italian Restaurant

Winner: Vincenzo’s

Runner Up: Paul’s

Honorable Mention: Dioli’s  TrattoriaKitchen Roselli and Coppala’s

Best Quote (s): “Vincenzo’s – can’t beat it. We take my Italian grandparents every time they are in town!”

Mexican Restaurant

Winner: La Botana

Runner Up:  Senor Bravo

Honorable Mention:  Mi Pueblo and El Maguey

Best Quote (s): “La Botana (WITHOUT A DOUBT!)”

Latin Restaurant

Winner: Miami Cafe

Runner Up: La Botana

Honorable Mention: Yeh, Mon’s

Soul Food

Winner: Sweet Potatoes

Runner Up:  Big Mamma’s Place

Honorable Mention: Nitty Gritty Soul Food; Meta’s

Best Quote (s): . “Sweet Potatoes well shut my mouth”; “The Nitty Gritty makes the best soul food in the area. They have plenty of choices and the food is cooked while you wait! No leftovers for sale!”


Winner: Ryan’s

Runner Up: Putter’s

Honorable Mention:  Noble’s Grille;  Lone Star

Best Quote (s): “none beats mine sorry!”

Fried Chicken

Winner:  Mountain Fried Chicken

Runner Up:  Sweet Potatoes

Honorable Mention: Mozelle’s; Bojangles

Best Quote (s): “Mountain Fried: Tastes the closest to home cooked.”


 Winner: Bib’s Downtown 

Runner up: Butt Brothers BBQ

Honorable Mention: Little Richards Honkey Tonk Pig

Best Quote (s): “Too messy, I freak out a little any time there is food on my hands”; “My friend Hugh’s are better than any restaurant’s”

Asian Restaurant

Winner:  Downtown Thai

Runner Up: Sakura Japanese Restaurant

Honorable Mention: Mizu and Thai Sawatdee

Best Quote (s) “Thai Sawatee in the Harris Teeter at Cloverdale”; “The Chinese place close to my house – hope that helps.” Smitty Comment: Yes. That helps a lot 😉


Winner: Breakfast Of Course (Mary’s, Too !)

Runner Up: Village Tavern

Honorable Mention: Fourth Street Filling Station; and Willow’s Bistro

Best Quote (s): “Hutch and Harris. Seriously, have you had their brunch? It’s killer”

Ethnic (Other)

Winner:  Nawab Indian Cuisine

Runner Up: Mooney’s

Honorable Mention: Sushi Thai and Thai Sawatdee

Best Quote (s): “Nawab – amazing service and consistently great food”; “I need to get out more”

Romantic Dinner

Winner: Mozelle’s

Runner Up: Ryan’s Restaurant

Honorable Mention: Milner’s Noble’s Grille and Meridian

Best Quote (s):  “Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar!!! the patio is beautiful. There is a cute garden and fountain for an intimate setting.”; “What? With a 4 year old?”; “I wish I could answer that one!!”

Take a First Date

 Winner: Mozelle’s 

Runner up: Noble’s Grille

Honorable Mention: Milner’s Willow’s Bistro and Village Tavern

Best Quote (s): “No longer in that arena”

Fine Dining Restaurant

Winner: Bernardin’s at Zevely House

Runner Up: Mozelle’s  and Ryan’s Restaurant 

Honorable Mention: Nobles GrilleMeridian RestaurantSpring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen  Fabian’s and Milner’s

Best Quote (s):”Meridian. Love the drinks and the food. wonderful ambience”

Seafood Restaurant

Winner:  King’s Crab Shack and Oyster Bar

Runner Up: Jimmy’s Seafood and Oyster Bar

Honorable Mention: Full Moon Oyster Bar Mayflower Seafood and Bonefish Grill

Best Quote (s) “If anyone writes Bonefish Grill, I will stab them in the head”; Smitty Comment: Oh My! 😉

Late Night Place To Eat (after 10 p.m.)

Winner:  Burke Street Pizza

Runner Up:  Breakfast Of Course (Mary’s, Too !)

Honorable Mention: Cook Out, Waffle House

Best Quote (s): “Burke St Pizza, late night means I’m already drunk and need a snack, right?”; “I’m not even awake that late, let alone out looking for something to eat.”

Pizza Parlor

Winner:  Burke Street Pizza

Runner Up:  Mellow Mushroom

Honorable Mention:  Brixx and Mario’s Pizza

Health Food

Winner:  Whole Foods Food Bar

Runner Up: Mooney’s

Best Quote (s): “Whole Foods – love the salad bar and the hot bar although admittedly, I don’t always make the “healthy” choices.”


Winner: Ishi

Runner Up:  Mizu

Honorable Mention: Sakura, Ichiban, Downtown Thai and Sushi Thai

Best Quote (s): “Mizu ( by far the freshest in town. The staff is so friendly and they have delicious nouvelle combinations with impressive presentation)”

Vegetarian Food

Winner:  Whole Foods Market

Runner Up:  Mooney’s

Honorable Mention: Nawab Indian CuisineBreakfast Of Course (Mary’s, Too !) and Sushi Thai

Best Quote (s): “I like food that had parents.”

Wine List

Winner:  Sixth and Vine Wine Bar

Runner Up: Noble’s Grille

Honorable Mention: Mozelle’s Meridian Restaurant and Vin 205


Winner:   Tim Grandinetti – Spring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen

Runner Up:  Janis Karathanas – Mozelle’s

Honorable Mention: Mark Grohman – Meridian Restaurant; Bill Smith – Fabian’s Will Kingery – Willow’s Bistro Ungi – Sakura Japanese Restaurant

Restaurant Service

Winner:  Mozelle’s

Runner Up: Willow’s Bistro

Honorable Mention: West End Cafe Village Tavern  and Milner’s

Best Quote (s): “Mozelle’s. They really make you feel special there.”


Winner:  Jimmy John’s

Runner Up: Burke Street Pizza

Honorable Mention: Papa John’s, and Dinner on the Porch

Best Quote (s): “Jimmy Johns ( Ridiculously fast!)”

Food Truck 

Winner:  Joaquin’s Curb Cuisine

Runner Up: Forno Moto

Farmers Market

Winner: Cobblestone Farmers Market  

Runner Up: Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

Honorable Mention:  Old Salem Cobblestone Market Reynolda Farm Market and Dixie Classic Fair Farmers Market

Wait Person (Server)

Winner:  Rob Murphy – Mozelle’s

Runner Up: Anna Wishon – Meridian

Honorable Mention: Aaron Denton – Mozelle’s  and West End Cafe Staff

Annual Event/Festival

Winner:  Salute! The North Carolina Wine Celebration in Downtown Winston

Runner Up:   Rock the Block!!

Honorable Mention: Greek Festival;  North Carolina Wine Festival @ Tanglewood,  and Twin City Taps

People Watching

Winner:  Downtown Winston (Fourth Street and The Arts District)

Runner Up: Hanes Mall

Honorable Mention:  Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday Night (Racing)


Winner:  Tanglewood Park

Runner Up: Hanes Park

Honorable Mention: Washington Park and Reynolda Gardens

Bike riding

Winner:  Salem Lake

Runner Up: Tanglewood Park

Honorable Mention: Miller Park and Washington Park

Walking Trails

Winner:  Salem Lake

Runner Up: Reynolda Gardens

Honorable Mention: Tanglewood Park and Bethabra Park

Place For The Pet

Winner:  Washington Park

Runner Up: Horizon Park

Honorable Mention: Ruff Housing

TV News Personality, Male (Any Triad Station)

Winner:  Cameron Kent – WXII.

Runner Up: Austin Caviness –  WXII

Honorable Mention: Brent Campbell – Fox 8

Best Quote (s): “Cameron Kent, volunteers so much time to charity events!”

TV News Personality, Female (Any Triad Station)

Winner:  Wanda Starke – WXIII

Runner Up: Kimberly VanScoy – WXII

Honorable Mention: Nicole Ducor – WXII and Cindy Farmer – Fox 8

Best Quote (s): “Kimberly VanScoy – smoking hot doesn’t hurt either!”

Radio Morning Crew (Any Triad Station)

Winner:   Two Guys named Chris – Rock 92

Runner Up: Chuck and Leanne 93.1 The Wolf

Honorable Mention:  WFDD – 88.5 NPR Murphy in the Morning Show – 107.5 KZL

Tap Beer

Winner:  Foothills Brewery

Runner Up: Finnegan’s Wake

Honorable Mention:  1st Street Draught House and Mellow Mushroom

New Bar/Nightclub (Open since July 1, 2011)

Winner:  The District Roof Top Bar and Grill

Runner Up: Ziggy’s

Honorable Mention:  None

Dive Bar

Winner: Silver Moon Saloon

Runner Up:  Single Brothers

Honorable Mention:  Recreation Billiards West End Opera House and Carlise’s

Best Quote (s): “West End Opera House Not really a dive, necessarily,but a good intimate, not fancy or trendy bar.”

Restaurant Bar

Winner: Finnegan’s Wake

Runner Up: Milner’s

Honorable Mention: The District Roof Top Bar and Grill and Meridian

Sports Bar

Winner: Fox and Hound

Runner Up: Mossy’s

Honorable Mention:  and Old Staley’s Grill and Buffalo Wild Wings

Meet After Work

Winner:  Tate’s Craft Cocktails

Runner Up: First Street Draught House

Honorable Mention:  Old Winston Social Club   Sixth and Vine Wine Bar and Recreation Billiards

Craft Cocktails

Winner:  Tate’s Craft Cocktails

Runner Up: Single Brothers

Bartender, Male (Location)

Winner:  Ian Lockey – Single Brothers

Runner Up:  Jay Dunbar – Single Brothers

Honorable Mention: Brandon Creason – Finnegan’s Wake  and Joe Blevins – Silver Moon

Bartender, Female (Location)

Winner:  Michelle Russell – Meridian Restaurant

Runner Up: Aimee Ochtinsky – Single Brothers

Honorable Mention: Hillary Davis – Silver Moon and Robin Willis – West End Opera House


Outdoor Patio

Winner:  4th St. Filling Station

Runner Up:  6th & Vine Wine Bar

Honorable Mention: Village Tavern (Reynolda Village) and The District Roof Top Bar and Grill

Pool Tables

Winner:  Recreation Billiards

Runner Up: Fox and Hound

Honorable Mention: West End Opera House

Live Music Venue

Winner:  Ziggy’s

Runner up: The Garage

Honorable Mention: Johnny and Junes and Old Winston Social Club

Best Quote (s): “Ziggy’s–they’re back!”

Unconventional Date Night Idea

Winner:  Winston-Salem Dash Game

Runner up: Gallery Hop/Trade Street

Honorable Mention: Bowman Gray Racing Merlot and Van Gogh and Zip Lines

Best Place To Meet Single UNDER 40

Winner: Tate’s Craft Cocktails

Runner up: The District Roof Top Bar and Grill

Honorable Mention:  Sixth and Vine Single Brothers and Finnegan’s Wake

Best Quote (s): “I’m not supposed to know…”

 Best Place To Meet Single OVER 40

Winner: Sixth and Vine

Runner up: Tate’s Craft Cocktails

Honorable Mention: Village Tavern and Vin 205

Best Quote (s):”My husband frowns upon this.”


Winner: RayLen Vineyards

Runner up: Childress Vineyards

Honorable Mention: Shelton Vineyards and Westbend Vineyards

Grocery Store

Winner:  Whole Foods Market

Runner Up: Lowes Foods

Honorable Mention: Fresh Market Harris Teeter and Washington Perk and Provisions

Beer and/or Wine Shop

Winner: City Beverage

Runner Up: Total Wine and More

Honorable Mention: Wine Merchants Gourmet

Local Gift Shop/Boutique

Winner: ReTale

Runner Up:  Hip Chics

Honorable Mention: Noteworthy  Smokey Shabby and All Through The House

Shopping Center

Winner: Thruway Center

Runner Up: Hanes Mall

Honorable Mention: Reynolda Village

Day Spa

Winner:  Van Davis Aveda

Runner Up: European Touch

Honorable Mention Silkroad Salon and The Spa at Highland Oaks

Exercise/Fitness Center

Winner: YMCA

Runner up: The Gateway YWCA

Honorable Mention:  The Rush and Women’s Wellness and Fitness Winston-Salem Adventure Boot Camp


Winner: The Yoga Gallery

Runner up: The Village Yoga

Honorable Mention:  Sunrise Yoga  and Bikram Yoga of Winston-Salem

Green-Oriented Business

Winner: Whole Foods

Runner up: LEAP Realty

Honorable Mention: Dry Cleaning Station

Free Wi-Fi 

Winner: Panera Bread

Runner up: Camino Bakery

Honorable Mention: Krankie’s Starbucks and Fourth Street Downtown Winston-Salem


Winner: Edward McKay

Runner Up: Barnes & Nobles

Honorable Mention: Only at Barnhill’s

Movie Theater

Winner: a/perture cinema

Runner Up:  The Grand 18 Theater

Honorable Mention:  Carmike 10 and Wynnsong 12

Local Artist

Winner: Millicent Greason-Spivak

Runner Up: Wendy Barber

Honorable Mention:   Cindy Taplin and Laura Lashley

Local Band

Winner: The Bo Stevens

Runner Up: Possum Jenkins

Honorable Mention: Martha Bassett and Below the Line

Public Art Display

Winner: Reynolda House

Runner Up: SECCA

Honorable Mention: Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts

Art Gallery/Shop/Boutique

Winner: Piedmont Craftsmen

Runner Up: Merlot & VanGogh

Honorable Mention: Red Dog Gallery Associated Artist and The Other Half 

Local Performing Theater 

Winner: Winston-Salem Theater Alliance

Runner Up: Twin City Stage

Honorable Mention: Festival Stage of Winston-Salem

Performing Arts Group  

Winner: Three Graces Entertainment

Runner Up: Winston-Salem Symphony

Honorable Mention:: Winston-Salem Theater Alliance