WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Only in its second year, a food tour is helping Winston-Salem based restaurants gain a new following.
Lisa Schnurr is the owner of Tour De Food, a walking tour that exposes tourists and Triad residents to the restaurants that give downtown Winston-Salem a unique flavor.
“We go to six stops per tour. It lasts about three hours. You get to meet the chefs and the owners, you get a specialty dish at each stop and you get a little history along the way,” Schnurr said.
One of the tour stops is Mary’s Gourmet Diner, a restaurant famous for breakfast and brunch. It’s a fixture in Winston-Salem. The cinnamon swirl French toast served with a side of grits is unforgettable.
“We’re very famous for the grits because no one else does this long cooking. It takes a little bit longer, they’re not instant, they’re like your grandma used to make,” Chef Mary Haglund said.
But the diner also represents a first. It prides itself on incorporating local, organic ingredients.
“Fourteen years ago when I started, it was hard to find local stuff. Now, it’s like this big thing, but we were the first ones to do local eggs for a breakfast restaurant and local coffee,” she said.
Supporting local is one of the main reasons why Schnurr started Tour De Food.
“I love the whole farm to table concept, supporting locally, the chefs and artisans taking ingredients from local farms and creating these fabulous dishes,” Schnurr said.
Other stops on the tour include Jeffrey Adams on Fourth which is a fairly new restaurant. Its chef grows many of the vegetables used in the dishes on his farm.
Nothing says summer like a cool treat. Wolfies Frozen Custard is an attraction inside Washington Perk.
But perhaps one of the biggest perks of the tour is the exposure.
‘The out of town people even, when they are in Winston-Salem, they make it a point to come back. So that’s great”, Haglund said.