Fresh off the hike, we drove the last stretch into Winston-Salem, where i spent a couple of years in high school.  Our time in Winston focused on family and friends with less sight-seeing, but we still managed to check out the town.  Winston holds Grandma as well, so our planning involved a lot of Grandma telling us to leave the baby and go out on our own.  Once you become a grandparent, your children become like a cracker to cheese and we were obviously obstructing quality Grandma-Grandchild time.  We did manage to steal the kid away for some the phenomenal Children’s Museum, however.

Children’s Museum

The Winston-Salem Children’s Museum is officially called Kaleideum, a portmanteau of “kaleidoscope” and “museum”.  This two-story experience rests between historic Salem and downtown and provides a full spectrum of things to do, touch, build, and see for kids of all ages.  They have a reading room, playhouse, crafts room, tech shop, play store, play donut factory (this is Krispy Kreme country, after all), and play cabin in the woods.  Shiz took Fin in the morning and he had such a blast that I took him back in the afternoon.

If you’re here with kids, just bring them here and go to town.  Not literally, though, always supervise young children.

They have a wide array of healthy snacks, too.

You call these healthy snacks!?

Sutler’s Gin

The grandparents graciously gave us a night on the town with friends, and Shiz and I took an hour before meeting up to have a little date for ourselves.  It’s always lovely to see old friends and we ended up at Hoots Roller Bar (which is awesome).  My friend Tim manages the bar, but he is also the lead distiller of Sutler’s Spirit Co. next door.  After some mighty tasty beers and karaoke, Tim gave Shiz and I a quick tour of the distillery and let us try some of his gold-medal winning gin and talk us through the distilling process.

I’ve pretty much drank shitty gin my whole life, so having some of this mana of the grains was a true treat.  It’s soooo good.


Trade Street

For our last afternoon in town we headed out with the grandparents to walk trade street and try the fried chicken at Miss Ora’s Kitchen.  Named after the grandmother of the owner of Sweet Potatoes, this lunch-counter style place specializes in the friend chicken that Sweet Potatoes is so well known for.  If you’ve never been to Sweet Potatoes, go.  Now.  Come back and read the rest of this article.  Sweet Potatoes is Southern food done exactly how it should be.

The friend chicken at Sweet Potatoes gained itself a reputation, so when the owners of Sweet Potatoes decided to move, they sectioned off a small part of the next building for a lunch counter that would specialize in friend chicken.   And sweet potato biscuits.  And coleslaw.  Essentially, this is lunch done proper.

I, like any sane omnivore, love friend chicken.  But every time I ate at Sweet Potatoes I never ordered it because the world is filled with good fried chicken and their menu has so much else to offer.  Miss Ora’s thankfully gave us an excuse to focus on the fried chicken.

The world is filled with good fried chicken.  This is phenomenal friend chicken.

I know that I’m going on about fried chicken, but it’s seriously that good.

After stuffing ourselves with what any self-respecting chicken would gladly die for, we walked Trade Street, Winston-Salem’s Arts District.  Nice street art, a chocolatier, and other small shops make a pleasant five blocks to stroll and check out a nicely revitalized downtown.  I used to go to punk shows on this street in high school and it has changed a whole lot.

Seriously, though, the fried chicken.

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