Saturday, June 29, 2013

Winston's Grille

 “What do you want to do for dinner?” lobbed back and forth like a game of tennis. As the clock continued to tick, leading us deeper into indecisiveness, a sudden thought popped into my head: Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding. Sara and I piled into the car and headed up Falls of Neuse towards Fork & Barrel. Yet we pulled into an empty parking lot, an abandoned restaurant, and yet another quandary as to where to eat. After an hour in a dark parking lot, a mystery shopping cart slamming into my car, and trying to peek through the windows to see if we were adequately dressed, we strolled through the doors of Winston’s Grille.

Winston’s always stuck out as a landmark on Falls of Neuse with its mysterious silo next to the building. It stands like a mile marker separating “Raleigh” from “North Raleigh”. We were apprehensive at first, surrounded by brass accents, dated carpet, dark wood and gas lamps. Winston’s Grille felt like an Outback Steakhouse was stuck in the 90’s. But surprisingly, Winston’s didn’t suck.

Blue Cheese Chips

First course in, the place had already exceeded my expectations. Piled high were generously seasoned chips with an authoritative crunch, covered in blue cheese sauce, melting away the confusion of the last few hours.

I did wish for a more pungent blue cheese to be smothering the chips, but the dish was good nonetheless.


As if a mountain of chips were not enough carbs, Winston’s rolls were impressive, with a delightful softness and contrasting chew. We took a doggy bag just for the rolls.

Grilled Tuna Sandwich

Winston's menu is a bit sporadic, ranging from seared tuna covered in wasabi sauce to Southern classics like shrimp and grits. What Sara choose was no where on the culinary map. As complex and bizarre as the sandwich's origin was Winston's choice to pair fish and cheese.

The combo notwithstanding, the tuna was cooked perfectly, a nice charred outside while the inside was pink and cool. Sara felt slaw would have been a better choice than just plain lettuce. 

Prime Rib French Dip

Craving prime rib but not wanting the hefty price tag, I figured the prime rib french dip would be at the intersection of cheap and tasty.

The shaved prime rib came equipped with delightful crispy edges. For me, typically au jus is something that makes your sandwich soggy and salty, but Winston's juice was pretty good. The fries were lacking but seemed like the best option among their side items.

Strawberry Shortcake

Our bellies full and the hour late, the empty dining did not deter us from ordering dessert. Promises of homemade ice cream answered one half of our dessert equation. But we still needed something to pair with the frozen dairy. Sara decided strawberry shortcake was the way to go, even if shortcake to her means Bisquick. Lucky for me, the strawberry shortcake at Wintston's was better than Bisquick although I desired more creaminess from the ice cream.

We escaped into the night with a bag of fresh rolls and happy bellies and assured that Winston's Grill in fact does not suck.

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