Greensboro as a whole, and Spring Garden Street in particular, is home to some of the best restaurants in North Carolina. As a young foodie myself, not originally from this half of I-85, I have made it my mission during my four years at UNCG to explore all that Greensboro has to offer the culinary world. . Truth be told, I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to food. I put melted butter on a pop pie and called it tasty. And it’s. Given that, I’d like to think that maybe I know when something appeals to those taste buds we all have, and maybe that’s enough to give a recommendation.
Recently a new restaurant by the name of “Not Your Ordinary” Gate City Provisions joined the ranks of Spring Garden restaurants. Insert a joke here about him being out of the ordinary in goodness. This restaurant offers an assortment of Bahn Mi, Mediterranean, Soy and Tuna dishes. And they do them all unpretentiously and well. The kicker of this restaurant is their house roasted meats. That’s right, all their meat is roasted on site.
The joint’s open sign beckoned me a few times. Yet, feeling rather unadventurous, I continued to doom myself to the known safe options (a rather pathetic gesture for a self-proclaimed foodie). And what a condemnation it was. As soon as I arrived, I was greeted by the sweet sounds of Willie Nelson and the Highwaymen. (In fact, I heard it several times that I’ve since added to my personal playlists). I strolled to the counter. Having absolutely no idea what to order, I was grateful for the indecisiveness of the customers in front of me. The menu was extremely varied, with food at almost every price point. From Chicken Salad to Soy Citrus Chicken Breast, Mediterranean Pita, New Orleans Gumbo, and Vietnamese Banh Mi, I was amazed at everything this restaurant tried to TO DO. I went with the Banh Mi, got settled, got my number, got myself a glass of water and let myself down with a beautiful view of Spring Garden, the sweet sounds mentioned before continuing to play.
Within 10 minutes my food was in front of me, piping hot: delicious crispy chips, fried just right, and a Bahn Mi like I’ve never had before. The homemade sauce emulsified the inner layer of the bread and combined perfectly with the pork, all for an absolute melting flavor. It goes well with the crispiness of the fries and the tartness of the homemade pickle. All in all it was a fantastic dish. It must have taken me less than five minutes to swallow it: I just couldn’t stop the voracious hunger that was stimulated by that first bite.
The only thing that stopped me was the owner, who walked around all the tables, checking that his food was up to the tastes of the customers. This is something I don’t believe I have ever seen in any other restaurant before or since. Sure, a waiter or waitress will always come by and ask how the food is (I do that myself in my job), but having the restaurant owner – probably a man so intimately familiar with recipes and food preparation – taking time out of his hectic kitchen life (and kitchen life is hectic), was very respectable. Coming to visit his tables was an unexpected and always appreciated gesture of goodwill in terms of gastronomy that one cannot forget.
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