You can’t leave Winston-Salem without eating brunch at Mary’s Gourmet Diner (723 Trade Street). Especially if you love folk art and food as much as I do. I stepped in the door of this popular eatery in Winston-Salem’s redeveloped arts district and couldn’t believe my eyes. Folk art everywhere! From the welcome signage to the wall murals, you’re served up a mighty taste of the local art scene with your heaping plate of breakfast. A series of paintings lines the far wall. They actually depict employees with totemic animal heads. Each character grasps cooking utensils in their hand. And Mary’s has an Art-O-Mat machine, so I got to add to my $5 art collection!
The waiter put a pitcher of water on our table complete with sprigs of mint and slices of lemon. A nice touch while we pursued the giant menu. Mary’s fare is all about fresh, organic and local when possible. They proudly list and loudly support their local purveyors. It’s all local folks. Even the flour for the biscuits. Here’s the list: Homeland Creamery dairy products (Julian, NC), Ward’s Happy Chicken Eggs (McLeansville, NC), Shore Farm produce (Yadkinville, NC), Sanford Milling Company flour (Henderson, NC), Giacomo’s Italian Deli meats (Greensboro, NC), Plum Granny Farm produce (King, NC), Krankies Coffee (Winston Salem, NC), Lindley Mill stone-ground organic yellow grits (Graham, NC), Three Sister’s Artisan Bakery fresh baked bread (Mocksville, NC).
I can’t help it. I have to show you a piece of the menu. You’ll see how hard it was to make a decision. I swear our entire table took forever to decide. There was lots of grumbling and then we decided to order a couple of extra things to split between us so we could taste as much as possible.
The specials of the day did us in: Shiitake mushroom gravy on basil and onion biscuit and a plate of French Toast with Housemade Lavender Syrup with Whipped Cream. You know I jumped on that mushroom gravy and damn, I’m glad I did! HUGE chunks of mushrooms in a deliciously thick gravy. Oh heavens, it was good.