Since its maiden curing of 1947, the Phillips Brothers Country Hams family has been transmogrifying plain old pork into the Southern country-style hams that earned them the National Country Ham Association’s 2004 smoked-ham grand-championship trophy. The magic begins as each lucky leg marches through two pampering cycles of cure-mix massage and relaxation in chilled oak bins for 40–45 days. After a quick dip to remove excess salt, heroic hocks bask in dry heat for at least 25 days before their debut. Customers exercise culinary imaginations with a whole country ham ($49.95) or staple packages of Phillips wafer-thin slices ($8.99/lb.) together to construct an edible self-portrait. The Midnight Snack pack, a down-home treasure chest of biscuit-cut country ham, baking mix, syrup or jelly, and grits, begs to be assembled into a late-night buffet ($37.95). Accent savory tastes using condiments including Saluda honey on the comb ($24) and locally made jellies ($5), with varieties such as garlic pepper and raspberry brandy complementing each ham's flavor, coloring, and collection of novelty shotglasses.
Bill's Pizza Pub has a long history in the Spencer family, with the first location opening in the 1960s, when jukebox tunes and the flashing lights of a pinball machine mingled with restaurant chatter. Today, Donna Spencer, her husband, John, and their children manage two Bill's Pizza Pub locations. Though nearly 45 years have passed, the family continues to preserve those elements that first typified their eatery: handmade dough, pizza cut into squares, and a thriving social scene.
The menu compiles 14 specialty pizzas, from classics such as the margherita and the meat-peppered Bill's Feast to more inventive disks. The baked-potato pizza replaces tomato sauce with sour cream and sprinkles potato wedges, bacon, and onions over a bed of cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Wings, burgers, and submarine sandwiches provide ample alternatives to pies, and spaghetti dinners mix noodles with chicken parmesan and meatballs.
Its edible offerings might shift as new pizza experiments enter the fold, but Bill's remains married to its nostalgic ambiance. The restaurant's website collects stories from loyal patrons who describe their favorite memories, recounting first dates and that romantic moment when you realize that you both have pepperoni breath.
At age 6, Kostas Bakoulas used to stand balanced on a step stool, stamping paper bags with the logo and address of his family's eatery. "I started working there when I started walking," he says with a laugh. "As a child of an immigrant, that's just what you do." Kostas says he couldn't see himself doing anything else, and today he proudly runs his own restaurant, Kozzy's Grille. In 2011, readers of The High Point Enterprise named Kozzy's Grille the Best New Restaurant.
Almost everything at Kozzy's Grille is made fresh to order and never frozen in a vat of nitrogen. Though this may be a result of sparse storage space, it's a benefit to customers, who line up for gyros doused in tzatziki sauce made from Kostas's father's recipe as well as grilled chicken marinated in a blend also concocted by his father. Kostas's own favorite is the Kozzy-style gyro, served with french fries wrapped inside the pita, just as it's done in his parents' home country. Kozzy's Grille keeps an open kitchen, allowing Kostas to get to know his guests as he sears meats with aplomb.
Saying that chefs stick to Italian classics might imply a slim menu, but the culinary team at Giovanni's A Taste Of Italy prepares a wide range of dishes, from cheese-stuffed manicotti and homemade gnocchi to linguini tossed with mussels and clams. Beyond pasta, chefs flavor racks of lamb and 14-ounce T-bone steaks with cracked black pepper and extra-virgin olive oil before carefully searing them on the grill.
Old World varietals sourced from Italy and America comprise an equally extensive wine list with options to complement each hearty dish. After meals, digestives such as espresso, cappuccino, and specialty coffee spiked with Kahlua can settle stomachs and give diners the burst of energy they need to finish building a silverware ziggurat.
Since 1936, the Bocholis family has owned and operated six different restaurants, each providing a unique menu. With their latest endeavor, Golden B Restaurant, diners cozy up to a white-clothed table as they dig into hearty American cuisine enhanced with Italian, French, and Greek influences. These breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes include brioche french toast, focaccia paninis, and fried-oyster salad.