By Michael Hastings | Winston-Salem Journal
LEWISVILLE — A lot of wineries have become interested in drawing food trucks out to their vineyards. Westbend Vineyards and Brewhouse went out and bought its own.
Actually, Westbend, on Williams Road, bought a trailer instead of a truck. Since May, the Vineyards Mobile Grill has had a permanent home outside Westbend’s Tasting Room.
“We have searched for years to have food for our visitors,” said Lillian Kroustalis, Westbend’s owner. “Not long ago, we toured Charlotte’s breweries, and they all had food trucks.”
The opportunity to buy one arose out of a friendship with the folks at Medaloni Cellars, a neighboring winery less than a half-mile away on Shallowford Road. One of the owners, Matthew Medaloni, owned a food trailer in conjunction with the Mix restaurant and Tasting Room wine shop he owns in Greensboro.
When Medaloni decided to replace his trailer with a truck, Westbend bought the trailer, which was still fairly new.
This month, Westbend hired a new chef, Melissa Darr. She has years of experience with Lowes Foods as a trainer of cooks in its delis and bakeries and as a chef at corporate events. Kroustalis had met Darr at such an event at the winery and had enjoyed her food.
“We’re going to try to raise the food options and offer some things that are healthy,” Darr said. “The menu will be rotating, and will change seasonally.”
Mainstays of the menu include a marinated 8-ounce Angus burger ($6.25), chef’s salad ($5.95) and 7-inch grilled pizza ($4.95). Darr said that the menu also will incorporate such entrees as grilled salmon and such vegetarian choices as a portobello burger.
Other rotating items may include bacon-wrapped scallops, hummus, quiche and chicken pie. The quiche and chicken pie will be available whole as well as by the slice.
Darr said that as she settles into the job, she hopes to do food pairings with Westbend’s wines and beers.
“Melissa has given us the option to increase the choices on the menu,” Kroustalis said. “And now we can cater events, too.”