Cities opened in Winston Salem the year we moved here, 2001. At the time it was “the” place to go with lines snaking out the door and very long waits for a table. Let’s just say those glory days are over. As a matter of fact when I pulled into the parking lot on a recent visit I was the only car there. I seriously thought the restaurant was closed and in retrospect I wish it had been.
Since it was a Monday evening (I am sure a slow night in most restaurants) they offered a three course dinner special for $9.95. Choice of soup or salad (caesar or house), choice of entrée (options were sauteed chicken tips with rice, grilled pork tenderloin with garlic mashed potatoes, fish and chips, chicken fettuccine or lasagna) and dessert (strawberry shortcake or tuxedo cake). I selected the caesar salad and, for my entrée, fish and chips. I picked strawberry shortcake for my dessert, which really was strawberry cake, not what I consider shortcake. It was, however, the best part of my meal. The caesar salad was mushy and the fish and chips had great chips and onion straws but the fish (I was told it was Tilapia) had a strange metallic/mercury flavor that I sometimes detect in seafood, particularly shrimp. I really couldn’t eat it.
Drink specials on Monday included $4.00 Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas. I had a Mimosa but if it contained champagne the “fizz” had gone out of it as it was quite flat.
Overall this was not a wonderful dining experience. Later in the evening when I was describing my dinner to a friend, he shared that the last couple of times they went to Cities they were not very excited about their food either.
I must say, however, that service was excellent. We had a party of five and our waitress gave us first-rate attention.
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