Duke (3-4; 0-3 ACC) at Wake Forest (7-0; 4-0 ACC)
October 30th, 2021, 4:00 PM ET
Truist Field, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Weather – Cloudy, Intermittent Light Rain, 60 degrees
#13 Wake Forest 45 – Duke 7
Wake Forest was definitely the biggest surprise of the 2021 season through the first half. They became the first Wake Forest team that started at 7-0 since the 1940s. Duke on the other hand was struggling during the season. You would expect Wake Forest to come out and dominate this game and that is exactly what they did.
The scoring came early for the Deacs as they took the ball in the opening possession and quickly took it down to score in under two minutes. Duke responded by turning the ball over on downs.
Wake Forest took control of the game starting late in the first quarter. They scored touchdowns on three straight possessions to go ahead 28-0 going into the half and the rout was on. In fact, Duke’s only score came halfway through the fourth quarter, just to avoid the shutout.
The star of the game for Wake Forest was quarterback Sam Hartman. He finished the game with 402 passing yards and 5 total touchdowns, 3 through the air and 2 on the ground. He was in control of this game from start to finish.
Final score: Wake Forest 45-Duke 7.
As the smallest school in a Power Five conference, I was interested to see how Wake Forest’s stadium would fit into that narrative. Although the stadium is smaller than some, it was a very nice facility that seemed to have a lot of modern amenities.
Truist Field is located about a mile away from the main campus. I stick by my belief that having an off-campus stadium greatly takes away from a game day atmosphere. There was still tailgating going on, but it definitely does not have the same feel without the campus buildings around.
They did a nice job making the area immediately around the stadium festive, however. They had a few games for kids, a gear shop, and even a place to buy beer and watch one of the other weekend games on a large screen television. The term “Deactown” was used both inside and outside the stadium to promote the atmosphere.
The actual stadium had a large video board in the south end zone. Before the game, they showed four other games split on the large board. (All ACC games, of course.) They also had a large grassy area below the scoreboard that they had open to general admission seating which I thought was a nice touch. In the north end zone, they had a large donor porch. The porch had a runner video board on it as well. The sound system was nice and they had a very solid pregame music mix.
Concession wise, on top of the normal options, they had Chick Fil A and Domino’s pizza. But probably the coolest thing in the whole stadium was behind the south end zone. They had 5-6 food trucks selling a variety of different options. They also had a large beer garden with seating and a lot of TVs showing other games going on around the country.
Hot dog – $6.00
20 Ounce Soda – $5.00
16 Ounce Beer – $8.00
Other Sporting Event
Women’s Field Hockey – #13 Boston College (11-5; 2-3 ACC) vs. #19 Wake Forest (7-8; 1-4 ACC)
This was the second field hockey game I’ve attended, after a game at Central Michigan back in 2018. It was an interesting contrast. At Central Michigan, you had a single bleacher and fewer than 50 people attending. For this Wake Forest matchup, the play was in an actual stadium, though it also doubles as the track field. There were also a couple hundred people at this game.
I was able to get into this game a little bit more since I understood the rules better. The fact that Wake Forest was ranked with a losing record surprised me as well. The game was scoreless through the first half. Boston College came out firing in the third quarter, scoring twice in the first eight minutes. Taking a 2-0 lead into the fourth, you thought the game was well in hand.
Wake would not go away without a fight though. Meike Lanckohr scored a goal early in the fourth to bring them within a single score. The Deacs stayed aggressive throughout the rest of the quarter and had a couple of close calls. But, they were never able to tie up the game, giving Boston College the win.
Final: Boston College 2 – Wake Forest 1
The Wake Forest campus is extremely small, which makes sense because it is a private school with under 6,000 students. In fact, it took very little time to walk through the whole campus to check it out.
Although it is small, it was very pretty. When you walk through Hearn Plaza you can take in most of the campus from that main area. Of course, the first thing that you notice is the beautiful chapel, Wait Chapel, to the north. It has hosted many events through the years, including multiple Presidential debates.
Between the size of the campus and the architecture of the buildings, this campus definitely had a more tight-knit feeling than the Charlotte campus I visited the prior week.
North Carolina Zoo – Asheboro
The North Carolina Zoo, located near Asheboro, is one of the largest zoos in the world, at least as far as habitat area. It is divided into two parts, the North America side and the Africa side.
I think my two favorite stops were the fox exhibit and the aviary. At the fox exhibit, I was one of the first visitors of the day to come by. The foxes were all sitting on top of the main rock in their enclosure. As I walked up, they immediately got up on all four legs and stared out. The aviary had a ton of unique birds and quite a few were just walking on the ground right next to you. It’s always fun to see all the different types of birds and all the unique and sometimes very bright colors.
One funny story came from the gorilla exhibit. There was one gorilla that was just sitting right by the glass that guests looked through. There was a family watching it and talking about how grumpy the gorilla looked. I was standing nearby waiting for the family to move on to look and take a picture. The family turned around to leave and, as soon as they did, the gorilla got up and started pounding on the glass as hard as it could. The mother screamed so loud and was genuinely terrified. Once they calmed down and realized it was safe, we all had a good laugh.
The only part I did not like was the layout of the zoo. It was set up almost in a straight line. This meant once you finished going through the zoo you had to walk back the exact same path all the way back to the entrance. This was a little tiring as large as the zoo was. There was a tram available to take you between the two areas though if you chose to wait and do that instead.
Hanging Rock State Park
Hanging Rock state park is located about 30 minutes north of Winston-Salem. I always like to get one hike in on most of my trips and thought the view from the top of Hanging Rock would be worth the walk.
It was a bit of hike to get to the top, but nothing too strenuous. The journey had a few steep parts, but the majority was just a slight uphill slope. All in all, it probably took about 45 minutes to climb all the way to the top.
Once at the top, the views were great. There were views to the east, south, and west that could let you see for miles. And most of the area was part of the park, so you did not have to worry about a lot of buildings being in the way.
Overall, it was definitely a hike I enjoyed. The only thing that would have made it better is if it was a week or two later after the trees started changing color more. There were a couple trees here and there that had turned, but most of the trees were still a little bit away from their color change.
Andy Griffith Museum – Mt. Airy
I decided to make a stop at the Andy Griffith Museum since it was close to Hanging Rock state park, in Mt. Airy. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Andy Griffith show growing up, but was definitely aware of its popularity and influence.
The museum was fairly small, but did feature a lot of memorabilia from all of Andy’s shows as well as his music career. There were two main set pieces from the Andy Griffith show on display. The first was the entrance doors to the courthouse. The second was Andy’s office inside the courthouse.
Your ticket also provided access to a small movie house in downtown Mt. Airy. I went to check that out, but there was very little on display and nothing showing in the theatre. I found that part of this experience disappointing.
The bright side to going downtown was being able to see all the interesting shops in the area. This was definitely a popular location with a ton of visitors checking out all the gift shops. There were also a couple restaurants in the downtown area with lines all the way outside and down the block.
Old Salem Museums and Gardens
Old Salem is a historic area that was first established by the Moravian community in the mid-1700s. The area comprises of several buildings that have been restored in a way that they would have looked during that time.
A lot of the buildings are also set up to show you how the Moravian’s lived during their time. They had many people on staff that recreated the culture, whether that be in the schoolhouse, the garden, or a kitchen for how they cooked. You had to buy a ticket at the visitor center, but that allowed you to take in any of the building tours.
The most fascinating part of the Moravian culture could be found in their graveyard. In their belief system, once you pass away you are part of one overall family. Because of that, you are buried next to the last person that passed away in your group (single men, married men, single women, married women). They do this instead of burying you next to your actual family. This actually makes it easy to find gravestones because if you know the day they passed, you can go straight to that gravestone in order.
The ticket also allowed you to visit the MESDA museum. This museum highlighted a lot of the furniture that the Moravian’s were famous for creating that had amazing intricacies.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art
The Reynolda House is the original estate of the Reynolds’ tobacco tycoon. Katharine, the wife of R.J. Reynolds was primarily responsible for finding the land and oversaw the building of the estate and all of the property. This is why the estate is called more feminine ‘Reynolda’ instead of ‘Reynolds’.
The main part of the museum allows you to walk through the estate. A majority of the furniture and artwork is the original from when the house was first built. It was interesting to see how the house was built and how all of the rooms had formal events they were used for.
Behind the main house, on an add-on lower level, there was additional art work on display. The exhibits in this area rotate periodically to always have something new on display.
Outside the house there was also a greenhouse that was also an original part of the estate. There was nothing that stuck out in the greenhouse itself, but there was a couple getting their engagement pictures taken in the outdoor gardens.
Lexington Barbecue – Lexington, NC
Lexington Barbecue is exactly the place where North Carolina barbecue got its name. In fact, in other towns around the state, they say that they serve Lexington-style barbecue. It is an extremely popular place as I was pulling in, but most of the lunch crowd was thinning out.
So, why is this well-known? It has to do with how it’s served. Basically, the meat is chopped very fine and then mixed in a sauce that is mostly vinegar based. A plate is served with meat, coleslaw, French fries, and hushpuppies.
I was very nervous to try this style of barbecue, especially since I’m so used to how it is served in Texas. To be honest, it was pretty decent. Luckily, I’m a huge fan of most things served with vinegar so this fit my taste palette very well. It was a little bit of overkill between both the meat and the coleslaw though. They did have regular barbecue sauce on the table though, so I did mix a little bit in to even out at least some of the vinegar.
At the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade my normal barbeque for Lexington-style, but it was a nice change of pace and worth trying out. Also, as they did at Sweet Lew’s in Charlotte, they served hushpuppies instead of rolls on the side.
Hops Burger Bar
Hops Burger Bar is located in a former gas station. They had a large outdoor dining area that was pretty busy when I visited. Since I don’t drink alcohol, I couldn’t really check out the ‘Hops’ portion of the restaurant, but was looking forward to tasting one of their burgers.
I chose the College Hill Blues burger. This one came with blue cheese, sauteed onions, and mushrooms, topped with a horseradish-dijon sauce on a homemade brioche bun. (I went without mushrooms.) You also had a choice of sides, so went with the sweet potato fries which were dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
Blue cheese is always one of my favorite toppings for a restaurant burger. The sharpness of the cheese blends perfectly with the juiciness of the burger patty. Add in the sauce on top and this was a top-notch burger. The sweet potato fries were delicious as well leading to a great lunch stop for the day.
The Porch Kitchen and Cantina
The Porch is a Tex-Mex restaurant in an interesting location in Winston-Salem. It was almost in an industrial area. You would have no idea this restaurant was there just driving by. If you’re able to get there though, the meal would be worth the trip.
I ordered the Sweet Pete puffy tacos. You received two tacos filled with fried chicken, lettuce, pico, and a mix of Sweet Pete hot sauce and sweet lime cream. It also came with sour cream and guac on the side that you could put on the tacos as well.
The first thing that caught my attention were how large these tacos were. You definitely got a full meal out of these tacos. All of the flavors mixed great together, as well. I am definitely a ‘heat’ guy when it comes to Tex-Mex food and the hot sauce here had it. But, at the same time, it was offset by the sour cream and sweet lime cream. The chicken was tender as well.
Definitely one of my favorite meals on this trip. It might have been a little better if it was served with rice or beans on the side, but with the size of the tacos it wasn’t a huge deal.
May Way Dumplings
May Way Dumplings is a small, family-owned restaurant located in the shops at Reynolda Village. Their indoor area was still closed for Covid precautions, but you were able to order from outside, or you could call in or order online. There was a nice patio area nearby where you could eat your meal.
Of course, the dumplings were the first thing to order. I chose the fried pork dumplings. They are also filled with cabbage, leeks, ginger, and scallions. They are served in a group of six with soy sauce.
I also tried the sweet and sour cold noodles. It was a large portion that is mixed with apple, green onion, cilantro, and a mix of soy sauce and hot sauce.
Both dishes were amazing. The dumplings were the prefect texture. Dipping them in soy sauce added great flavor as well. The noodles had just enough kick without going overboard. The apples added great contrast to that heat as well. I don’t eat Chinese food very often, but would definitely add this location to my rotation if I lived in the area.
Plus, this meal let me practice my chopsticks skills as that is all that the meal came with. I have never been great at using chopsticks, but did really well this time around, especially with noodles being involved.
After having a great lunch at May Way, I spent a little more time walking around the Reynolda Village. I came across this small coffee shop that seemed extremely popular. They are located just a couple blocks from the Wake Forest campus, so a lot of students were around studying and working on papers.
Dough-Joe’s touted having doughnuts that were cooked to order so decided to try one out. I went with a doughnut with caramel glaze. Since I’m not usually a fan of cake doughnuts I didn’t think I would like it, but was quickly proven wrong. The fact it was made to order meant it was hot and moist. I actually had to let it cool down a few minutes before eating it. The doughnut tasted just like a funnel cake. Add the caramel glaze on top and this treat was amazing.