A brand new cellular meals enterprise is gaining followers within the Winston-Salem space with its usually artistic takes on Mexican and different road meals.
Patrick McAnnally and his girlfriend Nanda Glenn began Heavy Nopal Crafted Fare final 12 months after shifting right here from New Orleans.
McAnnally, a local of Huntsville, Ala., is a 42-year-old veteran chef whose resume consists of operating a health-food firm, working at Entire Meals, and catering for movie crews, together with these for the collection “True Detective” — a job that took him to Arkansas for the filming of Season 3.
When the pandemic hit and jobs began shifting and disappearing, McAnnally and Glenn began to search for different alternatives. He stated the genesis for beginning a cellular enterprise happened when the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Pageant was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. “When Jazz Fest was canceled and I used to be furloughed, I put out a message saying I might cook dinner some Jazz Fest favorites and ship them,” McAnnally stated. “Then in our neighborhood a pair hosted porch concert events and I did a pop-up for that and bought out.”
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These experiences made McAnnally and Glenn assume they could have the ability to begin their very own enterprise.
However additionally they had been considering they needed to maneuver. “New Orleans is a good metropolis, however crime was a problem for me,” McAnnally stated.
The couple began in search of a brand new dwelling and place to start out a enterprise, they usually seemed throughout, from the West Coast to New England. Additionally they toured North Carolina, and although individuals really useful such cities as Asheville, Glenn and McAnnally selected Winston-Salem. “Winston-Salem appears much less congested. I really like the tempo of it. It’s sufficiently small nevertheless it’s sufficiently big,” McAnnally stated. “And it’s not a saturated market. There’s quite a lot of alternatives.”
By August of final 12 months, McAnnally was doing pop-ups on the town. He usually may be discovered at Joymongers Barrel Corridor or Hoots Beer Co. in Winston-Salem, Medaloni Cellars in Lewisville or Divine Llama Vineyards in East Bend — often on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. “And JuggHeads might be the place we now have our greatest following,” he stated.
He initially had two ideas going, Heavy Nopal and Xocoyul. The latter centered on road meals from numerous coastal states of Mexico and seafood, together with shrimp burgers, mahi mahi tacos and tuna tostadas.
Ultimately, he and Glenn determined to merge the ideas and hold the Heavy Nopal title — “nopal” referring to the cactus that’s in style in Mexican delicacies. With its cranium emblem, the title can also be a play off heavy metallic.
Initially, Heavy Nopal was heavy on meat dishes, however now it incorporates vegetarian and seafood dishes, too.
Glenn, who additionally works as a graphic designer, does Heavy Nopal’s design work and helps out on busy weekends. McAnnally is the chef.
“Nanda is from Mexico, and I fell in love with Mexican meals, in order that’s the place quite a lot of our inspiration comes from,” McAnnally stated.
However Heavy Nopal usually borrows from different cuisines, too. For example, McAnnally makes a Cubano sandwich. Different dishes fuse Asian and Latin fare, similar to a rice bowl with barbacoa; and ramen with hen, bok choy, Mexican chiles and avocado. Different dishes have included crawfish mac ‘n’ cheese, smoked hen sandwiches with Alabama white barbecue sauce, and conventional Mexican chilaquiles. He has even achieved some Southeast Asian coconut curries.
Most gadgets run between $10 and $15, and the parts are sufficiently big to make a meal for one individual or a snack for 2.
McAnnally repeats quite a lot of his extra in style dishes — together with the barbacoa and shrimp burger — however the menu is at all times altering.
He enjoys the liberty to be artistic.
“Generally I’ll say I’m going to do one thing fully out of the blue and see how individuals really feel about it. Generally it’s a miss and typically individuals adore it,” he stated.
“A variety of what I cook dinner is simply what I might like to eat.”