Newk’s Eatery is one of the latest eateries to hit Fayetteville, and their business is already off the charts. They are located on the outside of Cross Creek Mall, near Belk and LOFT, and the latest renovations are beautiful. Newk’s Eatery is a fast, casual dining experience with many choices, all made with the freshest ingredients, daily. You might have heard of ’em – our store is the 62nd store to open, and there are already a hot spot for office and birthday parties. A few were taking place at the larger community style tables in the bright, spacious dining area, the day I visited.
Southern hospitality is at its finest at Newk’s. That is not surprising since they hail from the south. In fact, many of their daily soup specialties are tested and created in test kitchens in Jackson, Mississippi. Today I learned that soup is best served at its optimal temperature between 165 and 170 degrees.
The Director of Operations, Dustin Oehler, proudly shared the ins and outs of what goes on behind the scenes. Taking the tour of their kitchen, where all the magic happens by a team of 65 employees, was amazing. Fresh fruit, veggies and salad were being chopped and divided up for the daily portions. Racks of fresh grilled chicken breasts, steak and portobello mushrooms were cooling and waiting to be chopped and sliced for fresh salads or oven toasted sandwiches.
Behind the front of the house were prep areas and an array of salad dressings were being prepared from scratch – from the top secret recipes. Founder, Chris Newcomb, also known as ‘Little Newk’ in his youth, has a hand in creating the eatery’s seasoning packets used for the dressings and marinades.
Cloves of fresh garlic in olive oil were being roasted in the ovens – the leftover infused oil goes right on the pizza prep line to brush the dough with, making it extra crispy. With 11 varieties of gourmet pizzas, your decision will be tough. The garlic is also put out on ‘the round table’ with the condiments – like you’ve never seen before. Fresh at its best.
Don’t have eight minutes to wait for your food? They stock the Grab-n-Go cooler full of salads and cold sandwiches, soups, their to-die-for pimiento cheese, and of course, dessert to take back to the office. With several cakes featured daily, Dustin said the pineapple is his favorite, but the strawberry cake remains the top-seller. Speaking of favorites, the Newk’s “Q” is the top- selling sandwich, with a signature white BBQ sauce over freshly grilled chicken, Applewood smoked bacon and Swiss cheese. For salads, Newk’s Favorite salad ranks #1 with mixed greens, freshly grilled chicken, Gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries, grapes, artichoke hearts, pecans and croutons tossed with Newk’s Sherry Vinaigrette. Did I mention that the croutons are handmade daily? Delish. I put extra on top of my Tomato Basil soup. Four kinds of soup are served daily.
The team thrives under General Manager, Sam Heatherdale, who said a quick hello, but he was busy buzzing around the kitchen and greeting the lunchtime crowd. Marisa Marino, the Catering Sales Manager, specializes in providing food and making menu suggestions for events large and small. Newk’s has a great reputation in the Carolina market. While Greensboro is the top grossing store, our new location is not far behind, and Winson-Salem is the third store in operation under Dustin’s leadership.
Looking for something fresh for the next board meeting? Order the Signature Boxed Sandwiches or Salads, or platters from their extensive catering menu. Come January they will have wine, micro brews and domestic beer options.
Five words: Pimiento with Bacon Mac & Cheese.