Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Key Lime Heaven

Posted June 22, 2009

Where do you go to find the best key lime pie? Key West, right? Yes, I've had it there several times at various restaurants.  But I don't think I've ever tasted key lime pie as good as they make at a little restaurant in the Blue Ridge Foothills.

I was only looking for a decent meal when I stumbled upon Twenty One and Main last week in Elkin. Yes, that's in Surry County just a half hour up the road from Winston-Salem. I dropped off a copy of my book and CD combination Blue Ridge Reunion at the local library and took a left onto Main Street. Downtown Elkin has a nice warm feel. I noticed a restaurant and wine bar just up the street. This might be fun, I thought.

I ordered fried salmon with mango salsa and black beans and a guacamole and chips appetizer. Very nice! The salsa added a spark of both flavor and color to the entrée. The guacamole was so fresh and tasty I piled it on my salmon and the two made a wonderful combination.

I wasn’t going to order dessert but for some reason I decided to try the key lime pie. Oh my! What a brilliant stroke of intuition! Served with a sprig of mint and pineapple marinaded in a spectacular raspberry sauce I thought I had died and gone to culinary heaven. I guess I should have known it wasn’t a mountain cook that came up with the recipe. Executive Chef Jeffery Gibbs is from Florida. He also spent time in some of the finer kitchens of Charleston.

The restaurant is fairly new but already getting rave reviews from the press including the Washington Post. I especially liked what the Winston-Salem-Journal said about the restaurant: “Carpool, borrow your friend’s hybrid, walk, just get up to Twenty One and Main.”  

Where have you enjoyed the king of key lime pie? Please share your thoughts.


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  • tennispro Jun 22, 2009

    sorry, cool ten minutes before putting the pie in refrig!!

  • CricketGayle Jun 22, 2009

    I love key lime pie and usually make my own using the Nellie & Joe's recipe that "tennispro" posted. You can actually find the Nellie & Joe's key lime juice at most local grocery stores. I know I've purchased it at both Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods.

  • stephnc Jun 22, 2009

    Bristo 105 in Jonesborough, TN has the best key lime pie, that I have ever tasted. Jonesborough is the oldest city in Tennessee. We try to go to the storytelling festival every year in September, which is held right in the middle of the city. Of course, along withe key lime pie, we had salmon, which is superb as well. The prices there are pretty reasonable to.

  • tennispro Jun 22, 2009

    My family loves key lime pie too!! We get Nellie and Joe's Key lime juice from Supply Line here in henderson, but am sure you can get it at Southern Seasons or Fresh Market! It is bottled in Key West. recipe is on the back. here 9 inch graham pie crust, one can condensed milk, 3 egg yokes, 1/2 cup lime juice.blend and bake at 350 for 15 min. cook 10 min before putting in refrig. can make 6 tarts too! delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • fishnett5977 Jun 22, 2009

    Key West of course! ;) And everywhere there, even the grocery store(it had BUNCHES of all kinds of international foods) was good! The cutest thing was on the Green Trolley tour, you go by the Key West Pie Factory down toward the harbor. The man who makes the pies is standing beside the road with a pie in his hand! He makes a run for the trolley -he slows down to a crawl of course - and the man acts like he is going to put the pie in your face! Hillarious! But he doesnt and he gives the person a sample of the key lime candy! lol Cute! Love it down there! Dont think I would so much if a hurricane came through though! lol

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