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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Key Lime Heaven

Posted June 22, 2009 10:42 a.m. EDT

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.