Boone Doggies — Mocksville One bite of Boone Doggies’ classic burger, The Grandfather, transports you to a balmy October tailgate at Appalachian State University. It’s the quintessential cookout burger, with
One bite of Boone Doggies’ classic burger, The Grandfather, transports you to a balmy October tailgate at Appalachian State University. It’s the quintessential cookout burger, with lettuce, mayo, diced onions, locally sourced tomatoes, American cheese, a butter-toasted bun, and two smash-ball patties — each one pressed firmly to the grill to sear in the juices and create a crispy outer layer.
Owner Drew Ausley graduated from ASU in 2013 with a degree in nutrition and foods, and he started the original Boone Doggies as a hot dog cart a year later. He opened a restaurant in Yadkinville in 2019, then a second location in Mocksville in 2021, both of which he operates alongside his father, Andrew, and his fiancée, Meredith Millen. Ausley’s sister, Claudia, who also graduated from ASU, designed Boone Doggies’ logo — an illustration of their childhood dog, Ty, holding a hot dog in his mouth.
Inspired by his time at App, Ausley gave all of Boone Doggies’ menu items names related to the university and the Boone area, like The Yosef, named for ASU’s beloved mascot; The Mountaineer, a nod to the school’s sports teams; and The Peacock, named for former chancellor Ken Peacock. “We love when alumni come in and get excited when they see all the Appalachian decor on the walls and see the menu names,” Ausley says. “It’s like taking a trip down memory lane.” — Rachel Malmin
For 12-year-old carhop Ken Eason in the 1970s, the lunchtime rush in La Grange sometimes felt like the whole town had flocked to the restaurant owned by his dad, Kenneth “Skin” Eason. As he made his way down the line of cars, Ken would duck his head slightly to be level with the driver’s-side windows and greet each familiar face. Another one of Skin’s famous burgers coming right up!
More than 50 years later, the younger Ken has taken up the mantle at Ken’s Grill & NC Barbecue. The drive-in is gone, but faithful customers still return regularly to enjoy savory burgers, hot dogs, barbecue, and the fan-favorite onion rings. Nostalgia at Ken’s runs deep, and Ken keeps a delicious tribute to his old man on the menu: Ken’s Big Boy. The burger’s patties are measured with love, rather than numbers, to be jaw-wideningly thick and at least as big as the average hand. Standard toppings are lettuce, tomato, and onion, but pickles and homemade sweet slaw are popular choices, too, finished off with Ken’s orange and tangy super-secret sauce and sandwiched between seeded buns.
When Ken was about 11 years old, he met his future wife, Teresa, while taking orders at the drive-in. In a tribute of her own, Teresa has contributed her family’s recipes to the restaurant, too: Her dad’s fish stew, a Friday-only special, stands out on the menu alongside Ken’s Big Boy. — Hallie Milstein
7645 U.S. Highway 70
Tim Walker describes The Winston burger at Small Batch Beer Co. in two words: “messy” and “delicious.” The burger is a creative combination of Southern flavors, including hand-pattied beef, house-made pimento cheese, caramelized onions, and potato chips for a satisfying crunch — topped with a single black olive and a pepperoncini spear, and served, like all of Small Batch’s burgers, in a handheld skillet.
Small Batch is the realization of Walker’s longtime dream to own a brewery. In 2014, he opened a nanobrewery in downtown Winston- Salem and named it for the small batches of beer that he was making at the time. Three years later, he added a restaurant and eventually a full bar.
When he was designing Small Batch’s menu, Walker knew that he wanted a burger as vibrant as the City of Arts and Innovation. After thoughtful consideration and a bit of trial and error, he and his chefs came up with a winning combination.
These days, Small Batch is the place to be if you enjoy a boisterous soccer game — the restaurant is the official bar for the local Liverpool fan club, the Camel City Gooners, and the American Outlaws. Fans continue to enjoy beers, including the popular Lemon Man IPA, made in the brewery next to the restaurant — accompanied, of course, by The Winston. — Makeana Grant