Friday Fun Food Facts – Limited Snow Version – February 27, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

Due to the snow events of this week, we release a very limited edition of Friday Fun Food Facts. Look for the full version next week!

Battle of the Blues…& BBQ


The Q-Shack North Hills vs. Triangle Food Guy

 vs. Triangle Food Guy Image

Sean Lennard (owner of Triangle Food Guy) and Tom Meyer (owner of The Q-Shack North Hills) have a friendly wager on the upcoming UNC vs. Duke basketball game on March 7th. Tom is a Duke alumni and Sean is a UNC Alumni (although was born and bred in Raleigh and has a soft spot in his heart for the Wolfpack).

Should Duke win, Sean will have to sport a Duke Jersey and have his picture taken holding a sign that says, “I Like Mike.”

To commemorate the win, The Q-Shack will create a Duke sandwich and 10% of all sandwich sales in March will be donated to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern Carolina. The sandwich: The BB1K – NC Tri Tip with an onion aioli, NC hoop cheese and a hot pepper relish.

Should UNC win, Tom will have to sport a UNC Jersey and have his picture taken holding a sign that says, “Roy Is My Boy.”

To commemorate the win, The Q-Shack will create a UNC sandwich and 10% of all sandwich sales in March will be donated to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern Carolina. The sandwich: The Roy Boy – NC Pork Belly Sandwich with sautéed collards and NC hoop cheese.

May the better blue team win! 

Follow the Q-Shack on Facebook here.

Follow the Triangle Food Guy on Twitter here and Facebook here.

Follow the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 20, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

 Featured Restaurant News

  •  If you need another reminder of what a great culinary mecca we live in, look no further than the latest list of restaurant and chef semifinalists put out annually from the James Beard Foundation. This year’s list includes five from the Triangle (six if we adopt Kinston)! (and for those keeping score at home, 0 for Charlotte and the Triad….just sayin’) Check out the complete list here. Looking forward to the announcement of the finalists on March 24th and the winners on May 4.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  A huge shout out and congratulations to Arthur Gordon and the 40th anniversary of his restaurant – Irregardless Café. What started 40 years ago as a way to get some “experience” has turned into one of Raleigh’s greatest traditions. If you haven’t been before, make it happen (you can thank me later). Very well done Mr. Gordon! Check them out here.
  • I received a Twitter tip this week from Robert Williams that the Steak ‘n Shake has opened at 5900 Duraleigh Road in the Duraleigh Commons shopping center in the former KFC sport. Thanks Robert!
  • My buddy John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) tells me that a new El Tapatio is in the works in Wakefield next to Sergio’s Pizza. No other details are available at this time, but I know John will keep us updated – thanks John!
  • I was informed this week (second hand, I swear) that the Hooters in Raleigh at 4206 Old Wake Forest Road has recently completed some…”enhancements” of sorts. Including additional outdoor seating, more comfortable interior seating, and state-of-the-art audio visual packages. Oh, and they still serve great food. Check it out here.
  • Got word that Camos Brothers Pizza has opened in Fuquay-Varina at 2916 N. Main Street. They also have locations in Raleigh and Cary. Get all the details here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that CaRibb Cuisine & Bar is opening this spring in the Lowe’s Foods-anchored shopping center just east of Carmax off Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. The actual address is 8111 Rowlock Way. As you might guess, the restaurant will feature Caribbean food. Check out their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Blue Coffee Café, formerly at 202 Corcoran Street, will open on Tuesday in their new location in the North Carolina Mutual Insurance building at 411 W. Chapel Hill Street. Check them out here.
  • Got the official word this week that the New Zealand-inspired gastro pub and burger restaurant, Burger Bach (pronounced “batch”), will open a third location on March 9th in the Erwin Mill community in Durham at 737 Ninth Street. Get all the details here.
  • Congratulations to our friends over at Acme Restaurant in downtown Carrboro as they celebrate 17 years of foodie bliss. The will host a wine dinner next week – February 26th – featuring Josh DeLoach of Hook & Ladder Vineyards in Sonoma County. The wine dinner will start at 6:30 and is $60 per person. Reservations are required by phone at 919.929.2263. Get all the details here.

Closings 

  •  This came as a surprise to many, but renowned pitmaster Ed Mitchell has closed his restaurant, Ed Mitchell’s Que, at Durham’s American Tobacco Campus.
  • I also learned this week from my friend Denise Metzger that Gigi’s Cupcakes on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill has closed. A thanks to The Daily Tar Heel for that information.

Food Trucks 

  • And we are just a few weeks away from the Spring Food Truck Rodeo at Durham’s Central Park. Get March 8th on your calendar. Here are all the details.
  • And not to be outdone by the bigger cities, Cary is jumping on the food truck rodeo bandwagon with their very own Chatham Street Chowdowns (they win hands down on the name!) scheduled for 2015. The first one is scheduled for April 19th. Feeling left out Chapel Hill? Get all the details and the full schedule here.

Events 

  • This is pretty cool. The Carolina Inn over in Chapel Hill is celebrating their 90th anniversary on Saturday, February 28th. They will host a Commemorative Chefs’ Event beginning at 6:30 with a four-course wine-pairing dinner celebrating the cuisine of their executive chefs through the years including Brian Stapleton, Jimmy Reale and current executive chef James Clark. Cost is $90 per person. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Thanks to a tip from Kitty Kinnin, I learned that Locals Seafood is holding their inaugural Winter Seafood Jubilee which is a series of NC winter seafood-centric events. The final two are coming up next week at Oakleaf and Carolina Crossroads at The Carolina Inn. Get all the details here.
  • The next Taste event put on by Durham Magazine & Chapel Hill Magazine is Saturday, March 7th from noon until 3 and will be a BBQ & Beer Tour…by bus! The 3-hour tour takes you to three barbecue spots, each paired with local brews. Tickets are $65 per person. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Mark your calendar for the third annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience, an indoor food and beer festival at the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham on Sunday, March 8 from 4 – 8 p.m. The event pairs local food showcasing 30 Durham restaurants with unbelievable beer from 30 premier craft / import breweries. Get all the details and your tickets here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • March Madness is almost upon us and the UNC v. Duke rivalry is hotter than ever. So how does food tie into this? Good question. Tom Meyer, owner of The Q Shack at North Hills is a Duke grad. And yours truly is a UNC grad (but I grew up in Raleigh and have a soft spot in my heart for the Wolfpack). Anyway, Tom and I have come up with a friendly wager on the next UNC v. Duke basketball game (March 7th). The winner will have a “special” sandwich featured at The Q Shack for the month of March. And the loser will have to don the other team’s colors and say nice things about the other team’s coach! And even better than that, the wager will benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Get all the details on the inaugural Hoop Cheese Challenge right here. And may the best “blue” team win!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 13, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

 Featured Restaurant News

  •  It is quite possible this is too late, but perhaps not. Still looking to make plans for Valentine’s Day? Check out the list the News & Observer’s Andrea Weigl has put together. But if none of those pan out, my friends over at Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours have numerous options in Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill for today and tomorrow. So there is still time for you to look like a hero! But hurry. Check on what is available here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Cary is on fire this week. The News & Observer’s Greg Cox is reporting that the owners of Kabab & Grill are targeting this weekend for the opening of their restaurant in the old Pizza Hut building that most recently was home to Atlas Mediterranean Cuisine, and before that, Unaabi Grill. It is located at 914 Kildaire Farm Road. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported that Cary’s new downtown tavern, the Crosstown Pub & Grill, opened last Friday. It is located at 140 E. Chatham St. next to the Cary Theater and features a pub-style atmosphere. Check them out here.
  • And my newly ordained Cary “Triangle Food Gal” Mendy Iler (who told us about the opening of Guacamaya Fresh Mex last week) has now given me the heads up that Tijuana Flats is opening next week at the intersection of High House Road and Davis Drive in the same shopping center as Publix (isn’t there a TF just down Davis?). Check them out here.
  • Over in Raleigh, the News & Observer reported yesterday that Level Up Restaurant + Barcadium is now serving drinks and plans to start offering food next Thursday. The place, at the corner of Salisbury and Hargett in downtown Raleigh, will eventually open the first floor and add a rooftop patio, but all that will come later. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • And we are perhaps getting closer to the opening of Pho Pho Pho Noodle Kitchen and Bar at 510 Glenwood South (brought to us by the owners of Sushi Blues). It was noted this week that they are advertising for staff on Craigslist. Can’t be long now…

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • Saw on Johanna Kramer’s twitter feed that East Coast Asian Bistro has a new space in Durham at 5410 Highway 55. Check them out here.
  • Also in Durham, got word this week that newly opened Bar Virgile will expand their offerings next week (Monday to be exact) when they open for lunch service. Check them out here.

Closings 

  • Got word from reader Allison Hubble that Christie’s Restaurant in Cary has closed. It was located at 748 E. Chatham Street.

Food Trucks 

  • And we are just over a month from the Spring Food Truck Rodeo at Durham’s Central Park. Get March 8th on your calendar. Here are all the details.

Events

  • This is pretty cool. The Carolina Inn over in Chapel Hill is celebrating their 90th anniversary on Saturday, February 28th. They will host a Commemorative Chefs’ Event beginning at 6:30 with a four-course wine-pairing dinner celebrating the cuisine of their executive chefs through the years including Brian Stapleton, Jimmy Reale and current executive chef James Clark. Cost is $90 per person. Get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • Our friends over at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina are encouraging folks to show their heart for hunger relief by making a gift in honor of a loved one as part of their Hearts for Hunger Valentine’s Day Honor Drive. Get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 6, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

 Featured Restaurant News

  •  Dashi, a new ramen shop and Japanese pub, has opened in downtown Durham at 415 E. Chapel Hill St, just down from Rue Cler. The concept is the creation of Billy and Kelli Cotter of Toast and Nick Hawthorne-Johnson and Rochelle Johnson of The Cookery. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  Just a week after Rise Biscuits and Donuts, which opened in 2012 near the Streets of Southpoint in Durham, announced their first franchise location in Morrisville’s Park West Village, we saw on their Facebook page that they have just inked a deal for mid-town Raleigh (could it be North Hills???). We’ll keep an eye on this one. In the meantime, check out Rise here.
  • It is time for you to get twisted! The Twisted Mango has opened in the same space (and owners) that was La Volta in downtown Raleigh on Fayetteville Street. The new bar and grill carries a Caribbean theme. Check them out here on Facebook.
  • My buddy Mend Iler tipped me off to the fact that Guacamaya (the restaurant formerly known as Chubby’s Tacos…and still is) at 101 Ledgestone Way (corner of High House and Davis) has a “Now Hiring” sign up. Getting close! We will keep you posted. Thanks Mendy! Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Rolesville is about to get its first tavern – Main Street Tavern. It is a sports bar with a light food menu, and geared toward creating a family friendly gathering spot in Rolesville. It is scheduled to open later this month on Main St. in the Food Lion shopping center. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Got word from several folks on Yelp confirming that Ashee Ethiopian in Cary will be replaced by Awaz’e Ethiopian/Eritrean Cuisine. The store is located at 904 Northeast Maynard Road in Cary.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • This past week, Gonza Tacos y Tequilla opened their third Triangle location in downtown Durham at 604 Fernway Avenue, in the West Village Complex. Check them out here.
  • We told you about this back in December, but got word this week that Ninth Street Coffee House will be opening in mid-February at 714 Ninth Street. It will be serving up all fresh fruit and veggie juices and smoothies, food and coffee. It is going in where Market Street Coffee recently closed.

Closings 

  • Just after we released our issue last week, social media “blew up” with the news that Crowley’s, a Raleigh institution for decades, had closed. They were located over off Dixie Trail on Medlin Drive. As a Raleigh native, I’m sorry to see them go.
  • Also, got word from my buddy Tim Moore that the Golden Corral over on Walnut Street in Cary has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • And we are just over a month from the Spring Food Truck Rodeo at Durham’s Central Park. Get March 8th on your calendar. Here are all the details.

Events

  • This is pretty cool. The Carolina Inn over in Chapel Hill is celebrating their 90th anniversary on Saturday, February 28th. They will host a Commemorative Chefs’ Event beginning at 6:30 with a four-course wine-pairing dinner celebrating the cuisine of their executive chefs through the years including Brian Stapleton, Jimmy Reale and current executive chef James Clark. Cost is $90 per person. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • And then there were eight. Next week kicks off the next round in the “Got To Be NC” Competition Dining Series which began with 16 chefs. See who is left standing as we work our way toward the finals in March. Get your tickets here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • Our friends over at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina are encouraging folks to show their heart for hunger relief by making a gift in honor of a loved one as part of their Hearts for Hunger Valentine’s Day Honor Drive. Get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 30, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

 Featured Restaurant News

  •  He has done it again. The much-anticipated annual “ranking” of area restaurants by the News & Observer’s Greg Cox – including the restaurant of the year. No spoiler alert here, you’ll have to click through to see this year’s list, and winner. I’ll have to say, it is hard to argue with this list.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  And here is one more great read for you. Looks like the New York Times is following Andrea Weigl’s lead and has a great article on the “sisterhood” of great female chefs, and farmers, in North Carolina and specifically here in the Triangle. Take a moment to read this piece.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Glenwood South’s The Rockford closed temporarily this past Tuesday to revamp their menu. They will reopen next week (February 3rd). Check them out here.
  • Our friends over at New Raleigh reported this week that downtown Raleigh is getting a new gastropub called Whiskey Kitchen. It will be located adjacent to Nash Square in the “White Horse” building. Nothing much on their website or Facebook page yet.
  • Rise Biscuits and Donuts, which opened in 2012 near the Streets of Southpoint in Durham, announced this week that their first franchise location would open this summer in Morrisville’s Park West Village shopping center. We will keep an eye on an exact opening date once it is known. Look for additional franchise location announcements in the next month. In the meantime, check out Rise here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Diana and Oliver Yu are targeting February15 for the opening of Goji Bistro in Cary’s Maynard Crossing Shopping Center in the former Neo-Asia space, which the Yus also operated (the original Neo-Asia on Raleigh’s Glenwood Avenue remains unchanged). Get a peek at Goji on Facebook here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • The Durham, a boutique 53-room hotel in downtown Durham (315 E. Chapel Hill Street) will open this spring according to the News & Observer. That alone is pretty cool. But what makes it suave cool, is that Chapel Hill’s Andrea Reusing (i.e. Lantern) has teamed up with the developers to open a ground level restaurant and roof-top bar. Now that makes that hotel! We’ll keep an eye out for the exact open date.
  • The Triangle Business Journal is reporting that beginning next week, February 3rd to be exact, Durham will have a “Hot Now” light flashing at 3536 Hillsborough Road as Krispy Kreme opens up its newest location. Remember, the first 100 people through the doors get “donuts for a year.” If interested, you might want to make plans to camp out. This location is the former site of George’s Diner and before that, Miami Subs Grill.

Closings 

  • Reader Sammi Hilliard tipped us off to the fact that One Whirled Café in Wake Forest has closed their doors.
  • The News & Observer is reporting that March 27th or 29th will be the last day for Ninth Street’s Charlie’s Pub & Grill over in Durham.

Food Trucks 

  • Reader Chris Hansen dialed me into the fact that Charlie Hamaty, the owner of the two Charlie’s Kabob Grill locations in Wake Forest, now has a food truck – Charlie’s Kabob Grill…On Wheels! Check him out here.

Events 

  • The Chinese New Year is upon us and apparently it is the year of the Goat! And on Saturday January 31, at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, the Triangle Chinese American Society of North Carolina will hold the 2015 Chinese New Year Festival. Tickets are $5 in advance, $8 at the door. Kids 6 years and under are free! Over 40 performances, tons of kids activities, a dozen food vendors, and cultural exhibits. Get tickets and details here.
  • This is pretty cool. The Carolina Inn over in Chapel Hill is celebrating their 90th anniversary on Saturday, February 28th. They will host a Commemorative Chefs’ Event beginning at 6:30 with a four-course wine-pairing dinner celebrating the cuisine of their executive chefs through the years including Brian Stapleton, Jimmy Reale and current executive chef James Clark. Cost is $90 per person. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Tickets are now on sale for the “Got To Be NC” Competition Dining Series which features 16 chefs that will be competing in the Fire in the Triangle competition that runs from January 19th through the grand finale on March 2nd. See who the chefs this year are, see match-ups and get your tickets here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • Our friends over at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina are coming off a very big year in 2014 (read about it here). But the need is even bigger and their work is even more meaningful. So how can you help? Have you ever considered hosting a food drive at your office? They make it as easy as pie. Click here for a step-by-step “guide” to hosting a food drive in your office.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 23, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

 Featured Restaurant News

  • Triangle Business Journal reported this week that P.G. Werth’s Restaurant & Market, the new project of Chef Gregory Hamm, will open for business today. It is located on the ground floor of the 927 W. Morgan apartment building in downtown Raleigh. Hamm is also the proprietor of Cafe 121 in Sanford. Check it out on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  I might need to start a “great reads” section on a weekly basis – especially if Andrea Weigl at the News & Observer keeps turning out these amazing pieces! This time she has penned a terrific article on some of the “other” (i.e. non Ashley Christensen…) wonderful establishments owned by women in Raleigh’s booming food scene. Take the time to read it here.
  • A bit of a change-up over in Cary. As you might recall, Bella Mia changed hands right around December, 2012. Now we are getting word that that location has closed and a sign for Ruckus Pizza now hangs in the window. No word yet on the open date for Ruckus. Thanks to readers Christy Tucker and Sarah Armstrong for the initial tips on this. Check out Ruckus here.
  • John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) tipped me off to the fact that The Mason Jar Tavern in Holly Springs opened yesterday. They are located at 114 Grand Hill Place. Check them out here.
  • Got word from my friend Dana McCall (aka GoGoRaleigh) that the third time might just be the charm. Apparently Chipotle is going into Crossroads Shopping Center in Cary where Salsaritas and Taqueria del Sol were. Looking at early summer.
  • Also in Cary, got notice that Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint is set to host their grand opening this Saturday, January 24 with free pizza from 11 until 2. It is located in the Parkside Town Common shopping center. Look for two more locations to open in the Triangle in the next 18 months. Check them out here.
  • Reader Hugh Autry informed me via email that the family that started Lane’s Seafood and Steaks down in Angier have decided to reopen the restaurant. Stay tuned. Thanks Hugh!

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  I saw on a Yelp feed that Gonza Taco y Tequila is about two weeks from opening another Triangle area location. With locations already in Wake Forest and Raleigh, they are set now to open in downtown Durham’s West Village development. Check them out here.
  • A bit of an update on news we brought you back in April, 2014. The News & Observer is reporting that Ken Yowell, owner of CalaVela Empanada & Tequila Bar in downtown Raleigh, is targeting the first week in February for the opening of a second location in Carrboro in the Hampton Inn building. Although, due to a parting of ways with a business partner, it won’t be called CalaVela. Here is a look at CalaVela to give you an idea.
  • And upon getting that operation up and running, Yowell will immediately begin efforts to open in the adjacent space a “meatball” concept similar to his Oak City Meatball Shoppe which is also over in downtown Raleigh. Obviously it won’t be called Oak City, but no word yet on the name (I don’t think Paris of the Piedmont Meatball Shoppe will make the cut). We’ll keep an eye on both of these. Take a peek at Oak City Meatball Shopped to get an idea.
  • The Triangle Business Journal noted this week that Durham-based food truck Captain Poncho’s Tacos is opening a restaurant in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village and that they are targeting an opening date of Feb. 15. Check them out here.
  • On Saturday, January 24th, Smallckakes will hold their grand opening celebration. Details here.

Closings 

  • Rebecca Calhoun brought it to my attention this week that Taqueria Americana at Lafayette Village has closed. But it seems they might be reopening in another space. We will keep an eye on it.
  • Got word this week that the Five Guys Burgers in the food court at Streets at Southpoint has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • The weather this Sunday looks spectacular. And if you are missing your food truck rodeos as much as I am, you will be glad to know that the good folks over at Durham Central Park are hosting their Winter Food Truck Rodeo this Sunday! The trucks (45+) will circle up on Sunday, January 25th from noon until 4 p.m. in downtown Durham. Get all the details here.

Events

  • The Chinese New Year is upon us and apparently it is the year of the Goat! And on Saturday January 31, at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, the Triangle Chinese American Society of North Carolina will hold the 2015 Chinese New Year Festival. Tickets are $5 in advance, $8 at the door. Kids 6 years and under are free! Over 40 performances, tons of kids activities, a dozen food vendors, and cultural exhibits. Get tickets and details here.
  • The folks over at Chickenwire have put together another fabulous dining experience coming up on Sunday, February 8th. Running with the theme of “Where the Wild Things Are” this dinner will feature chefs James Clark (Carolina Inn), Serge Falcon-Vigne (518 West), Sean Fowler (Mandolin), and Regan Stachler (Little Hen). Tickets are $85 and include hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour, followed by a seated 4-course dinner (includes tax and gratuity). Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Tickets are now on sale for the “Got To Be NC” Competition Dining Series which features 16 chefs that will be competing in the Fire in the Triangle competition that runs from January 19th through the grand finale on March 2nd. See who the chefs this year are, see match-ups and get your tickets here.
  • This week kicks off Triangle Restaurant Week! Running January 26th through February 1st, the week-long event features participating restaurants offering fixed-price, three-course menu options. A 3-course lunch is $15 and a 3-course dinner is $20 or $30 person, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. See a list of participating restaurants and get all the details here.
  • If you are tired of football bowls, or if you can’t get enough of them, here is another “bowl” to check out – The Q Shack’s 2015 Chili Bowl. Each week they will feature a new chili for you to check out (perfect for all this cold weather). And the best part…10% of all chili sales in January will go to support Loaves and Fishes Ministry. Get all the details here.
  • And speaking of chili, the staff over at Chapel Hill’s Southern Season are hosting a chili “throwdown” tomorrow, January 24th from 12 to 3 p.m. And the best part? You get to sample and vote for the winner. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • Our friends over at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina are coming off a very big year in 2014 (read about it here). But the need is even bigger and their work is even more meaningful. So how can you help? Have you ever considered hosting a food drive at your office? They make it as easy as pie. Click here for a step-by-step “guide” to hosting a food drive in your office.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 16, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

 Featured Restaurant News

  • Got word from a couple of sources this past week that Cary is now home to a wonderful new Indian restaurant called Peacock. Located at 2250 Gathering Park Circle in the former Café Capistrano space, they feature simple Indian comfort food. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In September of last year we told you about the changes coming to the 501 Building on Glenwood South. The Triangle Business Journal provided us with an update this week – Raleigh restaurateurs Vincent Barresi and Christopher Bender will open Big Boom later next month, or early March in the space formerly occupied by Red Room.
  • We got word this week that the former Pasta Tuscan Grille has completed its transition into a Southern eatery and gastropub called Rye Bar and Southern Kitchen in the Raleigh Marriott City Center, and is now open. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported that Red Hot & Blue is opening soon in Cary’s Waverly Place, in the same site it was previously located at 325 New Waverly Place. At this point, all we know is that their opening is “just around the corner” according to their Facebook page. You can check out their Facebook page here to see the latest.
  • The folks at Tupelo Honey, which just opened adjacent to Raleigh’s Cameron Village, are changing things up a bit. This past week they tweaked their menu, and changed the color of their plates! While long-standing, tried-and-true Southern favorites will still be on the menu, the restaurant will introduce several smaller sharable plates and a few new entrees. Check out Tupelo here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  An opening and a grand opening celebration to remind you about over in Durham. Next week (January 20) Eschelon Experiences opens their newest concept – Basan (Japanese/sushi restaurant) in downtown Durham’s Diamond View III building. Details here. And on Saturday, January 24th, Smallckakes will hold their grand opening celebration in the Hope Valley shopping center. Details here.
  • And Triangle Business Journal provided a bit of an update on the opening of the Carolina Ale House on West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Originally scheduled to open in the next few months, that opening has been pushed back to the middle or end of 2015. It will be located in the old Yates Motor Company building. Just this past week, Carolina Ale House opened their long-awaited downtown Raleigh location. Check them out here.

Closings 

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  •  If you are missing your food truck rodeos as much as I am, you will be glad to know that the good folks over at Durham Central Park are hosting their Winter Food Truck Rodeo in just over a week! The trucks (45+) will circle up on Sunday, January 25th from noon until 4 p.m. in downtown Durham. Get all the details here.

Events 

  • The folks over at Chickenwire have put together another fabulous dining experience coming up on Sunday, February 8th. Running with the theme of “Where the Wild Things Are” this dinner will feature chefs James Clark (Carolina Inn), Serge Falcon-Vigne (518 West), Sean Fowler (Mandolin), and Regan Stachler (Little Hen). Tickets are $85 and include hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour, followed by a seated 4-course dinner (includes tax and gratuity). Get tickets and all the details here.
  • A little over a week until Triangle Restaurant Week! Running January 26th through February 1st, the week-long event features participating restaurants offering fixed-price, three-course menu options. A 3-course lunch is $15 and a 3-course dinner is $20 or $30 person, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. See a list of participating restaurants and get all the details here.
  • If you are tired of football bowls, or if you can’t get enough of them, here is another “bowl” to check out – The Q Shack’s 2015 Chili Bowl. Each week they will feature a new chili for you to check out (perfect for all this cold weather). And the best part…10% of all chili sales in January will go to support Loaves and Fishes Ministry. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner…Is Cancer Corner For a Week    

  • I need a favor. First, I promise to get back to the wonderful folks over at The Food Bank next week (they still need your help, so check them out here.) But, I have some dear friends that have a sister that is battling stage 4 incurable lung cancer. She is a mother of four. They are trying to win a viral video contest (need to get 500,000 views) that would award her with $500,000 to help take care of her children when she is gone. If you can spare 2 minutes to watch this video (and share it with your social networks), I would be most appreciative. I am confident we can reach this goal. Here is the video…and thanks in advance. Cancer sucks!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 9, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

 Featured Restaurant News

  • Did you miss me? It is good to be back and already loving 2015! We’ve got a ton of news, so let’s get to it!
  • The newest member of the Carolina Ale House family is scheduled to open their doors for lunch on January 12th. This is a beautiful location in the middle of Raleigh’s Glenwood South district (500 Glenwood Avenue to be exact). The restaurant is located on the third floor of the new building and features a rooftop patio. Check them out on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • I begin the new year with a suggestion of a great article to read. If you are sensing that the food scene in Raleigh has experienced a bit of a resurgence over the last couple of years, you would be correct. And in this article, the News & Observer’s Andrea Weigl does a great job of capturing that momentum. Take a few minutes to read it – you’ll be glad you did (and hungry!).
  • And if you want to read/see something else pretty cool – Triangle Business Journal tapped Ashley Christensen as their Businessperson of the Year for 2014! Check it out here.
  • WRAL reported that The Medlin, a new neighborhood bar at 3037 Medlin Drive in Raleigh, opened its doors on Christmas Day. It is located in a small shopping area off of Dixie Trail, and is owned by the same folks who own The Goat bar. You can check them out on Facebook here.
  • Saw on Yelp that a 4th Triangle location of Mami Nora’s, a Peruvian style chicken rotisserie restaurant, will open in early 2015 on Capital Boulevard in the MiniCity Market Place shopping center in the former Polla a la Brasa location. Should be opening any day now, but we’ll keep an eye on it. In the meantime, check out one of their other locations.
  • According to their Facebook page, popular food truck/barn Big Mike’s BBQ is opening their brick and mortar location this weekend with a soft opening for dinner tonight (Friday) and Saturday. The new location is at 1222 NW Maynard Road in Cary. Check them out here.
  • And speaking of food trucks transitioning into brick and mortar locations, I saw in the News & Observer that Chick-N-Que is slated to open in Rolesville today (January 9th). The restaurant is a brick-and-mortar location of a popular food truck that has been on the road since 2009. It is located at 420 S. Main St. in Rolesville. Check them out here.
  • After 17 years, downtown Raleigh’s Mo’s Diner transitioned quickly just after the new year into Holly’s on Hargett. A new interior look and an added bar are some of the changes, while many of the menu favorites remain the same according to owner Holly Mohajer. Check her out on Facebook here.
  • Downtown Raleigh’s La Volta is no more. The owners are transitioning the space into a new Caribbean concept called The Twisted Mango. It will remain under the ownership of Michael Longo. No word yet on an open date. Thank you to New Raleigh, Derrick Minor and Triangle Business Journal for filling in the details on this change. Keep up with them and their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Saw on Yelp that Drink Drank Drunk, a new beer, wine, and coffee shop has opened at 905 West Morgan Street in downtown Raleigh next to Atomic Salon & Irregardless Cafe. Check them out here.
  • Saw on New Raleigh’s Twitter feed that a new fun spot called The Level Up, Kitchen and Barcadium will open very soon at the corner of Salisbury and Hargett in downtown Raleigh across from Wells Fargo. It will feature 25-30 restored classic arcade games and pinball machines, upscale pub food, craft/domestic beer and hand made craft cocktails. No word yet on an official open date.
  • Hey Morrisville, do you remember Vino? Which then became Mare…which then become Cucina De Milano. Well now that space is taking a turn as Mi Cancun Mexican Restaurant. It opened earlier this month and is located in Morrisville’s Grace Park at the corner of Davis Drive and Morrisville Carpenter Road. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • After the closing of its sister store in Chapel Hill, Top This! Café in Raleigh’s Atrium building has sold to new owners who will reopen the space on January 19th as The Atrium Grille. Best of luck to Stephen and Jeff.
  • The newest location of Smashburger opened in Raleigh over the holidays in Falls Village (6679 Falls of Neuse Road). It joins the Durham location, which is in the Pavilion East near Duke Medical Campus. Check them out here.
  • Saw on Yelp that Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint will be opening in Parkside Town Commons in Cary in mid-January. No official open date yet, but you can check them out here.
  • Out in Holly Springs things are a bit chillier, and I’m not talking about the weather. A Dairy Queen Grill & Chill has just opened in the South Park Village Center off of GB Alford Highway according to the Triangle Business Journal. You can check out their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • Over in Durham Eschelon Experiences will open their newest concept, a new Japanese/sushi restaurant called Basan, on January 20th. It is located in the new Diamond View III building at American Tobacco Campus. Our best to G Patel on his latest venture. Check them out here.
  • Also in Durham, we got word that Smallcakes, A Cupcakery, is now baking in southern Durham, opening at 4711 Hope Valley Road in the Woodcroft Shopping Center. They will hold a grand opening on Saturday, January 24th. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • On a recent drive through Carrboro, I noticed that Monterrey Mexican restaurant is moving in with their newest location. It will be in Carrboro Plaza. They are currently upfitting the space, and no word yet on an open date. Check out one of their other locations here.
  • Also in Carrboro, national chain Tom+Chee (which gained some national awareness after grabbing some “Shark Tank” cash) has announced a March opening. It will be located at 370 E. Main St. in Carrboro according to Triangle Business Journal. As you might guess, they specialize in tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Check them out here.
  • And in Chapel Hill, the wife and I stopped by for lunch last week at JuJube only to learn that they are currently closed for renovations. Sign on the door says they will reopen in early 2015. No word yet on an exact date. Guess this is a good “excuse” (like I need an excuse!) to go try out their new sister restaurant in Durham – JuJu. Keep up with JuJuBe here and check out JuJu here.

Closings 

  • In one of the biggest surprises I can remember, Glenwood South’s Cafe Helios coffee shop closed their doors after a 12 year run. Sorry to see them go. And in a very cool move, downtown’s Brew Coffee Bar, a coffee shop in Raleigh’s Seaboard Station, is offering two free drinks in exchange for any Cafe Helios gift cards you may be stuck holding.
  • And my friend Dana McCall (aka GoGo Raleigh) reported that Mantra Indian Cuisine and Bar has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • We did it once, winning the top dessert truck in the country. Now we have two local trucks trying to win the title of “Rookie Truck of the Year.” Both Stuft, featuring gourmet stuffed potatoes, and Bam Pow Chow, featuring gourmet tacos, are in the running (although woefully behind). Let’s give them our support by voting here. Voting closes at midnight tonight! Thanks to the Triangle Business Journal for the reminder on this.

Events

  • The “Got To Be NC” Competition Dining Series revealed this week the 16 chefs that will be competing in the Fire in the Triangle competition that runs from January 19th through the grand finale on March 2nd. Tickets are now on sale and they will sell out most events. If you’ve never been to experience one of these events, do it now! See who the chefs this year are, see match-ups and get your tickets here.
  • Time to mark your calendar for January 26th through February 1st for the next round of Triangle Restaurant Week, a week-long event where participating restaurants offer fixed-price, three-course menu options. A 3-course lunch is $15 and a 3-course dinner is $20 or $30 person, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. See a list of participating restaurants and get all the details here.
  • If you are tired of football bowls, or if you can’t get enough of them, here is another “bowl” to check out – The Q Shack’s 2015 Chili Bowl. Each week they will feature a new chili for you to check out (perfect for all this cold weather). And the best part…10% of all chili sales in January will go to support Loaves and Fishes Ministry. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • A huge kudos to The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and to all of you that contributed to their Holiday Meals Drive. Their goal was to raise $435,000 by midnight on December 31st in order to provide 2.17 million meals. And with less than an hour to go, they hit their goal! A huge thank you to everyone at the food bank for all they do and to all of you that continue to support them in so many ways. Learn more about the food bank here and get involved in 2015!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – December 19, 2014

Triangle Restaurant News

Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

 Featured Restaurant News

  •   The Outer Bank’s much-anticipated Triangle edition of Duck Donuts opened yesterday in Cary at100 Wrenn Drive (next to Firehouse Subs and Chipotle). Follow them on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  It is out…the News & Observer’s listing of restaurants that are open on Christmas Day. As you might expect, reservations are highly recommended. Here is the list.
  • And if you don’t feel like going out to eat, but don’t really want to spend all day in the kitchen, Raleigh’s Q-Shack is offering locally raised, all natural fresh turkeys, hams and brisket and meals packed for reheating. Pick-up is available in Raleigh and Durham. Get all the details here.
  •  Hillsborough Street’s newest edition, State of Beer, opened for business this week at 401 Hillsborough Street. In addition to the beer, they offer a nice selection of salads and sandwiches. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • The Triangle’s first 100% organic restaurant opens today in Poyner Village shopping center behind Triangle Town Center. Organic Festival will initially serve lunch and dinner, but plans on adding breakfast soon. Check them out here.
  • Got word this week from reader Michelle Fleer that Sultan’s Deli, a Greek and Mediterranean deli, has opened at Beaver Creek Crossing in Apex (two doors down from the movie theater).
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza is holding its grand opening today (December 19th) in Park West Village in Morrisville. This marks the franchises first North Carolina location. Get all the details here.
  • And down in Garner, the Triangle Business Journal is reporting a handful of new restaurant offerings when the White Oak Crossing shopping center is completed. Carolina Ale House, Longhorn Steakhouse, City Barbecue and Five Guys will occupy a good chunk of the development which is anchored by Cabela’s. Look for them to open in the middle of next year.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  Got word this week from my friends over at Taste Carolina that Scott Howell’s newest venture, a French eatery and bar called Bar Virgile, is now open and features former G2B chef Carrie Schleiffer at the helm! It is located in a rear annex to the former Citizens National Bank building at 102 E. Main Street. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Saw in the News & Observer yesterday that Charlie Deal, owner of Dos Perros in Durham and Jujube in Chapel Hill, has opened Juju in the old George’s Garage space on Ninth Street in Durham. They bill themselves as an Asian tapas establishment. Get all the details here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal is reporting this week that The French Corner Bakery, a new bake shop featuring artisan breads, cookies, muffins as well as a lunch menu, is now open at 2005 North Pointe Drive, Suite B, in Durham.
  • Durham keeps getting sweeter and sweeter. Got the word this week that the beloved downtown Durham ice cream shop The Parlour will expand into the former Playworks space next door to add an additional 1,000 square feet. The expansion will allow the shop to serve more people, expand the menu, and accommodate events. The Parlour, which currently seats around 24 guests, will grow to seat almost 60. Get all the details here.
  • And I saw on Twitter that Town Hall Burger and Bar is expanding their bar. The site says it will open the expanded side on January 1, 2015, but we are hearing it might open as early as next week. Get by and check it out. They are located across from the Streets at Southpoint, behind Bonefish Grill and Aldi. Check them out here.

Closings 

  •  Saw in the News & Observer that the downtown Raleigh institution Sam & Wally’s has closed. But hopefully it is only temporary. They are looking for a new location. We’ll keep an eye on it.
  • Got word from local news source New Raleigh that Jade Garden on Hillsborough Street closed suddenly last week. No word on whether or not they will reopen in a new location.
  • Got word from The Triangle Explorer that the Ninth Street location of Market Street Coffee has closed. The Triangle Business Journal is reporting that a new juice and coffee bar is expected to open in that space by January 15.
  • Thanks to the keen eyes of reader Sarah Armstrong, she noted that Mantra India Cuisne and Bar, formerly at 116 N. West Street in downtown Raleigh, has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • They did it! From what I can gather, Not Just Icing won the contest on the food truck website Mobile Cuisine that held a national contest to identify America’s best dessert food truck. Congrats!

Events 

  •  Saw in the News & Observer that Mandolin restaurant in Raleigh is hosting a Santa brunch from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Children can listen to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” enjoy gingerbread cookies and share their last-minute lists. Meanwhile, parents can enjoy a brunch with country ham eggs Benedict, figgy pudding and a bloody mary. Reservations are recommended. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Methodist Home for Children. Get all the details here.
  • A shout out to my vegan and gluten-free friends that are looking for a dining option on New Year’s eve. Might want to book a seat at Kimbap where they’ll have a full menu tailored specifically to you. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Warm up this New Year’s weekend with 2nd Annual NC Fresh Catch winter oyster, seafood and music event on January 2nd. The event, titled The Blues & The Blues, will take place indoors from 6-11 p.m. at the downtown Durham Armory. Enjoy live blues, R&B, jazz and soul plus smoked, steamed and fried oysters, smoked bluefish, chef plates, smoked BBQ and more plus craft beer, wine and local ciders. Partial event proceeds benefit Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is about 55% of the way to their goal for their Holiday Meals Drive and they need your help to reach their goal of raising $435,000 online before December 31, which would be enough to provide 2.17 million meals! Folks can donate, make a gift in honor of a friend or family member or host a holiday fundraiser. Perhaps your company can join in on this extremely worthy cause. Get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – December 12, 2014

Triangle Restaurant News

Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

 Featured Restaurant News

  •  Alright Triangle, let’s do this. Today is the last day to vote! Our very own dessert truck Not Just Icing is in a national competition to crown America’s best dessert food truck. As of this writing, we are just a few hundred votes out of first place. Let’s make this happen! Stop what you are doing for just one minute, click here and vote for them. How cool would that be? Do it! Click here now!

Wake County Restaurant News

  • It is out…the News & Observer’s listing of restaurants that are open on Christmas Day. As you might expect, reservations are highly recommended. Here is the list.
  • And if you don’t feel like going out to eat, but don’t really want to spend all day in the kitchen, Raleigh’s Q-Shack is offering locally raised, all natural fresh turkeys, hams and brisket and meals packed for reheating. Pick-up is available in Raleigh and Durham. Get all the details here.
  • Got a note this week from Kelly Trimyer that the Outer Bank’s much-anticipated Triangle edition of Duck Donuts is slated to open in Cary (100 Wrenn Drive) towards the middle of next week. At this point they are just waiting on some final inspections. Follow them on their Facebook page where they will announce their official opening day once it is known.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Steve Adams, owner of Peak City Grill in Apex, has teamed up with Franz Propst, longtime chef at the restaurant, to open The Blistered Pig Smokehouse just down the street in the historic Tobacco & Mule Exchange Building (225 N. Salem Street). Love their slogan, “We Only Smoke The Good Stuff” – and they note that all their meat products are direct from the farmer and all are North Carolina grown and processed. Check them out here.
  • Got word hat Smashburger is gearing up to open its second Triangle location, this one in Raleigh, on Wednesday, Dec. 17 in the Shops at Falls Village (6679 Falls of Neuse Rd.) in North Raleigh. Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • Monuts Donuts is officially open in their new location in Durham on Ninth Street in the old Magnola Grill spot (1002 Ninth Street to be exact). They are serving up hot donuts, Counter Culture espresso, bagels, biscuits and more! Get all the details here.
  • According to the Herald-Sun, G2B Gastro Pub has reopened after adding a small-batch brewery and bringing on a new executive chef, Travis Robinson. Previously Robinson trained and gained experience at The Ritz-Carlton up and down the Eastern seaboard. Get a peek at some of the changes at their website here.
  • Durham’s newest addition, The Boot (an Italian off-shoot of Geer Street Garden), has now opened their doors for lunch (they opened right around Thanksgiving for dinner). Anyway, check them out for lunch or dinner. The initial reviews are quite strong! They are located at 2501 University Drive. Check them out here.

Closings 

  • We were sad to learn this week in the News & Observer that Pop’s, a 20-year-old institution in Durham, has closed their doors. But note that Pop’s Backdoor South, the pizzeria in Hope Valley Square, remains open.

Food Trucks 

  • The food truck website Mobile Cuisine is holding a national contest to identify America’s best dessert food truck. In the running is our very own Not Just Icing. Let’s show them our support! Currently, they are just a few hundred votes out of first place. Let’s help them win! Vote here. And as they say, vote early and often!

Events

  • This Saturday, December 13th, Guglhupf over in Durham will host their 6th Annual German Christmas Market from 10 am to 4 pm and it should be a spectacular day! Get a bite to eat and enjoy a glass of glühwein or mulled cider as you stroll through this festive gathering with artists, food and live music. Get all the details here. And don’t forget to get your Christmas Stollen while you are there!
  • Saw in the News & Observer that Mandolin restaurant in Raleigh is hosting a Santa brunch from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Children can listen to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” enjoy gingerbread cookies and share their last-minute lists. Meanwhile, parents can enjoy a brunch with country ham eggs Benedict, figgy pudding and a bloody mary. Reservations are recommended. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Methodist Home for Children. Get all the details here.
  • Warm up this New Year’s weekend with 2nd Annual NC Fresh Catch winter oyster, seafood and music event on January 2nd. The event, titled The Blues & The Blues, will take place indoors from 6-11 p.m. at the downtown Durham Armory. Enjoy live blues, R&B, jazz and soul plus smoked, steamed and fried oysters, smoked bluefish, chef plates, smoked BBQ and more plus craft beer, wine and local ciders. Partial event proceeds benefit Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is in the middle of their Holiday Meals Drive and they need your help to reach their goal of raising $435,000 online before December 31, which would be enough to provide 2.17 million meals! Folks can donate, make a gift in honor of a friend or family member or host a holiday fundraiser. Perhaps your company can join in on this extremely worthy cause. Get all the details here.

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