Friday Fun Food Facts – March 27, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

  •  This isn’t really restaurant news but is something so cool (and restaurant related) that is important for everyone to know. The late Dean Smith has done yet something else that shows his true class and character. His estate left $200 to each of his former players to be used for “dining out.” How cool is that? A lot of those guys are still in and around the triangle, so hopefully we’ll see some of that activity here. Truly a class act. Thanks Coach!

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The big news out of Raleigh this week was the “sudden” announcement that the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group’s 518 West in Raleigh will be closing after serving their last meal on April 5th. Get by between now and then to enjoy a meal. Word on the street is that they received an offer on the building they simply couldn’t refuse. Now the wait to see who bought the building. Lots of rumors swirling around that. Stay tuned.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen’s latest project, Death & Taxes and Bridge Club (which aren’t open yet) have scheduled a series of pop-up dinners in April in the new space. The dinners will feature some big-name chefs from here and elsewhere in the Southeast. Single tickets are $182. For tickets and all the details go here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • This is exciting news. The food truck blogger The Wandering Sheppard reported that KoKyu BBQ has opened a sandwich shop called Na’Mean (short for “Know What I Mean”) at 4823 Meadow Drive just off Highway 55 behind Papa John’s. Get all the details here.
  • And continuing the theme of food trucks moving into brick and mortar, blogger The Wandering Sheppard reported this week that the food truck Gussy’s will move into the space formerly occupied by Baguettaboutit Café at 2945 Miami Blvd. They will be open for lunch and special occasions. Look for them to open May 1. Get more information on Gussy’s here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that True Flavors Catering Co. has opened True Flavors Diner in south Durham at 5410 Highway 55. The diner features “upscale yet familiar diner classics,” according to its website. Get all the details here.
  • And Dos Perros in downtown Durham announced this week that they have stopped serving lunch during the week. They were quick to remind folks that they still have brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Get all the details here.

Closings 

  • Got the surprising news this week that after just over a year in operation, The Black House at Straw Valley in Durham has closed their doors. Will be interested to see where chef Adam Rose lands next.
  • We confirmed this week via The Wandering Sheppard blog that after the passing of Baguettaboutit’s owner Chris Derby, the cafe located in RTP quietly closed its doors. The good news is the food truck is still in operation serving up baguettes and artisan sausages. Chris was one of the nicest people you would ever meet. I was lucky enough to have known him. My prayers and thoughts continue to be with his family.
  • Got word from reader Wanda Callis that the TerraFin Station in Garner has also closed. Reader Sammi Hilliard confirmed that. No more TerraFin Stations.
  • Sammi Hilliard also reported that Quail Corners Creamery has closed permanently. Hilliard suggested that a Rocket Fizz would be coming into that space.
  • And finally, Sammi Hilliard also was the first to report that the food truck Wicked Biscuit has ceased operations.

Food Trucks 

  • Learned this past week about a new food truck headed our way called The Wandering Moose. Serving slow cooked meats and sauces from scratch, friends Anthony Reid and Matt Lundgren hope to have the truck rolling by mid April. You can bet we’ll keep an eye on this one. Get a sneak peek at them here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Cousins Maine Lobster, a food truck business launched in Los Angeles by two cousins from Maine (and featured on Shark Tank), is coming to the Triangle thanks to Deb and Greg Keller of Wake Forest. Keller expects to launch the truck in early April, and the menu will feature fresh lobster flown in from Maine in a variety of formats, including lobster rolls, lobster quesadillas and lobster tacos. Learn more about it here.
  • Wake Forest will hold its first Food Truck Rodeo this Sunday, March 29th from noon until 4 p.m. at 405 S. Brooks Street in historic downtown Wake Forest. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Food Trucks and Flowers – sounds like a great, and fun, combination. The third annual Fairview Garden Center Flora and Food Trucks series will feature the Triangle’s most popular and delicious food trucks. These events will take place on spring Saturdays, March 28 through May 23, 11:30 am until 2:30 pm at 8224 Holly Springs Rd. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Get all the details here.
  • 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

  • On March 31st, Lafayette Village’s Vinos Finos Kitchen and Wine Bar will host a pop-up wine dinner with guest chef Sarig Agasi. The dinner begins at 7 p.m. and will also feature live music. The cost is $70 per person, or $130 per couple. Get all the details here.
  • Triangle residents can experience many of the sights, sounds and flavors of Lebanon at the 17th annual Lebanese Festival. This free, open-air event will take place from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 4 at City Plaza in downtown Raleigh. You can get all the details on the Triangle Lebanese Association website here.
  • This is kinda cool. I’m sure a lot of you are planning on attending the Southern Ideal Home Show when it hits Raleigh April 10-12. In a new tasty twist, each day breweries and wineries from around the area will partner with local restaurants and create unique food pairings for show guests to try in this Sip and Savor feature. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Taste The Event 2015 is coming up, but it is really more a series of events, with the Grand Taste Experience being held on Thursday, April 23rd at the Armory in downtown Durham, where you’ll experience over 20 dishes created by the area’s top chefs. There are other events surrounding this event. Get all the details here.
  • And go ahead and mark your calendar for Saturday, April 25th to be in downtown Raleigh (City Plaza to be exact) for Brewgaloo – a festival celebrating craft beer…and they’ll have 50+ food trucks there. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  •  Did you know that the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina plans to distribute between 50 and 52 million pounds of food this year? That’s more than 140,000 meals a day! They expect their fleet of 19 trucks to travel over 500,000 miles to serve their 800 partner agencies and maximize their food donor partnerships. To do that, they are aiming to raise over $8 million in revenue and work with over 15,000 volunteers to keep the Food Bank running and expand service where possible. Can you help? Check out their web page for how you as an individual, or your company, can be part of the success.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 20, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Somehow, even under my watchful eye, the latest rendition of Jasmin Mediterranean Bistro opened (without me noticing) at the corner of Franklin and Columbia Streets smack dab in the middle of downtown Chapel Hill. Thanks to the Daily Tar Heel for bringing that to my attention. This marks their 5th Triangle area location. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  Saw on WRAL that a new ice cream shop is opening this spring (shooting for May) in City Market. Treat will be serving up hormone-free and antibiotic-free Maple View Farm ice cream and sorbet made in Hillsborough. Get a peek at them here.
  • Reader Pat Price tipped me off to the fact that a new fresh-Mex concept restaurant, Wicked Taco, is set to open on Western Boulevard in May. The restaurant, the first in the Triangle, will occupy the former KFC location across from Amedeo’s and next to Cook-Out. Check them out here.
  • We also learned on WRAL that Six Forks Cheese Shop in Lafayette Village has been purchased by Orrman’s Cheese Shop. Orrman’s is a family-owned business based in Charlotte. Get the details here.
  • Over in Cary, things continue to heat up in the Parkside Town Commons retail center. The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that a new Noodles & Company restaurant will be opening March 30. That will bring the total number of restaurants in that development to five, with Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar, Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, Chick-Fil-A, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Menchie’s Yogurt, Chuy’s, Panera Bread and Smallcakes all “opening soon.”
  • And got word from Twitter follower Cindy Brewbaker that Fuquay-Varina is on its way to getting a new Subway (I know, she admitted “the quay” is desperate for new options) at the corner of Hilltop and Hwy. 401. Thanks Cindy!

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  Reader Bart Cobert informed me that Chopsticks & More on W. Franklin St. In downtown Chapel Hill has closed. And the Daily Tar Heel is reporting that it will be replaced (this month, hopefully) by Ms. Mong, a Mongolian restaurant which will offer an innovative take on the traditional way of doing Mongolian BBQ.
  • Also in Durham, Town Hall Burger & Beer is celebrating the expansion of their restaurant, with a new bar, from 12 to 8 on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend (March 21 & 22). Get all the details here.

Closings 

  •  Some sad news from Fuquay-Varina. First up, Joyce & Family Restaurant, a home-style cooking institution in downtown for 18 years, has closed its doors but hopes to reopen if it can raise enough crowd-sourced funds. Go here to help.
  • On a related note, drive-thru coffee kiosk Racin’ Java at 1013 East Broad Street reached its final finish line on March 14. Thanks to David McCreary for both bits of information.

Food Trucks 

  • My friend Greg Lewis over at Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store informed me that the first Pittsboro Food Truck Rodeo of the year will take place on Saturday, March 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. directly in front of his restaurant. Get more details here.
  • Food Trucks and Flowers…sounds like a great, and fun, combination. The third annual Fairview Garden Center Flora and Food Trucks series will feature the Triangle’s most popular and delicious food trucks. These events will take place on spring Saturdays, March 28 through May 23, 11:30 AM until 2:30 pm at 8224 Holly Springs Rd. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Get all the details here.
  • 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 sounds like fun. Rye Bar & Southern Kitchen in downtown Raleigh (500 Fayetteville Street) is hosting a Jack Daniels Tasting Event on Saturday, March 21 from 7- 9 p.m. A menu was created with each course of the gourmet dinner featuring a different Jack Daniels pairing. The cost of the dinner is $70 and Tickets can be purchased by calling Thais Pratt at 919.227.3370. Get more details here.
  • On March 31st, Lafayette Village’s Vinos Finos Kitchen and Wine Bar will host a pop-up wine dinner with guest chef Sarig Agasi. The dinner begins at 7 p.m. and will also feature live music. The cost is $70 per person, or $130 per couple. Get all the details here.
  • Triangle residents can experience many of the sights, sounds and flavors of Lebanon at the 17th annual Lebanese Festival. This free, open-air event will take place from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 4 at City Plaza in downtown Raleigh. You can get all the details on the Triangle Lebanese Association website here.
  • This is kinda cool. I’m sure a lot of you are planning on attending the Southern Ideal Home Show when it hits Raleigh April 10-12. In a new tasty twist, each day breweries and wineries from around the area will partner with local restaurants and create unique food pairings for show guests to try in this Sip and Savor feature. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Taste The Event 2015 is coming up, but it is really more a series of events, with the Grand Taste Experience being held on Thursday, April 23rd at the Armory in downtown Durham, where you’ll experience over 20 dishes created by the area’s top chefs. There are other events surrounding this event. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  •  Did you know that the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina plans to distribute between 50 and 52 million pounds of food this year? That’s more than 140,000 meals a day! They expect their fleet of 19 trucks to travel over 500,000 miles to serve their 800 partner agencies and maximize their food donor partnerships. To do that, they are aiming to raise over $8 million in revenue and work with over 15,000 volunteers to keep the Food Bank running and expand service where possible. Can you help? Check out their web page for how you as an individual, or your company, can be part of the success.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 13, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

  • Durham’s newest restaurant, The Counting House, has opened in downtown Durham at 111 N. Corcoran Street on the ground floor of the former CCB/Sun Trust building (Hill Building). It is part of the 21c Museum Hotel, which will open in the next few weeks. The restaurant is under the direction of chef Josh Munchel. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •   Jason Smith recently announced that his18 Seaboard will join their sister restaurants, Cantina 18 and Harvest 18, by offering weekend brunch service. 18 Seaboard will start brunch services this Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • According to the News & Observer, Hummus Cafe, a Middle Eastern eatery which opened just over a year ago on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street, opened a second location in Morrisville this past Monday. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Freshii, a “health-casual restaurant” chain, has opened its first Triangle area location on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh in the same building with Chipotle Mexican Grill and Jimmy John’s. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •   In Durham, the News & Observer reported that Urban Food Group, owners of Vivace, Coquette and Chow, has signed a lease for the former Pop’s location in Durham’s West Village. Vivace, also has a location in Charlotte and just announced another location (will be their 4th) in Denver, Colorado. Keep up with them here.
  • Something has changed at Merritt’s Store & Grill in Chapel Hill, but it is not exactly clear just yet. According to a Facebook post, the management at the store has changed and it appears as if Charles Britt is no longer managing things. We will keep an eye on it and hope they don’t mess with the BLT or burgers! Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Over in Carrboro, Krave, a new kava bar and lounge, has opened at 105 W. Main Street according to Rebecca Troyer over at the Triangle Business Journal. They feature exotic teas and root beverages like kava, a drink popular in the South Pacific. It is owned by Elizabeth Gardner a UNC grad and attorney. A grand opening party will be held on March 28. You can get a lot of information on her Facebook page here.

Closings 

  • Got word from reader Sammi Hilliard that the TerraFin Station up on Falls of the Neuse Road has closed. Word on the street is that a barbecue joint will move into that space. We will keep an eye on it. Thanks Sammi!
  • And not really a closing, but the folks behind Firewurst have closed their original “test” kitchen (that was the plan from the beginning) and have focused their attention on their other two Triangle area locations and future growth. Check out their two locations and future plans here.

Food Trucks 

  • My friend Greg Lewis over at Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store informed me that the first Pittsboro Food Truck Rodeo of the year will take place on Saturday, March 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. directly in front of his restaurant. Get more details here.
  • 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

  • Hibernian Pub is hosting their annual St. Patrick’s Celebration this Saturday (March 14) from 11 until 11. They are teaming up with Napper Tandy’s and Shop Local for a huge street festival on the 300 and 400 blocks of Glenwood Avenue. The cost is free until 4 p.m. at which time the charge becomes $5. Look for live music, local artisans and vendors and, of course, lots of great food and drinks. Get all the details here.
  • Just a quick follow up to Urban Ministries of Durham’s 9th annual Empty Bowls event – it raised over $86k to help end homelessness. And the “best soup” winners went to Saltbox Seafood Joint (Soup Dreams Chowda Saltbox Style – Judges Choice) and Toast (Calabrian Onion Soup – People’s Choice). Congrats to everyone!

Food Bank Corner   

  • Time to eat a little crow…or better yet, the BB1K BBQ Sandwich at The Q Shack in North Hills. As you’ll recall, Tom Meyer and I had a friendly wager over the last Duke vs. UNC basketball game. Well, my Heels didn’t show me much love. So I had to don a Duke Jersey and have my picture taken with a “I Like Mike” poster. I did. But now you can help the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina by stopping by The Q Shack in North Hills and ordering the BB1K sandwich (in honor of Coach K’s 1000+ wins) and 10% of all sales will go to the Food Bank. Congrats to Tom and his Blue Devils. Get all the details on the inaugural Battle of the Blues & BBQ right here.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 6, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Battle of the Blues & BBQ – Here is the friendly wager, all to benefit the Food Bank of  Central & Eastern North Carolina. Yours truly and Tom Meyer (eventual loser an d 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 alumnus and Sean is a UNC alumnus (although was  born and bred in Raleigh and has a soft spot in his heart for the Wolfpack). ShouldTriangle Food Guy Image 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 sauteed collards and NC hoop cheese. View all the details here. Go Heels!

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  After a week of “soft openings” New Raleigh is reporting that Pho Pho Pho Noodle Kitchen + Bar is opening today (please check first). Pho Pho is the creation of Sushi Blues Café’s Quy Duong. It is located in the 510 Building on Glenwood South and will feature traditional Vietnamese dishes. Get all the details here.
  • Niall Hanley’s (i.e. Hibernian Pubs) next venture is getting closer to fruition according to the News & Observer. Raleigh Beer Garden, located at 614 Glenwood Avenue, is on schedule to open in the April/May timeline. Not much to look at on the website yet, but it is coming.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, the upstairs part of Centro Mexican Restaurant, called Gallo Pelon Mezcaleria, will open this month! No word yet on an official date, but stay tuned. The upstairs will provide more space to accommodate their busy lunch, private events, and other special gatherings. The upstairs will also host Gallo Pelón, NC’s first mezcaleria. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Rebecca Calhoun updated us on the opening of El Cerro Mexican Bar & Grill in North Raleigh’s Falls Village shopping center.
  • This is kind of vague, but equally exciting. New Raleigh reported this week that a yet-to-be-named wine and coffee shop is coming to Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street in the former LocoPop’s location next to David’s Dumpling & Noodle Bar. We’ll keep an eye on it.
  • Cary’s Chatham Square Shopping Center is getting two new dining options according to the News & Observer’s Greg Cox. Taqueria La Herradura will feature tacos made with house-made corn tortillas and your choice of ten fillings. Also, Tibetan Restaurant will open as soon as possible offering a menu made up mostly of familiar Chinese and Indo-Chinese fare. We’ll keep an eye on these.
  • Got word from one of my readers that Koffee Kafe has opened a “grab and go” coffee and café in Cary’s train station. Obviously convenient for travelers, but also anyone in the area. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Reader Graciela Reynoso tipped me off to the fact that Cary is now home to Koko’s Italian Kitchen at 8306 Chapel Hill Road. They are serving up classic Italian dishes and gourmet pizzas. Check them out here.
  • And speaking of Italian, Clayton is also home to a new Italian restaurant called La Cucina Italiana featuring pizza, pasta and subs at 110 Flowers Crossroads Way. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that CalaVela, an empanada and tequila bar in downtown Raleigh, has opened a second location in Carrboro at 370 E. Main Street (Hampton Inn building). Check them out here.
  • The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership announced this week that Roots Bakery Bistro & Bar has opened at 161 East Franklin Street in the former Top This! Café location. You can check them out on Facebook here.
  • Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street is now home to another hot dog joint according to the Triangle Business Journal. Following the lead of Sup Dogs, Trolley Stop Hot Dogs opened this past week at 306 W. Franklin Street. Check them out here on Facebook.
  • And over in Durham, the Herald Sun is reporting that Locopops, at 2600 Hillsborough Road, has reopened for spring with hours from 2 to 7 p.m. New expanded hours will be announced soon.

Closings 

  • Friend David McCreary informed me that Mesa Fresca Diner at 775 Center Street in Apex has closed its doors.
  • Vincent’s on Creedmoor Road in Raleigh has closed in anticipation of the opening of Vincent’s BigBoom, a joint venture between Vincent Barresi and Christopher Bender. Big Boom will open in the 510 Building on Glenwood South.

Food Trucks 

  • Food Truck Rodeo’s are back!!!! This Sunday (March 8th) is the Spring Food Truck Rodeo at Durham’s Central Park. 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

  • The third annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience, an indoor food and beer festival at the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, is this 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.
  • The much-hyped Snap Pea Underground dinner series is coming to Raleigh, March 13th and 14th. The menu is a surprise and the location is kept secret until 36 hours before the event. These dinners will be located somewhere close to the Museum of Art. Cost is $68. Register and get all the details 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! But even better than that, the wager will benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Get all the details on the inaugural Battle of the Blues & BBQ right here. And may the best “blue” team win!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized