Friday Fun Food Facts – May 22, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •   Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant announced this week that they are opening a second location in mid-July. The second location of the popular downtown southern eatery will be in Quail Corners Shopping Center in North Raleigh, located at 5009 Falls of the Neuse Road. Check out Big Ed’s here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • New Raleigh noted this week that Raleigh Beer Garden, on Glenwood South in Raleigh, is getting closer and closer to opening. In fact, they noted that they are opening next month. RBG is being brought to us by Niall Hanley and Cliff “CliffyB” Bleszinski and will feature one of the largest line-ups of beer, cocktails and a menu featuring gourmet thin-crust pizzas, crostinis, salads, local cheeses, German sausage and German pretzels. Not much to see on their website yet, but you can keep up with them on their Facebook page here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Buffalo Brothers, a locally owned pizza and wings joint with three Triangle locations, is expanding into Garner. The newest location will be at 7245 White Oak Rd. next to Target in the White Oak Crossing shopping center. Buffalo Brothers currently has two restaurants in Raleigh, on Capital Boulevard and Lake Boone Trail, and one in Wake Forest. Check them out here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Sam Zein has opened Pita Bon, an authentic Mediterranean restaurant, in Cary’s Kildaire Plaza shopping center in the space formerly occupied by The Loop. Pita Bon’s website isn’t live yet, but you can keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • I saw this on WRAL and I only include it because it is a slow news week (and I’m a sucker for a good milk shake – especially when it is free), but this coming Monday (May 25), all Triangle area locations of Wendy’s will be offering a free small Frosty as part of their Customer Appreciation Day. There is no coupon required and no purchase is necessary. There. Don’t ever say I didn’t give you anything.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • We first told you of this back in May, 2014, but the Triangle Business Journal reported a few more details on Cafe Symmetry, a new “fresh casual” restaurant with a cafeteria-style setting that is coming to Carrboro’s Carr Mill Mall. It is expected to open next month and is run by the same folks over at Elmo’s Diner, also in Carr Mill Mall. It will occupy the space formerly occupied by Panzanella. You can check them out on Facebook here.

Closings 

  • None to report. Keeping eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • And if that is not enough Indian cuisine for you, over in Durham this week it was announced that Tan-Durm, a food truck specializing in Indian cuisine and Indian street foods, will hit the streets soon thanks to Durham native BJ Patel. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

  • The good folks over at Ninth Street Bakery are bringing back their extremely popular Vegan Brunch. It kicks off again on Saturday, May 24th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their downtown Durham location. Get all the details and menu here.
  • Tickets went on sale recently for one of my favorite events of the year (a weekend of events really) – Farm to Fork – which will take place this year Friday, June 5th through Sunday, June 7th. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • June 20th is the date for the 3rd annual Fresh Catch Festival that will be held in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square from 1-9pm. Enjoy fresh cooked seafood, BBQ and more from local chefs and restaurants from 1-6 in the park and food trucks from 5-9 in the street. Tickets are $8 in advance, and $10 at the door (food and drinks are separate). Get all the details here.
  • Also on June 20th, Village Lanes, one of the oldest bowling alleys in Durham, is holding their Spring Fling featuring live music, cold beer, an art fair/craft market, and a diverse lineup of food trucks. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • The dates are set for one of my other favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Go ahead and start setting aside your money for the tickets – they go on sale soon. Take a look at all the initial details here.
  • And finally, WRAL’s Out and About has launched its first Voters’ Choice Awards where they are seeking nominations in categories like Best Food Truck, Bakery, Brewery, Restaurant, BBQ and more. The nomination period ends May 24 and in June they will reveal the finalists and open up voting. The winners will be honored at a party in August! Start voting here.

Food Bank Corner   

Part of a letter from Peter Werbicki, President & CEO of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina:

In just a few short weeks, school will be ending. Most kids will be headed to camp or going on family vacations. Unfortunately, over 300,000 children will not be focused on activities of fun and relaxation. These kids will be focused on one thing: an empty stomach.

When schools close for summer break, cafeterias close. Children who have relied on free and reduced-cost breakfast and lunch go without these meals during the summer. The loss of this vital resource puts an additional strain on family food budgets that are already tight.

But together, we can help.

The Food Bank’s Stop Summer Hunger Campaign aims to provide meals and groceries to children and their families over the summer months. Through July 31, we are committed to providing 3.2 million meals.

Click the link above to see how you can help!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 15, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •   The big news this week was first reported by John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer. He lit up Twitter last Sunday with a tweet reporting that Gonza Tacos Y Tequila has plans to open another Raleigh location in the Aloft Hotel that is going in on Hillsborough Street. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saw on WRAL that Vincent Barresi and Christopher Bender opened Italian restaurant Bigboom last weekend in the former Red Room tapas space at 510 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. Check their Facebook page out here.
  • Raleigh’s iconic A-frame IHOP restaurant on Hillsborough Street is moving a bit further down the street. It was announced this week in Triangle Business Journal that the current location would close (making way for new development) but that it would simply move to one of the retail spaces opening up in the new Stanhope Student Housing Complex at 3001 Hillsborough St. The relocated IHOP is expected to open in the spring 2016.
  • New Raleigh reported this week that La Carreta Mexican Restaurant is moving into the former OC Bar and Grill spot in Oberlin Court, which is near the intersection of Wade Avenue and Oberlin Road. Check them out here.
  • Got word from reader Scott Erickson that Chanticleer Cafe and Bakery, a new quick service restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch and specialty coffees, is coming to Wellington Park Shopping Center off Tryon and Cary Pkwy in Cary. No word yet on an open date, but you can check them out of Facebook here.
  • Thomas Vincent informed me that his Compass Rose Brewery opens this Saturday at 3201 Northside Drive in Raleigh. Congrats to Thomas and Jeff. Check them out here and plan a visit soon (if not tomorrow).
  • Saw in the News & Observer that Cantina 18, a Mexican restaurant that’s part of chef Jason Smith’s 18 Restaurant Group, is remodeling its existing space and adding a second floor this summer. We’ll keep an eye on it and let you know when it is complete. Check out all of Jason’s restaurants here.
  • We first reported this back in January of this year, but the News & Observer provided an update this week on Whiskey Kitchen. Jeff Mickel and Michael Thor are currently renovating the building that was the former White Horse Limo warehouse at the corner of McDowell and Martin Streets and are looking at a late September, early October opening. Their website is here and you can keep up with their progress on Facebook here.
  • Got word from reader Diane Pisano that Penn Station East Coast Subs will be opening a new location in Cary in the new “mini” strip center on Cary Towne Blvd (next to the new Harris Teeter in that same area). Thanks to Diane for the information. Check out Penn Station here.
  • The News & Observer noted this week that Panera Bread has requested from the Town of Garner a conditional permit for site approval at White Oak Crossing. The restaurant will be next to Red Robin at the corner of Jones Sausage Road and U.S. 70.
  • New neighborhood communities don’t normally make my blog. But when the community includes a new coffee shop I do! And that is the case with Wendell Falls in Wendell that will have its very own coffee shop as of May 16th. As part of the café (and neighborhood) grand opening, they’ll also have a “barn raising” celebration feature southern dishes by Farmers Table, Big Boss craft beer and new gourmet coffees from Grounds Café. Stop by on May 16th from 12 – 6 p.m. Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • The News & Observer reported this week that the Piedmont’s chef Ben Adams is leaving Piedmont to partner with Pig Whistle whole hog barbecue caterer Wyatt Dickson to open Picnic, a modern barbecue restaurant, this fall in North Durham. They have not signed a lease yet and so could not reveal specific location. We’ll keep an eye on it.
  • In related news, the News & Observer also reported that due to Adams’ latest announcement, Piedmont restaurant has a new chef, Greg Gettles, who previously worked at Herons at The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary and the now-closed Magnolia Grill in Durham. That is certainly great news for fans of Piedmont.
  • And if that is not enough BIG NEWS for one week, the Independent Weekly reported this week that chef Ben Barker is talking with Carrboro officials about something diners have been hoping to hear since he and wife Karen closed Magnolia Grill in Durham two years ago this month: They plan to open a pizzeria. Barker told the Indy in January 2013 that such a venture was possible, so long as their son Gabe was in charge. Gabe has been honing his culinary and business management skills at restaurants on the West Coast. The project is still in the early stages, and they haven’t even signed a lease yet, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
  • And if you love a good cup of coffee, like the ones they pour over at Cocoa Cinnamon in Durham, you’ll want to know they are planning to open a 2nd Durham location. They are currently in the middle of raising funds (you can pitch in and help) to make that second shop a reality. Visit their Community Sourced Capital page to find out more about the project and how you can be a “square holder.” Thanks to John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, for highlighting this.
  • The much-anticipated Tom+Chee restaurant in Carrboro will swing open their doors today (May 15) with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:15 a.m. They are located at 370 E. Main Street in the Hampton Inn complex. Visit their website here or their Facebook page here.

Closings 

  • We got word last week that Barberitos in Cary’s Waverly Place has closed due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • And sadly, the “Hot Now” light is forever off at the Krispy Kreme location on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, according to the Daily Tar Heel. Sad.

Food Trucks 

  • With a little divine intervention, it looks like Chapel Hill is going to have a food truck rodeo of its own – and to benefit a great cause. On Saturday, May 16th from 3 to 7 p.m. Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Blvd (at the intersection with Homestead Road) is going to have at least 10 food trucks and tons of other events all to benefit TABLE, which provides healthy, emergency food to hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Get all the details here.
  • If you miss that, or want even more food truck cuisine, head on over to Pittsboro that evening for the Pittsboro Food Truck Rodeo (every 3rd Saturday) across from Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store from 6-9 p.m. Trucks featured there include: American Meltdown, Bandido’s, Bella Donna’s, Bulkogi Korean BBQ, Carolina Brewery and Little Dipper’s Italian Ice. Get all the details here.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo is this Sunday (May 17th). It will be located at 419 Brooks Street at the Over The Falls Shopping Center and runs from 12 to 4 p.m. Check them out 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.
  • Alright folks, it is time to step up and help one of our own. On March 9th a drunk driver struck the side of the MamaDukes food truck and took them out of business. The insurance deemed the truck a total loss and the settlement was not enough to rebuild. They need our help to reopen for business. Visit their GoFundMe website for the details and to contribute to their effort to reopen. They are just under $1,800 from meeting their goal. Every little bit will help.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

  • The annual Got To Be NC Festival is this weekend (May 15-17) at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. The festival is a free family friendly event with carnival games and rides, live music, food, animal and agricultural displays, antique tractors, and more. Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to a tip from James Barnett, I got word that the inaugural Read Local Book Festival (with the tag line: Shop Local. Eat Local. Read Local) is coming up May 15-17, and features several food-related activities. The Friday night event (6-8 p.m.) features James Beard Award Semi-Finalist Chef Lionel Vatinet. And the Saturday night event features 4-5 course dinners at The Pit, Little Dipper and Basan. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • The Town of Morrisville is hosting their popular East Meets West food festival on Saturday, May 16th from 11 a.m. ’til 4 p.m. along Town Hall Drive in Morrisville. Over 15 participating restaurants and lots of entertainment. Get all the details here.
  • Also on May 16th, the folks over at Six Plates in Durham are holding their 8th annual Txakolifest. It is a two-part event, with a fundraiser from 12-3 for Urban Ministries featuring wine as well as food from Watts Grocery, Gocciolina, Pizzeria Toro, Blu Seafood, Vin Rouge, Toast, G2B and Juju. That session is $75. The general admission session begins at 3 and lasts until closing. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The good folks over at Ninth Street Bakery are bringing back their extremely popular Vegan Brunch. It kicks off again on Saturday, May 24th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their downtown Durham location. Get all the details and menu here.
  • Tickets went on sale recently for one of my favorite events of the year (a weekend of events really) – Farm to Fork – which will take place this year Friday, June 5th through Sunday, June 7th. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The dates are set for one of my other favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Go ahead and start setting aside your money for the tickets – they go on sale the middle of this month. Take a look at all the initial details here.
  • And finally, WRAL’s Out and About has launched its first Voters’ Choice Awards where they are seeking nominations in categories like Best Food Truck, Bakery, Brewery, Restaurant, BBQ and more. The nomination period ends May 24 and in June they will reveal the finalists and open up voting. The winners will be honored at a party in August! Start voting 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. Want to see a list of upcoming “foodie” events that you can attend AND help the Food Bank? Check it out here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 8, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

  •  Alright folks, it is time to step up and help one of our own. On March 9th a drunk driver struck the side of the MamaDukes food truck and took them out of business. The insurance deemed the truck a total loss and the settlement was not enough to rebuild. They need our help to reopen for business. Visit their GoFundMe website for the details and to contribute to their effort to reopen. They are just under $1,800 from meeting their goal. Every little bit will help.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  Triangle Business Journal reported the latest details of Raleigh restaurateur Lou Moshakos’ plans for a new restaurant in downtown Raleigh expected to open this fall. Vidrio will be a Mediterranean small plate concept that will be located on the ground floor of his recently opened Glenwood South location of Carolina Ale House (it is a 3 story building at 500 Glenwood Avenue). Also of note, Moshakos is bringing in George Bakatsias to help in the development of Vidrio’s menu design and brand. This is gonna be good!
  • I was tipped off to this tidbit from my good friend Jo Smith. The Triangle is just a few months away from getting its first gluten free / non-gmo restaurant. Called Fresh Levant Bistro, they are planning to open this summer in Lafayette Village in North Raleigh. For now, check them out on Facebook here.
  •  We got word this week that June 13th is the day for the opening of the Triangle’s second location of City Barbeque. There will be lots of activities all day that day. The new restaurant is in Garner in the Cabela’s shopping center (White Oak Crossing) sitting alongside Highway 70 at 110 Cabela Drive. Get all the details here.
  • New neighborhood communities don’t normally make my blog. But when the community includes a new coffee shop they do! And that is the case with Wendell Falls in Wendell that will have its very own coffee shop as of May 16th. As part of the café (and neighborhood) grand opening, they’ll also have a “barn raising” celebration feature southern dishes by Farmers Table, Big Boss craft beer and new gourmet coffees from Grounds Café. Stop by on May 16th from 12 – 6 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • This is sweet. The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Nothing Bundt Cakes is now open in Morrisville’s Park West Village near the street roundabout at Gander Mountain. The dessert specialty franchise is the first in the Triangle. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for May 20 at 10 a.m., and grand opening festivities will take place on May 23 – with free samples and kid-friendly activities from noon to 2 p.m. Get a peek at them here.
  • Congratulations to the good folks over at Sassool Mediterranean Café in North Raleigh as they celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the rebranding of Neomonde North Raleigh in honor of Mounir’s mother. And on Sunday, May 10 (Mother’s Day) they will have a special Mother’s Day menu and a carnation for moms. Also 10% of sales that day will go to the Susan G. Komen NC Triangle to the Coast!  Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • I got a tip from John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) that the folks over at Big Bundts Bakery are planning to open BrewMoo Café in the former Straw Valley Café location in Durham. They will specialize in cold- and hot-brew coffee drinks made with fresh dairy and homemade mix-ins. No date yet, but we’ll keep an eye on it. Check out Big Bundts Bakery here.
  • Also, happened to notice on the Facebook page for Rise Biscuits & Donuts that they are looking for restaurant space in downtown Durham for their first corporate store. They also hinted that it would be a “two restaurant thing” paired with their latest concept (stay tuned). Wow, talking about whetting ones appetite. Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out Rise’s web site here.
  • The official opening date for the much-anticipated Tom+Chee restaurant in Carrboro was announced this week. They will hold their ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:15 a.m. on May 15th. They are located at 370 E. Main Street in the Hampton Inn complex. Visit their website here or their Facebook page here.
  • One of our readers fed us the information that Charros Mexican Restaurant has opened in the old Los Comales at 3511 Witherspoon Boulevard in southwest Durham. We were unable to locate a website.
  • The Herald-Sun reported this week that Luna, a restaurant focused on South American cuisine, will open at 112 W. Main St. this summer. Chef Shawn Stokes, who has worked in restaurants across the country, owns the restaurant. We will keep an eye on it.
  • If you like good beer and good food and are in the Durham area on Saturdays this summer, you might want to know that the folks over at G2B Restaurant and Brewery will open up their patio from 12-3 p.m. every Saturday this summer to offer their house-made and favorite beers along with small bites from executive chef Travis Robinson. Get all the details here.

Closings 

  • It is with much sadness that I report that my good friends Lisa & Jimmy Schmid have decided to close The Food Factory at Devil’s Bistro over on Duke’s campus. My very best to both of them in wherever life takes them next!
  • And reader Michelle Fleer informed me that Slice of NY Pizza in Beaver Creek Crossings has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • With a little divine intervention, it looks like Chapel Hill is going to have a food truck rodeo of its own – and to benefit a great cause. On Saturday, May 16th from 3 to 7 p.m. Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Blvd (at the intersection with Homestead Road) is going to have at least 10 food trucks and tons of other events all to benefit TABLE, which provides healthy, emergency food to hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Get all the details here.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo is coming up on May 17th. It is located at 419 Brooks Street at the Over The Falls Shopping Center and runs from 12 to 4 p.m. Check out 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 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at 8224 Holly Springs Rd. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Get all the details here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard, to get all things food truck related – rodeos, truck lists, features, etc. Check it out here.

Events

  • Thanks to a tip from James Barnett, I got word that the inaugural Read Local Book Festival (with the tag line: Shop Local. Eat Local. Read Local) is coming up May 15-17, and features several food-related activities. The Friday night event (6-8 p.m.) features James Beard Award Semi-Finalist Chef Lionel Vatinet. And the Saturday night event features 4-5 course dinners at The Pit, Little Dipper and Basan. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • The Town of Morrisville is hosting their popular East Meets West food festival on Saturday, May 16th from 11 a.m. ’til 4 p.m. along Town Hall Drive in Morrisville. Over 15 participating restaurants and lots of entertainment. Get all the details here.
  • Also on May 16th, the folks over at Six Plates in Durham are holding their 8th annual Txakolifest. It is a two-part event, with a fundraiser from 12-3 for Urban Ministries featuring wine as well as food from Watts Grocery, Gocciolina, Pizzeria Toro, Blu Seafood, Vin Rouge, Toast, G2B and Juju. That session is $75. The general admission session begins at 3 and lasts until closing. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The good folks over at Ninth Street Bakery are bringing back their extremely popular Vegan Brunch. It kicks off again on Saturday, May 24th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their downtown Durham location. Get all the details and menu here.
  • Tickets went on sale recently for one of my favorite events of the year (a weekend of events really) – Farm to Fork – which will take place this year Friday, June 5th through Sunday, June 7th. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The dates are set for one of my other favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Go ahead and start setting aside your money for the tickets – they go on sale the middle of this month. Take a look at all the initial details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • Probably the easiest way to help families in need is happening tomorrow – and you need to participate! All you need to do is fill a bag with food, place it by your mail box…and you are done. It is that simple. It is taking place TOMORROW – May 9. Want to know more? Want to know what kind of foods are most needed? Get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 1, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  It is rare that a restaurant gets to celebrate 85 years in business. It is equally rare for it to remain in the same family for those same 85 years. Such is the case today, May 1, as downtown Raleigh’s Mecca Restaurant celebrates that milestone – an establishment the Dombalis family has owned since 1930. Here is a great write-up in the News & Observer. Congratulations!

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Today at 11 a.m. Kamado Grille will officially swing open their doors. There is little doubt this is one of the most anticipated, and sure to be one of the most unique, dining experiences in Raleigh. Your meals are prepared on highly efficient lump charcoal-burning ceramic grills – 15 in all – and they’ll take your order via iPads while serving lunch and dinner every day except Sunday. Take a peek at their operation here.
  • Our friends over at New Raleigh tipped us off to the fact that Treat, a new ice cream shop in downtown Raleigh’s City Market, is opening today (May 1st). The ice cream shop, which serves Orange County’s Maple View Ice Cream, is located at 305 S. Blount Street next to Woody’s. Today they will have 50% off all regular cones and cups all day, as well as free mini-cones from 6-9pm during First Friday! Check them out here.
  • Got word yesterday that The Egg & I Restaurant is set to open their second Triangle area location later this summer. This location will be near Crossroads Shopping Center in Cary across from REI. Like their sister location in Chapel Hill, they will serve breakfast and lunch. Congratulations to Teresa Pace and Cole Harris! Get more information on The Egg & I on their Facebook page here.
  • A big congratulations to Hibernian Irish Pub & Restaurant as they celebrate 15 years of their downtown Raleigh location at 311 Glenwood Avenue. They are shutting down the street and holding a block party on Saturday, May 2nd (that’s tomorrow!) from noon until 11 p.m. Stop by and join in on the festivities. Get more details here.
  • Joseph Wells told us that it looks like a second location of Tropical PIcken Chicken, a Caribbean restaurant, is opening at the corner of Six Forks and Wake Forest Road in Raleigh in the former Pronto Pasta location. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • And new neighborhood communities don’t normally make my blog. But when the community includes a new coffee shop they do! And that is the case with Wendell Falls in Wendell that will have its very own coffee shop – called Grounds Cafe – as of May 16th. As part of the café (and neighborhood) grand opening, they’ll also have a “barn raising” celebration feature southern dishes by Farmers Table, Big Boss craft beer and new gourmet coffees from Grounds Café. Stop by on May 16th from 12 – 6 p.m. Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • My friends over at Cranky Diners turned me onto the fact that a new shop called Purple Monkey Boba Tea and Ice Cream is opening over in Durham on University Drive (4015 University Drive to be exact). Check out their Facebook page here.
  •  The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Carolina Glazed Doughnuts is coming to the Imperial Center Business Park off Page Road in south Durham at 5400 S. Miami Blvd. It is owned by Kresna Huon and they are targeting a June opening. You can keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal is also reporting that The Heritage Grill, located in northeastern Durham County near Falls Lake, has reopened under new management. You can learn more about them and their daily specials on their Facebook page here.

Closings 

  •   No closings to report! Keeping eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • Thanks to a reminder from John Huisman (aka The Triangle Explorer), – the 35th Annual Meet in the Street festival will take place tomorrow (Saturday, May 2), beginning at 10 am in historic downtown Wake Forest. Meet in the Street offers a day filled with food, fun and entertainment, including live music and children’s activities. Admission is free. Also be on the look out for the debut of a new Lobster Food Truck – Cousins Maine Lobster. All the details are here.
  • The Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo Series (4 total for 2015) kicks off this weekend (Sunday, May 3rd from 1-6 p.m.). It makes my mouth water to envision the entire length of Fayetteville Street lined with food trucks! Get the full schedule and truck list here.
  • With a little divine intervention, it looks like Chapel Hill is going to have a food truck rodeo of its own – and to benefit a great cause. On Saturday, May 16th from 3 to 7 p.m. Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Blvd (at the intersection with Homestead Road) is going to have at least 10 food trucks and tons of other events all to benefit TABLE, which provides healthy, emergency food to hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Get all the details here.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo is coming up on May 17th. It is located at 419 Brooks Street at the Over The Falls Shopping Center and runs from 12 to 4 p.m. Check out 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 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at 8224 Holly Springs Rd. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Get all the details here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard, to get all things food truck related – rodeos, truck lists, features, etc. Check it out here.

Events

  • Thanks to a tip from James Barnett, I got word that the inaugural Read Local Book Festival (with the tag line: Shop Local. Eat Local. Read Local) is coming up May 15-17, and features several food-related activities. The Friday night event (6-8 p.m.) features James Beard Award Semi-Finalist Chef Lionel Vatinet. And the Saturday night event features 4-5 course dinners at The Pit, Little Dipper and Basan. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • The good folks over at Ninth Street Bakery are bringing back their extremely popular Vegan Brunch. It kicks off again on Saturday, May 24th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their downtown Durham location. Get all the details and menu here.
  • Tickets went on sale recently for one of my favorite events of the year (a weekend of events really) – Farm to Fork – which will take place this year Friday, June 5th through Sunday, June 7th. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The dates are set for one of my other favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Go ahead and start setting aside your money for the tickets – they go on sale the middle of this month. Take a look at all the initial 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. Want to see a list of upcoming “foodie” events that you can attend AND help the Food Bank? Check it out here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 24, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • In one of the most anticipated restaurants to come onto the scene in Raleigh, April 29th will be the first day for a unique dining experience at Kamado Grille (located in the former Lucky 32 building in North Raleigh on Spring Forest Road). With meals prepared on highly efficient lump charcoal-burning ceramic grills – 15 in all – they’ll take your order via iPads and serve lunch and dinner every day except Sunday. Take a peek at their operation here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We got word via Facebook that Person Street Pharmacy (featuring a gourmet café) is well on its way to opening at 702 N. Person Street in downtown Raleigh. We also got word that Chad McIntyre, former chef of Market Restaurant, will help run the cafe with a full bar, soda fountain, food and more. Keep up with the developments in their new space on their Facebook page here.
  • A big congratulations to Hibernian Irish Pub & Restaurant as they celebrate 15 years of their downtown Raleigh location at 311 Glenwood Avenue. They are shutting down the street and holding a block party on Saturday, May 2nd from noon until 11 p.m. Stop by and join in on the festivities. Get more details here.
  • The recently opened Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in Cary in Parkside Town Commons is holding their grand opening tomorrow (April 25), with free frozen yogurt from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check Menchies out here.
  • Got a tweet this week from Deanna Harris tipping me off to the fact that Simple Twist, a great little eatery near the intersection of Highway 42 and Interstate 40 in Garner, is opening a second location at 227 Market Street in Smithfield sometime next week. Get more details on them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

Closings 

  •  Got word from Sammi Hilliard that the Rosati’s location in Wake Forest has closed their doors.

Food Trucks 

  • We told you about this truck a few weeks ago, but now the Triangle Business Journal is reporting that Cousins Maine Lobster, a Triangle-area food truck franchise that features fresh lobster from Maine, has announced a launch date of May 2. The truck plans to appear in Wake Forest at the 35th annual Meet in the Street event and on May 3rd at the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo. Get more information on them here.
  • Speaking of the the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo, the series (4 total for 2015) kicks off next weekend (May 3rd from 1-6 p.m.). Get the full schedule here. But also, tomorrow (April 25) is the last day to get your VIP Wristbands. The wristbands will get you into the trucks half hour before everyone else. Get them while they are available here.
  • With a little divine intervention, it looks like Chapel Hill is going to have a food truck rodeo of its own – and to benefit a great cause. On Saturday, May 16th from 3 to 7 p.m. Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Blvd (at the intersection with Homestead Road) is going to have at least 10 food trucks and tons of other events all to benefit TABLE, which provides healthy, emergency food to hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Get all the 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, 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 here is a great article by the News & Observer’s Greg Cox on a handful (13 to be exact) of trucks that have added a brick and mortar location.

Events

  • Make your way to downtown Raleigh tomorrow (Saturday, April 25th) for Brewgaloo – a festival celebrating craft beer…and they’ll have 50+ food trucks there. Get all the details here.
  • The 20th annual Piedmont Farm Tour is this weekend, 2-6 p.m. both Saturday (April 25) and Sunday (April 26). This is a great chance for the entire family to tour around and explore farms throughout Alamance, Chatham, Orange and Person counties. Tickets cost $30 in advance per car to visit all farms or $35 on the day of the event or $10 to visit one farm. Get all the details, maps and purchase tickets here.
  • Tickets went on sale recently for one of my favorite events of the year (a weekend of events really) – Farm to Fork – which will take place this year Friday, June 5th through Sunday, June 7th. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Vinos Finos Kitchen & Wine Bar in North Raleigh is planning another Four Course Wine Dinner and Wine Pairing on Monday, April 27 at 7:00 pm.  The wine dinner is a Spanish themed with 4 different courses paired with Spanish wines, prepared by Chef Silvano Garcia. Reservations are required. Cost is $65 per person. Make your reservations and get all the details here.
  • The dates are set for one of my favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. This year it is October 8-10th. It simply can’t be missed. Go ahead and start setting aside your money for the tickets – they go on sale the middle of next month. Take a look at all the initial 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. Want to see a list of upcoming “foodie” events that you can attend AND help the Food Bank? Check it out here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 17, 2015 (Birthday Edition)

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •   The dates are set. Go ahead and put them on your calendar – October 8-10, 2015. Seriously, I’m waiting. What is it, you ask? Only my favorite food event of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Go ahead and start setting aside your money for the tickets – they go on sale the middle of next month. Take a look at all the initial details here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • This is really cool. Raleigh is getting its first “pay-what-you-can” café called A Place at The Table. It is coming to Hillsborough Street in the former location of Two Guys Pizza. The concept has been highly successful in other parts of the country and I can’t wait to see it here. Check them out here. Thanks to New Raleigh for pointing this out.
  • We’ve been following this since July, 2014, but just saw on their Facebook page that Kamado Grille (going into the former Lucky 32 location in North Raleigh) is shooting for an April 27th open. Check out their website here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Sardi’s Den, a popular rib joint in Clemson, S.C., is opening their first franchise location in North Raleigh in the old Oliver Twist space in Brennan Station. Look for a late April opening. Get all the details about Sardi’s Den here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal broke the news this week that it appears as if the old Steak & Ale and Pizza Hut location along Creedmoor Road overlooking Crabtree Valley Mall is getting a new dining option. Apparently plans have been submitted for a concept out of Nashville called J. Alexander’s. There are a couple of more hoops to jump through, but it appears as if it is a done deal. J. Alexander’s is a contemporary American-style restaurant, known for its wood-fired cuisine. It currently has 31 other restaurant locations in 12 states, but none so far in the Carolinas. Get a sneak peak at them here.
  • Got word from my friends over at New Raleigh that Dos Taquitos is moving their Creedmoor Road location to the Taverna Agora building at 6101 Glenwood Avenue when Taverna moves to its new digs at 326 Hillsborough Street. No timeline yet on either the move or opening.
  • And with things warming up outside, apparently it is time to open a couple of new yogurt shops. According to the Triangle Business Journal, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt is doing just that. The Durham shop opens today in Patterson Place at 3604 Witherspoon Blvd. The grand opening celebration is April 18, with free frozen yogurt from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. And the Cary shop opens April 20 in Parkside Town Commons at 7169 O’Kelly Chapel Road. The grand opening is April 25, with free frozen yogurt from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check Menchie’s out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • Congratulations to Durham’s very own Counter Culture Coffee, which just turned 20! They will hold a 20th anniversary celebration with music, activities for kids, food, and of course, lots of coffee tomorrow (April 18th) from 3 to 7 p.m. in Durham’s Central Park. It is free to the public. Get all the details here.

Closings 

  • Got a note from one of our readers that KoMo KoMo on NW Maynard Road in Cary had closed as of April 9, 2015.

Food Trucks 

  • There is a new food truck that just started rolling around the streets of the Triangle – and one you’ve got to see. Fire Truck Raleigh is serving up hot dogs and burgers out of an old fire truck (from 1967 – but with extensive renovations). It is worth going to the site to see the pictures. Now you need to catch up with them on the street to check out their offerings. Good luck guys!
  • 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.
  • Get the schedule for the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo Series here. But also, the Early Bird VIP Wristbands are ready for those that want them. They will only be available through April 25th. The wristbands (limited number) will get you into the trucks half hour before everyone else. Get them while they are available here.
  • Got word from Matt Lundgren that one of the area’s newest trucks, The Wandering Moose, is having their “grand opening” this Saturday (April 18) from 1-8 p.m. at Gizmo Brewery. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  Barbecue, beer and bluegrass return to Raleigh’s warehouse district at The Pit Authentic Barbecue’s 7th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival this Saturday, April 18 from noon to 6 p.m. Proceeds to benefit the Junior League of Raleigh’s BackPack Buddies program. This is really a fun event and tickets are only $5. Get all the details here.
  • The Great Grapes! Wine and Food Festival is this Saturday from 11 am until 7 pm at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre. Advance ticket sales are closed, but you can buy tickets at the door ($32, cash only). The event features over 220 wines from 20 wineries, live music, tasty food and a free kids area. Get all the details here.
  • The Divan Cultural Center will host a Turkish Food Festival on Sunday, April 19th from 11am to 4pm at IITS located at 1391 SE Maynard Rd in Cary. The purpose of the festival is to raise funds to construct three water wells in Kenya. Get all the details here.
  • The good folks over at Leadership Raleigh (a program of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce) are hosting a Shuck-n-Cluck Oyster Roast on Thursday, April 23rd at 6 p.m. to benefit Rebuilding Together of the Triangle. Tickets are $50 and include all-you-can-eat oysters, drinks and a $20 donation to Rebuilding Together of the Triangle. Get tickets and details 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.
  • Snap Pea Underground, a pop-up dinner concept at various locations (kept secret until 36 hours prior to the event), announced their next dinners as being held on April 24 and 25. This one will be held somewhere west of Carrboro and the Saturday night dinner has already sold out and last I checked, there were only 4 tickets left for Friday night. Get tickets and 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.
  • Tickets went on sale recently for one of my favorite events of the year (a weekend of events really) – Farm to Fork – which will take place this year Friday, June 5th through Sunday, June 7th. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Vinos Finos Kitchen & Wine Bar in North Raleigh is planning another Four Course Wine Dinner and Wine Pairing on Monday, April 27 at 7:00 pm.  The wine dinner is a Spanish themed with 4 different courses paired with Spanish wines, prepared by Chef Silvano Garcia.  Reservations are required. Cost is $65 per person. Make your reservations and 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. Want to see a list of upcoming “foodie” events that you can attend AND help the Food Bank? Check it out here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 10, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

  •  I love food truck to brick & mortar stories. The latest in this growing trend is Porchetta, a food truck with a “pork-centric” menu, who is opening a new “counter” at The Fork in the Road in the Streets at Southpoint shopping center in Durham. Congrats to owners Nicholas Crosson and Matthew Hayden on their newest venture. Look for them to open in May. Check out Porchetta here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  We’ve been following this since July, 2014, but just saw on their Facebook page that Kamado Grille (going into the former Lucky 32 location in North Raleigh) is shooting for an April 27th open. Check out their website here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported that Soprano’s Grill, an independent Italian restaurant named after the classic HBO series “The Sopranos,” is coming to 1030 N. Rogers Lane in the Edgewater Place shopping center off New Bern Ave./Business 64 on Raleigh’s east side. They should be open in about two weeks. Keep up with them on their Facebook page here.
  • Triangle Business Journal has confirmed that Hillsborough Street is getting a new coffee, wine and beer shop called Liquid State, located at 1908 Hillsborough St. in the former Locopops shop. Look for them to open in late spring, early summer. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, New Raleigh confirmed that Lucettegrace will begin offering brunch this Sunday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Check them out here.
  • First Watch Cafe announced on their Facebook page yesterday that they are now open in North Raleigh. They are located in Plantation Square shopping center near the intersection of Capital Boulevard and Old Wake Forest Road, next to Triangle Town Center. This is the 2nd (of an expected 5) location in the Triangle. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • The not so old Quail Creamery on Falls of Neuse and Millbrook is about to reopen as Rocket Fizz, a soda pop and candy shop. This will be the Triangle’s second location (the other location is in Cary). Thanks to Jay McGee for the tip on this. Check them out here.
  • Over in Cary, the Triangle Business Journal reported that Red Hot & Blue, a Memphis-style barbecue restaurant, is targeting an April 20 opening date for its “return” to Waverly Place in Cary (same location as before). Check them out here.
  • The News & Observer reported that Ashley Christensen’s latest restaurant venture, the soon-to-open Death & Taxes, has started a series of pop-up dinners to be held on Thursdays and Fridays through May 2. The Firestarters events will feature five chefs from around the South. Get tickets and a full list of the “guest” chefs here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  It is time for baseball and hot dogs…or maybe donuts! Rise Biscuits & Donuts, which features both sweet and savory breakfast and lunch options, will have a place at Durham Bulls games with a new Donut Kiosk located on the DBAP’s main concourse.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, reminded me (note, he didn’t invite me!) that The Parlour over in Durham had reopened (he went, he had pictures and everything). They had been closed as they expanded their ice cream shop at 117 Market Street in downtown Durham. Check out the changes here.
  • Got word that Primal Food & Spirits over on Highway 54 in Durham is now serving lunch during the week! Get all the details here.
  • Reader Jen Kelley pointed out that I had overlooked an opening in Carrboro Plaza. Somehow the opening of Sushi Nikko missed my radar screen. Will have to work it into the rotation. I can’t find a website on it, but you can check them out on Yelp here.
  • And a congratulations to Durham’s very own Counter Culture Coffee, which just turned 20! They will hold a 20th anniversary celebration with music, activities for kids, food, and of course, lots of coffee on April 18th from 3 to 7 p.m. in Durham’s Central Park. It is free to the public. Get all the details here.

Closings 

  •  Got a note from Rebecca Calhoun (and confirmed by John Huisman) that Butcher Block American Grill on Durant Road in North Raleigh has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • 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 is kinda cool. I’m sure a lot of you are planning on attending the Southern Ideal Home Show when it hits Raleigh this weekend (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.
  • Barbecue, beer and bluegrass return to Raleigh’s warehouse district at The Pit Authentic Barbecue’s 7th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival Saturday, April 18 from noon to 6 p.m. Proceeds to benefit the Junior League of Raleigh’s BackPack Buddies program. This is really a fun event and tickets are only $5. Get all the details 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.
  • Snap Pea Underground, a pop-up dinner concept at various locations (kept secret until 36 hours prior to the event) announced their next dinners as being held on April 24 and 25. This one will be held somewhere west of Carrboro and the Saturday night dinner has already sold out. Get tickets and 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. Want to see a list of upcoming “foodie” events that you can attend AND help the Food Bank? Check it out here.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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