Friday Fun Food Facts – July 12, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  This is it. Your last chance. I’ve been touting this amazing event that Colleen Minton dreamed up 10 years ago and now we are at the 10th and FINAL Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival in Chapel Hill October 16-19, 2019. Yep, you read that right. This is the grand finale. There will be no more. And tickets went on sale this week! And heed my last (and final) warning – tickets will not last. If you’ve never been – GO! If you’ve been, don’t miss the last one. If you don’t know, it is a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Get tickets and details here on all the events that week.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We are inching closer and closer to the “soonish” opening of Transfer Co. Food Hall’s newest addition – Mama Crow’s. They had their “family and friends” event this week and we are now in a holding pattern for them to open their doors. This joint could be downtown’s best kept secret – executive chef David Mitchell highlighting items found in southern gardens, you can expect to find quality ingredients in the burgers and salads crafted. Keep up with the latest and their pending opening on their Facebook page here.
  • Saw on the Downtown Raleigh Alliance Facebook page that BREW Coffee Bar has taken over the coffee shop at the Poyner YMCA where previously Benelux operated the ground floor gym cafe. BREW opened the new shop last Monday. Including this location, BREW has a spot in Seaboard Station, downtown Cary and has new shops on the way in Gateway Plaza and the McNeill Pointe shopping center on Wake Forest Road. Get familiar with them here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported that Raleigh’s Litchford Village will be getting a fresher look if plans move forward to turn an abandoned Burger King building into a Latin-inspired chicken restaurant called Pollo Campero. It started in Guatemala in 1971 and entered the U.S. market in Los Angeles in 2002. There are 350 locationss in the world, with 70 of them now in the United States. Pollo Campero, which means “country chicken,” serves crispy and grilled chicken prepared with a blend of Latin flavors using lime, peppers, cilantro, oregano and other spices. Get familiar with them here.
  • The folks over at ITB Insider shared the news that the Neuse River Brewing Company will soon open a kitchen to compliment their existing taproom, offering patrons the chance to dine on fresh, locally sourced food. The new kitchen will reportedly transform Neuse River into a sort-of European-style bistro, offering “fine-dining concepts in a casual atmosphere,” according to their Facebook page. Once the restaurant opens, they’ll offer mixed drinks alongside their lineup of in-house brews. The Neuse River Brewing Company is located at 518 Pershing Road and originally opened in 2015. Check them out here.
  • The summer pop-up fun continues through the summer where you can get a sneak preview of kō•än at their sister restaurant so•ca in Cameron Village! Follow them on Instagram here.
  • Up in North Raleigh, Rebecca Calhoun spotted a sign for Crab Du Jour Cajun Seafood Restaurant and Bar in the Triangle Plantation shopping center on Capital Blvd. (6320 Plantation Center Dr) near I 540 in the former Mimi’s Café spot. No word on an open date. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Garner, reader John Tipton tipped us off to the fact that Carolina Fish Fry out of the Wilmington area is taking over the closed Burger King location at Benson Rd and Timber Drive. Currently they are remodeling the building. Get familiar with this concept on their Facebook page.
  • In Holly Springs, reader Marc Strader reached out to let us know that Osha Thai Kitchen & Sushi in the new Town Hall Commons recently had their soft opening and grand opening. Get by and check them out!
  • In Fuquay Varina, David McCreary shared the news that Juicehaus, a raw juice joint, is coming soon to 509 North Broad Street in Fuquay-Varina. Get to know them here.
  • And down in Apex, reader Chris Creighton informed us that a new restaurant has opened in Apex called Simply Healthy – fast food for smart people – located at 8753 Holly Springs Road in the same shopping center as Food Lion and Johnny’s Pizza. Get familiar with them on their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Saw on their Facebook page that the Spanglish location in Durham is having their soft opening this week, which means that the crew is in there getting acquainted with the new kitchen and finding their rhythm but still fully open to the public. Their Grand Opening celebration will be THIS Saturday July 13th! They operate the Spanglish food truck as well as Pressed by Spanglish over in Raleigh. This location is in the former Bagel Bar location at 104 City Hall Plaza. Get familiar with their Puerto Rican cuisine here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, you will recall that the former Monterrey location on Elliott Road (Monterrey moved to a larger space in Chapel Hill’s Ram Plaza) become Don Chicken. Well, they transitioned that concept with a rebranding/renaming resulting in Monterrey Tacos & Burritos. Don’t know that much changed (other than signage), but it seems to fit better into their overall concept/branding. Visit them on Facebook here.
  • Over in the RTP side of Durham, along Page Road and adjacent to Page Road Grill and Mez, reader Paul Prause sent me a note about a sign for a new restaurant coming our way. The new venture is called Lulu Bangbang Asian, but that is all we know at this point. We were unable to find an online presence, so stay tuned! Thanks Paul!

Closings

  • It is official. After 12 years, Watts Grocery, one of the leading restaurants in Durham’s early farm-to-table movement, closed amid bankruptcy issues. However, a Facebook post said that the building will close for a bit for light renovations and reopen as The Sage, an events space for the company’s Sage & Swift Gourmet catering operation.
  • Reader Andrew Spracklen was the first to inform us that Hops Burger Bar on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street has closed. Looks like they will keep their focus on the Triad, with a new location opening soon in Winston Salem.
  • David McCreary shared the news that a sign on the front door of the Famous Toastery at 304 Grand Hill Place in Holly Springs indicated that the restaurant had permanently closed. Their location in Morrisville also closed. That leaves only the Cary location in Waverly Place still open in this market.

Food Trucks 

  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  • The folks over at The Root Cellar Cafe (Pittsboro location) and Vino Wine Shop are teaming up for a Summer Wine Dinner on Sunday, July 28th featuring four (4) plated courses with five (5) wine pairings. Tickets are $69, which includes all fees, sales tax, and gratuity. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • The date was released this week for the third annual Savor the Triangle Food Festival produced by Mix 101.5. This year’s event will again be held at the Kerr Scott building at the NC State Fairgrounds on Wednesday, September 18th from 6-9 p.m. Savor the Triangle Food Festival is a culinary event with the opportunity to sample many of the Triangle’s most delicious foods and drinks all in one place. Get all the details and early bird discounted tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • On Sunday, November 3rd, more than 30 of the Triangle’s finest restaurants will be paired with world-class wines at the third annual Sip + Savor – A Wine, Food and Music Experience.  Sip + Savor will showcase 30+ culinary all-stars, sommeliers, on-stage experience with live music, VIP lounge, and more. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • While some kids daydream about trips to the pool and neighborhood games, others are worried summer will mean months with an empty fridge. But thanks to our generous corporate sponsors, you can help twice as many kids facing hunger this summer: Every gift you give before July 31 will be doubled – up to $102,500! That means that every $10 you give will be doubled to help provide 100 meals for children and families losing access to school-provided meals this summer. Double your donation today!

Friday Fun Food Facts – June 28, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Saw on Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email that Layered Croissanterie, a croissant bakery meticulously crafting pastries with a modern twist, is set to open this Sunday, June 30th at 911 N. West Street in the old Rainbow Upholstery building in downtown Raleigh. It is brought to us by husband-and-wife team Mark and Kawsar Chavez. As with any opening, check out their social media for any changes. Follow them on Instagram here or visit their website here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Last week we told you about Sean Degnan’s plans to bring chef Drew Smith with him to Cary to open kō•än in the former ān space at 2800 Renaissance Park Place in August. This week we share the news that you can get a sneak preview of kō•än as they will host a summer-long pop-up series at their sister restaurant so•ca in Cameron Village starting with the first one TODAY Friday, June 28 with executive chef Drew Smith and his talented team! Follow them on Instagram here.
  • The folks over at Offline Raleigh shared the news that the popular Wake Forest roaster and cafe is coming downtown. It was announced this week that Black & White Coffee Roasters will be taking over the coffee counter at Videri Chocolate Factory. The coffee counter will be closing after this Sunday and reopening July 6 under the new ownership. Follow Black & White Coffee on Instagram here.
  • Offline Raleigh also shared the news that a brand-new spot called Bumble Tea has opened at 3221 Avent Ferry Road in Raleigh. Their menu includes  tasty milk tea (boba), smoothies, coffee, and bumble waffles. Get to know them here.
  • Got word this week that Raleigh will be home to the next location of Just Salad and will be located at 4025 Lake Boone Trail in the Marketplace at Lake Boone (same complex at Buffalo Brothers, Guasaca and The Oak, Kitchen & Bourbon Bar). This will be the Triangle’s first location, and only second in North Carolina for the concept that started in midtown Manhattan. The menu has evolved to more than just salad, including wraps, grain bowls, market bowls, toast boxes, smoothies, and more. Look for them to open in July. Keep up with them here.
  • Over in Cary, Asali Desserts & Cafe in Cary’s MacGregor Village will join with MacGregor Village to hold a Grand Opening Celebration this Saturday, June 29th from 5pm to 9pm. The celebration will be filled with giveaways to the first people at the cafe (you could win FREE coffee for a year!), a prize wheel, samples, live music, activities for the kids and more. Plus, meet the owners and husband-wife team Hanadi Asad and Jamaal Ali as they welcome you to celebrate the opening of their new cafe. All the details can be found on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Raleigh’s Triangle Town Center has landed some new dining options. Those hungry for Vietnamese Pho, shrimp rolls or lemongrass chicken, can now head over to Oriental Pho located at the mall’s food court. Oriental Pho also serves Boba tea smoothies. Another new storefront is Coffee Times. It’s located just outside of the food court, and across from Hollister. Patrons can grab coffee, espresso or tea – and also enjoy paninis and various treats. And finally, Sugar Grinders is located in the Macy’s wing on the upper level. It offers various items to satisfy the sweet tooth such as the “made-with-love” lemon pound cake and an assortment of cookies. You can visit all of Triangle Town Center’s dining options here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal also reported this week that a Marco’s Pizza might soon be taking over a portion of the FedEx Office Print & Ship Center space at 6820 Glenwood Avenue (near the intersection with Duraleigh Road). Apparently an administrative site review plan has been submitted. Marco’s Pizza has locations in Chapel Hill, Clayton, Durham, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Pittsboro, Raleigh and Wake Forest and has two more locations in Raleigh on the way, as well as a location in Apex. Get to know Marco’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in the RTP side of Durham, along Page Road and adjacent to Page Road Grill and Mez, reader Paul Prause sent me a note about a sign for a new restaurant coming our way. The new venture is called Lulu Bangbang Asian, but that is all we know at this point. We were unable to find an online presence, so stay tuned! Thanks Paul!
  • WRAL shared the news this week that Corner Boys BBQ, a Fuquay-Varina-based food truck and catering company, will be the next pop-up business at American Tobacco Campus. Corner Boys is known for its BBQ classics — including pork, chicken, beef, turkey and brisket BBQ and “jerk” chicken. Sides include slaw, green beans, boiled potatoes, roasted potatoes, mac-n-cheese, corn on the cob, cabbage, yams, baked beans and corn bread. Flavored lemonades and dessert — like peach cobbler and banana pudding — are also staples. The shop, located at 359 Blackwell St., opens July 3 and will serve customers through July 26. Hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get to know Corner Boys here and visit the ATC Pop-up site here.
  • Clint Winslow and Charlie Farris are at  it again – opening their 6th Jersey Mike’s location – this one in Durham at 1835 MLK Jr. Parkway in the University Commons shopping center near the intersection with University Drive (between Harris Teeter and Orange Theory). Winslow and Farris also own the two locations in Chapel HIll, one in Hillsborough, another one in Durham at Falconbridge and one just outside of Chapel Hill in Chatham County. Check out the newest location of Jersey Mike’s here.
  • Over in Hillsborough, reader Stephen Head shared some exciting news. Napoli Pizza is taking over the former Mystery Brewing space and renovations are underway – slated to open this fall. According to the News & Observer, Carrboro restaurants Napoli Pizza and Glasshalfull wine bar are partnering on the new restaurant. Get to know Napoli here.
  • Stephen Head also shared the news that Tacos Los Altos, a food truck on Churton Street in Hillsborough, has opened up a restaurant at 126 West King Street. Get familiar with the truck and the restaurant on their Facebook page here.

Closings

  • Good friend Karis Jackson shared the news that Babalu in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing shopping center has closed. They opened this location in August, 2017.
  • And in Carrboro, “Durhamois” (his Chowhound profile name) shared that One Fish Two Fish has permanently closed. 
  • Just a reminder that Jason Smith’s s 18 Seaboard will end a 14 year run on July 2 – good luck reserving a “farewell” lunch or dinner. Here is their website.

Food Trucks 

  • This Saturday, June 29th down in Holly Springs is the Park It in the Market Food Truck Rodeo at the Holly Springs Farmers Market at 300 W. Ballentine Street. It runs from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Get a list of trucks and all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here
  • You can ask the lovely and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard, but I’m not much of a fruit fan. But one fruit I can get excited about is a good ol’ North Carolina peach. That is why I’m excited to share that Dexter Hill reached out to me this week to be one of the judges at the NC Peach Day which will take place at the State Farmers Market on Thursday, July 11 beginning at 11 a.m. There will be free peach ice cream, fresh NC peaches, a peach recipe contest (of which I will be a judge!) and a special appearance by the N.C. Peach Queen (who knew?). Get all the details here.
  • The folks over at The Root Cellar Cafe (Pittsboro location) and Vino Wine Shop are teaming up for a Summer Wine Dinner featuring four (4) plated courses with five (5) wine pairings. Tickets are $69, which includes all fees, sales tax, and gratuity. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • While some kids daydream about trips to the pool and neighborhood games, others are worried summer will mean months with an empty fridge. But thanks to our generous corporate sponsors, you can help twice as many kids facing hunger this summer: Every gift you give before July 31 will be doubled – up to $102,500! That means that every $10 you give will be doubled to help provide 100 meals for children and families losing access to school-provided meals this summer. Double your donation today!

Friday Fun Food Facts – June 21, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  It was revealed this week that the original plan to bring bu*ku to the former ān space changed slightly. Instead, bu•ku owner Sean Degnan is bringing chef Drew Smith with him to Cary to open kō•än in the former ān space at 2800 Renaissance Park Place. Opening in early August, kō•än’s menu will be focusing on dishes from Vietnam and Thailand, reflective of the year Smith spent traveling in that part of the world. Smith’s menu and vision for kō•än includes an array of small plates meant for sharing like Cauliflower 65, Duck Bao and Lobster Gyoza, along with large plates like NC Thai Fried Snapper and Green Tea Smoked Duck. Expect to find inventive bowls on the menu as well like the kō•än Hot Pot brimming with lobster, cod, shrimp and local vegetables or the Vietnamese Pho with Wagyu Beef Short Rib. See more on their website.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • It has been 14 months, but the News & Observer reported this week that the former Standard Foods space near Person Street will soon come back to life with a slight name change and a completely new concept: Standard Beer and Food. It’s the latest project from Whit Baker and Andy Schnitzer, who are also partners in Cary’s popular Bond Brothers Beer Co. and the beer pop-up Ancillary Fermentation. The new Standard will continue their focus on beer, but Baker and Schnitzer promise something beyond the ordinary brewpub fare. Minor renovations will begin this summer with plans to open by the fall. Get to know them (again) here.
  • Also in Raleigh, reader Thomas Porter updated us with the news that Hieu Bowl Vietnamese Kitchen has opened in the former Burger King location at 3701 Hillsborough Street. You can get to know them and view their menu online at their website here.
  • Out in Wendell, got word this week that Daniel Whittaker and chef Patrick Cowden are unveiling a second restaurant concept. Farmhouse Café will be located in Wendell Falls development and will feature creative, seasonal dishes, local vendors and a community-focused atmosphere built on sustainable practices – and fun things like prosecco and kombucha on tap. Whittaker and Cowden are also behind downtown Raleigh’s The Pharmacy Cafe and the catering company Green Planet Catering. It is slated to open in September and will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Get more details on the Wendell Falls website here.
  • In Morrisville, we learned this week that Charlotte-based brand Hickory Tavern opened their 28th store company-wide yesterday at Park West Village across from the Stone Theaters – Park West Village 14. Hickory Tavern is known for its substantial menu, signature burgers and a 360-degree view of televisions perfect for watching the big game. The Morrisville location will be the fourth Triangle-area location (Carrboro, Cary, Holly Springs). Get to know them here.
  • Down in Apex, the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that developers have begun work on a new Culver’s in Apex, with construction set to be completed later this year. This will be the third Triangle-area location for the Wisconsin-based chain and will be located at 1401 Kelly Road. The other locations are in Wake Forest and Clayton. For those not familiar, Culver’s is a quick-service, family-style restaurant chain specializing in burgers, frozen custard shakes and Wisconsin-style cheese curds. Check them out.
  • Also in Apex, reader Chris Creighton notified us that the latest Zaxby’s has opened right on Hwy. 64 at 1171 Pine Plaza. Visit them here

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The folks over at NC Triangle Dining shared the news that chef Michael Lee’s newest concept, M Pocha, is now in soft-open mode. Lee’s latest venture is in the five-points area of downtown Durham in the former Cupcake Bar space serving up pan-Asian small plates like nasi goreng, grilled kalbi (short rib) and dumplings. Visit all the M restaurants here.
  • A quick update, the folks over at Bites of Bull City let us know that The Oak House in Durham is now open on the ground floor of One City Center. It is described as not a coffee shop that serves drinks and it is not a bar that serves coffee-it’s a high-end craft beverage lounge with something for everyone. Keep up with their latest on their Facebook page here.
  • And a reminder in Durham that Rocky Mount Mills Beer Garden at American Tobacco has taken over the space that was formerly home to Tyler’s. The beer garden features brews sourced from breweries at Rocky Mount Mills, including Hopfly, Tarboro, Koi Pond and BDD brewing companies. The beer garden’s regular hours will be Thursday and Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 9 p.m. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, the News & Observer reported that Blue Dogwood Public Market is entering its second year with a couple North Carolina basics: barbecue and ice cream. Joining this summer will be Big Belly Que from chef Garret Fleming, who was the chef at the acclaimed Motto restaurant in downtown Durham before it closed in July 2017. The second new vendor is Burlington’s Smitty’s Homemade Ice Cream, which is returning to Chapel Hill and opening a satellite location at the food hall’s bar. Blue Dogwood opened last June at 306 W. Franklin St., with six vendors and a bar, tucked back on Franklin Street in a former grocery store building. Get all the latest here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill the Triangle Business Journal reported that out on Hwy. 54 heading to Interstate 40  in the Vallero gas station, Dunkin’ Donuts has opened their newest prototype store. Located at 110 Stancell Drive, this brand new generation of design makes getting your Dunkin’ fix easier and quicker. The new look and feel also offers an innovative tap system serving consistently cold beverages such as its coffee, iced teas, cold brew coffee and nitro infused cold brew coffee. Pop in and check them out.

Closings

  • Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties shared the news this week that Cafe Buongiorno has closed in the Falls Village neighborhood in North Raleigh.
  • Over in Durham, the folks at Bites of Bull City shared that Cuban Revolution in the American Tobacco Campus has closed.
  • The folks at Eighty8 Asian Bistro over in Cary shared on their Facebook page that they are officially closing their doors on June 23rd. They did note, however, that they will continue to operate their food truck…and hinted at the possibility of reopening in a different location. Get in there one last time this weekend.
  • David McCreary shared the news that the WhichWich at 145 Grand Hill Place in the Holly Springs Towne Center has permanently closed.
  • Just a reminder that Jason Smith’s s 18 Seaboard will end a 14 year run on July 2 – but good luck reserving a “farewell” lunch or dinner. Here is their website.

Food Trucks 

  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  Ever wanted to show off your pickle? Now is your chance. The Rickhouse hosts Durham’s 5th Annual PickleFest this SATURDAY, June 22 – featuring a Home Pickler’s Contest. The pickle-packed tasting event and marketplace will be showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi! Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips! VIP $25 includes early bird entry from Noon – 1pm + Home Pickler’s Contest Tasting + (1) free drink ticket. General Admission $10 – Session 1 from 1 – 3pm | Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • The folks over at Pompieri Pizza are expanding their annual Lambrusco Fest this year – extending it over 6 days from June 17 through June 22! Lambrusco Fest was a one day festival, but this year they are changing up with events happening over six days. They will have pasta and parmesan dinners as well as specials featuring prosciutto and balsamic and fun things! Get all the details on what is being offered each day (some events are already sold out!).
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • You can ask the lovely and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard, but I’m not much of a fruit fan. But one fruit I can get excited about is a good ol’ North Carolina peach. That is why I’m excited to share that Dexter Hill reached out to me this week to be one of the judges at the NC Peach Day which will take place at the State Farmers Market on Thursday, July 11 beginning at 11 a.m. There will be free peach ice cream, fresh NC peaches, a peach recipe contest (of which I will be a judge!) and a special appearance by the N.C. Peach Queen (who knew?). Get all the details here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • While some kids daydream about trips to the pool and neighborhood games, others are worried summer will mean months with an empty fridge. But thanks to our generous corporate sponsors, you can help twice as many kids facing hunger this summer: Every gift you give before July 31 will be doubled – up to $102,500! That means that every $10 you give will be doubled to help provide 100 meals for children and families losing access to school-provided meals this summer. Double your donation today!

Friday Fun Food Facts – June 14, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Up in North Raleigh, the much-anticipated Cape Fear Seafood Company (CFSC) announced they will open their first location outside the Wilmington area next Monday, June 17 at 832 Spring Forest Road, the former Kamado Grill/Lucky 32 spot. This will be the fourth location for the company, and the first franchise location. This week they are hosting four reservation-only charity events. The events are open to the public and will benefit The First Tee of the Triangle, Habitat for Humanity, Make a Wish and The Trawick Pediatric Cardiology Fund at Duke Children’s Hospital. Fifty percent of sales will be donated to the designated charity partners. Keep up with them on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Ashton Mae Smith shared the news this week that One Glenwood would become the home to Australian-based Zambero, a Mexican restaurant concept that also donates a meal to someone in need from disadvantaged communities across Africa, Asia and the Americas. This will be just their third location in the United States. Get familiar with our new mates here.
  • This past Wednesday saw the opening of Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing which completely revamped the former Boylan Bridge Brewpub space that is home to the “best view of Raleigh’s skyline.” Get to know them here.
  • The folks over at ITB Insider shared the news that a new two-story restaurant and bar called the Yacht Club is coming to the former home of Office Tavern at 710 W. Johnson. Not much other detail has been provided yet, nor could we find an online presence. One can only assume the menu would have a seafood bend. Stay tuned!
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, don’t think we ever completed our reporting that Slice Pie Company, home of the State Fair blue ribbon pie, and Sweet Water New York Ice Co. are open in a “pop-up” location at 17 E. Martin Street through September. Visit Slice Pie here and Sweet Water here.
  • And one last bit of downtown Raleigh news, WTVD shared this week that Budacai (Boba Bar Bites), a new tea bar and restaurant featuring Asian fusion dishes and teas of all sorts, has opened in the former Provenance space at 120 E. Martin Street. They are open Monday-Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Visit their Facebook page here.
  • The folks over at WRAL reported that the much-anticipated Stir will open June 17th in North Hills. The restaurant, which will be located next to The Capital Grille, will feature premium oysters along with made-from-scratch entrees and cocktails made with artisanal ice. The house oyster will be a local North Carolina selection and the restaurant is working with purveyors including Sweet Pea Urban Gardener for microgreens and Raleigh City Farm. This will be Stir’s second location, the flagship location is in Chattanooga. Get familiar with them here.
  • And if that is not enough exciting news next week from North Hills, WRAL let us know that Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls will hold a grand opening on June 19 where attendees will get a chance to win free lobster for a year. Everything begins at 11 a.m. This is their eighth location, the first in North Carolina. Check them out here.
  • WRAL also shared the news this week that a new taqueria concept called Chido Taco is coming into the McNeil Pointe development at the intersection of McNeil Street and Wake Forest Road (across from Mami Nora’s). It is a Mercado style fast-casual taqueria and bar set to open later this month or July. If your Spanish is a little weak, Chido is slang for cool. Get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Tim Coynesmith was not the only one excited to learn the news this week that the former Tyler’s location at American Tobacco Campus will soon be filled with beer again. The News & Observer shared the news that a pop-up beer garden will spend the summer in the outdoor space formerly known as Tyler’s, bringing a handful of Rocky Mount breweries to the Bull City. The beer garden, led by HopFly Brewing Co., will feature some of the breweries currently operating out of the Rocky Mount Mills development. HopFly be joined by Tarboro Brewing Co., Koi Pong Brewing and BDD Brewing. The beer garden will open Friday, June 21, and initially will be open Thursday and Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 9 p.m. Visit the American Tobacco campus website here.
  • Speaking of pop-ups at American Tobacco, local food truck, Oak City Fish and Chips will be the  new tenant at Pop Up at American Tobacco through June 27th. Find them during lunch 11am-2pm, Monday through Friday. Perhaps this is Oak City testing the waters in Durham…Bull City Fish and Chips has a nice ring to it! Get to know them here.
  • Amber Watson over Bites of Bull City shared that a new coffee shop is coming soon to 721 Broad Street in Durham. Cloche Coffee is set to open in August. Not much to see just yet, but visit and keep up with them on Instagram here.
  • And last week we shared the news that Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties had sold the Bagel Bar in downtown Durham (across the street from City Hall) to Doel Gonzalez, owner of Spanglish food truck and the restaurant Pressed in north Raleigh. This week he successfully sold the Chapel Hill location of the Bagel Bar to Sam Suchoff, owner of The Pig (in the same development). Stay tuned to see what he does with his newest purchase. In the meantime, visit The Pig here.

Closings

  • Well this might be a record. Leo Suarez shared via Twitter that The Acorn at Oak City closed at 170 East Davie Street. They had just opened back in April. Can we have Kaiju Bowl and Bao back?
  • And speaking of short-timers, after just under a year, Chapel Hill’s MidiCi location at the corner of Columbia and Franklin streets closed quietly.
  • Over in Apex, WRAL reported that a bankruptcy judge ordered Peak City Grill & Bar (owned by Peak Hospitality Group LLC) to close immediately.
  • Derek Medlin shared the news that Hillsborough Street’s Smashed Waffles was no more. They opened in January/February 2018.
  • Just a reminder that Jason Smith’s s 18 Seaboard will end a 14 year run on July 2 – but good luck reserving a “farewell” lunch or dinner. Here is their website.

Food Trucks 

  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – including one THIS Sunday, June 16. The final two will be on September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  Come to 321 S. Blount Street (MOFU Shoppe) tomorrow (June 15th), from 11am to 3pm for a special brunch pop-up benefiting 321 Coffee! The special menu will feature food and Doughp Biscotti from MOFU Shoppe’s chef Matt Greiner, fresh New York-style bagels from Bold Bagels chef Josiah Halbohm, and coffee from the amazing 321 Coffee. All proceeds will go to benefit 321 Coffee. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • This weekend (June 14-15), BBQ cook teams from across the U.S. will be gathering in historic downtown Apex to compete for the Grand Championship of the 7th Annual Bone Suckin’ Sauce Peak City Pig Fest. The event is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS), the nation’s leading BBQ sanctioning body. More than 30,000 people are expected to attend.  The Peak City Pig Fest will offer the public the opportunity to again purchase competition barbecue chicken, ribs, beef brisket and pork in addition to live music, pig races, lots of food and fun stuff for the kids. Visit the event site here.
  • Ever wanted to show off your pickle? Now is your chance. The Rickhouse hosts Durham’s 5th Annual PickleFest on June 22 – featuring a Home Pickler’s Contest. The pickle-packed tasting event and marketplace will be showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi! Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips! VIP $25 includes early bird entry from Noon – 1pm + Home Pickler’s Contest Tasting + (1) free drink ticket. General Admission $10 – Session 1 from 1 – 3pm | Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • The folks over at Pompieri Pizza are expanding their annual Lambrusco Fest this year – extending it over 6 days from June 17 through June 22! Lambrusco Fest was a one day festival, but this year they are changing up with events happening over six days. They will have pasta and parmesan dinners as well as specials featuring prosciutto and balsamic and fun things! Get all the details on what is being offered each day (some events are already sold out!).
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • You can ask the lovely and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard, but I’m not much of a fruit fan. But one fruit I can get excited about is a good ol’ North Carolina peach. That is why I’m excited to share that Dexter Hill reached out to me this week to be one of the judges at the NC Peach Day which will take place at the State Farmers Market on Thursday, July 11 beginning at 11 a.m. There will be free peach ice cream, fresh NC peaches, a peach recipe contest (of which I will be a judge!) and a special appearance by the N.C. Peach Queen (who knew?). Get all the details here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • While some kids daydream about trips to the pool and neighborhood games, others are worried summer will mean months with an empty fridge. But thanks to our generous corporate sponsors, you can help twice as many kids facing hunger this summer: Every gift you give before July 31 will be doubled – up to $102,500! That means that every $10 you give will be doubled to help provide 100 meals for children and families losing access to school-provided meals this summer. Double your donation today!

Friday Fun Food Facts – June 7, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  The biggest holiday of the year has arrived! Today, June 7th, is National Donut Day! Surprisingly, most businesses remain open, however, police coverage might be a little thin today (yes, we recognize the irony of that sentence). Want to know where to get free donuts today? The folks over at Triangle on the Cheap have you covered. See the list here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Jason Smith shared the news this week with the News & Observer that he would be shutting down 18 Seaboard on July 2 as redevelopment of Seaboard Station looms. 18 Seaboard was the original restaurant in Smith’s 18 Restaurant Group that also includes Cantina 18 (locations in Raleigh and Morrisville) and 18 Harvest in Durham. 18 Seaboard saw some talented chefs come through in its 14 years including John Knox, now of Benchwarmers Bagels, Serge Falcoz-Vigne of Saint Jacques and Jake Wood of Plates on Glenwood Avenue. You still have about a month to get one (or two, or three) last visit in before they close. Visit all of Smith’s restaurants here.
  • Next Wednesday, June 12th is the date for the opening of Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing which has completely revamped the former Boylan Bridge Brewpub space that is home to the “best view of Raleigh’s skyline.” They’ve redone everything from the look and feel, to a completely new and swanky menu and a great line-up of tasty beverages (“Come for the brews and stay for the views.”). Congrats to owners Chris Borreson and Sara Abernethy and the team they assembled to make this happen. The restaurant will only serve dinner for its first few weeks, operating from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 5 p.m. to midnight on the weekends. Its normal business hours will be from noon to 10 p.m. during the week and from noon to midnight on the weekends. Keep up with their progress here.
  • WRAL reported this week that the much-anticipated Stir will open June 17th in North Hills. The restaurant, which will be located next to The Capital Grille, will feature premium oysters along with made-from-scratch entrees and cocktails made with artisanal ice. The house oyster will be a local North Carolina selection and the restaurant is working with purveyors including Sweet Pea Urban Gardener for microgreens and Raleigh City Farm. This will be Stir’s second location, the flagship location is in Chattanooga. Get familiar with them here.
  • The folks over at EatRaleigh noticed a new spot called Iris Coffee Lab coming to 725 Tucker Street in the Glenwood South district. Look for them to open this summer. Check them out on Instagram here.
  • This week Scott Crawford announced Madison Tessener would join Crawford Hospitality as the chef de cuisine for his French bistro Jolie, opening later this summer. For Tessener, this marks a return to Raleigh, her hometown, after a career working in the South’s most respected kitchens – at Fig, Husk, Charleston Grill, McCrady’s and Chez Nous – in Charleston since 2011. Look for Jolie to open this summer. Keep up with additional announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • And down in Holly Springs, reader Eric Melvin shared the news (and apparently was their first customer) that Smoothie King has finally opened (he said it was great!) at 4208 Lassiter Drive. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties shared the news this week that the Bagel Bar  in downtown Durham (across the street from City Hall) has been sold to Doel Gonzalez, owner of Spanglish food truck and the restaurant Pressed in north Raleigh. They plan to do some lite remodeling and open their concept shortly. Get familiar with them here.
  • The folks over at Ninth Street Watch noticed signage up for Chicken Bee, which specializes in Korean-style fried chicken and a variety of savory Asian fusion dishes, at 810 Ninth Street, Suite 129 – in the former Saint & Co. spot. Visit their website here.
  • Amber Watson at Bites of Bull City shared the news this week that Elon’s The Oak House, described as not a coffee shop that serves drinks and it is not a bar that serves coffee-it’s a high-end craft beverage lounge with something for everyone, is coming to downtown Durham’s One City Center. The Oak House looks to open later in June. Get familiar with them on their Facebook page here.
  • And speaking of One City Center and just in time for summer, Bites of Bull City also reported that Raleigh’s Juicekeys has opened on the ground floor. If you are not familiar with them, they are a locally owned and operated organic juice and smoothie bar. They have two locations in Raleigh, Quail Corners and LaFayette Village. Get to know them here.
  • Local food truck, Oak City Fish and Chips will be a new tenant at Pop Up at American Tobacco from June 3rd to the 27th. Find them during lunch 11am-2pm, Monday through Friday. Perhaps this is Oak City testing the waters in Durham…Bull City Fish and Chips has a nice ring to it! Get the details here.
  • Also in Durham, reader Glenn Gillen noticed that in the former Pho 9N9 spot was a new Vietnamese restaurant called Phomazing at 2945 S. Miami Blvd. Get to know them on Facebook here.

Closings

  • The Triangle lost a location of WhichWich last Friday. Which WhichWich, you ask? The Lake Boone Trail location in Raleigh. There are still 9 other locations in the Triangle.
  • Jeddiah Gant tweeted the news this week that the downtown Raleigh YMCA location lost their partnership with Benelux. There last day was May 31. No news yet on what will be replacing that option, but they will make an announcement this summer.

Food Trucks 

  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – including THIS Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm. The remaining dates are: Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • And learned from the News & Observer’s Drew Jackson that apparently the Longleaf Swine folks are parting with their barbecue trailer as they are focusing on building a restaurant in the Transfer Co. Food Hall. Check out the trailer here.

Events

  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Also on Saturday, June 8th, Raleigh will play host to their own International Food Festival held in downtown on the Raleigh City Plaza. Last year nearly 17k people attended the day full of dance performances, bands and food from around the world from noon until 10 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • Mark your calendars to come to 321 S. Blount Street (MOFU Shoppe) on June 15th, from 11am to 3pm for a special brunch pop-up benefiting 321 Coffee! The special menu will feature food and Doughp Biscotti from MOFU Shoppe’s chef Matt Greiner, fresh New York-style bagels from Bold Bagels chef Josiah Halbohm, and coffee from the amazing 321 Coffee. All proceeds will go to benefit 321 Coffee. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • The weekend of June 14-15, 2019, BBQ cook teams from across the U.S. will be gathering in historic downtown Apex to compete for the Grand Championship of the 7th Annual Bone Suckin’ Sauce Peak City Pig Fest. The event is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS), the nation’s leading BBQ sanctioning body. More than 30,000 people are expected to attend.  The Peak City Pig Fest will offer the public the opportunity to again purchase competition barbecue chicken, ribs, beef brisket and pork in addition to live music, pig races, lots of food and fun stuff for the kids. Visit the event site here.
  • Ever wanted to show off your pickle? Now is your chance. The Rickhouse hosts Durham’s 5th Annual PickleFest on June 22 – featuring a Home Pickler’s Contest. The pickle-packed tasting event and marketplace will be showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi! Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips! VIP $25 includes early bird entry from Noon – 1pm + Home Pickler’s Contest Tasting + (1) free drink ticket. General Admission $10 – Session 1 from 1 – 3pm | Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • The folks over at Pompieri Pizza are expanding their annual Lambrusco Fest this year – extending it over 6 days from June 17 through June 22! Lambrusco Fest was a one day festival, but this year they are changing up with events happening over six days. They will have pasta and parmesan dinners as well as specials featuring prosciutto and balsamic and fun things! Get all the details on what is being offered each day (some events are already sold out!).
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • While some kids daydream about trips to the pool and neighborhood games, others are worried summer will mean months with an empty fridge. But thanks to our generous corporate sponsors, you can help twice as many kids facing hunger this summer: Every gift you give before July 31 will be doubled – up to $102,500! That means that every $10 you give will be doubled to help provide 100 meals for children and families losing access to school-provided meals this summer. Double your donation today!

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 31, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Amber Watson of Bites of Bull City shared the news this week that there’s a new Italian restaurant in Brightleaf Square in the former Little Dipper restaurant space called Trattoria Salve. It is owned by Gianni Cinelli, who also has Vivo Ristorante Pizzeria In Raleigh and Osteria G in Apex. They had their soft opening last weekend and officially opened this past Tuesday. Check them out here. Get to know them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Reader Roger Hurley shared via Twitter that the first North Carolina location of Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille will be in Raleigh in Crabtree Terrace (new building under construction) across from Crabtree Valley Mall. They are looking to open in early 2020. Keep up with them here.
  • The former Boylan Bridge Brewpub owners Chris Borreson and Sara Abernethy will “re-invent” that beloved Raleigh skyline spot and reopen on June 12th as Wye Hill Kitchen + Brewing. Keep up with their progress here.
  • Not much more to share here other than the fact that reader Hugh Autry spotted a sign for Heubowl Vietnamese Kitchen going in at old Burger King at 3701 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. We were unable to find an online presence as of yet.
  • The Kitchen Table at Relish, the newest concept from the folks behind Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar opened yesterday (May 30). Located right next door to Relish in the former Dos Taquitos space at 5629 Creedmoor Road, the new concept features biscuits, brews and board games. Keep up with Relish here.
  • Chef Jake Wood is staying busy over at Plates Neighborhood Kitchen on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. They announced this week that they would begin offering their brunch menu 6 days a week, Tuesday through Sunday (10:30 am until 2:30 pm). And while you are there, check out their brand new patio renovation (courtesy of Jake!). Check them out here.
  • Over in Cary, thanks to Hugh Autry, looks like there is a new pizza joint in the former Brooklyn Boys Pizza spot at 1260 NW Maynard Road called Pizzeria Veritas. Apparently there was a change of ownership and the new concept was launched back in March. Keep up with them on Instagram here.
  • And finally, some sad news for restauranteurs. Used Restaurant Equipment & Décor, which has served the restaurant scene for over eight years, will be closing at the end of this month and will hold a public auction to sell off all remaining inventory. It will be held June 3rd and 4th. You can visit their website for more info.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Closings

  • The News & Observer shared this week that after 15 years Carrboro gastropub Milltown closed last Monday.

Food Trucks 

  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • And learned from the News & Observer’s Drew Jackson that apparently the Longleaf Swine folks are parting with their barbecue trailer as they are focusing on building a restaurant in the Transfer Co. Food Hall. Check out the trailer here.

Events

  •  The Apex Latino Festival will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 3-10 p.m in downtown Apex. Celebrate the Latino culture with children’s arts and crafts workshops, local Latino art exhibits, a culinary event, Latin American dance, music performances, and an authentic arts and crafts bazaar. Purchase a passport to sample tasty authentic food and dessert delights from over 12 different Latino Countries. Get all the details here.
  • The annual Triangle Restaurant Week summer event, is set to run NEXT week, June 3rd- 9th. During the event, participating restaurants within Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham and surrounding areas will offer a special, 3-course prix fixe lunch menu ($10 or $15) and/or 3-course prix fixe dinner menu ($20, $25, $30 or $35) each day they are open. Get all the details and a list of participating restaurants here
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Also on Saturday, June 8th, Raleigh will play host to their own International Food Festival held in downtown on the Raleigh City Plaza. Last year nearly 17k people attended the day full of dance performances, bands and food from around the world from noon until 10 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • Ever wanted to show off your pickle? Now is your chance. The Rickhouse hosts Durham’s 5th Annual PickleFest on June 22 – featuring a Home Pickler’s Contest. The pickle-packed tasting event and marketplace will be showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi! Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips! VIP $25 includes early bird entry from Noon – 1pm + Home Pickler’s Contest Tasting + (1) free drink ticket. General Admission $10 – Session 1 from 1 – 3pm | Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • The folks over at Pompieri Pizza are expanding their annual Lambrusco Fest this year – extending it over 6 days from June 17 through June 22! Lambrusco Fest was a one day festival, but this year they are changing up with events happening over six days. They will have pasta and parmesan dinners as well as specials featuring prosciutto and balsamic and fun things! Get all the details on what is being offered each day (some events are already sold out!).
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Over half a million people in the 34 counties we serve struggle with food insecurity. You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members or coworkers. Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 24, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • And now we know. Boylan Bridge Brewpub is no more. But the new owners, Chris Borreson and Sara Abernethy, have unveiled nearly all the details on the upcoming Wye Hill Kitchen + Brewing which takes over the same spot come June 5. Some serious restaurant talent like Brad Wynn, Max Trujillo, Bobby McFarland and Kyle Fletcher are or have been involved in the “rebirth” of the best view of the Raleigh skyline. Looking forward to June 5! Keep up with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We are getting closer to the opening of The Kitchen Table at Relish, the newest concept from the folks behind Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar. The new concept, located right next door to Relish in the former Dos Taquitos space at 5629 Creedmoor Road, features biscuits, brews and board games. The biscuits will feature the classic buttermilk biscuits, iced blueberry or blackberry biscuits, bacon and chive biscuits, jalapeno and corn biscuits, cinnamon biscuits, and vegan biscuits just to name a few. Brews means rotating selections from NC’s 130 plus craft breweries as well as locally roasted coffee. And Boardgames means they already have a collection of more than 400 board games! After a pre-opening event for friends and family, they are looking to open next week on May 30. Keep up with Relish here.
  • The ITB Insider reported this week that work is now underway on Rosewater, a Mediterranean restaurant from the Giorgios Group, in the old Bruegger’s space at North Hills. A set of permits were recently issued to be performed as an “alteration” to the space.  Best guesses is that it will open before year’s end. Check them out here.
  • Speaking of North Hills, friend Susan Tu and her brother Eddie are closing up their Spring Rolls location on May 26 after a nine-year run – that is the bad news. The good news is that they are moving it to Durham and their other Raleigh location in Wade Park will remain open. They will open the new location in Durham in the Chesterfield Building (701 W. Main St.) at the corner with Duke Street. Look for them to open in July. They will have a “Last Call” Celebration tonight (May 24) at 5 pm featuring live music and drink specials at the North Hills location. Thanks to Kenan Barnes for the update on this. Visit Spring Rolls here.
  • Over on Hillsborough Street, WRAL shared the news that Rush Bowls is opening their first Triangle location at 2811 Hillsborough Street on June 10th, with a Grand Opening Party from noon until 5 p.m. A location on Durham’s Ninth Street will not be far behind. They offer meals crafted from the finest fruit, topped with granola & honey, and blended with protein, vitamins and other nutritious ingredients that taste delicious while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Get to know them here.
  • A few weeks ago we told you that the Garner Char-Grill was closing and being replaced by an Indian street food joint. Thanks to the News & Observer we now know that to be Chhote’s which already has a location in Transfer Co. Food Hall in downtown Raleigh. Chhote’s is designed by Andes Fernandes, a Mumbai native and founder of Biryani Maxx in Cary. The Garner Chhote’s is in its soft opening phase with a grand opening expected next month. Check out information on Chhote’s on the Transfer Co. Food Hall site here.
  • Over in Cary, high school buddy Dana McCall shared with me that BurgerFi is going into Cary Crossroads next to the new Cava, where Verizon once was. This will be the third location in the Triangle. If you are not familiar with BurgerFi, check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, WRAL reported that a new coffeehouse and cafe is slated to open May 28th in west Cary. Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea will be located in Amberly Square off McCrimmon Parkway. The cafe will serve Asian and globally-inspired coffees, teas, pastries, sandwiches and salads. Sweetwaters is a franchise with more than 100 planned shops across the country. Get to know them here.
  • And if you are a cat and coffee lover, you’ll be excited to hear that the newest coffee/cat combo joint is coming to Raleigh. Purr Cup Cafe announced this week that they found their home on Prospect Avenue just outside of downtown Raleigh. Get all the details here.
  • And finally, some sad news for restauranteurs. Used Restaurant Equipment & Décor, which has served the restaurant scene for over eight years, will be closing at the end of this month and will hold a public auction to sell off all remaining inventory. It will be held June 3rd and 4th. You can visit their website for more info.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Hillsborough, Rasoi Ventures announced they are opening a new global tapas-style bistro at 124 King St. – they haven’t landed on a name yet. Part-owner of Durham’s Viceroy, BJ Patel has teamed up with friends and family, including Sejal Patel. They will be featuring mostly international flavors as well as exploring fusion-style cuisine – for example, Kimchi Samosas or Curried Poutine. They also hope to partner with area farms to bring an international flavor to locally sourced products. Look for a mid-fall opening. Keep up with them on Instagram here.
  • A quick shout-out to our friends over at Heavenly Buffaloes. What originally started in Durham, then expanded over into Chapel Hill (on W. Franklin Street) has now announced they will open a third location this summer over in Greensboro! Kudos to them and their continued success. Visit Heavenly Buffaloes here.
  • And finally, a bit of a retraction. We learned this week that news item we shared a few weeks ago is not actually going to happen. We had shared information from what we thought to be a credible source, but it turns out it wasn’t. There will NOT be a Chick-fil-A inside the Mountaire Farms chicken processing plant in Siler City. Sorry Chathamites! But maybe we got Chick-fil-A’s attention with all the excitement that was generated!

Closings

  • Sorry to have learned from reader John Norris that Wimpy’s Grill, at the corner of Hicks and Hillsborough streets in Durham, has closed. They had hoped to stay open through today, Friday, May 24, but once the news spread, they sold out of all their product at the end of the day yesterday according to the News & Observer.
  • Readers Jane Paige and Samuel Allison notified us that there is a closed sign on the door at Hot Point Deli in Cary on Walnut Street.
  • The folks over at EatRaleigh reported that the couple behind the amazing Filipino market and restaurant Bitter Melon in Angier have decided to retire, and will be closing shop on May 26th. There is still time to get by!

Food Trucks 

  • This Sunday, May 26th from 1-5 pm at City Market in downtown Raleigh, be sure to stop by and enjoy Raleigh’s annual All-Dessert Food Rodeo! Get by and enjoy four delicious hours of sweetness from 20+ vendors offering a range of goodies from Ice cream, Italian ice, cheesecake, pie’s, lemonade, pineapple drinks, popcorn, donuts, cupcakes, cookies, sno cones, cotton candy, various cake slices and much more including face painters and balloon artists for the kids. Get the details on WRAL here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  The Apex Latino Festival will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 3-10 p.m in downtown Apex. Celebrate the Latino culture with children’s arts and crafts workshops, local Latino art exhibits, a culinary event, Latin American dance, music performances, and an authentic arts and crafts bazaar. Purchase a passport to sample tasty authentic food and dessert delights from over 12 different Latino Countries. Get all the details here.
  • They’re at it again! Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Catering, and IP3 Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up to bring you a special Spring Caffe Marrone. Enjoy 5 courses of Italian favorites full of fresh, spring flavors and perfectly paired wines at the Mel’s Carrboro location on Wednesday, June 5th, at 7pm. The cost is $75 including wine. Get tickets (Now! They will sell out) here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Also on Saturday, June 8th, Raleigh will play host to their own International Food Festival held in downtown on the Raleigh City Plaza. Last year nearly 17k people attended the day full of dance performances, bands and food from around the world from noon until 10 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • Ever wanted to show off your pickle? Now is your chance. The Rickhouse hosts Durham’s 5th Annual PickleFest on June 22 – featuring a Home Pickler’s Contest. The pickle-packed tasting event and marketplace will be showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi! Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips! VIP $25 includes early bird entry from Noon – 1pm + Home Pickler’s Contest Tasting + (1) free drink ticket. General Admission $10 – Session 1 from 1 – 3pm | Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • The folks over at Pompieri Pizza are expanding their annual Lambrusco Fest this year – extending it over 6 days from June 17 through June 22! Lambrusco Fest was a one day festival, but this year they are changing up with events happening over six days. They will have pasta and parmesan dinners as well as specials featuring prosciutto and balsamic and fun things! Get all the details on what is being offered each day (some events are already sold out!).
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Over half a million people in the 34 counties we serve struggle with food insecurity. You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members or coworkers. Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 17, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This Sunday, May 19, is the last chance to bid your farewell to Boylan Bridge Brewpub’s 10-year run as we know it. The weather will be perfect and the view is one of the best of the Raleigh skyline. The good news is that they will be transitioning into a brand new concept, but those details won’t be unveiled until the last pint is served. Any details you need can be found here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We are getting close to the opening of Asali Desserts & Cafe, which will be located in Cary’s MacGregor Village. Owners and husband-wife team Hanadi Asad and Jamaal Ali will be offering homemade Mediterranean treats such as kunafa, baklava and lady fingers, hummus and pita, and other small plates, along with a full-service coffee and tea bar. Look for an announcement soon about their opening date, but likely around the end of May, first of June. In the meantime, keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Ryan and Jennifer Kolarov of Raleigh’s Neuse River Brewing Company are just months away from dding a restaurant to their brewery. The new concept will be a European-style café with a North Carolina flair and featuring fresh ingredients from the state. The couple plan on adding the kitchen and plating station behind the existing bar and will be bringing in Steven Jankowski, who was the executive chef at the Governor’s Mansion in South Carolina under Nikki Haley. Along with the French-inspired menu, the Kolarov’s plan to bring in a stocked bar to be able to serve mixed drinks. Keep up with them here.
  • WRAL shared the news this week that CAVA, the Washington, DC-based Mediterranean fast-casual and culinary brand, is excited to announce that their newest restaurant in Cary will open on Monday, May 20th. This will be the brand’s seventh location in North Carolina, and third in the Raleigh Metro area, joining CAVA Cameron Village and CAVA Chapel HIll. Get to know CAVA here.
  • And the folks at the ITB Insider informed us that Just Salad will soon be making its way to the Marketplace at Lake Boone joining the other dining options including Buffalo Brothers, Vic’s Italian Restaurant and Pizza, WhichWich, and Guasaca. Permits indicate they will be moving into the space right next to Guasaca that was previously occupied by HealthSource of Lake Boone Trail, a chiropractor’s office. They have locations in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Hong Kong, Dubai and soon, Raleigh. Get to know them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Got the announcement that Stem Ciders will celebrate the opening of The Northern Spy, a bottle shop and restaurant, with a local grand opening fête on Thursday, May 23rd from 4pm – 8pm. This is a free neighborhood block party featuring local producers, purveyors and community friends. Highlights of the evening will include: live music, free pulled pork sandwiches by pitmaster Wyatt from PICNIC, ice cream cider floats by The Parlour and $5 dollar specialty draft cocktails. The bottle shop, restaurant, and bar will be open for guests to order from and peruse. The Northern Spy is located at 2812 Erwin Road in Durham. Follow along on their website and Instagram here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that starting next spring a new restaurant will open in Terminal 1. The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority approved a contract Thursday for Raleigh Brewing Tavern, which will feature beers from Raleigh Brewing Co. The restaurant will also serve Port City Java coffee and both sit-down and carry-out meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The tavern will be operated by Uptown Airport Group, the company that has run the Char-Grill and Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina in Terminal 1 since 2014. Check out Raleigh Brewing Co. here.     

Closings

  • Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City shared the news this week that the Lilly’s Pizza location in Durham was closing. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the original location in Raleigh is alive and well. And there will be a new pizza concept under new ownership opening soon in that Durham spot. Jaime Greaves would be taking over ownership and renaming the restaurant Peabody Pizza Place.
  • Got word from Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties that CrossTies Bistro & Beer Garden in Carrboro has permanently closed. The Station will remain open for nightly live music.
  • The folks over at EatRaleigh reported that the couple behind the amazing Filipino market and restaurant Bitter Melon in Angier have decided to retire, and will be closing shop on May 26th. There is still time to get by!

Food Trucks 

  •  Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  Saturday, May 18th is the date for the 14th Annual Carolina Pig Jig, a BBQ cook-off at the NC State Fairgrounds and part of the Got To Be NC Festival. The event runs from 11 a.m. until the BBQ runs out. All proceeds go go to the Masonic Home for Children. Get all the details here.
  • In fact, the entire Got To Be NC Festival is next Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19 at the NC State Fairgrounds. The event features a full carnival with more than 30 rides, food vendors and games of chance. On Friday and Sunday, thrill seekers can take advantage of an unlimited-ride wristband for just $20. Additionally, North Carolina food companies, breweries and wineries will be sampling and selling some of the most delightful flavors North Carolina has to offer in the Homegrown Marketplace from Friday 12-8pm, Saturday 10am-8pm and Sunday 10am-6pm. Get all the details here.
  • Mark your calendar for May 19th from 5 to 8 p.m. and make your way over to Pittsboro for their Farm & Art Dinner where they will celebrate Chatham’s culinary artistry, visual and performing artistry, and appreciation for small family farms. Main Street Pittsboro will welcome friends, guests and family to a table in the center of Hillsboro Street to discover, acknowledge, and honor the skills of local chefs, farmers, and artists in this fundraiser to continue the mission of revitalizing the historic downtown district. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Durham Strong Fundraiser for May 19th has been canceled, BUT there is another event that same day at the Transfer Co. Food HallDunkin’ for Durham. It will take place on the 19th from 4-7 pm and will feature chefs from across the Triangle and beyond gathering to support their Durham brothers and sisters in the restaurant industry by hosting a food festival. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The Apex Latino Festival will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 3-10 p.m in downtown Apex. Celebrate the Latino culture with children’s arts and crafts workshops, local Latino art exhibits, a culinary event, Latin American dance, music performances, and an authentic arts and crafts bazaar. Purchase a passport to sample tasty authentic food and dessert delights from over 12 different Latino Countries. Get all the details here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Also on Saturday, June 8th, Raleigh will play host to their own International Food Festival held in downtown on the Raleigh City Plaza. Last year nearly 17k people attended the day full of dance performances, bands and food from around the world from noon until 10 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • The folks over at Pompieri Pizza are expanding their annual Lambrusco Fest this year – extending it over 6 days! Lambrusco Fest was a one day festival, but this year they are changing up with events happening over six days. They will have pasta and parmesan dinners as well as specials featuring prosciutto and balsamic and fun things! Get all the details on what is being offered each day (some events are already sold out!).
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Over half a million people in the 34 counties we serve struggle with food insecurity. You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members or coworkers. Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 10, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Yep. She’s a badass. We already knew that, but now the entire world knows that Raleigh is home to Ashley Christensen, the nation’s top outstanding chef as selected by the James Beard Foundation. This past Monday Christensen brought home the hardware after going up against four other Beard finalists including: David Kinch, Los Gatos, California; Marc Vetri, Philadelphia; Corey Lee, San Francisco; Donald Link, New Orleans. Christensen took over the old Poole’s Diner, which first opened in 1945, in downtown Raleigh in 2007. That small location, with its homey atmosphere and southern food, soon became a sensation as it dished out patron-favorite macaroni and cheese and other updates on traditional Southern cuisine. Christensen’s group also includes Death and Taxes, Beasley’s Chicken and Honey, Chuck’s and the Fox Liquor Bar. Well done and well deserved. Visit all her restaurants here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • And if that is not enough awesomeness out of Ashley Christensen in one week, WRAL reported that Happy and Hale has teamed up with James Beard award winner for a special salad in honor of her upcoming pizza restaurant. The Pooleside Salad will be available at all four locations May 16 through Aug. 14 and features arugula, kale, charred squash, marinated peas, roasted tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, crispy sopressata, toasted seed mix, basil yogurt and an oregano and roasted tomato vinaigrette. Fifty cents from each Pooleside Salad will be donated to NextStep Raleigh, a community-based paralysis recovery and fitness center, started by Whiskey Kitchen co-owner Michael Thor’s family. Thor suffered a spinal cord injury in a motorcycle accident in Raleigh in 2015. NextStep will also receive all proceeds from each limited edition Pooleside Salad T-shirt sold. Check out Happy and Hale here.
  • Saw this week in Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email that August 3rd is the target date for the reopening of Moore Square in downtown Raleigh. As you will recall, Empire Eats, the group behind The Pit (Raleigh & Durham), Raleigh Times, Morning Times, Gravy, Sitti, and The Mecca, will be leasing the cafe on the property. No word yet on what kind of fare they will be bringing to the park. Will we watching this one closely. Visit Empire Eats here.
  • Also, saw on Ashton Mae Smith’s Twitter feed that the folks over at Calavera had their soft opening earlier this week and are now officially open in their new space at 615 W. Morgan Street (in the former Moonlight Pizza spot). For now, they are just open for dinner, but will be adding lunch soon. Get by and check them out. Visit them here on Facebook.
  • In Cary, a follower on Twitter shared the news that a restaurant called Himalayan Grill Restaurant & Bar has opened at 1207 Kildaire Farm Road in the former Super Asian Buffet spot. They specialize in Indian and Nepalese cuisine. Check them out here. Thanks Chris!
  • And in the eastern part of Wake County my buddy David McCreary shared two bits of news from those parts. First up, One Stop Market, which serves a wide variety of scratch-made Italian provisions, now has inside seating available. It’s located inside a Citgo convenience store/gas station at 101 Dickens Road in Fuquay-Varina. Check out here on Facebook. And secondly, Blind Pelican Seafood House is now open at 120 Bass Lake Road in Holly Springs. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Started doing the happy dance this week when reader Joe Keilholz shared the news that the masterminds behind KoKyu BBQ joint are opening another location in the former Cure Deli & Cafe spot at 245 E NC-54. That is just 2.5 miles from their current Kokyu joint Na’Mean. No word yet on a timeline – but the sign is up! Get to know them here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Bull City Solera and Taproom is the new beer-centric project from Seth Gross, who also owns Bull City Burger and Brewery and Pompieri Pizza. It will open this fall  in the shuttered Chick-fil-A at 4120 University Drive, behind Target. Construction will start this summer to transform the fast-food restaurant. The drive-thru window will be built over, and Solera will have outdoor seating and tables and fire pits on its patio. For the menu, Gross plans “Mexican Pizza” and “Italian Tacos,” as well as vegan and gluten-free options, saying in a release that the restaurant won’t repeat what’s going on in his other restaurants. Keep up with their progress here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that a Chicago-based Italian-American cuisine restaurant and entertainment concept called Pinstripes will be opening inside The Streets at Southpoint in Durham. Pinstripes, alongside food, wine and cocktails, also combines bowling and bocce ball to its repertoire. No word yet on an exact timeline. Get familiar with them here.
  • Got word this week that a Haitian Caribbean Cuisine inspired restaurant called Pierro ToGo opened about a month ago at 2100 Angier Ave. in Durham. Jethro Pierre is the owner/chef and he originally set up shop in Emporia VA and has now branched out with this being the first in the Triangle. Get to know them here.
  • And finally, the most curious restaurant news of the week (and possibly the year). Chatham County News informed us this week that Siler City is getting a Chick-fil-A. That certainly is not extraordinary news. But what makes this news worthy of something you might hear on April 1, is the fact that it will open inside the Mountaire Farms chicken processing plant. And yes, in case you were wondering, Mountaire is a supplier for Chick-fil-A (talk about fresh). And yes it will be accessible to the general public. Only in Siler City…

Closings

  • Got word this week that the Cameron Village location of Brixx Wood Fired Pizza closed this past Sunday. Already hearing rumblings of something else coming into that space, so stay tuned.
  • Reader Jeff Dunmire shared the hard-to-believe news that Char-Grill has closed in Garner. That’s the bad news. But apparently there is already a sign announcing “Indian Street Food” coming soon. Who doesn’t like Indian street food!?!
  • The folks over at EatRaleigh reported that the couple behind the amazing Filipino market and restaurant Bitter Melon in Angier have decided to retire, and will be closing shop on May 26th. There is still time to get by!

Food Trucks 

  •  Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  Der Biergarten at 1080 Darrington Dr. in Cary will host a Grand Opening Lawn Party starting at 2 p.m. this Saturday, May 11 with live music, giveaways, prizes, face painting, scavenger hunts for both kids and adults, an arts and crafts station, and food and drink specials. Check it out here.
  • Saturday, May 18th is the date for the 14th Annual Carolina Pig Jig, a BBQ cook-off at the NC State Fairgrounds and part of the Got To Be NC Festival. The event runs from 11 a.m. until the BBQ runs out. All proceeds go go to the Masonic Home for Children. Get all the details here.
  • In fact, the entire Got To Be NC Festival is next Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19 at the NC State Fairgrounds. The event features a full carnival with more than 30 rides, food vendors and games of chance. On Friday and Sunday, thrill seekers can take advantage of an unlimited-ride wristband for just $20. Additionally, North Carolina food companies, breweries and wineries will be sampling and selling some of the most delightful flavors North Carolina has to offer in the Homegrown Marketplace from Friday 12-8pm, Saturday 10am-8pm and Sunday 10am-6pm. Get all the details here.
  • Mark your calendar for May 19th from 5 to 8 p.m. and make your way over to Pittsboro for their Farm & Art Dinner where they will celebrate Chatham’s culinary artistry, visual and performing artistry, and appreciation for small family farms. Main Street Pittsboro will welcome friends, guests and family to a table in the center of Hillsboro Street to discover, acknowledge, and honor the skills of local chefs, farmers, and artists in this fundraiser to continue the mission of revitalizing the historic downtown district. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • Also on May 19th from 5-8 p.m., the Rickhouse will host Durham Strong to help support those  injured or out of work from the explosion that shook downtown Durham. The event will feature live music, food, drink and a silent auction. $150 VIP early admission (4 p.m.) with an exclusive “In the Parlour” discussion with our city’s food leaders, or $100 for regular admission. Participants include:It’s a Southern Thing; COPA; Viceroy; Lula & Sadies’; Ramblers  ; Louella Wine Beer & Beverage; Alley 26; Fullsteam; Durham Distillery; Union Member House; The Parlor; Loaf; East Durham Bake Shop; and more. All proceeds go to the Bull City Strong Fund with Upserve Works in Durham 501(c)(3) and will benefit those injured or out of work from the explosion. Get details and tickets here.
  • The Apex Latino Festival will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 3-10 p.m in downtown Apex. Celebrate the Latino culture with children’s arts and crafts workshops, local Latino art exhibits, a culinary event, Latin American dance, music performances, and an authentic arts and crafts bazaar. Purchase a passport to sample tasty authentic food and dessert delights from over 12 different Latino Countries. Get all the details here.
  • The annual Farm to Fork Picnic returns to Fearrington Village in Chatham County on June 2nd from 4-7 pm. Visit the beautiful grounds of ​Fearrington Village​, where ​dozens of the area’s best chefs, farmers, artisan producers and beverage providers ​will create a dizzying array of delectable dishes highlighting the bounty of the season. The Picnic also features fun activities for children, live music, and surprises for the whole family. Tickets for adults are $100. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • The annual National Association of Letter Carriers will hold their “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive TOMORROW Saturday, May 11. The annual drive, where you leave non-perishable goods at your mailbox, supports food distributions to families experiencing food-insecurity. Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 3, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • One of my favorite annual events released details this week about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Downtown Raleigh’s Transfer Co. Food Hall announced two more tenants this week. Alimentari at Left Bank will serve Italian classics, flatbreads and freshly-made pasta by the pound. It will also feature downtown Raleigh’s first whole-animal butchery and charcuterie shop, which will source its animals from local farms in Saxaphaw and Snow Camp. Get to know them here.
  • The second announcement this week was Mama Crow’s, which will feature fresh, locally-sourced salads, burgers, house-made cheeses and hand-cut fries. These two additions join the diverse mix of Transfer’s existing food booths, which include Longleaf Swine, Bul Box, Locals Seafood, Burial Beer Co., Benchwarmer Bagels, Che Empanadas, Chhote’s, Captain Cookie and The Milkman and Dank Burrito. Check out Mama Crow here.
  • Additional announcements out of Transfer Co. Food Hall this week included expanded hours –  open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. It also announced the addition of new coworking and event spaces. A rentable, 3,000 sq. ft. ballroom can be used for private events but will also provide space for community events like concerts and pop-up markets. The final addition will be a 50-desk coworking space for startups and entrepreneurs to meet and collaborate. Transfer Co. Food Hall is located at 500 E. Davie Street in downtown Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • Down in Apex, reader Chris Creighton shared the news that a new Asian restaurant opened at 2143 Ten Ten Road called JJ Cafe. It occupies the former Fuji Express location and serves up Japanese and Asian cuisine. Get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer shared the news this week that chef Sidney Coves has opened (opening today, May 3) the second location of his True Flavors Diner at 2022 Chapel Hill Road, taking over the former Lakewood restaurant space and Scratch Baking spots. The original location is also in Durham, just outside of RTP at 5410 Highway 55. Check them out here.
  • Got word this week that Stem Ciders opened The Northern Spy, a bar, restaurant and bottle shop featuring the largest variety of cider in the Southeast. The Northern Spy features cider, beer, wine, and cocktails paired with a locally sourced, scratch-made food menu, offering ‘American Fare with a Southern Twist’. It is located at 2812 Erwin Road in Durham, North Carolina in the space formerly occupied by Mattie Beason’s Black Twig Cider House. Get to know them here.
  • Over in Durham and Chapel Hill, WRAL is reporting that as of May 1, the Durham location of the Bagel Bar has closed indefinitely and that the Chapel Hill location is for sale. Owner Jonathan Collins indicated the name is for sale as well. Hopefully someone will come along and keep things going. Keep up with them as it unfolds. .
  • In Chapel Hill, reader Glenn Gillen noted that WCHL radio and its website Chapelboro.com were reporting that Sutton’s has opened a second Chapel Hill location.  It’s in the remodeled atrium at the Europa Center. Sutton’s also has a location in Graham. Check them out here.
  • Down in Hillsborough, the News & Oberver’s Drew Jackson reported that James Pharmacy, which replaced LaPlace Louisiana Cookery after a five-year run, opened this week. The new concept serves fresh North Carolina seafood and kept LaPlace’s creative beverage program, the popular Sunday brunches, and their famous Bloody Mary menu. Also improved outdoor seating and an expanded beer and wine selection. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • On a sad note, our friends over at Pulcinella’s in Durham shared the news that Salvatore “Rino” Fevola, principal partner in Pulcinella’s in Durham, passed away on Tuesday. Rino brought smiles and touched hearts to all who knew him. Our prayers are with his family and everyone that knew and loved him. See Pulcinella’s here.
  • And down in Kinston, friend and on-air radio extraordinaire Kitty Kinnin shared this week that Chef & The Farmer’s Vivian Howard (just in time for Mother’s Day) is launching Handy & Hot, a new small-batch, mail order bake shop from their ovens in Kinston. Their first batch, a limited release of Coconut Lime Cornmeal Pound Cake, pays homage to moms everywhere – especially Vivian’s. Check it out here.

Closings

  • The folks over at EatRaleigh reported that the couple behind the amazing Filipino market and restaurant Bitter Melon in Angier have decided to retire, and will be closing shop on May 26th. There is still time to get by!

Food Trucks 

  •  Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  On May 4th, the good folks at the Root Cellar in Pittsboro will host another of their extremely popular Low Country Shrimp Boil. The $30 ticket will entitle you to all-you-can-eat Gulf shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and banana pudding. The event runs from 4-7 p.m. Get details and tickets here.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Saturday, May 18th is the date for the 14th Annual Carolina Pig Jig, a BBQ cook-off at the NC State Fairgrounds and part of the Got To Be NC Festival. The event runs from 11 a.m. until the BBQ runs out. All proceeds go go to the Masonic Home for Children. Get all the details here.
  • Mark your calendar for May 19th from 5 to 8 p.m. and make your way over to Pittsboro for their Farm & Art Dinner where they will celebrate Chatham’s culinary artistry, visual and performing artistry, and appreciation for small family farms. Main Street Pittsboro will welcome friends, guests and family to a table in the center of Hillsboro Street to discover, acknowledge, and honor the skills of local chefs, farmers, and artists in this fundraiser to continue the mission of revitalizing the historic downtown district. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • Also on May 19th from 5-8 p.m., the Rickhouse will host Durham Strong to help support those  injured or out of work from the explosion that shook downtown Durham. The event will feature live music, food, drink and a silent auction. $150 VIP early admission (4 p.m.) with an exclusive “In the Parlour” discussion with our city’s food leaders, or $100 for regular admission. Participants include:It’s a Southern Thing; COPA; Viceroy; Lula & Sadies’; Ramblers  ; Louella Wine Beer & Beverage; Alley 26; Fullsteam; Durham Distillery; Union Member House; The Parlor; Loaf; East Durham Bake Shop; and more. All proceeds go to the Bull City Strong Fund with Upserve Works in Durham 501(c)(3) and will benefit those injured or out of work from the explosion. Get details and tickets here.
  • The Apex Latino Festival will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 3-10 p.m in downtown Apex. Celebrate the Latino culture with children’s arts and crafts workshops, local Latino art exhibits, a culinary event, Latin American dance, music performances, and an authentic arts and crafts bazaar. Purchase a passport to sample tasty authentic food and dessert delights from over 12 different Latino Countries. Get all the details here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • The annual National Association of Letter Carriers will hold their “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive on Saturday, May 11. The annual drive, where you leave non-perishable goods at your mailbox, supports food distributions to families experiencing food-insecurity. Get all the details here.