Friday Fun Food Facts – June 26, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • It used to be that things slowed down in July as far as restaurant news goes. But that doesn’t seem to be the case as evidenced by this week’s issue of the latest restaurant news. Enjoy! However, I will not put out a Friday Fun Food Facts next week, but I will return the following week. And I am very excited to announce that we have formed an exciting partnership that will allow us to provide even more restaurant news for you. So stay tuned for that as we unveil that partnership with our July 10th edition! Thanks for reading! Happy 4th of July and God Bless America!

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  Ashley Christensen announced this week that she has no plans to slow down. The News & Observer reported that she will open a Neapolitan-style, wood-fired pizza joint called PooleSide Pie and it will be adjacent to her Poole’s Diner (see what she did there?) on South McDowell Street in downtown Raleigh. No open date was given. Keep up with all of Ashley’s restaurants here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that City Barbeque, the Ohio-based chain that entered the Triangle market last year with a location in Cary, has opened a new restaurant in Garner next to the new Cabela’s along U.S. 70 at 110 Cabela Drive. They also announced that they have plans to open a location in southwest Durham this November in the Kroger shopping center at the corner of Fayetteville Road and Highway 54. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Brixx Wood Fired Pizza opened its second Cary restaurant. The new restaurant is in the Bradford apartment and retail complex at Davis Drive and High House Road. In addition to the two Cary locations, Brixx has locations in Cameron Village and Brier Creek in Raleigh and Meadowmont Village in Chapel Hill. Visit Brixx here.
  • Also in Cary, the News & Observer’s Andrea Weigl reported this week that the long-anticipated Ruckus Pizza, Pasta & Spirits opened yesterday in the Arboretum at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Weston Parkway in the former Bella Mia space. This marks the 4th Ruckus location. Check them out here.
  •  Last week we reported that Diced Gourmet Salads & Wraps, a new locally owned, quick-service restaurant, was open at 1377 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary. That is not true and we apologize for any inconvenience and false expectations we created. But, we have learned from Diced directly that they are opening “sometime in July” – so stay tuned. Here is another sneak peek.
  •  Thanks to reader Ashley Mills we learned that Nazara Indian Bistro is coming to Cary in the old Lowe’s Food shopping center near the intersection of Davis Drive and High House. No word yet on an open date, and not much up on their Facebook page yet, but we’ll keep an eye on it. Thanks Ashley!

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • This is some exciting news. Durham’s Pulcinella’s Italian Restaurant (in the Woodcroft Shopping Center) is opening up a second location next month over in Chapel Hill. Here’s the twist. It will be a bit smaller and won’t carry the same menu (due to space limitations) and it will be called Magone Italian Grill & Pizza. It will be in the Timberlyne Shopping Center in the space previously occupied by PizzaVito. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • And speaking of the Woodcroft Shopping Center, I noticed the other day that Guacamaya (formerly known and loved as Chubby’s Tacos) is moving into a larger space in the same shopping center (over next to West 94th St. Pub). No word yet on the move date. Check them out here.
  • Also in Durham, the Triangle Business Journal reported that Gregoria’s Cuban Steakhouse in Durham will close July 3, to be reopened two weeks later as a new restaurant featuring Latin American tapas, entrees, desserts and cocktails. Chef Douglas Rodriguez, in partnership with restaurateur Fares Hanna, will open Mesa Latin Kitchen at 2701 Hillsborough Road on July 17. Not much yet on their website. But you have until July 3rd to eat one more time at Gregoria’s!
  • On Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, the Burgeoning Baker sent me a photo via Twitter that there is a “Noodle House” coming soon in the former location of Mei Asian. No further information is available at this time, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
  • Over in Carrboro, I was given the heads up that we are just about 3 weeks away from the opening of Café Symmetry in Carrboro’s Carr Mill Mall. It is owned by the same folks at Elmo’s and will go into the space formerly occupied by Panzanella’s. Check out some of their updates on Facebook here.
  • The folks over at ChickenWireNC announced this week their next “pop-up” event on July 19 will be a Glazed & Confused Tasting Picnic in Pittsboro. The festival-like event will feature 20 chefs, over 20 artisans, 5 local brewers, 3 distillers, 3 wine distributors, a kids’ tent, silent auction, and live music by the Onyx Club Boys! Tickets will go fast (VIP tickets are already sold out). Get tickets and all the details here.

Closings 

  • WRAL broke the news this week that Natty Greene’s is closing its Jones Street restaurant location effective Aug. 1 and will be going out with a big party. A change in landlords and an increase in rent prompted the decision. No word on what will happen with the space, but rumors are swirling. Too early to comment at this point.
  • Got word this week, and confirmed on their Facebook page, that Triangle Brewing Company Pint & Plate on Main Street in downtown Durham has made the decision to close. Please note, this is just the Pint & Plate that is closing, the brewery continues!

Food Trucks 

  • Got word this week from Lexi Hayes and Kim Walker directly that they are debuting a new food truck here in the Triangle on Sunday, June 28th called Greedy’Z Cheesesteaks & Hoagies (these ladies are all Philly!) Their grand opening will be from 12 pm to 6 pm at 3530 S. Alston Ave. in Durham and they will have a raffle, games, temporary tattoos for the family and food galore. Stop by and welcome these two ladies from Philly and try out their sammiches! Check them out here.
  • I don’t cover 4th of July events, but when they combine with a large number of food trucks, it is worth a mention. Knightdale’s Second Annual July 4th Celebration at Knightdale Station Park will not only feature fireworks, family activities and music from The Embers, but over 30 local food trucks. The event begins at 5 and will conclude with fireworks at 9:15. Get all the details and a full listing of trucks here. Here’s a complete listing of 4th of July events on The Triangle Explorer’s blog.
  • Wake Forest will hold their next Food Truck Rodeo on Sunday, July 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Renaissance Place at 450 S. Brooks Street in historic downtown. In addition to all the trucks, look for a beer tent provided by Brooks Street Bowl, a Kid’s Zone and live music. Get all the details here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

  • On Saturday, June 27th, the Carolina Ale House (downtown on Glenwood South – 500 Glenwood Avenue) will host a Beer, Bourbon and BBQ event called The Spirited Pig Summer Shindig to benefit Helping Hand Mission. The $30 all-inclusive ticket includes 4 local breweries, food and bourbon stations, live music and a souvenir tasting glass. Purchase tickets here. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Clear your schedule for June 25-28, 2015 for the inaugural Raleigh Food and Wine Festival – taking place Thursday through Sunday at multiple restaurants throughout downtown Raleigh. On Sunday, the four-day program wraps up with food and beverage tasting event at the historical Melrose Knitting Mill and Babylon restaurant in Downtown Raleigh from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Get all the details at the event’s website here.
  • I often find myself in a pickle, but I’ve never been to a “pickle” event. You? Now’s your chance as The Rickhouse on Foster Street in Durham will host PickleFest Durham on July 25th from noon until 3 p.m. The event is free and will bring together the areas pickle makers and enthusiasts along with restaurants, food trucks, food bloggers, farmers and canners and the N&O’s Andrea Weigl (author of Pickles & Preserves). Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The dates are set (October 8-10) for one of my favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Tickets are set to go on sale soon! Take a look at all the initial details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • West 94th St. Pub in southwest Durham will host the 2nd Annual Grill Master Cook Off Competition to benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. They are calling all local “Grill Masters” to show off their “grillin” skills on Saturday, July 11, 2015 from 9am- 4pm. The food will be donated by West 94th St Pub and the secret ingredient will be provided by TOPO. Each contestant will be required to cook onsite, 2-3 whole chickens with TOPO’s secret Ingredient. The registration deadline to cook is July 6th. For more information or to get involved contact Kerry Bryant at 919-403-0025 or email Kerry@West94thStPub.com.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – June 19, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

  • The News & Observer reported this week that Raleigh’s historic Person Street Pharmacy reopened this past Monday with chef Chad McIntyre (formerly chef/proprietor of Market restaurant) at the helm of the cafe. The restaurant’s hours expand tomorrow to 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Check them out here. Or you can follow them on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Diced Gourmet Salads & Wraps, a new locally owned, quick-service restaurant, is now open at 1377 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary. They are open for lunch and dinner. You can check them out here.
  • My friend John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) tipped me off to the fact that Sardi’s Den, a rib joint out of Clemson, South Carolina, opened this week in Brennan Station shopping center on Creedmoor Road (in the former location of Oliver Twist). Check them out here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Rocco Sammartino Jr. has reopened Tavern on the Green, a restaurant and bar at the clubhouse of the Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Garner (565 Competition Road to be exact). They are open breakfast, lunch and dinner. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Got word this week that Level Up Kitchen and Barcadium is now serving lunch. They will be open Tuesday- Sunday starting at 11:30 am. They are located at 126 Salisbury Street, near the intersection with Hargett Street. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  It was announced this week that The Durham Hotel at 315 East Chapel Hill Street will open their doors on July 10th. That is big news for downtown Durham, but I don’t typically report hotel openings. What is so spectacular about this hotel is that Andrea Reusing will have a restaurant, garden patio and rooftop bar here. However, we still don’t know the name. Can you feel the hype? Check out the hotel here.
  • Started seeing signs up around Chapel Hill this week announcing the opening of a new pizza joint in the East 54 complex called Brenz Pizza Company. With locations in Tennessee and Ohio, this is the first North Carolina location. Check them out here.
  • My friends over at Spanky’s Restaurant tipped me off to the fact that there is a Smoothie King is going in on Franklin St where Campus Calzones/Pita Pit used to be. As they pointed out, it is a chain, but at least it’s something different! Check out Smoothie King here.

Closings 

  • None to report this week! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • The next Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo is the extremely popular (aren’t they all popular?) Father’s Day edition this Sunday, June 21 from 12-4 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • This is kind of fun. This Saturday (June 20), the North Carolina Museum of Art will show Chef as part of their outdoor movie series. The movie will begin at 9 p.m., but get their early for a mini-food truck rodeo featuring six (really, really good) trucks – American Meltdown, Chirba Chirba Dumpling, Only Burger, Cousins Maine Lobster, Citizen Pops and newcomer Two Roosters Ice Cream. Get ticketing information and all the details here.
  • If you live down in “The Quay” – Aviator Brewing Company is having another one of their food truck rodeo’s this Saturday (June 20) featuring four food trucks, music and some new beer releases. Things kick off at noon and last until 10 p.m. Check them out here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

  • If you have time today and looking for a good lunch for a good cause, swing by the Kay Yow Cancer Fund office (in the parking lot) today from 11-1:30 for a grilled lunch from Firewurst. Called Flame-Grillin’ 4Kay, the cost is $6 per plate, or 2 for $10. They are located at 5121 Kingdom Way in Raleigh. Get more details here.
  • The 4th Annual Peak City Pig Fest is this Friday and Saturday (June 19 & 20) in downtown Apex. Cook teams from all over the country will come to compete against each other for prize money while cooking chicken, ribs, beef brisket and pork. 48 professional BBQ cook teams are expected to enter and compete for a total of more than $10,000 in prize money. Get all the details here. Please note, the Peak City Pig Fest is the only Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned event in the Triangle.
  • This Saturday (June 20th) is the 3rd annual Fresh Catch Festival and will be held in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square from 1-9pm. Enjoy fresh cooked seafood, BBQ and more from local chefs and restaurants from 1-6 in the park and food trucks from 5-9 in the street. Tickets are $8 in advance, and $10 at the door (food and drinks are separate). Get all the details here.
  • Also on June 20th, Village Lanes, one of the oldest bowling alleys in Durham, is holding their Spring Fling featuring live music, cold beer, an art fair/craft market, and a diverse lineup of food trucks. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • Got word from my friend Paul Amburn that the folks over at 214 Martin Street are holding an event called Dinner Al Fresco featuring a star-studded lineup of chefs – Matt Thompson, Dean Thompson and John Anderson. Tickets are $75. Get all the details and purchase tickets here (only 44 remain).
  • On Saturday, June 27th, the Carolina Ale House (downtown on Glenwood South – 500 Glenwood Avenue) will host a Beer, Bourbon and BBQ event called The Spirited Pig Summer Shindig to benefit Helping Hand Mission. The $30 all-inclusive ticket includes 4 local breweries, food and bourbon stations, live music and a souvenir tasting glass. Purchase tickets here. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Clear your schedule for June 25-28, 2015 for the inaugural Raleigh Food and Wine Festival – taking place Thursday through Sunday at multiple restaurants throughout downtown Raleigh. On Sunday, the four-day program wraps up with food and beverage tasting event at the historical Melrose Knitting Mill and Babylon restaurant in Downtown Raleigh from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Get all the details at the event’s website here.
  • The dates are set (October 8-10) for one of my favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Tickets are set to go on sale soon! Take a look at all the initial details here.

Food Bank Corner 

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

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

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

But together, we can help.

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

 

Click the link above to see how you can help!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – June 12, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer’s Andrea Weigl announced this week what we’ve all been waiting 18 months to announce – Ashley Christensen’s long awaited Death & Taxes in downtown Raleigh will open “sometime” next week! Beyond the 60-seat restaurant, the Hargett Street building also holds an event space called The Bridge Club, a basement bar and wine cellar. Get a peek at it here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Big news was announced last Friday (on National Donut Day nonetheless) that Rise Biscuits and Donuts will be opening a new franchise location in Raleigh’s Cameron Village in the fall of 2015! They also announced that the Morrisville location (Park West Village) is looking at a late summer opening. Check out Rise here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal announced this week that MOD Pizza, a Seattle-based build-your-own-pizza concept, is opening its first Triangle restaurant at 2071 Millbrook Road, in the new Harris Teeter-anchored shopping center at the corner of Millbrook and Creedmoor roads in Raleigh. Look for them to open in July. Get a peek at them here.
  • No more just movies and popcorn. Cobb Theaters announced this week that construction is underway at its newest CinéBistro location at Waverly Place in Cary. CinéBistro offers a world-class “dinner-and-a-movie” experience featuring a chef-run kitchen offering creative American bistro cuisine and full in-theatre service. You can also “wine and dine” there even if you aren’t coming to the movie. Look for them to open late summer. Get a look at them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • The guys over at Mateo Tapas (Matt Kelly and Josh Decarolis) announced this week their newest project – Mothers & Sons, an Italian trattoria located right next to Mateo at 107 West Chapel Hill Street – will open this fall. Follow them on Twitter here. In the meantime, you can also check out Mateo here.
  • This week my friends over at Bean Trader’s in Durham provided an update on their expansion. While it has been slow to unfold, things are starting to roll and it will be well worth the wait (think made-from-scratch waffles, a large centrally located bar, an alternative brew bar, new gender neutral bathrooms (and a family room) and two new registers for quicker check out and shorter lines). All very exciting. You can get all the details on their expansion here.
  • We had already told you that the folks behind the food truck Porchetta have opened a “brick and mortar” location at the food court at the Streets at Southpoint in Durham. Now, the News & Observer’s Andrea Weigl has informed me that the food truck American Meltdown will move in “a few doors down” from that location. Look for them to open in early September. Check them out here.
  • A quick shout out to Allen & Son Barbecue in Chapel Hill. They were named the best barbecue joint in the South by Southern Living magazine, putting them at the top of an impressive list of 50 of the best Southern barbecue restaurants. See the full list here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Jersey Mike’s Subs has opened its third Durham location, this one at 7005 Fayetteville Road in the Renaissance Center at Southpoint. This marks the 27th Jersey Mike’s in the Triangle, according to the company’s website.
  • Chowhounder Durhamois tipped me off to the fact that a new pho restaurant has opened (apparently it has been open for a number of months) at 2806 S Miami Blvd in Durham. It is called Bowl of Pho. Check them out here.
  • Just a reminder that Il Palio restaurant in Chapel Hill’s Siena Hotel will close for major renovations this summer. They plan to close on June 15 and reopen on August 15th after close to $700,000 in renovations.

Closings 

  • None to report this week! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  •  A couple of upcoming food truck events to highlight. The next Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo is this Sunday (June 14th) from 1-6 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • The next Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo is the extremely popular (aren’t they all popular?) Father’s Day edition on Sunday, June 21 from 12-4 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • Got word this week that the Triangle is getting a new Mediterranean food truck called Nebo Cousin’s Food Truck. They will introduce themselves this weekend as they are set up at XL Soccer World all weekend from 4 pm until midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You can check them out on Facebook here.
  • This is kind of fun. Next Saturday (June 20), the North Carolina Museum of Art will show the movie Chef as part of their outdoor movie series. The movie will begin at 9 p.m., but get there early for a mini-food truck rodeo featuring six (really, really good) trucks – American Meltdown, Chirba Chirba Dumpling, Only Burger, Cousins Maine Lobster, Citizen Pops and newcomer Two Roosters Ice Cream. Get ticketing information and all the details here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

  • This is the final weekend of this version of Triangle Restaurant Week, so get out and take advantage of it this weekend. Participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, where meals are $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20, $25 or $30 for a 3-course dinner. Price is for each person and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Get a list of participating restaurants and all the details here.
  • Heard from John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) that Slingshot Coffee Co. is having their Birthday Celebration & Pop-Up Shop to celebrate 3 years of making their delicious cold brew coffee. It will be at their headquarters this Saturday from 10am-2pm. Look for an appearance from new ice cream truck Two Roosters – can you say free affogatos? You can get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The 4th Annual Peak City Pig Fest is next Friday and Saturday (June 19 & 20) in downtown Apex. Cook teams from all over the country will come to compete against each other for prize money while cooking chicken, ribs, beef brisket and pork. 48 professional BBQ cook teams are expected to enter and compete for a total of more than $10,000 in prize money. Get all the details here. Please note, the Peak City Pig Fest is the only Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned event in the Triangle.
  • June 20th is the date for the 3rd annual Fresh Catch Festival that will be held in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square from 1-9pm. Enjoy fresh cooked seafood, BBQ and more from local chefs and restaurants from 1-6 in the park and food trucks from 5-9 in the street. Tickets are $8 in advance, and $10 at the door (food and drinks are separate). Get all the details here.
  • Also on June 20th, Village Lanes, one of the oldest bowling alleys in Durham, is holding their Spring Fling featuring live music, cold beer, an art fair/craft market, and a diverse lineup of food trucks. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • Clear your schedule for June 25-28, 2015 for the inaugural Raleigh Food and Wine Festival – taking place Thursday through Sunday at multiple restaurants throughout downtown Raleigh. On Sunday, the four-day program wraps up with food and beverage tasting event at the historical Melrose Knitting Mill and Babylon restaurant in Downtown Raleigh from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Get all the details at the event’s website here.
  • The dates are set (October 8-10) for one of my favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Tickets are set to go on sale soon! Take a look at all the initial details here.

Food Bank Corner

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

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

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

But together, we can help.

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

Click the link above to see how you can help!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – June 5, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

  •   Triangle Restaurant Week is upon us (June 8-14) so gear up for trying out some new places next week. During Triangle Restaurant Week participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, where meals are $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20, $25 or $30 for a 3-course dinner. Price is for each person and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Get a list of participating restaurants and all the details here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Taverna Agora Greek Kitchen & Bar has nearly completed its move from Glenwood Avenue to its new digs at 326 Hillsborough Street (between Holiday Inn and Second Empire). They are slated to open their doors next Tuesday, June 9th. It is a really cool space and I’ll have the pleasure of checking it out prior to their opening. But, put it on your calendar to visit next week! Get a sneak peak here.
  • Got a tip from my friend John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) that he was in Lafayette Village recently and saw a banner at the former taqueria space announcing Top Dawgs Gourmet Hot Dog Company “Coming Soon.” The targeted opening date is the July 4 weekend. We will keep an eye on that.
  • We told you about this last month, but the News & Observer shed a few more details on the expansion about to take place at Jason Smith’s Cantina 18 in Cameron Village. Basically they have outgrown their space so they are closing on June 14th (reopening in the fall) for a major expansion that includes the addition of a second story with an upstairs bar, covered balcony, glass elevator and private dining room that can accommodate large groups. Large windows capable of being opened on both floors will give the dining rooms an open-air feeling. In the meantime, visit one of Jason’s other restaurants.
  •  Got word this week that Burger 21, a fast casual franchise, just announced its first Triangle location (second location in North Carolina) will be opening in Cary on Monday, June 8 at 14220 Bradford Green Square in the Bradford Shopping Center. The other location is in Charlotte. Check them out here.
  • New Raleigh was the first to report that downtown Raleigh is getting a taco bike (and hopefully a fleet of bikes) later this month called El Taco Cartel. After inspections in July, they hope to be rolling around the streets sometime this summer. Not much to see yet, but here is their website.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • It was announced this week that Joe Van Gogh Coffee will open its third Durham coffee house (the 4th is in Chapel Hill) in the Woodcroft Shopping Center at 4711 Hope Valley Road this fall. You can check out Joe Van Gogh here.
  • I saw on a Yelp discussion board that a new restaurant called Epa Chamo, featuring Venezuelan areapas and cuisine, has opened on Ninth Street in the space that used to house Mitch’s. Couldn’t locate a web site for them.
  • Saw in Triangle Business Journal that the owners of the Siena Hotel and its four-diamond rated Il Palio restaurant in Chapel Hill will be shutting down the dining room for two months this summer for what will be the first major renovation of the Italian-style restaurant in 23 years. They plan to close on June 15 and reopen on August 15th after close to $700,000 in renovations.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, The Daily Tar Heel reported that Crepe Culture, a cafe serving a variety of crepes and coffee drinks, is set to open the first weekend in July and will replace Gigi’s Cupcakes, which closed its doors in November 2014 in the 140 West complex. Check them out here.
  • Saw on WRAL last week that Greek Gussy’s food truck has officially opened its new restaurant Gussy’s Place at 2945 S. Miami Blvd. in Durham. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that A Beaver Bog’s Ice Cream, a new pop-up ice cream shop, is open in Durham’s Northgate Mall. Their grand opening is tomorrow (June 6) and they be open through August 31. You can visit them on Facebook here.

Closings 

  • None to report this week! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  •  A couple of upcoming food truck events to highlight. The next Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo is coming up on Sunday, June 14th from 1-6 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • The next Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo is the extremely popular (aren’t they all popular?) Father’s Day edition on Sunday, June 21 from 12-4 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

  • Please note that today, June 5, is National Doughnut Day. Look for all the regulars to offer free doughnuts today.
  • If you love Greek food, this is your weekend. This Saturday and Sunday take part in the Greek Festival – experience the flavors, sounds, and traditions of Greece. Guests can enjoy delicious Greek food and pastries, a Greek tavern and cafe, traditional music, folk dance performances, shopping, video travelogues of Greece, church tours and children’s ‘ activities. New this year is a tasting tent where adults can sample Greek wines.11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. There is no cost to attend the event. It takes place at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church at 8306 N.C. 751 in Durham. Get all the details here (scroll down).
  • The nominations are in for the WRAL Out & About Voters’ Choice Awards, and now it’s time to vote for your favorite food trucks, breweries, restaurants and more! They have narrowed the field to five in each category for the inaugural awards (but you can write in your choice if it is not included). Now, it’s up to you to help pick who wins!
  • On June 14th at 5:30 p.m. Chef Brian Fitzgerald will host Academy Street Bistro Wine Dinner featuring four courses of Chef Brian’s culinary creations each paired with an elegant French wine. The cost is $65. You can get the full menu and all the details on this pdf. You can make reservations by calling 919-377-0509.
  • June 20th is the date for the 3rd annual Fresh Catch Festival that will be held in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square from 1-9pm. Enjoy fresh cooked seafood, BBQ and more from local chefs and restaurants from 1-6 in the park and food trucks from 5-9 in the street. Tickets are $8 in advance, and $10 at the door (food and drinks are separate). Get all the details here.
  • Also on June 20th, Village Lanes, one of the oldest bowling alleys in Durham, is holding their Spring Fling featuring live music, cold beer, an art fair/craft market, and a diverse lineup of food trucks. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • Clear your schedule for June 25-28, 2015 for the inaugural Raleigh Food and Wine Festival – taking place Thursday through Sunday at multiple restaurants throughout downtown Raleigh. On Sunday, the four-day program wraps up with food and beverage tasting event at the historical Melrose Knitting Mill and Babylon restaurant in Downtown Raleigh from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Get all the details at the event’s website here.
  • June 26th and 27th are the dates for the next Snap Pea Underground’s dinners, this time in downtown Durham. At last check, only 4 tickets remained for Friday night. If you want more information, or want to get on their mailing list, go here.
  • The dates are set (October 8-10) for one of my favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Tickets are set to go on sale soon! Take a look at all the initial details here.

Food Bank Corner   

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

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

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

But together, we can help.

The Food Bank’s Stop Summer Hunger Campaign aims to provide meals and groceries to children and their families over the summer months. Through July 31, we are committed to providing 3.2 million meals. Click the link above to see how you can help!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 29, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

  •  In the biggest news of the week, my buddy John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) threw out a tweet announcing that Jubala Coffee is planning to open their second Raleigh location in the soon to open Aloft Hotel on Hillsborough Street directly across from the NC State bell tower. Joining Jubala in that building will be the previously announced Gonza Tacos y Tequilla. Learn more about Jubala here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that chef Nunzio Scordo at Driftwood Southern Kitchen in North Raleigh’s Lafayette Village is launching a new “neighborhood Italian” restaurant called Farina, in the Paparazzi Ristorante Italiano space next door. Scordo is targeting a late June opening. Learn more about Driftwood here.
  • Over in West Raleigh the long wait for the Chick-fil-A at the Lake Boone Trail Shopping Center is getting closer to an end. One of my anonymous roving reporters tipped me off to the fact that a Chick-fil-A sign went up on the site this week. It is going in in the space where the Wendy’s used to be located, next to Starbucks. Talk about traffic!

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • On Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street, the News & Observer reported this week that Ms. Mong, a self-described “next generation of Mongolian barbecue” concept, will open in June. It is owned by Alex Kim and Isaac Park. Get a little more information here.
  • Over in Durham, it was announced this week that Counting House, the new restaurant located in the 21c Museum Hotel Durham, is now offering lunch every Monday – Friday. Get all the details here.
  • Noticed on a recent drive that just south of Chapel Hill in Chatham County on 15-501 in the Polk Landing shopping center, a new restaurant is on its way called Vine Asian Bistro. We have no further details at this point but I’ll keep an eye on it.
  • Also in Chatham County, big changes are coming to Cole Park Plaza, located about halfway between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro. The Subway is closing this Sunday in preparation for its move back into the shopping center. Look for it to reopen this fall. In its place, look for a fast-food burger joint to take over the corner.

Closings 

  • I was sorry to learn this week that the Atrium Grille, on the ground floor of the Dixon Hughes Goodman building across from Rex Hospital, has closed their doors. My best to Stephen and Jeff.
  • Rebecca Calhoun noted on Twitter that Fire Pit BBQ in Wake Forest has closed.
  • Also got word from Joseph Wells that Raleigh’s China Court Restaurant in Brennan Station closed their doors this past Monday.

Food Trucks 

  •  A couple of upcoming food truck events to highlight. The next Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo is coming up on Sunday, June 14th from 1-6 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • The next Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo is the extremely popular (aren’t they all popular?) Father’s Day edition on Sunday, June 21 from 12-4 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

  • Driftwood Southern Kitchen is hosting “Shagging with our Veterans” on Tuesday, June 2 from 5 -9 p.m. raising money for Military Missions in Action. Food, fun and dancing will be had by all. Cost is a minimum donation of $25. RSVP to events@fallslakeins.com. More information available here.
  • Next Thursday, June 4th, downtown Raleigh’s Carolina Ale House will partner up with Lonerider Brewery for a Beer Dinner featuring a 4 course dinner and beer pairing. The fun begins at 6:30 and the all-inclusive price is $40. Get all the details here.
  • Please note that next Friday, June 5, is National Doughnut Day. Look for all the regulars to offer free doughnuts next Friday so plan your morning commute accordingly.
  • Tickets went on sale recently for one of my favorite events of the year (a weekend of events really) – Farm to Fork – which will take place this year Friday, June 5th through Sunday, June 7th. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • June 20th is the date for the 3rd annual Fresh Catch Festival that will be held in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square from 1-9pm. Enjoy fresh cooked seafood, BBQ and more from local chefs and restaurants from 1-6 in the park and food trucks from 5-9 in the street. Tickets are $8 in advance, and $10 at the door (food and drinks are separate). Get all the details here.
  • Also on June 20th, Village Lanes, one of the oldest bowling alleys in Durham, is holding their Spring Fling featuring live music, cold beer, an art fair/craft market, and a diverse lineup of food trucks. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • As a part of the Raleigh Food and Wine Festival, Raleigh’s Mandolin restaurant will host a “Get Your Goat Dinner” on Thursday, June 25, with Prodigal Farm. This “head to tail” feast will feature six courses of goat and Prodigal’s remarkable cheeses. Executive chef and owner Sean Fowler will showcase every useable piece of goat, from the cheese its’ milk produces to the bones that are used for stocks and broths. Get more information on Mandolin here.
  • June 26th and 27th are the dates for the next Snap Pea Underground dinners, this time in downtown Durham. These dinners sell out in a matter of hours, so be ready when tickets go on sale next week (June 2nd at 12 noon). If you want more information, or want to get on their mailing list, go here.
  • The dates are set for one of my other favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Go ahead and start setting aside your money for the tickets – they go on sale soon. Take a look at all the initial details here.

Food Bank Corner

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

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

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

But together, we can help.

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

Click the link above to see how you can help!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 22, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

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

Closings 

  • None to report. Keeping eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner   

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

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

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

But together, we can help.

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

Click the link above to see how you can help!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 15, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

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

Closings 

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

Food Trucks 

  • With a little divine intervention, it looks like Chapel Hill is going to have a food truck rodeo of its own – and to benefit a great cause. On Saturday, May 16th from 3 to 7 p.m. Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Blvd (at the intersection with Homestead Road) is going to have at least 10 food trucks and tons of other events all to benefit TABLE, which provides healthy, emergency food to hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Get all the details here.
  • If you miss that, or want even more food truck cuisine, head on over to Pittsboro that evening for the Pittsboro Food Truck Rodeo (every 3rd Saturday) across from Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store from 6-9 p.m. Trucks featured there include: American Meltdown, Bandido’s, Bella Donna’s, Bulkogi Korean BBQ, Carolina Brewery and Little Dipper’s Italian Ice. Get all the details here.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo is this Sunday (May 17th). It will be located at 419 Brooks Street at the Over The Falls Shopping Center and runs from 12 to 4 p.m. Check them out here.
  • Food Trucks and Flowers – sounds like a great, and fun, combination. The third annual Fairview Garden Center Flora and Food Trucks series will feature the Triangle’s most popular and delicious food trucks.  These events will take place on spring Saturdays, March 28 through May 23, 11:30 AM until 2:30 PM at 8224 Holly Springs Rd. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Get all the details here.
  • Alright folks, it is time to step up and help one of our own. On March 9th a drunk driver struck the side of the MamaDukes food truck and took them out of business. The insurance deemed the truck a total loss and the settlement was not enough to rebuild. They need our help to reopen for business. Visit their GoFundMe website for the details and to contribute to their effort to reopen. They are just under $1,800 from meeting their goal. Every little bit will help.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

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

Food Bank Corner   

  • Did you know that the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina plans to distribute between 50 and 52 million pounds of food this year? That’s more than 140,000 meals a day! They expect their fleet of 19 trucks to travel over 500,000 miles to serve their 800 partner agencies and maximize their food donor partnerships. To do that, they are aiming to raise over $8 million in revenue and work with over 15,000 volunteers to keep the Food Bank running and expand service where possible. Want to see a list of upcoming “foodie” events that you can attend AND help the Food Bank? Check it out here.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 8, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

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

Closings 

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

Food Trucks 

  • With a little divine intervention, it looks like Chapel Hill is going to have a food truck rodeo of its own – and to benefit a great cause. On Saturday, May 16th from 3 to 7 p.m. Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Blvd (at the intersection with Homestead Road) is going to have at least 10 food trucks and tons of other events all to benefit TABLE, which provides healthy, emergency food to hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Get all the details here.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo is coming up on May 17th. It is located at 419 Brooks Street at the Over The Falls Shopping Center and runs from 12 to 4 p.m. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Food Trucks and Flowers – sounds like a great, and fun, combination. The third annual Fairview Garden Center Flora and Food Trucks series will feature the Triangle’s most popular and delicious food trucks. These events will take place on spring Saturdays, March 28 through May 23, 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at 8224 Holly Springs Rd. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Get all the details here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard, to get all things food truck related – rodeos, truck lists, features, etc. Check it out here.

Events

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

Food Bank Corner   

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

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 1, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

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

Closings 

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

Food Trucks 

  • Thanks to a reminder from John Huisman (aka The Triangle Explorer), – the 35th Annual Meet in the Street festival will take place tomorrow (Saturday, May 2), beginning at 10 am in historic downtown Wake Forest. Meet in the Street offers a day filled with food, fun and entertainment, including live music and children’s activities. Admission is free. Also be on the look out for the debut of a new Lobster Food Truck – Cousins Maine Lobster. All the details are here.
  • The Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo Series (4 total for 2015) kicks off this weekend (Sunday, May 3rd from 1-6 p.m.). It makes my mouth water to envision the entire length of Fayetteville Street lined with food trucks! Get the full schedule and truck list here.
  • With a little divine intervention, it looks like Chapel Hill is going to have a food truck rodeo of its own – and to benefit a great cause. On Saturday, May 16th from 3 to 7 p.m. Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Blvd (at the intersection with Homestead Road) is going to have at least 10 food trucks and tons of other events all to benefit TABLE, which provides healthy, emergency food to hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Get all the details here.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo is coming up on May 17th. It is located at 419 Brooks Street at the Over The Falls Shopping Center and runs from 12 to 4 p.m. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Food Trucks and Flowers – sounds like a great, and fun, combination. The third annual Fairview Garden Center Flora and Food Trucks series will feature the Triangle’s most popular and delicious food trucks. These events will take place on spring Saturdays, March 28 through May 23, 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at 8224 Holly Springs Rd. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Get all the details here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard, to get all things food truck related – rodeos, truck lists, features, etc. Check it out here.

Events

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

Food Bank Corner   

  • Did you know that the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina plans to distribute between 50 and 52 million pounds of food this year? That’s more than 140,000 meals a day! They expect their fleet of 19 trucks to travel over 500,000 miles to serve their 800 partner agencies and maximize their food donor partnerships. To do that, they are aiming to raise over $8 million in revenue and work with over 15,000 volunteers to keep the Food Bank running and expand service where possible. Want to see a list of upcoming “foodie” events that you can attend AND help the Food Bank? Check it out here.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – April 24, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

Closings 

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

Food Trucks 

  • We told you about this truck a few weeks ago, but now the Triangle Business Journal is reporting that Cousins Maine Lobster, a Triangle-area food truck franchise that features fresh lobster from Maine, has announced a launch date of May 2. The truck plans to appear in Wake Forest at the 35th annual Meet in the Street event and on May 3rd at the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo. Get more information on them here.
  • Speaking of the the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo, the series (4 total for 2015) kicks off next weekend (May 3rd from 1-6 p.m.). Get the full schedule here. But also, tomorrow (April 25) is the last day to get your VIP Wristbands. The wristbands will get you into the trucks half hour before everyone else. Get them while they are available here.
  • With a little divine intervention, it looks like Chapel Hill is going to have a food truck rodeo of its own – and to benefit a great cause. On Saturday, May 16th from 3 to 7 p.m. Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Blvd (at the intersection with Homestead Road) is going to have at least 10 food trucks and tons of other events all to benefit TABLE, which provides healthy, emergency food to hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Get all the details here.
  • Food Trucks and Flowers – sounds like a great, and fun, combination. The third annual Fairview Garden Center Flora and Food Trucks series will feature the Triangle’s most popular and delicious food trucks.  These events will take place on spring Saturdays, through May 23, 11:30 am until 2:30 pm at 8224 Holly Springs Rd. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Get all the details here.
  • And here is a great article by the News & Observer’s Greg Cox on a handful (13 to be exact) of trucks that have added a brick and mortar location.

Events

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

Food Bank Corner   

  • Did you know that the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina plans to distribute between 50 and 52 million pounds of food this year? That’s more than 140,000 meals a day! They expect their fleet of 19 trucks to travel over 500,000 miles to serve their 800 partner agencies and maximize their food donor partnerships. To do that, they are aiming to raise over $8 million in revenue and work with over 15,000 volunteers to keep the Food Bank running and expand service where possible. Want to see a list of upcoming “foodie” events that you can attend AND help the Food Bank? Check it out here.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized