Friday Fun Food Facts – November 8, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Chef changes/announcements are always big news and we’ve got two this week. This week, chef Jake Wood shared via Facebook that November 27th would be his last day at Plates Neighborhood Kitchen. He shared that “the time has come to move in different direction and we couldn’t be more excited.” Wood gave no indication as to where that “direction” would take him, but let’s hope it keeps him here in the Triangle – this guy is super talented. You’ll remember him coming onto the scene prior to Plates with Jason Smith over at 18 Seaboard. And over at Mandolin, chef Sean Fowler announced that Derek Pierce would be his new chef de cuisine. Pierce was the sous chef at the Forbes 5-star Herons in The Umstead Hotel and Spa for four years. Check out Mandolin here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saw in Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email that The Brasserie at Neuse River Brewing is now open and serving a full menu of European inspired foods, wine and soon, liquor! Join them Wednesday through Sunday for dinner or on the weekends for brunch from 12-3pm. They are located at 518 Pershing Road in Raleigh, just outside the Five Points neighborhood. Visit them here.
  • Some exciting things happening over in downtown Wake Forest with two openings just around the corner. First of the two is Norse Brewing Company which will be at 203 Brooks Street in the former La Foresta Italian Cafe and Pizzeria. Things are headed up by Chris Jorgensen and brewmaster Brad Wynn. Stay tuned to their website and social media for an exact date.
  • And just around the corner Anthony Bowman and his construction/remodeling crew are busy converting the building at 107 S. White St. into Smoky Tony’s. Anthony’s (aka Smoky Tony) story begins in a small town in northern México where he learned the art of Mexican Pit Barbacoa. From there he learned techniques in California, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina and even out west in Arizona and Utah! Visit their website and social media to keep up with their opening date.
  • Back in August we reported that MacGregor Village’s Tony’s Oyster Bar had closed. We got word this week from reader Barbara Leutner that a former owner has purchased the space and will open Tony’s Tap & Oyster Co. in that same space. According to their social media, they are looking to open next month. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Thanks to a tip from reader Jeanette Hauser, we know that the former  O’Charley’s location in Brier Creek will be razed and an Olive Garden will rise in its place. The directory listing out at Brier Creek confirms this, but no word on a timeline. And speaking of one chain replacing another, we’ve seen no update on the prior news of Panera Bread moving across the street into the former Johnny Carino’s building. Anyone got an update on that?
  • And fast-casual pizza franchise Your Pie just announced a 9-store expansion plan across the Triangle area. All nine locations will be owned by local entrepreneur Efrem Yates, who acquired Your Pie in Cary Village Square Shopping Center this month and is already working toward a new location off Raleigh’s Capital Boulevard, projected to open in April 2020. For his next eight locations, Yates is looking toward Durham and Chapel Hill, as well as Triangle suburbs like Clayton and Knightdale. Get to know Your Pie here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • My wickedly talented daughter Lillian Lennard pointed out on a recent visit to downtown Chapel Hill (for breakfast at Breadmen’s), that Sawasdee Thai Restaurant at 110 N. Columbia Street, is closed for renovations and will reopen as Savor, gluten free eats and treats. No word on an open date (signage indicated September 2019 – but we know how Chapel Hill is). Stay tuned. Not much on the website.
  • WRAL’s Sarah Krueger shared the news this week that Secrets Pho Noodle Bar is coming soon to Ninth Street in the old Saint & Co location. We could not find an online presence, so stay tuned. Thanks Sarah!
  • The folks over at the Best of the Bull tipped us off to the fact that Boricua Soul, who operate a food truck and were one of the first businesses to occupy American Tobacco’s popular PopUp @ ATC space, opened its first-ever brick and mortar restaurant this week. You can find them in the Crowe Lobby (next to Saladelia Cafe). The owners describe the menu as “Puerto Rican inspired soul food.” The chefs have a flair for combining historic ingredients of their African and Carribean roots with nouveau Southern-Latino methods of cooking. Get to know them here.
  • And if that is not enough sweetness for one city, Bites of Bull City also let us know that Durham will get an Insomnia Cookies at 1105 W Main Street (near Brightleaf & Duke) in the Spring of 2020! If you didn’t know, you can get them delivered up until 3 a.m. Not that I know from experience… Get familiar with Insomnia here.
  • The grand opening of Showmars is set for THIS Saturday, November 9th and it will be in Durham’s The Corners at Brier Creek out off Glenwood Avenue in the same shopping center as Harris Teeter. The event will be from 11am-1pm and will include a red carpet entry, a prize wheel with giveaways, DJ and more. A portion of this weekend’s sales will be donated to Make-A-Wish of Eastern North Carolina. Founded in Charlotte in 1982, Showmars serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and their menu features a diverse mix of Greek, Southern and American dishes with signature items including gyros, pita burgers and fresh salads. Familiarize yourself with them here.
  • And finally, a happy 20th anniversary to Carrboro Coffee Roasters’ Open Eye Café in Carrboro. They also operate Caffé Driade in Chapel Hill and distribute their coffee all over the country. Visit them here.

Closings

  • More bad news over on Elliott Road in Chapel Hill – Haw River Grill has closed (this follows the closing of Olio & Aceto and Living Kitchen, the rebrand of Don’s Chicken (now Monterrey Tacos) and word that Jersey Mike’s is moving to Eastgate next month.

Food Trucks 

  •   The final date for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo is THIS weekend, Sunday, November 10th. Get all the details here.

Events

  • The fifth-annual WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards presented by Millennium Buildings launched in a major way. Over 20,000 nominations were made for the area’s best events, restaurants, businesses and more. And thanks to my amazing readers and followers, yours truly (Triangle Food Guy) was nominated for Best Blog AND Best Twitter personality ! But now that I am in the final five, the real work begins! Voting is now open through December 1st and I would greatly appreciate your support! Thanking you in advance. Vote early and vote often!!! Vote here! 
  • If you are looking for the recipe for a perfect fall day, here’s a tip: Salt & Smoke VII presented by chef Kevin Callaghan and his team at ACME is THIS Saturday, November 9th from 1:30 to 6:30 pm. Join the nearly 300 people who’ve already bought their tickets to the seventh annual celebration of southern food and drink and music at the beautiful Rock Quarry Farm in Orange County. Visit their Facebook events page here and get tickets here. Isn’t it time you #GetYourSouthOn? Thanks to the folks over at Taste Carolina for the reminder.
  • The Zen Succulent & Jeddah’s Tea Grand Opening Party is taking place tomorrow, November 9th from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. Join The Zen Succulent and Jeddah’s Tea celebrate the grand openings of their new downtown Durham locations! Lots of vendors and kids’ activities. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • This Sunday, November 10th, the folks over at MOFU Shoppe in downtown Raleigh are hosting a pop-up meal, Get Lao’d for Veterans Suicide Awareness, benefiting Stop Soldier Suicide with an incredible Laos inspired menu from one of MOFU’s own, Dallas Frentz. Dallas is a Purple Heart recipient. Get all the details and reserve your spot here on their Facebook event page.
  • Also this Sunday, November 10th from 12 to 2 p.m. is the annual Triangle Chili Challenge that brings out some of the best restaurants, food trucks, caterers, businesses and organizations as they compete for the title of “Best Chili in the Triangle”. Triangle Chili Challenge will donate a portion of this year’s proceeds to Special Olympics North Carolina. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • November 14th is the date for the next Uninhibited Bourbon & Wine Dinner over at Uninhibited Tapas at 3048 Medlin Drive in Raleigh. Chef Gregory Goldberg’s first one was a huge success and they are looking to build on that with this one. Tickets are $45++ with the bar opening at 6, and the dinner beginning at 7:30. Get all the details on his website here.
  • Now is the time to get tickets to Families Moving Forward’s Chefs for Change Dessert Gala on November 15th at The Rickhouse, where desserts from Durham’s best restaurants, bakeries, and catering companies will be featured. The evening will include local desserts, a silent auction, live entertainment, and the unveiling of our 2020 Chefs for Change Series chef line-up! Sweets aren’t your thing? They’ll have savory dishes as well. Get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Help us set a larger table this year at Thanksgiving! Right now your donation to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina goes twice as far thanks to some very generous matching donors. Right now, every $10 you give will help provide 100 meals for children, hardworking families, and seniors in our community facing hunger this Thanksgiving. Give now — and make twice the difference!

Friday Fun Food Facts – November 1, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The Triangle Explorer and WRAL were the first to share the news that celebrity chef Kenny Gilbert announced plans Thursday to open a restaurant in north Raleigh. Cut & Gather is expected to open at 13100 Falls of Neuse Road in early 2020. The restaurant will feature wood-fired Southern cuisine, including barbecue and seafood. If you are not familiar with Gilbert, he is known for being a fan favorite on season seven of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He was a winner on the Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” and has judged “Chopped Junior.” In addition to cooking at the G8 summit, Gilbert also prepares Oprah Winfrey’s personal holiday meals each year. Start getting familiar with Cut & Gather here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Today is the day! Friday, November 1 marks the opening of the much anticipated kō•än in the former An space in Cary. Sean Degnan, chef Drew Smith and their team are opening the beautiful space today at 2800 Renaissance Park Place. Smith’s menu and vision for kō•än includes an array of small plates meant for sharing like Lobster Gyoza, Steamed Buns and Duck Larb, along with large plates like Singapore Chicken Rice and Yakisoba. Expect to find inventive bowls on the menu as well like the kō•än Ramen and Vietnamese Pho with Wagyu Beef Short Rib. Visit them here.
  • A quick update on the next location of Showmars coming to the Triangle (there is already one in Wake Forest). We got word this week that the grand opening is set for Saturday, November 9th and it will be in Durham’s The Corners at Brier Creek out off Glenwood Avenue in the same shopping center as Harris Teeter. Founded in Charlotte in 1982, Showmars serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and their menu features a diverse mix of Greek, Southern and American dishes with signature items including gyros, pita burgers and fresh salads. Familiarize yourself with them here.
  • Got word this week from Jan Delory that Preeti Waas, who owns Sugar and Spice Kitchen, is opening up a concept called Cheeni in the lobby of the Y building on Fayetteville St where Brew used to be. She will be serving up coffee, chai and tiffin (a light snack or lunch in India) along with offering superfood smoothies and acai bowls by Frameworks Juice Kitchen. They are having a soft opening THIS Sat. Nov 2nd. Keep up with her on Instagram here.
  • Heard from reader Keri Owen that a Cuban restaurant and rum bar called Rumba Cubana is taking over the former Lost Cajun building in Wake Forest. This is being headed up by Randy Hernandez who you may know from Red Monkey Latin Fusion Kitchen. Rumba’s goal is to bring Miami-style Cuban food, drinks, breakfast and nightlife with a fun and exciting experience. No word on an open date. In the meantime, visit Red Monkey here.
  • The folks over at ITB Insider reported that The Flying Mayan plans to open in December at 319 Fayetteville Street in the former Wahlburger’s space. Billing itself as a place where “the Southwest meets the Southeast,” The Flying Mayan specializes in “fresh, made from scratch sauces, salsas, and menu items that have their roots in both regions.” It is being developed by the same team behind the Flying Burrito, located on Grove Barton Road. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Cary, got word from reader Bill Striegel that Amberly Local at 718 Slash Pine Dr. opened last Friday. They feature 24 craft beer taps, wine by the glass and a deli kitchen turning out what looks to be some pretty delicious sandwiches, salads and things like cheese and meat boards. Kid friendly! Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Down in Holly Springs got word from Chris Creighton that a third location of Manhattan Pizza is coming to the shopping center at 4200 Lassiter Road (same shopping center as The Butcher’s Market). They also have two locations in Raleigh. No word on an open date. Check them out here.
  • And finally, a huge kudos to the boys over at Manhattan Cafe in downtown Raleigh. Next week they are celebrating their 5th year of owning Manhattan Cafe….and you are getting the “presents.” Throughout the week they will be celebrating by picking their best seller and offering it for $5. Here’s a quick look so pick your day(s) and take advantage of this opportunity:  Mon- Cajun Chicken Panini; Tue- All Deli Sandwiches; Wed- Salad Bar; Thur- Buffalo Chicken Wrap; and Friday- Philly Friday…….(If weather permits the race car they sponsor will be out front). They are located at 320 S Wilmington St. If you’ve never been before, don’t deprive yourself anymore and get by next week to try their goodies for just $5. Visit them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer shared this week that a new rooftop restaurant is in the works for downtown Durham, coming from the owners of Gonza Tacos y Tequila. Macondo Latin Cuisine, the second concept from Gonza owners Gonza Salamanca and Carlos Rodriguez, will open in the new Longfellow Real Estate high-rise in downtown Durham. This follows on the footsteps of an earlier announcement that they will also open one in Raleigh in the Sojourn Glenwood Place Apartments, just inside the Raleigh Beltline. The Raleigh Macondo will open early next year. The Durham location should open in late 2020. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Down in Chatham County, Neha Shah, director of the county’s visitors bureau, shared with me some exciting news coming to Chatham Park. Shah shared that David Sandeghi will be bringing his Town Hall Burger & Beer and his People’s Coffee to the Mosaic at Chatham Park. Additionally, she shared that Jen Kremer, who owns bagel shops in Philadelphia, will be opening Everything Bagels in Mosaic Park as well. Additionally, Kremer will have a location in the Durham Food Hall. Check out Town Hall here, People’s here and Everything Bagels here.
  • Saw a tweet from the News & Observer’s Drew Jackson that the former County Fare food truck venue at 1920 Chapel Hill Road which has been on the market for a cool $1.75 million, is under contract. The 4,000 square-foot facility with a 1,300 square-foot patio in Durham’s Lakewood neighborhood features six food truck landing pads and a beer garden with outdoor seating. Too early to speculate, but that is a bit exciting. Stay tuned.
  • And finally, last Friday we broke the news that the Yellow House Tacos, a proposed joint venture between the folks at IPIII and Al’s Burger, is no longer on the drawing board. That’s the bad news. The good news is we still get to enjoy the great pie at IPIII and burgers at Al’s. So life is not all bad!

Closings

  • We shared the news last Friday (with tips from a half-dozen readers or so) that the Mellow Mushroom on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street will close this Sunday, November 3.
  • For those down in Fuquay-Varina, you’ll be sad to learn the news that Chris Creighton shared with us that the One Stop Market at the Citgo gas station at 101 Dickins Road has closed. However, rumors are that a Mexican restaurant is going in its place. Stay tuned.

Food Trucks 

Events

  • The fifth-annual WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards presented by Millennium Buildings launched in a major way. Over 20,000 nominations were made for the area’s best events, restaurants, businesses and more. And thanks to my amazing readers and followers, yours truly (Triangle Food Guy) was nominated for Best Blog AND Best Twitter personality ! But now that I am in the final five, the real work begins! Voting is now open through December 1st and I would greatly appreciate your support! Thanking you in advance. Vote early and vote often!!! Vote 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.
  • The folks over at Mandolin Restaurant will hold their Fall Oyster Roast on their farm on Durant Road on Sunday, November 3rd from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. At their traditional North Carolina Oyster Roast, they will be cooking wild NC oysters over an open fire and serving them with the traditional accompaniments and seasonal dishes from our farm. $65 per person includes all food, non-alcoholic beverages, and gratuity. Wine and beer will be available for a supplemental fee. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will hold their Brewer’s Ball on November 8, 2019 from 6:30-10pm at The Rickhouse in Durham. The Ball  is an evening celebrating the Triangle’s “finest” young professionals and features food, beer, live music, live and silent auctions, and a chance to mingle, all while being a part of a great cause: helping move us closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis.  This one-of-a-kind beer tasting event has grown each year with the 2018 event hosting over a dozen different vendors including local craft breweries, and food from several Triangle area restaurants. The event will be capped at 300 people and tickets have sold out every year! Get tickets and details here.
  • If you are looking for the recipe for a perfect fall day, here’s a tip: Salt & Smoke VII presented by chef Kevin Callaghan and his team at ACME on Saturday, November 9th from 1:30 to 6:30 pm. Join the nearly 300 people who’ve already bought their tickets to the seventh annual celebration of southern food and drink and music at the beautiful Rock Quarry Farm in Orange County. Visit their Facebook events page here and get tickets here. Isn’t it time you #GetYourSouthOn? Thanks to the folks over at Taste Carolina for the reminder.
  • On Sunday, November 10th, the folks over at MOFU Shoppe in downtown Raleigh are hosting a pop-up meal, Get Lao’d for Veterans Suicide Awareness, benefiting Stop Soldier Suicide with an incredible Laos inspired menu from one of MOFU’s own, Dallas Frentz. Dallas is a Purple Heart recipient. Get all the details and reserve your spot here on their Facebook event page.
  • Also on Sunday, November 10th from 12 to 2 p.m. is the annual Triangle Chili Challenge that brings out some of the best restaurants, food trucks, caterers, businesses and organizations as they compete for the title of “Best Chili in the Triangle”. Triangle Chili Challenge will donate a portion of this year’s proceeds to Special Olympics North Carolina. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • November 14th is the date for the next Uninhibited Bourbon & Wine Dinner over at Uninhibited Tapas at 3048 Medlin Drive in Raleigh. Chef Gregory Goldberg’s first one was a huge success and they are looking to build on that with this one. Tickets are $45++ with the bar opening at 6, and the dinner beginning at 7:30. Get all the details on his website here.

Food Bank Corner

  • This month, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina launched a new initiative with breweries/bottle shops called Hops Against Hunger. For the entire month of October, breweries, bottle shops and cideries are coming together to raise money to support the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina to help make sure No One Goes Hungry!  Each place has a different promotion, meaning there are lots of great options to enjoy a cold one for a cause! List of participants can be found here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – October 25, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer broke some really big news this week. Brother and sister Vansana (“Van”) and Vanvisa Nolintha will open Luang Prabang (pronounced LWAHNG prah-BAHNG) next year on the ninth floor of The Dillon in downtown Raleigh. As you know the siblings are the life and soul behind Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana and named the new restaurant after their childhood home in Laos. They are joined in the project by Patrick Woodson, their business partner and head brewer in Brewery Bhavana. The Nolinthas and Woodson have planned a restaurant that includes a 5,000-square-foot inside dining room with a cocktail-driven bar and a kitchen fueled by a charcoal grill. There will be an even larger outside terrace bar with a view of downtown Raleigh. Together, the new restaurant will be larger than Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana combined! Luang Prabang is aiming for a fall 2020 opening. In the meantime, visit Bida Manda here and Brewery Bhavana here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Big news out of Cary this week from kō*än. Sean Degnan and chef Drew Smith are now in possession of their Certificate of Occupancy (it is for 368 people for those that are into things like that)! So it is literally any day now for the doors to swing open at 2800 Renaissance Park Place in the former An location. Kō*än’s menu is focused on sharing food that celebrates the unsung heroes of Southeast Asian cuisine. Staying glued to their Instagram here or Facebook page here are probably the best thing to do for the pending announcement (most likely not before November 1). Best to Sean and Drew!
  • Also in Cary, the News & Observer shared exciting news for all the transplanted New Yorkers – Cary developer Chatham Street Commercial purchased a strip shopping center last month with plans to renovate and to add a touch of Brooklyn with one of the tenants being a spin-off from an iconic New York City pizzeria – Di Fara Pizza. They have been open in Brooklyn since 1965 and the New Yorker, The New York Times, Zagat’s and the late chef Anthony Bourdain all calling Di Fara the best pizza in New York. This will be the restaurant’s first East Coast location outside of New York City, confirmed Greg Norton, nephew of Di Fara founder Dom DeMarco. Norton and his wife moved to Cary four years ago. The new Di Fara Pizza, slated for early 2020, will be both a tavern and a pizzeria and will be a separate brand from the original restaurant, though serving pizza in the same family style. Get familiar with them here.
  • And one more bit of Cary news, the Triangle Business Journal shared this week that Cary’s highly anticipated Wegmans-anchored shopping center — known as Fenton (Cary Towne Boulevard at Interstate 40) — will include the six-screen, 35,000-square-foot, luxury dine-in theater CineBistro. The theater’s dining options will include and a menu of small plates, entrees and desserts, making use of local, seasonal ingredients, as well as a wide selection of wines, liquors and cocktails. Look for it to open sometime in 2021. Until they open the second one, you can visit their current location in Cary’s Waverly Place.
  • A slight update since last week as we learned that Rosewater Kitchen & Bar will open on Tuesday, October 29 at 5 p.m. Rosewater is the newest concept from the Giorgios Group, and will be located in the Park District at North Hills, in the old Bruegger’s space. It will be a full-service restaurant that offers grab-and-go options during breakfast and lunch hours, a weekend brunch, and a seated dinner service that transforms the space into “the piazza where people gather to exchange laughter, bites, and great cocktails and wine…a true gathering center. Keep up with any announcements/changes on their Facebook page here.
  • WRAL shared the news this week that after two years of serving coffee at a booth at the State Farmers Market, 321 Coffee, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is looking to open a storefront in downtown Raleigh. Until then, you can visit 321 Coffee at the State Farmers Market on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get to know them here.
  • Out in Brier Creek, reader Jennifer Buchholz noticed that Fujisan Steakhouse is now Umami Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi. It is nestled between Azitra and Noodles & Company. You can visit their website here.
  • Down in Apex, reader Scott Eaton shared two bits of exciting news. Looks like a new place is coming to the former Peak City Grille location called The Peak on Salem. And according to the folks over at Peak City Podcast, it is under the ownership from the folks behind Jimmy V’s Steakhouse & Tavern. Thanks also to reader Mike Fleer for providing some early insight into this story. And right next door (124 N. Salem St.) a new place called Mission Market is opening soon…looks like coffee, wine, etc. owned by Kyle and Megan Denis. Their Facebook page says they are opening in October (so any day now). We couldn’t find an online presence for The Peak, so visit Jimmy V’s here and visit Mission Market here.
  • North Carolina chef and PBS star Vivian Howard is raising money to help an Ocracoke restaurant recover from Hurricane Dorian. Howard, host of the award-winning PBS show, “A Chef’s Life,” is selling super soft gray short sleeve shirts emblazoned with the saying “One Island Under Tacos” on her website to benefit Eduardo Chavez’s beloved Ocracoke establishment Eduardo’s taco stand. Each t-shirt costs $25 plus shipping. The shirts are on sale until midnight Oct. 25 (that’s tonight!) and will ship starting on Nov. 15. All proceeds will be donated directly to Eduardo Chavez for the purpose of rebuilding his business. Get your shirts here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Learned from the folks over at Bites of Bull City that there is now a Chick-fil-A kiosk in American Tobacco Campus. You can find it inside the Diamond View III building (next to the Durham Bulls park, by the bull sign). Get your fix for the next 6 months (except on Sundays).
  • And we noticed a sign for Jersey Mike’s joining the line-up at Eastgate Crossing in Chapel Hill. A quick check-in with the boys Clint Winslow and Charlie Ferris confirmed that they are simply moving their Elliott Road Jersey Mike’s location over to Eastgate. While an exact timeline is not finalized, look for the move to be completed sometime around year’s end. Visit Jersey Mike’s here.

Closings

  • None to report…keeping eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  •  The folks over at EatRaleigh notified us that a new barbecue truck, And Also With Cue, is rolling into the Triangle. It is a social enterprise in partnership with the First Baptist Church, where every purchased meal equals a barbecue sandwich for a person in need. Their grand opening will be THIS Sunday, October 27th. Get to know them here.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo happens THIS Sunday, October 27th from 12-4pm at 405 S. Brooks St. downtown Wake Forest! Just about everything and anything that is served from the back of a truck will be featured from savory food and dessert vendors. In addition, a beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl, live music, a variety of craft vendors, and a Kid’s Zone. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.

Events

  • The fifth-annual WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards presented by Millennium Buildings launched in a major way. Over 20,000 nominations were made for the area’s best events, restaurants, businesses and more. And thanks to my amazing readers and followers, yours truly (Triangle Food Guy) was nominated for Best Blog AND Best Twitter personality ! But now that I am in the final five, the real work begins! Voting is now open through December 1st and I would greatly appreciate your support! Thanking you in advance. Vote early and vote often!!! Vote here!
  • The folks over at The Beltline Buzz reminded us that the 5th Annual NC Wine Festival is Saturday, Oct 26 at the Coastal Credit Union Midtown Park at North Hills. Enjoy the best from NC award-winning wines, breweries, spirits, and ciders paired up with chef-inspired treats. Enjoy tasting more than 100 different varieties of North Carolina wines from sweet to dry. Once your glass is filled groove to the music from live bands, grab a bite from food vendors and enjoy browsing the exhibitor’s tents for treasures. General Admission ticket holders will receive a commemorative wine tasting glass, unlimited wine tastings and entertainment throughout the day with three live bands. Gates open at 12:00 noon and it goes until 6 p.m. Tickets here and website 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.
  • The folks over at Mandolin Restaurant will hold their Fall Oyster Roast on their farm on Durant Road on Sunday, November 3rd from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. At their traditional North Carolina Oyster Roast, they will be cooking wild NC oysters over an open fire and serving them with the traditional accompaniments and seasonal dishes from our farm. $65 per person includes all food, non-alcoholic beverages, and gratuity. Wine and beer will be available for a supplemental fee. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will hold their Brewer’s Ball on November 8, 2019 from 6:30-10pm at The Rickhouse in Durham. The Ball  is an evening celebrating the Triangle’s “finest” young professionals and features food, beer, live music, live and silent auctions, and a chance to mingle, all while being a part of a great cause: helping move us closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis.  This one-of-a-kind beer tasting event has grown each year with the 2018 event hosting over a dozen different vendors including local craft breweries, and food from several Triangle area restaurants. The event will be capped at 300 people and tickets have sold out every year! Get tickets and details here.
  • If you are looking for the recipe for a perfect fall day, here’s a tip: Salt & Smoke VII presented by chef Kevin Callaghan and his team at ACME on Saturday, November 9th from 1:30 to 6:30 pm. Join the nearly 300 people who’ve already bought their tickets to the seventh annual celebration of southern food and drink and music at the beautiful Rock Quarry Farm in Orange County. Visit their Facebook events page here and get tickets here. Isn’t it time you #GetYourSouthOn? Thanks to the folks over at Taste Carolina for the reminder.
  • Sunday, November 10th from 12 to 2 p.m. is the annual Triangle Chili Challenge that brings out some of the best restaurants, food trucks, caterers, businesses and organizations as they compete for the title of “Best Chili in the Triangle”. Triangle Chili Challenge will donate a portion of this year’s proceeds to Special Olympics North Carolina. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • November 14th is the date for the next Uninhibited Bourbon & Wine Dinner over at Uninhibited Tapas at 3048 Medlin Drive in Raleigh. Chef Gregory Goldberg’s first one was a huge success and they are looking to build on that with this one. Tickets are $45++ with the bar opening at 6, and the dinner beginning at 7:30. Get all the details on his website here.

Food Bank Corner

  • This month, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina launched a new initiative with breweries/bottle shops called Hops Against Hunger. For the entire month of October, breweries, bottle shops and cideries are coming together to raise money to support the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina to help make sure No One Goes Hungry!  Each place has a different promotion, meaning there are lots of great options to enjoy a cold one for a cause! List of participants can be found here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – October 18, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The folks over at NC Triangle Dining shared the news that Rosewater Kitchen & Bar has announced their opening date of Tuesday, October 29. Rosewater is the newest concept from the Giorgios Group, and will be located in the Park District at North Hills, in the old Bruegger’s space. It will be a full-service restaurant that offers grab-and-go options during breakfast and lunch hours, a weekend brunch, and a seated dinner service that transforms the space into “the piazza where people gather to exchange laughter, bites, and great cocktails and wine…a true gathering center.” Keep up with any announcements/changes on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The State Fair is here through Oct 27 in Raleigh so go ahead and load up on Pepto-Bismol and coat your stomach before you go. Yes they will have all the food classics, but new this year includes delights like: JoCo HoHo (basically a jalapeno popper on a stick with brisket); Neomonde’s Loaded Lamb Nachos (complete with shawarma spiced ground lamb simmered with onions on a bed of pita chips and topped with fresh pico, feta cheese and harissa yogurt sauce); Cookie Dough on a Cone; Reese’s Donuts; Pumpkin Spice Hushpuppies; and The Chickenator (a fried chicken sandwich served inside a cinnamon bun). And don’t forget the Weekday Lunch Pass Program – on weekdays only, enter Gate 9 off Trinity Road, or Gate 1 off Hillsborough Street after 11:30 a.m., pay $10 cash, stuff yourself silly, return before 1:30 pm and get your $10 back. Remember, weekdays only and only at those gates. Get ALL the details at their website here.
  • Reader Ellen Norris let us know that the brother/sister team of Ben and Holly Schultz are holding a grand opening celebration all weekend (October 18-20) of their new restaurant SmokeStacks Cafe at 701 E Lane St. in Raleigh. SmokeStacks offers specialty dishes made from fresh ingredients and smoked meats. The food promotes an eclectic twist on popular North Carolina dishes as well as some international cuisine.  The menu changes with the seasons and offers daily specials. Keep up with them on Instagram here.
  • The folks over at ITB Insider brought it to our attention that The Cookie People (Darrin and April Morey), who have been baking cookies for people throughout the Triangle area since 2008, have signed a lease for a brick and mortar location in York Properties’ Mission Valley. Perhaps you have visited their food truck or tasted their goodies at the NC Farmers’ Market or the Raleigh Downtown Market. No word yet on a timeline, but keep up with them here.
  • In Cary, reader Chris Creighton notified us that a new restaurant is coming to the old Sweet Tomatoes location at 2310 Walnut Street called Seol Grille, an all-you-can-eat Korean steak house. Not much on their Facebook page at this point, but it does indicate they are looking to open this fall.
  • Down in Knightdale, Rebecca Lassiter notified me that Lassiter Distilling Company, a rum distillery that has been open for 3 years, just opened the doors to their tiki bar called The Cove on First. They are hosting a Grand Opening Bash this Saturday, October 19 from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • If you are flying in and out of RDU’s Terminal 2, expect some changes in your dining options according to the Triangle Business Journal. They noted upcoming changes courtesy of a new-to-RDU concessionaire, Vendor Areas USA. The changes are as follows:  Carolina Ale House becomes Cantina Grill; Bruegger’s Bagels stays Bruegger’s Bagels (just under the Areas umbrella); A&W All American Food becomes Asian restaurant Wow Bao (which offers steamed dumplings); California Pizza Kitchen stays California Pizza Kitchen (just under the Areas umbrella – and with the addition of a “full breakfast”); Brookwood Farms becomes Deli & Co.; Gordon Biersch becomes Bond Brothers Brewery (with beer from the Cary brewery); Carolina Vintages becomes Raleigh Taproom (“This is a spinoff of Raleigh Brewing Tavern… that is being planned for Terminal 1”); and Flavours becomes healthy concept Rush Bowls (frozen yogurt with options for fresh fruit, vegetables and granola). The new concepts will open by Jan. 12 of 2020, and have 16-month terms. Keep up with the changes as they go live here
  • North Carolina chef and PBS star Vivian Howard is raising money to help an Ocracoke restaurant recover from Hurricane Dorian. Howard, host of the award-winning PBS show, “A Chef’s Life,” is selling super soft gray short sleeve shirts emblazoned with the saying “One Island Under Tacos” on her website to benefit Eduardo Chavez’s beloved Ocracoke establishment Eduardo’s taco stand. As the eye of Hurricane Dorian moved past Ocracoke, water rushed into the village rising seven feet in two hours and three feet of storm surge hit Eduardo’s taco, knocking it off its foundation. Refrigeration and walk-in coolers were ruined and infrastructure around the truck was damaged beyond repair. The food truck is a total loss. Chavez’s home also received 20 inches of flooding. Each t-shirt costs $25 plus shipping. The shirts are on sale until midnight Oct. 25 and will ship starting on Nov. 15. All proceeds will be donated directly to Eduardo Chavez for the purpose of rebuilding his business. Get your shirts here.
  • Triangle Business Journal reported this week that after more than four decades (since 1977) serving Mediterranean fare to customers in the Triangle, Neomonde’s co-founder and longtime leader Samir “Sam” Saleh is stepping down. Blannie Cheng Miller, who had previously worked with the company as general counsel and corporate strategy adviser, will take on the role of president in September, while Samir continues as chair of the board. You won’t find a kinder person than Samir Saleh, and we wish him all the best in his new role and look forward to the direction Miller takes this beloved Triangle institution. Visit Neomonde here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Chatham County, I’m a little late to report this, but popular food truck Tacos Michoacan has opened a brick-and-mortar location at 440 East Street in Pittsboro, in the former Bella Donna/Pizza Hut location. Visit them on Facebook here.

Closings

  • Reader Chris Creighton noticed an “Available” sign out in front of the Eastern Gate Cafe that had moved into the former Applebee’s location at the corner of Hillsborough and Gorman streets.
  • Creighton also notified us that the Cary Crossroads location of Ruby Tuesday has closed.
  • And over in Chapel Hill, buddy Clint Winslow notified me that the short ‘experiment’ to reopen the Living Kitchen location has ended. They have closed permanently this time.

Food Trucks 

  •  The folks over at EatRaleigh notified us that a new barbecue truck, And Also With Cue, is rolling into the Triangle. It is a social enterprise in partnership with the First Baptist Church, where every purchased meal equals a barbecue sandwich for a person in need. Their grand opening will be on October 27th. Get to know them here.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo happens Sunday, October 27th from 12-4pm at 405 S. Brooks St. downtown Wake Forest! Just about everything and anything that is served from the back of a truck will be featured from savory food and dessert vendors. In addition, a beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl, live music, a variety of craft vendors, and a Kid’s Zone. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.

Events

  • Thanks to Triangle Explorer John Huisman, we know that tonight (Friday, October 18) from 5:30 – 8:30pm, Triangle residents can enjoy a rare opportunity to taste wines with a Master Sommelier while they enjoy delicious Korean food from the popular NC Bulkogi Food Truck. This fun, free wine tasting is a casual event hosted by The Raleigh Wine Shop on Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh. Master Sommelier Desmond Echavarrie will be on hand pouring a lineup of select premium California producers while the Bulkogi food truck will be posted up in the parking lot selling delicious Korean dishes. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Triangle Oktoberfest, a two-day beer, food and music festival celebrating German culture and benefiting local and international charities, will hold its 6th annual event on Friday, October 18, from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, October 19, from noon to 9 p.m. at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The festival is organized by Apex Sunrise and Cary MacGregor Rotary Clubs in collaboration with the Town of Cary. Get all the details here.
  • On Wednesday, October 23rd, Walter Magazine will host Taste of the Wild in Transfer Co’s brand new event space honoring the outdoors with a locally-sourced dinner. Locals Oyster Bar and Longleaf Swine BBQ are joined by Fullsteam Brewing and Wye Hill Brewery to discuss sustainability, wild-foraged ingredients and the importance of eating local. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a three-course dinner, beer and wine pairings, along with signature cocktails. Get all the details and sign-up for the event here.
  • The folks over at The Beltline Buzz reminded us that the 5th Annual NC Wine Festival is Saturday, Oct 26 at the Coastal Credit Union Midtown Park at North Hills. Enjoy the best from NC award-winning wines, breweries, spirits, and ciders paired up with chef-inspired treats. Enjoy tasting more than 100 different varieties of North Carolina wines from sweet to dry. Once your glass is filled groove to the music from live bands, grab a bite from food vendors and enjoy browsing the exhibitor’s tents for treasures. General Admission ticket holders will receive a commemorative wine tasting glass, unlimited wine tastings and entertainment throughout the day with three live bands. Gates open at 12:00 noon and it goes until 6 p.m. Tickets here and website 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.
  • The folks over at Mandolin Restaurant will hold their Fall Oyster Roast on their farm on Durant Road on Sunday, November 3rd from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. At their traditional North Carolina Oyster Roast, they will be cooking wild NC oysters over an open fire and serving them with the traditional accompaniments and seasonal dishes from our farm. $65 per person includes all food, non-alcoholic beverages, and gratuity. Wine and beer will be available for a supplemental fee. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will hold their Brewer’s Ball on November 8, 2019 from 6:30-10pm at The Rickhouse in Durham. The Ball  is an evening celebrating the Triangle’s “finest” young professionals and features food, beer, live music, live and silent auctions, and a chance to mingle, all while being a part of a great cause: helping move us closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis.  This one-of-a-kind beer tasting event has grown each year with the 2018 event hosting over a dozen different vendors including local craft breweries, and food from several Triangle area restaurants. The event will be capped at 300 people and tickets have sold out every year! Get tickets and details here.
  • If you are looking for the recipe for a perfect fall day, here’s a tip: Salt & Smoke VII presented by chef Kevin Callaghan and his team at ACME on Saturday, November 9th from 1:30 to 6:30 pm. Join the nearly 300 people who’ve already bought their tickets to the seventh annual celebration of southern food and drink and music at the beautiful Rock Quarry Farm in Orange County. Visit their Facebook events page here and get tickets here. Isn’t it time you #GetYourSouthOn? Thanks to the folks over at Taste Carolina for the reminder.
  • Sunday, November 10th from 12 to 2 p.m. is the annual Triangle Chili Challenge that brings out some of the best restaurants, food trucks, caterers, businesses and organizations as they compete for the title of “Best Chili in the Triangle”. Triangle Chili Challenge will donate a portion of this year’s proceeds to Special Olympics North Carolina. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.

Food Bank Corner

  • We mentioned the NC State Fair above, but don’t forget that Food Lion Hunger Relief Day at the N.C. State Fair is Thursday, October 24. Bring six (6) cans of Food Lion brand food to the N.C. State Fair on Thursday, October 24, and exchange them at any gate for one (1) free admission ticket. Since 1993, more than 5 million pounds of food have been donated by fairgoers to feed neighbors in need. Get all the details here on their Facebook events page.

Friday Fun Food Facts – October 11, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Andrea Weigl shared the great news yesterday that executive chef and owner Matt Kelly plans to reopen Saint James Seafood in January 2020. The restaurant has been closed since a nearby natural gas explosion on April 10, 2019 in Durham’s Brightleaf Historic District. Kelly’s restaurant was one of several businesses closed in the aftermath of the explosion that injured 25 people and took the lives of two people – Kaffeinate Coffee Shop owner Kong Lee and Jay Rambeaut, a gas company worker. Kelly also owns four other restaurants in Durham – Vin Rouge, Mateo, Mothers & Sons Trattoria and Lucky’s Delicatessen. Re-familiarize yourself with Saint James, which had arguably become the Triangle’s top seafood restaurant, here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The State Fair is coming up Oct 17-27 in Raleigh so go ahead and load up on Pepto-Bismol and coat your stomach before you go. Yes they will have all the food classics, but new this year includes delights like: JoCo HoHo (basically a jalapeno popper on a stick with brisket); Neomonde’s Loaded Lamb Nachos (complete with shawarma spiced ground lamb simmered with onions on a bed of pita chips and topped with fresh pico, feta cheese and harissa yogurt sauce); Cookie Dough on a Cone; Reese’s Donuts; Pumpkin Spice Hushpuppies; and The Chickenator (a fried chicken sandwich served inside a cinnamon bun). And don’t forget the Weekday Lunch Pass Program – on weekdays only, enter Gate 9 off Trinity Road, or Gate 1 off Hillsborough Street after 11:30 a.m., pay $10 cash, stuff yourself silly, return before 1:30 pm and get your $10 back. Remember, weekdays only and only at those gates. Get ALL the details at their website here.
  • The News & Observer reported that one of the most memorable contestants in the history of “Top Chef”Bravo’s culinary reality competition – is opening a restaurant in downtown Raleigh. Chef Katsuji Tanabe plans to open a live-fire restaurant later this year in Raleigh’s City Market. The unnamed restaurant will be around the corner from MOFU Shoppe, moving into the space at 208 Wolfe St. Tanabe, his wife and two children are moving from Los Angeles to make Raleigh their full-time home. The Mexico-born chef has six other restaurants spread out around the country – in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and California. The name is still being developed, and Tanabe declined to put an opening timeline in place, but he hopes to start serving by the end of 2019. Stay tuned.
  • Saw a tweet from John Johnston that Denver-based Snooze Eatery is bringing their concept to Raleigh in the Midtown East project (i.e. Wegman’s). They tout themselves  on taking creative twists on America’s favorite breakfast classics in a casual, friendly and vibrant atmosphere. This will be their first Triangle-area location. No word yet on an open date, but I guess now is a good time to get to know them.
  • In Cary reader Julia Ray shared that she saw a sign for The Parkway Tavern at 982 High House Road in Cary in the former Ledo Pizza & Pasta spot next to Thai Spices and Sushi. We were unable to find an online presence for them nor an estimated open date. Stay tuned and thanks Julia!
  • I saw a notice on Facebook that Sugar Magnolia Cafe & Emporium and Magnolia Roots Music Lounge up in Wake Forest is now under new ownership. Husband and wife team of John and Amy Stephens, residents of Wake Forest, recently took over the reigns. They closed this past Wednesday to make some updates/changes, but are now reopen and waiting to see you! Visit them here.
  • Over in Apex, friend Keri McCauley (inadvertently) notified me that Wake Zone Coffee House opened their second location back on September 8th on Olive Chapel Road in the Publix shopping center. Their original location is also in Apex on Old Jenks Road. Wake Zone is owned by husband and wife team Paul and Marianne Peterson. Get to know them here.
  • And down in Knightdale, reader Peter Ansbacher shared with us that Saltgrass Steak House has opened their newest location at 6601 Knightdale Blvd. in the Shoppes Midway Plantation. Their menu features certified Angus beef steaks, seafood and homemade desserts. The Knightdale restaurant opens at 11 a.m., seven days a week and closes at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Saltgrass has over 86 locations throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas. Get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Got word from reader Jennifer Buchholz that a second Triangle location of Showmars is on the way – the next will be in Durham’s The Corners at Brier Creek out off Glenwood Avenue in the same shopping center as Harris Teeter. Founded in Charlotte in 1982, Showmars serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and their menu features a diverse mix of Greek, Southern and American dishes with signature items including gyros, pita burgers and fresh salads. The other Triangle area location is in Wake Forest on Stadium Drive. No word yet on the open date for Brier Creek. Learn more about Showmars here.
  • Reader Glenn Gillen shared that he was recently in the Woodcroft Shopping Center in Durham and noticed that GG Fish and Chicken is now open. There is also a GG Fish and Chicken on Fayetteville Street in Durham, but I was unable to determine if they are related (I would think they are). Visit them on Facebook here.

Closings

  • Got word from WRAL viewer Barbie Izlar that Chapel Hill’s Olio & Aceto Cafe has closed indefinitely after owner/chef Suzie Keenan lost her mother and business partner Glenda to cancer. Our prayers are with Suzie and her family in this difficult time. Their sister store, Blue Sky Oil & Vinegar, will continue to operate. Visit them here.

Food Trucks 

  • My great friend Mary Crist notified me that a father and son team of John and Mike Cline are bringing a new food venture called Carolina Crust to the Triangle. It will be a wood fired pizza, beer and food truck catering corporate events, weddings, parties, etc. But this isn’t your “typical” truck – it is a beautifully restored, vintage 1950s truck that you really need to see. Check out the pictures on the website here.
  • The folks over at EatRaleigh notified us that a new barbecue truck, And Also With Cue, is rolling into the Triangle. It is a social enterprise in partnership with the First Baptist Church, where every purchased meal equals a barbecue sandwich for a person in need. Their grand opening will be on October 27th. Get to know them here.
  • Got word from the folks over at Bites of Bull City that the streets of the Triangle will soon have a hand-crafted churros truck called Mama Churros rolling around soon! If you are like me and can’t wait, visit their Facebook page here to learn all about them and their pending announcement.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo happens Sunday, October 27th from 12-4pm at 405 S. Brooks St. downtown Wake Forest! Just about everything and anything that is served from the back of a truck will be featured from savory food and dessert vendors. In addition, a beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl, live music, a variety of craft vendors, and a Kid’s Zone. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.

Events

  • It is that time of year again…time to nominate your favorite people and businesses for the 2019 WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards. There are a ton of areas/categories, but of course our favorite is the Food & Drink category where you can nominate everything from your favorite deli to your favorite watering hole. You can also nominate things like your favorite Twitter personality (cough, cough) your favorite blogger (again, cough, cough) or your favorite caterer (boy, this cough is bad). Nominations will close on the morning of Oct. 14. The finalists will be revealed on Oct. 21 and voting will be open through Dec. 1. Winners will be announced on Jan. 9, 2020, at a cocktail event for finalists. Start your voting here.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, reminded us that the annual Beericana festival is THIS Saturday, October 12th at Sugg Farm Park in Holly Springs. The event is from noon until 6 p.m. and features nearly 70 breweries (count at this point). It is a craft beer and music festival that brings great beer from breweries from across the state of North Carolina (and some from beyond) for attendees to enjoy. Tickets are $45, or $75 for VIP (2 hour early access). Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also THIS Saturday, October 12th is Durham Bowls, a project pairing local chefs with school nutrition managers to develop new, delicious, and “school food”-compliant recipes for school lunch, are hosting their 2nd annual Durham Bowls Food Fest on October 12th at the Scrap Exchange in Durham. Tickets ($6 and $3) include a tasting of each of the 10 new recipes, a chance to vote for the People’s Choice award, live music, lots of great organizations tabling, and more. It’s super fun, and people leave full! Get your tickets and all the details here.
  • Another option for you for this Saturday, October 12th is the 4th Annual NC Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival at LaFayette Village in Raleigh. The event allows you to taste local and regional chocolates and cheeses that will make your palate scream with delight! A variety of wines will be showcased from different regions of Italy, Spain, France and the US. We’ll also include some NC favorites to show some “Local Love.” Get tickets and all the details here.
  • And one last event for you to consider for Saturday, October 12th is the Sir Walter Raleigh Smoke-Off. Join us at R&D Brewery for a day of barbecue, music and cold beverages. Over a dozen professional BBQ Teams will compete for the coveted Sir Walter Smoke-Off Golden Pig Trophy and up to $1,000 in prize money. Buy your tickets, then bring your picnic blankets and camping chairs, and we’ll take care of the rest. Your Pork Passport will let you sample BBQ from each of our competitors while supplies last, and then cast your vote for the People’s Choice. General Admission is also FREE when you bring $15 worth of non-perishable food items for the Eastern Food Bank North Carolina. Get all the details here.
  • On Tuesday, October 15th Katie Parla is traveling to Coronato in Carrboro for a special collaborative pizza party with chef-owner Teddy Diggs. Parla is a Rome-based food and beverage educator and journalist who came out with a cookbook earlier this year, “Food of the Italian South.” In her book, 85 authentic recipes and 100 stunning photographs capture the cultural and cooking traditions of the Italian South, from the mountains to the coast. During the upcoming dinner, Parla and Diggs will be serving delicious dishes from her book or inspired by the Italian South. Get the menu and all the details here.
  • 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 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.
  • Triangle Oktoberfest, a two-day beer, food and music festival celebrating German culture and benefiting local and international charities, will hold its 6th annual event on Friday, October 18, from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, October 19, from noon to 9 p.m. at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The festival is organized by Apex Sunrise and Cary MacGregor Rotary Clubs in collaboration with the Town of Cary. Get all the details here.
  • On Wednesday, October 23rd, Walter Magazine will host Taste of the Wild in Transfer Co’s brand new event space honoring the outdoors with a locally-sourced dinner. Locals Oyster Bar and Longleaf Swine BBQ are joined by Fullsteam Brewing and Wye Hill Brewery to discuss sustainability, wild-foraged ingredients and the importance of eating local. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a three-course dinner, beer and wine pairings, along with signature cocktails. Get all the details and sign-up for the event 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.
  • The folks over at Mandolin Restaurant will hold their Fall Oyster Roast on their farm on Durant Road on Sunday, November 3rd from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. At their traditional North Carolina Oyster Roast, they will be cooking wild NC oysters over an open fire and serving them with the traditional accompaniments and seasonal dishes from our farm. $65 per person includes all food, non-alcoholic beverages, and gratuity. Wine and beer will be available for a supplemental fee. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will hold their Brewer’s Ball on November 8, 2019 from 6:30-10pm at The Rickhouse in Durham. The Ball  is an evening celebrating the Triangle’s “finest” young professionals and features food, beer, live music, live and silent auctions, and a chance to mingle, all while being a part of a great cause: helping move us closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis.  This one-of-a-kind beer tasting event has grown each year with the 2018 event hosting over a dozen different vendors including local craft breweries, and food from several Triangle area restaurants. The event will be capped at 300 people and tickets have sold out every year! Get tickets and details here.
  • If you are looking for the recipe for a perfect fall day, here’s a tip: Salt & Smoke VII presented by chef Kevin Callaghan and his team at ACME on Saturday, November 9th from 1:30 to 6:30 pm. Join the nearly 300 people who’ve already bought their tickets to the seventh annual celebration of southern food and drink and music at the beautiful Rock Quarry Farm in Orange County. Visit their Facebook events page here and get tickets here. Isn’t it time you #GetYourSouthOn? Thanks to the folks over at Taste Carolina for the reminder.
  • Sunday, November 10th from 12 to 2 p.m. is the annual Triangle Chili Challenge that brings out some of the best restaurants, food trucks, caterers, businesses and organizations as they compete for the title of “Best Chili in the Triangle”. Triangle Chili Challenge will donate a portion of this year’s proceeds to Special Olympics North Carolina. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.

Food Bank Corner

  • We mentioned the NC State Fair above, but don’t forget that Food Lion Hunger Relief Day at the N.C. State Fair is Thursday, October 24. Bring six (6) cans of Food Lion brand food to the N.C. State Fair on Thursday, October 24, and exchange them at any gate for one (1) free admission ticket. Since 1993, more than 5 million pounds of food have been donated by fairgoers to feed neighbors in need. Get all the details here on their Facebook events page.

Friday Fun Food Facts – October 4, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  The State Fair is coming up Oct 17-27 in Raleigh so go ahead and load up on Pepto-Bismol and coat your stomach before you go. Yes they will have all the food classics, but new this year includes delights like: JoCo HoHo (basically a jalapeno popper on a stick with brisket); Neomonde’s Loaded Lamb Nachos (complete with shawarma spiced ground lamb simmered with onions on a bed of pita chips and topped with fresh pico, feta cheese and harissa yogurt sauce); Cookie Dough on a Cone; Reese’s Donuts; Pumpkin Spice Hushpuppies; and The Chickenator (a fried chicken sandwich served inside a cinnamon bun). And don’t forget the Weekday Lunch Pass Program – on weekdays only, enter Gate 9 off Trinity Road, or Gate 1 off Hillsborough Street after 11:30 a.m., pay $10 cash, stuff yourself silly, return before 1:30 pm and get your $10 back. Remember, weekdays only and only at those gates. Get ALL the details at their website here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • If you find yourself out in Wendell, do yourself a favor and pay a visit to the newest dining option out that way. It is called Farmhouse Cafe and is the creation of chef Patrick Cowden and Daniel Whittaker who also own and operate downtown Raleigh’s Pharmacy Cafe and Green Planet Catering. The cafe features Smørrebrød,’ which is a type of Danish open-face sandwich. The cafe is in a large community center building at the Wendell Falls development and is open to the public. Even if you don’t find yourself in Wendell, I’d suggest it is worth the drive. See for yourself here.
  • Reader Mike Brown shared with us via Twitter that Fogata Brava Grill and Tequila at Plantation Point shopping center in Raleigh near the intersection of US1 and 540 has re-opened as Mariscos Nayarit, featuring seafood dishes. Visit them on Facebook here.
  • And got word via Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email that Ashley Christensen’s Poole’side Pies is now open 7 days a week, from 5 pm until 11 pm. Pizza every day? It doesn’t get better than that. Get to know them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Reader J. Norris shared with us that with a fresh coat of paint and a new sign above the door, Moe’s Original Bar B Que looks poised to open in the former Blu Seafood building at 2002 Hillsborough Rd. in Durham, just west of Ninth Street and elbow-to-elbow with Vin Rouge. Moe’s sprung up in Tuscaloosa in the late ’80s, and now has about 60 locations – mostly in the Southeast, but as far-flung as Maine, California, and Mexico City. Looks like probably counter service, with a menu featuring pork, chicken, turkey, ribs, shrimp and catfish. Norris also noted they may be a ways from opening and they aren’t even listed on the restaurant website here.
  • The News & Observer delivered the difficult news this week that the downtown Durham, Southpoint and Carrboro locations of Rise Southern Biscuits and Righteous Chicken had discontinued with doughnuts altogether. The new menu focuses on the savory side of breakfast, with biscuit sandwiches, many featuring a boneless piece of fried chicken. There are a few sweet biscuits, with blueberries, strawberries or cinnamon, but no doughnuts to be found. There is a new build your own biscuit section of the menu. Visit their site here.
  • And a reminder from our friends over at Bites of Bull City that this weekend is the grand opening of Crafts and Drafts NC in North Durham at 3117 Guess Road from noon until 10 pm. They will have $5 off all craft kits and will have Pancho’s Tacos Y Tortas there on Saturday from 3:30 to 10 pm. This is the perfect spot to meet up for fun, causal D.I.Y. crafting projects while enjoying a local beer, glass of cider or wine. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • And speaking of Bites of Bull City, they reminded us that we forgot to give a very well-deserved congratulations to Sister Liu’s and M Tempura for having been nominated for Bon Appetit’s “Best New Restaurants 2019.” A well-deserved honor for two of Durham’s (once) hidden gems. Visit Sister Liu’s here and M Tempura here.

Closings

  • Got word from the folks over at Offline Raleigh that Cocoa Forte has sadly closed their cheesecake stand at Morgan Street Food Hall. But, they still have their truck. Keep up with them here.

Food Trucks 

  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo happens Sunday, October 27th from 12-4pm at 405 S. Brooks St. downtown Wake Forest! Just about everything and anything that is served from the back of a truck will be featured from savory food and dessert vendors. In addition, a beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl, live music, a variety of craft vendors, and a Kid’s Zone. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • The last 2019 Durham Food Truck Rodeo is November 3! Get all the details here. And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: THIS Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm; and the make-up date on November 10th. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  • It is that time of year again…time to nominate your favorite people and businesses for the 2019 WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards. There are a ton of areas/categories, but of course our favorite is the Food & Drink category where you can nominate everything from your favorite deli to your favorite watering hole. You can also nominate things like your favorite Twitter personality (cough, cough) your favorite blogger (again, cough, cough) or your favorite caterer (boy, this cough is bad). Nominations will close on the morning of Oct. 14. The finalists will be revealed on Oct. 21 and voting will be open through Dec. 1. Winners will be announced on Jan. 9, 2020, at a cocktail event for finalists. Start your voting here.
  • The Root Cellar Cafe & Catering will host the 8th annual Porkapalooza Festival at its Chapel Hill restaurant on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. The eagerly anticipated porktastic farm dinner will offer eight small plate courses, featuring locally raised pork from Burnette Ranch in Pittsboro and handcrafted beers from Fuquay-Varina’s Mason Jar Lager Co. This is the 8th anniversary of what has become one of the signature food events in North Carolina. Tickets for Porkapalooza include all food and drink and are $69. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • October 5th is the second annual Festa Italiana Raleigh from 12 to 8 p.m. It is a celebration of Italian culture, wine and food! Location: 609 Tucker St (corner of Tucker and N. Boylan). Get all the details here.
  • St. Ann Church in Clayton will host their 11th International Food Festival on October 5th from 11-6 p.m. featuring foods from 20 countries prepared by parishioners. The family friendly event also includes live international entertainment on stage, children’s games and a silent auction. Admission and parking are free. Get all the details here.
  • Also on October 5th, Big Boss Brewing Company will host the 9th Annual Casktoberfest, a mashup of old world beer cultures where European style festival traditions collide and the brewery is transformed into a traditional beer hall while serving a variety of specialty cask ale. This is a pay as you go event, no advance purchase or ticket is required. Taproom opens at 3pm,  “Beer Hall” opens at 5pm. Big Boss is located at 1249 Wicker Drive in Raleigh. Get all the details here.
  • This Saturday at Dix Park (Flowers Field) is the Raleigh Tamale Festival from 2 ’til 6 pm. The event is free and open to the public with activities such as authentic performances from local groups, games and inflatables for the kids, Latin dance lessons and local art exhibits along with informational and retail vendors. As for the tamales, there will be a food truck & amateur tamale competition to crown the ‘best tamale in Raleigh’ and, of course, a wide variety of tamales available to purchase representing many different Latin American countries! The food trucks that will be present are Beli’s Sazon, Poblanos Tacos, The Corner Venezuelan Food, La Republica, Crazy Tamales, Sweet Escape, Mexiarepa Grill, Charlie C’s hotdogs on wheels, Pupusas Y tacos Marina, TW’s Italian Ice, Holy Mole, and Tacos Mama Chava. Get all the details here.
  • And if that is not enough for one day, the folks over at The Beltline Buzz reminded us that The Tacos N Taps Festival will take you south of the border for some foodie fun. This all-you-care-to-taste beer and tequila festival is Saturday, October 5 from 1-5pm at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre and offers up some of the Triangle’s best tacos and Mexican food, the best dancing music from the Triangle area DJs, margaritas, piñata punching, contests and many other surprises. Get all the details here.
  • On October 6, TROSA will hold their 5th Annual Foodie Fundraiser for TROSA co-presented by Sysco Raleigh. This fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from some of the Triangle’s best chefs and restaurants. The current list includes: Foster’s Market, Guglhupf, J. Betski’s, Linda J’s Cupcakes, Local 22, Mateo, Parizade, Rise, Rue Cler, Sage & Swift Gourmet Catering, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Scratch, Talullas, and Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe and more. Tickets are limited and on sale now for $30/Adult; $10/Children ages 5-12. Children 4 and under free. Get tickets and event info here.
  • On Tuesday, October 8th, chef Greg Goldberg will host a Hungarian Wine Dinner at Uninhibited Tapas along with Rooted Selections. Tickets are $95 for the 5 course meal. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • On October 9th. Locals Seafood and Locals Oyster Bar are hosting a special four-course dinner benefiting Ocracoke Seafood. Ocracoke Seafood was badly damaged as floodwaters from Hurricane Dorian rushed across the island. As the last fish house on the island, Ocracoke Seafood is critically important to the livelihood of local fishermen and their families. Proceeds from this event will be donated to Ocracoke Foundation’s efforts to repair Ocracoke Seafood. In addition to the dinner, we’re running a special Ocracoke Platter until October 9th. The platter features fried fish, shrimp, hushpuppies, and slaw and is available all day. $10 from each platter sold will be donated to Ocracoke Foundation’s efforts to repair Ocracoke Seafood. This is a joint fundraising effort by Locals Oyster Bar and Locals Seafood. Get tickets to the dinner here and the website for Locals Oyster Bar here and Locals Seafood here.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, recently shared via Twitter that the annual Beericana festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 12th at Sugg Farm Park in Holly Springs. The event is from noon until 6 p.m. and features nearly 70 breweries (count at this point). It is a craft beer and music festival that brings great beer from breweries from across the state of North Carolina (and some from beyond) for attendees to enjoy. Tickets are $45, or $75 for VIP (2 hour early access). Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also on October 12th, Durham Bowls, a project pairing local chefs with school nutrition managers to develop new, delicious, and “school food”-compliant recipes for school lunch, are hosting their 2nd annual Durham Bowls Food Fest on October 12th at the Scrap Exchange in Durham. Tickets ($6 and $3) include a tasting of each of the 10 new recipes, a chance to vote for the People’s Choice award, live music, lots of great organizations tabling, and more. It’s super fun, and people leave full! Get your tickets and all the details here.
  • On Tuesday, October 15th Katie Parla is traveling to Coronato in Carrboro for a special collaborative pizza party with chef-owner Teddy Diggs. Parla is a Rome-based food and beverage educator and journalist who came out with a cookbook earlier this year, “Food of the Italian South.” In her book, 85 authentic recipes and 100 stunning photographs capture the cultural and cooking traditions of the Italian South, from the mountains to the coast. During the upcoming dinner, Parla and Diggs will be serving delicious dishes from her book or inspired by the Italian South. Get the menu and all the details here.
  • 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 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.
  • Triangle Oktoberfest, a two-day beer, food and music festival celebrating German culture and benefiting local and international charities, will hold its 6th annual event on Friday, October 18, from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, October 19, from noon to 9 p.m. at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The festival is organized by Apex Sunrise and Cary MacGregor Rotary Clubs in collaboration with the Town of Cary. Get all the details here.
  • On Wednesday, October 23rd, Walter Magazine will host Taste of the Wild in Transfer Co’s brand new event space honoring the outdoors with a locally-sourced dinner. Locals Oyster Bar and Longleaf Swine BBQ are joined by Fullsteam Brewing and Wye Hill Brewery to discuss sustainability, wild-foraged ingredients and the importance of eating local. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a three-course dinner, beer and wine pairings, along with signature cocktails. Get all the details and sign-up for the event 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.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will hold their Brewer’s Ball on November 8, 2019 from 6:30-10pm at The Rickhouse in Durham. The Ball  is an evening celebrating the Triangle’s “finest” young professionals and features food, beer, live music, live and silent auctions, and a chance to mingle, all while being a part of a great cause: helping move us closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis.  This one-of-a-kind beer tasting event has grown each year with the 2018 event hosting over a dozen different vendors including local craft breweries, and food from several Triangle area restaurants. The event will be capped at 300 people and tickets have sold out every year! Get tickets and details here.
  • If you are looking for the recipe for a perfect fall day, here’s a tip: Salt & Smoke VII presented by chef Kevin Callaghan and his team at ACME on Saturday, November 9th from 1:30 to 6:30 pm. Join the nearly 300 people who’ve already bought their tickets to the seventh annual celebration of southern food and drink and music at the beautiful Rock Quarry Farm in Orange County. Visit their Facebook events page here and get tickets here. Isn’t it time you #GetYourSouthOn? Thanks to the folks over at Taste Carolina for the reminder.
  • Sunday, November 10th from 12 to 2 p.m. is the annual Triangle Chili Challenge that brings out some of the best restaurants, food trucks, caterers, businesses and organizations as they compete for the title of “Best Chili in the Triangle”. Triangle Chili Challenge will donate a portion of this year’s proceeds to Special Olympics North Carolina. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.

Food Bank Corner

  • We mentioned the NC State Fair above, but don’t forget that Food Lion Hunger Relief Day at the N.C. State Fair is Thursday, October 24. Bring six (6) cans of Food Lion brand food to the N.C. State Fair on Thursday, October 24, and exchange them at any gate for one (1) free admission ticket. Since 1993, more than 5 million pounds of food have been donated by fairgoers to feed neighbors in need. Get all the details here on their Facebook events page.

Friday Fun Food Facts – September 27, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Everyone is talking about Wegman’s opening in Raleigh this weekend. Whatever. (OK, just kidding – that is very cool). But we are more excited that WRAL reported that award-winning chef Ashley Christensen will open her first fast-casual fried chicken restaurant in the Wegman’s development in Raleigh in the spring of 2020. This will be the first of three of the yet-to-be-named concepts centered around a fast-casual chicken sandwich, offering five different versions. The other two locations will be in Durham (University Hill) and Cary (Parkside Town Commons). A new website, titled Project Xtra Crispy, promotes the project, but is not the final name or branding. The other two locations are expected to launch later in 2020. Visit the site here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that chef Regan Stachler (who closed Little Hen in 2017) will return this fall with a new wine bar, teaming up with Fuquay-Varina’s Cellar 55 and owner Bill Wigington. The wine shop and bar are located at 1351 E. Broad St. in the Fuquay Crossing shopping center. The new restaurant is named Laurel, planning a Mediterranean-focused menu largely of snacks that pair well with wines. Cellar 55 will remain primarily a retail wine and beer shop, but seating for more than 30 has been added. The shop will still pour wines and beer, but Laurel will feature about a dozen wines by the glass selected by Stachler. Laurel will open in mid-October with full service running Thursday, Friday and Saturday and a limited menu Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday. He said he’s already setting his sights on expanding Laurel, as he looks for a location for the wine bar in Cary. Follow Cellar 55 here.
  • In downtown Raleigh, Ashton Mae Smith noted on her weekly blog that Brewerks Cafe & Bakery on Lane Street in downtown Raleigh has closed. But she also noted that some work appears to be happening inside. The folks over @reSPECT4UsNow informed us that a concept called Smoke Stacks Cafe will be opening in that space. We were unable to find an online presence for them. Stay tuned.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, the folks at Offline Raleigh shared the news that Alimentari at Left Bank opened in Transfer Co. Food Hall this week, meaning the main part of the hall is officially full! (Longleaf Swine BBQ will still be opening later this year in a slightly different area of the building.) This new collab between the chef and owner of Mothers and Sons in Durham and Left Bank Butchery in Saxapahaw is bringing serious Italian specialties, including fresh pasta and homemade sauces, the freshest cuts of meat from animals raised locally with care (including some charcuterie) and great sandwiches. Get to know them here.
  • If you’ve bought a car recently, you know the process can be arduous and one can work up quite an appetite. Well, the folks at the new Crossroads Ford dealership have jumped on what appears to be a trend working its way across America by opening a restaurant inside the dealership. It is called Mustang Charlies (love the name!). You don’t need to be there getting your vehicle serviced to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can just go and enjoy. Check them out here. Thanks to Michelle Alarcon for the heads up!
  • Reader Hugh Autry brought it to our attention that the Garner, NC Facebook page noted that a new bar/BBQ place is coming to Main Street (106 E. Main Street to be exact) called Shady’s. No word on an open date, but they are getting closer as they just got new doors and windows. Keep up with their progress and opening announcement here.
  • Also while on the Garner, NC Facebook page, noticed that Carolina Fish Fry Co. is opening next week on Highway 50 at 1566 Benson Rd. where Burger King used to be. Can’t find an online presence, but looks like they have locations in Clinton, Jacksonville, Wallace, Wilmington and Dunn.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Missed this last week, but WRAL reported that 401 Main, the new upscale dive bar from Chapel Hill native Chris Baldwin and Al Bowers of Al’s Burger Shack opened a little over a week ago. 401 Main features seafood and veggie po’boys, a full bar, and an extensive beer list. Their outdoor space features two patios and allows dogs. Cold Beer. Fresh Seafood. Friendly Dogs. Works for me! Check them out!
  • The folks over at Bites of Bull City brought it to our attention that you will soon have the perfect spot to meet up for fun, causal D.I.Y. crafting projects while enjoying a local beer, glass of cider or wine. Crafts and Drafts NC will open Oct. 5 in North Durham at 3117 Guess Road. Get all the details here.
  • Bites of Bull City also informed us that the next PopUp at American Tobacco Campus (359 Blackwell Street) will feature two concepts in October. First up, a former employee of Durham’s famed Counter Culture will be opening up a “restaurant disguised as a coffee shop” called Jet Plane Coffee at 812 N. Mangum Street, but first, he’ll take over the Pop-up space. The second, and a perfect complement, will be Sweet Charlies delicious rolled ice cream, who also has a permanent location in South Durham. This will be a great time for downtown residents and workers to check it out. Both will be making an appearance throughout October. Visit Sweet Charlies here, visit Jet Plane here, or the PopUp website here.

Closings

  • Dana McCall informed us that the Zoës Kitchen on Oberlin Road in Raleigh has closed.
  • And over in Cary, reader Rachael Goer informed us that the Greek Fiesta at Stone Creek has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • Ashton Mae Smith noted in her weekly blog last week that the Longo family at Vic’s Italian Restaurant in Raleigh’s City Market (and on Lake Boone Trail) is getting a food truck! No word on when it will hit the streets as they are still trying to figure out what to name it! Weigh in on the naming of their truck on Michael Longo’s Facebook page here.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo happens Sunday, October 27th from 12-4pm at 405 S. Brooks St. downtown Wake Forest! Just about everything and anything that is served from the back of a truck will be featured from savory food and dessert vendors. In addition, a beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl, live music, a variety of craft vendors, and a Kid’s Zone. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • The last 2019 Durham Food Truck Rodeo is November 3! Get all the details here. And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm; and the make-up date on November 10th. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  • It is that time of year again…time to nominate your favorite people and businesses for the 2019 WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards. There are a ton of areas/categories, but of course our favorite is the Food & Drink category where you can nominate everything from your favorite deli to your favorite watering hole. You can also nominate things like your favorite Twitter personality (cough, cough) your favorite blogger (again, cough, cough) or your favorite caterer (boy, this cough is bad). Nominations will close on the morning of Oct. 14. The finalists will be revealed on Oct. 21 and voting will be open through Dec. 1. Winners will be announced on Jan. 9, 2020, at a cocktail event for finalists. Start your voting here.
  • This Sunday, September 29th is a special farm-to-school fundraiser benefiting Working Landscapes! At Chefs on the Farm, you’ll enjoy small plates prepared on-site by eight top regional chefs. This year’s participating culinary teams, who hail from the Triangle and the Warren County area, are from 41Hundred, Chef Mario’s, Coronato, Hen and the Hog, Honey’s Kitchen, Robinson Ferry, Saint Jacques French Cuisine, and Whiskey Kitchen. Each dish will feature fruits, vegetables or meats from local farmers.  Craft cocktails and beers are also included, along with live music from GrassStreet! Tickets and details can be found here.
  • The 2019 NCRLA Chef Showdown final event is coming to Durham on Monday, September 30! The culinary participants, all based in North Carolina, advanced after cooking up the highest-rated dishes across five statewide preliminary rounds and partaking in regional rounds in Raleigh and Charlotte. Chefs and pastry chefs will prepare savory and sweet portion-sized dishes for attendees, while a team of mixologist and distillery pairs whip up can’t-miss cocktails for guests to sip on. At the end of the night, the top titles of Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year and Mixologist & Distillery of the Year will be announced. Tickets are now on sale for the event on Monday, Sept. 30 from 6-8:30 p.m. at Angus Barn’s Bay 7 in Durham.
  • The Root Cellar Cafe & Catering will host the 8th annual Porkapalooza Festival at its Chapel Hill restaurant on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. The eagerly anticipated porktastic farm dinner will offer eight small plate courses, featuring locally raised pork from Burnette Ranch in Pittsboro and handcrafted beers from Fuquay-Varina’s Mason Jar Lager Co. This is the 8th anniversary of what has become one of the signature food events in North Carolina. Tickets for Porkapalooza include all food and drink and are $69. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • October 5th is the second annual Festa Italiana Raleigh from 12 to 8 p.m. It is a celebration of Italian culture, wine and food! Location: 609 Tucker St (corner of Tucker and N. Boylan). Get all the details here.
  • St. Ann Church in Clayton will host their 11th International Food Festival on October 5th from 11-6 p.m. featuring foods from 20 countries prepared by parishioners. The family friendly event also includes live international entertainment on stage, children’s games and a silent auction. Admission and parking are free. Get all the details here.
  • Also on October 3rd, Big Boss Brewing Company will host the 9th Annual Casktoberfest, a mashup of old world beer cultures where European style festival traditions collide and the brewery is transformed into a traditional beer hall while serving a variety of specialty cask ale. This is a pay as you go event, no advance purchase or ticket is required. Taproom opens at 3pm,  “Beer Hall” opens at 5pm. Big Boss is located at 1249 Wicker Drive in Raleigh. Get all the details here.
  • And if that is not enough for one day, the folks over at The Beltline Buzz reminded us that The Tacos N Taps Festival will take you south of the border for some foodie fun. This all-you-care-to-taste beer and tequila festival is Saturday, October 5 from 1-5pm at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre and offers up some of the Triangle’s best tacos and Mexican food, the best dancing music from the Triangle area DJs, margaritas, piñata punching, contests and many other surprises. Get all the details here.
  • On October 6, TROSA will hold their 5th Annual Foodie Fundraiser for TROSA co-presented by Sysco Raleigh. This fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from some of the Triangle’s best chefs and restaurants. The current list includes: Foster’s Market, Guglhupf, J. Betski’s, Linda J’s Cupcakes, Local 22, Mateo, Parizade, Rise, Rue Cler, Sage & Swift Gourmet Catering, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Scratch, Talullas, and Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe and more. Tickets are limited and on sale now for $30/Adult; $10/Children ages 5-12. Children 4 and under free. Get tickets and event info here.
  • On Tuesday, October 8th, chef Greg Goldberg will host a Hungarian Wine Dinner at Uninhibited Tapas along with Rooted Selections. Tickets are $95 for the 5 course meal. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • On October 9th. Locals Seafood and Locals Oyster Bar are hosting a special four-course dinner benefiting Ocracoke Seafood. Ocracoke Seafood was badly damaged as floodwaters from Hurricane Dorian rushed across the island. As the last fish house on the island, Ocracoke Seafood is critically important to the livelihood of local fishermen and their families. Proceeds from this event will be donated to Ocracoke Foundation’s efforts to repair Ocracoke Seafood. In addition to the dinner, we’re running a special Ocracoke Platter until October 9th. The platter features fried fish, shrimp, hushpuppies, and slaw and is available all day. $10 from each platter sold will be donated to Ocracoke Foundation’s efforts to repair Ocracoke Seafood. This is a joint fundraising effort by Locals Oyster Bar and Locals Seafood. Get tickets to the dinner here and the website for Locals Oyster Bar here and Locals Seafood here.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, recently shared via Twitter that the annual Beericana festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 12th at Sugg Farm Park in Holly Springs. The event is from noon until 6 p.m. and features nearly 70 breweries (count at this point). It is a craft beer and music festival that brings great beer from breweries from across the state of North Carolina (and some from beyond) for attendees to enjoy. Tickets are $45, or $75 for VIP (2 hour early access). Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also on October 12th, Durham Bowls, a project pairing local chefs with school nutrition managers to develop new, delicious, and “school food”-compliant recipes for school lunch, are hosting their 2nd annual Durham Bowls Food Fest on October 12th at the Scrap Exchange in Durham. Tickets ($6 and $3) include a tasting of each of the 10 new recipes, a chance to vote for the People’s Choice award, live music, lots of great organizations tabling, and more. It’s super fun, and people leave full! Get your tickets and all the details here.
  • 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 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.
  • Triangle Oktoberfest, a two-day beer, food and music festival celebrating German culture and benefiting local and international charities, will hold its 6th annual event on Friday, October 18, from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, October 19, from noon to 9 p.m. at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The festival is organized by Apex Sunrise and Cary MacGregor Rotary Clubs in collaboration with the Town of Cary. 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.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will hold their Brewer’s Ball on November 8, 2019 from 6:30-10pm at The Rickhouse in Durham. The Ball  is an evening celebrating the Triangle’s “finest” young professionals and features food, beer, live music, live and silent auctions, and a chance to mingle, all while being a part of a great cause: helping move us closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis.  This one-of-a-kind beer tasting event has grown each year with the 2018 event hosting over a dozen different vendors including local craft breweries, and food from several Triangle area restaurants. The event will be capped at 300 people and tickets have sold out every year! Get tickets and details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • This year for Hunger Action Month in September, we’re asking everyone we know to #ShareYourWhy – what makes fighting hunger so important to them as an individual or a company. That can be on social media, one one of our special #ShareYourWhy banners at our six branches, or even in conversation with a friend or family member. With our collective voices, we can make sure that the issue of hunger, and the solutions we can all help build, are lifted up. Everyone has a role to play in ending hunger. Hunger Action Month is your opportunity to join a movement that has a real and lasting impact on our effort to feed more North Carolinians than ever before. Whether it’s by advocating and raising awareness, making a donation, having a short conversation with friends, or volunteering, you can find the way that’s right for you to make a difference during Hunger Action Month. Together, we can solve hunger. Find out more here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – September 20, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  It is that time of year again…time to nominate your favorite people and businesses for the 2019 WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards. There are a ton of areas/categories, but of course our favorite is the Food & Drink category where you can nominate everything from your favorite deli to your favorite watering hole. You can also nominate things like your favorite Twitter Personality (cough, cough) or your Favorite Blogger (again, cough, cough). Nominations will close on the morning of Oct. 14. The finalists will be revealed on Oct. 21 and voting will be open through Dec. 1. Winners will be announced on Jan. 9, 2020, at a cocktail event for finalists. Start your voting here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The Triangle Business Journal was the first to report this week that the popular Asian Five Star Restaurant will relocate from their original location in the Warehouse District at 511 W. Hargett Street to a newly renovated space at 303 N. West St. in downtown Raleigh. The new space is expected to open in Spring 2020. Five Star is owned and operated by one of my high school classmates, Michelle Bender. Check out Five Star here.  
  • Chana Lynn over at the blog RaleighWhatsUp shared the news that there is a new coffee shop in the works for Raleigh at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin called Idle Hour Coffee Roasters. It will be just around the corner from Mandolin, next to Hungry Howie’s. Couldn’t find much online except their Insta presence here.
  • Reader Hugh Autry shared the news that he saw a “Coming Soon” sign for Afghan Kabob at 3933 Western Blvd. in former Sultan Kabob location across from new Biscuitville. We were unable to find an online presence for them.
  • Over in Fuquay-Varina, buddy David McCreary notified me that Jersey Boy Subs, a family owned and operated restaurant, is now open at 943 E. Broad Street in the Walmart shopping center. The only online presence we were able to find was on Instagram here.
  • And down in Garner, the website GarnerBiz.com brought it to our attention that Golden Krust Cabribbean Restaurant is moving into the former Verizon Wireless space at 4412 Fayetteville Road in the Shoppes at Garner next to the Walmart. No word on a timeline, so stay tuned. Get to know them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Reader Glenn Gillen shared that he saw on Facebook that Jeddah’s Tea in downtown Durham is planning to have its soft opening TOMORROW, Saturday, Sept. 21 at 123 Market Street, right in the middle of downtown Durham. Check in with them on Facebook to make sure.

Closings

  • As noted last week, Mura in North Hills will be closing after a 15-year run this Sunday, September 22.
  • Not that we are sad about this, but Meg from Meg Here And There noticed that the McDonald’s at Cameron Village has closed. One down. 14,146 left. Sigh.

Food Trucks 

  • Got word this week from my friend Jo Smith that her super talented son/chef Marshall Smith left Midtown about a month ago and can now be found driving around town in the BamPowChow food truck.  Trust me, Marshall is uber talented and is getting ready to take this truck to the next level with items like Angus Beef Sliders and Pulled Pork Sliders. You are definitely going to want to track him down. Do that here or here.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo happens Sunday, October 27th from 12-4pm at 405 S. Brooks St. downtown Wake Forest! Just about everything and anything that is served from the back of a truck will be featured from savory food and dessert vendors. In addition, a beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl, live music, a variety of craft vendors, and a Kid’s Zone. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • The last 2019 Durham Food Truck Rodeo is November 3! Get all the details here. And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm; and the make-up date on November 10th. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  One of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro THIS Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So plan to spend your Sunday afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • Evan Pushchak and his wife have teamed up with the folks over at Oakwood Pizza Box to host a wine and food event called Cheers for SAFEchild on Monday September 23rd at 6:30pm. SAFEchild has been devoted to child abuse prevention for over 25 years. It will be an evening of hand-picked wines and champagnes and off-menu food from the Oakwood kitchen team. 100% of the ticket sales from this event are going directly to SAFEchild. Tickets are $75 per person. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The 2019 NCRLA Chef Showdown final event is coming to Durham on Monday, September 30! The culinary participants, all based in North Carolina, advanced after cooking up the highest-rated dishes across five statewide preliminary rounds and partaking in regional rounds in Raleigh and Charlotte. Chefs and pastry chefs will prepare savory and sweet portion-sized dishes for attendees, while a team of mixologist and distillery pairs whip up can’t-miss cocktails for guests to sip on. At the end of the night, the top titles of Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year and Mixologist & Distillery of the Year will be announced. Tickets are now on sale for the event on Monday, Sept. 30 from 6-8:30 p.m. at Angus Barn’s Bay 7 in Durham.
  • The Root Cellar Cafe & Catering will host the 8th annual Porkapalooza Festival at its Chapel Hill restaurant on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. The eagerly anticipated porktastic farm dinner will offer eight small plate courses, featuring locally raised pork from Burnette Ranch in Pittsboro and handcrafted beers from Fuquay-Varina’s Mason Jar Lager Co. This is the 8th anniversary of what has become one of the signature food events in North Carolina. Tickets for Porkapalooza include all food and drink and are $69. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • St. Ann Church in Clayton will host their 11th International Food Festival on October 5th from 11-6 p.m. featuring foods from 20 countries prepared by parishioners. The family friendly event also includes live international entertainment on stage, children’s games and a silent auction. Admission and parking are free. Get all the details here.
  • Also on October 5th, Big Boss Brewing Company will host the 9th Annual Casktoberfest, a mashup of old world beer cultures where European style festival traditions collide and the brewery is transformed into a traditional beer hall while serving a variety of specialty cask ale. This is a pay as you go event, no advance purchase or ticket is required. Taproom opens at 3pm,  “Beer Hall” opens at 5pm. Big Boss is located at 1249 Wicker Drive in Raleigh. Get all the details here.
  • On October 6, TROSA will hold their 5th Annual Foodie Fundraiser for TROSA co-presented by Sysco Raleigh. This fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from some of the Triangle’s best chefs and restaurants. The current list includes: Foster’s Market, Guglhupf, J. Betski’s, Linda J’s Cupcakes, Local 22, Mateo, Parizade, Rise, Rue Cler, Sage & Swift Gourmet Catering, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Scratch, Talullas, and Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe and more. Tickets are limited and on sale now for $30/Adult; $10/Children ages 5-12. Children 4 and under free. Get tickets and event info here.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, recently shared via Twitter that the annual Beericana festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 12th at Sugg Farm Park in Holly Springs. The event is from noon until 6 p.m. and features nearly 70 breweries (count at this point). It is a craft beer and music festival that brings great beer from breweries from across the state of North Carolina (and some from beyond) for attendees to enjoy. Tickets are $45, or $75 for VIP (2 hour early access). Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also on October 12th, Durham Bowls, a project pairing local chefs with school nutrition managers to develop new, delicious, and “school food”-compliant recipes for school lunch, are hosting their 2nd annual Durham Bowls Food Fest on October 12th at the Scrap Exchange in Durham. Tickets ($6 and $3) include a tasting of each of the 10 new recipes, a chance to vote for the People’s Choice award, live music, lots of great organizations tabling, and more. It’s super fun, and people leave full! Get your tickets and all the details here.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will hold their Brewer’s Ball on November 8, 2019 from 6:30-10pm at The Rickhouse in Durham. The Ball  is an evening celebrating the Triangle’s “finest” young professionals and features food, beer, live music, live and silent auctions, and a chance to mingle, all while being a part of a great cause: helping move us closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis.  This one-of-a-kind beer tasting event has grown each year with the 2018 event hosting over a dozen different vendors including local craft breweries, and food from several Triangle area restaurants. The event will be capped at 300 people and tickets have sold out every year! Get tickets and details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • This year for Hunger Action Month in September, we’re asking everyone we know to #ShareYourWhy – what makes fighting hunger so important to them as an individual or a company. That can be on social media, one one of our special #ShareYourWhy banners at our six branches, or even in conversation with a friend or family member. With our collective voices, we can make sure that the issue of hunger, and the solutions we can all help build, are lifted up. Everyone has a role to play in ending hunger. Hunger Action Month is your opportunity to join a movement that has a real and lasting impact on our effort to feed more North Carolinians than ever before. Whether it’s by advocating and raising awareness, making a donation, having a short conversation with friends, or volunteering, you can find the way that’s right for you to make a difference during Hunger Action Month. Together, we can solve hunger. Find out more here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – September 13, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • WRAL reported the news that award-winning chef Ashley Christensen will open her much-anticipated pizza restaurant, Poole’side Pies, today, Friday, September 13th at 5 p.m. It is the multiple James Beard Award-winning chef’s sixth establishment in downtown Raleigh. Christensen also owns Beasley’s Chicken and Honey, Fox Liquor Bar, Chuck’s and Death and Taxes. Poole’side sits next to her first restaurant, Poole’s Diner, on South McDowell Street. Poole’s turns 12 this year. Poole’side will start off by serving seven different Neapolitan-inspired pizzas. The pizzas are cooked in a Marra Forni Italian brick oven, which heats them up to a scorching 900 degrees. Pizza isn’t the only thing on the menu. Poole’side is also serving a pork meatball appetizer and four salads. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The folks over at Offline Raleigh and Offline Durham noted that four of Raleigh and Durham’s most beloved new openings have been named as the final nominees for Bon Appetit’s “Hot 10” Best New Restaurants of 2019. The Durham spots that got a nod are M Tempura and its expert take on this Japanese dish and the incredible hidden gem Sister Liu’s Kitchen for serving up what may be some of the best dumplings in America (and noodles, too!). In Raleigh, they’re honoring Heirloom Brewshop for their serene atmosphere and highlight of unique Taiwanese and Laotian dishes and Benchwarmers Bagels in Transfer Co. Food Hall for putting every other bagel sandwich to shame. Check them out to see why the made the list. Visit Heirloom here. Benchwarmers here. M Restaurants here. And Sister Liu’s Kitchen here.
  • It was announced yesterday that Mura will close on September 22 giving you just over a week to get a reservation one more time at the North Hill’s staple that had a 15-year run. Mura is part of the Eschelon Experiences restaurant group that also includes Cameron Bar & Grill, Edwards Mill Bar & Grill and The Haymaker. Eschelon founder G Patel has not ruled out a future location or possible partnership opportunities to extend Mura’s lifespan. Visit Mura here.
  • Drove down Western Blvd. yesterday and noticed the “sign guys” outside the new Biscuitville twirling signs that said “Grand Opening.” Located at 3928 Western Blvd., it occupies the building formerly occupied by Wicked Tacos. This is the third location in Raleigh. Visit them here.
  • Every year on our visit to the NC State Fair the lovely and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard passes everything and heads directly to the mini-donuts. Well, her year-long wait is over as the folks over at Taste Carolina shared with me that the Raleigh Mini Donut Company has officially opened at the Morgan Street Food Hall. These folks take mini donuts to an entirely new level. Check them out on Facebook here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The folks over at True Flavors are not ‘resting on their laurels’ after opening their second location of True Flavors (original one on Hwy. 55 and the second in Lakewood). Reader Joe Keilholz happened to notice they have a third location called Debbie Lou’s Biscuit Sandwich Shop, opening soon. That, however, is the extent of what we were able to find out. No opening date. No location. Yet. Stay tuned and follow them here.

Closings

  • As noted above, Mura in North Hills will be closing after a 15-year run on September 22.
  • A follower on Twitter pointed out that The Lost Cajun location in Wakefield Commons at 10901 Forest Pines Drive in Raleigh has closed. You can still visit them at 7901 Falls of Neuse Road.

Food Trucks 

  • The last 2019 Durham Food Truck Rodeo is November 3! Get all the details here. And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm; and the make-up date on November 10th. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  • You need to plan on eating out as much as you can in September. Why? Simply because every child in school deserves to have a nutritious meal, and that is the goal of an initiative by the NC Partnership for Child Nutrition. The Support School Meals campaign will officially run September 1 – 30, enabling every child and teacher to choose to eat lunch and breakfast at school. More than 50 Wake County restaurants are participating in the Support School Meals campaign by offering a $5 donation opportunity throughout the month of September, with 100% of the proceeds raised going to support this goal. See a complete list of restaurants and all the details here.
  • The 13th Annual Hot Sauce Festival in Oxford is THIS Saturday, September 14th. There will be all kinds of hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and other random types of sauce vendors as well as a hot pepper eating contest! There’s also craft brewers and local wineries selling their products, live music, and about 12-15000 of your closest friends! Get all the details here.
  • Hops for Hope is one of Children’s Flight of Hope’s annual fundraisers, allowing it to fly even more children to medical treatment. For the 5th anniversary, the event is an epic tasting event and beer competition taking place Sept. 14 from 2 to 6 p.m. at North Hills Midtown Park. Teams and breweries will showcase 26 brand new brews, and music, food trucks, a vendor village and an exciting flyover by The Bandit Flight Team will all be onsite. Tickets are just $30 and are available for purchase online now here.
  • September 14th is the Second Annual City of Oaks Pirate Fest from 10 am to 6 pm at Dix Park. In addition to a wealth of knowledge on pirates and lots of pirate fun and entertainment, there will be food trucks…pirates work up quite an appetite, right? Expected there are: Kono USA; Chirba Chirba Dumplings; Chick-N-Que; Jay’s Italian Ice; Not Just Icing; Oak City Fish and Chips; Tacos Las Gringas; Bruster’s Ice Cream; and Ty’s All Natural. Get all the details here.
  • Also this Saturday, September 14th is the East Meets West Festival in Morrisville from 11am to 4pm at Park West Village Village Market Place. The event is a day of food, culture, and music from around the world enjoying small plates from local restaurants, performances by cultural groups from around the community and family friendly activities including face painting, a bounce house, step dance lessons, and more. Festival admission is free, and food and beverages are available for purchase. All the details are here.
  • The third annual Savor the Triangle Food Festival produced by Mix 101.5 will again be held at the Kerr Scott building at the NC State Fairgrounds this year 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.
  • The 2019 NCRLA Chef Showdown final event is coming to Durham on Monday, September 30! The culinary participants, all based in North Carolina, advanced after cooking up the highest-rated dishes across five statewide preliminary rounds and partaking in regional rounds in Raleigh and Charlotte. Chefs and pastry chefs will prepare savory and sweet portion-sized dishes for attendees, while a team of mixologist and distillery pairs whip up can’t-miss cocktails for guests to sip on. At the end of the night, the top titles of Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year and Mixologist & Distillery of the Year will be announced. Tickets are now on sale for the event on Monday, Sept. 30 from 6-8:30 p.m. at Angus Barn’s Bay 7 in Durham.
  • The Root Cellar Cafe & Catering will host the 8th annual Porkapalooza Festival at its Chapel Hill restaurant on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. The eagerly anticipated porktastic farm dinner will offer eight small plate courses, featuring locally raised pork from Burnette Ranch in Pittsboro and handcrafted beers from Fuquay-Varina’s Mason Jar Lager Co. This is the 8th anniversary of what has become one of the signature food events in North Carolina. Tickets for Porkapalooza include all food and drink and are $69. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • St. Ann Church in Clayton will host their 11th International Food Festival on October 5th from 11-6 p.m. featuring foods from 20 countries prepared by parishioners. The family friendly event also includes live international entertainment on stage, children’s games and a silent auction. Admission and parking are free. Get all the details here.
  • Also on October 5th, Big Boss Brewing Company will host the 9th Annual Casktoberfest, a mashup of old world beer cultures where European style festival traditions collide and the brewery is transformed into a traditional beer hall while serving a variety of specialty cask ale. This is a pay as you go event, no advance purchase or ticket is required. Taproom opens at 3pm,  “Beer Hall” opens at 5pm. Big Boss is located at 1249 Wicker Drive in Raleigh. Get all the details here.
  • On October 6, TROSA will hold their 5th Annual Foodie Fundraiser for TROSA co-presented by Sysco Raleigh. This fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from some of the Triangle’s best chefs and restaurants. The current list includes: Foster’s Market, Guglhupf, J. Betski’s, Linda J’s Cupcakes, Local 22, Mateo, Parizade, Rise, Rue Cler, Sage & Swift Gourmet Catering, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Scratch, Talullas, and Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe and more. Tickets are limited and on sale now for $30/Adult; $10/Children ages 5-12. Children 4 and under free. Get tickets and event info here.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will hold their Brewer’s Ball on November 8, 2019 from 6:30-10pm at The Rickhouse in Durham. The Ball  is an evening celebrating the Triangle’s “finest” young professionals and features food, beer, live music, live and silent auctions, and a chance to mingle, all while being a part of a great cause: helping move us closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis.  This one-of-a-kind beer tasting event has grown each year with the 2018 event hosting over a dozen different vendors including local craft breweries, and food from several Triangle area restaurants. The event will be capped at 300 people and tickets have sold out every year! Get tickets and details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • This year for Hunger Action Month in September, we’re asking everyone we know to #ShareYourWhy – what makes fighting hunger so important to them as an individual or a company. That can be on social media, one one of our special #ShareYourWhy banners at our six branches, or even in conversation with a friend or family member. With our collective voices, we can make sure that the issue of hunger, and the solutions we can all help build, are lifted up. Everyone has a role to play in ending hunger. Hunger Action Month is your opportunity to join a movement that has a real and lasting impact on our effort to feed more North Carolinians than ever before. Whether it’s by advocating and raising awareness, making a donation, having a short conversation with friends, or volunteering, you can find the way that’s right for you to make a difference during Hunger Action Month. Together, we can solve hunger. Find out more here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – September 6, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • David Sadeghi is creating his own little food and entertainment space in Northern Chatham County at the entrance to Briar Chapel. The news came with the announcement that he has acquired the space formerly occupied by Sadie’s Southern directly across the patio from his Town Hall Burger and Beer. Look for him to open O’Ya Cantina this December allowing guests to enjoy Latin flavors with attention to vegan and vegetarian options. Think street tacos, but a step up. You’ll be able to choose your “wrap” (flour or corn tortilla, lettuce wrap or tamale), your protein and a number of the area’s freshest (and often organic) toppings. Burrito bowls will also be featured as well as a number of dinner entrees in the evening. So look forward to many nights enjoying entertainment on the patio between the two establishments – your toughest decisions will be between tacos or burgers…beer or tequila! Sounds dreamy! Keep up with Town Hall Burger and Beer here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Good news and bad news coming out of downtown Raleigh this week. Rudy Theale made the difficult decision to close the downtown Raleigh location of La Stella. That is the bad news for downtown diners. The good news is that Theale’s dream of La Stella being a true neighborhood Italian eatery continues with his location on Kildaire Farm Road in Cary and with the announcement that he will open a second “neighborhood” La Stella before year’s end in the North Raleigh/Wakefield area. The wood-fired oven pizzas will continue to be the centerpiece of the La Stellas, but their menu expansion to include pasta skillet options is getting rave reviews. And he won’t stop there, Theale has plans for several more Triangle area neighborhoods. Thanks to the folks over at Taste Carolina for the heads up on this. Keep up with LaStella here.
  • Also in Raleigh, both the folks at ITB Insider and EatRaleigh reported that Lousy Hunters Vegan Doughnuts opened August 31 in Oakwood. The shop, which specializes in “fried vegan yeast doughnuts,” has been selling its wares at pop-up events and through other retailers. The location in Oakwood is meant to serve both as a storefront and a production space which will allow them to continue selling doughnuts wholesale. Keep up with them on Instagram here.
  • Blogger EatRaleigh also shared the news via Twitter that a bubble tea shop called Moge Tee is “coming soon” to the former Smashed Waffles space on Hillsborough Street. Moge Tee has over 300 outlets worldwide and counting. Get to know them here.
  • We told you a few weeks back about the new cafe at the North Carolina Museum of History in downtown Raleigh. But the Triangle Business Journal shed a little more light on the details. Sweet Tea & Cornbread Grill and Eatery will be operated by Tonya Council, a granddaughter of the late culinary icon Mildred Council — a.k.a. Mama Dip, founder of Mama Dip’s in Chapel Hill. Council plans on staying true to many of her grandmother’s style of cuisine such as barbecue, chicken salad, fried green tomatoes and, of course, cornbread and sweet tea. The restaurant will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check them out here.
  • Thanks to a heads up from Dana McCall, we now know that Uncle Julio’s has opened over at Crabtree Valley Mall. They also have a location in Durham’s Streets at Southpoint. Get to know them here.
  • Reader Steve Howell shared with us that Seagate Seafood and Sushi has opened at 4420 Capital Boulevard in Raleigh. Get to know them here.
  • Friend Hugh Autry shared that he saw a sign for  La Grassa Pastificio in the window of the former LaShish restaurant at 908 NE Maynard Road in Cary. Founder and chef Robert Reynaud’s neighborhood restaurant will feature hand-crafted Italian cuisine including a variety of antipasti, pasta, poultry, game, meats, and all kinds of seafood from inspired Italian kitchens all over Italy. No word yet on an open date. Get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Triangle Explorer shared some exciting coffee news this week – North Carolina-based 4th Dimension Coffee, from the team behind Cocoa Cinnamon, officially changed its coffee-roasting company name and branding to Little Waves Coffee Roasters on Sept. 4th. In addition, the roastery will be featured at La Marzocco Café in Seattle as the roaster-in-residence later this month (from September 17th through October 21st). Little Waves will be one of just 18 selected roasters from seven countries, chosen among hundreds of applicants to be featured in the cafe. Follow their success here.
  • In Chapel Hill, this past Saturday Brandwein’s Bagels operated a pop-up at Midway Community Kitchen at 505 W. Rosemary Street. They featured all kinds of bagel favorites as well as the classic bagel and cream cheese – all made w/ fresh, local Lindley Mills Flour! It also featured Gray Squirrel Coffee. Did you miss it? Don’t worry, they are doing it again this Saturday, September 7th beginning at 8 a.m. and will go until 12 noon. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • Leslie and Brendan Cox shared the news this week that they have sold (and now closed) Sadie’s Southern (see news above) in North Chatham. The move allows them more time with their family and to focus on their amazing restaurant, Oakleaf, in Carrboro.
  • Rudy Theale made the difficult decision this week to close the downtown Raleigh location of La Stella. But see the entry above about his expansion plans across the Triangle.
  • Over in Durham, got word that the Ruby Tuesday at Northgate Mall closed.

Food Trucks 

  • And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm; and the make-up date on November 10th. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  • You need to plan on eating out as much as you can in September. Why? Simply because every child in school deserves to have a nutritious meal, and that is the goal of an initiative by the NC Partnership for Child Nutrition. The Support School Meals campaign will officially run September 1 – 30, enabling every child and teacher to choose to eat lunch and breakfast at school. More than 50 Wake County restaurants are participating in the Support School Meals campaign by offering a $5 donation opportunity throughout the month of September, with 100% of the proceeds raised going to support this goal. See a complete list of restaurants and all the details here.
  • Beginning today (September 6th) through Sunday (September 8th) is the 38th Annual Raleigh Greek Festival at the Jim Graham Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Enjoy delicious handmade, authentic Greek cuisine and be dazzled by Greek music and traditional folk dances. It is a good time, with great food and what looks like absolutely perfect weather! Thanks to Dana McCall for the heads up. Get hours, ticket prices and all the details here.
  • Mandolin Restaurant will host their next Mandolin Wine Mixer on Saturday, September 7 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 2519 Fairview Rd. in Raleigh. There you will be able to taste over 60 fine wines, savor a variety of hors d’oeuvres, support the through raffled wine and gift certificates and purchase select wines at exclusive discounts. Tickets are $25. Get tickets and all the details here
  • The 13th Annual Hot Sauce Festival in Oxford is on Saturday, September 14th this year. There will be all kinds of hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and other random types of sauce vendors as well as a hot pepper eating contest! There’s also craft brewers and local wineries selling their products, live music, and about 12-15000 of your closest friends! Get all the details here.
  • Hops for Hope is one of Children’s Flight of Hope’s annual fundraisers, allowing it to fly even more children to medical treatment. For the 5th anniversary, the event is an epic tasting event and beer competition taking place Sept. 14 from 2 to 6 p.m. at North Hills Midtown Park. Teams and breweries will showcase 26 brand new brews, and music, food trucks, a vendor village and an exciting flyover by The Bandit Flight Team will all be onsite. Tickets are just $30 and are available for purchase online now here.
  • Also on September 14th will be the Second Annual City of Oaks Pirate Fest from 10 am to 6 pm at Dix Park. In addition to a wealth of knowledge on pirates and lots of pirate fun and entertainment, there will be food trucks…pirates work up quite an appetite, right? Expected there are: Kono USA; Chirba Chirba Dumplings; Chick-N-Que; Jay’s Italian Ice; Not Just Icing; Oak City Fish and Chips; Tacos Las Gringas; Bruster’s Ice Cream; and Ty’s All Natural. Get all the details here.
  • The third annual Savor the Triangle Food Festival produced by Mix 101.5 will again be held at the Kerr Scott building at the NC State Fairgrounds this year 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.
  • The 2019 NCRLA Chef Showdown final event is coming to Durham on Monday, September 30! The culinary participants, all based in North Carolina, advanced after cooking up the highest-rated dishes across five statewide preliminary rounds and partaking in regional rounds in Raleigh and Charlotte. Chefs and pastry chefs will prepare savory and sweet portion-sized dishes for attendees, while a team of mixologist and distillery pairs whip up can’t-miss cocktails for guests to sip on. At the end of the night, the top titles of Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year and Mixologist & Distillery of the Year will be announced. Tickets are now on sale for the event on Monday, Sept. 30 from 6-8:30 p.m. at Angus Barn’s Bay 7 in Durham.
  • The Root Cellar Cafe & Catering will host the 8th annual Porkapalooza Festival at its Chapel Hill restaurant on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. The eagerly anticipated porktastic farm dinner will offer eight small plate courses, featuring locally raised pork from Burnette Ranch in Pittsboro and handcrafted beers from Fuquay-Varina’s Mason Jar Lager Co. This is the 8th anniversary of what has become one of the signature food events in North Carolina. Tickets for Porkapalooza include all food and drink and are $69. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • St. Ann Church in Clayton will host their 11th International Food Festival on October 5th from 11-6 p.m. featuring foods from 20 countries prepared by parishioners. The family friendly event also includes live international entertainment on stage, children’s games and a silent auction. Admission and parking are free. Get all the details here.
  • 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 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.
  • 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

  • Looking for a way your office can make a direct difference in people’s lives? But time is limited? We’ve got the perfect answer for you – coordinate an office-wide Virtual Food Drive! 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. It is simple! Get all the details here.