Friday Fun Food Facts – August 16, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  It has arrived. Shake Shack will open its first Triangle-area location on Wednesday, August 21st at 11 a.m. The Shack is located in Waverly Place at 310 Colonades Way. Shake Shack is a modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers, chicken sandwiches and griddled flat-top dogs (no hormones or antibiotics – ever), fresh-made frozen custard, crispy crinkle cut fries and more. Since the original Shack opened in 2004 in NYC’s Madison Square Park, the company has expanded to more than 230 locations in 26 U.S. States and the District of Columbia, including more than 70 international locations across London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Dubai, Philippines, Singapore, Mexico, Tokyo, Moscow, Seoul and more. The first 100 people in line when doors open at 11 a.m. will receive custom Shake Shack swag. Get all the details here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The opening of Scott Crawford’s newest restaurant, Jolie, a French bistro located in historic Oakwood, will happen “any day now.” They have hosted some private events and they shared that they were just issued their certificate of occupancy. Check out their website here or keep up with their Instagram page for the pending announcement.
  • Brew Coffee Shop provided some building updates on their Facebook page this week on their two new locations. They have plumbing going in both locations and hope to have some walls in the next few weeks! The location at McNeill Pointe is looking to open in early October; and the Gateway Plaza location is looking to open in early November. Best way to keep up with their progress is through their Facebook page here.
  • Got word this week that Locals Oyster Bar at Transfer Company Food Hall recently launched their full service dinner menu. Beyond their existing food hall offerings, guests can enjoy an intimate dining experience with seafood-driven dishes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Guests can dine at the restaurant between 5-10pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Check it out here.
  • Back in July we shared the news that Raleigh’s first Growler USA had closed. But we have now learned that they have reopened as Riddle Raleigh at 314 S. Blount Street, a trivia-focused bar and restaurant. A soft opening was held earlier this month, with plans for a grand opening on August 30. Get to know them here and get details on their grand opening.
  • Over in Wake Forest, a loyal reader pointed out to us that we are getting close to the opening of Anthony Bowman’s Smoky Tony’s BBQ at 101 S. White Street. Anthony learned his craft in the art of Mexican Pit Barbacoa and his restaurant will feature baby back ribs, pork loin, pulled pork, smoked chicken, beef brisket, beef ribs, cornish game hens, fried chicken, banana pudding and cobblers. Yummmmm! After a six-week construction delay, they are pushing to be open late September or early October. Keep up with their progress here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership spread the glorious news that the legendary Ye Olde Waffle Shop has re-opened after being closed, due to a water leak discovered in the almost 100-year-old building during town construction work in Post Office Alley. Stop by and say hi to Melissa and Linda Chris, and support a Chapel Hill institution that has been a gathering place since 1972! Visit them here.
  • Also on Franklin Street, noticed that Peno Mediterranean Grill has opened just in time for the students at 105 E. Franklin Street, right next door to Sup Dogs in the former Tama Cafe spot. The new Chapel Hill location will be the seventh for the franchise. Their menu includes gyrö sandwiches, wraps and bowls. Their site also indicates a location is coming to Raleigh. Get to know them here.
  • Here is what we know. Chef Teddy Diggs’ Carrboro-based Coronato Pizza has shared that the new establishment will open in August. Folks, there are just two weeks left in August. We are getting close! It will feature the only Roman-style pizza in North Carolina; a crispy, thin, almost cracker-like crust pizza that Diggs embellishes with good quality extra virgin olive oil and a diverse range of ingredients inspired by both local farmers and Roman traditions. Pies are served with a selection of local craft beers and ciders, prosecco and spritz on tap, and noteworthy Italian wines. We ready! The website is here, but you might want to follow the social media sites for the pending announcement.

Closings

  • Learned from reader Kristin Stewart that the Pei Wei in Apex closed at the end of July. Looks like there are still 3 locations here in the Triangle.

Food Trucks 

  • The RDU Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) is holding their third annual Tacopalooza food truck rodeo and competition this Sunday, August 18 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Knightdale Station located at 810 N First Ave. in Knightdale. The taco-filled day will feature 13 food trucks highlighting the best tacos in the Triangle. The following trucks will be in attendance: Poblanos Tacos; Sweet Escape by Plabanos; Succotash Durham; La Repùblica; Bruster’s Ice Cream Truck; Bandido’s ; Kono Raleigh; Tacos Las Gringas; Jam Ice Cream; El Jefecito; The 13th Taco; Qspresso; and Gonza Tacos y Tequila. Visit their Facebook event page here for all the details.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm; and the make-up date on November 10th. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  • The annual two-day Triangle Vegfest is this weekend, August 17 -18 in downtown Durham at the Durham Armory and at the Durham Arts Council PSI Theater. It is a fully vegan event embracing a plant-based lifestyle and features speakers, 70+ vendors, cooking demos, food trucks, live music, a kids zone and more. Admission is free. Get all the details on the two-day event on their website here.
  • Underground Kitchen, the popular Richmond, Va.-based experiential dinner series, returns to Raleigh August 24 to debut its new food tour, “The New Americana.” Raleigh-based Lemar Farrington will be the featured chef for the evening. If you are not familiar with UGK, it is a one-night-only event, held at an undisclosed location (location is shared a few days before), featuring up-and-coming chefs and creative, multi-course dinners with wine pairings. The menu is kept secret until the night of. Oh, and it ALWAYS sells out, so act quickly. Get tickets 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.
  • Heard on NPR about the 6th Annual Dinner in the Meadow coming up on Sunday, September 8th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event benefits the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund, which provides grants to encourage and support small farms. The Dinner setting sits atop a grassy knoll in the meadow of Meadow Lane Farm at 571 Leonard Farm Road in Louisburg. Get tickets and all the details on their website 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.
  • 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.

Friday Fun Food Facts – August 9, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Learned from NC Triangle Dining that a new Italian spot has opened in downtown Durham at 104 City Hall Plaza called Convivio Restaurant and Wine Bar. They are currently in soft-opening mode. Owned by executive chef Paolo Gavazza and sommelier Giuseppe Cagnoni, it is a traditional and authentic Italian restaurant featuring dry aged, locally sourced NC meats and fish and the very best wines found locally and worldwide. Gavazza is an alumnus of Alma, one of the most prestigious culinary schools in Italy and worked for a Michelin Star Restaurant in Rome. Cagnoni has 20 years of restaurant experience including owning restaurants in Miami and San Francisco. Get to know them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • This is it. Who is ready for the opening of Andrew Ullom’s Union Special Bread retail location in the redeveloped Gateway Plaza off Crabtree Boulevard? This is opening weekend! How good will it be? Let’s put it this way, his closing time isn’t a set hour. His closing time is “sold out.” In other words, they will be open as long as the goodness is around. In further words, get there EARLY! On Saturday, check-in around noon to see what is available for the 2 p.m. blow out. And Sunday morning, the madness begins at 8 a.m. until…well, you know, everything is gone! Bread, pastry, cookies, Counter Culture Coffee on the drip and Slingshot Coffee on the keg. Their Facebook page is likely the best way to keep up.
  • Got word this week that following the recent openings of O-Ku Sushi and Oak Steakhouse in downtown Raleigh, The Indigo Road Hospitality Group is excited to announce continued expansion in the Triangle with its Italian concept Colletta. It is expected to open in 2021 at Fenton in Cary and will be the second location with the original location north of Atlanta in Alpharetta, Georgia. Drawing influence largely from Northern Italy, Colletta Cary’s cuisine will put a twist on treasured classics while introducing modern culinary techniques with the changing seasons. Menu highlights will include housemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, cheeses and other hand-crafted ingredients. It is the latest restaurant to call Fenton home, joining Ford Fry’s popular Tex-Mex concept Superica and Scott Crawford’s newest steakhouse Crawford Brothers. Get familiar with them here.
  • The summer pop-up fun continues through the summer where you can get a sneak preview of kō*än at their sister restaurant so*ca in Cameron Village! Follow them on Instagram here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Chapel Hill, got word from the Burgeoningbaker (Twitter) that a concept called Hawkers, featuring Asian street fare, is coming to University Place. The owners were inspired by their travels to Asia and memories of growing up, craving the unapologetic flavors of true Asian food-dumplings with bounce, spicy curries, crisp pork belly, etc. When in Asia, they knew the best dishes were on the streets from hawker stalls, thus the name. This is the second North Carolina location and the first in the Triangle (other NC location is in Charlotte). Get familiar with the Orlando concept here.
  • And one final note from Chapel Hill, if you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own burger joint, we learned from Neal DePersia at National Restaurant Properties that Buns Burger and Fries, which has enjoyed over nine years of success on Columbia Street near the intersection with Franklin Street, is up for sale. Check out their website for details.
  • On a recent outing in Durham, noticed that a Tandoori Bites Indian Kitchen is moving into the Dickey’s BBQ spot in the New Hope Commons shopping center at 5311 New Hope Commons Drive. They also have a location in Wilmington. Sign is up and it looks like a lot is happening inside. I was told the are targeting the first week in September for an opening, so stay tuned. Check out their Facebook page here.

Closings

  • Spike’s Hot Chicken in Carrboro (also formerly the Meatball Shoppe) has closed. The new owner is redecorating and said it’s going to be a Thai restaurant soon. Thanks for the tip Julie!

Food Trucks 

  • Got word from reader Stephen Head that there is a new food truck that has been sighted mostly in and around Chapel Hill called Mike’s Vegan Hotdogs. Most of the time you can find them at 102 Merrill Mill Road near the intersection with W. Franklin Street. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm; and the make-up date on November 10th. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  Here is an event we can get behind. On Saturday, August 10th the town of Morrisville will change its name to S’Morrisville as they honor and enjoy the delicious snacks made famous at campfires everywhere. This event takes place all over S’Morrisville with activities at four different sites. There will be music, games, t-shirts to win and, of course, lots of s’mores to enjoy. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Downtown Raleigh Alliance shared this week that the dates have been set for the Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week which will be held August 12-18. Go ahead and mark your calendars. Here is their website which will be updated with additional details and participating restaurants as we get closer to the date.
  • Underground Kitchen, the popular Richmond, Va.-based experiential dinner series, returns to Raleigh August 24 to debut its new food tour, “The New Americana.” Raleigh-based Lemar Farrington will be the featured chef for the evening. If you are not familiar with UGK, it is a one-night-only event, held at an undisclosed location (location is shared a few days before), featuring up-and-coming chefs and creative, multi-course dinners with wine pairings. The menu is kept secret until the night of. Oh, and it ALWAYS sells out, so act quickly. Get tickets 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.
  • 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.

Friday Fun Food Facts – August 2, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This week, Sean Umstead and Michelle Vanderwalker opened the highly anticipated Kingfisher in downtown Durham. At this intimate cocktail bar located next to The Durham Hotel at 321 East Chapel Hill Street, Umstead takes a chef’s approach, elevating North Carolina’s fruits and vegetables to star status, and artfully serving them in Vanderwalker’s hand-thrown ceramics. From one-of-a-kind ground-to-glass cocktails, hand-cut ice, farm-driven small plates, and a cozy interior in “America’s Foodiest Small Town,” Kingfisher is a refreshing reflection of the couple’s North Carolina home. Get familiar with it here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The folks over at Offline Raleigh shared that, In addition to Moore Square opening this weekend (Saturday, August 3rd), Square Burger, the cafe inside the park, will be serving their first customers. Coming to us from Empire Eats Restaurant Group, it will feature a menu of burgers (that are actually square), hot dogs, milkshakes, and fries, plus a few healthier options. They’ll even have wine and beer that can be enjoyed on their patio. Think of it as Raleigh’s version of Shake Shack in Madison Square Park! Check it out here.
  • Can you smell it? We are somewhere inside a month for the opening of Andrew Ullom’s Union Special Bread retail location in the redeveloped Gateway Plaza off of Crabtree Boulevard in the Woodcrest neighborhood. As you will remember, Ullom was executive pastry chef at Ashley Christensen’s AC Restaurants. Initially the retail shop will open serving breakfast and lunch and continue to serve meals into the afternoon and sell loaves of bread to take home for dinner. Later, a dinner service may be added. Thanks to Ruth Stanton for the update. A tentative date of August 17 is on the table, but follow Andrew’s Instagram account to get the latest and final word once that date is officially set.
  • The folks over at the ITB Insider shared the news that Rush Bowls will be making its way to the ground floor of the Sir Walter apartment building at 400 Fayetteville Street (think former Chick-fil-A). The eatery recently held a grand opening celebration for its Hillsborough Street location. No word yet on an open date. Get familiar with their other Raleigh location here.
  • Heard from Chana Lynn over at RaleighWhatsUp that there is a new bottle shop called Beach Shack Bottles & Taps coming soon to 6300 Creedmoor Rd in the shopping center at the corner of Lynn and Creedmoor roads. Their goal is to try and duplicate the same laid-back feel they get when they are in a Beach Shack on an island, but with more beer and wine choices. Looking to open sometime late September to mid October. Keep up with their progress and opening date on their Facebook page here.
  • Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing shared the news that after a few weeks of testing brunch menu items (can’t believe I didn’t get called in to do a little taste testing), they are swinging open their full-on brunch menu beginning this Sunday, August 4. Doors open at 10 a.m. Check them out here.
  • Over in Cary, the newest version of BurgerFi opened this past Saturday in front of Crossroads Plaza. This is their third location in Wake County and second in Cary. Visit the Cary Crossroads location here.
  • And down in Garner, reader Amy Brewer tipped us off to the fact that there is a new coffee shop coming to Garner called How’s it Bean? It will be located in the Timber Crossing shopping center between Food Lion and the new Big Ed’s (217 Timber Drive). Looks like the build-out has just begun. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • The summer pop-up fun continues through the summer where you can get a sneak preview of kō*än at their sister restaurant so*ca in Cameron Village! Follow them on Instagram here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • David “Flip” Filippini has opened his newest Kokyu joint at 245 E. NC Hwy. 54 (near Southpoint) in the former Cure Deli & Cafe spot. The new joint features some throwback classics to get your food truck fix – DuckFat Tot, Fish TaKo, Truck Sliders, etc. It also features an entire wall with a pour-your-own beer, wine and Kombucha taps. Visit their website here.
  • Got word from Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City that the new Korean fried chicken place, Chicken Bee, located on Ninth Street is in soft-opening mode this week. Can’t exactly tell when they are going to begin “regular” hours, so check in with their Facebook page to get the latest.
  • Some interesting developments along Chapel Hil’s Elliott Road. On the ground floor of the Berkshire Apartments, the once-closed Living Kitchen is making a comeback. Saw a banner up as I drove by yesterday that they will be re-opening soon. A closer look indicated quite a bit of renovation work going on inside. That’s the good news. The bad news is that closer look also revealed a “Stop Work Order” from the friendly Town of Chapel Hill Inspections office. Uh oh. I’m sure it is just a temporary delay. So stay tuned! Visit their website here.
  • With this came the news that the Raleigh location of Living Kitchen at 555 Fayetteville Street has closed. Didn’t see that coming. They also have a location in Charlotte.
  • And just a few doors down, on the ground floor of the Berkshire Apartments, a new watering hole called The Casual Pint is on the way – where their mission is to share the craft beer experience in the neighborhood, one pint, one growler and one person at a time. They tout that they are a fun spot with an upscale, yet casual family-friendly atmosphere much like a coffee shop, with a focus on craft beer. Tim Coynesmith, “coffee” soon? Get to know them here.
  • And over in Mebane, the latest Chick-fil-A in the area opened yesterday (Thursday) in a stand-alone building at 1311 Mebane Oaks Road. Congrats to owner/operator Todd Perkins. Visit their Facebook page here.

Closings

  • Reader Chad Barringer shared the news with us this week that Growler USA in downtown Raleigh (314 S. Blount Street) has closed.
  • The Raleigh location of Living Kitchen (555 Fayetteville Street) has closed (re-opening the Chapel Hill location on Elliott Road).

Food Trucks 

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

  • Today and tomorrow (August 2 & 3) is the 10th Annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. In a nutshell it is two great days of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, cigar smokin’, and barbeque eatin’. Your admission buys you a sampling glass so you can enjoy an all-you-care-to-taste sampling of beer and bourbon. Get all the details and ticket information here
  • On Saturday, August 3rd, the Raleigh and Cary locations of Sassool will host a birthday celebration for Cecilia “Sassool” Saleh, the restaurant’s namesake. In her honor, they will celebrate with their customers by having lots of special meal options, sampling of new retail products and plenty of dining fun! Sales for the day will be donated to Fill Your Bucket List Foundation that grants financial support to adults with cancer in order for them to create lasting memories with those they love. Get details on their event page here.
  • The ladies at Mofu Shoppe are celebrating 2 years! And they want you to join them on Sunday, August 4th – now pay attention, because there are two parts/events. The first part is a volunteer meal packing event in the morning from 10 am to noon where they will pack 10,000 meals with Rise Against Hunger. Following that, they will have a day party – a big luau themed bash including: Pig picking; Viet Cajun Crawfish/Crab Boil; Drink Specials all day; Indoor Summer time Boodle Fight; Frozen Sake/Kombucha drinks; Cakes/Desserts/Fresh fruits; and more! You must buy a ticket to enjoy the party/food in the afternoon, but the morning meal packing event will be open to everyone who wants to come donate their time and efforts! Ticket proceeds and sales during the day party will go towards funding the morning meal packing event. Here is the Eventbrite link with all the details.
  • Also on Sunday, August 4th from 6-9 p.m. at Market Hall in downtown Raleigh is the second annual Federation Feeds, a fun foodraiser for Jewish Family Services that provided over 3,300 nutritious meals for children, families, and older adults living with food insecurities in 2018. Federation Feeds pays tribute to the culinary excellence of local restaurants within our community during this special evening, restaurants present their signature dishes for the tasting while guests enjoy interactive activities, silent auction, cash bar, and music. Tickets are $54. Get tickets, a list of participating restaurants and all the details here.
  • Here is an event we can get behind. On Saturday, August 10th the town of Morrisville will change its name to S’Morrisville as they honor and enjoy the delicious snacks made famous at campfires everywhere. This event takes place all over S’Morrisville with activities at four different sites. There will be music, games, t-shirts to win and, of course, lots of s’mores to enjoy. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Downtown Raleigh Alliance shared this week that the dates have been set for the Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week which will be held August 12-18. Go ahead and mark your calendars. Here is their website which will be updated with additional details and participating restaurants as we get closer to the date.
  • The date was released this week for the third annual Savor the Triangle Food Festival produced by Mix 101.5. This year’s event will again be held at the Kerr Scott building at the NC State Fairgrounds on Wednesday, September 18th from 6-9 p.m. Savor the Triangle Food Festival is a culinary event with the opportunity to sample many of the Triangle’s most delicious foods and drinks all in one place. Get all the details and early bird discounted tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • 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

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

Friday Fun Food Facts – July 26, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  WRAL first reported this week that Al Bowers of Al’s Burger Shack fame is joining with friend Chris Baldwin to open 401 Main – an “upscale dive bar” in the former Cafe Carrboro/Jessee’s Coffee spot in Carrboro. It will feature seafood and veggie po’boys, draft beers, frozen cocktails and a large dog-friendly patio. Look for an August opening. The spot with the most information, with a few links to recent publicity on the new venture, can be found on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Today, Friday, July 26 is the grand opening of Just Salad’s first North Carolina location which is at Marketplace at Lake Boone – the official ribbon cutting starts at 10:30 a.m. Just Salad offers a variety of salads, wraps, smoothies, avocado toasts and more. There are now 38 locations, mostly in New York, but also in Chicago, Philadelphia and spots abroad in Hong Kong and Dubai – but local owner Peter Kim said he plans to open five Just Salad locations in North Carolina by 2020. As part of the grand opening celebration, they are offering $2 salads all day and the first person in line will receive a reusable unlimited salad bowl as well as additional swag items. The first 100 people in line will also receive a tote with a variety of Just Salad swag. Get familiar with them here.
  • In downtown Raleigh we caught wind that there is a new cafe operating at the North Carolina Museum of History. The cafe is not only open to museum visitors, but those that find themselves downtown. Haven’t been able to get additional information on the name/menu/etc., but it is good to know there is another dining option in downtown. Stay tuned.
  • Also in Raleigh, the folks over at ITB Insider noted that the Cha House, an “Asian-inspired tea house” will be moving into the former home of Pieology at The Stanhope on Hillsborough Street. Cha House, which currently operates a location on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, offers loose-leaf teas, brown sugar boba, and “signature Taiwanese street dishes.” Permits for the remodel were just issued so we don’t have an open date yet. Get to know them here.
  • Over in Cary the popular restaurant Anjappar, is celebrating their one-year anniversary by expanding into 1,100 sq. ft. of adjoining space at Stone Creek Village Shopping Center. The expansion gives them additional room in the main seating area, and the opening of a private dining room. Congrats to owner Prakash (Pete) Sambath. On August 3-4, Anjappar will offer a shared dining experience from southern India called Vazhai Ilai Virundhu (banana leaf feast). Together, diners are seated at long banquet tables pre-set with renowned Chettinad fare served on large banana leaves – with five seatings — 11:30am, 12:15pm, 1pm, 1:45pm and 2:30pm. Reservations are required. Call 919-377-1473. Dinner will remain a-la-carte. Get all the details here.
  • In Morrisville, reader Glenn Gillen noticed that Pho XO (which recently closed) is now Thai 54. It is located at 10290 Chapel Hill Rd. Ste 100. Visit them online here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, reader Kim Zimmerman informed us that bakery/cafe called Harvest Moon is now open in the former SiP Bistro location at 128 Bass Lake Road. Zimmerman reports that the double peanut cookie bar is fabulous and worth a trip by itself. Probably the best spot to get information at this point is on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Garner, reader Hugh Autry pointed out that there is a “Coming Soon” sign up for Teriyaki Madness at White Oak Crossing in the former Primavera Pizza spot (160 Shenstone Blvd.) which closed recently. This will be the first Triangle-area location for the chain. Get familiar with them here.
  • The summer pop-up fun continues through the summer where you can get a sneak preview of kō•än at their sister restaurant so•ca in Cameron Village! Follow them on Instagram here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Flip and his crew are days away from opening their newest Kokyu spot at 245 E. NC Hwy. 54 in the former Cure Deli & Cafe spot. They are holding invitation only events this weekend and looking to open early next week. The new joint will feature some throwback classics from the food truck (can you say duck fat tots!), new menu items, and a self-serve beer wall. Visit their website here.
  • Also in Durham, reader Edmond Miller brought it to our attention that Piper’s Deli in Durham (3219 Old Chapel Hill Rd) closed in late June and recently reopened, under the same ownership of Perry Evans, as Steel Spatula Burger Company. Same great burgers, with some remodeling done and more underway. Check out the new concept on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill we got glorious news this week with the re-opening of Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen, after suffering a small fire last month. Expect traffic in the area this weekend as cars queue up for the Chapel Hill institution.
  • Further up Franklin Street, the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Jaime and Miranda Sanchez will open will open Epilogue: Books Chocolate Brews, an independent bookstore and Spanish-style chocolatería, at 109 E. Franklin St. next month. The shop will sell books, local beer and coffee and pastries made on-site. Check it out here.
  • And speaking of Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street, we are very close to the opening of Peno Mediterranean Grill which will be opening soon at 105 E. Franklin Street right next door to Sup Dogs in the former Tama Cafe spot. The new Chapel Hill location will be the seventh for the franchise. Their menu includes gyrö sandwiches, wraps and bowls. Their site also indicates a location is coming to Raleigh. Get to know them here.
  • And we can’t leave Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street without sharing the news that the closed Asia Cafe will reopen on Tuesday, July 30 as Curry Point Express, an Indian fast food restaurant with a location in Durham. The space has been renovated and upgraded and the menu will retain some of Asia Cafe’s favorites. Get familiar with their Durham store here.
  • Down in Pittsboro, the Pittsboro Roadhouse, owned by Greg Lewis, closed for renovations back on July 15th. The good news is they re-open today (July 26) at 11 a.m. with some new paint, a new logo and who knows what else Greg has been up to. Get by today and see for yourself!
  • And over in Hillsborough, reader Rebecca Swartz brought it to our attention that a restaurant called Nomad is coming this fall to the theater property at 122 W. King Street. The News & Observer filled in the details that the venture, led by Sejal Patel and Nick Singh, will focus on small plates, seasonal flavors and locally sourced ingredients. Singh, co-owner of Viceroy, a Indian-British fusion gastropub in Durham. Hillsborough resident BJ Patel, also a Viceroy co-owner and Sejal Patel’s cousin, will be a partner in the new restaurant. They will have food from Asia, South America, Africa and Europe. The small plate concept is designed to give the diner an experience, so that as they go through the menu, they can try different parts of the world and experience the kind of food and also the different types of cooking techniques that are used in different parts of the world. Keep up with their progress on their website.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

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

  •  The folks over at The Root Cellar Cafe (Pittsboro location) and Vino Wine Shop are teaming up for a Summer Wine Dinner on Sunday, July 28th featuring four (4) plated courses with five (5) wine pairings. Tickets are $69, which includes all fees, sales tax, and gratuity. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • On Saturday, August 3rd, the Raleigh and Cary locations of Sassool will host a birthday celebration for Cecilia “Sassool” Saleh, the restaurant’s namesake. In her honor, they will celebrate with their customers by having lots of special meal options, sampling of new retail products and plenty of dining fun! Sales for the day will be donated to Fill Your Bucket List Foundation that grants financial support to adults with cancer in order for them to create lasting memories with those they love. Get details on their event page here.
  • The ladies at Mofu Shoppe are celebrating 2 years! And they want you to join them on Sunday, August 4th – now pay attention, because there are two parts/events. The first part is a volunteer meal packing event in the morning from 10 am to noon where they will pack 10,000 meals with Rise Against Hunger. Following that, they will have a day party – a big luau themed bash including: Pig picking; Viet Cajun Crawfish/Crab Boil; Drink Specials all day; Indoor Summer time Boodle Fight; Frozen Sake/Kombucha drinks; Cakes/Desserts/Fresh fruits; and more! You must buy a ticket to enjoy the party/food in the afternoon, but the morning meal packing event will be open to everyone who wants to come donate their time and efforts! Ticket proceeds and sales during the day party will go towards funding the morning meal packing event. Here is the Eventbrite link with all the details.
  • Also on Sunday, August 4th from 6-9 p.m. at Market Hall in downtown Raleigh is the second annual Federation Feeds, a fun foodraiser for Jewish Family Services that provided over 3,300 nutritious meals for children, families, and older adults living with food insecurities in 2018. Federation Feeds pays tribute to the culinary excellence of local restaurants within our community during this special evening, restaurants present their signature dishes for the tasting while guests enjoy interactive activities, silent auction, cash bar, and music. Tickets are $54. Get tickets, a list of participating restaurants and all the details here.
  • The Downtown Raleigh Alliance shared this week that the dates have been set for the Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week which will be held August 12-18. Go ahead and mark your calendars. Here is their website which will be updated with additional details and participating restaurants as we get closer to the date.
  • The date was released this week for the third annual Savor the Triangle Food Festival produced by Mix 101.5. This year’s event will again be held at the Kerr Scott building at the NC State Fairgrounds on Wednesday, September 18th from 6-9 p.m. Savor the Triangle Food Festival is a culinary event with the opportunity to sample many of the Triangle’s most delicious foods and drinks all in one place. Get all the details and early bird discounted tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • This is it. Your last chance. I’ve been touting this amazing event that Colleen Minton dreamed up 10 years ago and now we are at the 10th and FINAL Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival in Chapel Hill October 16-19, 2019. Yep, you read that right. This is the grand finale. There will be no more. And tickets went on sale last week. And heed my last (and final) warning – tickets will not last. If you’ve never been – GO! If you’ve been, don’t miss the last one. If you don’t know, it is a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Get tickets and details here on all the events that week.
  • On Sunday, November 3rd, more than 30 of the Triangle’s finest restaurants will be paired with world-class wines at the third annual Sip + Savor – A Wine, Food and Music Experience.  Sip + Savor will showcase 30+ culinary all-stars, sommeliers, on-stage experience with live music, VIP lounge, and more. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

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

Friday Fun Food Facts – July 19, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Big news out of Durham this week with the announcement that Ashley Christensen would be teaming up with Michael Olander and the folks over at MDO Holdings to open three concepts (first looks like it will be in Durham’s University Hill in the spring of 2020) centered around a fast-casual chicken sandwich, offering five different versions. The concept is yet to be named. In Cary, the eatery will be in Parkside Town Commons, which plans a mid-2020 opening. The group is currently finalizing a third location, in Raleigh. Olander and his family have been involved in Applebee’s, Happy + Hale, Rise, Lonerider Brewery and St. Roch to name a few. His family has a long history with Christensen, Olander’s mom is a good friend and was the first investor in Poole’s. Thanks to reader Beth Peloquin, the Triangle Business Journal and the News & Observer for providing information. In the meantime, you can visit what looks to be a temporary site here or visit all of Christensen’s concepts here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Speaking of Ashley Christensen and as if she doesn’t have enough going on, we are getting very close to the opening of her next concept – Poole’side Pies and you can start to taste some of the menu items as Christensen’s other concepts around town. Here is the schedule: July 25, Meatball Sub at Beasley’s; August 1, Chicken Parm Sandwich at Chuck’s; August 8, Bruschetta at Death & Taxes; and August 15, Fried Macaroni au Gratin Balls at Poole’s. Post a pic of one of these dishes on Instagram and you’ll win a chance to attend the soft opening of Poole’side! Use hashtag #pumpuptopooleside and tag @poolesidepies on Instagram. They’ll be picking five lucky winners over the next 5 weeks to attend the opening later this summer. Get details on all these concepts here.
  • And so it is opening week at Mama Crow’s, Transfer Co. Food Hall’s newest addition. The new joint features executive chef David Mitchell highlighting items found in southern gardens, you can expect to find quality ingredients in the burgers and salads crafted. You can get all the details, including their menu, on their Facebook page here.
  • Got some sad news this week from the News & Observer – that Pho Pho Pho Noodle Kitchen + Bar closed this week after four years on Glenwood South. That’s the bad news. The good news that Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties shared exclusively with us is that Ashlie Cade who owns The Bison Bar on Whitaker Mill Rd. and St. Jacques French Restaurant on Falls of Neuse Rd. purchased the restaurant and plans on some light renovations and remodeling, extending the bar, etc. She will open a neighborhood bar called Blowfish this fall, tentatively planning on serving breakfast tacos a few mornings and an expanded taco menu thru the lunch, dinner and late night hours throughout the week with an emphasis on the bar having reasonably priced beer, wine and mixed drinks.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, Offline Raleigh shared that the popular deli-style sandwich and salad shop Manhattan Cafe has had an epic, under-the-radar brunch for a while, but it just got even better. They recently added beer and champagne to their Saturday brunch lineup! All you can eat pancakes and other breakfast classics? Check. Shaded patio? Check. And now, mimosas and beer? Sounds like a brunch win to us. Give them a visit Saturdays from 9a-2p(ish). Visit them here.
  • We learned this week that the Mexican concept Uncle Julio’s will have their grand opening in Raleigh on Tuesday, July 30, at its new location on Upper Level of Crabtree Valley Mall at 4325 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. Uncle Julio’s also has a location in Durham’s Streets at Southpoint. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Raleigh, reader Foster Lander provided an update that Chido Taco in McNeil Pointe is now open. It is a Mercado style fast-casual taqueria and bar and if your Spanish is a little weak, Chido is slang for cool. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over on Hillsborough Street, fellow Tweeter Social(og)ist shared the news that Kabab and Curry has moved a couple doors down into the old Bocci Trattoria & Pizzeria / Porter’s Tavern / McDaid’s Irish Restaurant & Pub place. No idea what’s happening to their old space. Check them out here.
  • Reader Steve Howell shared the news that Remington Grill Burgers and BBQ has closed at 4511 New Bern Ave, Suite 100. That is the bad news. The good news is that there is already a sign in the window for Secrets Cajun Kitchen. Check out their website for updates on when they might be opening.
  • Up in North Raleigh, reader Burke Williams let us know that Raleigh’s second location of The Lost Cajun is now open in Bent Tree Plaza on Falls of the Neuse near Stickland. The other Raleigh location is on Forest Pines Drive. Visit them here.
  • Over in Cary, the News & Observer shared the news that fast casual chain BurgerFi announced that it will open its newest location at 2001 Walnut St. in the Cary Crossroads Plaza shopping center on July 29. This will mark the company’s third Triangle location, all in Wake County, with spots in Raleigh off Wake Forest Road and in the Cary Arboretum along Interstate 40. Check them out here.
  • The summer pop-up fun continues through the summer where you can get a sneak preview of kō•än at their sister restaurant so•ca in Cameron Village! Follow them on Instagram here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The folks at Offline Durham shared that Nolia Coffee recently opened on Morning Glory Avenue near The Carrack where they are on a mission to create the quintessential family-centric space – outfitted with healthy menu items and places to play for the little humans, and with life-changing coffee for the big humans. The goal of the shop is to create a space where work, play, community engagement, and family are beautifully interwoven. Check it out here.
  • And down in Siler City, there was a ribbon cutting this week for A&I Chicken Shack, which is apparently a reopening of the former Kickin Chicken. According to the Chamber press release, A&I is a full-service restaurant that specializes in southern cooking. You can get to know them on their Facebook page here.

Closings

  • In Chapel Hill, reader Michael Pocinki shared the news that Eastgate Crossing’s Babalu has closed.

Food Trucks 

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

  • What do you get when you combine Sweet Charlie’s ice cream shop and Pour Taproom? I don’t know what you call it, but don’t forget to call me! Actually, it is Belgian National Day on Sunday, July 21 from 2-5 pm where there will be Belgian-style waffles that any dessert lover would crave, and at least four of their specialty flavors for sale. They’ll also be bringing some top-secret Belgian beers back on tap! Oh, and the kicker, Sunday is kids-eat-free day! What!?!?! Here is the Facebook event page with all the details. Thanks to the folks over at Bites of Bull City for the heads up on this glorious event.
  • The folks over at The Root Cellar Cafe (Pittsboro location) and Vino Wine Shop are teaming up for a Summer Wine Dinner on Sunday, July 28th featuring four (4) plated courses with five (5) wine pairings. Tickets are $69, which includes all fees, sales tax, and gratuity. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • On Saturday, August 3rd, the Raleigh and Cary locations of Sassool will host a birthday celebration for Cecilia “Sassool” Saleh, the restaurant’s namesake. In her honor, they will celebrate with their customers by having lots of special meal options, sampling of new retail products and plenty of dining fun! Sales for the day will be donated to Fill Your Bucket List Foundation that grants financial support to adults with cancer in order for them to create lasting memories with those they love. Get details on their event page here.
  • The Downtown Raleigh Alliance shared this week that the dates have been set for the Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week which will be held August 12-18. Go ahead and mark your calendars. Here is their website which will be updated with additional details and participating restaurants as we get closer to the date.
  • The date was released this week for the third annual Savor the Triangle Food Festival produced by Mix 101.5. This year’s event will again be held at the Kerr Scott building at the NC State Fairgrounds on Wednesday, September 18th from 6-9 p.m. Savor the Triangle Food Festival is a culinary event with the opportunity to sample many of the Triangle’s most delicious foods and drinks all in one place. Get all the details and early bird discounted tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • This is it. Your last chance. I’ve been touting this amazing event that Colleen Minton dreamed up 10 years ago and now we are at the 10th and FINAL Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival in Chapel Hill October 16-19, 2019. Yep, you read that right. This is the grand finale. There will be no more. And tickets went on sale last week. And heed my last (and final) warning – tickets will not last. If you’ve never been – GO! If you’ve been, don’t miss the last one. If you don’t know, it is a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Get tickets and details here on all the events that week.
  • On Sunday, November 3rd, more than 30 of the Triangle’s finest restaurants will be paired with world-class wines at the third annual Sip + Savor – A Wine, Food and Music Experience.  Sip + Savor will showcase 30+ culinary all-stars, sommeliers, on-stage experience with live music, VIP lounge, and more. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

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

Friday Fun Food Facts – July 12, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

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

Closings

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

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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

Friday Fun Food Facts – June 28, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

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

Closings

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

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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

Friday Fun Food Facts – June 21, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

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

Closings

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

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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

Friday Fun Food Facts – June 14, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

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

Closings

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

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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

Friday Fun Food Facts – June 7, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

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

Closings

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

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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