Friday Fun Food Facts – July 31, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Alright folks, let’s do this. So, USA Today compiled a list of what they think are the cities with the “best local food scene.” Now, they are counting on you to get the list in the right order. Currently Raleigh is in 6th place (behind Asheville – we can’t let that happen). Go here to vote…and vote often! Seriously, what are you waiting on? Why haven’t you voted (it is anonymous)?

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  Got word this week, and confirmed through several sources, that La Farm Bakery over in Cary is expanding into the space next to them. No word yet on a timeline or what changes the expansion might bring. Happy to see a local bakery enjoying so much success! Check out LaFarm here.
  • It is going to happen. Seriously, it really is going to happen. Saw in Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email (and confirmed on Scott Crawford’s Twitter account) that Standard Foods Restaurant & Grocery (205 E. Franklin Street in Raleigh) will be training their staff toward the end of August and they are shooting for an early September opening. Keep up to date on their Facebook page here.
  • The News & Observer reported some of the retail tenants in the recently opened SkyHouse Raleigh apartment building located at the corner of East Martin and South Blount streets in downtown Raleigh. One of the spots will be filled with a dining concept called Provenance owned by chef Teddy Klopf. They are expected to open in mid-November. Larry’s Beans Coffee Company will occupy one of the other spots. They are looking to open in the first quarter of 2016.
  • WRAL reported this week that Virgilio’s Premium Vinegars, Oils & Edibles is moving from their current location on White Street in Wake Forest to a spot just down the street in The Factory, next to Lilly Mae’s. They will open there on September 1st. Until then, you can continue to visit their current location (but please note they will be closed Aug. 1 through Aug. 10). Get more information here.
  • Got word from Heather Black that Los Tres Magueyes is opening another location, this one in Apex in the former Pizza Inn spot at 1301 E. Williams Street. When it opens, it will be the 5th Triangle area location. Check out their website here.
  • This is pretty cool and another example of why we live in such a great spot for dining out. This Saturday The Chef’s Academy in Morrisville will award degrees to 72 graduates of its culinary arts and pastry arts programs, with many assuming positions in various kitchens throughout the Triangle. Congratulations graduates! Learn more about The Chef’s Academy here.
  • And speaking of The Chef’s Academy, Mike Santos is teaming up with Raleigh restaurant owner Jon Seelbinder to open Linus & Pepper’s, a pop-up sandwich shop in a downstairs area of Seelbinder’s Level Up Restaurant + Barcadium at 126 S. Salisbury Street. The pop-up will teach students everything they need to know about developing a menu and starting and operating a café, so the menu should be very interesting and fun. They plan to operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until it closes Aug. 24, although that date might move, so stay tuned.
  • Got word that the Penn Station East Coast Subs in Cary has opened at 700 Cary Towne Boulevard in Cary. This marks the 4th Triangle area location. Learn more about Penn Station here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • Drove by this week and saw that the Guanajuato Mexican Restaurant has relocated and reopened within the same shopping center (undergoing major renovations) in Chatham County. The shopping center used to be Cole Park Plaza, but is now North Chatham Village. Visit them on Facebook here.

Closings 

  • The Triangle Business Journal reported that this past Monday Raleigh restaurateur Lou Moshakos and his team at LM Restaurants closed the company’s last remaining fast-food restaurant location, New Bern Subs in east Raleigh.
  • Heather Black notified us that the Rudino’s Sports Porch on Williams Street in Apex has closed their doors.
  • Got word from WRAL that the Baba Ghannouj at 14460 New Falls Of Neuse Rd has closed.
  • And saw on Triangle Explorer’s twitter feed that Big Apple Bagels in the Falls River Town Center in North Raleigh has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark your calendar for the next two big food truck rodeo’s in downtown Raleigh and downtown Durham. Raleigh’s next rally will be in the evening (4-9 p.m.) on Sunday, August 9th and Durham’s will be Labor Day weekend (September 6th).
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

  • Got word from my friend John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) that tickets are on sale now for Beericana, a craft beer & music festival in Holly Springs on September 12. Beericana is in its second year and all signs point to it being even better than last year. The festival will feature over 60 breweries from across the state and beyond, more food trucks than last year with at least 20 trucks. General admission tickets are $45 and VIP tickets are $75. Get all the details and information on tickets here.
  • The Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival is back again this year at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre July 31 through August 1. I think the title of this event gives you a pretty good idea of what it is all about, but if you need more details, check them out here.
  • Go ahead and mark your calendar for Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week, which will be held August 17th – Sunday, August 23rd. It has expanded this year to include lunch menus and a Do-It-Yourself Progressive Dinner option. This option will encourage patrons to visit a different restaurant for each course on a tantalizing tour of downtown dining. Participating dining establishments will offer three-course prix fixe dinners for either $20 or $30 per person, $5 or $10 lunch menus, and/or a special appetizer, entrée, or dessert for the Progressive Dinner option, depending on the venue. Get all the details here.
  • Midtown Grille executive chef Benjamin Harris came to Raleigh from Charleston, South Carolina. So the recent events there hit pretty close to home. So on Sunday, August 23rd he will host a chef collaboration event called North Cooks South to raise money for the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Joining Harris will be Charleston’s Daniel Doyle (Poogan’s Porch), Charlotte’s Chris Coleman (The Asbury/Dunhill Hotel) and Raleigh’s Scott James (executive sous chef at The Angus Barn). The $150 dinner is limited to 100 people. Get more information and tickets here.
  • And if you are into eating healthier, you might want to go ahead and get this event on your calendar – the 2015 Triangle Vegfest which will be held at Moore Square and City Market in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, October 17th from noon until 5 p.m. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • We have less than two weeks of our summer campaign to provide 3.2 million meals to children and their families during the summer. For 300,000 kids in our region, no school means no meals. Let’s #StopSummerHunger together! Get more information or donate now.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – July 24, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

  •  It was announced this week that tickets have gone on sale for one of the biggest foodie events around – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival, which will be held in Chapel Hill October 8-10. It simply can’t be missed. Get details on all the events around this festival here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  Rise Biscuits & Donuts is on the move again according to WRAL. With full attention focused on opening franchise locations, they announced this week that another deal has been secured for north Raleigh’s Sutton Square at 6325 Falls of the Neuse Road. This will be the 4th Triangle location following the original location in Durham, the Morrisville location in Park West Village (scheduled to open any day now) and the location in Raleigh’s Cameron Village. Each location will have “pop-up” tastings (visit their Facebook pages to find out times on these). Get more information on Rise here.
  • Get ready north Raleigh to loosen the old belt a few notches. The Triangle Business Journal gave us an update this week noting that the second location of Big Ed’s is a matter of days away from opening. They noted that the location in the Quail Corners shopping center is finishing up “minor details” inside the space and is targeted to open at “the end of the month or right around the first of August,” according to Sam Hobgood. They also noted that this location would also be open for dinner. Check them out here.
  • Also in north Raleigh, the News & Observer reported this week that Farina opened over the weekend in the former Paparazzi space in Lafayette Village. The new restaurant, like its predecessor in the space, is Italian. They are open nightly and serve brunch on Sunday. Get all the details here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Cary is about to get another Indian restaurant – Kababish Café. It is located at 201 W. Chatham Street in the former UnVine’d wine bar space in Olde Cary Commons. They are scheduled to open today, but check in with them first before going. Get all the details here.
  • Got an update on the area’s first MOD Pizza. They are now scheduled to open the first week of August at 2071 W. Millbrook Road (corner of Millbrook and Creedmoor) in north Raleigh. Get all the details and a sneak peek here.
  • In other pizza news, Marco’s Pizza in Clayton has just opened and will hold their Grand Opening celebration on Sunday, July 26th from 4-7 p.m. with free pizza trials, refreshments, pizza giveaways, a DJ, martial arts demonstrations, the fire department and more. Check them out there.
  • And in this week’s “Wouldn’t That Be Great” column we made note that the folks over at Larry’s Beans put up a photo of the old Helios building on Glenwood South and wrote, “Wouldn’t this be a great spot for a coffee bar?” Not sure if they are giving us a hint there, or hoping someone will move into that spot soon. Needless to say, we will keep an eye on this one. Here was their actual post on Facebook.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • The News & Observer reported this week that Matt Fox, Jeremy Blankenship and Dean James (the folks behind The Wooden Nickel Pub, Hillsborough BBQ Co., and La Place) will be opening a new sandwich shop called Bona Fide Sandwich Co., which they plan to open in the fall in downtown Hillsborough at 104 N. Churton Street. You can check them out on Facebook here.
  • Got great news this week that Hernan Moyano, his brother Santiago and Ricky Yofre will be opening a brick & mortar location of Makus Empanadas in the Hope Valley shopping center in Durham. Up until this point they have been doing catering around the Triangle. Look for the location to open this fall. Get more information on Makus here.
  • WRAL reported this week that Northgate Mall announced the opening of Randy’s Pizza Express in their food court. Next month will mark the 20th anniversary of Randy’s Pizza, which now has eight locations throughout the Triangle. Get more information on Randy’s here.

Closings 

  • Got word from David McCreary that Mt. Fuji Hibachi & Sushi restaurant at 1311 E. Broad St. in Fuquay-Varina has closed its doors.

Food Trucks 

  • The expanded Chatham Street Chowdown food truck rally in downtown Cary is tomorrow (July 26th)! The town announced there will be 27 food trucks at the next event, that’s up from the 15 trucks that spread out along West Chatham Street in April. Get all the details here.
  • And go ahead and mark your calendar for the next two big food truck rodeo’s in downtown Raleigh and downtown Durham. Raleigh’s next rally will be in the evening (4-9 p.m.) on Sunday, August 9th and Durham’s will be Labor Day weekend (September 6th).
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

  • Got word from my friend John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) that tickets are on sale now for Beericana, a craft beer & music festival in Holly Springs on September 12. Beericana is in its second year and all signs point to it being even better than last year. The festival will feature over 60 breweries from across the state and beyond, more food trucks than last year with at least 20 trucks. General admission tickets are $45 and VIP tickets are $75. Get all the details and information on tickets here.
  • I often find myself in a pickle, but I’ve never been to a “pickle” event. You? Now’s your chance as The Rickhouse on Foster Street in Durham will host PickleFest Durham this Saturday (July 25th) from noon until 3 p.m. The event is free and will bring together the areas pickle makers and enthusiasts along with restaurants, food trucks, food bloggers, farmers and canners and the N&O’s Andrea Weigl (author of Pickles & Preserves). Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival is back again this year at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre July 31 through August 1. I think the title of this event gives you a pretty good idea of what it is all about, but if you need more details, check them out here.
  • Go ahead and mark your calendar for Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week, which will be held August 17th – Sunday, August 23rd. It has expanded this year to include lunch menus and a Do-It-Yourself Progressive Dinner option. This option will encourage patrons to visit a different restaurant for each course on a tantalizing tour of downtown dining. Participating dining establishments will offer three-course prix fixe dinners for either $20 or $30 per person, $5 or $10 lunch menus, and/or a special appetizer, entrée, or dessert for the Progressive Dinner option, depending on the venue. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • We have less than two weeks of our summer campaign to provide 3.2 million meals to children and their families during the summer. For 300,000 kids in our region, no school means no meals. Let’s #StopSummerHunger together! Get more information or donate now.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – July 17, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •   Mami Nora is retiring and she’s taking her name with her…but not the recipes, so don’t expect any change. She is simply handing over the keys to her children who have been with her since the beginning. On July 25th, the Raleigh location on Capital Blvd., the Durham location and the Cary location will change to Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken. The Wake Forest Road location in Raleigh, which is owned by Palma’s sister, will keep the Mami Nora’s name per its development agreement. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  A slight modification to the opening date for the Raleigh Beer Garden, located at 614 Glenwood Avenue. They will now open to the public on Tuesday, July 21st at 11:00 a.m. (it is never too early to start drinking). Keep up with them on their Facebook page here.
  • Just a reminder that the newest version of Carolina Ale House will open their doors next Monday (July 20) in Garner at 400 Conservation Road in the White Oak shopping center. Check out their Facebook page here.
  •  Speaking of White Oak, the Triangle Business Journal provided a listing of all the other dining options that are “in the works” at the center. They are: Starbucks (opened in late June), Five Guys Burgers & Fries (also opening July 20), Longhorn Steakhouse, Raleigh-based Buffalo Brothers, Red Robin, Panera Bread, and Krafty Burgers and Brews. Stay tuned on all of these.
  • Over in Cary, saw on Yelp that the sign has gone up for the Triangle’s second location of The Egg & I. It will be located at 1104 Ledsome Lane, off of Walnut Street across from REI. It is being brought to us by Teresa Pace and Cole Harris, who also brought us the Chapel Hill location. According to their website, they are aiming for an August 31st opening. Get more information on them here.
  • Also in Cary, the News & Observer announced that Red Hot & Blue has opened at Cary’s Waverly Place. The barbecue restaurant, which had operated at the shopping center for about 18 years before closing in 2007, is back to serving dishes such as ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken. Get more details here.
  • We told you about it in March, but the Independent has confirmed that Tibetan Restaurant (yes, that is their name) has opened at 148-A E. Chatham Street in Cary.
  • Got word from Knightdale town manager Seth Lawless that they will be getting their very own brewery come this September called Oak City Brewing. They will be located on the 700 block of First Avenue, right in front of Knightdale Station.
  • Got a tweet from reader Scott Clark that Nashers Sandwich House will open in the space formerly occupied by Butcher Block American Grill at 10630 Durant Road in Raleigh. Nashers will focus on an all natural scratch-made menu featuring sandwiches, salads, soups, and sides. No word yet on an open date, but you can check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • The Independent shared some news this week that is going to make a lot of people in Durham very happy. Raleigh’s Happy & Hale is making its way over to Durham’s Ninth Street with plans to open a space that is three times the size of the Raleigh location. Look for them to open in January, 2016 in what used to be a post office at 703 Ninth Street. If you are not familiar with them Durham, check them out here.
  • This is big news for Brightleaf Square in Durham. The Urban Food Group (who brought us Coquette, Vivace and Chow) announced this week (somewhat vaguely) that they are bringing a new concept to Durham called Lucia. I don’t have any more details at this point, other than their Twitter handle. Stay tuned on this one. You can learn more about Urban Food Group here.
  • The much-anticipated Café Symmetry over in Carrboro’s Carr Mill Mall officially opened this past week with dinner hours. They obviously plan to open for lunch, but want to get their staff comfortable and trained first. No word yet on when they will open for lunch. The initial word on the street is very favorable. Check them out!

Closings 

  • This Saturday will be the last day to dine at Zinda in downtown Raleigh. Owner G. Patel announced this week that the restaurant side of the concept will close while it will remain open Thursday through Saturday as a bar and nightlife destination. Their event space will also be available throughout the week.

Food Trucks 

  • Got word from Art Sheppard (aka The Wandering Sheppard) that today, Friday, July 17, a Korean Food Truck showdown will occur between BulKogi, Hanu and Mixed Korean at Duraleigh Korean Presbyterian Church, 5408 Duraleigh Road, from 6-8 p.m. Get more details on WRAL here.
  • The News & Observer is reporting that Cary is stepping up their game by expanding their Chatham Street Chowdown food truck rally in downtown Cary. The town announced there will be 24 food trucks at the next event on Sunday, July 26, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. That’s up from the 15 trucks that spread out along West Chatham Street in April. Get all the details here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

  • Got word from my friend John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) that tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. for Beericana, a craft beer & music festival in Holly Springs on September 12. Beericana is in its second year and all signs point to it being even better than last year. The festival will feature over 60 breweries from across the state and beyond, more food trucks than last year with at least 20 trucks. General admission tickets are $45 and VIP tickets are $75. Get all the details and information on tickets here.
  • The folks over at Lafayette Village are holding their annual Pork Out at Lafayette Village this Saturday (July 18) from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. where you can enjoy up to 20 teams’ BBQ as the compete for the People’s Choice award. Fun for the whole family. Get the schedule and all the details here.
  • Cary’s Carolina RailHawks soccer team has its fourth annual pre-game Pig Pickin’ Festival and BBQ Competition this Saturday (July 18) beginning at 5:30 (game kicks off at 7:15). Professional and amateur cooks will be cooking, with the amateur cooks will be competing to become the RailHawks Barbecue Champion. Pig pickin’ attendees can sample the barbecue as well as try Lonerider Brewery’s Captain’s Ale. Tickets are $17, $12 for those under 21. Get all the details here.
  • In case you didn’t know, Sunday (July 19) is National Ice Cream Day (that is everyday in my house…). And the folks out at Maple View Farms are celebrating with games, live music, face painting and of course, delicious ice cream. The event starts at 12:30, with music starting at 3 p.m. Here is their Facebook page for the event.
  • Got word from chef Jordan Keyser that he is doing pop-up dinners in Pittsboro on Thursdays at the Small B&B Café in downtown Pittsboro. Called Thingamajig Thursdays, they feature a 3-course offering for $25 or a 6-course offering for $40. Get the menu and all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • This is kind of fun and a good way to save a little “green” while trying out some new restaurants. Throughout the entire month of July, when dining at any Eschelon Experiences restaurant, keep your receipt for a 30% off discount when taken to one of the company’s other establishments. The Eschelon line-up includes Mura, The Oxford, Zinda, Cameron Bar and Grill, Faire and Basan. Get all the details and more information on all of Eschelon’s restaurants here.
  • I often find myself in a pickle, but I’ve never been to a “pickle” event. You? Now’s your chance as The Rickhouse on Foster Street in Durham will host PickleFest Durham on July 25th from noon until 3 p.m. The event is free and will bring together the areas pickle makers and enthusiasts along with restaurants, food trucks, food bloggers, farmers and canners and the N&O’s Andrea Weigl (author of Pickles & Preserves). Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The dates are set (October 8-10) for one of my favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Tickets are set to go on sale soon! Take a look at all the initial details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • July is National Hot Dog Month, and Firewürst has begun its second annual #DollarsForDogs campaign, in which the locally-owned restaurant commits to donating $1 for every dog sold throughout the month to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC‘s Stop Summer Hunger Program. Last year, the community involvement in the campaign led to a $10,000 donation! Firewürst of course has some tricks up their sleeve for National Hot Dog Day specifically (July 23rd), so keep an eye out! Visit Firewurst this July!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – July 10, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

  •  The Triangle Business Journal is reporting that the Raleigh Beer Garden, located at 614 Glenwood Avenue, will open to the public a week from Monday on July 20th. They will feature 366 beers on tap! That means you could go every day for an entire year without drinking the same beer twice. Congratulations to Niall Hanley on his latest venture! Get a sneak peek at the space in TBJ’s slideshow here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  What do you get when you cross dining, bowling, movies (50 screens), an arcade and a bar? You get Cary’s latest announcement of CineBowl & Grille which opens today in Parkside Town Commons Center. CineBowl is billing itself as “the greater Triangle area’s first Dine & Recline cinema – allowing moviegoers to order freshly prepared items and drinks from the comfort of luxury electric leather recliners” according to the News & Observer. Check out all the fun here.
  • Chanticleer Cafe and Bakery is now open in Cary at 6490 Tryon Road in Cary’s Wellington Park Shopping Center, at the corner of Tryon and Cary Parkway. The bakery is owned by Jennifer and Craig Freeman and is open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Look for fresh bakery items, sandwiches and Joe Van Gogh coffee. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • The folks over at JMR Kitchens (who brought us The Oak and Taste) are doing it again announcing this week that they will be opening more. kitchen and bar at 116 N. West Street in the old Mantra location. more. will be a unique European inspired small plate concept with hard to find wines. Check them out here.
  • Heard from several sources that Berkeley Café in Raleigh’s Nash Square is under new ownership. Not much is expected to change, except the addition of items to the menu. Check them out here on Facebook.
  • In other downtown Raleigh news, heard from the folks over at Offline Media that Fiction Kitchen will be closed until July 13 for vacation. But go ahead and book your dinner for July 14th! Check them out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, New Raleigh is reporting that a new wine bar and art gallery is coming to 313 W. Hargett Street across from Cafe de los Muertos. Not much else to report at this point, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
  • And just on the outskirts of downtown, New Raleigh noted this week that the former Quality Grocery in historic Oakwood (701 E. Lane Street) will become some combination of Belgian / French beer and food joint. Grated that is a bit vague; it is exciting to see something coming into that great space. Stay tuned.
  • Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Wicked Taco, a Blacksburg, Virginia-based fresh-Mex concept, opened its second restaurant – and the first in North Carolina – in Raleigh at 3928 Western Blvd. Calling itself the “craft brewer of tacos,” the restaurant features locally sourced ingredients and fresh-made salsas. Visit them online here.
  • West Raleigh just got some good news. The Triangle Business Journal reported that the owner of Vic’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria on Blake Street at City Market in downtown Raleigh will open a second location at the MarketPlace at Lake Boone retail and office complex on Lake Boone Trail in the space formerly occupied by Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt. Check out Vic’s here.
  • WRAL reported this morning that a new restaurant called CaRibb Cuisine & Bar is on its way in Raleigh off Glenwood Avenue out near the airport (8111 Rowlock Way). It will feature authentic Caribbean food and signature drinks. Check them out here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, WRAL reported this week that there is a new place to get your ice cream fix in downtown Wake Forest. Scoops on Main just opened this month at 701 N. Main Street. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Happy to announce that Chicago pizza maker Rosati’s in Wake Forest has reopened. They closed toward the end of April, but reopened June 14th under new management. Check out Rosati’s here.
  • Also in Wake Forest, WRAL reported that The Burger Shop opened Wednesday in downtown Wake Forest, at 203 Wait Ave. which is next to Virgilio’s where Odette’s Café used to be. We were unable to find a website for them.
  • Also in Garner, reader Hugh Autry tipped me off to the fact that there is a new sign up for Krafty’s Burgers and Brews next to White Oak Cinemas in the space previously occupied by Shuck em’ Shack. No word yet on an open date, but you can keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Hugh Autry also informed me that there is a new restaurant called East Garden Restaurant that is going in across from REI on Maynard Road in Raleigh. We were unable to find a website for it, but we’ll ask Hugh to keep an eye on it for us. Thanks Hugh!
  • And congratulations to Cary-based Firewürst, founded by a father-and-two-sons team in 2012, as they officially registered to begin franchising in North Carolina. They’ll look to the Triangle for their first franchise locations, hoping to find a franchisee who is excited to build off of the buzz the brand has created in the past couple of years of operation. With locations already in Brier Creek and on Harrison Ave in Cary, Firewürst is anxious to tap into markets such as North Raleigh and Durham to continue serving flame-grilled sausages, burgers, and dogs, both in the restaurant and through their growing catering efforts. If you are interested, check them out there.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • As we told you in our last edition, Durham’s Gregoria’s Cuban Steakhouse closed July 3. But they have completely renovated the building into a vibrant new upscale tapas-style Latin eatery called Mesa Latin Kitchen. And WRAL reported that they will swing open their doors on July 17th. Mesa is owned by Fares Hanna, who previously owned and operated Gregoria’s. Sign up for their newsletter here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal “noted” that Durham’s Blue Note Grill reopened at the end of last month at its new location at 709 Washington St. near the historic Durham Athletic Park. The new space is twice the size of its old location. Check them out here.
  • Got word from WRAL that Mez in Durham will be starting new hours soon, including a Sunday Brunch. Stay tuned! And we’ll stay on top of it for you. Check them out here.
  • The folks over at ChickenWireNC announced that their next “pop-up” event on July 19, will be a Glazed & Confused Tasting Picnic in Pittsboro. The festival-like event will feature 20 chefs, over 20 artisans, 5 local brewers, 3 distillers, 3 wine distributors, a kids’ tent, silent auction, and live music by the Onyx Club Boys!

Closings 

  • Got word from reader Joel Marcus that Hayashi-ya in Brier Creek has closed their doors. Marcus also reports that there is a sign for Bar Louie in the window. I reached out to Bar Louie, but haven’t received a response yet. Stay tuned. Get a sneak peek at them here.

Food Trucks 

  • Wake Forest will hold their next Food Truck Rodeo on Sunday, July 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Renaissance Place at 450 S. Brooks Street in historic downtown. In addition to all the trucks, look for a beer tent provided by Brooks Street Bowl, a Kid’s Zone and live music. Get all the details here.
  • The News & Observer is reporting that Cary is stepping up their game by expanding their Chatham Street Chowdown food truck rally in downtown Cary. The town announced there will be 24 food trucks at the next event on Sunday, July 26, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. That’s up from the 15 trucks that spread out along West Chatham Street in April. Get all the details here.
  • For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.

Events

  • The folks over at Snap Pea Underground Dinners are doing it again, but you are going to have to act fast beginning today at noon. Their next “secret” dinners will take place in Chapel Hill on Friday and Saturday (July 17 & 18). But act fast, this is a smaller venue and they will be offering chef’s table seating! To get in on the fun, check them out here.
  • This is kind of fun and a good way to save a little “green” while trying out some new restaurants. Throughout the entire month of July, when dining at any Eschelon Experiences restaurant, keep your receipt for a 30% off discount when taken to one of the company’s other establishments. The Eschelon line-up includes Mura, The Oxford, Zinda, Cameron Bar and Grill, Faire and Basan. Get all the details and more information on all of Eschelon’s restaurants here.
  • I often find myself in a pickle, but I’ve never been to a “pickle” event. You? Now’s your chance as The Rickhouse on Foster Street in Durham will host PickleFest Durham on July 25th from noon until 3 p.m. The event is free and will bring together the areas pickle makers and enthusiasts along with restaurants, food trucks, food bloggers, farmers and canners and the N&O’s Andrea Weigl (author of Pickles & Preserves). Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The dates are set (October 8-10) for one of my favorite food events of the year – the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can’t be missed. Tickets are set to go on sale soon! Take a look at all the initial details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • West 94th St. Pub in southwest Durham will host the 2nd Annual Grill Master Cook Off Competition to benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. They are calling all local “Grill Masters” to show off their “grillin” skills on Saturday, July 11, 2015 from 9am- 4pm. The food will be donated by West 94th St Pub and the secret ingredient will be provided by TOPO. Each contestant will be required to cook onsite, 2-3 whole chickens with TOPO’s secret Ingredient. The registration deadline to cook is July 6th. For more information or to get involved contact Kerry Bryant at 919-403-0025 or email Kerry@West94thStPub.com.
  • Also, July is National Hot Dog Month, and Firewürst has begun its second annual #DollarsForDogs campaign, in which the locally-owned restaurant commits to donating $1 for every dog sold throughout the month to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC‘s Stop Summer Hunger Program. Last year, the community involvement in the campaign led to a $10,000 donation! Firewürst of course has some tricks up their sleeve for National Hot Dog Day specifically (July 23rd), so keep an eye out! Visit Firewurst this July!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – June 26, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

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

Closings 

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

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner   

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

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Friday Fun Food Facts – June 19, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

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

Closings 

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

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner 

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

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

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

But together, we can help.

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

 

Click the link above to see how you can help!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – June 12, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

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

Closings 

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

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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

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

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

But together, we can help.

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

Click the link above to see how you can help!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – June 5, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

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

Closings 

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

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner   

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

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

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

But together, we can help.

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

Leave a Comment

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 29, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News 

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

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

Closings 

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

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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

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

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

But together, we can help.

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

Click the link above to see how you can help!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 22, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

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

Closings 

  • None to report. Keeping eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner   

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

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

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

But together, we can help.

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

Click the link above to see how you can help!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized