Friday Fun Food Facts – January 23, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

 Featured Restaurant News

  • Triangle Business Journal reported this week that P.G. Werth’s Restaurant & Market, the new project of Chef Gregory Hamm, will open for business today. It is located on the ground floor of the 927 W. Morgan apartment building in downtown Raleigh. Hamm is also the proprietor of Cafe 121 in Sanford. Check it out on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  I might need to start a “great reads” section on a weekly basis – especially if Andrea Weigl at the News & Observer keeps turning out these amazing pieces! This time she has penned a terrific article on some of the “other” (i.e. non Ashley Christensen…) wonderful establishments owned by women in Raleigh’s booming food scene. Take the time to read it here.
  • A bit of a change-up over in Cary. As you might recall, Bella Mia changed hands right around December, 2012. Now we are getting word that that location has closed and a sign for Ruckus Pizza now hangs in the window. No word yet on the open date for Ruckus. Thanks to readers Christy Tucker and Sarah Armstrong for the initial tips on this. Check out Ruckus here.
  • John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) tipped me off to the fact that The Mason Jar Tavern in Holly Springs opened yesterday. They are located at 114 Grand Hill Place. Check them out here.
  • Got word from my friend Dana McCall (aka GoGoRaleigh) that the third time might just be the charm. Apparently Chipotle is going into Crossroads Shopping Center in Cary where Salsaritas and Taqueria del Sol were. Looking at early summer.
  • Also in Cary, got notice that Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint is set to host their grand opening this Saturday, January 24 with free pizza from 11 until 2. It is located in the Parkside Town Common shopping center. Look for two more locations to open in the Triangle in the next 18 months. Check them out here.
  • Reader Hugh Autry informed me via email that the family that started Lane’s Seafood and Steaks down in Angier have decided to reopen the restaurant. Stay tuned. Thanks Hugh!

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  I saw on a Yelp feed that Gonza Taco y Tequila is about two weeks from opening another Triangle area location. With locations already in Wake Forest and Raleigh, they are set now to open in downtown Durham’s West Village development. Check them out here.
  • A bit of an update on news we brought you back in April, 2014. The News & Observer is reporting that Ken Yowell, owner of CalaVela Empanada & Tequila Bar in downtown Raleigh, is targeting the first week in February for the opening of a second location in Carrboro in the Hampton Inn building. Although, due to a parting of ways with a business partner, it won’t be called CalaVela. Here is a look at CalaVela to give you an idea.
  • And upon getting that operation up and running, Yowell will immediately begin efforts to open in the adjacent space a “meatball” concept similar to his Oak City Meatball Shoppe which is also over in downtown Raleigh. Obviously it won’t be called Oak City, but no word yet on the name (I don’t think Paris of the Piedmont Meatball Shoppe will make the cut). We’ll keep an eye on both of these. Take a peek at Oak City Meatball Shopped to get an idea.
  • The Triangle Business Journal noted this week that Durham-based food truck Captain Poncho’s Tacos is opening a restaurant in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village and that they are targeting an opening date of Feb. 15. Check them out here.
  • On Saturday, January 24th, Smallckakes will hold their grand opening celebration. Details here.

Closings 

  • Rebecca Calhoun brought it to my attention this week that Taqueria Americana at Lafayette Village has closed. But it seems they might be reopening in another space. We will keep an eye on it.
  • Got word this week that the Five Guys Burgers in the food court at Streets at Southpoint has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • The weather this Sunday looks spectacular. And if you are missing your food truck rodeos as much as I am, you will be glad to know that the good folks over at Durham Central Park are hosting their Winter Food Truck Rodeo this Sunday! The trucks (45+) will circle up on Sunday, January 25th from noon until 4 p.m. in downtown Durham. Get all the details here.

Events

  • The Chinese New Year is upon us and apparently it is the year of the Goat! And on Saturday January 31, at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, the Triangle Chinese American Society of North Carolina will hold the 2015 Chinese New Year Festival. Tickets are $5 in advance, $8 at the door. Kids 6 years and under are free! Over 40 performances, tons of kids activities, a dozen food vendors, and cultural exhibits. Get tickets and details here.
  • The folks over at Chickenwire have put together another fabulous dining experience coming up on Sunday, February 8th. Running with the theme of “Where the Wild Things Are” this dinner will feature chefs James Clark (Carolina Inn), Serge Falcon-Vigne (518 West), Sean Fowler (Mandolin), and Regan Stachler (Little Hen). Tickets are $85 and include hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour, followed by a seated 4-course dinner (includes tax and gratuity). Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Tickets are now on sale for the “Got To Be NC” Competition Dining Series which features 16 chefs that will be competing in the Fire in the Triangle competition that runs from January 19th through the grand finale on March 2nd. See who the chefs this year are, see match-ups and get your tickets here.
  • This week kicks off Triangle Restaurant Week! Running January 26th through February 1st, the week-long event features participating restaurants offering fixed-price, three-course menu options. A 3-course lunch is $15 and a 3-course dinner is $20 or $30 person, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. See a list of participating restaurants and get all the details here.
  • If you are tired of football bowls, or if you can’t get enough of them, here is another “bowl” to check out – The Q Shack’s 2015 Chili Bowl. Each week they will feature a new chili for you to check out (perfect for all this cold weather). And the best part…10% of all chili sales in January will go to support Loaves and Fishes Ministry. Get all the details here.
  • And speaking of chili, the staff over at Chapel Hill’s Southern Season are hosting a chili “throwdown” tomorrow, January 24th from 12 to 3 p.m. And the best part? You get to sample and vote for the winner. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • Our friends over at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina are coming off a very big year in 2014 (read about it here). But the need is even bigger and their work is even more meaningful. So how can you help? Have you ever considered hosting a food drive at your office? They make it as easy as pie. Click here for a step-by-step “guide” to hosting a food drive in your office.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 16, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

 Featured Restaurant News

  • Got word from a couple of sources this past week that Cary is now home to a wonderful new Indian restaurant called Peacock. Located at 2250 Gathering Park Circle in the former Café Capistrano space, they feature simple Indian comfort food. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In September of last year we told you about the changes coming to the 501 Building on Glenwood South. The Triangle Business Journal provided us with an update this week – Raleigh restaurateurs Vincent Barresi and Christopher Bender will open Big Boom later next month, or early March in the space formerly occupied by Red Room.
  • We got word this week that the former Pasta Tuscan Grille has completed its transition into a Southern eatery and gastropub called Rye Bar and Southern Kitchen in the Raleigh Marriott City Center, and is now open. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported that Red Hot & Blue is opening soon in Cary’s Waverly Place, in the same site it was previously located at 325 New Waverly Place. At this point, all we know is that their opening is “just around the corner” according to their Facebook page. You can check out their Facebook page here to see the latest.
  • The folks at Tupelo Honey, which just opened adjacent to Raleigh’s Cameron Village, are changing things up a bit. This past week they tweaked their menu, and changed the color of their plates! While long-standing, tried-and-true Southern favorites will still be on the menu, the restaurant will introduce several smaller sharable plates and a few new entrees. Check out Tupelo here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  An opening and a grand opening celebration to remind you about over in Durham. Next week (January 20) Eschelon Experiences opens their newest concept – Basan (Japanese/sushi restaurant) in downtown Durham’s Diamond View III building. Details here. And on Saturday, January 24th, Smallckakes will hold their grand opening celebration in the Hope Valley shopping center. Details here.
  • And Triangle Business Journal provided a bit of an update on the opening of the Carolina Ale House on West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Originally scheduled to open in the next few months, that opening has been pushed back to the middle or end of 2015. It will be located in the old Yates Motor Company building. Just this past week, Carolina Ale House opened their long-awaited downtown Raleigh location. Check them out here.

Closings 

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  •  If you are missing your food truck rodeos as much as I am, you will be glad to know that the good folks over at Durham Central Park are hosting their Winter Food Truck Rodeo in just over a week! The trucks (45+) will circle up on Sunday, January 25th from noon until 4 p.m. in downtown Durham. Get all the details here.

Events 

  • The folks over at Chickenwire have put together another fabulous dining experience coming up on Sunday, February 8th. Running with the theme of “Where the Wild Things Are” this dinner will feature chefs James Clark (Carolina Inn), Serge Falcon-Vigne (518 West), Sean Fowler (Mandolin), and Regan Stachler (Little Hen). Tickets are $85 and include hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour, followed by a seated 4-course dinner (includes tax and gratuity). Get tickets and all the details here.
  • A little over a week until Triangle Restaurant Week! Running January 26th through February 1st, the week-long event features participating restaurants offering fixed-price, three-course menu options. A 3-course lunch is $15 and a 3-course dinner is $20 or $30 person, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. See a list of participating restaurants and get all the details here.
  • If you are tired of football bowls, or if you can’t get enough of them, here is another “bowl” to check out – The Q Shack’s 2015 Chili Bowl. Each week they will feature a new chili for you to check out (perfect for all this cold weather). And the best part…10% of all chili sales in January will go to support Loaves and Fishes Ministry. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner…Is Cancer Corner For a Week    

  • I need a favor. First, I promise to get back to the wonderful folks over at The Food Bank next week (they still need your help, so check them out here.) But, I have some dear friends that have a sister that is battling stage 4 incurable lung cancer. She is a mother of four. They are trying to win a viral video contest (need to get 500,000 views) that would award her with $500,000 to help take care of her children when she is gone. If you can spare 2 minutes to watch this video (and share it with your social networks), I would be most appreciative. I am confident we can reach this goal. Here is the video…and thanks in advance. Cancer sucks!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 9, 2015

Triangle Restaurant News

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

 Featured Restaurant News

  • Did you miss me? It is good to be back and already loving 2015! We’ve got a ton of news, so let’s get to it!
  • The newest member of the Carolina Ale House family is scheduled to open their doors for lunch on January 12th. This is a beautiful location in the middle of Raleigh’s Glenwood South district (500 Glenwood Avenue to be exact). The restaurant is located on the third floor of the new building and features a rooftop patio. Check them out on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • I begin the new year with a suggestion of a great article to read. If you are sensing that the food scene in Raleigh has experienced a bit of a resurgence over the last couple of years, you would be correct. And in this article, the News & Observer’s Andrea Weigl does a great job of capturing that momentum. Take a few minutes to read it – you’ll be glad you did (and hungry!).
  • And if you want to read/see something else pretty cool – Triangle Business Journal tapped Ashley Christensen as their Businessperson of the Year for 2014! Check it out here.
  • WRAL reported that The Medlin, a new neighborhood bar at 3037 Medlin Drive in Raleigh, opened its doors on Christmas Day. It is located in a small shopping area off of Dixie Trail, and is owned by the same folks who own The Goat bar. You can check them out on Facebook here.
  • Saw on Yelp that a 4th Triangle location of Mami Nora’s, a Peruvian style chicken rotisserie restaurant, will open in early 2015 on Capital Boulevard in the MiniCity Market Place shopping center in the former Polla a la Brasa location. Should be opening any day now, but we’ll keep an eye on it. In the meantime, check out one of their other locations.
  • According to their Facebook page, popular food truck/barn Big Mike’s BBQ is opening their brick and mortar location this weekend with a soft opening for dinner tonight (Friday) and Saturday. The new location is at 1222 NW Maynard Road in Cary. Check them out here.
  • And speaking of food trucks transitioning into brick and mortar locations, I saw in the News & Observer that Chick-N-Que is slated to open in Rolesville today (January 9th). The restaurant is a brick-and-mortar location of a popular food truck that has been on the road since 2009. It is located at 420 S. Main St. in Rolesville. Check them out here.
  • After 17 years, downtown Raleigh’s Mo’s Diner transitioned quickly just after the new year into Holly’s on Hargett. A new interior look and an added bar are some of the changes, while many of the menu favorites remain the same according to owner Holly Mohajer. Check her out on Facebook here.
  • Downtown Raleigh’s La Volta is no more. The owners are transitioning the space into a new Caribbean concept called The Twisted Mango. It will remain under the ownership of Michael Longo. No word yet on an open date. Thank you to New Raleigh, Derrick Minor and Triangle Business Journal for filling in the details on this change. Keep up with them and their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Saw on Yelp that Drink Drank Drunk, a new beer, wine, and coffee shop has opened at 905 West Morgan Street in downtown Raleigh next to Atomic Salon & Irregardless Cafe. Check them out here.
  • Saw on New Raleigh’s Twitter feed that a new fun spot called The Level Up, Kitchen and Barcadium will open very soon at the corner of Salisbury and Hargett in downtown Raleigh across from Wells Fargo. It will feature 25-30 restored classic arcade games and pinball machines, upscale pub food, craft/domestic beer and hand made craft cocktails. No word yet on an official open date.
  • Hey Morrisville, do you remember Vino? Which then became Mare…which then become Cucina De Milano. Well now that space is taking a turn as Mi Cancun Mexican Restaurant. It opened earlier this month and is located in Morrisville’s Grace Park at the corner of Davis Drive and Morrisville Carpenter Road. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • After the closing of its sister store in Chapel Hill, Top This! Café in Raleigh’s Atrium building has sold to new owners who will reopen the space on January 19th as The Atrium Grille. Best of luck to Stephen and Jeff.
  • The newest location of Smashburger opened in Raleigh over the holidays in Falls Village (6679 Falls of Neuse Road). It joins the Durham location, which is in the Pavilion East near Duke Medical Campus. Check them out here.
  • Saw on Yelp that Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint will be opening in Parkside Town Commons in Cary in mid-January. No official open date yet, but you can check them out here.
  • Out in Holly Springs things are a bit chillier, and I’m not talking about the weather. A Dairy Queen Grill & Chill has just opened in the South Park Village Center off of GB Alford Highway according to the Triangle Business Journal. You can check out their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • Over in Durham Eschelon Experiences will open their newest concept, a new Japanese/sushi restaurant called Basan, on January 20th. It is located in the new Diamond View III building at American Tobacco Campus. Our best to G Patel on his latest venture. Check them out here.
  • Also in Durham, we got word that Smallcakes, A Cupcakery, is now baking in southern Durham, opening at 4711 Hope Valley Road in the Woodcroft Shopping Center. They will hold a grand opening on Saturday, January 24th. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • On a recent drive through Carrboro, I noticed that Monterrey Mexican restaurant is moving in with their newest location. It will be in Carrboro Plaza. They are currently upfitting the space, and no word yet on an open date. Check out one of their other locations here.
  • Also in Carrboro, national chain Tom+Chee (which gained some national awareness after grabbing some “Shark Tank” cash) has announced a March opening. It will be located at 370 E. Main St. in Carrboro according to Triangle Business Journal. As you might guess, they specialize in tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Check them out here.
  • And in Chapel Hill, the wife and I stopped by for lunch last week at JuJube only to learn that they are currently closed for renovations. Sign on the door says they will reopen in early 2015. No word yet on an exact date. Guess this is a good “excuse” (like I need an excuse!) to go try out their new sister restaurant in Durham – JuJu. Keep up with JuJuBe here and check out JuJu here.

Closings 

  • In one of the biggest surprises I can remember, Glenwood South’s Cafe Helios coffee shop closed their doors after a 12 year run. Sorry to see them go. And in a very cool move, downtown’s Brew Coffee Bar, a coffee shop in Raleigh’s Seaboard Station, is offering two free drinks in exchange for any Cafe Helios gift cards you may be stuck holding.
  • And my friend Dana McCall (aka GoGo Raleigh) reported that Mantra Indian Cuisine and Bar has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • We did it once, winning the top dessert truck in the country. Now we have two local trucks trying to win the title of “Rookie Truck of the Year.” Both Stuft, featuring gourmet stuffed potatoes, and Bam Pow Chow, featuring gourmet tacos, are in the running (although woefully behind). Let’s give them our support by voting here. Voting closes at midnight tonight! Thanks to the Triangle Business Journal for the reminder on this.

Events

  • The “Got To Be NC” Competition Dining Series revealed this week the 16 chefs that will be competing in the Fire in the Triangle competition that runs from January 19th through the grand finale on March 2nd. Tickets are now on sale and they will sell out most events. If you’ve never been to experience one of these events, do it now! See who the chefs this year are, see match-ups and get your tickets here.
  • Time to mark your calendar for January 26th through February 1st for the next round of Triangle Restaurant Week, a week-long event where participating restaurants offer fixed-price, three-course menu options. A 3-course lunch is $15 and a 3-course dinner is $20 or $30 person, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. See a list of participating restaurants and get all the details here.
  • If you are tired of football bowls, or if you can’t get enough of them, here is another “bowl” to check out – The Q Shack’s 2015 Chili Bowl. Each week they will feature a new chili for you to check out (perfect for all this cold weather). And the best part…10% of all chili sales in January will go to support Loaves and Fishes Ministry. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • A huge kudos to The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and to all of you that contributed to their Holiday Meals Drive. Their goal was to raise $435,000 by midnight on December 31st in order to provide 2.17 million meals. And with less than an hour to go, they hit their goal! A huge thank you to everyone at the food bank for all they do and to all of you that continue to support them in so many ways. Learn more about the food bank here and get involved in 2015!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – December 19, 2014

Triangle Restaurant News

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

 Featured Restaurant News

  •   The Outer Bank’s much-anticipated Triangle edition of Duck Donuts opened yesterday in Cary at100 Wrenn Drive (next to Firehouse Subs and Chipotle). Follow them on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  It is out…the News & Observer’s listing of restaurants that are open on Christmas Day. As you might expect, reservations are highly recommended. Here is the list.
  • And if you don’t feel like going out to eat, but don’t really want to spend all day in the kitchen, Raleigh’s Q-Shack is offering locally raised, all natural fresh turkeys, hams and brisket and meals packed for reheating. Pick-up is available in Raleigh and Durham. Get all the details here.
  •  Hillsborough Street’s newest edition, State of Beer, opened for business this week at 401 Hillsborough Street. In addition to the beer, they offer a nice selection of salads and sandwiches. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • The Triangle’s first 100% organic restaurant opens today in Poyner Village shopping center behind Triangle Town Center. Organic Festival will initially serve lunch and dinner, but plans on adding breakfast soon. Check them out here.
  • Got word this week from reader Michelle Fleer that Sultan’s Deli, a Greek and Mediterranean deli, has opened at Beaver Creek Crossing in Apex (two doors down from the movie theater).
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza is holding its grand opening today (December 19th) in Park West Village in Morrisville. This marks the franchises first North Carolina location. Get all the details here.
  • And down in Garner, the Triangle Business Journal is reporting a handful of new restaurant offerings when the White Oak Crossing shopping center is completed. Carolina Ale House, Longhorn Steakhouse, City Barbecue and Five Guys will occupy a good chunk of the development which is anchored by Cabela’s. Look for them to open in the middle of next year.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  Got word this week from my friends over at Taste Carolina that Scott Howell’s newest venture, a French eatery and bar called Bar Virgile, is now open and features former G2B chef Carrie Schleiffer at the helm! It is located in a rear annex to the former Citizens National Bank building at 102 E. Main Street. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Saw in the News & Observer yesterday that Charlie Deal, owner of Dos Perros in Durham and Jujube in Chapel Hill, has opened Juju in the old George’s Garage space on Ninth Street in Durham. They bill themselves as an Asian tapas establishment. Get all the details here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal is reporting this week that The French Corner Bakery, a new bake shop featuring artisan breads, cookies, muffins as well as a lunch menu, is now open at 2005 North Pointe Drive, Suite B, in Durham.
  • Durham keeps getting sweeter and sweeter. Got the word this week that the beloved downtown Durham ice cream shop The Parlour will expand into the former Playworks space next door to add an additional 1,000 square feet. The expansion will allow the shop to serve more people, expand the menu, and accommodate events. The Parlour, which currently seats around 24 guests, will grow to seat almost 60. Get all the details here.
  • And I saw on Twitter that Town Hall Burger and Bar is expanding their bar. The site says it will open the expanded side on January 1, 2015, but we are hearing it might open as early as next week. Get by and check it out. They are located across from the Streets at Southpoint, behind Bonefish Grill and Aldi. Check them out here.

Closings 

  •  Saw in the News & Observer that the downtown Raleigh institution Sam & Wally’s has closed. But hopefully it is only temporary. They are looking for a new location. We’ll keep an eye on it.
  • Got word from local news source New Raleigh that Jade Garden on Hillsborough Street closed suddenly last week. No word on whether or not they will reopen in a new location.
  • Got word from The Triangle Explorer that the Ninth Street location of Market Street Coffee has closed. The Triangle Business Journal is reporting that a new juice and coffee bar is expected to open in that space by January 15.
  • Thanks to the keen eyes of reader Sarah Armstrong, she noted that Mantra India Cuisne and Bar, formerly at 116 N. West Street in downtown Raleigh, has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • They did it! From what I can gather, Not Just Icing won the contest on the food truck website Mobile Cuisine that held a national contest to identify America’s best dessert food truck. Congrats!

Events 

  •  Saw in the News & Observer that Mandolin restaurant in Raleigh is hosting a Santa brunch from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Children can listen to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” enjoy gingerbread cookies and share their last-minute lists. Meanwhile, parents can enjoy a brunch with country ham eggs Benedict, figgy pudding and a bloody mary. Reservations are recommended. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Methodist Home for Children. Get all the details here.
  • A shout out to my vegan and gluten-free friends that are looking for a dining option on New Year’s eve. Might want to book a seat at Kimbap where they’ll have a full menu tailored specifically to you. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Warm up this New Year’s weekend with 2nd Annual NC Fresh Catch winter oyster, seafood and music event on January 2nd. The event, titled The Blues & The Blues, will take place indoors from 6-11 p.m. at the downtown Durham Armory. Enjoy live blues, R&B, jazz and soul plus smoked, steamed and fried oysters, smoked bluefish, chef plates, smoked BBQ and more plus craft beer, wine and local ciders. Partial event proceeds benefit Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is about 55% of the way to their goal for their Holiday Meals Drive and they need your help to reach their goal of raising $435,000 online before December 31, which would be enough to provide 2.17 million meals! Folks can donate, make a gift in honor of a friend or family member or host a holiday fundraiser. Perhaps your company can join in on this extremely worthy cause. Get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – December 12, 2014

Triangle Restaurant News

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

 Featured Restaurant News

  •  Alright Triangle, let’s do this. Today is the last day to vote! Our very own dessert truck Not Just Icing is in a national competition to crown America’s best dessert food truck. As of this writing, we are just a few hundred votes out of first place. Let’s make this happen! Stop what you are doing for just one minute, click here and vote for them. How cool would that be? Do it! Click here now!

Wake County Restaurant News

  • It is out…the News & Observer’s listing of restaurants that are open on Christmas Day. As you might expect, reservations are highly recommended. Here is the list.
  • And if you don’t feel like going out to eat, but don’t really want to spend all day in the kitchen, Raleigh’s Q-Shack is offering locally raised, all natural fresh turkeys, hams and brisket and meals packed for reheating. Pick-up is available in Raleigh and Durham. Get all the details here.
  • Got a note this week from Kelly Trimyer that the Outer Bank’s much-anticipated Triangle edition of Duck Donuts is slated to open in Cary (100 Wrenn Drive) towards the middle of next week. At this point they are just waiting on some final inspections. Follow them on their Facebook page where they will announce their official opening day once it is known.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Steve Adams, owner of Peak City Grill in Apex, has teamed up with Franz Propst, longtime chef at the restaurant, to open The Blistered Pig Smokehouse just down the street in the historic Tobacco & Mule Exchange Building (225 N. Salem Street). Love their slogan, “We Only Smoke The Good Stuff” – and they note that all their meat products are direct from the farmer and all are North Carolina grown and processed. Check them out here.
  • Got word hat Smashburger is gearing up to open its second Triangle location, this one in Raleigh, on Wednesday, Dec. 17 in the Shops at Falls Village (6679 Falls of Neuse Rd.) in North Raleigh. Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • Monuts Donuts is officially open in their new location in Durham on Ninth Street in the old Magnola Grill spot (1002 Ninth Street to be exact). They are serving up hot donuts, Counter Culture espresso, bagels, biscuits and more! Get all the details here.
  • According to the Herald-Sun, G2B Gastro Pub has reopened after adding a small-batch brewery and bringing on a new executive chef, Travis Robinson. Previously Robinson trained and gained experience at The Ritz-Carlton up and down the Eastern seaboard. Get a peek at some of the changes at their website here.
  • Durham’s newest addition, The Boot (an Italian off-shoot of Geer Street Garden), has now opened their doors for lunch (they opened right around Thanksgiving for dinner). Anyway, check them out for lunch or dinner. The initial reviews are quite strong! They are located at 2501 University Drive. Check them out here.

Closings 

  • We were sad to learn this week in the News & Observer that Pop’s, a 20-year-old institution in Durham, has closed their doors. But note that Pop’s Backdoor South, the pizzeria in Hope Valley Square, remains open.

Food Trucks 

  • The food truck website Mobile Cuisine is holding a national contest to identify America’s best dessert food truck. In the running is our very own Not Just Icing. Let’s show them our support! Currently, they are just a few hundred votes out of first place. Let’s help them win! Vote here. And as they say, vote early and often!

Events

  • This Saturday, December 13th, Guglhupf over in Durham will host their 6th Annual German Christmas Market from 10 am to 4 pm and it should be a spectacular day! Get a bite to eat and enjoy a glass of glühwein or mulled cider as you stroll through this festive gathering with artists, food and live music. Get all the details here. And don’t forget to get your Christmas Stollen while you are there!
  • Saw in the News & Observer that Mandolin restaurant in Raleigh is hosting a Santa brunch from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Children can listen to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” enjoy gingerbread cookies and share their last-minute lists. Meanwhile, parents can enjoy a brunch with country ham eggs Benedict, figgy pudding and a bloody mary. Reservations are recommended. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Methodist Home for Children. Get all the details here.
  • Warm up this New Year’s weekend with 2nd Annual NC Fresh Catch winter oyster, seafood and music event on January 2nd. The event, titled The Blues & The Blues, will take place indoors from 6-11 p.m. at the downtown Durham Armory. Enjoy live blues, R&B, jazz and soul plus smoked, steamed and fried oysters, smoked bluefish, chef plates, smoked BBQ and more plus craft beer, wine and local ciders. Partial event proceeds benefit Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is in the middle of their Holiday Meals Drive and they need your help to reach their goal of raising $435,000 online before December 31, which would be enough to provide 2.17 million meals! Folks can donate, make a gift in honor of a friend or family member or host a holiday fundraiser. Perhaps your company can join in on this extremely worthy cause. Get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – December 5, 2014

Triangle Restaurant News

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

 Featured Restaurant News

  • Daniel Benjamin’s much-anticipated contemporary patisserie/bakery Lucettegrace has opened at 235 S. Salisbury Street in downtown Raleigh. Their tag line probably says it best – a starting point for your day, an escape in the middle, and a reward at the end. Make the effort to stop by sometime soon. Get your mouth watering by checking them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  •  In the event that you were under a rock somewhere, Asheville’s Tupelo Honey Café opened this past Monday in the 401 Oberlin Apartments complex adjacent to Cameron Village. This place is amazing. Everything from the decor and artwork to the drinks and entrees are simply amazing. These first two weeks, they will only be open for dinner. Lunch hours begin on December 15th. Check them out here.
  • Night Kitchen Bakehouse & Café, which recently opened in downtown Raleigh’s Seaboard Station, will launch an expanded menu on December 16th which will include sandwiches on house-baked breads, quiche by the slice, salads and a soup of the day. Check them out here.
  • Got word this week that Smashburger is gearing up to open its second Triangle location, this one in Raleigh, on Wednesday, Dec. 17 in the Shops at Falls Village – 6679 Falls of Neuse Rd. Get all the details here.
  • In Cary, the News & Observer has reported that locals have two more Indian restaurants to enjoy. Biryani Maxx has opened at 590-102 E. Chatham St. in Cary. Check them out here. And less than a block away, Sri Meneekshi Bhavan has opened at 740 E. Chatham St. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • Andy Magowan, owner of Durham’s Geer Street Garden, has teamed up again with Andy Perno and opened an Italian restaurant called The Boot. It is located on University Drive in the former Local Yogurt space, across from Nana’s. They are open for dinner now, but beginning on December 10th, they will open for lunch. Check them out here.
  • Over near Chapel Hill, I saw this week that Figs and Honey has opened in the Chatham Downs Shopping Center (Harris Teeter) on 15-501 just across the county line in Chatham County. It is owned by the husband and wife team of Heba Salama and Ed Brantley. Check out their menu here.
  • The News & Observer reported that Charlie Deal, who owns Dos Perros in Durham and Jujube in Chapel Hill, will be opening a new “Asian tapas restaurant” called Juju on Durham’s Ninth Street by mid-December. It will be in the former location of George’s Garage at 737 Ninth Street. Check them out here.
  • According to the Herald Sun, Latin American restaurant Gonza Tacos y Tequila, which has locations in Raleigh and Wake Forest, will be opening a Durham location next month at 604 Fernway Ave. The location previously housed the restaurant 604 West Village. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal confirmed this week that City Barbecue, which opened its first North Carolina location in Cary earlier this year, will be expanding into Durham. They have purchased an out-parcel on Highway 54 in front of the Kroger-anchored shopping center, between McDonald’s and Ruby Tuesday. No word yet on an open date.
  • And over in Chapel Hill at East 54, The Egg & I breakfast andlLunch restaurant is swinging open their doors next Monday, December 8th. They open at 6 a.m., so get there early if you like! Get all the details here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, on a recent drive down Franklin Street I noticed that Jasmin Bistro, a Mediterranean restaurant with four locations in the Triangle (all in Wake County), is opening at the corner of Columbia and Franklin Streets in the former location of Qdoba. Look for an opening sometime this Spring. Check them out here.

Closings 

  • Reader Mark Ginsberg informed me that Maximillian’s Pizza Kitchen on Chapel Hill Road in Cary has closed. He did note that Maximillian Bar & Grill (next door) is still open.

Food Trucks 

  • The food truck website Mobile Cuisine is holding a national contest to identify America’s best dessert food truck. In the running is our very own Not Just Icing. Let’s show them our support! Currently, they are just a few hundred votes out of first place. Let’s help them win! Vote here. And as they say, vote early and often!

Events

  • Thanks to Kathleen Donnelly, I was reminded that the 12th annual Gingerbread Benefit for Triangle Family Services will take place this Sunday, December 7th at the Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary. The day begins with a Gingerbread Sneak Preview (at 11:30) and culminates with the Evening Gingerbread Benefit at 6:30, and lots in between for children and the entire family. Get all the details here.
  • This will get you in the holiday spirit. Saw in the News & Observer that Mandolin restaurant in Raleigh is hosting a Santa brunch from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Children can listen to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” enjoy gingerbread cookies and share their last-minute lists. Meanwhile, parents can enjoy a brunch with country ham eggs Benedict, figgy pudding and a bloody mary. Reservations are recommended. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Methodist Home for Children. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is in the middle of their Holiday Meals Drive and they need your help to reach their goal of raising $435,000 online before December 31, which would be enough to provide 2.17 million meals! Folks can donate, make a gift in honor of a friend or family member or host a holiday fundraiser. Perhaps your company can join in on this extremely worthy cause. Get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – November 21, 2014

Triangle Restaurant News

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

 Featured Restaurant News

  •   Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday – one of my favorites. A time to be thankful for all that we have in this great country of ours. Unless you are the one stuck in the kitchen at 4 a.m. Ok, I’m just kidding, but don’t feel bad about not wanting to cook all day. You should enjoy it too! And Greg Cox from the News & Observer is your hero again this year with his compilation of restaurants open on Thanksgiving day. Check it out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • And if you still want to celebrate Thanksgiving in your home, but don’t want to cook the turkey (or the sides), you’ll be glad to know that the Q Shack is firing up their annual tradition of providing you with turkeys, sides and desserts for your Thanksgiving Day feast. Folks, I don’t endorse many things, but I can speak from personal experience that this is a fantastic (and delicious) way to feed your guests. Seriously, who (besides Tom and his team) want to be in the kitchen cooking up a turkey? Get your orders in before tomorrow, November 22nd and get all the details here.
  •  Night Kitchen Bakehouse and Café is officially open! They opened their doors, as we told you, last Tuesday. They feature breads, pastries and savory foods and are located in the Seaboard Station complex in downtown Raleigh. Check out their Facebook page for all the details.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Proof, a new neighborhood bar and lounge, is now open in Raleigh’s Five Points district. The bar calls itself a “classic American neighborho od bar” featuring “quintessential cocktails.” The address is 1620 1/2 Glenwood Avenue, next to the Rialto theater. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal also reported this week that NARA Japanese Steak Seafood & Sushi has opened in Holly Springs at 7256 GB Alford Highway in the Shoppes at Holly Springs. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Got word from my friend Dana McCall and his blog GoGoRaleigh, that a new fresh-Mex concept restaurant called Wicked Taco is set to open on Western Boulevard in the former KFC location across from Amedeo’s and next to Cook-Out. Look for them to open this coming Spring.
  • On WRAL last week, in a story about Taverna Agora moving to a renovated building at 326 Hillsborough Street, I happened to notice that they mentioned that a developer group representing Krispy Kreme is negotiating to buy Taverna’s old space, once they move into their new space in the first quarter of next year. That is what I call a win-win!
  • Here is something nice. I got word this week that following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the two biggest shopping days of the year, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar in Raleigh and Morrisville will celebrate giving back on Dec. 2. by donating 10 percent of proceeds from all sales during the day, appropriately named Giving Tuesday, to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • Saw in the Triangle Business Journal that Counter Culture Coffee is hosting a regional coffee competition in Durham that will feature top barista and brewer talent from the Southeast and Northeast. The three-day event will be at the Durham Convention Center on Nov. 21 and 22 from 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Nov. 23 from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. The competition is part of the U.S. Coffee Championships that culminate with a final contest in February 2015. Get all the details here.
  • This Sunday, November 23rd, will be the last day of Monuts at their Parrish Street location (their home for nearly 2 years). That is in preparation for the opening of their new location on Ninth Street. But don’t fret, they plan on re-opening the Parrish Street location by the Spring of next year. The Ninth Street location will open in early December at 1002 Ninth Street, the former Magnolia Grill spot. Get all the details here.
  • The News and Observer reported this week that Veteran chef Gladwin Jarvis has opened La Tropicale Café, which touts itself as a Caribbean island bistro, in the former My Sister’s Kitchen building on Highway 55 near RTP. The exact location is 4716 Apex Highway. You can visit them here.

Closings 

  • We got word that The Oakz restaurant, at 510 Glenwood Avenue, has closed. Open for less than a year, there is a rumbling that they might reopen under a new concept. We’ll keep an eye on it.

Food Trucks 

  • Looks like this could be the last multiple food truck event of the year. It is this Saturday, November 22 from 2-6 at Raleigh Brewing Company and will feature GOUGE Wrestling, five food trucks and plenty of brews. Food trucks will feature lunch and dinner and include: All American Food Truck, Bulkogi Korean BBQ, Captain Ponchos Tacos, Cajun Persuasion, and Dump Pho King Truck. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.

Events

  • Urban Ministries of Wake County is hosting their 10th Annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 19th from 5-7:30 p.m at White Memorial Presbyterian Church on Oberlin Road in Raleigh. The event raises money to end homelessness and hunger and provide healthcare to those in need. You can enjoy the soup creations of chefs from 12 area restaurants and organizations on site, or take some home with you. Get all the details here.
  • The group behind the “secretive” pop up dinners called Snap Pea Underground, is planning their next round of pop-up dinners, this time offering three nights, instead of just two. The next round will be held Thursday, December 4th through Saturday, December 6th and will be held at a location just outside of Chapel Hill (attendees will be notified 24 hours before the event). If you’ve never been to one of these, they are a real treat – plan on spending at least a couple of hours there. Sign-up and get all the details here.
  • Thanks to Kathleen Donnelly, I was reminded that the 12th annual Gingerbread Benefit for Triangle Family Services will take place on Sunday, December 7th at the Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary. The day begins with a Gingerbread Sneak Preview (at 11:30) and culminates with the Evening Gingerbread Benefit at 6:30, and lots in between for children and the entire family. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina just launched their Holiday Meals Drive and they need your help to reach their goal of raising $435,000 online before December 31, which would be enough to provide 2.17 million meals! Folks can donate, make a gift in honor of a friend or family member or host a holiday fundraiser. Perhaps your company can join in on this extremely worthy cause. Get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – November 14, 2014

Triangle Restaurant News

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

 Featured Restaurant News

  • Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday – one of my favorites. A time to be thankful for all that we have in this great country of ours. Unless you are the one stuck in the kitchen at 4 a.m. Ok, I’m just kidding, but don’t feel bad about not wanting to cook all day. You should enjoy it too! And Greg Cox from the News & Observer is your hero again this year with his compilation of restaurants open on Thanksgiving day. Check it out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • And if you still want to celebrate Thanksgiving in your home, but don’t want to cook the turkey (or the sides), you’ll be glad to know that the Q Shack is firing up their annual tradition of providing you with turkeys, sides and desserts for your Thanksgiving Day feast. Folks, I don’t endorse many things, but I can speak from personal experience that this is a fantastic (and delicious) way to feed your guests. Seriously, who (besides Tom and his team) want to be in the kitchen cooking up a turkey? Get your orders in before November 22nd and get all the details here.
  •  Saw on their Facebook page that Night Kitchen Bakehouse and Café is holding a series of soft openings today and tomorrow prior to their full opening next week. They feature breads, pastries and savory foods and are located in the Seaboard Station complex in downtown Raleigh. Check out their Facebook page for all the details.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Sardi’s Den Restaurant & Lounge, a rib house staple for the past 20 years in Clemson, SC, will be opening its first franchise location in the former Oliver Twist location in the Brennan Station shopping center on Creedmoor Road in north Raleigh. No word yet on an open date. In the meantime, check them out here.
  • A quick update. As we told you months ago, the Posta Tuscan Grille is transitioning into a Southern eatery & gastropub called Rye Bar and Southern Kitchen in the Raleigh Marriott City Center. We just got word that they are on schedule to open the middle of next month. Check them out here.
  • Back in October, we told you that both WRAL and Raleigh Public Record were reporting that the former Lucky 32 spot in Raleigh had been sold to a restaurant group called Kamado Grille and would open a concept called Bistro 832. Turns out it will in fact open as Kamado Grille in January. Keep up with them on their Facebook page here.
  • And not far from there in Falls Village we learned from Rebecca Calhoun that the former spot of Fork & Barrel is poised to become El Cerro Mexican Grill & Restaurant. They already have a location on Avent Ferry Road in Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • The News & Observer is reporting that Greek Garden has opened in the former Yummy Yogurt space in downtown Apex at 124 N. Salem Street. While the website is not live yet, it should go live any day now. They are open Tuesday through Saturday.
  • Last week WRAL reported that the folks over at Tropical Picken Chicken have plans to open a new concept devoted to empanadas called El Guapo Empanadas Y Mas. We learned on their Facebook this week that they have secured a space in Raleigh at the corner of Six Forks and Wake Forest Road where Pronto Pasta used to be. No word yet on an open date. In the meantime, keep up with updates on their Facebook page here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that the Triangle is on the verge of getting their 2nd and 3rd Steak ‘n Shake locations. One will be in Fuquay-Varina at 8012 Fayetteville Road (U.S. 401) near the Kings Grant Common shopping center and the other at 5900 Duraleigh Road in Raleigh.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • Wake up Chapel Hill! Have I got good news for you. Al’s Burger Shack on West Franklin Street announced this week that they will begin breakfast service next Monday, November 17th! Breakfast will be available from 7-11 a.m., Monday through Saturday. Get all the details here.
  • Saw in the Triangle Business Journal that Counter Culture Coffee is hosting a regional coffee competition in Durham that will feature top barista and brewer talent from the Southeast and Northeast. The three-day event will be at the Durham Convention Center on Nov. 21 and 22 from 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Nov. 23 from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. The competition is part of the U.S. Coffee Championships that culminate with a final contest in February 2015. Get all the details here.
  • Ohio-based City Barbecue, which recently opened a location in Cary, is apparently eyeing a second Triangle-area location in Durham at 208 W. Highway 54, according to the Herald-Sun. The articles did note, however, that it may not be open for another year or two. Check out City Barbecue here.
  • According to the Herald-Sun, Dewey’s Bakery will open up a shop in Northgate starting Nov. 15 and will last until Dec. 31. The bakery offers Moravian cookies, Moravian sugar cake, cheese straws and gift baskets. Founded in 1930 in Winston-Salem, learn more about Dewey’s here.

Closings 

  • Drove through downtown Chapel Hill earlier this week and saw that Qdoba has closed at the corner of Franklin and Columbia streets. The Herald-Sun reported that their lease was up and the owners opted not to renew.

Food Trucks 

  • Looks like this could be the last multiple food truck event of the year. It is Saturday, November 22 from 2-6 at Raleigh Brewing Company and will feature GOUGE Wrestling, five food trucks and plenty of brews. Food trucks will feature lunch and dinner and include: All American Food Truck, Bulkogi Korean BBQ, Captain Ponchos Tacos, Cajun Persuasion, and Dump Pho King Truck. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.

Events 

  • So, long story short. The Raleigh Times recently won a national contest by Draft Magazine. The winner was deemed to have the best craft beer list, most knowledgeable staff, etc. (pretty cool, right?). How does that help you? Well, they “won” a 170-liter oak cask of unfiltered, unpreserved pilsner from Urquell in the Czech Rebublic (this is a big deal). And they are holding a huge party to celebrate on November 15th from noon to 9 p.m. (they are closing down the street). The event is free, but $10 buys you a 1/4 -liter pour from the cask and all proceeds benefit SAFEchild. Buy tickets and get all the details here.
  • Our friends over at Acme Restaurant in Carrboro reminded us of the 2nd annual Salt & Smoke event on Sunday, November 16th from 3 to 6 p.m at Rock Quarry Farm. The event is a celebration of fall in the south and will feature oysters and pork barbecue, collards and cornbread, slaw, smoked mullet and sweet potatoes. It’s beer and wine. It’s bands and bonfires and, above all, it’s a damn good time. The cost is $40 for food, or $48 with a couple of drinks. Check it out on Facebook here and get your tickets here.
  • Urban Ministries of Wake County is hosting their 10th Annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 19th from 5-7:30 p.m at White Memorial Presbyterian Church on Oberlin Road in Raleigh. The event raises money to end homelessness and hunger and provide healthcare to those in need. You can enjoy the soup creations of chefs from 12 area restaurants and organizations on site, or take some home with you. Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to Kathleen Donnelly, I was reminded that the 12th annual Gingerbread Benefit for Triangle Family Services will take place on Sunday, December 7th at the Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary. The day begins with a Gingerbread Sneak Preview (at 11:30) and culminates with the Evening Gingerbread Benefit at 6:30, and lots in between for children and the entire family. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina just launched their Holiday Meals Drive and they need your help to reach their goal of raising $435,000 online before December 31, which would be enough to provide 2.17 million meals! Folks can donate, make a gift in honor of a friend or family member or host a holiday fundraiser. Perhaps your company can join in on this extremely worthy cause. Get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – November 7, 2014

Triangle Restaurant News

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

 Featured Restaurant News

  • It is official. Mark your calendar for Monday, December 1st. That is the official opening day for Tupelo Honey Cafe in Raleigh! Many more details to follow. In the meantime, check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday – one of my favorites. A time to be thankful for all that we have in this great country of ours. Unless you are the one stuck in the kitchen at 4 a.m. Ok, I’m just kidding, but don’t feel bad about not wanting to cook all day. You should enjoy it too! And Greg Cox from the News & Observer is your hero again this year with his compilation of restaurants open on Thanksgiving day. Check it out here.
  • And if you still want to celebrate Thanksgiving in your home, but don’t want to cook the turkey (or the sides), you’ll be glad to know that the Q Shack is firing up their annual tradition of providing you with turkeys, sides and desserts for your Thanksgiving Day feast. Folks, I don’t endorse many things, but I can speak from personal experience that this is a fantastic (and delicious) way to feed your guests. Seriously, who (besides Tom and his team) want to be in the kitchen cooking up a turkey? Get your orders in before November 22nd and get all the details here.
  • This is big news in the catering world – Catering By Design has merged with The Matthews House (and subsequently Basil & Thyme Catering Group and The Patisserie Bakery) in Cary according to the Triangle Business Journal. Both organizations will retain their identities for now. We’ll share more information as it becomes available.
  • Also in Cary, the franchise Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers opened their second Triangle location this past Tuesday (the other is in Durham) at 1705 High House Road in the Searstone Retail Village. Check them out here.
  • Got word this week from David McCreary (aka Lunchboy Says) that The Mill is opening next week in downtown Fuquay Varina at the corner of Main and Depot streets. The Mill is a wine bar (and beer) and coffee shop concept. Follow them on Facebook to receive the announcement as to the exact opening day.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  •  I got my first introduction this past summer to a true Argentine barbecue and I have fallen in love with the Argentine culture and cuisine. So I am happy to report that I was recently introduced to a new concept called Makus Empanadas that currently operates out of The Cookery and offers catering and delivery, but has plans on opening its first of many locations soon. And I’m proud to report that they will soon be available through Triangle Food Guy (give me about a week). Anyway, check out Makus Empanadas here.
  • With growth comes change. And so is the case with downtown Durham’s Blue Coffee Cafe. WRAL reported that renovations to the building they are currently in and a high-rise being built across the street have Gwen Matthews looking to move into a space less than 2 blocks away at 107 N. Church Street. But she needs your help. Check out her Kickstarter campaign here. The move will take place by the end of the year.

Closings 

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • And if the news above about true Argentine cuisine joining our lineup here in the Triangle, I just got word that there is a food truck called Che Empanadas trying to make a go of it with a kickstarter campaign that just launched. The effort is spearheaded by the husband and wife team of Mark and Anabel Rossbach. Check out and support their Kickstarter campaign here.

Events

  • If you have seen me in the last week, or will see me this month, you’ll notice my feeble attempt at growing a little facial hair (trust me, the beautiful and talented Lori Lennard does not like it). It is part of the No Shave November, a month where men raise awareness of men’s health issues by growing a mustache (or beard in my case) during November. Anyway, Zinburger has brought food into the effort by creating a Pumpkin Stache Shake with a portion of sales going to ZERO, an organization dedicated to eliminating prostate cancer (and all cancer!). Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reminded us that the fifth annual Brew Durham Festival will be held this Saturday (November 8th) at the Scrap Exchange at 2050 Chapel Hill Road in Durham. The festival will feature more than 40 home brewed beers and small bites from local restaurants including Bull City Burger and Brewery and Mateo Tapas. There will be two tasting sessions, from 1 to 4 p.m. and from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Scrap Exchange reuse arts center in Durham. Get all the details here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal also reminded us that the “Much Ado about Cheese” festival returns again this year on November 9th from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Cotton Room in Durham. The event is free and open to the public. Free cheese samples will be provided, and Raleigh food truck American Meltdown will be selling cheesy delights. Beer and wine are also available for purchase. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Plan on spending/eating your day in Orange County (Chapel Hill & Hillsborough) next Tuesday, November 12th for the 25th Annual RSVVP Day where participating restaurants contribute 10% of their proceeds (breakfast, lunch and dinner) to the IFC’s Food Pantry and Community Kitchen. Get a complete list of restaurants and details here.
  • Also on Wednesday, November 12th the good folks over at The Cookery in Durham will host the Fall Harvest Veteran Farmer Dinner featuring Six Plates and Foode (out of Virginia). The event is from 6:30 until 9:30 and costs $40. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • So, long story short. The Raleigh Times recently won a national contest by Draft Magazine. The winner was deemed to have the best craft beer list, most knowledgeable staff, etc. (pretty cool, right?). How does that help you? Well, they “won” a 170-liter oak cask of unfiltered, unpreserved pilsner from Urquell in the Czech Rebublic (this is a big deal). And they are holding a huge party to celebrate on November 15th from noon to 9 p.m. (they are closing down the street). The event is free, but $10 buys you a 1/4 -liter pour from the cask and all proceeds benefit SAFEchild. Buy tickets and get all the details here.
  • Our friends over at Acme Restaurant in Carrboro reminded us of the 2nd annual Salt & Smoke event on Sunday, November 16th from 3 to 6 p.m at Rock Quarry Farm. The event is a celebration of fall in the south and will feature oysters and pork barbecue, collards and cornbread, slaw, smoked mullet and sweet potatoes. It’s beer and wine. It’s bands and bonfires and, above all, it’s a damn good time. The cost is $40 for food, or $48 with a couple of drinks. Check it out on Facebook here and get your tickets here.
  • Thanks to Kathleen Donnelly, I was reminded that the 12th annual Gingerbread Benefit for Triangle Family Services will take place on Sunday, December 7th at the Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary. The day begins with a Gingerbread Sneak Preview (at 11:30) and culminates with the Evening Gingerbread Benefit at 6:30, and lots in between for children and the entire family. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • Did you know that almost 50% of students in our 34 county service area qualify for free or reduced-price lunch? It is difficult for any student to excel academically when they come to school hungry. So we invite all students, staff, parents and teachers to join our Students Against Hunger food and funds drive to help feed hungry children and their families in our community. Get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – October 31, 2014

Triangle Restaurant News

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

 Featured Restaurant News

  • Happy Halloween everyone! There are lots of “Halloween” festivities planned for today (too many to mention), but free ones catch our eye. If you are in the North Hills area today, swing by Saxby’s Coffee between noon and 7 and receive a free Pumpkin Spice Latte! Tell them Triangle Food Guy sent you. Get all the details here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Italian restaurant Schiano’s has opened in Wake Forest in the Gateway Commons shopping center. They have one location already on Strickland Road in Raleigh. Get all the details here.
  • Just a courtesy note to let you know that Jubala Village Coffee in North Raleigh will be closed on Monday, November 3rd to complete some major renovations to their kitchen. Don’t panic. Breathe. Look for more offerings out of their expanded kitchen space. Check back in with them on Tuesday.
  • What time is it? It is turkey time! And the Q Shack is firing up their annual tradition of providing you with turkeys, sides and desserts for your Thanksgiving Day feast. Folks, I don’t endorse many things, but I can speak from personal experience that this is a fantastic (and delicious) way to feed your guests. Seriously, who (besides Tom and his team) want to be in the kitchen cooking up a turkey? Get your orders in before November 22nd and get all the details here.
  • Yawn. A Chili’s Grill & Bar is planed for Holly Springs in the new Holly Springs Towne Center on NC 55 according to the Triangle Business Journal. This will be the 10th Chili’sin the Triangle.

Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 

  • Got word from Craig Benner that the third area Penn Station East Coast Subs opened last Sunday next to Rise at Southpoint in Renaissance Village. It is locally owned and operated by Craig, Ellen and Ashley Benner. Check them out here.
  • Downtown Durham’s popular baker Daisy Cakes announced this week the opening of theirDessert Room which will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 5 until 9 p.m. The room will allow guests to enjoy a special dessert menu and the option to pair their dessert with a dessert wine, champagne, hot tea or coffee. Get all the details here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Saltbox Seafood Joint, located at 608 N. Mangum Street in Durham, is adding a food truck. Keep up with them on Facebook and Twitter for locations. Get all the details here.
  • WRAL reported last week that Garner’s Locked & Loaded Bar & Grill is moving to a new location just down the street in the old Texas Steakhouse building. Their last day in the current location is tomorrow (Nov. 1) and plan to be open at some point next week in the new spot. Keep up with them here.
  • And down in Johnston County, the News & Observer reported that Clayton’s newest restaurant is billing itself as offering “the only rooftop dining in Johnston County,” Manning’s, owned by chef Howard Manning, is located at 406 E. Main Street in downtown. Get all the details and check out their menu here.

Closings 

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • The last food truck rodeo of the year at Durham’s Central Park is this Sunday from noon until 4:00 p.m. All the usual suspects will be there (45+ trucks!) and is sure to be a blast with live music as well. Get all the details here.

Events

  • The Raleigh Fall Brew Fest, featuring at least 20 local and regional craft beers and a Halloween costume contest, is this Saturday (Nov. 1) from 5 to 8 p.m. at Cardinal Hall at 6015 Lead Mine Road in Raleigh. The cost is $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the event, which is a fundraiser for the N.C. Therapeutic Riding Center. Get all the details here.
  • This year’s 12th Annual Downtown Chili Cook-off will be held on Depot Street in historic downtown Fuquay-Varina this Saturday, November 1st. Get all the details here.
  • The 3rd Annual Red & White Food and Beverage Festival will be held on TuesdayNovember 4th at The State Club from 6-9pm. And for our readers, receive $5 off admission by entering promo code “foodguy” when you purchase tickets here.
  • Triangle Business Journal reminded us that the “Much Ado about Cheese” festival returns again this year on November 9th from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Cotton Room in Durham. The event is free and open to the public. Free cheese samples will be provided, and Raleigh food truck American Meltdown will be selling cheesy delights. Beer and wine are also available for purchase. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • On Wednesday, November 12th the good folks over at The Cookery in Durham will host theFall Harvest Veteran Farmer Dinner featuring Six Plates and Foode (out of Virginia). The event is from 6:30 until 9:30 and costs $40. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Our friends over at Acme Restaurant in Carrboro reminded us of the 2nd annual Salt & Smoke event on Sunday, November 16th from 3 to 6 p.m at Rock Quarry Farm. The event is a celebration of fall in the south and will feature oysters and pork barbecue, collards and cornbread, slaw, smoked mullet and sweet potatoes. It’s beer and wine. It’s bands and bonfires and, above all, it’s a damn good time. The cost is $40 for food, or $48 with a couple of drinks. Check it out on Facebook here and get your tickets here.
  • Thanks to Kathleen Donnelly, I was reminded that the 12th annual Gingerbread Benefitfor Triangle Family Services will take place on Sunday, December 7th at the Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary. The day begins with a Gingerbread Sneak Preview (at 11:30) and culminates with the Evening Gingerbread Benefit at 6:30, and lots in between for children and the entire family. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner   

  • Did you know that almost 50% of students in our 34 county service area qualify for free or reduced-price lunch? It is difficult for any student to excel academically when they come to school hungry. So we invite all students, staff, parents and teachers to join our Students Against Hunger food and funds drive to help feed hungry children and their families in our community. Get all the details here.

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