Author Archives: Sean

About Sean

At Triangle Food Group, we operate the website www.trianglefoodguy.com for all your corporate catering needs and we publish all of the Triangle-area restaurant news at www.trianglefoodblog.com. Be in the know on what is going on in the restaurant scene here in the Triangle!

Friday Fun Food Facts – April 3, 2020

Support Our Local Restaurants

Donate To The NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund

The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) just launched the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund, a state-wide resource to provide fast access to cash grants for North Carolina restaurant and hotel workers immediately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This effort will consolidate funds collected through the Triangle Restaurant Workers Relief Fund.  Tens of thousands of restaurant and hotel employees are now facing significant financial hardships as businesses curtail services in efforts to encourage social distancing and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.   Donate here if you can!

Other Things You Can Do

Order takeout! You love their food (and you are tired of cooking) – just swing by and pick it up! Here are some handy links with restaurants and caterers that are offering no-contact curbside pick-up and/or delivery: 

WRAL has a tremendous Triangle-wide list going. Check it out here.

In Chapel Hill/Carrboro, the most comprehensive list is offered here and compiled by the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.

In Durham, Discover Durham has a fantastic list here.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has a great downtown Raleigh list here.

And over in Hillsborough, here is a great list compiled by the Town of Hillsborough.

And if you are down in Chatham County, the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau has an updated list here.

And finally, because this is such a fast moving and changing environment, please follow your favorite local restaurants on their social media platforms.

And don’t forget to buy gift cards that you can use later! Help them over the short-term hump. This is not the perfect solution, but cash (flow) is king right now. Even better, go ahead and get ALL your holiday shopping done NOW! Who doesn’t love a restaurant gift card as a gift? That’s a win, win, win! For many restaurants, you can do this online – even better!

And don’t forget beer! Triangle on the Cheap has compiled a list of 32+ breweries that are offering curbside pick-up or delivery options across the Triangle. Check that list out here.

People Doing Good

Here are some people/groups facing adversity and tackling it head-on with some incredible creativity. If you know of others, please email me at sean@TriangleFoodGuy.com so that we can highlight them next week.

Healthcare Hero Response Fund The North Carolina Healthcare Association is partnering with locally owned restaurants in communities across the state to provide meals to healthcare heroes who are on the front lines of caring for patients and communities in this pandemic. This effort will both nourish the bodies and souls of physicians, nurses and other healthcare heroes and boost local economies during a time of acute need. They will initially focus on communities where the virus is hitting hardest, activating the program in other communities across the state as community interest and resources allow. Donate here.    

Hope For Hospitality This is an initiative spearheaded by G. Patel and other friends in the hospitality industry to provide free meals for Raleigh area hospitality workers during the tough times brought by COVID-19. Each weekday, workers in the industry will be able to receive a free meal from one of the participating partners. If you’d like to donate to this initiative, click here. If you are a hospitality worker, follow this link to get a free meal each week day.

Feed the Fight Chapel Hill is a community fundraiser providing fresh meals from local restaurants to UNC healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. Their initial goal is to raise $12,000 to provide UNC’s emergency department staff with 15 meals over the next 30 days. Visit their Go Fund Me page to donate. Visit their Go Fund Me page to donate.

Flatten the Curve Virtual Race Supporting NC Brewery Staff Are you part of a brewery run club and had a race/ races canceled? Well, here’s a way to race and support local breweries. Register to run a 5K or a 19K – which you’ll complete safely, on your own time, using proper physical distancing – and the proceeds of your $20 registration will benefit N.C. craft breweries. Register here.

Carrboro United Local Food Hub The first Carrboro United initiative, the Local Food Hub, launched on March 21st with Acme Food & Beverage and the local business community. It is a central food hub created to efficiently and safely feed Carrboro/Chapel Hill’s citizens for the duration of the pandemic. The Carrboro United Local Food Hub has hired more than 20 employees at a living wage and served over 11,200 family meals in its first four Hub Days. This has resulted in a direct injection of $102,000 to local restaurants and $47,000 to local farmers. Participating vendors include GlassHalfull, Acme, Carrboro Coffee Roasters, Firsthand Foods, Sweet Little Patissiere and many more. Find out more here.

Keep Supporting Love & Nourish Love and Nourish 2020 – buy a Family Pack (feeds 4 + leftovers!) for $60, and $10 goes back to help provide meals to families in need identified by with Families Moving Forward, Durham Public School Foundation, Sunday Supper Durham and End Hunger Durham. Visit the Love and Nourish website here.

Free Cookies Today – Friday, April 3 Chris Duke and his Anna’s Gourmet Goodies are taking their Free Cookie Friday concept this week to Milton’s Pizza & Pasta locations in Raleigh and Wake Forest. The first 50 patrons who order take-out today for lunch will get a free chocolate chip cookie. I will be at the Raleigh location and would love to see you (from 6 ft. away!) See you today at: Milton’s Pizza & Pasta – 14520 New Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, NC 27614 & 8853 Six Forks Road, Raleigh, NC 27615.

Thanks so much to all. Be smart, vigilant, compassionate and calm – we will get through this. Together.

Be safe,

Sean Lennard, aka Triangle Food Guy

Food Bank Corner

Also, don’t forget the great work of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and the people they serve during this time. The Food Bank is assessing what their agencies and the people they support will need, and working to keep their partner agencies (the pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters who serve people) stocked with food and supplies. We are also taking extra precautions around food safety and hygiene. Consider an online donation today!

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 27, 2020

Support Our Local Restaurants

Things can certainly change a lot in a week. No truer words have ever been spoken, especially in the middle of what we are in. No fluff this week, let’s get straight to how you can help:

The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) just launched the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund, a state-wide resource to provide fast access to cash grants for North Carolina restaurant and hotel workers immediately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This effort will consolidate funds collected through the Triangle Restaurant Workers Relief Fund.   The goal is to provide qualified applicants with $500 to help with the immediate expenses faced by many who have suddenly found themselves out of work. Tens of thousands of restaurant and hotel employees are now facing significant financial hardships as businesses curtail services in efforts to encourage social distancing and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.   Donate here if you can!

Other Things You Can Do

Order takeout! You love their food – just swing by and pick it up! Most restaurants allow you to order and pay online or pay over the phone with a CC and be in and out in a jiffy. “No Contact” deliveries is the new norm. Most have designated parking just for this. Don’t forget to tip!!

How do you keep up with all that our restaurants are doing? Here are some handy links:

WRAL has a tremendous Triangle-wide list going. Check it out here.

In Chapel Hill/Carrboro, the most comprehensive list is offered here and compiled by the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.

In Durham, Discover Durham has a fantastic list here.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has a great downtown Raleigh list here.

And over in Hillsborough, here is a great list compiled by the Town of Hillsborough.

And if you are down in Chatham County, the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau has an updated list here.

And finally, because this is such a fast moving and changing environment, please follow your favorite local restaurants on their social media platforms.

Buy gift cards that you can use later! Help them over the short-term hump. This is not the perfect solution, but cash (flow) is king right now. Buy the gift cards now, they get to enjoy the “cash advance” during this difficult time, and then after we get beyond this, you get to enjoy a fabulous meal (or two, or three)! A win, win!

Even better, go ahead and get ALL your holiday shopping done NOW! Who doesn’t love a restaurant gift card as a gift? That’s a win, win, win! For many restaurants, you can do this online – even better! 

People Doing Good

Here are some people/groups facing adversity and tackling it head-on with some incredible creativity. If you know of others, please email me at sean@TriangleFoodGuy.com so that we can highlight them next week.

Keep Supporting Love & Nourish

Love and Nourish 2020: buy a Family Pack (feeds 4 + leftovers!) for $60, and $10 goes back to help provide meals to families in need identified by with Families Moving Forward, Durham Public School Foundation, Sunday Supper Durham and End Hunger Durham. Visit the Love and Nourish website here.

Free Cookies Today (Friday, March 27) at A Place At The Table

Chris Duke and his Anna’s Gourmet Goodies are taking their Free Cookie Friday concept this week to A Place At The Table in downtown Raleigh. The first 50 patrons who order take-out today for lunch will get a free chocolate chip cookie. I will be there and would love to see you (from 6 ft. away)!

See you today at:
A Place At The Table
300 W. Hargett St. #50
Raleigh, NC 27601

Vivian Howard’s New TV Show Premiers Tonight!

Celebrity chef, author and restaurateur Vivian Howard, who previously hosted the award-winning series A Chef’s Life, returns to PBS in a new six-part series, Somewhere South. A culinary tour exploring the dishes that are uniting cultures and creating new traditions across the American South, it premieres TONIGHT and continues on Fridays through May 1, 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video App. Check it out here.     Thanks so much to all. Together – being smart, vigilant, compassionate and calm – we will get through this. Together. My best,  Sean Lennard, aka Triangle Food Guy

Food Bank Corner

Also, don’t forget the great work of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and the people they serve during this time. The Food Bank is assessing what their agencies and the people they support will need, and working to keep their partner agencies (the pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters who serve people) stocked with food and supplies. We are also taking extra precautions around food safety and hygiene. Consider an online donation today! 

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 20, 2020

SUPPORT OUR LOCAL RESTAURANTS – YOUR “HOW TO” GUIDE

All –  Things remain and will continue to be incredibly difficult for all those in the restaurant/hospitality industry. But this is the most resilient, creative and scrappy industry I’ve ever had the pleasure of being close to. But straight up, THEY NEED OUR HELP NOW MORE THAN EVER!

What can you do to help?  

One of the most meaningful and direct things you can do (if you are in a position to afford it right now) is support the workers in the restaurant industry that are being so directly impacted. The Frankie Lemon Foundation has set up a Triangle Restaurant Workers Relief Fund to lend a hand to so many of those restaurant workers in our community who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Donate here today! 

Here are some other “direct impact” ideas (constantly changing) to support our incredible local food scene.    

ORDER TAKEOUT!

You love their food – just swing by and pick it up! Most restaurants allow you to order and pay online or pay over the phone with a CC and be in and out in a jiffy. “No Contact” deliveries is the new norm. Most have designated parking just for this. Don’t forget to tip!!  

How do you keep up with all that our restaurants are doing?

TAKEOUT/DELIVERY LINKS (we will update):

WRAL has a tremendous Triangle-wide list going. Check it out here.

In Chapel Hill/Carrboro, the most comprehensive list is offered here and compiled by the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.

In Durham, Discover Durham has a fantastic list here.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has a great downtown Raleigh list here.

And over in Hillsborough, here is a great list compiled by the Town of Hillsborough.

And finally, because this is such a fast moving and changing environment, please follow your favorite local restaurants on their social media platforms.

BUY GIFT CARDS

Buy gift cards that you can use later! Help them over the short-term hump. This is not the perfect solution, but cash (flow) is king right now. Buy the gift cards now, they get to enjoy the “cash advance” during this difficult time, and then after we get beyond this, you get to enjoy a fabulous meal (or two, or three)! A win, win! Even better, go ahead and get ALL your holiday shopping done NOW! Who doesn’t love a restaurant gift card as a gift? That’s a win, win, win! For many restaurants, you can do this online – even better!

PEOPLE DOING GOOD

In closing this week, I wanted to share three examples of people/groups facing adversity and tackling it head-on with some incredible creativity. There are others, but here are three. We will feature more as we lean of them each week. If you know of similar programs, please email me at sean@TriangleFoodGuy.com.

Love & Nourish 2020 in Durham

Tom Meyer at Southern Harvest Hospitality Group has partnered with The Honeysuckle Farm and Unique Places To Save to create Love and Nourish 2020. The idea is simple and tremendously impactful – support local restaurants who can in turn provide food to those in need all while your family enjoys a meal together!! Win, win, win!      Here’s how it works: Buy a Family Pack (feeds 4 + leftovers!) for $60, and $10 goes back to help provide meals to families in need identified by with Families Moving Forward, Durham Public School Foundation, Sunday Supper Durham and End Hunger Durham. And, it keeps people in the hospitality industry employed and doing what they love! Here is the Love and Nourish website to order your family’s meal and/or make a donation!

Carrboro Group Forms Local Food Hub  

In Carrboro, they have created the Carrboro United Local Food Hub – a one-stop shop for nutritious food from local chefs and farmers – Firsthand Foods Meat Box, ACME, Neal’s Deli and Glasshalfull. Pick up fresh produce, quality meats, and prepared meals three times a week in the heart of Carrboro. Feed your family while putting money back into the local economy.  The next hub day is Saturday, March 21. Pick-up is at East Main Square, 300 East Main Street, Carrboro (in front of Cat’s Cradle). Order by noon of the day prior to hub day. Go to their website here and select “Carrboro United” from the menu.

Get Free Cookies Today (Friday, March 20) in Wake Forest!

Chris Duke, proprietor of Anna’s Gourmet Goodies is stepping up and helping out the best way he knows how – giving away free cookies!   If you worked in RTP during the 80’s and 90’s, you probably remember the iconic Deli Box eatery and their ‘Free Cookie Fridays’. Anna’s Gourmet Goodies wants to help local restaurants that are transitioning to a carry-out model by sponsoring Free Cookie Friday this week at The Burger Shop in downtown Wake Forest. The first 50 patrons who buy a burger (that’s right – don’t be late) will get a free chocolate chip cookie. Support a local restaurant and get a free cookie? TGIF!
See you today at: The Burger Shop – 203 Wait Avenue, Wake Forest, NC   

Thanks so much to all. Together – being smart, vigilant, compassionate and calm – we will get through this. Together. My best,  Sean Lennard, aka Triangle Food Guy

Food Bank Corner

  • Also, don’t forget the great work of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and the people they serve during this time. The Food Bank is assessing what their agencies and the people they support will need, and working to keep their partner agencies (the pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters who serve people) stocked with food and supplies. We are also taking extra precautions around food safety and hygiene. Consider an online donation today! 

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 13, 2020

Support Our Local Restaurants – Here’s How

All –

As you can imagine, this is going to be a bumpy road for our local restaurants.   You are probably reading this because like so many others, you LOVE our local dining scene. Now is not the time to forget how incredibly lucky we are. This is also not the time to forget those people that work in the restaurant industry that are the life and soul of our community.

There is nothing that warms the soul like a great meal and a tasty libation

So now more than EVER, they need your help and support.   Here are some ideas:

1) If you are not comfortable dining in, consider ordering takeout. You love their food – just swing by and pick it up! Most restaurants allow you to order and pay online as well, but even if they don’t, I bet you can pay over the phone with a CC and be in and out in a jiffy. I have also seen many restaurants offering curbside delivery – call when you arrive and they will bring it out to you so you don’t even have to get out of your car!

2) Follow your favorite restaurant’s social media. I’m seeing lots of creative options like 1/2 price bottles of wine and prepared/frozen dishes becoming available. Additionally, a lot of restaurants are spreading their tables out (more distance between tables) and even moving some of their tables outside if they don’t already offer outside dining. Additionally, think about your restaurants that already have outside patios – warm weather is arriving! Great ideas! Check in on your favorite social media sites. Or just call!  

3) Buy gift cards that you can use later. I love this idea! (Thanks Carrie Brogren and Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies) Help them over the short-term hump. Buy the gift cards now, they get to enjoy the “cash advance” during this difficult time, and then after we get beyond this, you get to enjoy a fabulous meal (or two, or three)! A win, win!   Even better, go ahead and get ALL your holiday shopping done NOW! Who doesn’t love a restaurant gift card as a gift? That’s a win, win, win! For many restaurants, you can do this online – even better!

4) Perhaps most importantly, while carrying out any of these ideas, please consider larger than normal tips!! For many, many people this is their livelihood. Don’t forget our servers, bartenders, dishwashers, and other front and back of the house support staff. They are working harder than ever now to take precautions to the extreme to keep you safe. They need us in an unprecedented moment like this.

5) And finally, if you are a restaurant owner and are doing something creative during this time, please share it with me at sean@trianglefoodguy.com and I will share it with those that follow me – via Twitter and Facebook. Don’t worry about what format, just get it to me and I will sort it out and share it! If you are a reader, be sure you are following me on social media @TriangleFoodGuy.

Thanks so much to all. Together – being smart, vigilant, compassionate and calm – we will get through this. Together.

My best,  Sean Lennard, aka Triangle Food Guy

Food Bank Corner

  • Also, don’t forget the great work of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and the people they serve during this time. The Food Bank is assessing what their agencies and the people they support will need, and working to keep their partner agencies (the pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters who serve people) stocked with food and supplies. We are also taking extra precautions around food safety and hygiene. Consider an online donation today! 

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 6, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Twitter pal @Burgeoningbaker pointed me to the One Raleigh website that shared the news that Caroline Morrison of Fiction Kitchen and Kim Hammer of Bittersweet are joining forces to introduce a gourmet, plant-based dining experience called the Askew House at 110 Glenwood Ave., in a house formerly best known to N.C. State Design School students and art lovers as Askew-Taylor Paints (don’t freak out, Fiction Kitchen and Bittersweet aren’t going anywhere, both will continue to operate). This will be a 100% vegetarian kitchen with considerable vegan offerings. Askew House is slated to open summer 2020 and will provide two floors of dining with a variety of spaces available for rental. Read more on the One Raleigh website here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh we are just days away from the opening of the hotel Origin Raleigh at 603 W. Morgan Street (March 16th to be exact). And this week they announced that Stephen Alsop has been appointed as executive chef of the onsite restaurant Good Day Good Night. Get familiar with the restaurant here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, reader Sarah Armstrong shared the news that signage is now in the windows of the former Brew location indicating that Hunky Dory out of Durham, featuring records, beer and dankness will soon occupy that space. Visit their store in Durham here.
  • Over in Cary, Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties, shared with us that Ashlyn Smith of Spicy Green Gourmet Cafe and Catering has purchased Green Planet Catering and plans to operate business as usual, continuing on with Daniel Whitaker’s vision of offering a sustainable catering platform to businesses, venues, schools, wedding’s etc. around the triangle. Visit Green Planet here and Spicy Green here.
  • David McCreary shared with us that FuQuay Brus, a new coffee shop/bakery/wine and spirits joint is scheduled to open for business this Saturday at 400 Broad Street in Fuquay-Varina. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • And finally, if you are not familiar with 321 Coffee, you should be. They are a nonprofit coffee shop that provides meaningful work experience to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently 321 operates out of the North Carolina Farmers’ Market (Thursday through Sunday at 1202 Agriculture Street), and they are just $50k short of their fundraising goal of moving into permanent space. They have raised $200k of their $250k goal in just four months! It is heart-warming to see the outpouring of support from not only the coffee community, but the community as a whole. Consider making a donation to this great cause or getting your company behind their efforts. Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • You heard it here first — we are excited to share the news that Makus Empanadas will be opening another location in Durham, this one at Duke North Hospital at The Atrium Cafeteria and is scheduled to open next Monday, March 9th. Visit Makus here.
  • Twitter pal @Burgeoningbaker and WRAL shared the news that Press, a coffee and crepe concept that catalyzed downtown Graham, will open its second restaurant in American Tobacco’s Diamond View III this summer. With a promise of “European Inspired, Carolina made,” the casual eatery will serve a menu of scratchmade, local breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner items seven days a week. Press is completely renovating and remodeling the space formerly occupied by The Bullpen in Diamond View III. Get to know them here.
  • In Chapel Hill, Carrie Brogren shared with her Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies Facebook group that March 11-14 will be the soft opening for Hawkers at University Place. The concept gets its name from the Asian Street vendors where you’ll find dumplings with bounce, spicy curries, crisp pork belly, and the list goes on. Get familiar with them here.

Closings

  • Reader Thom Shurtleff shared the news that the Subway Restaurant on Kildaire at Cary Parkway, next to the Trader Joes, has closed.

Food Trucks 

  • If you are enjoying the warmer-than-normal winter as much as I am, you will also sense that the food trucks are warming up as well. And that means food truck rodeos! Durham rolled out their first one already and their next one is next month. Check it out here. And Raleigh rolled out their schedule for the year with the first one in May. Check out Raleigh’s schedule here.
  • Here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.

Events

  •  On March 14th and 15th the Lebanese Festival returns, but in a new location. This year it will be held at the NC State Fairgrounds in the Kerr Scott Building and will feature Lebanese food, music, dancing, beer, wine, and lots of fun!! This event is free and open to all!! Get all the details on their Facebook events page here.
  • Katsuji Tanabe’s Top Chef Dinner Series at High Horse continues! Next up, chef Katsuji Tanabe welcomes celebrity Chef Brother Luck of Four by Brother Luck in Colorado Springs, CO for dinner at High Horse Monday, March 23rd. Reserve for 7pm on RESY. Chef Brother Luck appeared on Food Network as a Chopped finalist and won his episode of Beat Bobby Flay, before starring on the Emmy award winning Bravo’s Top Chef Season 15 and 16 and cooking his way to the Last Chance Kitchen. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Durham-based Markay Media and UNC-TV will present a special screening of an episode of Somewhere South, a new series featuring award-winning chef Vivian Howard. The premier will take place at the Carolina Theater in Durham on Sunday, March 15 at 4:30 p.m. This celebration will also feature a Q&A with Howard and series director Cynthia Hill and tickets are $15.50. The show premiers at 9 p.m. March 27 on PBS stations nationwide. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • This sounds like a lot of fun – the Sisters vs. Sisters Battle on April 2nd that will pit the Sassool Sisters facing off against the Soul-Full Sisters in a family recipe battle like you’ve never tasted before! Noelle and Simone are the sisters that run the three Sassool restaurants in Raleigh and Cary. And Paten and Quinn are sister food bloggers and storytellers who just really love food. The battle pits Lebanese family recipes against Southern home cooking. The event will be held at 1705 East venue (1705 East Millbrook Road in Raleigh) at 6 pm on Thursday, April 2. The battle will benefit the Lucy Daniels Center, which supports programs in children’s mental health. You decide who wins! Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Lindsey Chester notified us that Fest in the West is back for its fifth year on Saturday, May 2 from 11 am- 5 pm at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. The event features food & beer, music, arts & crafts, a KidZone, contests and a petting zoo. A great way to spend time with 7,000 of your closest friends. Admission is free! Get all the details here.
  • The 5th Annual Raleigh International Food Festival will be held on Saturday, June 6 from noon until 10 p.m. in the 100-200 block of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. While there you will be able to try authentic international food, desserts as well as  imported beer and wine! There will also be lots of music and entertainment at this child and pet friendly event. Admission is free and parking on the street is as well. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • Certain events have already sold out!!! (Told you!) The Thrive NC Food Festival will return to downtown Raleigh this spring on May 7 and 8. Thrive NC, which held its inaugural festival in 2018, was developed to help raise awareness about food insecurity in the Triangle, where more than 1.5 million North Carolinians struggle with hunger on a daily basis. The first day will include a food summit that delves into ways to address hunger in the state. A service project will be held on the second day involving members of the community in partnership with a local non-profit. Each night includes a food festival with more than 65 local restaurants and beverage purveyors, live entertainment, chef demonstrations and music. Tickets for Thrive NC’s food festivals are $30 each are on sale now!! Get all the details here.
  • The 5th Annual International Food Festival will be held on Saturday, June 6 from noon until 10 p.m. in the 100-200 block of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. While there you will be able to try authentic international food, desserts as well as  imported beer and wine! There will also be lots of music and entertainment at this child and pet friendly event. Admission is free and parking on the street is as well. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Want to do something for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina at your office? Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… create a food drive without the heavy lifting using our Virtual Food Drive, and maximize your donation times five! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide FIVE meals! You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members, or coworkers.  Starting a Virtual Food Drive is easy! See how easy here!

Friday Fun Food Facts – February 28, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  The James Beard Foundation announced their semi-finalists this week, and again the Triangle was on display showcasing why we are so lucky to call this area home. Ashley Christensen’s restaurant Death and Taxes was named a semi-finalist this year for Outstanding Wine Program. The Angus Barn in Raleigh was named a semi-finalist for Outstanding Hospitality. Crawford and Son’s Krystle Swenson was named a semi-finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef. The best chef in the southeast award semi-finalist list included Steven Devereaux Greene of Herons in Cary, Cheetie Kumar of Garland in Raleigh and Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham. The James Beard Award finalists will be announced March 25. The awards will be presented at a gala on May 4 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. A complete list of the semi-finalists can be found here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Reader Jan Delory shared the news this week that Crab Du Jour Cajun Seafood and Bar held their grand opening this week, taking over the space formerly occupied by Mimi’s Cafe in Plantation Center at 6320 Plantation Center Dr. off Capital Blvd. You can get to know them here.
  • In Apex, reader David Amann shared that Mission Market is open at 124 N. Salem St. right next to the re-opened Peak on Salem (was Peak City Grill). Mission Market serves Counter Culture coffee, açaí bowls and smoothies, avocado toast and  is owned by the couple that owns Apex Outfitter. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Cary, we told you about this move back in January, but reader Andy Siouville confirmed that the move is complete – Noodle Blvd has completed their move from their tiny spot on N. Harrison in the Wal-Mart anchored Northwoods Shopping Center into the old Pizza Hut/Hotpoint Deli location at 1718 Walnut Street (Walnut Street and Buck Jones Road). Visit their Facebook page here and their website here.
  • Just a reminder that the State Farmers’ Market Restaurant reopens tomorrow, Saturday, February 29th after undergoing “maintenance, remodel and repair.” They are scheduled to re-open at 6 a.m. but check in with their Facebook page for any changes or announcements.
  • And finally, if you are not familiar with 321 Coffee, you should be. They are a nonprofit coffee shop that provides meaningful work experience to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently 321 operates out of the North Carolina Farmers’ Market (Thursday through Sunday at 1202 Agriculture Street), and they are just $50k short of their fundraising goal of moving into permanent space. They have raised $200k of their $250k goal in just four months! It is heart-warming to see the outpouring of support from not only the coffee community, but the community as a whole. Consider making a donation to this great cause or getting your company behind their efforts. Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Durham, Kristen Venema shared with the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group that  Stephanie Rosse will be opening the Rockwood Dairy Bar, next to Nana’s, in a few weeks! Homemade ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, homemade seltzers (Italian sodas), espressos, beignets and French pastries! We were not able to find an online presence, so stay tuned with further updates.
  • Saw in the Durham Magazine email this week that in March Bar Virgile owner Daniel Sartain and business partner Connell “Nellie” Vail plan to open an underground bar, Annexe, just below Bar Virgile at 105 S. Mangum St. The space features a bar with built-in turntables, pink Champagne on tap and a dance floor. Follow their progress on Instagram here.

Closings

  • WRAL reported this week that Calavera Empanadas and Tequila will not be reopening its doors. The restaurant closed in January after about eight months in business at 615 W. Morgan Street. There was a suggestion that their food would soon be available via a delivery service, but stay tuned on that.
  • And in Cary, friend Nancy Scotto shared that the Bruegger’s Bagels on SW Maynard Rd in Cary has closed.

Food Trucks 

  •  If you are enjoying the warmer-than-normal winter as much as I am, you will also sense that the food trucks are warming up as well. And that means food truck rodeos! Durham rolled out their first one already and their next one is next month. And last week, Raleigh rolled out their schedule for the year with the first one in May. Check out Raleigh’s schedule here and visit Durham’s here.
  • Here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.

Events

  •  The 4th Annual Cooking for a Classic benefiting the kids at the Lucy Daniels Center began this week with round one on February 24-27. Round 2 is March 4 & 5. And the finale is on March 11. All events take place at 1705 East in Raleigh. New this year, enter a raffle to win a triple-black loaded 1969 Chevy Camaro! Get tickets and all the details here.
  • On March 1st, Locals Seafood will host their sixth annual Winter Seafood Jubilee at their oyster bar in downtown Raleigh. The 2020 Jubilee will feature a fish fry and oyster roast at Transfer Co. Food Hall. Special guests at the Jubilee will include oyster growers, fishermen and women, policy makers and industry stakeholders. This event gives consumers the opportunity to enjoy eating seafood while meeting the folks who harvest, produce, and advocate for our seafood resources. This educational event is free and open to the public. There are no tickets required for the Jubilee, but guests are encouraged to RSVP on Facebook here.
  • Then on March 2,  the celebration of seafood continues with the day-long NC Catch Summit. The Summit is an annual gathering of folks from every facet of the industry to discuss the state of North Carolina seafood and the industry as a whole. This year will be the first time the Summit is not held on the coast. Attendees can expect presentations and panel discussions from 9:30am to 4pm inside the Transfer Co. Ballroom. A break for lunch will allow attendees to enjoy food from the many vendors inside the food hall. The Summit is free and open to the public. Registration and all the details can be found here.
  • Also on March 2nd, The Umstead in Cary they will kick off a new quarterly program called Umstead Unbottled. It is an interactive classroom-style event with educational talks from Herons’ in-house sommeliers. Both somms have a passion for wine exploration and education and will walk customers through the Herons wine list. The first session, kicking off on Monday, March 2nd, will focus on Old World versus New World wines and will teach guests the differences between the classic styles. The event will be held quarterly, with a different area of focus for each session. Tickets are $45 plus tax and service fee, and can be purchased by calling 919-447-4050. For more information and to view a complete list of the hotel’s upcoming events, visit them here.
  • March 6th through 8th the Graham Building over at the NC State Fairgrounds will host the 34th International Festival of Raleigh. While there you will be able to enjoy delicious food from around the world and you’ll also find a great selection of international beers and wines. They suggest that you bring your appetite. Get tickets and all the details here. Thanks to reader Rua Mordecai for bringing this event to our attention!
  • On March 14th and 15th the Lebanese Festival returns, but in a new location. This year it will be held at the NC State Fairgrounds in the Kerr Scott Building and will feature Lebanese food, music, dancing, beer, wine, and lots of fun!! This event is free and open to all!! Get all the details on their Facebook events page here.
  • Durham-based Markay Media and UNC-TV will present a special screening of an episode of Somewhere South, a new series featuring award-winning chef Vivian Howard. The premier will take place at the Carolina Theater in Durham on Sunday, March 15 at 4:30 p.m. This celebration will also feature a Q&A with Howard and series director Cynthia Hill and tickets are $15.50. The show premiers at 9 p.m. March 27 on PBS stations nationwide. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • This sounds like a lot of fun – the Sisters vs. Sisters Battle on April 2nd that will pit the Sassool Sisters facing off against the Soul-Full Sisters in a family recipe battle like you’ve never tasted before! Noelle and Simone are the sisters that run the three Sassool restaurants in Raleigh and Cary. And Paten and Quinn are sister food bloggers and storytellers who just really love food. The battle pits Lebanese family recipes against Southern home cooking. The event will be held at 1705 East venue (1705 East Millbrook Road in Raleigh) at 6 pm on Thursday, April 2. The battle will benefit the Lucy Daniels Center, which supports programs in children’s mental health. You decide who wins! Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Lindsey Chester notified us that Fest in the West is back for its fifth year on Saturday, May 2 from 11 am- 5 pm at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. The event features food & beer, music, arts & crafts, a KidZone, contests and a petting zoo. A great way to spend time with 7,000 of your closest friends. Admission is free! Get all the details here
  • The Thrive NC Food Festival will return to downtown Raleigh this spring on May 7 and 8. Thrive NC, which held its inaugural festival in 2018, was developed to help raise awareness about food insecurity in the Triangle, where more than 1.5 million North Carolinians struggle with hunger on a daily basis. The first day will include a food summit that delves into ways to address hunger in the state. A service project will be held on the second day involving members of the community in partnership with a local non-profit. Each night includes a food festival with more than 65 local restaurants and beverage purveyors, live entertainment, chef demonstrations and music. Tickets for Thrive NC’s food festivals are $30 each and went on sale this week. Tickets have sold out each year. Get all the details here.
  • The 5th Annual Raleigh International Food Festival will be held on Saturday, June 6 from noon until 10 p.m. in the 100-200 block of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. While there you will be able to try authentic international food, desserts as well as  imported beer and wine! There will also be lots of music and entertainment at this child and pet friendly event. Admission is free and parking on the street is as well. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Want to do something for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina at your office? Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… create a food drive without the heavy lifting using our Virtual Food Drive, and maximize your donation times five! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide FIVE meals! You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members, or coworkers.  Starting a Virtual Food Drive is easy! See how easy here!

Friday Fun Food Facts – February 21, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • If you are not familiar with 321 Coffee, you should be. They are a nonprofit coffee shop that provides meaningful work experience to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently 321 operates out of the North Carolina Farmers’ Market (Thursday through Sunday at 1202 Agriculture Street), and they are just $50k short of their fundraising goal of moving into permanent space. They have raised $200k of their $250k goal in just four months! It is heart-warming to see the outpouring of support from not only the coffee community, but the community as a whole. Consider making a donation to this great cause or getting your company behind their efforts. Get all the details here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Speaking of the State Farmers’ Market, I saw on their Facebook page that the State Farmers’ Market Restaurant is temporarily closed until next Saturday, February 29th for “maintenance, remodel and repair.” They will re-open at 6 a.m. on the 29th. Keep up with any changes or announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • In North Raleigh, we heard from a follower on Twitter that a coffee and bubble tea shop called Beans and Bubbles is opening in the Bedford neighborhood. According to their Facebook page they are shooting to open by the end of the month. Get to know them here.
  • Also in North Raleigh, Jimmy Conder shared with us that Thaiphoon Bistro is opening in the Stonehenge Market shopping center, operating a takeout version of their downtown restaurant, in the space formerly occupied by 888 Chinese. Will be a few months before they open. In the meantime, get familiar with their downtown location here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, reader Katie Page shared that Korean Kitchen in the old Mona Pita location has opened at 2101 S Main Street. We were unable to find a web presence for them, but the Yelp reviews so far are very strong.
  • In Garner reader John Tipton shared that Garner Biz reported that Alpaca is opening in new location in White Oak Shopping Center across from Sheetz. While on their site, I also noticed they have plans to open two other locations – on on 15/501 in Durham and one in Nichols Plaza in Apex. No timeline on any of these new locations. Keep up with Alpaca here.
  • Over in Apex, reader Heather Black shared that she saw signage for another Starbucks location in the new shopping center being built at the corner of Hwy. 55 and Hwy. 64 across from Beaver Creek.  She noted that it looks like it will have a drive thru. Visit Starbucks here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, David McCreary shared the news that Sweetberry Bowls has opened at 150 W. Holly Springs Road. The healthy fast-casual eatery offers açaí and poke bowls, smoothies, salads and wraps. Discover more info here.
  • And before we ‘leave’ Wake County, a happiest of birthdays to a Raleigh institution – The Players’ Retreat is turning 69 this year, and to celebrate, they’re throwing it all the way back to 1951, the year The PR was born! Next Monday, February 24th, join them all day at the restaurant to enjoy original Players’ Retreat prices and menu items, like 25¢ hotdogs and 35¢ Budweiser. Get the latest on their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In a stunning announcement this week, Piedmont Restaurant shared via Facebook that buyers from outside of North Carolina have purchased the building and intend to “recapture” the space at the end of February. That means that this Saturday, February 22nd will be their last service. Get in if you can before they close.
  • Also in Durham, Glenn Gillen shared that East Durham Bake Shop’s Facebook page says they are expanding into the space next door on Angier Ave. in Durham. To help them finance this, they are selling prepaid Club Sandwich punch cards that can be redeemed for breakfast and lunch items. More details in their post here. Here are the details on the Club Sandwich program.
  • Chapel Hill’s Breadmen’s is moving! In 1974 Roy Piscitello opened Breadmen’s in Chapel Hill and was later joined by his sister Arlene and brother Bill. In ’92, they moved into their current location, the old Western Sizzlin’. But that era is coming to an end, making way for more development along Rosemary Street. Likely before year’s end, they will move into the former Haw River Grill space at 261 S Elliott Rd. Visit them here. Thanks to Michael DePersia at National Restaurant Properties for the heads up.
  • Got word this week that CholaNad Restaurant and Bar on Chapel Hill’s W. Franklin Street is leaving their current location and moving next door into the former Mellow Mushroom space. They will continue with normal operations in their current space until they announce their grand opening in the new space. Visit CholaNad here.
  • UNC MBA student Alex Brandwein has spent the last six months hosting pop-ups and doing caterings as he learned his way through perfecting his bagels. This week he announced that he is opening a permanent ‘brick-and-mortar’ location of Brandwein’s Bagels in the former Midway Community Kitchen at 505 W. Rosemary St.! Obviously the timing of the opening  is contingent upon final plans, permitting and redesign. In the meantime, he will have another pop-up this Saturday, Feb. 22, 8am to 12pm in their new home at 505 W. Rosemary St. Get there early! Visit them on Facebook here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, Kristina Killgrove shared with the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group that Cerritos Cantina, on E. Franklin Street across from The Siena Hotel, is rebranding as Casa Maria Latin Cuisine. Don’t know exactly what the entails as far as any changes (menu, ownership, decor, etc.) but you can check them out on Facebook here.

Closings

  • Reader Tom Hailey shared the sad news that Donato’s Pizza at Seaboard Station closed this week.
  • David McCreary shared that Jus’ Enuff Home Cookin’ at 736 N. Main Street in Fuquay-Varina is closing its doors for good as of February 26 after a 13-year run. The diner’s owner, Cindy Johnson, posted the announcement on Facebook this week. On a personal note, David noted that he’s  not sure where he’ll go now to find a hobo plate (scrambled eggs mixed with sausage). Moment of silence, please!

Food Trucks 

  •  If you are enjoying the warmer-than-normal winter as much as I am, you will also sense that the food trucks are warming up as well. And that means food truck rodeos! Durham rolled out their first one already and their next one is next month. Check it out here. And just this week, Raleigh rolled out their schedule for the year with the first one in May. Check out Raleigh’s schedule here and visit Durham’s here.
  • Here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.

Events

  •  The Sarcoma Foundation of America is hosting a fundraising  event at The Glass Jug THIS Saturday, February 22nd. The Glass Jug will be featuring a one off beer by Starpoint Brewing being brewed specifically for the event. There will also be a silent auction and Boricua Soul food truck. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The 8th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience will take place THIS Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the DPAC. The event pairs delicious local restaurants, with breweries from across the nation. Unlimited food and beer samplings will be spread throughout all three floors at DPAC, plus the On Stage Experience will bring guests up onto the performing arts stage to showcase even more food, beverages and live music. Get all the details here.
  • Also on Sunday, February 23rd, grab your crockpot, secret ingredients, and competitive spirit because it’s time for Ponysaurus Brewing Co.’s Fourth Annual Chili Cook-Off! Show off your chili chops, drink delicious Ponysaurus beer, and compete for the grand prize of, you guessed it, more food, and beer! Oh, and a trophy … who doesn’t like trophies? All amateur cooks welcome. One grand prize winner will be selected by Ponysaurus Brewing’s esteemed panel of judges including Clayton Anderson of Whiskey Kitchen, Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea, and Billy Cotter of Dashi & Toast. If you’re more taste-tester than competitor, there will be a People’s Choice award – just donate a non-perishable food item to PORCH-Durham to vote! Get all the details here.
  • Jennifer Noble Kelly reached out to us to let us know that as part of his on-going Bravo TV Top Chef Series, chef Katsuji Tanabe of High Horse welcomes James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: Northeast” 2018 winner chef/owner Karen Akunowicz of Fox & Knife in Boston for dinner at High Horse on Monday, Feb 24th. Meet chef Karen Akunowicz in Raleigh before she airs on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef All Stars” March 19th. Reserve through RESY at 7pm February 24th here .
  • The 4th Annual Cooking for a Classic benefiting the kids at the Lucy Daniels Center begins with round one on February 24-27 and tickets are just $75 each. Two chefs each night will prepare three courses each with at least one secret ingredient per dish, and attendees and guest judges decide which chef advances to the next round. Rond One features the following chefs: Monday, Feb. 24 – Eli Rodriguez of so·ca vs. Kevin Smith of 41Hundred at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel Tuesday, Feb. 25 – Blake Gotliffe of Under the Oak vs. Kyle Teears of Whiskey Kitchen Wednesday, Feb. 26 – Kyle Fletcher of Wye Hill vs. Scott Ruzicka of Mia Francesca Thursday, Feb. 27 – Andres Kaifer of Vidrio vs. Carey Ball of STIR. All events take place at 1705 East in Raleigh. New this year, enter a raffle to win a triple-black loaded 1969 Chevy Camaro! Get tickets and all the details here.
  • On March 1st, Locals Seafood will host their sixth annual Winter Seafood Jubilee at their oyster bar in downtown Raleigh. The 2020 Jubilee will feature a fish fry and oyster roast at Transfer Co. Food Hall. Special guests at the Jubilee will include oyster growers, fishermen and women, policy makers and industry stakeholders. This event gives consumers the opportunity to enjoy eating seafood while meeting the folks who harvest, produce, and advocate for our seafood resources. This educational event is free and open to the public. There are no tickets required for the Jubilee, but guests are encouraged to RSVP on Facebook here.
  • Then on March 2,  the celebration of seafood continues with the day-long NC Catch Summit. The Summit is an annual gathering of folks from every facet of the industry to discuss the state of North Carolina seafood and the industry as a whole. This year will be the first time the Summit is not held on the coast. Attendees can expect presentations and panel discussions from 9:30am to 4pm inside the Transfer Co. Ballroom. A break for lunch will allow attendees to enjoy food from the many vendors inside the food hall. The Summit is free and open to the public. Registration and all the details can be found here.
  • Also on March 2nd, The Umstead in Cary they will kick off a new quarterly program called Umstead Unbottled. It is an interactive classroom-style event with educational talks from Herons’ in-house sommeliers. Both somms have a passion for wine exploration and education and will walk customers through the Herons wine list. The first session, kicking off on Monday, March 2nd, will focus on Old World versus New World wines and will teach guests the differences between the classic styles. The event will be held quarterly, with a different area of focus for each session. Tickets are $45 plus tax and service fee, and can be purchased by calling 919-447-4050. For more information and to view a complete list of the hotel’s upcoming events, visit them here.
  • On March 14th and 15th the Lebanese Festival returns, but in a new location. This year it will be held at the NC State Fairgrounds in the Kerr Scott Building and will feature Lebanese food, music, dancing, beer, wine, and lots of fun!! This event is free and open to all!! Get all the details on their Facebook events page here.
  • This sounds like a lot of fun – the Sisters vs. Sisters Battle on April 2nd that will pit the Sassool Sisters facing off against the Soul-Full Sisters in a family recipe battle like you’ve never tasted before! Noelle and Simone are the sisters that run the three Sassool restaurants in Raleigh and Cary. And Paten and Quinn are sister food bloggers and storytellers who just really love food. The battle pits Lebanese family recipes against Southern home cooking. The event will be held at 1705 East venue (1705 East Millbrook Road in Raleigh) at 6 pm on Thursday, April 2. The battle will benefit the Lucy Daniels Center, which supports programs in children’s mental health. You decide who wins! Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Lindsey Chester notified us that Fest in the West is back for its fifth year on Saturday, May 2 from 11 am- 5 pm at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. The event features food & beer, music, arts & crafts, a KidZone, contests and a petting zoo. A great way to spend time with 7,000 of your closest friends. Admission is free! Get all the details here.
  • The 5th Annual Raleigh International Food Festival will be held on Saturday, June 6 from noon until 10 p.m. in the 100-200 block of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. While there you will be able to try authentic international food, desserts as well as  imported beer and wine! There will also be lots of music and entertainment at this child and pet friendly event. Admission is free and parking on the street is as well. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Thrive NC Food Festival will return to downtown Raleigh this spring on May 7 and 8. Thrive NC, which held its inaugural festival in 2018, was developed to help raise awareness about food insecurity in the Triangle, where more than 1.5 million North Carolinians struggle with hunger on a daily basis. The first day will include a food summit that delves into ways to address hunger in the state. A service project will be held on the second day involving members of the community in partnership with a local non-profit. Each night includes a food festival with more than 65 local restaurants and beverage purveyors, live entertainment, chef demonstrations and music. Tickets for Thrive NC’s food festivals are $30 each and go on sale Feb. 27. Tickets have sold out each year. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Want to do something for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina at your office? Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… create a food drive without the heavy lifting using our Virtual Food Drive, and maximize your donation times five! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide FIVE meals! You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members, or coworkers.  Starting a Virtual Food Drive is easy! See how easy here!

Friday Fun Food Facts – February 14, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Hillsborough tops the news this week as we got word that Nomad, the latest restaurant from Rasoi Ventures, is set to open in early March. The global fusion restaurant will offer a diverse range of cuisine influenced by the owners’ travels around the world and the types of foods they’ve experienced in various countries, in traditional ethnic dishes with a unique spin. One can expect delicious renditions of popular Korean, Thai and Indian street dishes. Nomad will be located in the historic Osbunn Theater in Hillsborough, an old movie theater  at 120 W. King Street. This is the same restaurant group behind Kasturi in Greenville and Tan-Durm and Viceroy in Durham. Get familiar with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The folks over at ITB Insider shared the news this week that two dining/drinking establishments are planned for the 3800 Glenwood building currently under construction just inside the beltline. They noted that developer Grubb Ventures shared that The Pizza Press (which also has a location in Chapel Hill) and The Glenwood Taproom will likely open near the end of the year in the 3800 building. There doesn’t appear to be an online presence for the taproom just yet, but get familiar with The Pizza Press here.
  • Saw in the RalToday email this week that a new cafe called Bean Sprouts is now open at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh. The healthy dining concept has 17 locations nationwide – serving up sandwiches, salads, and pizza at family destinations – but this is the brand’s first East Coast store. Get familiar with them here.
  • The folks over at Taste Carolina informed us that we are getting very close to the opening of Lady Luck on Glenwood South, which will soon begin serving small plates (under the direction of chef Kevin Ruiz) and cocktails (led by Megan Corbally). They are taking over the former Blue Mango/Indio space at 222 Glenwood Avenue. In fact, they have a ‘pop-up’ on February 22 at Little City Brewing + Provisions Co. where you can get a preview of their menu and cocktails. Get all the details and sign up here. Follow them on Instagram here.
  • Also in Raleigh, the Triangle Business Journal reported that breakfast lovers will have another spot to eat starting this spring with the opening of a new First Watch restaurant at the Marketplace at Lake Boone (think Bottle Revolution, Buffalo Brothers, Guasaca, Just Salads and The Oaks). They are set to open next month. First Watch is a breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant with nine Triangle locations. Visit First Watch here.
  • Over in Morrisville, Twitter buddy @BurgeoningBaker notified me that Meeples Brew, Morrisville’s first board game cafe, opened this past weekend in the same shopping center as Swagat Indian and Alpaca Chicken at 9545 Chapel Hill Road. Get to know them here.
  • And before we ‘leave’ Wake County, a happiest of birthdays to a Raleigh institution – The Players’ Retreat is turning 69 this year, and to celebrate, they’re throwing it all the way back to 1951, the year The PR was born! On February 24th, join them all day at the restaurant to enjoy original Players’ Retreat prices and menu items, like 25¢ hotdogs and 35¢ Budweiser. Get the latest on their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Chapel Hill, Ed Elliott shared with the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group that a gluten free bakery and restaurant called Savor has opened at 110 Columbia Street, just behind Lula’s (formerly Spanky’s). They had a successful soft-opening event, and are open tomorrow (Saturday, 2/15) with a full-bakery and a limited breakfast menu from 9 am to 3 pm. And on Sunday, they are hosting a Pancake Breakfast/Brunch from 9 am until 2 pm! Get details on the Pancake Breakfast here and visit their website here.
  • Over in Carrboro, Carrie Brogren with the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group on Facebook shared two nuggets this week. First up, Thai Station in Carrboro just passed their final inspection and their grand opening date will be Monday, February 17th. You can keep up with any announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • Brogren also shared that Luna’s grand opening in Carrboro will be Tuesday, February 18th. They have moved into the former Milltown space where they will begin serving up wood-fired rotisserie meats, Andean-inspired braises, empanadas and small plates. Think of it as South American meets American South! The original location remains at 112 W. Main Street in Durham. Get familiar with them here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • Saw on the Facebook page for the “You Know You Grew Up In Raleigh North Carolina When. . .” group that an old classic Raleigh favorite is back…in the form of a food truck. That’s right, Don Murray’s is now rolling around the streets. Member Mary Holt Collins added that, “Kenny is the man, and he and his wife have the truck set up every Tuesday and Thursday in the Marathon gas station lot at the corner of Departure Drive and Millbrook. Go pay them a visit. I just inhaled some bbq and mac n cheese and my childhood came right back.” Check them out here and their Facebook page here.
  • How can we not share this. Also saw in the RalToday email that a popular Atlanta-based food truck called The Slutty Vegan will host a pop-up event this Saturday, February 15 at Hi-Wire Brewery in Durham. They will be there from 6 to 10 p.m. Be sure to check out their flavor-filled Impossible burgers, vegan shrimp + chicken, and the PLT – grilled jerk-seasoned plantains with caramelized onions, lettuce, and tomato on a Hawaiian bun. Get all the details about the event in Spectacular Magazine here.
  • If you are enjoying the warmer-than-normal winter as much as I am, you will also sense that the food trucks are warming up as well. And that means food truck rodeos! Durham rolled out their schedule. Raleigh, we are ready to see your schedule! In the meantime, visit Durham’s here.  
  • Here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.

Events

  •  The Sarcoma Foundation of America is hosting a fundraising  event at The Glass Jug on Saturday, February 22nd. The Glass Jug will be featuring a one off beer by Starpoint Brewing being brewed specifically for the event. There will also be a silent auction and Boricua Soul food truck. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The recently announced Lawrence BBQ, slated to open late this summer in Boxyard RTP, will be serving up mouthwatering sandwiches, oysters and their “not yet famous sticky ribs” at Kingfisher on Thursday, February 20 starting at 6 p.m. Guests will sip on Sean Umstead’s award-winning ground-to-glass cocktails in a space designed by co-owner Michelle Vanderwalker, while enjoying food from Jake Wood’s Lawrence BBQ + Oysters. Visit Kingfisher here and Lawrence BBQ on Facebook here.
  • Jennifer Noble Kelly reached out to us to let us know that as part of his on-going Bravo TV Top Chef Series, chef Katsuji Tanabe of High Horse welcomes James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: Northeast” 2018 winner chef/owner Karen Akunowicz of Fox & Knife in Boston for dinner at High Horse on Monday, Feb 24th. Meet chef Karen Akunowicz in Raleigh before she airs on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef All Stars” March 19th. Reserve through RESY at 7pm February 24th here.
  • The 8th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience will take place on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the DPAC. The event pairs delicious local restaurants, with breweries from across the nation. Unlimited food and beer samplings will be spread throughout all three floors at DPAC, plus the On Stage Experience will bring guests up onto the performing arts stage to showcase even more food, beverages and live music. Get all the details here.
  • The 4th Annual Cooking for a Classic benefiting the kids at the Lucy Daniels Center begins with round one on February 24-27 and tickets are just $75 each. Two chefs each night will prepare three courses each with at least one secret ingredient per dish, and attendees and guest judges decide which chef advances to the next round. Rond One features the following chefs: Monday, Feb. 24 – Eli Rodriguez of so·ca vs. Kevin Smith of 41Hundred at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel Tuesday, Feb. 25 – Blake Gotliffe of Under the Oak vs. Kyle Teears of Whiskey Kitchen Wednesday, Feb. 26 – Kyle Fletcher of Wye Hill vs. Scott Ruzicka of Mia Francesca Thursday, Feb. 27 – Andres Kaifer of Vidrio vs. Carey Ball of STIR. All events take place at 1705 East in Raleigh. New this year, enter a raffle to win a triple-black loaded 1969 Chevy Camaro! Get tickets and all the details here.
  • On March 1st, Locals Seafood will host their sixth annual Winter Seafood Jubilee at their oyster bar in downtown Raleigh. The 2020 Jubilee will feature a fish fry and oyster roast at Transfer Co. Food Hall. Special guests at the Jubilee will include oyster growers, fishermen and women, policy makers and industry stakeholders. This event gives consumers the opportunity to enjoy eating seafood while meeting the folks who harvest, produce, and advocate for our seafood resources. This educational event is free and open to the public. There are no tickets required for the Jubilee, but guests are encouraged to RSVP on Facebook here.
  • Then on March 2,  the celebration of seafood continues with the day-long NC Catch Summit. The Summit is an annual gathering of folks from every facet of the industry to discuss the state of North Carolina seafood and the industry as a whole. This year will be the first time the Summit is not held on the coast. Attendees can expect presentations and panel discussions from 9:30am to 4pm inside the Transfer Co. Ballroom. A break for lunch will allow attendees to enjoy food from the many vendors inside the food hall. The Summit is free and open to the public. Registration and all the details can be found here.
  • This sounds like a lot of fun – the Sisters vs. Sisters Battle on April 2nd that will pit the Sassool Sisters facing off against the Soul-Full Sisters in a family recipe battle like you’ve never tasted before! Noelle and Simone are the sisters that run the three Sassool restaurants in Raleigh and Cary. And Paten and Quinn are sister food bloggers and storytellers who just really love food. The battle pits Lebanese family recipes against Southern home cooking. The event will be held at 1705 East venue (1705 East Millbrook Road in Raleigh) at 6 pm on Thursday, April 2. The battle will benefit the Lucy Daniels Center, which supports programs in children’s mental health. You decide who wins! Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Lindsey Chester notified us that Fest in the West is back for its fifth year on Saturday, May 2 from 11 am- 5 pm at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. The event features food & beer, music, arts & crafts, a KidZone, contests and a petting zoo. A great way to spend time with 7,000 of your closest friends. Admission is free! Get all the details here.
  • The 5th Annual Raleigh International Food Festival will be held on Saturday, June 6 from noon until 10 p.m. in the 100-200 block of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. While there you will be able to try authentic international food, desserts as well as  imported beer and wine! There will also be lots of music and entertainment at this child and pet friendly event. Admission is free and parking on the street is as well. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Thrive NC Food Festival will return to downtown Raleigh this spring on May 7 and 8. Thrive NC, which held its inaugural festival in 2018, was developed to help raise awareness about food insecurity in the Triangle, where more than 1.5 million North Carolinians struggle with hunger on a daily basis. The first day will include a food summit that delves into ways to address hunger in the state. A service project will be held on the second day involving members of the community in partnership with a local non-profit. Each night includes a food festival with more than 65 local restaurants and beverage purveyors, live entertainment, chef demonstrations and music. Tickets for Thrive NC’s food festivals are $30 each and go on sale Feb. 27. Tickets have sold out each year. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Want to do something for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina at your office? Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… create a food drive without the heavy lifting using our Virtual Food Drive, and maximize your donation times five! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide FIVE meals! You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members, or coworkers.  Starting a Virtual Food Drive is easy! See how easy here!

Friday Fun Food Facts – February 7, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • After years of being vacant, the historic Sam-Jones House in downtown Cary is finally getting a new tenant. Acclaimed chef Michael Chuong is opening MC, a modern Asian-fusion restaurant, to give gourmet diners an upscale and elegant culinary experience. Chuong will hold an open-house for the public tonight (Feb. 7) from 5-8 p.m. before opening next Tuesday! Chef Chuong is no stranger to Cary as he served as the executive chef for Prestonwood Country Club, opened and operated the popular An restaurant for six years, and then opened his own restaurant, Elements, in 2012 in Chapel Hill. Mark Hornbeck, Michael’s son-in-law has been Michael’s sous chef/right hand man in the kitchen for 17 years and will remain at Elements and Van (Michael’s daughter) will continue to handle the front of the house. Chuong will split time between the two. You can read more about it here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Mike DePersia of National Restaurant Properties let us know that Seoul 116 Korean Kitchen and Bar closed down last week at 116 N West St in Raleigh (if you miss the owner’s cooking, you can visit them at City Market Sushi across downtown). That’s the bad news. The good news is that a group of veteran bartenders local to the downtown Raleigh scene (Zack Thomas and Josh Gagne) purchased it and will open a craft cocktail bar called Killjoy. Additionally, they plan on subleasing the kitchen to a local caterer and will serve small plates once they get their footing, hopefully within the next 2-3 months. You can follow their progress and sign-up to be a member on their website here.
  • DePersia also notified us that Taste at 1912 Bernard St has been sold to new owners. But not to worry, the new owners are experienced restaurateurs and smart enough to not change a thing. Looking for Justin, Maranda and Ryan of JMR Kitchens? You can find them down at The Oak at 4035 Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh. You can see their announcement here.
  • Noticed on Ashton Mae Smith’s newsletter that The Merchant NC is coming soon to 126 S. Salisbury Street in downtown Raleigh. The Merchant is part of the Local Icon Hospitality Group (think The Architect, Linus & Pepper’s, Virgil’s Taco, The Green Light, and Little City). The Merchant will offer guests a carefully selected lineup of classic and adventurous cocktail options along with a chef-driven bar bites menu. Dial into their website to keep up with the latest and any announcements.
  • Over on Twitter, Brian Hammill brought it to everyone’s attention the great news that Bali Hai Mongolian Grill is opening a new location (their third) next to Sassool in the Harvest Plaza shopping center. Those that have been around a while, will remember that we lost the original Raleigh location to a fire. Since then, they’ve opened one in Raleigh/Garner and Durham. No timeline on the North Raleigh location. I know no one is more excited about this than my friend Michael Stickney! Visit them here.
  • Art Sheppard, aka the Wandering Sheppard, notified us that popular food truck Arepa Culture is opening a location at the old Bruegger’s Bagels at Pleasant Valley at 6274 Glenwood Ave. Look for them to open this Spring. Keep up with their progress and any announcements on Facebook here. Thanks also to reader Jane Bell for the tip on this.
  • Over in Cary, there is some work taking place at the former Newk’s/Hibernian site in Cary. Apparently a concept called Cahills Grill & Bar is now listing their address as 1144 Kildaire Farm Road. Not much else to report at this point aside from a shell of a Facebook page here. Thanks to reader Alison Grimme and ‘Too Ashamed To Name’ on Twitter for bringing this development to our attention.
  • And before we ‘leave’ Wake County, a happiest of birthdays to a Raleigh institution – The Players’ Retreat is turning 69 this year, and to celebrate, they’re throwing it all the way back to 1951, the year The PR was born! On February 24th, join them all day at the restaurant to enjoy original Players’ Retreat prices and menu items, like 25¢ hotdogs and 35¢ Budweiser. Get the latest on their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The folks over at The Best of the Bull reminded us that Milk Lab is holding their ‘grand opening’ this Saturday (Feb. 8) from 11:30 am until closing. This Thai rolled ice cream and bubble tea spot will be giving away tumblers, gift cards, and discounts. Find them at 105 W NC Hwy 54 Ste 265 in the same shopping center as Bean Traders and Sprouts. Get all the details here on their Facebook events page.
  • Thanks to Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City for letting us know that Buzzy Bakes, a mobile bakery and coffee bar, is the latest tenant announcement at Boxyard RTP. Get familiar with their yumminess on their website here.
  • Carolina Brewery, the oldest brewery in the Triangle, turns 25 years old on February 9th. To commemorate the event, Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro is hosting an Open House on Saturday, February 8th. See first hand the extensive renovations that were completed in January (a more open floor plan including garage doors and large-pane tower windows, new tables and booths, an open kitchen, and new lighting and decor), an updated menu, and the launch of a new pale ale. In 2017, it modernized its brewery restaurant in Chapel Hill. Visit them here.

Closings

  • Mike DePersia notified us that Seoul 116 Korean Kitchen closed last week at 116 N. West Street. But if you miss the owner’s cooking, you can visit them at City Market Sushi across downtown.
  • DePersia also told us that Poke Bar (2604 Hillsborough St.) has closed for business but will be reopening soon under new ownership as the same concept. Stay tuned.
  • Reader Trish Sabino shared the news that Viva Mexican Kitchen at 4075 Davis Dr. (near intersection with McCrimmon Pkwy.) has closed. They still have a location in Raleigh.
  • And in Wake Forest, reader Tara Edwards broke the news that CiCi’s Pizza in Wake Forest has closed, noting that they lost their lease after 18 years.
  • Ann Marie Gunter shared that on a recent visit to Crepe Traditions in North Hills she discovered a sign on their door that announced that they had permanently closed as of February 1.

Food Trucks 

  • If you are enjoying the warmer-than-normal winter as much as I am, you will also sense that the food trucks are warming up as well. And that means food truck rodeos! Durham rolled out their first one last weekend and their list for the year has been unveiled. Check it out here. Raleigh, we are ready to see your schedule! In the meantime, visit Durham’s here.
  • As things get cold, here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.

Events

  •  Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours will offer Valentines/Eat Your Heart Out walking tours in eight North Carolina cities on Valentine’s Day 2020 – Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill/Carrboro, Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Asheville. Sign up for the tours are underway, and gift certificates are available. Each guided tour visits multiple restaurants for food and drink and chats with chefs and owners. A holiday gift is also included on these special tours. Registration for February 14th and for weekend tours throughout 2020 can be found here. Taste Carolina gift certificates are the perfect experience gift for all who love food and fun, and they can be purchased online here.
  • The Sarcoma Foundation of America is hosting a fundraising  event at The Glass Jug on February 22nd. The Glass Jug will be featuring a one off beer by Starpoint Brewing being brewed specifically for the event. There will also be a silent auction and Boricua Soul food truck. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The 8th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience will take place on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the DPAC. The event pairs delicious local restaurants, with breweries from across the nation. Unlimited food and beer samplings will be spread throughout all three floors at DPAC, plus the On Stage Experience will bring guests up onto the performing arts stage to showcase even more food, beverages and live music. Get all the details here.
  • The 4th Annual Cooking for a Classic benefiting the kids at the Lucy Daniels Center begins with round one on February 24-27 and tickets are just $75 each. Two chefs each night will prepare three courses each with at least one secret ingredient per dish, and attendees and guest judges decide which chef advances to the next round. Rond One features the following chefs: Monday, Feb. 24 – Eli Rodriguez of so·ca vs. Kevin Smith of 41Hundred at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel Tuesday, Feb. 25 – Blake Gotliffe of Under the Oak vs. Kyle Teears of Whiskey Kitchen Wednesday, Feb. 26 – Kyle Fletcher of Wye Hill vs. Scott Ruzicka of Mia Francesca Thursday, Feb. 27 – Andres Kaifer of Vidrio vs. Carey Ball of STIR. All events take place at 1705 East in Raleigh. New this year, enter a raffle to win a triple-black loaded 1969 Chevy Camaro! Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Lindsey Chester notified us that Fest in the West is back for its fifth year on Saturday, May 2 from 11 am- 5 pm at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. The event features food & beer, music, arts & crafts, a KidZone, contests and a petting zoo. A great way to spend time with 7,000 of your closest friends. Admission is free! Get all the details here.
  • The 5th Annual Raleigh International Food Festival will be held on Saturday, June 6 from noon until 10 p.m. in the 100-200 block of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. While there you will be able to try authentic international food, desserts as well as  imported beer and wine! There will also be lots of music and entertainment at this child and pet friendly event. Admission is free and parking on the street is as well. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Thrive NC Food Festival will return to downtown Raleigh this spring on May 7 and 8. Thrive NC, which held its inaugural festival in 2018, was developed to help raise awareness about food insecurity in the Triangle, where more than 1.5 million North Carolinians struggle with hunger on a daily basis. The first day will include a food summit that delves into ways to address hunger in the state. A service project will be held on the second day involving members of the community in partnership with a local non-profit. Each night includes a food festival with more than 65 local restaurants and beverage purveyors, live entertainment, chef demonstrations and music. Tickets for Thrive NC’s food festivals are $30 each and go on sale Feb. 27. Tickets have sold out each year. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Want to do something for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina at your office? Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… create a food drive without the heavy lifting using our Virtual Food Drive, and maximize your donation times five! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide FIVE meals! You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members, or coworkers.  Starting a Virtual Food Drive is easy! See how easy here!

Friday Fun Food Facts – January 31, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • If you love keeping up with the latest and greatest restaurant news (I assume you do and thus why you are even reading this), this is one of the things I look forward to each year – Greg Cox at the News & Observer puts together his list of the best restaurants in the Triangle. I shared that with you last week. And this week, he shared his Restaurant Of The Year. Drum roll please! Congrats to chef Michael Lee and his M Tempura Restaurant hauling in this year’s honor from Mr. Cox. Well deserved. Check out Greg’s article here and visit M Tempura here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Cape Fear Seafood Company, which currently has one location in Raleigh on Spring Forest Rd., will open two additional locations in the Triangle with franchise partners Eddie Elliott and Matt Wivell. The News and Observer’s Drew Jackson shared that the next location would be in Cary, likely in the summer of next year, and would lead to a newly built restaurant. The third local Cape Fear restaurant will open somewhere in the Triangle, but at this point there’s not a specific city. Get ready for them here.
  • Also in Raleigh, Samantha Leach shared that at the old Sweet Tomatoes building at 3105 Capital Blvd., there is now a sign up for Outback Steakhouse. It is also showing up on their website. Visit them here.
  • Over in Cary, reader Tom Moynihan shared with us that Parkway Tavern is now open. They are located at 982 High House Rd in the former Ledo Pizza & Pasta spot next to Thai Spices and Sushi. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Cary, reader Bill Velto shared that Noodle Blvd is moving from their tiny spot on N. Harrison in the Wal-Mart anchored Northwoods Shopping Center to the old Pizza Hut/Hotpoint Deli location at 1718 Walnut Street (Walnut Street and Buck Jones Road). Right now the plan is to close the current location on February 10, but stay tuned to their social media, as things tend to change. Their Facebook page is here and their website is here.
  • Velto also notified us that the Egg and I on Walnut is falling in line with its counterparts as it is being converted to another location of First Watch (First Watch purchased Egg & I). Visit them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City shared the news that in a few short months, Fresh Levant Bistro, a Raleigh restaurant well known for its fresh-baked pastries and Mediterranean food (all organic and gluten-free) will be opening a second location in Durham in the same building (above) Kingfisher Bar at 321 E. Chapel Hill Street. They are working diligently to stay on schedule for a late spring opening. Congrats to owner Anita Khalek on her success! Check them out here.
  • Amber also shared that a new coffee shop is getting ready to “jet” to town. Jetplane Coffee Co. is making progress converting a former workshop at 812 N. Mangum Street into a chic diner and coffee shop. Owner Daryn Berlin worked on the Counter Culture Coffee team for 23 years before launching this venture. He has been labeling the new spot as a “restaurant disguised as a coffee shop” so expect great food and great Counter Culture Coffee. For now, you can find Jetplane at its Parrish Street pop-up for a few more months (maybe longer). The hours are currently Monday-Friday 7:30 am – 5:30 pm. The hope is to open the permanent location this spring. Visit their Facebook page here to keep up with their progress.
  • Dear friend Beth Deacon shared with the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group on Facebook that Market and Moss will be the name of the restaurant opening in the former Pazzo spot in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village. It is owned by Annie Johnston who also owns La Vita Dolce Espresso & Gelato Cafe a few doors down. Annie shared that Market and Moss will be a seasonal new American restaurant and bar offering fresh, vibrant cuisine made with local ingredients, a carefully curated wine list, and specialty cocktails all in an organic European ambiance. Look for them to open in April (but remember, this is Chapel Hill, so…). In the meantime, keep up with their progress on Instagram here and see some of the creations of their (obviously) talented chef here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, reader Jeremy Simon shared with us that he had noticed a sign up in the spot formerly occupied by Hops Burger Bar at 140 W. Franklin Street for Que Chula Tacos and Craft Tequilas. Nothing much on their website yet, but did I mention tacos and tequila? No word on a timeline yet.
  • And speaking of new openings in Chapel Hill, we are down to the short rows (we’re hearing a matter of weeks) of waiting on Hawkers Asian Street Fare set to open in University Place across the open space from Bartaco, SilverSpot and Stoney River. Keep up with any announcements here.
  • Over in Carrboro, you won’t see chef Teddy Diggs or his staff at Coronato Pizza for a few days. He shared that they are taking off for Winter Vacation from January 27th to February 3rd! He noted that especially after the holidays, this is an important measure that they are taking to stand up for our employees and stand against the mental health and workaholism issues that plague the industry. Kudos! Head back over on the 4th!
  • Carolina Brewery, the oldest brewery in the Triangle, turns 25 years old on February 9th. To commemorate the event, Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro is hosting two events – a tapping party on Wednesday, February 5th, and an Open House on Saturday, February 8th. These events will celebrate the reopening of the Pittsboro restaurant after extensive renovations were completed in January (a more open floor plan including garage doors and large-pane tower windows, new tables and booths, an open kitchen, and new lighting and decor), an updated menu, and the launch of a new pale ale. In 2017, it modernized its brewery restaurant in Chapel Hill. Check them out here.
  • Don’t have plans for Monday night? Great, settle in front of your tv and watch as Pizzeria Toro will be featured Monday, February 3rd at 9 pm on Cooking Channel’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate! Tune in to see chef/owner Gray Brooks in action, to discover which dish they cover and to see which one of these folks recommends it: Mauro, Simon Majumdar, Ali Khan, Elena Besser, Pati Jinich, Shinmin Li, and Marc Murphy! Check them out here.

Closings (maybe)

  • So, this is interesting. My Twitter pal @BurgeoningBaker tipped me off to the fact that Treforni in Durham’s Hope Valley Commons shopping center has closed. Their website simply states, “Closed” and Yelp and others are reporting them closed. However, a member of the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies Facebook group indicated that they are moving. No confirmation on that, so stay tuned. See for yourself here.

Food Trucks 

  • If you are enjoying the warmer-than-normal winter as much as I am, you will also sense that the food trucks are warming up as well. And that means food truck rodeos! Durham rolled out their first one last weekend and their list for the year has been unveiled. Check it out here. Raleigh, we are ready to see your schedule! In the meantime, visit Durham’s here.
  • As things get cold, here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.

Events

  •  The Cary Rotary Club is holding its 17th Annual Chili Dinner fundraiser for hunger relief where they will be serving 1400-1500 lunches and dinners on January 31. Individual tickets are $8 which includes: 8oz. bowl of chili (vegetarian available), cheese, pasta salad and cornbread. Lunch is served from 12-2:00 p.m. and dinner is served from 5 – 7:30p.m. Meals are prepared by Whole Foods Market and will be served at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church at 200 High Meadow Drive in Cary. Additional details can be found here.
  • Everything Bagels returns to The Durham Hotel on Saturday, February 1! Join them in the Coffee Shop for bagels paired with spreads and salads, from coconut curry and lemon miso cream cheese to chicken waldorf and curried tofu salads. Get a taste of their bagels before they move into their permanent home at the Durham Food Hall. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours will offer Valentines/Eat Your Heart Out walking tours in eight North Carolina cities on Valentine’s Day 2020 – Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill/Carrboro, Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Asheville. Sign up for the tours are underway, and gift certificates are available. Each guided tour visits multiple restaurants for food and drink and chats with chefs and owners. A holiday gift is also included on these special tours. Registration for February 14th and for weekend tours throughout 2020 can be found here. Taste Carolina gift certificates are the perfect experience gift for all who love food and fun, and they can be purchased online here.
  • The 8th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience will take place on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the DPAC. The event pairs delicious local restaurants, with breweries from across the nation. Unlimited food and beer samplings will be spread throughout all three floors at DPAC, plus the On Stage Experience will bring guests up onto the performing arts stage to showcase even more food, beverages and live music. Get all the details here.
  • The 4th Annual Cooking for a Classic benefiting the kids at the Lucy Daniels Center begins with round one on February 24-27 and tickets are just $75 each. Two chefs each night will prepare three courses each with at least one secret ingredient per dish, and attendees and guest judges decide which chef advances to the next round. Rond One features the following chefs: Monday, Feb. 24 – Eli Rodriguez of so·ca vs. Kevin Smith of 41Hundred at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel Tuesday, Feb. 25 – Blake Gotliffe of Under the Oak vs. Kyle Teears of Whiskey Kitchen Wednesday, Feb. 26 – Kyle Fletcher of Wye Hill vs. Scott Ruzicka of Mia Francesca Thursday, Feb. 27 – Andres Kaifer of Vidrio vs. Carey Ball of STIR. All events take place at 1705 East in Raleigh. New this year, enter a raffle to win a triple-black loaded 1969 Chevy Camaro! Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Lindsey Chester notified us that Fest in the West is back for its fifth year on Saturday, May 2 from 11 am- 5 pm at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. The event features food & beer, music, arts & crafts, a KidZone, contests and a petting zoo. A great way to spend time with 7,000 of your closest friends. Admission is free! Get all the details here.
  • The 5th Annual Raleigh International Food Festival will be held on Saturday, June 6 from noon until 10 p.m. in the 100-200 block of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. While there you will be able to try authentic international food, desserts as well as  imported beer and wine! There will also be lots of music and entertainment at this child and pet friendly event. Admission is free and parking on the street is as well. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Thrive NC Food Festival will return to downtown Raleigh this spring on May 7 and 8. Thrive NC, which held its inaugural festival in 2018, was developed to help raise awareness about food insecurity in the Triangle, where more than 1.5 million North Carolinians struggle with hunger on a daily basis. The first day will include a food summit that delves into ways to address hunger in the state. A service project will be held on the second day involving members of the community in partnership with a local non-profit. Each night includes a food festival with more than 65 local restaurants and beverage purveyors, live entertainment, chef demonstrations and music. Tickets for Thrive NC’s food festivals are $30 each and go on sale Feb. 27. Tickets have sold out each year. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Singles Night at the Food Bank! Food is love! The Food Bank is looking to provide the community with both this Valentine’s season. The first ever Singles Night volunteer events will be held on Thursday, February 6 at their Raleigh Branch and Durham Branch. The volunteer shift will run from 6 pm – 7:30pm, but the evening doesn’t end there. The fun and mingling will continue after the meals are packed at local bar partners. In Raleigh, volunteers can walk across the parking lot to Mordecai Beverage Co. In Durham, Boxcar Bar + Arcade is providing tokens and some prizes to Food Bank volunteers, after the volunteer session! For more details or to register, visit here.