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Friday Fun Food Facts – November 17, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •   After operating for nearly 70 years in Raleigh, the legendary Finch’s Restaurant is now open in Durham at 3211 Chapel Hill Road in the former Family Garden plant store and greenhouse. In addition to their breakfast offerings, they offer dinner and outdoor seating. A huge loss for Raleigh; an amazing gain for Durham; and a lot of smiling faces for all of those in the Triangle that have missed Finch’s since they closed. Not much has changed on their Facebook page.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • A couple of updates over at Crabtree Valley Mall thanks to Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties. Crabtree Beer Garden (former Tomato Pie across from Panera Bread) closed and will hopefully be opening soon as the Crabtree Ale House with an operator out of Fayetteville. Stay tuned.
  • Also, DePersia also informed us that the Red Monkey Tavern (formerly owned by the same group as Crabtree Beer Garden) was sold to new owners from Lincoln Brewery and Tropical Picken Chicken. There are no plans to change anything, aside from the addition of beers from Lincoln Brewery. The restaurant never closed throughout the sale and they are looking forward to the busy holiday season. Check them out here.
  • In North Raleigh, the folks over at the ITB Insider reported that Raleigh’s only source of fresh-baked English muffins, Michael’s English Muffins, will soon have a permanent spot to call home in a space at the Towne Square shopping center (corner of Capital Blvd. and Spring Forest Rd.). The English muffins are currently sold at a number of farmers markets and other retail locations around the area, but now the small cafe allows customers to either purchase the muffins in bulk or enjoy them on site with a variety of spreads. Congrats to owner Michael Annabelle Comisar. They hope to open by the end of the year. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Raleigh, Rocky Top Catering has announced that its premier event venue located at 1705 East Millbrook Street in Raleigh has been rebranded from 1705 Prime to 1705 East. The new name reflects the expanded scope of events the facility is able to host, from celebrations and special events to business meetings and corporate functions. Check it out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Conveniently located on Hwy. 86 between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, reader Sara Weiss notified us that New Hope Market is now open. Located just north of Allen & Sons they are open for breakfast, lunch and early dinner. The restaurant/market features a grill menu, locally roasted coffee (Carrboro Coffee Roasters), a market for everything from pantry staples to craft beer and local meat. Really looks like a cool spot. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, the folks over at Taste Carolina informed me that Wilmington’s Tama Tea has opened at 105 East Franklin Street (most recently Sweet Frog Yogurt) serving up tea, coffee, smoothies and toast. And it doesn’t look like they are stopping there. A recent blog post suggested they are now looking to open a location in Raleigh. Stay tuned. In the meantime, check them out there.
  • In Chapel Hill’s University Place (I still call it University Mall), Southern Season’s restaurant, Weathervane, has revamped their menu and added back breakfast service. Thanks to Richard Brewer for the update. Check out Weathervane here.
  • Over in Durham, the INDY reported this week that the owners of Durham’s Old Havana Sandwich Shop will open a new restaurant, COPA, at 107 West Main Street (once occupied by Revolution restaurant) in mid-February. This new venture, however, means that Old Havana will close at least two weeks before COPA opens. Keep up with Old Havana here.
  • Also in Durham, Bites of Bull City founder Amber Watson informed me this week that Melina’s Fresh Pasta, located at 2717 Chapel Hill Road in Durham, will hold its grand opening Saturday, December 2 and will features new Grand Opening pasta varieties that will be announced closer to the date. During the event, there will be pasta samples, cooking and pasta making demos, and tours of the facility as the pasta machines are running. Check out details on the grand opening on their Facebook event page here.
  • Last week WRAL reported Northgate Mall’s Earth To Us, a 100% vegan farm to table restaurant, had closed after operating for less than a month. We learned this week that Green Paradise, a 100% vegan/vegetarian hand-crafted comfort food restaurant, has opened in that spot. It is owned by Esther Betty Ortiz and replaces her Lucky Chicken establishment.
  • Also at Northgate Mall, Salcedo’s Pizza has opened in their food court and features Italian fare including pizza pies, pizza by the slice, salads, pastas, stromboli, calzones, and paninis. Check them out here.
  • Timing is everything in the restaurant business, and so it is with Pittsboro Roadhouse’s Greg Lewis. Just as things start to turn cold here in North Carolina, Greg landed a gig this week cooking in tents in Naples, Florida where he’s been tapped to be the executive chef at the LPGA CME Group Tour Championship at the Tiburón Golf Club, Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. Greg heads a team of chef’s from around the country. You are a smart man Greg, but we’ll see you back up here in the cold  in a few days! Check out Pittsboro Roadhouse here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • So, with the cold months upon us there simply aren’t many “official” food truck rodeos happening. So, you will have to act like a squirrel and really work to find your food trucks for the next several months. Here are a couple of online resources to help you do just that (please note, this is not an endorsement of any of these sites, just an effort to help my readers find their favorite trucks). Street Food Finder is one, check them out here. And another is aptly named Roaming Hunger and you can find them here.

Thanksgiving Made Easy

  • It is turkey time! Donovan’s Dish is serving up chef prepared Thanksgiving meals to you and your family. Think fresh, made from scratch, locally-sourced and of course delicious; all without you having to spend hours in front of the stove. All this and they’ll deliver it right to your door! Order your Thanksgiving dinner and take the day off to enjoy friends and family. You’ll be THANKFUL you did! Get all the easy details here.
  • If you don’t want to spend your Thanksgiving in the kitchen, we have some information you will be interested in. Raleigh’s Q Shack offers up everything from whole smoked turkeys, to sides, to the entire turkey-day meal! My family has been doing this for several years and it has been fantastic! Order online here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards voting is under way now through December 17. The awards all you to vote for your favorite North Carolina people, places and businesses, from the mountains to the coast. Vote here. And while you are there, if you love my blog I would be greatly honored if you’d throw a vote my way for Best Blogger! 🙂
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. Get all the details here 

Food Bank Corner

  • No child or family should go hungry during the holidays… and with your help, they won’t! That’s the power of your giving when you share a meal from your table to theirs. Help reach the goal of 2.5 million meals before December 31!
  • A gift of $35 will feed a child for twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $85 will provide groceries to an elderly couple for over twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $120 will provide enough food to sustain a familyTWO FAMILIES through the winter months
  • A gift of $210 will provide more than 1,0002,000 piping hot holiday meals to local families

    And your gift goes even further this winter. To help make sure our neighbors have enough to eat, friends of the Food Bank have generously agreed to match donations, up to $56,000, now through December 31st. Help ensure that no one goes hungry this holiday season…Share a meal today!

Raising a Ruckus

  • Fellow restaurateurs, Ruckus Pizza has created a non-profit organization, Raising a Ruckus (RAR), which works with local guidance counselors to help identify families most in need in our Wake County School system. These are families that without someone stepping in to help, would not have what many of us know as “Christmas.” In the spirit of the season, we would like to reach out to our fellow restaurant owners and see if you would be open to partnering with us for collaboration on this annual project.
    Ruckus
    will take care of the organization of the project, including identifying the families needs, creating marketing materials, putting together all materials your restaurant would need and coordinating the pickup and delivery of the items to these families. What we are asking of you is to consider “adopting” one of these families with us and promoting the giving tree in your location and working to collect all items on the family’s wish list. More often than not, most items are basics like socks, pants, a jacket, a gift card for groceries, a new doll and other basic items.
    With several of us working together, we can partner to help provide for those most in need in our area and allow our customers to get involved in the giving process. This is a brief summary of the program, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on how to get involved or if you have more questions. We hope you will consider a partnership together during the time of year that can often be one of the most difficult for those in need. For more information contact: Robert@ruckuspizza.com

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Friday Fun Food Facts – November 10, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  WRAL reported this week that The Remedy Diner moved into a new home in downtown Raleigh this past Tuesday to 927 W. Morgan St. – that is the old home of P.G. Werth’s, which closed in February after two years in business. Remedy has been around for eight years. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Whitaker & Atlantic, chef Coleen Speaks’ new private event venue, is now open and available for holiday parties, weddings, pop-up dinners, fundraising galas, corporate dinners and community events. It is located at 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road and can accommodate 150 for dinner and 275 for cocktails. Get all the details here.
  • In North Raleigh, the ITB Insider reported this week that the Falls Pointe Shopping Center on Falls of Neuse Road will soon become the second Falls of Neuse shopping center to house a Moe’s Southwest Grill. Permits were issued for the renovation of the space that previously housed CasaSan Carlo Italian Bistro. San Carlo closed in July. No timeline yet on when this location of Moe’s will open. Check out Moe’s here.
  • Also in North Raleigh, Chopt Creative Salad Co. opened its second Raleigh location this week and 51st store on the East Coast at the North Ridge Shopping Center. It is located in half of the space that used to be Tribeca. The other half is slated to be a Zoës Kitchen. Check out Chopt here.
  • Doel Gonzalez and Antonio Rodriguez owners of Spanglish Food Truck purchased Nashers Sandwich House on Durant Rd, Raleigh and plan to keep the menu the same but change the name to Pressed Sandwich House. The deal was brokered by Neal DePersia of National Restaurant Properties. Check out Nashers here and Spanglish here.
  • And we can’t leave Raleigh before mentioning the panic that ensued with the closing of the Starbucks in the Harris Teeter at Cameron Village as they moved into a stand-alone building across the street. The transition to the new space forced them to close for a few days. Eegad! Last we checked, everyone survived and the new location is now open. Thank goodness!
  • Over in Cary, the second Cary location of Shuckin’ Shack’ will be part of a Harris Teeter anchored shopping center at Tryon Village. They are targeted to open November 14th. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here.
  • Got word from Ravi Patel that he and his business partner opened Built Custom Burgers in the new Whole Foods shopping center at Alston Town Center in Cary. This is their second location, the first being in the food court at the Streets at Southpoint. Get familiar with them here.
  • And down in Holly Springs, the latest Famous Toastery opens today (November 10th)  in the Holly Springs Towne Center. They already have locations in Cary and Morrisville. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • After operating for nearly 70 years in Raleigh, the News & Observer reported that the legendary Finch’s Restaurant will open in Durham next Friday, November 17th at 3211 Chapel Hill Road in the former Family Garden plant store and greenhouse. In addition to their breakfast offerings, look for the new location to offer dinner and outdoor seating. A huge loss for Raleigh; an amazing gain for Durham; and a lot of smiling faces for all of those in the Triangle that have missed Finch’s since they closed. Not much has changed on their Facebook page.
  • Nothing like family to help during a transition. And so it is with restaurants as well. Alberello’s big sister restaurant, Oakleaf, is moving locations from Pittsboro to Carrboro (last meal in Pittsboro isn’t until November 25) and while the new space is under construction, they will both be operating out of the Alberello’s space in Briar Chapel. From December 1 through January 27, Alberello’s menu will be available for lunch from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. and then they will reopen at 5:30 p.m. operating as Oakleaf for dinner. What could be better than two awesome restaurants under one roof?! Check out Oakleaf here and Alberello here.
  • And just on the outskirts of downtown Durham in Erwin Square, the Triangle’s second location of Shuckin’ Shack just opened at 2200 West Main Street. They opened at the end of October. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here.

Closings

  • WRAL reported this week that Earth To Us, a 100% vegan farm to table restaurant in The Shops at Northgate, has closed after operating for less than a month.
  • The News & Observer reported that Korean Garden in Cary announced on Facebook that it will close its restaurant at 748 E. Chatham St. at the end of the month.
  • And got word from several clients in downtown, that Cafe Carolina will close their doors in the Wells Fargo building on November 13th. The News & Observer noted that it was an 18 year run. And word is they are looking for a smaller, downtown spot so stay tuned.

Food Trucks

  • One final Food Truck Thursdays of the season in Knightdale. Next Thursday, November 16th, Mama Voula’s will be at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details here.

Thanksgiving Made Easy

  • It is turkey time! Donovan’s Dish is serving up chef prepared Thanksgiving meals to you and your family. Think fresh, made from scratch, locally-sourced and of course delicious; all without you having to spend hours in front of the stove. All this and they’ll deliver it right to your door! Order your Thanksgiving dinner and take the day off to enjoy friends and family. You’ll be THANKFUL you did! Get all the easy details here.
  • If you don’t want to spend your Thanksgiving in the kitchen, we have some information you will be interested in. Raleigh’s Q Shack offers up everything from whole smoked turkeys, to sides, to the entire turkey-day meal! My family has been doing this for several years and it has been fantastic! Order online here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards voting begins next Monday, Nov. 13th. The awards all you to vote for your favorite North Carolina people, places and businesses, from the mountains to the coast. Starting Monday, vote here.
  •  On November 11th, the folks over at Mofu Shoppe are holding their inaugural Pho-All Fest at Mofu Shoppe on Blount Street in downtown Raleigh. All proceeds to benefit Neighbors to Neighbors. In addition to their truck, there will be lots of music and fun activities including several eating contests. Come join in the fun! Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • It’s time for the 2017 Triangle Chili Challenge. On Sunday, November 12 in Downtown Cary, restaurateurs and food trucks compete alongside the Cary Police and Fire Departments for the “Best Chili in the Triangle”. The event also features live music, craft beer, art vendors, raffles and cash prizes. The winner will go home with $300 in cash, a trophy and serious bragging rights. Registration is now open. For sponsorship packages, competitor registration and more information, go here.
  • Also on November 12, the Much Ado About Cheese Festival is taking place from 1-4 p.m. at the Rickhouse in downtown Durham. American Meltdown, Durham’s gourmet grilled cheese food truck (and now restaurant!) aims to bring the wonders of the Triangle’s local cheeses to the community. Tickets are $8-$15. Tickets and all the details can be found here.
  • Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15  at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Get all the details here.
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. Get all the details here 

Food Bank Corner

  • No child or family should go hungry during the holidays… and with your help, they won’t! That’s the power of your giving when you share a meal from your table to theirs. Help reach the goal of 2.5 million meals before December 31!
  • A gift of $35 will feed a child for twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $85 will provide groceries to an elderly couple for over twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $120 will provide enough food to sustain a familyTWO FAMILIES through the winter months
  • A gift of $210 will provide more than 1,0002,000 piping hot holiday meals to local families

    And your gift goes even further this winter. To help make sure our neighbors have enough to eat, friends of the Food Bank have generously agreed to match donations, up to $56,000, now through December 31st. Help ensure that no one goes hungry this holiday season…Share a meal today!

Raising a Ruckus

  • Fellow restaurateurs, Ruckus Pizza has created a non-profit organization, Raising a Ruckus (RAR), which works with local guidance counselors to help identify families most in need in our Wake County School system. These are families that without someone stepping in to help, would not have what many of us know as “Christmas.” In the spirit of the season, we would like to reach out to our fellow restaurant owners and see if you would be open to partnering with us for collaboration on this annual project.

    Ruckus will take care of the organization of the project, including identifying the families needs, creating marketing materials, putting together all materials your restaurant would need and coordinating the pickup and delivery of the items to these families. What we are asking of you is to consider “adopting” one of these families with us and promoting the giving tree in your location and working to collect all items on the family’s wish list. More often than not, most items are basics like socks, pants, a jacket, a gift card for groceries, a new doll and other basic items.

    With several of us working together, we can partner to help provide for those most in need in our area and allow our customers to get involved in the giving process. This is a brief summary of the program, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on how to get involved or if you have more questions. We hope you will consider a partnership together during the time of year that can often be one of the most difficult for those in need. For more information contact: Robert@ruckuspizza.com

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Friday Fun Food Facts – November 3, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Matt Kelly has done it again. Just yesterday he opened his latest venture, St. James Restaurant and Raw Bar in the former Fishmonger’s spot in the Brightleaf District. Kelly first opened Mateo Bar De Tapas where he was named a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2013. And last year he added Mothers & Sons Trattoria, an Italian trattoria, and Lucky’s Delicatessen, a sandwich shop with a choice beer cooler. Get by soon, but in the meantime, check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Downtown Raleigh’s Glenwood South district recently saw the opening of Saigon Grill & Bar located on the ground floor at 222 Glenwood. The menu features a fusion of Asian and Vietnamese culinary traditions. It is owned and operated by John Tang and Richard Fong. Tang is the owner of Sushi O Bistro and Sushi Bar, while Fong hails from New York, but most recently was working in the now closed An Asian Cuisine restaurant in Cary. Check them out here. Thanks to Jennifer Martin with Shop Local Raleigh/Greater Raleigh Merchants Association for the tip.
  • Last weekend Southern Charred, a new barbecue joint serving up pulled pork, smoked deviled eggs, biscuit sliders and more, opened their doors at 510 Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh. Southern Charred is part of the Bunch of Fives Hospitality Co. that also brought us The Anchor Bar, The Milk Bar, Mofu Shoppe and the soon-to-be Dogwood Bar & Eatery (coming in 2018). Check them out here.
  • Over on NC State’s Centennial Campus the StateView Hotel recently opened overlooking Lake Raleigh. Of equally important note, the hotel features an American-style restaurant called Flask & Beaker, which draws inspiration from North Carolina flavors and crops, as well as incorporating innovative and unique cooking style techniques. Check them out here.
  • And we have a little bit more information on Zanyu Asian Noodles coming to Lafayette Village in North Raleigh. As of now, they plan on opening the middle of this month. Chef and owner Michael Bongiorno spent 15 years working as an executive chef for Hyatt International in Asia, working in the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Guam, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan. Can’t wait to check this place out!
  • Down in Garner, reader Hugh Autry pointed out that Just Cookin’ opened at the end of September at 231 Timber Drive in Garner. It’s in the former El Dorado space at the Timber Crossings shopping center at Timber and Benson Rd. Check them out here.
  • Also in Garner, Hugh Autry also let us know that Oak City Pizza, a wood-fired pizza spot, has opened at 206 Forest Hills Drive in the Forest Hills shopping center in Garner. Check them out here.
  • Over in Holly Springs we are getting closer to the opening of the latest Famous Toastery in the Holly Springs Towne Center. They are having their invitation-only preview meals the middle of next week, and they typically open a few days after that. Stay tuned and we will let you know as soon as we get the official date. They already have locations in Cary and Morrisville. In the meantime, get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Just across the Chatham County line from Chapel Hill, Chathamites can now make a run for the border with the opening of the latest Taco Bell located at 48 Knox Way right along 15-501 South. Thanks to ready Delonda Alexander for pointing this out to us. In the event you live under a rock and need to get familiar with Taco Bell, do so here.

Closings

  • At the beginning of this week, Bare Bones, located in downtown Raleigh in the former Zinda spot, announced their immediate closing. They are part of the Eschelon Experiences restaurant group. Thanks to Paul Prause for the heads up on that.

Food Trucks

  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  •  Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held this Sunday, November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.

Thanksgiving Made Easy

  • It is turkey time! Donovan’s Dish is serving up chef prepared Thanksgiving meals to you and your family. Think fresh, made from scratch, locally-sourced and of course delicious; all without you having to spend hours in front of the stove. All this and they’ll deliver it right to your door! Order your Thanksgiving dinner and take the day off to enjoy friends and family. You’ll be THANKFUL you did! Get all the easy details here.
  • If you don’t want to spend your Thanksgiving in the kitchen, we have some information you will be interested in. Raleigh’s Q Shack offers up everything from whole smoked turkeys, to sides, to the entire turkey-day meal! My family has been doing this for several years and it has been fantastic! Order online here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards starts this fall with expanded categories and subcategories. You can nominate your favorite businesses through Nov. 8. On Nov. 13, they will unveil the official voting ballot. To nominate a business, click here. And if you are a business interested in sponsoring this year’s awards or getting promotional graphics to help encourage people to nominate your business, click here.
  • Tonight, November 3rd, is the annual Brewer’s Ball, an evening of the finest foods, unique craft beers, and pure North Carolina indulgence in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  It takes place tonight at Bond Brothers Beer in Cary beginning at 6:30 p.m. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • November 4th brings us one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.
  • Also on November 4th, join Bites of Bull City from 10-12 for a Durham brunch tour. Why go to brunch at just one restaurant when you can try three! Your delicious tour will take you to Piedmont, Pie Pushers and Counting House. You will meet the chefs behind the dishes and get a taste of the unique flavor and styles at each stop. Cost is $45. Use coupon code SAVEFIVE to get $5 off through this Sunday. Get your tickets here.
  • And then on November 5th  is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • On November 11th, the folks over at Mofu Shoppe are holding their inaugural Pho-All Fest at Mofu Shoppe on Blount Street in downtown Raleigh. All proceeds to benefit Neighbors to Neighbors. In addition to their truck, there will be lots of music and fun activities including several eating contests. Come join in the fun! Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • It’s time for the 2017 Triangle Chili Challenge. On Sunday, November 12 in Downtown Cary, restaurateurs and food trucks compete alongside the Cary Police and Fire Departments for the “Best Chili in the Triangle”. The event also features live music, craft beer, art vendors, raffles and cash prizes. The winner will go home with $300 in cash, a trophy and serious bragging rights. Registration is now open. For sponsorship packages, competitor registration and more information, go here.
  • Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15  at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Get all the details here.
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

Raising a Ruckus

  • Fellow restaurateurs, Ruckus Pizza has created a non-profit organization, Raising a Ruckus (RAR), which works with local guidance counselors to help identify families most in need in our Wake County School system. These are families that without someone stepping in to help, would not have what many of us know as “Christmas.” In the spirit of the season, we would like to reach out to our fellow restaurant owners and see if you would be open to partnering with us for collaboration on this annual project.

    Ruckus will take care of the organization of the project, including identifying the families needs, creating marketing materials, putting together all materials your restaurant would need and coordinating the pickup and delivery of the items to these families. What we are asking of you is to consider “adopting” one of these families with us and promoting the giving tree in your location and working to collect all items on the family’s wish list. More often than not, most items are basics like socks, pants, a jacket, a gift card for groceries, a new doll and other basic items.

    With several of us working together, we can partner to help provide for those most in need in our area and allow our customers to get involved in the giving process. This is a brief summary of the program, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on how to get involved or if you have more questions. We hope you will consider a partnership together during the time of year that can often be one of the most difficult for those in need. For more information contact: Robert@ruckuspizza.com

Leave a Comment

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Friday Fun Food Facts – October 27, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • WRAL reported this week that Phoebe Lawless has returned to her roots with the opening of the second location of her award-winning bakery Scratch (lovingly called Baby Scratch). It opened next to her first full-scale restaurant The Lakewood at 2022 Chapel Hill Road. Lawless said her downtown Durham bakery, which opened in 2010, has become more of a cafe, doing most of its business in coffee, breakfast and lunch. The new Lakewood bakery will get back to the breads and pies on which Scratch was founded. Check out Scratch here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • North Hills announced this week that bartaco, a hip eatery specializing in tacos and rice bowls, will be opening in the Main District at North Hills. Located next door to Mura, the restaurant is expected to open in the summer of 2018. They recently opened a location at University Place in Chapel HIll. This comes on the heels of the news that Viva Chicken, a Peruvian rotisserie joint specializing in Pollo a la Brasa, will fill the former McAlister’s Deli space at North Hills. Get familiar with bartaco here.
  • Over in Lafayette Village, Zanyu Asian Noodles will fill the void left by the recent closure of JoCa’s Gourmet Dawgs N’ Shakes. From what we understand, he will be doing various noodle dishes from multiple Asian countries. At this point we are not able to locate an online presence nor an opening date. We will update you as we know more.
  • Who doesn’t love fresh bagels? The News & Observer reported that this month Pizzeria Faulisi in downtown Cary has turned Saturday mornings into a two-hour breakfast pop-up called the Booya Bagel Shop. The bagels are cooked in the pizzeria’s wood-fire oven and come in plain, sesame or with everything. The bagels are accompanied by biscuits and “B’doughnuts,” which are doughnuts baked in the oven. The shop is 10 a.m. to noon, or until everything is sold out. Get more information on their Instagram page here.
  • Also in Cary, the News & Observer reported that former Little Hen chef Regan Stachler has resigned from his short-lived post as executive chef at Cary’s Mayton Inn. We will keep an eye on who replaces him at the Inn, as well as where Regan’s talents pop-up next.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Durham, we learned from the Durham Chamber that Big C Waffles has opened in the former Dog House location near the intersection of Hwy. 54 and Hwy. 55 (2110 Allendown Dr) near Kokyu BBQ. I love their tag line, “Changing lives one waffle at a time.” Bring on the waffles! Check them out here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that a new coffee shop has opened in Durham in the former Respite Cafe spot on Duke Street, not far from Brightleaf Square. Kaffeinate is the creation of Diana Lee and features an espresso bar, drip coffee and cold brew, along with a chai latte and selection of hot teas. Beyond the beverages, Kaffeinate has a waffle menu, ranging from traditional Belgian to waffles topped with Nutella, fresh berries, cinnamon sugar or bananas and chocolate drizzle. Check them out here.
  • On a recent outing, the beautiful and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard noticed that Blaze Pizza is coming to Patterson Place in Durham (5318 McFarland Drive to be exact). No word on a timeline, but they have locations in Morrisville, Holly Springs and Garner. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Got an email from a long-time reader Tracey (sorry I couldn’t find your last name!) that JoCa’s Gourmet Dawgs N’ Shakes in Lafayette Village has closed. That’s the bad news. The good news is there is a new restaurant coming into that space (see above under Wake County).

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Got word that the Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns this Sunday, October 29th, from 12-4 at 405 S. Brooks Street in historic downtown Wake Forest. Just about everything and anything that is served from the back of a truck will be featured from savory food and dessert vendors. And a beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Friend David McCreary notified me that downtown Fuquay-Varina is hosting a food truck rodeo on Sunday, October 29 from 1-4. The rodeo will feature Chirba Chirba Dumplings, Dusty Donuts, JAM Ice Cream and Morfa Empanadas. And beer vendors Aviator Brewing Co., Fainting Goat Brewing and Mason Jar Lager. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the last food truck rodeo for the year  in Durham is fast approaching –  November 5th. Get all the details here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards starts this fall with expanded categories and subcategories. You can nominate your favorite businesses through Nov. 8. On Nov. 13, they will unveil the official voting ballot. To nominate a business, click here. And if you are a business interested in sponsoring this year’s awards or getting promotional graphics to help encourage people to nominate your business, click here.
  • Today is the last day to participate in the Hayes Barton Restaurant Week (Oct. 23-27). Restaurants, cafes and bars from Five Points, Oberlin Village and Glenwood Village are teaming up to fight hunger by donating 10% of sales to the Interfaith Food Shuttle. Participating establishments include: Bloomsbury Bistro, Crafty Beer Shop, Glenwood Grill, Hayes Barton Cafe, Hungry Howie’s, Lilly’s Pizza, Mandolin, NOFO @ the Pig, The Point, Proof at Five Points and Third Place. For more information visit their Facebook page here.
  • The folks over at Blu Seafood and Bar and Fullsteam Brewery are hosting an Oyster Roast on Saturday, October 28th to raise money for Habitat for Humanity Disaster Relief at Blue Seafood and Bar at 2022 Hillsborough Road from 12-4 p.m.  In addition to the roast, Lower 9th Street is having a block party and World Market is having a fair trade tasting at the same time. Get more details and see the flyer on their Facebook page here.
  • Is your kid(s) chomping at the bit to wear their Halloween costume (and not crazy that Halloween is on a school night this year). Well, might as well get some free food, amiright? Penn Station East Coast Subs is giving away free kids meals for Halloween Oct. 29-31 to any kid in a costume. Each dressed kid will receive a free kid meal with an adult sub purchase. Kids meals include any four-inch sandwich, a kids-sized fresh-cut fry, a drink in a special kids’ cup and a sucker. Find your closest Penn Station here.
  • November 4th brings us one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.
  • Also on November 4th, join Bites of Bull City from 10-12 for a Durham brunch tour. Why go to brunch at just one restaurant when you can try three! Your delicious tour will take you to Piedmont, Pie Pushers and Counting House. You will meet the chefs behind the dishes and get a taste of the unique flavor and styles at each stop. Cost is $45. Use coupon code SAVEFIVE to get $5 off through this Sunday. Get your tickets here.
  • And then on November 5th  is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • It’s time for the 2017 Triangle Chili Challenge. On Sunday, November 12 in Downtown Cary, restaurateurs and food trucks compete alongside the Cary Police and Fire Departments for the “Best Chili in the Triangle”. The event also features live music, craft beer, art vendors, raffles and cash prizes. The winner will go home with $300 in cash, a trophy and serious bragging rights. Registration is now open. For sponsorship packages, competitor registration and more information, go here.
  • Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15  at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Get all the details here.
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. Get all the details here 

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – October 20, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • There is something fishy going on over in Pittsboro and I can’t wait to check it out. Got word from fellow Pittsboro restaurateur Greg Lewis (Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store) that Postal Fish Company opened this week at 75 W. Salisbury Street in the old post office building. Chefs James Clark and Bill Hartley, most recently with The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, are the ones behind the venture. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word that Sommelier’s Roast, a new gourmet coffee and amenities shop in the Regions Bank building at 3700 Glenwood Avenue, has opened serving a light-fare for breakfast and lunch. It is a joint venture between certified sommelier Lance Odvody, formerly from the Angus Barn, James Voltz, co-owner of The Raleigh Wine Shop, and Grubb Ventures. They will hold their grand opening event on Thursday, October 26th from 4:30-7pm where you can enjoy complimentary wine, coffee and tea tastings with food pairings, a live jazz trio, enter to win prizes from The Angus Barn, North Carolina Symphony, Sommelier’s Roast, The Raleigh Wine Shop and more. Get familiar with them here.
  • Just days after the closing of McAlister’s Deli in North Hills, it was announced that the spot would be filled by Viva Chicken, a Peruvian rotisserie joint specializing in Pollo a la Brasa. They are expected to open in the summer of 2018. With locations all over Charlotte, this will be the first Triangle location. Get familiar with them here.
  • A quick update on Mami Nora’s newest location at 6711 Glenwood Avenue thanks to the folks over at ITB Insider. They had initially announced plans to open in early 2017, but just this past April, permits were issued for a new wall sign, and in the last two weeks a small interior alteration permit for “equipment change and related building work” was issued. So, the good news is it is still happening. Just taking a little longer than anticipated. In the meantime, check out Mami Nora’s here.
  • PokeGo, Poke & Noodles is now open according to reader Camille Lane who just ate there and gave it a thumbs up. It is located in the former Yogurt Mountain location on Creedmoor Road (8107 Creedmoor Road) in Raleigh.
  • Not sure how I missed this, but saw in the FoodCary blog that Penn Station East Coast Subs has opened a West Cary location at 5036 Arco St. (Whole Foods shopping center). Penn Station has four Triangle-area locations. Check them out here.
  • Saw in Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email last week that food blogger EatRaleigh announced that a new pizza place would be opening in downtown Raleigh “behind the Raleigh Times” at 206 S Wilmington. Kind of vague at this point, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Durham, congratulations to Honeygirl Meadery as they celebrate their 3rd anniversary today, October 20, with a part from 6-9 p.m. tonight. They will have mead tastings, new Fall meads, new test batch tastes and a surprise announcement. Oh, and Mr. Mongolian food truck will be on hand. Check out their event on Facebook here.
  • And it looks like we are down to the “any day” status for a new (and very pretty lit up at night) Taco Bell coming to Chatham County, just south of Chapel Hill on 15-501. Look for it to open any day now.

Closings

  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Friend David McCreary notified me that downtown Fuquay-Varina is hosting a food truck rodeo on Sunday, October 29 from 1-4. The rodeo will feature Chirba Chirba Dumplings, Dusty Donuts, JAM Ice Cream and Morfa Empanadas. And beer vendors Aviator Brewing Co., Fainting Goat Brewing and Mason Jar Lager. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the last food truck rodeo for the year  in Durham is fast approaching –  November 5th. Get all the details here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards starts this fall with expanded categories and subcategories. You can nominate your favorite businesses through Nov. 8. On Nov. 13, they will unveil the official voting ballot. To nominate a business, click here. And if you are a business interested in sponsoring this year’s awards or getting promotional graphics to help encourage people to nominate your business, click here.
  • November 4th brings us one of my favorite events of the year (and the Lennard fam will be there!) – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.
  • Also on November 4th, join Bites of Bull City from 10-12 for a Durham brunch tour. Why go to brunch at just one restaurant when you can try three! Your delicious tour will take you to Piedmont, Pie Pushers and Counting House. You will meet the chefs behind the dishes and get a taste of the unique flavor and styles at each stop. Cost is $45. Use coupon code SAVEFIVE to get $5 off through this Sunday. Get your tickets here.
  • And then on November 5th  is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • It’s time for the 2017 Triangle Chili Challenge. On Sunday, November 12 in Downtown Cary, restaurateurs and food trucks compete alongside the Cary Police and Fire Departments for the “Best Chili in the Triangle”. The event also features live music, craft beer, art vendors, raffles and cash prizes. The winner will go home with $300 in cash, a trophy and serious bragging rights. Registration is now open. For sponsorship packages, competitor registration and more information, go here.
  • Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Get all the details here.
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. Get all the details here 

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – October 13, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Saw on the H Street Facebook page that La Stella Wood Fired Pizza is officially open on Hillsborough Street in the space formerly occupied by H Street Kitchen (2420 Hillsborough Street to be exact). Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • So the whole Amazon thing held up the opening of the new Whole Foods in west Cary. But what matters most (i.e. to me…)  is that it put a hold on the opening of a full-scale LaFarm Bakery inside that Whole Foods! But the wait is over. November 7th is the opening date when La Farm Bakery and Cafe will open. Check out LaFarm here.
  • Reader Jeanette Hauser pointed out that PhoSure has opened in the Celebration at Six Forks shopping center in Raleigh. Founded in Saigon, they are focused on serving Vietnamese healthy choice foods. Check them out here.
  • Saw on a tweet from Leo Suarez that Saigon Vietnamese Grille and Bar is coming to the former Indio space at 222 Glenwood Avenue. No word yet on a timeline nor could we find an web presence just yet. Stay tuned.
  • Saw in NCSU’s student newspaper The Technician that a new Mexican restaurant, Coco Bongo, has opened in the former La Rancherita spot at 2400 Hillsborough Street. You can check them out on Facebook here.
  • Thanks to the keen eyes of reader Chris Creighton, he noticed that a Popeyes Louisiana Chicken sign has gone up in the former location of Greek Fiesta on Raleigh’s Western Boulevard. Check out Popeyes here.
  • Leo Suarez also came across a sign at 610 Glenwood Avenue for The Dogwood Bar & Eatery, from Bunch of Fives Hospitality Group, hanging in the spot where ViewBar formerly was. Expect shareable bites, cocktails and local drafts (of course), outdoor deck areas, and more. Again, no timeline but you can keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Also in Cary, we got word via @DianeNC on Twitter that the new Outback Steakhouse on Walnut Street has opened. Check out Outback here.
  • And down in Holly Springs we have an opening after a series of back-to-back changes. A quick recap – Ricci’s closed and became Springs Pizza & Wings, which closed to become Sunset Lake Bistro, which never opened. And now we can happily report that Cristo’s Bistro & Pizza, with a sister location in Raleigh’s Quail Corners (Cristo’s NY Style Pizza), has now opened!  Get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • A chef change over in Durham with the announcement this week that Guglhupf hired Alex Ricci as its new executive chef. Originally from Florida, Ricci has cooked in kitchens in Asheville and Durham and was most recently at the Durham Hotel with chef Andrea Reusing. Ricci will add his own unique spin to Guglhupf’s contemporary, German-inspired cuisine. Check out Guglhupf here.
  • Over in Chatham County near Pittsboro, reader Debra DuBose pointed out that Compadres Tequila Lounge Mexican restaurant is now open behind Lowes Home improvement store near Carolina Brewery & Grill. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • And on a recent drive down 15-501 in Chapel Hill, noticed that a new Firehouse Subs is going into one of the new outparcel buildings at Rams Plaza (just across from Eastgate). Folks in Chapel Hill can once again get their Hook & Ladder! No word on an open date. Check out Firehouse here.

Closings

  • Lifelong friend Kenan Barnes brought it to my attention that the North Hills location of McAlister’s Deli will be closing October 15th. That leaves only a few days to get by and enjoy some of their sweet tea. They still have a location in Raleigh, Apex and two in Durham.
  • Jeanette Hauser notified us that Sol Azteca at 120 Morrisville Square Way in Morrisville has closed.

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Friday returns TODAY, Friday, October 13, from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • Art Sheppard informed me that on Sunday, October 15th the RDU Mobile Food Assoc. is hosting the Food and Funk in the Town of Carrboro’s Town Commons.  In addition to food trucks and craft beer, the event will have live performances with Strange Lady and a bouncy house. The event takes place from noon to 4pm. Check out their Facebook event page here.
  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Raleigh are over for the year and just one remaining in Durham for the year on November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here.

Events

  •  Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • On Thursday, October 19th the Garner Rotary will host their 13th annual OysterFest. It will take place from 5-8:30 p.m. in the Agri Supply parking lot on US 70 East. $30 for an all-you-can-eat ticket. The menu includes: steamed oysters, fried catfish, shrimp scampi with penne, bistro clam chowder, coleslaw, chicken fingers, BBQ pork, seafood bisque, salt potatoes, green beans, french fries, banana pudding, hush puppies and rolls. All proceeds go toward helping Garner-area seniors to help offset first year of college expenses. Get all the details here.
  • Happening on November 4th is one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.
  • And then on November 5th  is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  •  Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. Get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – October 6, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Time is running out (some events have sold out) to get tickets to one of my favorite foodie events of the year – there is something for everyone! Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival is October 18-21 and they are celebrating their eighth year. The multi-day celebration brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Thanks Colleen Minton for all you do! Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • New Raleigh brought it to our attention this week that renovation and construction is picking up steam at Tonbo Ramen at 211 S. Wilmington Street. The authentic, made-from-scratch ramen shop is looking to open before year’s end, but there is a LOT of work yet to be done. Check out their renovation pictures and keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Michael DePersia notified me this week that his company, National Restaurant Properties, handled the selling of The Pizza Dude at 1763 W Williams St. in Apex to Laxman Roka and Sudeep Pandey. At this moment there are no plans to change anything other than possibly opening up on Mondays. Check out The Pizza Dude here.
  • According to the ITB Insider, Zaxby’s is back on track for a return to Hillsborough Street. Although The Technician reported in August that construction was wrapping up, it appears permits for the job were just issued last week. The restaurant, which shut down in March, apparently has a new owner and they are set to open sometime later this fall. Check out Zaxby’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  I failed to mention this last week, but Gray Squirrel Coffee has successfully completed their move into their new space in Carrboro at 360 East Main St. #100 right next door to WomanCraft Gifts. They had been located inside the YesterYears Brewery next to the Cats Cradle. Check them out on Facebook here.

Closings

  • This really is my least favorite section of my blog. Especially when I have to announce three cool local spots closing
  • First up on that list is Bona Fide Sandwich Shop over in Hillsborough. They remain open this week (not sure what their actual last day will be), but they will cease operations. However, their sister property, the Wooden Nickel Pub will open for lunch starting next week.
  • In Raleigh, Provenance, which opened in February 2016, closed its doors this week. It was located in the heart of downtown at 120 E. Martin Street. Thanks to reader Katie Page for the tip on this.
  • And over in Carrboro, the News & Observer reported that Mel’s has closed their lunchtime service and will just focus on catering. Mel’s is owned by Melody and Al Bowers of Al’s Burger Shack fame.

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Friday returns Friday, October 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • Art Sheppard informed me that on Sunday, October 15th the RDU Mobile Food Assoc. is hosting the Food and Funk in the Town of Carrboro’s Town Commons.  In addition to food trucks and craft beer, the event will have live performances with Strange Lady and a bouncy house. The event takes place from noon to 4pm. Check out their Facebook event page here.
  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo this Sunday, October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  • Congratulations to the folks behind Carroll’s Kitchen as they celebrate their 1st anniversary next Friday, October 6th. Additionally, they also recently announced they will be opening a second location in the Morgan Street Food Hall. And if that is not enough, their job training program now employs five women coming out of homelessness or incarceration. Help them celebrate all of this on Friday, October 6th by visiting their Facebook event page here and attending.
  • This Saturday, October 7th the best barbecue chefs in North Carolina will compete in the Sir Walter Smoke-off at Dix Park. Teams will be competing for the coveted Sir Walter Smoke-Off Golden Pig Medallion as well as $500 in prize money. There will also be music, beer and a children’s zone. The event begins at 12 noon, but get there early! This event supports the Oak City Outreach Center and the Partnership to End Homelessness. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Symphony 2017 Fundraising Gala will be an amazing blend of a great cause, great chefs, great food all in a great setting. To be held on October 7, the black-tie, $500-ticket event will be unlike anything ever experienced in downtown Raleigh. Chef Vivian Howard along with chefs Dean Ogan of Rocky Top Hospitality (among others) and Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard (among others) will be planning and executing a farm-to-table menu from a custom-built kitchen on Fayetteville Street. Event attendees will be sitting on Fayetteville Street under a translucent canopy as they enjoy a dinner as envisioned by chef Howard. All proceeds from the event will benefit the NC Symphony. Get all the details here.
  • Also on October 7th, Little City Brewing + Provisions, a boutique brewpub at 400 W. North Street, is celebrating its one-year anniversary with Blocktober Fest, an inaugural block party celebration full of beer, food, music and more, on Saturday, October 7, from noon to 10 p.m. Blocktober Fest attendees can enjoy an array of new brews from Little City, as well as bites from downtown restaurants Linus & Pepper’s, Virgil’s Original Taqueria and Raleigh Raw. For more information, visit their website here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Only a little over 14 days until the NC State Fair – October 12-22. Go ahead and coat your stomach with Pepto-Bismol (trust me, it works. Just ask my wife.) and get ready for deep-fried…everything! Oh, and they will have beer and wine flights available this year (what could possibly go wrong there?). Anyway, get all the details here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • On Thursday, October 19th the Garner Rotary will host their 13th annual OysterFest. It will take place from 5-8:30 p.m. in the Agri Supply parking lot on US 70 East. $30 for an all-you-can-eat ticket. The menu includes: steamed oysters, fried catfish, shrimp scampi with penne, bistro clam chowder, coleslaw, chicken fingers, BBQ pork, seafood bisque, salt potatoes, green beans, french fries, banana pudding, hush puppies and rolls. All proceeds go toward helping Garner-area seniors to help offset first year of college expenses. Get all the details here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.
  • Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 29, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Neal DePersia of DePersia & Associates informed me of the great news that Erik Lensch and Jeff Fisher, owners of the Honeysuckle Tea House, purchased the Looking Glass Cafe at 601 W. Main Street in Carrboro. Honeysuckle Tea House is a tea & herbal farm, & music venue located on 17 acres on the west side of Chapel Hill. Looking Glass Cafe is located in the heart of downtown Carrboro. Check out Looking Glass here and Honeysuckle here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Congratulations to Rocco Quaranto who owns a tea cafe called Tama Tea located in Wilmington. He announced this week that they are opening a location in Chapel Hill (any day now) at 105 E. Franklin Street (where Sweet Frog used to be) and then a third location in downtown Raleigh at the corner of Davie and Fayetteville streets in about 3 weeks. Get familiar with Tama Tea here.
  • The ITB Insider reported this week that a permit was issued for a NY Bagels in the Shoppes at Greenway on Ramble Way off 401 in North Raleigh. They were unable to confirm whether this new shop is associated with NY Bagels & Deli. We will keep an eye on it.
  • Reader Hugh Autry told me about a relatively new Peruvian chicken place in Garner called Chios Rotisserie. They are located at 2656 Timber Drive in Garner. Check them out here.
  • Over in Cary, got word from reader Jeanette Hauser that Swagat Indian Cuisine is opening (may already be open) at 9549 Chapel Hill Road in the spot formerly occupied by Martin’s Curry Rice. No web presence that we could find, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Johanna Kramer noted on Facebook this week that the “re-invented” Alivia’s in Durham held a soft-opening this week as Maverick’s. Owners Fergus Bradley and Jason Sholtz teamed up with barbecue chef Brian Stinnett to create Maverick’s Smokehouse and Taproom at 900 West Main St. Maverick’s offers slow smoked barbecue pork, beef brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey, sausage, fish and more. Check them out here.
  • Reader Corina May pointed out that the Durham location of Baba Ghannouj has closed and that Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Shack will open in that location sometime in October/early November. It will be located at 2200 W. Main Street in downtown. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here.
  • Friend Glenn Gillen noticed that the Nothing Bundt Cakes location is now open in Hope Valley Commons in Durham where Char-Grill used to be. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • The Pie Hole will hold their Grand Opening Celebration on Ninth Street this Saturday, Sept. 30 all day (technically 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.) at 810 Ninth Street. They will have live music, activities for the kids and of course pie! And the weather? Let’s just say there will be a huge orange pie in the sky all day! Get the event details on Facebook here.

Closings

  • David McCreary sent me a note indicating that longtime eatery Cooley’s Restaurant in Fuquay-Varina has closed its doors after two decades in business.
  • Got word from Chris Creighton and Erik Mazzone that the Greek Fiesta location on Western Blvd. is now empty with a “For Lease” sign in the window. But the good news is that they still have five other locations around the Triangle.
  • Got word from reader Jeanette Hauser that the Morrisville location of Amante Pizza is closed. They still have a location in Carrboro.

Food Trucks

  • Cary’s Downtown Throwdown is this Sunday from 12:30 until 5 p.m. on Chatham Street between Harrison Avenue and Walker Street. Look for nearly 30 food and beverage trucks, entertainment and nearly perfect weather! Get all the details here.
  • Food Truck Friday returns Friday, October 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  • Congratulations to the folks behind Carroll’s Kitchen as they celebrate their 1st anniversary next Friday, October 6th. Additionally, they also recently announced they will be opening a second location in the Morgan Street Food Hall. And if that is not enough, their job training program now employs five women coming out of homelessness or incarceration. Help them celebrate all of this on Friday, October 6th by visiting their Facebook event page here and attending.
  • The North Carolina Symphony 2017 Fundraising Gala will be an amazing blend of a great cause, great chefs, great food all in a great setting. To be held on October 7, the black-tie, $500-ticket event will be unlike anything ever experienced in downtown Raleigh. Chef Vivian Howard along with chefs Dean Ogan of Rocky Top Hospitality (among others) and Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard (among others) will be planning and executing a farm-to-table menu from a custom-built kitchen on Fayetteville Street. Event attendees will be sitting on Fayetteville Street under a translucent canopy as they enjoy a dinner as envisioned by chef Howard. All proceeds from the event will benefit the NC Symphony. Get all the details here.
  • Also on October 7th, Little City Brewing + Provisions, a boutique brewpub at 400 W. North Street, is celebrating its one-year anniversary with Blocktober Fest, an inaugural block party celebration full of beer, food, music and more, on Saturday, October 7, from noon to 10 p.m. Blocktober Fest attendees can enjoy an array of new brews from Little City, as well as bites from downtown restaurants Linus & Pepper’s, Virgil’s Original Taqueria and Raleigh Raw. For more information, visit their website here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Only a little over 14 days until the NC State Fair – October 12-22. Go ahead and coat your stomach with Pepto-Bismol (trust me, it works. Just ask my wife.) and get ready for deep-fried…everything! Oh, and they will have beer and wine flights available this year (what could possibly go wrong there?). Anyway, get all the details here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held October 18-21. Celebrating their eighth year, TerraVita has grown into a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 22, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  The biggest news this week involves both Chatham and Orange counties, as it became official that Oakleaf will serve its last meal in Pittsboro on November 25th before moving to its new digs at 300 E. Main St. in downtown Carrboro in early February, 2018. During that interim, Oakleaf will “take over the evening shift” at it’s sister restaurant Alberello, located between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro. But you’ve got plenty of time to get by the original location between now and Thanksgiving! Check out Oakleaf here and Alberello here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that Regan Stachler, who was at Apex’s Little Hen restaurant (which closed in February after six years of farm-to-table cooking), is now the executive chef at Verandah restaurant in the Mayton Inn on South Academy Street. Check out Verandah here.
  • Got word this week from Derek Wilkins that he will soon open his third location of the popular The Butcher’s Market. The newest location will be in Holly Springs at a new retail development at the intersection of Sunset Lake and Holly Springs roads. Look for them to open next Spring. We are also hearing about the possibility of a fourth location, but stay tuned on that. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Joseph Fasy, a well-known Triangle restaurant owner who operates the Hook & Cleaver on Broad in downtown Fuquay-Varina, is going to open a second location at Morgan Street Food Hall & Market. Called Hook & Cleaver on Morgan, Fasy’s restaurant will feature fresh meats, seafood and prepared foods. Get familiar with them here.
  • Speaking of Morgan Street Food Hall, the News & Observer reported this week that they have adjusted their timeline for opening in early 2018, not the earlier projection of early summer. Keep up with all their additions here.
  • And the ITB Insider reported this week that Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream will soon be making its way to North Hills, as permits were issued for the newest location of the national sweets shop at 200 Park at North Hills Street. They are set to open in November. They already have locations in Morrisville and Cary. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  In Durham, Bites of Bull City brought it to our attention that It’s a Southern Thing restaurant will swing open their doors next Monday, September 25th at 605 W. Main Street. They took over the former Motto space. Congrats to Pete Susca and chef Matt Kulp. Get familiar with them here.
  • And David Sadeghi seems to be keeping very busy these days. The owner of Southern Village’s Town Hall Grill just completed a new menu update as well as renovations at the Chapel Hill icon. He is also in the middle of adding a new bar to his Town Hall Burger and Beer location near the Streets at Southpoint. And he also hinted at a Durham location for Smash Waffles, also near the Streets at Southpoint. Stay tuned on that. Check out Town Hall Grill here and Town Hall Burger and Beer here.
  • Saw in Chapel Hill magazine that Dan Friedman has opened up a new chocolate boutique shop in Chapel Hill’s Timberlyne shopping center. The shop, Special Treats, offers gourmet chocolates, cookies, biscotti and much more made by adults with disabilities around the country. Get by soon and check them out! Visit them on Facebook here.
  • And it was announced this week that Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers recently broke ground at 3812 N Roxboro St near Duke Regional Hospital. The fast-casual restaurant franchise will open in the coming months, and joins the market’s original location at Patterson Place. Check out Freddy’s here.

Closings

  • Folks, we got word this week that we are losing two really great local establishments. I beg you to KEEP EATING LOCAL!
  • The first is Oval Park Grill on Broad Street in Durham. Really sorry to see them go. But word is they sold the restaurant, but it hasn’t been announced yet who the new owners are, or when they will open.
  • The other is Franklin Street’s Sandwich in Chapel Hill. They closed yesterday. Another great local operation. The “early rumors” are that Heavenly Buffaloes is moving into that space. We will try and get 100% confirmation on that.

Food Trucks

  • Food Truck Friday returns Friday, October 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  •  Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on THIS Sunday, September 24th at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • The owners of Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Luncheonette and Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up to host a special vegetarian Italian wine dinner on Wednesday, September 27th at 7 p.m. Dubbed Caffe Marrone, the six course meal will feature Italian favorites paired with wine for $50 (not including gratuity). The dinner will be at Mel’s at 109 West Main Street in Downtown Carrboro. For tickets and information, click here.
  • Il Palio at the Siena Hotel will host their 4th Annual Olive Oil Dinner on September 28 from 7pm to 9pm. This special dinner highlights Italy’s top five olive oil producing regions with a five course dinner that chef Teddy served at the prestigious James Beard House earlier in the year. Chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio and special guest Gennaro Villella, the producer and importer of Villella Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the former chef at Il Palio restaurant team up once again to deliver an exceptional dining experience. Tickets are $140 each, including a bottle of Gennaro’s extra virgin olive oil, wine pairings, tax and gratuity. To make reservations, please call 919-918-2545.
  • The North Carolina Symphony 2017 Fundraising Gala will be an amazing blend of a great cause, great chefs, great food all in a great setting. To be held on October 7, the black-tie, $500-ticket event will be unlike anything ever experienced in downtown Raleigh. Chef Vivian Howard along with chefs Dean Ogan of Rocky Top Hospitality (among others) and Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard (among others) will be planning and executing a farm-to-table menu from a custom-built kitchen on Fayetteville Street. Event attendees will be sitting on Fayetteville Street under a translucent canopy as they enjoy a dinner as envisioned by chef Howard. All proceeds from the event will benefit the NC Symphony. Get all the details here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held October 18-21. Celebrating their eighth year, TerraVita has grown into a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 15, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • And then there were two. Al’s Burger Shack is opening a second burger shack in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village next Monday, September 18th. The new location will be serving up the same experience as the original Franklin Street shack, but with more seating, free parking and an expanded menu. Check out Al’s here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Owners Missy and Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery announced this week that they will open a new venue inside a Whole Foods Market slated to open this fall at Alston Town Center in Cary. And if that is not enough, they also announced that they would expand their original location into the ABC store space next door in the Preston Corners shopping center in late September. Check out La Farm here.
  • The Person Street Partnership shared the exciting news that Oakwood Pizza Box is now open at 610 N. Person Street on the edge of downtown Raleigh. Congrats to Anthony Guerra, whose family owned Bella Mia. Here is Oakwood’s website.
  • Saw in the Beltline Buzz blog that Aladdin’s Eatery has opened at North Hills in the former Black Cat Cafe location at 4209 Lassiter Mill Road. They also have a location in Raleigh’s Brier Creek. Check them out here.
  • Saw in the ITB Insider update this week that work is now underway on a new restaurant calling itself Hearth Kitchen, which will soon open in the former home of Zydeco at City Market in downtown Raleigh. Permits were issued last week for the space at 208 Wolfe Street. We will keep an eye on this for you.
  • Also in the ITB Insider, they noted that CO Vietnamese, which offers a “modern take on traditional southeast Asian cuisine,” will be opening before year’s end at the AC Hotel in North Hills. The regional restaurant chain, which has locations in Savannah, Charleston, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte, features a menu with a focus on Pho, Ramen, Dumplings, Banh Mi and Sushi. Check them out here.
  • Just got word from Michael DePersia from DePersia & Associates, that they just closed on a lease deal putting Johnny Pavlik from Johnny’s Pizza of Cary into a new store in Wake Forest in the Harris Crossing shopping center off of US1. He plans to open in the first quarter of next year. Check out Johnny’s here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that the Brookside Market & Pizza location on the outskirts of downtown Raleigh at the corner of at Brookside Drive and Glascock Street is getting new life. Duane Williams is renovating the entire building and has lined up a coffee and cocktail bar from the owner of Brew, the coffee shop in nearby Seaboard Station, a Pilates studio and a retro barber shop. He also hopes to bring in a restaurant or other retail for the remaining storefront in the plaza. Williams hopes to open the market before the first of October, the pizza kitchen before the end of October, and have the other tenants in by the end of the year. Read the full article here.
  • In North Raleigh, Rebecca Calhoun notified us that Wayback Burgers will be opening a location at 6320 Capital Boulevard in the Plantation Square shopping center. No word on an exact timeline. They also have a location in Durham. Thanks Rebecca! Get familiar with Wayback here.
  • And finally, it appears as if the Wahlburgers is still coming to Raleigh. The News & Observer reported this week that they still plan on occupying the former Oxford space on Fayetteville Street and should open before year’s end. Will believe it when I see it. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Closings

  • Chapel Hill’s Sandwich announced this week that they would close come mid-September. An exact date hasn’t been announced. That is the terrible news. The “good” news is there is someone coming into that space with a similar focus on “local” and most of the staff will remain. Thanks for the last 12 years Janet Elbetri! And thanks to Kitt Wolfenden for letting us know. Read the full announcement here.
  • Reader Wendy Henderson shared with us this week that the Hillsborough Street location of Pieology in Raleigh has closed.
  • Got word from Michael DePersia that Latin Quarters in the Celebration at Six Forks shopping center  in Raleigh has closed.

Food Trucks

  • Food Truck Friday returns Friday, October 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope this Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. at the event space at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event next Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Celebrate all things pork at The Root Cellar’s 6th annual Porkapalooza on Friday, September 22nd at 6:30 p.m. From country-fried to country ham and everything in between, this evening will be sure to invigorate your taste buds. Tickets are $50-$55. Get details and tickets here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • The owners of Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Luncheonette and Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up to host a special vegetarian Italian wine dinner on Wednesday, September 27th at 7 p.m. Dubbed Caffe Marrone, the six course meal will feature Italian favorites paired with wine for $50 (not including gratuity). The dinner will be at Mel’s at 109 West Main Street in Downtown Carrboro. For tickets and information, click here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held October 18-21. Celebrating their eighth year, TerraVita has grown into a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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