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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 26, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Could it be? Friend and “anything about Raleigh” guru Ashton Mae Smith tweeted out this week that Andrew Leager, the owner of Boylan Bridge Brewpub, told her that the popular summer hangout will open very soon. Leager told Out and About Friday morning that pending Friday’s Wake County Health Department walk-through, the restaurant would start staff training Saturday and reopen for its first full day of operation on Monday. Keeping our fingers crossed! Check first before going! Probably the best place to get the latest is on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The Rudd family, the folks behind the popular Rudino’s eateries, have transformed, and now opened, the Cary location in Cornerstone Village shopping center as a new restaurant called Smok’t BBQ & Taps. The menu features smoked ribs, chicken, beef brisket, pulled pork and wings that are cooked in a commercial smoker. There’s deep-fried turkey, and for those who prefer a vegetarian option, there’s smoked tofu and portabella mushrooms. Check them out here.
  • This will make my buddy Sparky Cullen happy. WRAL reported this week that Raleigh’s very own Char-Grill is looking to open their 11th location at 2503 Ten Ten Road near the Apex/Cary line. If approved by Cary officials, it will be their second Cary location. Stay tuned. In the meantime, check them out here.
  • Got word from a reader/viewer at WRAL that a new Mexican restaurant called Fogata Brava is opening in the former On The Border spot at Plantation Point near BJs and Triangle Town Center in Raleigh. They are looking to open in about a month according to employees on site. Thanks to reader/viewer Kelly Thomas for the tip. Check them out on Facebook here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken opened its fifth location this past week – this one on Durham’s Ninth Street. The popular Peruvian chicken restaurant got its start in Durham and has since opened in Raleigh, Cary and Sanford. Check out Alpaca here.
  • Joe Van Gogh on Broad Street will celebrate its 10-year anniversary on Thursday, June 1st from 7-10pm with music and karaoke. Joe Van Gogh’s other two Durham locations are at Duke University and the Woodcroft Shopping Center. Check out their website here.

Closings

  • Over in Chapel Hill, even with a national championship in basketball and a contract extension for Larry Fedora, bad things still happen – like the closing announced this week of Franklin Street’s Carolina Ale House. Less than two years old, the closure leaves a very cool venue sitting empty. The only question is, for how long?
  • The folks over at The Point reported that less than seven months after opening its doors again, Tir na Nog is closing them. Former manager Annie Britton-Nice has announced on Facebook that the pub will be shuttered starting May 31st. Tir na Nog had been operating out of an extension of London Bridge Pub on Hargett St. ever since November. It relocated there after 18 years at it’s previous location on South Blount St.
  • And the News & Observer reported that more. kitchen & wine bar in downtown Raleigh will close this Saturday.

Food Trucks

  •  The food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up every Thursday through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Get all the details and schedule here.

Events

  • Ever attended a hummus mix-off? Well, get ready to scratch it off your bucket list because this Saturday, May 27th Sassool in North Raleigh will host a hummus “competition” featuring local chefs and their creations. The public, along with celebrity judges, will have a say. So get by Sassool between 4 and 9 p.m. to weigh in on the fun. Ballots are $5 and all proceeds benefit the Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation. Get the details of the event on Facebook here.
  • The Raleigh Food Corridor is hosting four unique “pop-up” dinners celebrating local food and community in Raleigh starting May 31st and continuing on June 1st, 7th and 8th. These are small, intimate dinners and seats are limited, so get tickets now by clicking here.
  • Catering Works’ executive chef Rich Carter, winner of “Cooking for a Classic” chef competition, is sharing a secret  – he doesn’t like to fly, so he goes on FOODCATIONS around the world. And you are invited to join him! Carter and his team are preparing a six course meal with wine and cocktail accompaniments for their 2017 Global Culinary Adventure. It will be held on Thursday, June 1st at 6:30 pm at Catering Works’ new venue, The Laurelbrook. I recently got a tour of the space thanks to friend Rebecca Antonelli and it is absolutely gorgeous! Tickets are only $45 and will definitely sell out (the trip to Spain last month did). Wine + cocktail pairings are an additional $25 per person. Tickets can be purchased by phone: 919.828.5932 or here.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced recently. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them here.
  • Triangle Restaurant Week is 10 years old! The week-long event, June 5-11, features restaurants that offer three-course menu options and fixed pricing. Pricing for the event is $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20,$25, $30 or $35 for a 3-course dinner. It is a great way to check out places you haven’t been before. Get a full list of participating restaurants and all the details here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Nearly 300,000 children in the Food Bank’s 34 counties rely on the free and reduced-cost meals at school to get them through the day. For them, summertime doesn’t mean a fun-filled vacation. For them, no school means no meals. Stop Summer Hunger is the Food Bank’s annual initiative to provide additional food to feed these children and their families during this season of increased need. For example: A donation of $35 will feed a child for two months; A donation of $75 will feed a family of four for one month; and a donation of $150 will feed a family of four for two months. Help reach the goal of 3.4 million meals before July 31 and ensure that children will receive the daily, nutritious meals they need to grow healthy and strong! Click here to donate and find out more.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 19, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Last week, JMR Kitchens owners Ryan and Justin Riek opened the second location of their very successful taste restaurant. Dubbed taste 2, it is located at 1912 Bernard St. just off Whittaker Mill Road. The original location is at 3048 Medlin Dr. The Rieks also own and operate more. and the oak. Check out all their restaurants and make reservations here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Unless you were under a rock this week (or the past several months), you heard there is an IKEA coming to Cary. And we all know what that means! Swedish Meatballs! Oh yea, and shopping for crazy cool, well designed Swedish furniture and accessories. But seriously, have you eaten at an IKEA? Not too shabby. But the good news is, you don’t have to wait until 2020 to get your grub on. Here are a lot of the recipes for the items served. Smaklig måltid!
  • And staying in Cary, my friend Greg McNamara at the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce brought it to my attention that the much anticipated Stellino’s Italiano, sister property of Raleigh’s Bella Monica, has opened in the Parkside Town Commons shopping center. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also in Cary, the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that a local franchise owner for Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has signed a lease to open a new location at the Parkside Town Commons shopping center in west Cary. Check out Dickey’s here.
  • More importantly (we think) than the facelift coming to the 510 Building in downtown Raleigh (can you believe it is already 20 years old!), is the announcement this week that a new BBQ restaurant is coming to that location. Matt Kenner (think Milk Bar, The Anchor Bar, and a partner in MoFu Shoppe) is behind the concept. They will be located next to Pho Pho Pho and are looking to open this fall. We will keep an ear out for the name once it is decided. Thanks to the News & Observer for the lead on this.
  • This week the folks behind Alamo Drafthouse Cinema unveiled plans to open their  first location in North Carolina in east Raleigh’s Longview Shopping Center along New Bern Avenue. Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh, an 11-screen theater, bar and restaurant, will feature 660 seats and a beer hall with 36 local beers on tap and is expected to open before year’s end. Get more information and keep up with the latest here.
  • In nearby downtown Raleigh, Pizza LaStella’s Rudy Theale is keeping things interesting by adding a brunch service to his establishment. Rudy has partnered with Greenville’s Smash Waffles to bring an exciting new twist to his lineup according to the News & Observer. Also, look for Theale to make an announcement soon about a second location of Pizza LaStella. As well, the folks behind Smash Waffles plan to announce a brick and mortar location in Raleigh as well. Stay tuned! Check out LaStella here and Smash Waffles here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that La Madeleine French Bakery & Café is opening its first Raleigh location May 23 at 6320 Plantation Center Drive (former Mimi’s Cafe spot in Plantation Point). I guess it could be better classified as a “move” as the Cary location closed recently. It was located adjacent to Cary Town Center. The restaurant is a French-inspired bakery and cafe with classic French dishes. Check them out here.
  • Also in North Raleigh, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, pointed out that Bad Daddy’s newest location, off Falls of the Neuse Road in the same shopping center as Sprouts and City Barbecue, is opening next Wednesday, May 24th. Check them out here.
  • Everyone is familiar with Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar, right? (if you aren’t, shame on you). Anyway, they recently launched a “tiny little division” of their operation called Kitchen Table Catering where you can get family or party size portions of your favorite items of Relish and take them home with you! Oh, and while I’m talking about Relish, go ahead and mark Sunday, September 17 on your calendar for their Mac & Cheese Throwdown! Yours truly and my daughter will be judges again this year! Check out Relish and Kitchen Table here.
  • And finally, just up the street from Relish, a shout out to the folks over at Margaux’s Restaurant as they celebrate 25 years! What began as a French restaurant became so much more than that and is now self-described as a perfect fusion of a high-energy metropolis and soulful Southern hospitality. If you haven’t been, you should treat yourself to what has surely become a Raleigh institution. As part of their silver anniversary celebration, they will host a lobster fest, along with lots of other activities, on June 15th. Check them out here. Congrats and thanks to WRAL for bringing that to our attention!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • My boys Charlie Farris and Clint Winslow, who own the two Chapel Hill locations of Jersey Mike’s, and the Falconbridge location in Duhram, announced the opening of their 4th location – this one in Hillsborough in Oakdale Village at 115 Oakdale Drive. They are holding a “friends and family” event on Monday, with a scheduled opening of Wednesday, May 24. Call before going! Congrats to Charlie and Clint! Check out the Hillsborough location here.
  • Joe Van Gogh on Broad Street will celebrate its 10-year anniversary on Thursday, June 1st from 7-10pm with music and karaoke. Joe Van Gogh’s other two Durham locations are at Duke University and the Woodcroft Shopping Center. Check out their website here.
  • And speaking of coffee, the News & Observer pointed out that Coco Bean Coffee + Tea, which opened eight months ago, doubled its size last weekend, allowing it to add more seating, tables, couches, a fireplace, even a restroom. The shop, owned by Tamara and Steve Lackey, is in East 54, a mixed-use complex off N.C. 54 with restaurants, housing, offices and retail. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Twitter friend BurgeoningBaker brought it to my attention that the TCBY location in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing has closed.

Food Trucks

  •  The food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up every Thursday through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Get all the details and schedule here.

Events

  • This weekend, starting today at noon, is the Got To Be NC Festival in Raleigh at the Fairgrounds. ‘Got To Be’ is a festival highlighting all the great things from North Carolina. Enjoy carnival games and rides, live music, food, animal and agricultural displays, antique tractors, and more. Most of the festival is free with the following exceptions: $3 admission charge for the Food and Wine Expo; and costs for rides, games and food. Get all the details here.
  • The Raleigh Food & Wine Festival is going on now (May 18-21)! The festival is a four-day event highlighting some of the most unique offerings in food and beverage, including including wine dinners and cooking classes. Get all the details and RSVP here.
  • Cary’s Fest in the West is this Saturday, May 20 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. Festival-goers can hop on an antique tractor, take a selfie with Lisa Gaither’s 3D mural, browse art and watch demonstrations from local artisans, enjoy the food truck rodeo, compete in a pie-eating contest, and visit the beer garden with five local brewers all while listening to music from 4 area bands. A KidZone will include an obstacle course inflatable bounce house, face painting, roving magician and make & take crafts. Get all the details here.
  • Learned from Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson that the Durham Blues and Brews Festival is back this Sunday, May 21st at Durham Central Park. Delicious NC craft brews, rockin’ blues, food trucks and fun! Enjoy unlimited 12 oz. pours of 20 of the finest brews that North Carolina has to offer. Advance festival tickets are $40 or $50 on site. Designated driver tickets are $20. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Black Twig Cider House, Mattie B’s Public House and the Rickhouse are bringing back Txakolifest this Sunday May 21st from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Rickhouse. Txakolifest is a celebration of Basque country’s finest white wines combined with Durham’s best food – the list of participating restaurants is impressive. Tickets are $75 ($100 VIP). Get all the details here.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them here.
  • Catering Works’ executive chef Rich Carter, winner of “Cooking for a Classic” chef competition, is sharing a secret  – he doesn’t like to fly, so he goes on FOODCATIONS around the world. And you are invited to join him! Carter and his team are preparing a six course meal with wine and cocktail accompaniments for their 2017 Global Culinary Adventure. It will be held on Thursday, June 1st at 6:30 pm at Catering Works’ new venue, The Laurelbrook. I recently got a tour of the space thanks to friend Rebecca Antonelli and it is absolutely gorgeous! Tickets are only $45 and will definitely sell out (the trip to Spain last month did). Wine + cocktail pairings are an additional $25 per person. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 919.828.5932 or online here.
  • Triangle Restaurant Week is 10 years old! The week-long event, June 5-11, features restaurants that offer three-course menu options and fixed pricing. Pricing for the event is $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20,$25, $30 or $35 for a 3-course dinner. It is a great way to check out places you haven’t been before. Get a full list of participating restaurants and all the details here.
  • Childhood friend Gordon Brown and his wife Lisa have some amazing children – and daughter Meredith is no exception. The Broughton High School junior has taken it upon herself to organize a road race, The Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5k, to raise money for the Food Shuttle’s Camden Street Learning Garden. The race is on Saturday, June 10. (Editor’s note: I’m running in it and am certain to eclipse Gordon’s time.) Read more about her efforts here in the News & Observer and register for the race here. Kudos Meredith!
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! You can thank me later. Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival, scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Nearly 300,000 children in the Food Bank’s 34 counties rely on the free and reduced-cost meals at school to get them through the day. For them, summertime doesn’t mean a fun-filled vacation. For them, no school means no meals. Stop Summer Hunger is the Food Bank’s annual initiative to provide additional food to feed these children and their families during this season of increased need. For example: A donation of $35 will feed a child for two months; A donation of $75 will feed a family of four for one month; and a donation of $150 will feed a family of four for two months. Help reach the goal of 3.4 million meals before July 31 and ensure that children will receive the daily, nutritious meals they need to grow healthy and strong! Click here to donate and find out more.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 12, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This week Coleen Speaks, owner of PoshNosh Catering, announced that she will open Whitaker & Atlantic and Hummingbird in the revitalized warehouse, Dock 1053, located in Raleigh at the corner of Whitaker Mill Road and Atlantic Avenue. Whitaker & Atlantic – a private event space – and Hummingbird – an adjacent café & bar. Both concepts are set to open early Fall 2017. Keep up with the latest on the PoshNosh Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported that House of Hops, a craft beer bar and bottle shop, and Shuckin’ Shack, an oyster bar, will anchor a new development near Mami Nora’s Rotisserie Chicken at the corner of McNeill Street and Wake Forest Road. Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar has several locations on the coast and opened in Cary in early 2016. This will be the second location for House of Hops, which has a site on Glenwood Avenue near the intersection with Duraleigh Road. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here, and House of Hops here.
  • The News & Observer reported that MOFU Shoppe, the brick-and-mortar restaurant from Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck, is getting close to opening its new City Market restaurant in downtown Raleigh. To that end, they will hold a sneak peek today (Friday, May 12) starting at 5:30 p.m. when you’ll be able to go inside the store to see the progress. Visitors are asked to bring food for a canned food drive to benefit Haven House Services, a Raleigh nonprofit that provides a variety of services to at-risk youth and their families. Check them out here. (Still miss their original truck name – Dump Pho King truck…)
  • Got word from Michayla Noonan that she saw a sign in front of the former Tribeca Tavern on Falls of the Neuse Road in North Raleigh that said there was a Chopt and a Zoe’s Kitchen coming soon. We will ask Michayla to keep an eye on it for us. Thanks Michayla!
  • And in Cary, the News & Observer reported that Tyler Watt, owner of Pharmacy Bottle & Beverage, a bottle shop and bar on East Chatham Street, has plans to open a new restaurant called Postmaster Restaurant and Bar. It is expected to open this fall at the corner of E. Cedar St. and North Walker Street. The menu is described as “modern Southern American food.” Dishes will rotate with the seasons. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported that acclaimed baker and pastry chef Phoebe Lawless is set to open her first full-service restaurant and bar, The Lakewood, around May 22 or 23. It is located in the former Davis Baking Co. building on Chapel Hill Road in the Tuscaloosa-Lakewood neighborhood. After opening that, she will open a second location of Scratch Bakery in early July. Keep up with the opening of The Lakewood here and with the second location of Scratch here.
  • Also in Durham, It was announced this week that Joe Van Gogh Coffee will open its fourth Durham coffee house this summer in the West End neighborhood. The new store will join with Local Yogurt to occupy the former Gulf station at 1114 West Chapel Hill Street. Look for them to open in mid-summer. Check out their website here.
  • Related to that, Joe Van Gogh on Broad Street will celebrate its 10-year anniversary on Thursday, June 1st from 7-10pm with music and karaoke. Joe Van Gogh’s other two Durham locations are at Duke University and the Woodcroft Shopping Center. Check out their website here.
  • The newest location of Chopt opened this week at Eastgate Crossing shopping center. Chopt combines seasonal ingredients from local purveyors with authentic flavors from around the world to create delicious salads that people crave. Check out Chopt here.

Closings

  • Received multiple reports that Champps at the Streets at Southpoint closed their doors.
  • Mendy Iler at Catering By Design (and Cary resident) was the first to let me know that it appears as if the Cary location of Guacamaya Fresh Mex (formerly Chubby’s Tacos) has closed. How does that happen? What’s wrong with you Cary folks (not you, Mendy)? It was located in Stone Creek Village. Thanks Mendy for always keeping your eyes and ears open!

Food Trucks

  • The food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up every Thursday through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Get all the details and schedule here.

Events

  • This Saturday, May 13, come out for a community garden party complete with wood-fired pizza, local brews, and live music, to support the Raleigh Food Corridor! Hosted by the Irregardless Cafe and supported by Crank Arm Brewery, the event supports healthy food systems and healthy neighborhoods in Raleigh. Come learn more, meet new friends, and enjoy hanging out in one of Raleigh’s most beautiful, productive gardens. More can be found about the Corridor project here. Tickets are $25 per person or $10 for Friends of the Corridor and can be purchased here.
  • The Raleigh Food & Wine Festival will take place next weekend, May 18-21. The festival is a four-day event highlighting some of the most unique offerings in food and beverage, including including wine dinners and cooking classes. Get all the details and RSVP here.
  • Cary’s Fest in the West is on for Saturday, May 20 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. Festival-goers can hop on an antique tractor, take a selfie with Lisa Gaither’s 3D mural, browse art and watch demonstrations from local artisans, enjoy the food truck rodeo, compete in a pie-eating contest, and visit the beer garden with five local brewers all while listening to music from 4 area bands. A KidZone will include an obstacle course inflatable bounce house, face painting, roving magician and make & take crafts. Get all the details here.
  • Learned from Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson that the Durham Blues and Brews Festival is back May 21st at Durham Central Park. Delicious NC craft brews, rockin’ blues, food trucks and fun! Enjoy unlimited 12 oz. pours of 20 of the finest brews that North Carolina has to offer. Advance festival tickets are $40 or $50 on site. Designated driver tickets are $20. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Black Twig Cider House, Mattie B’s Public House and the Rickhouse are bringing back Txakolifest on Sunday May 21st from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Rickhouse. Txakolifest is a celebration of Basque country’s finest white wines combined with Durham’s best food – the list of participating restaurants is impressive. Tickets are $75 ($100 VIP). Get all the details here.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them here.
  • Childhood friend Gordon Brown and his wife Lisa have some amazing children – and daughter Meredith is no exception. The Broughton High School junior has taken it upon herself to organize a road race, The Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5k, to raise money for the Food Shuttle’s Camden Street Learning Garden. The race is on Saturday, June 10. (Editor’s note: I’m running in it and am certain to eclipse Gordon’s time.) Read more about her efforts here in the News & Observer and register for the race here. Kudos Meredith!
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! You can thank me later. Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival, scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Tomorrow, May 13th, is Stamp Out Hunger – the National Association of Letter Carriers largest one-day food drive in the nation! Look out for a designated donation bag delivered to you by your letter carrier, fill it with your donation, and your letter carrier will pick it up on May 13! Or forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store and “shop” their virtual food drive and maximize your donation times ten! Get those details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 5, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Got word from general manager Sean Umstead that St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar opened this past Wednesday in the former Joule spot on S. Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh. St. Roch embraces the spirit of their namesake New Orleans’ neighborhood, where chef Sunny Gerhart’s family hails. They offer the finest oysters, clams and Carolina seafood they can find, prepare it with a nod to the crescent city and serve with energy and warmth. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported that MOFU Shoppe, the brick-and-mortar restaurant from Pho Nomenal Dumpling truck, is getting close to opening its new City Market restaurant in downtown Raleigh. To that end, they will hold a sneak peek Friday, May 12, starting at 5:30 p.m. when you’ll be able to go inside the store to see the progress. Visitors are asked to bring food for a canned food drive to benefit Haven House Services, a Raleigh nonprofit that provides a variety of services to at-risk youth and their families. Check them out here. (Still miss their original truck name – Dump Pho King truck…)
  • Mama Jee Thai restaurant has opened just off Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street on Friendly Drive (near intersection with Dixie Trail). Mama Jee, Jeerawan Bessinger, was born in Thailand and is the chef and owner. Pay them a visit to truly taste the heart and soul of Thailand! Visit their site here.
  • The folks over at New Raleigh tipped us off to the fact that Dos Taquitos Xoco on Glenwood South is changing its name to simply Xoco Raleigh with Niall Hanley as the sole owner. Check them out here.
  • Also getting in on the Cinco de Mayo fun, Gonza Tacos y Tequila opened their fifth location this past Wednesday – this location in Cary’s Waverly Place shopping center. Congratulations to Carlos Rodriguez and Gonza Salamanca, founders of the restaurant that creates a twist on the traditional Mexican restaurant with a rich Colombian influence and eclectic Dia de los Muertos theme. Check them out here and for a listing of all their Cinco de Mayo activities.
  • Saw in the ITB Insider this week Mellow Mushroom will open a second Raleigh location as site plans were filed last week for a new Brier Creek location at 9600 Brier Creek Parkway, near the Meadows at Brier Creek apartments. The restaurant will be housed in a new, 6,435 square-foot building. This will be the Triangle area’s 6th location. Check them out here.
  •  Also in the ITB Insider this week they revealed that North Raleigh residents will soon be able to enjoy the opening of a new kind of pizza delivery/takeout joint called Toppers. It will be on Ronald Drive just off Wake Forest Road. Their website suggests that they set themselves apart through their “more ‘hipster’ type menu offerings and culture.” No word yet on an open date. This will be their second Raleigh location, third in the Triangle. Check out their website for yourself.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that a new fast-casual restaurant with wood-grilled chicken and Caribbean-inspired recipes called Papaya Chicken & Grill is set to open this month in Bent Tree Plaza on Falls of Neuse Road, near the intersection with Strickland Road. Owner Michael Burbage describes the restaurant as Caribbean and Latin with flavors inspired by travels to Costa Rica, Mexico, Jamaica and other tropical locales. Get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The newest location of Chopt is set to open next Wednesday, May 10th at Eastgate Crossing shopping center in Chapel Hill. Chopt combines seasonal ingredients from local purveyors with authentic flavors from around the world to create delicious salads that people crave. As is custom for each of their new restaurant openings, Chopt will celebrate the opening of the Chapel Hill store by hosting a Chopt Gives Day from 11 am – 1:30 pm & again from 4 pm – 7:30 pm on May 9, where all customers who make a monetary donation to its charitable partners, Kitchen Patrol and Table, will receive a free salad. Check out Chopt here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • The food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up every Thursday through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Get all the details and schedule here.

Events

  •  Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson notified me that Tre Forni’s one year anniversary celebration is Saturday, May 6th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. with pizza samples, raffle prizes, demos & ingredients along with swag and samples from Ballast Point Brewery. Get all the details here.
  • The Blind Pig Supper Club in partnership with TerraVita Food & Drink Festival brings you an incredible evening on May 7 of amazing cuisine featuring eight chefs from across the state working together to create an eight-course meal. Eve of the Eighth will celebrate 2017 as the eighth year of the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival. Our “8” theme will appear visually on the plate and in ingredient selection and sourcing. To see a list of those amazing 8 chefs and purchase tickets ($88), click here.
  • Got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.
  • Learned from Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson that the Durham Blues and Brews Festival is back May 21st at Durham Central Park. Delicious NC craft brews, rockin’ blues, food trucks and fun! Enjoy unlimited 12 oz. pours of 20 of the finest brews that North Carolina has to offer. Advance festival tickets are $40 or $50 on site. Designated driver tickets are $20. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Black Twig Cider House, Mattie B’s Public House and the Rickhouse are bringing back Txakolifest on Sunday May 21st from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Rickhouse. Txakolifest is a celebration of Basque country’s finest white wines combined with Durham’s best food – the list of participating restaurants is impressive. Tickets are $75 ($100 VIP). Get all the details here.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them here.
  • Listen up, the dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South)  have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars, more details to follow in the coming weeks/months. It will kick off on Wednesday, October 18, and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, October 21, 2017. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May. Keep up with the latest here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Go ahead and start planning (get your kids involved) and join the National Association of Letter Carriers for the largest one-day food drive in the nation! Stamp Out Hunger takes place on Saturday, May 13th. Look out for a designated donation bag delivered to you by your letter carrier, fill it with your donation, and your letter carrier will pick it up on May 13! Or forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store and “shop” their virtual food drive and maximize your donation times ten! Get those details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 28, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This is something that will make you happy. We got a press release from the folks over at North Hills this week that the second Raleigh location of Happy + Hale is on the way. Known for their fresh juice, salads and smoothies, they signed on to be one of the first retail tenants at North Hills’ new Park Central apartment tower building that is slated to open in fall and winter of 2017. Look for them to open in December, possibly January (in time for New Year’s resolutions!). Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Well, it was certainly sad to see the Mami Nora’s on Wake Forest Road fall victim to the flooding earlier this week. Hopefully they’ll be able to pull through that quickly and re-open soon. But the good news is that there is a second Mami Nora’s coming, this one on Glenwood Avenue (6711 Glenwood Ave) near the intersection with Duraleigh Road where the former Blinco’s was. No word on a timeline, but we’ll keep you posted. Check out Mami Nora’s here.
  • The fast-pizza fast-casual market in the Triangle continues to grow as Your Pie is planning restaurants in Cary and Raleigh’s Brier Creek. The Cary location will be at 685 Cary Towne Blvd., in the former Tom Yum Thai spot. Work is underway to transform the restaurant and add a patio. An opening date hasn’t been set. The Raleigh location will be in The Corners at Brier Creek, a mixed-use development anchored by a Harris Teeter grocery store. It could open in early fall. Get familiar with Your Pie here.
  • But if you are more into the pizza-by-the-slice option you’ll be happy with the news the News & Observer shared this week about Benny Capitale’s moving into 121 Fayetteville St., which most recently housed Crema coffee shop. There is another Triangle location on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street. Look for them to open this summer. Check them out here.
  • Got word from WRAL that La Santa Mexican Restaurant will open next Monday at 222 Glenwood South. That is all we know at this point. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • The next location of Bad Daddy’s will open in North Raleigh in the new Olive Park shopping center at 9400 Falls of Neuse Road in North Raleigh around May 15th, according their Twitter feed. Check out Bad Daddy’s here.
  • A little further north in Wake Forest, this Saturday is the grand opening of Sugar Magnolia Cafe & Emporium on South White Street in downtown Wake Forest. It is in the same spot where the Ole English Tea Room was. Check them out here.
  • Also in Wake Forest, got word from Sean O’Neill that he is opening the next location of Chronic Tacos next Monday, May 1st. It is located in the Shoppes at Heritage Village at the intersection of Forestville and Rogers Roads. This will be the second Triangle area location (the first is in Chapel Hill and the third will be in Raleigh). Check out Chronic Tacos here.
  • And if that is not enough Wake Forest news for you, John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) tipped me off to the fact that a I Love Juice Bar is coming and will be located on  Forestville Road near Heritage. No word yet on a timeline. Get all the details here.
  • Saw in the ITB Insider that Sweetheart Treats, a north Raleigh specialty cupcake shop, will hold its grand opening this weekend at the Falls River shopping center at 10930 Raven Ridge Road. The celebration is from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29. The event will feature free samples and the chance to win free treats. Check them out here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, WRAL reported that Mama Bird’s Cookies and Cream will hold their grand opening on Friday, May 5th with Napoli wood-fired pizza, music, dance, bounce house, face painting, balloons and much more. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • And speaking of Holly Springs, the Triangle is about to welcome its third Hickory Tavern. They will open their new location at 4 pm on Wednesday, May 3 at the SouthPark Village Center (401 Village Walk Drive) in Holly Springs. The opening expand the brand’s footprint in North Carolina to 16 restaurants and 27 restaurants for the brand overall. Its other Triangle locations are in Carrboro and Cary, which opened last year. Check out Hickory Tavern here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Listen up Durhamites, the folks over at Neomonde (with locations in Raleigh and Morrisville) are bringing their yumminess to Durham. The location hasn’t been disclosed yet, but expect a formal announcement within the next month. Go ahead and get familiar with Neomonde here.
  • Staying in Durham, I’m getting multiple reports that Dame’s Chicken & Waffles in downtown Durham is looking for a larger location. That just makes me smile all over. We will definitely keep an eye on this one (someone has to, right?). Check out Dame’s here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, the newest location of Chipotle just opened at Eastgate Crossing shopping center. That means next up are the openings of Chopt, Babalu, Zoe’s Kitchen and Guglhupf Bakery. Wonder if it is too late to add more parking? Check out all the dining options at Eastgate here.
  • And in Carrboro, the folks over at Taste Carolina informed us that Mel’s Commissary & Luncheonette is now open. It is owned by Melody Bowers and her husband, Al (as in Al’s Burgers). It is located at 109 W. Main St., where Tres Amigos Restaurant and Cantina used to be. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Reader Michelle Hillison informed us that there is a note on the door of the Five Guys location at Stone Creek indicating that they will be closing in the next couple of weeks.
  • Hillison also informed us that La Carretta, on Hwy 55 in High House Crossing, closed a few months ago. However, she said that there is now a sign that says a Japanese restaurant will be moving in, but didn’t list the name.
  • If it never opens, does it officially close? Hmmm. Well, at any rate, we learned that Lume Grill in Cary will not be. That is all.

Food Trucks

  • Friend Holly Kahl tipped me off to the fact that there is a new food truck on the local scene – BBQ Proper. They will be serving up pulled pork, ribs, brisket, chicken and more. They will debut on May 5th (5 p.m. until…) at Jordan Lake Brewing Company and at House of Hops on Glenwood on May 6th from 5-10 p.m. Check them out here.
  • TABLE, a nonprofit organization that provides food to hungry kids in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area, is hosting their 5th annual Food Truck Rodeo on Saturday, April 29, from 3-7 p.m. at Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Jr. Blvd. near Homestead Road. Get all the details here.
  • The food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up in April. Every Thursday from April through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Get all the details and schedule here.
  • On April 23, The Hill Center in Durham will hold its annual school fundraiser – Hill Mile! There will be a one mile race & walk, a kids’ dash and a fast mile on the track. All proceeds benefit Student Financial Aid at The Hill Center, a half-day school program for children with learning differences.  Additionally, a mini food truck rodeo will feature: Caffé Bellezza, Flirting with Fire, Locopops, Only Burger and Sympathy for the Deli. Get all the details here.

Events

  • Who doesn’t like pizza and beer? Well, the folks over at Mattie B’s Public House have teamed up with the folks over at Trophy Brewing for a “Taste and Talk” on small batch brewing. Tickets ($25) include 5 tasting pours of Trophy Wife IPA, Trophy Husband Farmhouse Ale, and 3 experimental beers from the Little Trophy small batch production facility as well as two slices of our collaborative pizza, the Brewers’ Breakfast. The event is April 29th at 3 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • On Sunday, April 30 from 5-10pm the Taste for the Cure Gala will take place at the  Rickhouse in Durham, where guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • Glenwood South’s The Wine Feed is partnering with the United Arts Council and Locals Seafood to bring you Hook & Vine: Seafood & Wine Festival this Sunday, April 30th from 12-5 p.m. Each restaurant partner will be preparing seafood-inspired dishes which will be paired with a sample of wine that will be specifically chosen by The Wine Feed. Get all the details here.
  • Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson notified me that Tre Forni’s one year anniversary celebration is Saturday, May 6th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. with pizza samples, raffle prizes, demos & ingredients along with swag and samples from Ballast Point Brewery. Get all the details here.
  • The Blind Pig Supper Club in partnership with TerraVita Food & Drink Festival brings you an incredible evening on May 7 of amazing cuisine featuring eight chefs from across the state working together to create an eight-course meal. Eve of the Eighth will celebrate 2017 as the eighth year of the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival. Our “8” theme will appear visually on the plate and in ingredient selection and sourcing. To see a list of those amazing 8 chefs and purchase tickets ($88), click here.
  • Got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.
  • Learned from Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson that the Durham Blues and Brews Festival is back May 21st at Durham Central Park. Delicious NC craft brews, rockin’ blues, food trucks and fun! Enjoy unlimited 12 oz. pours of 20 of the finest brews that North Carolina has to offer. Advance festival tickets are $40 or $50 on site. Designated driver tickets are $20. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Black Twig Cider House, Mattie B’s Public House and the Rickhouse are bringing back Txakolifest on Sunday May 21st from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Rickhouse. Txakolifest is a celebration of Basque country’s finest white wines combined with Durham’s best food – the list of participating restaurants is impressive. Tickets are $75 ($100 VIP). Get all the details here.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them here.
  • Listen up, the dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South)  have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars, more details to follow in the coming weeks/months. It will kick off on Wednesday, October 18, and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, October 21, 2017. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May. Keep up with the latest here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Go ahead and start planning (get your kids involved) and join the National Association of Letter Carriers for the largest one-day food drive in the nation! Stamp Out Hunger takes place on Saturday, May 13th. Look out for a designated donation bag delivered to you by your letter carrier, fill it with your donation, and your letter carrier will pick it up on May 13! Or forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store and “shop” their virtual food drive and maximize your donation times ten! Get those details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 21, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Justin and Ryan Riek, partners in JMR Kitchens, announced this week the expansion of their popular restaurant concept, taste, with a second location in Raleigh. This new addition is expected to open in May at 1912 Bernard St., also in Raleigh, where the Cave 1912 restaurant is currently located. Check out taste here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Dean Ogan continually amazes me at the way he adapts and responds to changes in the marketplace. So it comes as no surprise at the recent changes ($100k in renovations to be exact!) to his Dean’s Seafood Grill & Bar location in Cary. He announced this week that it will reopen April 24 as Dean’s Kitchen+Bar. Located at 1080 Darrington Drive in Cary, Dean’s Kitchen+Bar will retain the former’s favorite seafood dishes while adding new seasonal menus (70% of their ingredients will be locally sourced), redesigning the outdoor dining space and expanding service to include lunch. Check out the changes here.
  • Caught wind this past week that super-talented chef Marshall Smith has joined the staff over at Midtown Grille as their new executive chef. I’m a huge fan of Marshall and Midtown, so this is great news! Check out Midtown Grille here. Thanks Jo Smith for the tip!
  • New Raleigh reported last week that Hillsborough St is getting a new Mexican restaurant, Coco Bongo, in the former La Rancherita spot, at 2400 Hillsborough Street. We couldn’t find an online presence for them, so you’ll just have to check them out when they open.
  • Over in Cary, WRAL reported that Thai Lotus will look to swing open their doors (after some unexpected construction delays) on Friday, May 26. In the meantime, check them out here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, WRAL reported that Mama Bird’s Cookies and Cream will hold their grand opening on Friday, May 5th with Napoli wood-fired pizza, music, dance, bounce house, face painting, balloons and much more. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • And some menu updates to some popular establishments here in Raleigh. First up, over at Tupelo Honey Cafe, located in Raleigh’s Cameron Village, chef Eric Gabrynowicz has launched a new menu, but don’t worry, many of the old classics are still there. And over at Jimmy V’s Osteria & Bar on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, new executive chef Tom Stagikas has introduced a new wood-fired menu, while staying true to their Italian roots. Check out the new Tupelo menu here and the new Jimmy V’s menu here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Got word from the gentlemen behind the two Jersey Mike’s in Chapel Hill, and the one on Hwy. 54 near I40 in Durham, that they are opening another location, this one in Hillsborough in mid to late May in the Oakdale Village Center a few doors down from Pizza Hut. Congrats to Charlie Farris and Clint Winslow. Owner/operator of the Hillsborough store will be Griffin Kennedy. Check out Jersey Mike’s here.
  • Got word from Amber Watson, author of the Durham food blog Bites of Bull City, that Maybelle’s is now open inside the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. This barbecue and biscuit concept is from the folks behind Tyler’s. Check out their listing at American Tobacco here.
  • And reader David Scocca informed me that the long-anticipated move of Chubby Tacos, renamed Guacamaya Fresh Mex, from one side of Woodcroft Shopping Center to the other side (and a bigger space) has finally happened. Get by and check out the new space. Check them out on Facebook here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • Cary’s Downtown Chowdown Food Truck Rodeo will take place on Sunday, April 23 from 12:30 until 5 p.m. on Chatam Street between Harrison Avenue and Walker Street. Looks like nearly 30 food trucks and beer and wine vendors will be present, along with music throughout the day. Get all the details here.
  • TABLE, a nonprofit organization that provides food to hungry kids in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area, is hosting their 5th annual Food Truck Rodeo on Saturday, April 29, from 3-7 p.m. at Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Jr. Blvd. near Homestead Road. Get all the details here.
  • The food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up in April. Every Thursday from April through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Get all the details and schedule here.
  • On April 23, The Hill Center in Durham will hold its annual school fundraiser – Hill Mile! There will be a one mile race & walk, a kids’ dash and a fast mile on the track. All proceeds benefit Student Financial Aid at The Hill Center, a half-day school program for children with learning differences.  Additionally, a mini food truck rodeo will feature: Caffé Bellezza, Flirting with Fire, Locopops, Only Burger and Sympathy for the Deli. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  The extremely popular craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, returns this weekend, April 21-22 all in and around downtown Raleigh. The weekend kicks off with a block party/sampler event on Friday night followed by Saturday’s big event from 2-10 p.m. featuring craft beer, food vendors and trucks, live music and more. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events is also this weekend – The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market present the Piedmont Farm Tour, hosted by 35 Triangle Area farms this Saturday and Sunday April 22-23 from 2-6 p.m. each day. The tour, in its 22nd year, is the oldest farm tour of it’s kind in the United States. The family-friendly (and budget-friendly) two-day event features 35 farms this year, spread across Alamance, Chatham, Orange and Person counties. Tour tickets purchased in advance are $30 per car for all farms, all weekend – good for a full carload of people. Day of tickets are $35. Or, become a CFSA member and tickets are $25. The tour is rain or shine. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Acclaimed chef Scott Crawford is launching a guest chef series in April at his restaurant, Crawford and Son. “Oakwood and Friends” will serve food from Crawford and collaborators – chefs from renowned restaurants in the Southeast. That includes Ryan Smith of Staplehouse in Atlanta, Mike Lata of The Ordinary in Charleston, S.C., John Fleer of Rhubarb in Asheville and Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta. The first dinner is Sunday, April 23, with Ryan Smith of Staplehouse. Get all the details here.
  • The SECU Family House in Chapel Hill is hosting a pig pickin on Thursday April 27th from 5:30-8:30 pm with fare by Chapel Hill Restaurant Group featuring an auction of artist-painted garden pigs and music by Honey Magpie. Tickets can be purchased here.
  • Who doesn’t like pizza and beer? Well, the folks over at Mattie B’s Public House have teamed up with the folks over at Trophy Brewing for a “Taste and Talk” on small batch brewing. Tickets ($25) include 5 tasting pours of Trophy Wife IPA, Trophy Husband Farmhouse Ale, and 3 experimental beers from the Little Trophy small batch production facility as well as two slices of our collaborative pizza, the Brewers’ Breakfast. The event is April 29th at 3 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • On Sunday, April 30 from 5-10pm the Taste for the Cure Gala will take place at the  Rickhouse in Durham, where guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • Lisa Jeffries tipped me off to the fact that Glenwood South’s The Wine Feed is partnering with the United Arts Council and Locals Seafood to bring you Hook & Vine: Seafood & Wine Festival on April 30th from 12-5 p.m. Each restaurant partner will be preparing seafood-inspired dishes which will be paired with a sample of wine that will be specifically chosen by The Wine Feed. Get all the details here.
  • The Blind Pig Supper Club in partnership with TerraVita Food & Drink Festival brings you an incredible evening on May 7 of amazing cuisine featuring eight chefs from across the state working together to create an eight-course meal. Eve of the Eighth will celebrate 2017 as the eighth year of the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival. Our “8” theme will appear visually on the plate and in ingredient selection and sourcing. To see a list of those amazing 8 chefs and purchase tickets ($88), click here.
  • Got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them here.
  • Listen up, the dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South)  have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars, more details to follow in the coming weeks/months. It will kick off on Wednesday, October 18, and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, October 21, 2017. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May. Keep up with the latest here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Go ahead and start planning (get your kids involved) and join the National Association of Letter Carriers for the largest one-day food drive in the nation! Stamp Out Hunger takes place on Saturday, May 13th. Look out for a designated donation bag delivered to you by your letter carrier, fill it with your donation, and your letter carrier will pick it up on May 13! Or forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store and “shop” their virtual food drive and maximize your donation times ten! Get those details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 14, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that Samad Hatchby’s new restaurant, Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar, will open next Tuesday, April 18th, in his former Babylon space on Dawson Street at the entrance to downtown Raleigh. A new location for Babylon hasn’t been announced yet, but should be soon. In the meantime, look forward to a menu of homemade pastas, wood-fired oven pizza and entrees. Check Mulino out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saw on the Jose & Sons Facebook page this week that they unveiled their newest concept which is going into the former Helio’s spot on Glenwood South – The Cortez Seafood & Cocktail. No word yet on an exact open date, so we will keep an eye on it. Congratulations to Charlie Ibarra, chef Oscar Diaz and their entire team. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that the folks behind Two Roosters Ice Cream (a popular food truck scooping their yummy offerings from a vintage camper) have found a brick and mortar location in Raleigh’s Greystone Village shopping center. Look for them to open in time for summer sometime in June. Check them out here.
  • Saw in James Borden’s Development Beat in ITB Insider that Anisette Sweet Shop, a local bakery and coffee shop on Bickett Boulevard, announced its plans to open a second Raleigh location. The Anisette Little Shop will be located at 222 North Bloodworth Street in the Oakwood neighborhood. Although renovations are not scheduled to begin until the fall, the Little Shop will be open Saturdays only beginning in late May. Check out Anisette here.
  • Over in Cary, WRAL reported that Thai Lotus will look to swing open their doors (after some unexpected construction delays) on Friday, May 26. In the meantime, check them out here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, WRAL reported that Mama Bird’s Cookies and Cream will hold their grand opening on Friday, May 5th with Napoli wood-fired pizza, music, dance, bounce house, face painting, balloons and much more. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • And just over in Knightdale, reader “Elma” informed me that a new restaurant is on the way called iPho Sushi Kitchen & Bar. Apparently it’s a pho/sushi/Vietnamese restaurant located in Widewaters shopping center, off of Widewaters Parkway/Knightdale Boulevard. A couple of posts on their Facebook page here suggest an April opening. So any day now!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Saw on a Yelp message board that Stacey Poston and Wendy Woods (think Piper’s in the Park and Nosh) will be opening their next venture, Grub, in the next month or two at 1200 W. Chapel Hill Street (which is located between downtown and Duke’s campus). Check them out here.
  • Got word from reader Thomas Viemont that Chapel Hill’s Queen of Sheeba in the Timberlyne Shopping Center has closed, only to be replaced by (and now open) Queen of Pho. We weren’t able to find a website, but they have pretty good listing on Yelp here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, got a tip from a reader that the Captain Poncho’s location on East Franklin Street (in the former Mixed location) is now El Nino Taco Joint, and the truck with the same name was parked out front. We will keep an eye on this, but here is their Facebook page.
  • In Chapel Hill, got word from the Herald-Sun that Chipotle in Eastgate Crossing will officially open on Thursday, April 20th. Check out Chipotle here.
  • Over in Durham, we told you about this back in February, but had several people inform me that Bua Thai is now open in Sutton Station on Fayetteville Road. Can’t find a website, but the Yelp reviews so far are fairly strong. Check them out here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • Cary’s Downtown Chowdown Food Truck Rodeo will take place on Sunday, April 23 from 12:30 until 5 p.m. on Chatam Street between Harrison Avenue and Walker Street. Looks like nearly 30 food trucks and beer and wine vendors will be present, along with music throughout the day. Get all the details here.
  • The food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up in April. Every Thursday from April through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Get all the details and schedule here.
  • On April 23, The Hill Center in Durham will hold its annual school fundraiser – Hill Mile! There will be a one mile race & walk, a kids’ dash and a fast mile on the track. All proceeds benefit Student Financial Aid at The Hill Center, a half-day school program for children with learning differences.  Additionally, a mini food truck rodeo will feature: Caffé Bellezza, Flirting with Fire, Locopops, Only Burger and Sympathy for the Deli. Get all the details here.

Events

  • The 9th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival will be held this Saturday, April 15 at The Pit beginning at 12 noon. To date, the event has raised $107,000, which has gone right back into the community to help kids and families through BackPack Buddies and helping to prevent child abuse through SAFEchild. Lawn chairs, dogs, kids are all welcome for a great line-up of five bands, local and regional beer and tons and tons of barbecue! As usual, it’s $5 at the gates. Get all the details here.
  • In Durham, Families Moving Forward’s Chefs for Change fundraising dinner series kicks off Monday, April 17th. The chefs participating in the series are: Ricky Moore (Saltbox), Billy Cotter (Dashi), Seth Gross (Pompieri/Bull City Burger & Brewery) and John May (Piedmont). All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details on the series here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • The extremely popular craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, returns the weekend of April 21-22 all in and around downtown Raleigh. The weekend kicks off with a block party/sampler event on Friday night followed by Saturday’s big event from 2-10 p.m. featuring craft beer, food vendors and trucks, live music and more. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events is coming up soon – The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market present the Piedmont Farm Tour, hosted by 35 Triangle Area farms on Saturday and Sunday April 22-23 from 2-6 p.m. each day. The tour, in its 22nd year, is the oldest farm tour of it’s kind in the United States. The family-friendly (and budget-friendly) two-day event features 35 farms this year, spread across Alamance, Chatham, Orange and Person counties. Tour tickets purchased in advance are $30 per car for all farms, all weekend – good for a full carload of people. Day of tickets are $35. Or, become a CFSA member and tickets are $25. The tour is rain or shine. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Acclaimed chef Scott Crawford is launching a guest chef series in April at his restaurant, Crawford and Son. “Oakwood and Friends” will serve food from Crawford and collaborators – chefs from renowned restaurants in the Southeast. That includes Ryan Smith of Staplehouse in Atlanta, Mike Lata of The Ordinary in Charleston, S.C., John Fleer of Rhubarb in Asheville and Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta. The first dinner is Sunday, April 23, with Ryan Smith of Staplehouse. Get all the details here.
  • The SECU Family House in Chapel Hill is hosting a pig pickin on Thursday April 27th from 5:30-8:30 pm with fare by Chapel Hill Restaurant Group featuring an auction of artist-painted garden pigs and music by Honey Magpie. Tickets can be purchased here.
  • On Sunday, April 30 from 5-10pm the Taste for the Cure Gala will take place at the  Rickhouse in Durham, where guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • Lisa Jeffries tipped me off to the fact that Glenwood South’s The Wine Feed is partnering with the United Arts Council and Locals Seafood to bring you Hook & Vine: Seafood & Wine Festival on April 30th from 12-5 p.m. Each restaurant partner will be preparing seafood-inspired dishes which will be paired with a sample of wine that will be specifically chosen by The Wine Feed. Get all the details here.
  • The Blind Pig Supper Club in partnership with TerraVita Food & Drink Festival brings you an incredible evening on May 7 of amazing cuisine featuring eight chefs from across the state working together to create an eight-course meal. Eve of the Eighth will celebrate 2017 as the eighth year of the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival. Our “8” theme will appear visually on the plate and in ingredient selection and sourcing. To see a list of those amazing 8 chefs and purchase tickets ($88), click here.
  • Got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them here.
  • Listen up, the dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South)  have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars, more details to follow in the coming weeks/months. It will kick off on Wednesday, October 18, and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, October 21, 2017. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May. Keep up with the latest here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 7, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • I’m beginning to wonder if we are on our way to 18 restaurants in the 18 Restaurant Group portfolio. Currently we sit at four with the recent opening of Cantina 18 in Morrisville’s Park West Village. Congrats to owner and executive chef Jason Smith, who also owns the sister Cantina 18 in Cameron Village, Harvest 18 in Durham and 18 Seaboard in downtown Raleigh. Check out his entire portfolio here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Watts & Ward suggested via their Facebook page that they will open next week! This soon-to-open craft cocktail bar from Ireland native and Hibernian Hospitality owner Niall Hanley will be 6,000-square-feet of 1920s America underground spirit. Located beneath Caffé Luna and directly across from Moore Square, Watts & Ward will have multiple rooms and multiple bars, each with their own personality. Leather seats, booths and low-key jazz events all mean you’ll need to carve out some time to swing by this speakeasy on a night out. Check them out here.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, tweeted last week that Oakwood Pizza Box is coming to Person Street in downtown Raleigh along the strip where Crawford & Son and William & Co are located. Apparently it will replace Cybergraph at 610 N. Person St. and is looking to open this fall. Nothing much there yet, but here is their Facebook page.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Seasons 52, a new restaurant with a focus on seasonal ingredients, opened its first North Carolina location this past Monday at Crabtree Valley Mall. It is on the second floor near Banana Republic and also has a patio. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Raleigh’s Bella Monica Cucina & Vino is planning to open a new location in Cary’s Parkside Town Commons near the intersection of 540 and Hwy. 54. Look for them to open in early May. Check them out here.
  • The owners of Serena Sicilian restaurant posted on their Facebook page that they have been proud to serve the North Raleigh community for the past four years and are excited to share the news that they have purchased a building and are moving Serena to this new location. We will keep any eye out for information about the new location. In the meantime, you can visit their RTP location at at 5311 South Miami Blvd in Durham. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • The daily blog The Point reported this week that Sir Walter Coffee opened its doors in downtown Raleigh last weekend, featuring local Joe Van Gogh coffee and iced tea cocktails. It is located at the base of the Edison Lofts at the corner of Davie and Blount Street. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Over in Cary, the blog Food Cary reported that Your Pie will open at 685 Cary Towne Blvd. in the former spot of Tom Yum Thai. No word yet on an open date. Get familiar with them here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, WRAL reported that Mama Bird’s Cookies and Cream will hold their grand opening on Friday, May 5th with Napoli wood-fired pizza, music, dance, bounce house, face painting, balloons and much more. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • If you are down in Clayton and need gas and a great meal, swing into the Vallero gas station at the corner of Guy Road and Hwy. 42 and visit the recently opened Grab Hot Meals featuring made from scratch food from Margot Miles who is from the Philippines with Chinese ethnicity. Check them out here.
  • Reader Paul Prause informed us that Tropical Smoothie Cafe is taking over the old Moonlight Swirl location at Falls Village, next to NY Pizza and Smashburger. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that One Fish Two Fish, a poke restaurant, opened in Carrboro Thursday. Poké, pronounced “poh-kay,” is a traditional Hawaiian dish with marinated raw fish. One Fish Two Fish is owned by Scott and Lauren Kleczkowski who operate Goose Hospitality, which owns other restaurants on the same block that focus on one concept – Esperanza, which serves empanadas, and The Shoppe Bar and Meatball Kitchen. Check them out here.
  • In Chapel Hill, got word from the Herald-Sun that Chipotle in Eastgate Crossing will officially open on Thursday, April 20th. Check out Chipotle here.
  • Got word from a couple of readers that there is a new Hawaiian shave ice stand, Shaka Shave Ice, at the corner of Merritt Mill Rd and Franklin St, just on the Carrboro/Chapel Hill line. Apparently this place is legit – not a snow cone, not Italian ice, nor a sno ball; it’s authentic Hawaiian shave ice, with flavors made fresh daily and cream that is not simply condensed milk. Check them out on Instagram here.
  • Over in Durham, Fullsteam Brewery launches the first phase of Fullsteam food tonight (April 7) with chef Kyle McKnight. For now he is focusing on beer friendly bar snacks and small plates (smoked paprika tortellini, braised pork belly, coastal poached shrimp, sorghum dumplings, and Working Man’s Crunch and Paychex snack mixes). The menu will continue to evolve, as will the kitchen space. Check them out here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • On April 23, The Hill Center in Durham will hold its annual school fundraiser – Hill Mile! There will be a one mile race & walk, a kids’ dash and a fast mile on the track. All proceeds benefit Student Financial Aid at The Hill Center, a half-day school program for children with learning differences.  Additionally, a mini food truck rodeo will feature: Caffé Bellezza, Flirting with Fire, Locopops, Only Burger and Sympathy for the Deli. Get all the details here.
  • And the food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up in April. Every Thursday from April through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). The April 6th kick-off will feature live music. Get all the details and schedule here.

Events

  •  Tomorrow, April 8, is the return of the Beer & Bacon Fest at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater. Things run from noon until 8 p.m. Remember, bottoms up and bacon down! 75 craft beers, 15 restaurants, 10 bacons from all across the US and lots of piggy love! Get all the details here.
  • Also tomorrow, April 8th, the Bull City Homebrew Chili Challenge will take place at Bull City Homebrew on Highway 54 near the intersection with Highway 55. It takes place from noon until 4 p.m. If you’d like to enter your chili, register on their site. The event is free and kid friendly. Register your chili and get all the details here.
  • And if that is not enough food events for April 8th, add the 19th Annual Lebanese Festival to the mix in downtown Raleigh’s City Plaza (400 block of Fayetteville Street). The festivities (food – amazing food, dance, cultural activities and tons of kid activities) will take place from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. The event is free. Get all the details here.
  • The inaugural Cooking for a Classic series to benefit the Lucy Daniels Center moves into the final and championship round on Monday, April 10th (was moved to this new date) with the winner winning a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. Get information and tickets to the final round here.
  • The 9th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival will be held Saturday, April 15 at The Pit beginning at 12 noon. To date, the event has raised $107,000, which has gone right back into the community to help kids and families through BackPack Buddies and helping to prevent child abuse through SAFEchild. Lawn chairs, dogs, kids are all welcome for a great line-up of five bands, local and regional beer and tons and tons of barbecue! As usual, it’s $5 at the gates. Get all the details here.
  • In Durham, Families Moving Forward’s Chefs for Change fundraising dinner series kicks off April 17th. The chefs participating in the series are: Ricky Moore (Saltbox), Billy Cotter (Dashi), Seth Gross (Pompieri/Bull City Burger & Brewery) and John May (Piedmont). All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details on the series here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • The extremely popular craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, returns the weekend of April 21-22 all in and around downtown Raleigh. The weekend kicks off with a block party/sampler event on Friday night followed by Saturday’s big event from 2-10 p.m. featuring craft beer, food vendors and trucks, live music and more. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events is coming up soon – The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market present the Piedmont Farm Tour, hosted by 35 Triangle Area farms on Saturday and Sunday April 22-23 from 2-6 p.m. each day. The tour, in its 22nd year, is the oldest farm tour of it’s kind in the United States. The family-friendly (and budget-friendly) two-day event features 35 farms this year, spread across Alamance, Chatham, Orange and Person counties. Tour tickets purchased in advance are $30 per car for all farms, all weekend – good for a full carload of people. Day of tickets are $35. Or, become a CFSA member and tickets are $25. The tour is rain or shine. Get tickets and all the details here.
  •  Acclaimed chef Scott Crawford is launching a guest chef series in April at his restaurant, Crawford and Son. “Oakwood and Friends” will serve food from Crawford and collaborators – chefs from renowned restaurants in the Southeast. That includes Ryan Smith of Staplehouse in Atlanta, Mike Lata of The Ordinary in Charleston, S.C., John Fleer of Rhubarb in Asheville and Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta. The first dinner is Sunday, April 23, with Ryan Smith of Staplehouse. Get all the details here.
  • The SECU Family House in Chapel Hill is hosting a pig pickin on Thursday April 27th from 5:30-8:30 pm with fare by Chapel Hill Restaurant Group featuring an auction of artist-painted garden pigs and music by Honey Magpie. Tickets can be purchased here.
  • On Sunday, April 30 from 5-10pm the Taste for the Cure Gala will take place at the  Rickhouse in Durham, where guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • The Blind Pig Supper Club in partnership with TerraVita Food & Drink Festival brings you an incredible evening on May 7 of amazing cuisine featuring eight chefs from across the state working together to create an eight-course meal. Eve of the Eighth will celebrate 2017 as the eighth year of the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival. Our “8” theme will appear visually on the plate and in ingredient selection and sourcing. To see a list of those amazing 8 chefs and purchase tickets ($88), click here.
  • Got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them here.
  • Listen up, the dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South)  have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars, more details to follow in the coming weeks/months. It will kick off on Wednesday, October 18, and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, October 21, 2017. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May. Keep up with the latest here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – March 31, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • After months of anticipation, Brewery Bhavana, a hybrid restaurant, brewery, flower shop and book shop, opened this past Wednesday in the former Tir Na Nog spot adjacent to Moore Square in downtown Raleigh. Brewery Bhavana is the brainchild of brother and sister Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha, who also own the Laotian restaurant Bida Manda next door, and brewer Patrick Woodson. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Triangle Business Journal announced this week that Morgan Street Food Hall & Market in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District will be home to the third location of the popular Sassool Mediterranean Cafe by July. Check out Sassool here and Morgan Street Food Hall & Market here.
  • In Morrisville, Famous Toastery swings open their doors today (Friday, March 31) at 7 a.m. and is open (everyday) until 3 p.m. in the Weston Commons Shopping Center at 9928 Chapel Hill Road. They are known for their breakfast all day, but I can tell you first hand they also have very yummy sandwiches and salads. Check them out here.
  • Over in Cary, WRAL reported that Fresh Local Ice Cream will open on Saturday bringing creative, handmade desserts to downtown Cary. Fresh is just down the road from Bond Brothers at 138 E. Chatham Street. This will be Fresh’s second location (the original is on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh). Check them out here.
  • Here is something to get up early for on the weekend. We told you about this back in January, but the date has been set and it is getting closer. Your weekend brunch options just got a lot more interesting with the April 1st (no kidding) launch of weekend brunch service at Poole’s Diner. Prompted by the closing of Ashley Christensen’s Joule (being replaced by St. Roch Oyster + Bar), Poole’s brunch service will feature many of the dishes from Joule. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, brought it to our attention that local food trucks NC Bulkoki and Bo’s Kitchen will work together to open a casual Korean restaurant and coffee shop called Namu Durham. It will take over the space formerly occupied by Boheme and prior to that Straw Valley (near the conjunction of 15-501 and I40). Check it out on Facebook here.
  • In Durham, certified cider expert Mattie Beason celebrates the first year anniversary of Black Twig Cider House – a cider-focused restaurant featuring the largest variety of cider in the Southeast – Saturday, April 1st from 11am to 5pm with local cider on draft, bottles and in the txotx, as well as games and food for the entire family! Get all the details on the celebration here.
  • And staying in Durham, the Durham Bulls have really stepped up their game – and I’m not talking baseball (I know very little about baseball). I’m talking about their food lineup for the coming season. The 2017 season will feature a combination of specials including Chili Mac, Brat Burgers, Tater Tot Waffles, Pepperoni Rolls, Fish and Chips, Brussels Sprouts, Pork Chop Sandwiches and Blue Munster Burgers. And the fans will have a say in which of these specials will be featured. Get a peek at them here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) reminded us that Honeysuckle Tea House’s grand reopening is this Saturday (April 1)for the 2017 season. This is a really cool spot for tea, coffee, and smoothies. To celebrate the new season they will have a food truck and live music. Get all the details here on Facebook.

Closings

  • Reader Jeff Roberts reported that Fat Philly’s in Holly Springs has closed.
  • Got word from reader Chris Creighton that the Five Guys in Cary (Maynard and Walnut) will close their doors April 3 – so you’ve got a few more days to indulge.

Food Trucks

  • Even the Lutherans are getting into the food truck rodeo spirit! That’s right, this Sunday, April 2nd,  Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at 2723 Clark Avenue in Raleigh is hosting the West Raleigh Block Party from 4-7pm. They will have the new Battistella’s food truck, Arepa Culture and Cousins Maine Lobster along with a band and a bounce house. Check out their website here.
  • And the food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up in April. Every Thursday from April through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). The April 6th kick-off will feature live music. Get all the details and schedule here.

Events

  • The North Carolina Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier will host “Dames in the Kitchen” on April 6th offering a culinary tour through North Carolina by eight Dame cookbook authors and chefs.  Benefitting the Interfaith Food Shuttle, it will take place at The Root Cellar in Chapel Hill from 6:30 to 9pm. Tickets can be purchased for $65 ($30 tax deductible) here.
  • I’m going to just put this right here for my buddy Tim Coynesmith. You (and Tim) will just have to click through to see what it is. Let’s just say it involves beer…and bacon…need I say more? Oh, and clear your calendar for April 8th.
  • Also on April 8th, the Bull City Homebrew Chili Challenge will take place at Bull City Homebrew on Highway 54 near the intersection with Highway 55. It takes place from noon until 4 p.m. If you’d like to enter your chili, register on their site. The event is free and kid friendly. Register your chili and get all the details here.
  • And if that is not enough food events for April 8th, add the 19th Annual Lebanese Festival to the mix in downtown Raleigh’s City Plaza (400 block of Fayetteville Street). The festivities (food – amazing food, dance, cultural activities and tons of kid activities) will take place from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. The event is free. Get all the details here.
  • The inaugural Cooking for a Classic series to benefit the Lucy Daniels Center moves into the final and championship round on Monday, April 10th (was moved to this new date) with the winner winning a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. Get information and tickets to the final round here.
  • The 9th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival will be held Saturday, April 15 at The Pit beginning at 12 noon. To date, the event has raised $107,000, which has gone right back into the community to help kids and families through BackPack Buddies and helping to prevent child abuse through SAFEchild. Lawn chairs, dogs, kids are all welcome for a great line-up of five bands, local and regional beer and tons and tons of barbecue! As usual, it’s $5 at the gates. Get all the details here.
  • In Durham, Families Moving Forward’s Chefs for Change fundraising dinner series kicks off April 17th. The chefs participating in the series are: Ricky Moore (Saltbox), Billy Cotter (Dashi), Seth Gross (Pompieri/Bull City Burger & Brewery) and John May (Piedmont). All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details on the series here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • The extremely popular craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, returns the weekend of April 21-22 all in and around downtown Raleigh. The weekend kicks off with a block party/sampler event on Friday night followed by Saturday’s big event from 2-10 p.m. featuring craft beer, food vendors and trucks, live music and more. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events is coming up soon – The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market present the Piedmont Farm Tour, hosted by 35 Triangle Area farms on Saturday and Sunday April 22-23 from 2-6 p.m. each day. The tour, in its 22nd year, is the oldest farm tour of it’s kind in the United States. The family-friendly (and budget-friendly) two-day event features 35 farms this year, spread across Alamance, Chatham, Orange and Person counties. Tour tickets purchased in advance are $30 per car for all farms, all weekend – good for a full carload of people. Day of tickets are $35. Or, become a CFSA member and tickets are $25. The tour is rain or shine. Get tickets and all the details here.
  •  Acclaimed chef Scott Crawford is launching a guest chef series in April at his restaurant, Crawford and Son. “Oakwood and Friends” will serve food from Crawford and collaborators – chefs from renowned restaurants in the Southeast. That includes Ryan Smith of Staplehouse in Atlanta, Mike Lata of The Ordinary in Charleston, S.C., John Fleer of Rhubarb in Asheville and Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta. The first dinner is Sunday, April 23, with Ryan Smith of Staplehouse. Get all the details here.
  • The SECU Family House in Chapel Hill is hosting a pig pickin on Thursday April 27th from 5:30-8:30 pm with fare by Chapel Hill Restaurant Group featuring an auction of artist-painted garden pigs and music by Honey Magpie. Tickets can be purchased here.
  • On Sunday, April 30 from 5-10pm the Taste for the Cure Gala will take place at the  Rickhouse in Durham, where guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • The Blind Pig Supper Club in partnership with TerraVita Food & Drink Festival brings you an incredible evening on May 7 of amazing cuisine featuring eight chefs from across the state working together to create an eight-course meal. Eve of the Eighth will celebrate 2017 as the eighth year of the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival. Our “8” theme will appear visually on the plate and in ingredient selection and sourcing. To see a list of those amazing 8 chefs and purchase tickets ($88), click here.
  • Got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them here.
  • Listen up, the dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South)  have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars, more details to follow in the coming weeks/months. It will kick off on Wednesday, October 18, and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, October 21, 2017. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May. Keep up with the latest here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Today is the last day to give as part of “matching gift” opportunity to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. All donations TODAY will be matched up to $50,000. So, instead of your $1 providing five meals, every $1 will provide 10 meals! Make your donation today!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – March 24, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Next Monday, March 27th is the ribbon cutting (at 4 p.m.) and soft opening of Raleigh’s newest rooftop bar and lounge – Level7 atop the AC Hotel Raleigh North Hills. It features a European and Spanish influenced food and beverage menu. Check them out on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Also next Monday (March 27th), City Barbeque’s newest (and 4th Triangle) location will open in Raleigh at 9424 Falls of Neuse Rd, and their grand opening celebration will be April 1 from 11 am – 3:30 pm. They are in the same shopping center as the new Sprouts grocery store. Check them out here.
  • The renovations at Cameron Village’s Harris Teeter will kick Starbucks out in the street – well, actually across the street according to the Triangle Business Journal. The little office building behind the McDonald’s will make way for a brand new Starbucks that will include an outdoor patio. Look for it to open late this summer.
  • And keeping the “chain” them going, the ITB Insider reported this week that permits were issued last week for a Domino’s Pizza to open on the ground floor of the Edison on Davie Street.
  • Here is something to get up early for on the weekend. We told you about this back in January, but the date has been set and it is getting closer. Your weekend brunch options just got a lot more interesting with the April 1st (no kidding) launch of weekend brunch service at Poole’s Diner. Prompted by the closing of Ashley Christensen’s Joule (being replaced by St. Roch Oyster + Bar), Poole’s brunch service will feature many of the dishes from Joule. Check them out here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, the Triangle Business Journal reported that Erik Neudecker has contracted the rights to multiple new locations for Wisconsin-based Culver’s – a quick-service, family-style restaurants that specializes in big burgers and frozen custard shakes. Neudecker will be opening his first Culver’s at 2819 Rogers Road at the corner of Heritage Center Drive, next to the new Rite Aid drug store near The Factory sports and retail complex on Main Street. We will keep an eye on it, and wait and see how many of his 10 planned stores will also land in the Triangle. Check out Culver’s here.
  • And down in Fuquay-Varina, reader Rachel Palmieri Weber gave us an update that Zeera Indian Restaurant is now officially open. They are located at 1311 East Broad Street. Check them out on Facebook here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Bull City Ciderworks is back after a year-long construction project and they are better than ever and excited to bring cider back to the Bull City! They will have their Grand Opening party tomorrow (March 25th). The fun begins at noon and will feature a dozen ciders on tap, live music, food trucks, pop-ups, games and snacks for the whole family. Located at 305 S. Roxboro Street in Durham, check out the event on Facebook here.
  • Over in Durham, reader Marguerite Applin informed me that EpaChamo Arepas Bar & Venezuelan Grill on 9th street in Durham has closed and a banner for a Mexican grill called Del Rancho Mexican Grill has already gone up. No date for their opening has been announced.
  • And finally, in Durham, certified cider expert Mattie Beason celebrates the first year anniversary of Black Twig Cider House – a cider-focused restaurant featuring the largest variety of cider in the Southeast – Saturday, April 1st from 11am to 5pm with local cider on draft, bottles and in the txotx, as well as games and food for the entire family! Get all the details on the celebration here.

Closings

  • Sad news hit Raleigh this week with the announcement that the Barbecue Lodge on Capital Blvd., an institution since 1979, had closed their doors. In true southern fashion, the sign on the door apologized for the “inconvenience.” Know lots of folks will miss them.
  • So, not sure what is going on with the Zaxby’s on Hillsborough Street. Reader Wendy Henderson saw a sign on the door that says they are permanently closed. However, the website says closed for renovations. We will keep an eye on it.
  • And in Cary, heard from several sources that the Hurricane Grill & Wings on Kildaire Farm Road in Cary is closed. The sign on the door says closed for reorganization, but the Facebook page says permanently closed. Again, we’ll keep an eye on it.

Food Trucks

  •  I never thought I’d see this. Chapel Hill is holding their first food truck rodeo – Rodeo on Rosemary. Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation in collaboration with the Downtown Partnership and the Raleigh Durham Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) will hold this milestone on March 26 from 12pm – 5pm on the block of Rosemary Street between Henderson and North Columbia Streets. Looks like about 13 trucks so far. Get all the details here.
  • Even the Lutherans are getting into the food truck rodeo spirit! That’s right, on Sunday, April 2nd,  Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at 2723 Clark Avenue in Raleigh is hosting the West Raleigh Block Party from 4-7pm. They will have the new Battistella’s food truck, Arepa Culture and Cousins Maine Lobster along with a band and a bounce house. Check out their website here.
  • And the food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up in April. Every Thursday from April through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). The April 6th kick-off will feature live music. Get all the details and schedule here.

Events

  • The 9th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival will be held Saturday, April 15 at The Pit beginning at 12 noon. To date, the event has raised $107,000, which has gone right back into the community to help kids and families through BackPack Buddies and helping to prevent child abuse through SAFEchild. Lawn chairs, dogs, kids are all welcome for a great line-up of five bands, local and regional beer and tons and tons of barbecue! As usual, it’s $5 at the gates. Get all the details here.
  • The inaugural Cooking for a Classic series to benefit the Lucy Daniels Center moves into the final and championship round next Monday, March 27 with the winner winning a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. Get information and tickets to the final round here.
  • Families Moving Forward in Durham launched Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that will pair the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The chefs participating in the series are: Ricky Moore (Saltbox), Billy Cotter (Dashi), Seth Gross (Pompieri/Bull City Burger & Brewery) and John May (Piedmont). The series features a dinner every other month (beginning April 17, my birthday) featuring one of the distinguished chefs serving three or more courses. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details on the series here.
  • Acclaimed chef Scott Crawford is launching a guest chef series in April at his restaurant, Crawford and Son. “Oakwood and Friends” will serve food from Crawford and collaborators – chefs from renowned restaurants in the Southeast. That includes Ryan Smith of Staplehouse in Atlanta, Mike Lata of The Ordinary in Charleston, S.C., John Fleer of Rhubarb in Asheville and Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta. The first dinner is Sunday, April 23, with Ryan Smith of Staplehouse. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier will host “Dames in the Kitchen” on April 6th offering a culinary tour through North Carolina by eight Dame cookbook authors and chefs. Benefiting the Interfaith Food Shuttle, it will take place at The Root Cellar in Chapel Hill from 6:30 to 9pm. Tickets can be purchased for $65 ($30 tax deductible) here.
  • I’m going to just put this right here for my buddy Tim Coynesmith. You (and Tim) will just have to click through to see what it is. Let’s just say it involves beer…and bacon…need I say more? Oh, and clear your calendar for April 8th.
  • Also on April 8th, the Bull City Homebrew Chili Challenge will take place at Bull City Homebrew on Highway 54 near the intersection with Highway 55. It takes place from noon until 4 p.m. If you’d like to enter your chili, register on their site. The event is free and kid friendly. Register your chili and get all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events is coming up soon – The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market present the Piedmont Farm Tour, hosted by 35 Triangle Area farms on Saturday and Sunday April 22-23 from 2-6 p.m. each day. The tour, in its 22nd year, is the oldest farm tour of it’s kind in the United States. The family-friendly (and budget-friendly) two-day event features 35 farms this year, spread across Alamance, Chatham, Orange and Person counties. Tour tickets purchased in advance are $30 per car for all farms, all weekend – good for a full carload of people. Day of tickets are $35. Or, become a CFSA member and tickets are $25. The tour is rain or shine. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • The extremely popular craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, returns the weekend of April 21-22 all in and around downtown Raleigh. The weekend kicks off with a block party/sampler event on Friday night followed by Saturday’s big event from 2-10 p.m. featuring craft beer, food vendors and trucks, live music and more. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • On Sunday, April 30 the Taste for a Cure Gala will take place from 5-10pm at the Rickhouse in Durham, where guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • Got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.
  • Listen up, the dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South) have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars, more details to follow in the coming weeks/months. It will kick off on Wednesday, October 18, and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, October 21, 2017. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May. Keep up with the latest here.

Food Bank Corner 

  • Now is the time to give to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. During the month of March, there is a special “matching gift” opportunity – the Table2Table Matching Gift Challenge! All donations from March 1 through March 31 will be matched up to $50,000. For this month only, instead of your $1 providing five meals, every dollar will provide 10 meals! Make your donation today!

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