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Friday Fun Food Facts – July 21, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Chapel Hill’s iconic Carolina Coffee Shop has new owners. A group of UNC alumni and friends, led by Jeff Hortman, have purchased the institution. Things will pretty much continue the same through the fall before renovations and tweaks over the winter. Thanks to Michael DePersia at DePersia & Associates for the heads up on this news. Check out Carolina Coffee Shop here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The ITB Insider reported this week that the next location of Chopt will reside in the former Tribeca Tavern building in the North Ridge Shopping Center on Fall of the Neuse Road. No word on an open date. Get familiar with Chopt here.
  • The folks over at Morgan Street Food Hall announced another tenant this week – MKG Kitchen. MKG Kitchen is from the same creators of Mekong Vietnamese Cuisine in Morrisville. Get the latest details on the Morgan Street Food Hall here.
  • In Brier Creek this week the big news was the opening of the new Harris Teeter (which has a wine and beer bar in it!)at the corner of T.W. Alexander and U.S. 70. However in that same center, it was announced that pizza chain Your Pie and breakfast joint First Watch would join Harris Teeter. No word on open dates.
  • Over on Hillsborough Street, Ashton Mae Smith noted that Pho Vietnam, already with a location on Buck Jones Road, has opened. They are located in the 2811 Building at the corner of Hillsborough Street and Dan Allen Drive. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Congrats to Sara Coleman Fitzpatrick and the team over at The Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh as they celebrate 10 years of bringing yumminess to the Triangle. They will have a ‘neighborhood birthday party” all day on Thursday, July 27th with free mini cupcakes, t-shirt giveaways, and more (with additional specials running through the weekend). Check out the latest on their website here.
  • And over in Cary, reader Hugh Autry brought it to our attention that Cary is going to get a second Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, this one adjacent to the Craft Public House near the intersection of Tryon Road and Walnut Street. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Durham, got word from Michael DePersia at DePersia & Associates that Los Dos Sombreros (formerly Cinco de Mayo) located at 4818 NC Hwy 55 has been sold to Basera Indian Cuisine, a successful Indian restaurant franchise out of Plano, Texas. They should open later this month after completing renovations. We will keep you posted. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Durham, WRAL reported that Local Yogurt has opened in their new location at 1114 W. Chapel Hill Street, conveniently located between downtown Durham and Duke University. Check them out of Facebook here.
  • WRAL also reported that a new coffee shop in Durham called Kaffeinate will be taking over the former Respite Cafe spot at 115 N. Duke Street. No word yet on an open date. Get to know Kaffeinate here.
  • Bites of Bull City blogger Amber Watson first reported that there is a new Latin-flavored ice cream/popsicle/milkshake shop at 1918 Perry Street (near Duke) called Pincho Loco. According to WRAL, they will hold their grand opening this weekend, Friday through Sunday. Check them out here.
  • In Chapel Hill, Carolina Brewery will be celebrating their 22nd anniversary with lots of changes – following renovations to the physical space at their W. Franklin Street brewpub, they will unveil a number of menu changes. All offer a new, refreshing feel that reflect the community that surrounds them. The new menu will be unveiled on July 31. Keep up with the latest on their website here.
  • Got word from the Chatham County Convention and Visitors Bureau that Phoenix Bakery Market Cafe will hold their grand opening in their new location at 664 West Street in Pittsboro on August 19th. Bagels, pastries and cakes oh my! Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill, Marco’s Pizza will have their grand opening on July 23 in the space in front of Harris Teeter where Fig & Honey used to be. From 1 – 4pm they will have free pizza samples, DJ, face painting and other children’s activities. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • Got word from Christine Rhyne Johnson that the Marco’s location in Apex has closed.
  • In Cary, got word this week from several sources that the Train Station across from the Amtrak station in Cary has also closed.
  • Over in Durham, Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson reported that George’s Java on Ninth Street has closed.
  • And in Chapel Hill, the News & Observer reported that after more than three years on West Franklin Street, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom will serve its last slice in Chapel Hill this weekend.

Food Trucks

  •  The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town this Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. Get all the details here.

Events

  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The Rickhouse will host Durham’s 3rd Annual PickleFest on Sunday, July 23 – a pickle-packed tasting event and market place showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi. Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips. Only 100 VIP tickets available for early bird entry at Noon! $15 VIP includes: (1) drink ticket, early entry and the thrilling announcement of the home pickler contest winner!! $5 General Admission Session 1 from 1 – 3pm; Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Check out the event on Facebook here.
  • Raleigh’s newest dining concept, 41Hundred (the new concept inside the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel), is holding their grand opening celebration on Tuesday, July 25 from 5-8 p.m. Enjoy complimentary bites from the 41Hundred menu and samples from TOPO Distillery, Bombshell Beer Company and Aviator Brewing Company. Check them out here.
  • The Second Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will take place on Thursday, July 27 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features twelve teams of Rise chefs partnered with a local brewery or beverage company. Each team will prepare a special biscuit and donut that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. With biscuits, donuts and beer, you can be sure this will sell-out fast. Get your tickets here.
  • This is my annual shout-out/reminder to my good buddy Tim CoyneSmith – tickets are on sale now to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival being held again this year at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater on July 28 and 29. Basically it is two days of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, and barbeque eatin’. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Catering Works will hold their next “Foodcation” at their event space, The Laurelbrook, on Thursday, August 3rd with the “destination” being Asia! “Travel” through the Southeastern territories for their signature spin on authentic Asian street fare and onward to inspired Indochina fusion delicacies! Tickets are $45 for the seven-course meal/trip. Get all the details here.
  • Join North Carolina brewers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for their fourth annual Natural Selections event on Friday, August 18. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science among the museum’s dioramas. Sample unique creations fitting the museum’s natural science focus from more than 20 North Carolina breweries. Enjoy hands-on science of beer activities, a panel discussion, games and live music by Handsome Al and the Lookers. Vote for your favorite beer during the event and award the second annual Natural Selections People’s Choice Award to one lucky brewery. $65 VIP; $40; $25 for Friends of the Museum members. Price includes beer samples, activities, tasting guide, and collectible Natural Selections tasting glass. You must be 21 years or older to attend. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • 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 – July 14, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Sunday is National Ice Cream Day! And to help you celebrate, popular food truck Two Roosters Ice Cream will open their brick-and-mortar location in North Raleigh’s Greystone Village shopping center (7713 Leadmine Road). The grand opening will be Sunday from 2-7 p.m. They are located in the same shopping center as Gonza Tacos Y Tequila and Sola Coffee. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Raleigh-based food truck Pho Nomenal Dumpling has opened its brick-and-mortar location, Mofu Shoppe, in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. Located at 321 S. Blount St., the restaurant features an expansive menu of fun takes on Asian street food. The name is a combination of the Mandarin Chinese words Mo (more) and Fu (fortune). Check them out here.
  • It was announced earlier this week that former AN Asian Cuisine sushi chef Hyun-Woo Kim has been named the new executive chef at popular sushi restaurant SONO in downtown Raleigh. He is joined by general manager James Yang, who joined SONO in 2016 after seven years at AN. Additionally, there has been an extensive menu update and interior redesign. Check out the latest on their website here.
  • Donovan’s Dish owner Jill Donovan announced the exciting news this week that they will be opening a second location of their Take Out Market. The new location will be in Raleigh’s Brier Creek at 10251 Little Brier Creek Pkwy (near Pei Wei). The Take Out Market features fresh and frozen chef prepared meals to go, hors d’oeuvres, soups, sides, sweets as well as local NC products. They are planning a mid August opening. Check out their original location in downtown Apex here. (Editor’s note: Order now and you can use code D2DTFG for free delivery!)
  • In downtown Raleigh, the News & Observer reported that Benny Capitale’s opened this past week at 121 Fayetteville St., in the former Crema coffee shop location. The Virginia-based company specializes in HUGE (28 inches!), but simple pizzas with just a few toppings available. There is also a location in Chapel Hill (Benny Cappella’s). Check them out here.
  • Somehow I missed the news that Mr. Cool Ice Cream opened in Apex in the Beaver Creek Commons shopping center (1011 Beaver Creek Commons Drive). Not much on their website at this point, but their Facebook page has plenty of pictures to entice you to come out and enjoy a scoop or two!
  • Also in Cary, Davina Ray and her husband Craig Wishart purchased Mithai House of Indian Desserts, renovated it, and rebranded it as Mithai Indian Café. It is the Carolinas’ first and only local artisanal Indian sweet manufacturer. They are located at 744-F East Chatham Street in Cary and can be found online here.
  • Down in Apex, it was announced this week that Pei Wei will open their newest location at 1107 Pine Plaza Drive in Nichols Plaza on Monday, July 31. They currently have two locations in Raleigh and one in Cary. Check them out here.
  • And up in Wake Forest, the new Chronic Tacos location will hold their grand opening on Saturday, July 15th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. It is located at 1000 Forestville Road. Check out their website here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Triangle Business Journal reported this week that joining the Target that will open on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street on July 23rd, will be the dining options of B.Good (the fast-casual, locally-sourced, fresh food restaurant with a location in Morrisville and 2 locations in Raleigh) and Pizza Press (North Carolina’s first location of the California-based, make-your-own pizza chain). No word yet on either open date. Check out B.Good here and Pizza Press here.
  • In Durham, Hope Valley Brewing Company has rebranded itself as Hope Valley Bar & Grill. Along with that comes the hiring of general manager Justin Schilo who has plans to transform the space to become the “Cheers” of Durham. Check them out here. Keep up with the changes here.
  • Also in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill, Marco’s Pizza will have their grand opening on July 23 in the space in front of Harris Teeter where Fig & Honey used to be. From 1 – 4 pm they will have free pizza samples, DJ, face painting and other children’s activities. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • Colleague Glenn Gillen notified me that Amante Pizza on South Roxboro Street in Durham has closed.
  • Got word from reader Craig Zeni that the Dickey’s BBQ in Cary’s Crossroads shopping center has closed. It was confirmed by Yelp and that they are no longer listed on the site.

Food Trucks

  •  The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town on Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. Get all the details here.

Events

  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The 16th Annual Acme Tomato Festival is here this weekend – July 14th – 16th. It’s Acme’s yearly deep-fried, wide-eyed, rarified, and, oh yes, justified belly-flop into the outright deliciousness that is summer. Over the festival weekend in downtown Carrboro, they’ll go through some 700 pounds of tomatoes. And please don’t think for a moment that these are any old tomatoes. No way, José. These are the Carrboro Farmers Market’s finest. Get all the details here.
  • The Rickhouse will host Durham’s 3rd Annual PickleFest on Sunday, July 23 – a pickle-packed tasting event and market place showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi. Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips. Only 100 VIP tickets available for early bird entry at Noon! $15 VIP includes: (1) drink ticket, early entry and the thrilling announcement of the home pickler contest winner!! $5 General Admission Session 1 from 1 – 3pm; Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Check out the event on Facebook here.
  • The Second Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will take place on Thursday, July 27 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features twelve teams of Rise chefs partnered with a local brewery or beverage company. Each team will prepare a special biscuit and donut that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. With biscuits, donuts and beer, you can be sure this will sell-out fast. Get your tickets here.
  • This is my annual shout-out/reminder to my good buddy Tim CoyneSmith – tickets are on sale now to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival being held again this year at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater on July 28 and 29. Basically it is two days of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, and barbeque eatin’. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival go on sale tomorrow (July 15 – 10 a.m.). Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • 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 – July 7, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Bartaco, located next to the entrance to Silverspot in Chapel Hill’s University Place, announced yesterday that they are now open. Bartaco combines fresh, upscale street food – tacos and “not tacos” create an unforgettable experience with a coastal vibe in a relaxed environment. The outdoor space and feel is definitely inviting. Check them out on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The good folks over at ITB Insider reported this week that the Lake Boone shopping center location of Chubby Tacos (supposed to be known as Guacamaya Fresh Mex) is expanding in what is described as an “interior expansion and alteration.” Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Last week we told you about the opening of Caribbean Spice, a Caribbean restaurant that combines traditional island dishes with newer dishes, in Raleigh at 2822 New Birch Drive. WRAL reported this week that they will hold their grand opening celebration on Saturday, July 8th. Get all the details here.
  • The new Chronic Tacos location in Wake Forest will hold their grand opening on Saturday, July 15th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. It is located at 1000 Forestville Road. Check out their website here.
  • Reader Brittany Torrence told us that Full Bloom Coffee Roasters has opened in downtown Garner. They’ll serve caffeinated beverages, breakfast, lunch, and craft brews. This is their first full week open. Check them out here.
  • Also in Garner, got word that today, July 7, the newest Famous Toastery restaurant opens in the White Oak shopping center. The address is 52 Eagle Wing Way. Learn everything about Famous Toastery on their website here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Down in Chatham County, Bean & Barrel coffee shop in the Governors Village shopping center has changed their name to Flair Restaurant and Wine Bar. The restaurant is under new management/ownership with a focus on French-influenced American food from executive chef Robert Warren. Check out their website to get all the details.
  • Also in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill, Marco’s Pizza will have their grand opening on July 23 in the space in front of Harris Teeter where Fig & Honey used to be. From 1 – 4 pm they will have free pizza samples, DJ, face painting and other children’s activities. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • Got word from reader Amy Howard that Mr. Wonderful’s Chicken & Waffles on New Bern Ave. in Raleigh has closed.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported that the Carolina’s Best Steak & Subs shop, open in Cary’s Crossroads Plaza since 2008, is closing on July 15.
  • And it is now confirmed, Casa San Carlos in North Raleigh is closed. That is the bad news. The good news, you just have to travel to Wrightsville Beach to enjoy it again! Check them out here.

Food Trucks

  •  The News & Observer reported this week that The Farmery is moving its Airstream trailer and indoor farm from Research Triangle Park to Durham’s 326 Geer St., in the parking lot of a vacant building. It’s down the street from Motorco Music Hall and around the corner from Fullsteam Brewery. Pending inspection approvals, it is scheduled to open today, July 7. Keep up with the move on their website here.
  • The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town on Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. Get all the details here.

Events

  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: July 13: Sweet & Savory Cheese Dinner featuring Boxcarr Handmade Cheese; July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The 16th Annual Acme Tomato Festival is almost here – July 14th – 16th. It’s Acme’s yearly deep-fried, wide-eyed, rarified, and, oh yes, justified belly-flop into the outright deliciousness that is summer. Over the festival weekend, in downtown Carrboro, they’ll go through some 700 pounds of tomatoes. And please don’t think for a moment that these are any old tomatoes. No way, José. These are the Carrboro Farmers Market’s finest. Get all the details here.
  • The Rickhouse will host Durham’s 3rd Annual PickleFest on Sunday, July 23 – a pickle-packed tasting event and market place showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi. Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips. Only 100 VIP tickets available for early bird entry at Noon! $15 VIP includes: (1) drink ticket, early entry and the thrilling announcement of the home pickler contest winner!! $5 General Admission Session 1 from 1 – 3pm; Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Check out the event on Facebook here.
  • The Second Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will take place on Thursday, July 27 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features twelve teams of Rise chefs partnered with a local brewery or beverage company. Each team will prepare a special biscuit and donut that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. With biscuits, donuts and beer, you can be sure this will sell-out fast. Get your tickets here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • 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 – June 30, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • There is no bigger restaurant news this week than the passage of Senate Bill 155, aka the Brunch Bill, that will allow restaurants and establishments to serve alcohol on Sunday mornings. Kudos to Lynn Minges at the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association for her leadership. Now, come on Roy, FREE THE MIMOSAS!! It could happen as early as this Sunday! I’ll drink to that!

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that Cary’s newest dining option, Pro’s Epicurean Market & Cafe, opened this past Monday and is having a soft opening this week. They are located in the former Dorry’s Downtown Deli (and before that, The Food Factory) on East Chatham Street in the renovated Mid-Town Square shopping center. The menu features French and Italian influences: crepes, sandwiches, salads as well as fish, pasta, meat and chicken entrees. Check them out here.
  • WRAL is reporting that Growler USA is coming to Raleigh in the summer of 2017 to 314 South Blount Street in downtown. Growler started in Oregon and has become a craft beer pub with a pretty good menu to complement their beer. According to their website, they have a location in Charlotte with six total in North Carolina (including another in Durham) in the works. Check them out here.
  • The newly opened Cortez Seafood + Cocktail will hold their grand opening party this Saturday, July 1 with dollar oysters all night, featured ceviches, and guest DJ’s going until late. They are located on Glenwood South in the former Helio’s spot. All the details can be found on their Facebook page here.  
  • Learned this week that Marco Pollo, a Peruvian rotisserie chicken restaurant, has opened in Cary at 1871 Lake Pine Drive, just off Highway 64. Check out their menu and other details on their website here.
  • Last week we told you about the opening of Caribbean Spice, a Caribbean restaurant that combines traditional island dishes with newer dishes, in Raleigh at 2822 New Birch Drive. WRAL reported this week that they will hold their grand opening celebration on Saturday, July 8th. Get all the details here.  
  • The folks over at ITB Insider reported this week that Wayback Burger, a chain out of Delaware which now has six locations in North Carolina (including one in Durham), will open its newest location in Raleigh’s Plantation Square. No word yet on a timeline. Check them out here.
  • Got a note from reader Hugh Autry that Garner now has a Substation II in Garner Station at 1440 Garner Station Blvd. Substation II has 40 locations over six states. Check them out here.
  • Reader Evan Foster tipped us off to the fact that there is a Papa Murphy’s coming into the North Ridge Center in North Raleigh off Falls of the Neuse Road. No word yet on an open date. Check out Papa Murphy’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Got word this week that Pour Taproom has opened in downtown Durham’s Unscripted Hotel at 202 N. Corcoran Street. Pour Taproom is a pay-by-the-ounce taproom where you can pour your own drink from a selection of 60+ taps of the finest of craft brews, ciders and wines from the Triangle, and other awesome beer hubs far and wide. Check them out here.
  • Johanna Kramer announced this week that Alivia’s Durham Bistro will temporarily close after 10 years, allowing it to re-concept and reopen soon. Renovation will take place over the summer for a fall unveil. Probably the best place to keep up with the changes is on their Facebook page here.
  • And another re-concept out of Durham. WRAL reported this week that after four years of operating as a butcher and sweet shop, Rose’s Meats and Sweets will be changing direction. Owners announced Thursday via social media that the shop, located at 121 N Gregson St., will become a restaurant and bakery. Keep up with their changes here.
  • A quick shout-out and congratulations to the staff over at Kitchen in Chapel Hill on MLK Blvd. as they celebrate 7 years of service to the local community. It is a great little spot in Chapel Hill, tucked away in the same shopping center at Root Cellar Cafe and Lucha Tigre. Worth a visit. Congrats!

Closings

  • Reader Mike McKinney brought it to our attention that Golden Palace Dim Sum on Capital Boulevard has closed. No word on what led to their closing.
  • Got a note this week from reader Patrick Smith that the Bruegger’s location at North Hills has closed. While some are speculating it might become the 4th North Hills-area Starbucks, early rumors suggest it could become a Chipotle. Stay tuned.

Food Trucks

  •  The News & Observer reported this week that The Farmery is moving its Airstream trailer and indoor farm from Research Triangle Park to Durham’s 326 Geer St., in the parking lot of a vacant building. It’s down the street from Motorco Music Hall and around the corner from Fullsteam Brewery. Pending inspection approvals, it is scheduled to open July 7. Keep up with the move on their website here.
  • The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town on  Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. Get all the details here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back into full gear (Durham has one this Sunday!). Get all the details (including a list of participating trucks) for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: July 13: Sweet & Savory Cheese Dinner featuring Boxcarr Handmade Cheese; July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The Second Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will take place on Thursday, July 27 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features twelve teams of Rise chefs partnered with a local brewery or beverage company. Each team will prepare a special biscuit and donut that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. With biscuits, donuts and beer, you can be sure this will sell-out fast. Get your tickets here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Right now they are seeking chefs and food artisans to participate. June 20th is the deadline to submit your application. Do so 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 – June 23, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Saw on Facebook this week that Neomonde is venturing over into Durham. They announced this week that they will have a location in the Unscripted Hotel in downtown Durham at 202 N. Corcoran Street. Neomonde will occupy 3,000 square feet on the first floor of the building. Other first-floor tenants include Pour Taproom, which is expected to open soon, and the Jack Tar Diner, from the creators of Pizzeria Toro and Littler. Neomonde is expected to open later this fall, with early November as a target according to the News & Observer. Check out Neomonde here and Unscripted here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • So it appears as if the Flights Restaurant inside of the Renaissance Hotel at North Hills is no more. It has been replaced by a newly renovated space and a concept called 41Hundred (a play on their address of 4100 Main at North Hills Street) and headed up by chef Dean Thompson and his team. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Reader Stephanie Narron tipped us off to the fact that the Ibarra family has opened their latest venture – Fogata Brava Mexican Bar & Grill in North Raleigh in the Plantation Point shopping center. Fogata is owned by the Ibarra family, the folks behind Jose & Sons, LaRancherita, El Rodeo and the recently opened Cortez, among others. Check them out here.
  • Cary food news blog, FoodCary, reported this week that JuiceVibes is opening its first Cary location in Shoppes of Kildaire on July 17. JuiceVibes is located at 1369 Kildaire Farm Rd. Check them out here.
  • And got word that Caribbean Spice, a Caribbean restaurant that combines traditional island dishes with newer dishes, is opening this Saturday, June 24 at 2822 New Birch Drive in Raleigh. They will have samples, giveaways music and lots of fun. Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Durham, got word from Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City that Early Bird Donuts had their grand opening this past Tuesday. They are located on Erwin Road in Durham close to Black Twig Cider House and Nosh. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, friend Emily Martine was the first to tip me off to the fact that Al’s Burger Shack, a popular destination on Franklin Street, is opening a second location, this one in the former Captain Poncho’s location in Southern Village. Look for them to open at some point this summer. Check out Al’s here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, last week we told you we saw “Now Hiring” signs for Babalu Tapas & Tacos in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing shopping center. Well, the official word came out this week that they will open on Monday, July 24. Go ahead and get to know Babalu here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  •  A dozen food trucks will join the regular Holly Springs Farmers Market June 24 for the Park It in the Market Food Truck Rodeo. The rodeo is 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. across the street from Holly Springs Town Hall, 128 S. Main St., in the East Center Street Public Parking Lot. (The market starts at 8:30 a.m.) There also will be live music and children’s activities. Another food truck rodeo is scheduled Sept. 23. Get all the details here.
  • Cary’s Downtown Chowdown (formerly known as the Chatham Street Chowdown) is leaving its East Chatham Street home and moving to the refurbished Academy Street for its next rodeo from noon to 5:30 p.m. June 25. Head to Academy Street between Chatham Street and Dry Avenue and the new Downtown Park. The Cary rodeo features 30 trucks, beer and wine vendors along with live music and seating areas. Other upcoming rodeos are July 30 and Oct. 1, all from noon to 5:30 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town on  Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. Get all the details here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back into full gear (Durham has one this Sunday!). Get all the details (including a list of participating trucks) for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  • The city (or is it still a town?) of Cary is throwing a party and you are invited. They are celebrating the reopening/renovation of Academy Street this Saturday, June 24, from 4:30 to 9 p.m. The event will feature food trucks, live music, street performers, and a special dedication ceremony followed by a finale light show at the fountain. Get all the details here.
  • La Farm’s Lionel Vatinet will host his fifth annual Bread Bakers Guild of America Open House at La Farm Bakery in Cary on June 24th from 3pm to 5pm. La Farm will offer behind-the-scene tours of the bakery, followed by a bread shaping demo, and an opportunity to see the bakers scoring and loading breads into and out of the hearth oven. La Farm Bakery is located at 4248 NW Cary Parkway. Get all the details here.
  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: June 27: Summer Picnic featuring Durham Distillery; July 13: Sweet & Savory Cheese Dinner featuring Boxcarr Handmade Cheese; July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Right now they are seeking chefs and food artisans to participate. June 20th is the deadline to submit your application. Do so 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, 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 – June 16, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This week Morgan Street Food Hall & Market, which will be opening in late August in downtown Raleigh, announced seven new tenants including popular food truck and “Shark Tank” winner, Cousins Maine Lobster. Joining Cousins will be Carroll’s Kitchen (a Raleigh-based non-profit emphasizing culinary job skills for women), Makus Empanadas (true Argentinian empanadas based in Durham’s Hope Valley Commons); Raleigh Rolls (Thai ice cream rolls); Wicked Taco (popular with NC State students); Bella’s Wood Fired Pizza; and Morgan Street Java and Creperie. Previously announced tenants include: Raleigh Raw (fresh-pressed juices); Sasool (Lebanese and Mediterranean); Oak City Fish & Chips (local seafood); Cow Bar (specialty hamburgers); Ginger + Soy (Asian); Boba Brew (bubble teas) and City Sushi (inventive sushi). Morgan Street Food Hall & Market is a 22,000-sq. ft. culinary incubator in the heart of downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District, and will feature 60 + dining and retail stalls offering high-quality, chef-driven specialty foods with a wide range of diversity. Get all the latest details here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In Cary the big news this week was the announcement that Missy and Lionel Vatinet, owners of La Farm Bakery, opened the doors to their new production facility in downtown Cary at 220 West Chatham Street. I’m sure the sweet aroma of freshly baked bread is already filling the air in downtown Cary! Stop by today and pick up some of their fresh-out-of-the-oven offerings! Get all the details here.
  • Bocci Trattoria and Pizzeria, with locations already in Durham and Cary, will swing open their doors to their Hillsborough Street location in Raleigh on Monday, June 19th. Located at 2412 Hillsborough Street, right in the heart of the street across from campus. The restaurant features a “Valvano Room” – a nice nod to the former legendary NC State men’s basketball coach. Check out Bocci here.
  • Also on Hillsborough Street, we mentioned this a few weeks back, but the News & Observer confirmed that Smash Waffles, the popular Greenville-based waffle delivery service, has announced its first brick-and-mortar location in the Triangle will be across from NC State’s campus at 2304 Hillsborough St. They are looking to open this fall on the first floor of a new six-story building, a few doors down from Insomnia Cookies and Bruegger’s Bagels. Check them out here.
  • And it is official now. The Cortez Seafood & Cocktail is now open at 413 Glenwood Avenue in the former Helio’s spot. Congratulations to Charlie Ibarra and his team (including chef Oscar Diaz) on their latest venture. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • And just got word from one of our readers that Nancy’s Chicago Style Pizza is coming to the Brennan Station shopping center in North Raleigh in the spot formerly occupied by Oliver Twist and more recently Sardi’s Den. Get familiar with Nancy’s here.
  • Probably the most common “opening soon” question I get while I’m out and about is regarding the pending Wahlburger’s slated to open in downtown Raleigh. I reached out to them last week via Facebook and didn’t learn much other than they are “still coming” – but no hint as to a timeline. Best thing I can tell you is to follow them for any updates on their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Got word, saw signs and it was confirmed by the lovely and talented Lori Lennard that the Dunkin’ Donuts on East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is now open. It is located next to the Siena Hotel. And in true Chapel Hill fashion, it is without a drive-thru. Check them out here.
  • And just down from that in Eastgate Crossing things continue to progress. Noticed this week that the signs were up on the new Zoe’s Kitchen location (a complete remodel of the former Boston Market building). Also, saw a sign for a Clean Juice coming into the former TCBY spot. And Babalu Tapas & Tacos had “now hiring” signs up throughout the center – so not too long. And still waiting on the opening date for Guglhupf. Keep up with their developments here.
  • And over at University Place (formerly University Mall) we are within weeks of the opening of BarTaco. And let me be one of the first to say, this is going to be one cool hangout. I poked my head in yesterday and not only is the outdoor dining/drinking space incredibly welcoming, the inside is equally stunning. I might as well go ahead and open a pretty hefty tab there for me and Mayor CoyneSmith. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Durham, Twitter friend @BurgeoningBaker reports that Big C Waffles is moving into the former Dog House location near the intersection of Hwy. 54 and Hwy. 55 (2110 Allendown Dr) near Kokyu BBQ. No word yet on a timeline. Check out Big C here.
  • This is kind of cool. Got word this week that the owner of Benetis Athena Restaurant, located in Greenwood Commons shopping center in Durham, has allowed their waitstaff to open a Mexican pop-up restaurant during the evening hours. They make their own corn and flour tortillas and everything is local and freshly prepared. Tortas, fajitas, tacos, burritos and other items. Mediterranean and Greek for breakfast and lunch, Mexican for dinner! Check them out here.
  • The latest Chick-fil-A opened in Durham yesterday (June 15) in the former location of Spartacus restaurant. This new location replaces the drive-up only store that was located just behind the new location on University Drive. I’m still missing Spartacus! Check out Chick-fil-A here.

Closings

  • Got word from one of our readers that Springs Pizza & Wings in Holly Springs has closed. The site suggests there is a Sunset Lake Bistro coming in August. Stay tuned.
  • And just learned from a reader that the Serena’s location on Creedmoor Road in Raleigh has closed. They still have a location in RTP, and their site suggests a new location coming soon.

Food Trucks

  •  The Triangle Explorer (John Huisman) recently told us about the newest food truck (it is actually a trailer) to hit the streets of the Triangle – Waffles & Kahve. They serve up sweet and savory Turkish waffles and a smooth, rich Turkish coffee to go with. Sign me up! Check them out here.
  • A dozen food trucks will join the regular Holly Springs Farmers Market June 24 for the Park It in the Market Food Truck Rodeo. The rodeo is 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. across the street from Holly Springs Town Hall, 128 S. Main St., in the East Center Street Public Parking Lot. (The market starts at 8:30 a.m.) There also will be live music and children’s activities. Another food truck rodeo is scheduled Sept. 23. Get all the details here.
  • Cary’s Downtown Chowdown (formerly known as the Chatham Street Chowdown) is leaving its East Chatham Street home and moving to the refurbished Academy Street for its next rodeo from noon to 5:30 p.m. June 25. Head to Academy Street between Chatham Street and Dry Avenue and the new Downtown Park. The Cary rodeo features 30 trucks, beer and wine vendors along with live music and seating areas. Other upcoming rodeos are July 30 and Oct. 1, all from noon to 5:30 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back into full gear (Durham has one this Sunday!). Get all the details (including a list of participating trucks) for Durham here and for Raleigh here.
  • The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town on  Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. 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). The April 6th kick-off will feature live music. Get all the details and schedule here.

Events

  • WRAL reminded us that the sixth annual Bone Suckin’ Sauce Peak City Pig Fest will be held this weekend – June 16-17 – in historic downtown Apex. This barbecue competition features a food truck rodeo, samples, demonstrations, pig races, a rib eating contest between the Apex Police Department and the Apex Fire Department and more. Get all the details here.
  • The next Chefs for a Change dinner is coming up on June 19th. This dinner will feature chef/owner Seth Gross, chef Cece Lopez and chef Joe LaPorte from Pompieri Pizza and Bull City Burger and Brewery. Tickets are $75 and benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details (including future dinners on August 21, October 16th and December 8th) here.
  • La Farm’s Lionel Vatinet will host his fifth annual Bread Bakers Guild of America Open House at La Farm Bakery in Cary on June 24th from 3pm to 5pm. La Farm will offer behind-the-scene tours of the bakery, followed by a bread shaping demo, and an opportunity to see the bakers scoring and loading breads into and out of the hearth oven. La Farm Bakery is located at 4248 NW Cary Parkway. Get all the details here.
  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: June 27: Summer Picnic featuring Durham Distillery; July 13: Sweet & Savory Cheese Dinner featuring Boxcarr Handmade Cheese; July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Right now they are seeking chefs and food artisans to participate. June 20th is the deadline to submit your application. Do so 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, 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 – June 9, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Transfer Co. Olde East, a food hall, market, and gathering place in downtown’s historic Olde East neighborhood (in the former Carolina Coach garage and shop) announced their initial lineup of tenants this week. It will be located at 500 E. Davie Street. They include: Bolted Bread & Jubala Coffee; Angela Salamanca of Centro & Gallo Pelon; Videri Chocolate Factory; Locals Seafood with Person Street; Saxapahaw General Store; and Che Empanadas – with more to be announced. Keep up with the latest on their website here. Thanks David Amann!

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We told you about this back in February, but the News & Observer reported this week that Tasu Asian Bistro has opened its second location, bringing its popular sushi and Asian fusion concept to Cary’s Waverly Place. Tasu’s food, which centers around sushi, covers the full range of Asian cuisine. Their other location is in Brier Creek; and they also own Shiki Sushi in Durham. Check them out here.
  • Something is happening at San Carlos in North Raleigh’s Falls Pointe Shopping Center. What exactly it is isn’t completely clear at this point. What we do know for sure, they are opening a location in Morehead City. No word yet on an open date. As far as the Raleigh location, all we know for sure is they are remodeling – according to a sign on the door. However, their Facebook page has an updated address in Morehead City. We will try and stay on top of this and let you know as things unfold. Here is their Facebook page. Thanks to reader Stacie Creech for bringing this to our attention.
  • And our source for all things Raleigh, Ashton Mae Smith tweeted out this week that Moore Square’s Brewery Bhavana in downtown Raleigh is now open for lunch every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Check them out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, New Raleigh reported this week via their Twitter feed that The Remedy Diner is moving from their current location at 137 E. Hargett Street to the former P.G. Werth’s location at 927 W. Morgan Street. No word on a timeline. Check Remedy out here on their Facebook page.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Carrboro, got word from John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, that Gray Squirrel Coffee, currently located inside Yesteryear Brewery, is moving around the corner into the former Bella’s spot at 360 E. Main Street. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Reader Valerie Marino shared with us that the Dickey’s BBQ in New Hope Commons in Durham has closed due to a lease violation.

Food Trucks

  •  King’s Sandwich Shop, a staple  in downtown Durham’s Central Park neighborhood for the past 75 years, rolled out King’s “on wheels” recently in a remodeled Airstream trailer according to the News & Observer. The “food truck” will officially debut this Saturday, June 10th from noon to 8 p.m. adjacent to their shop. Get all the details here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back into full gear. Raleigh has one THIS weekend on Sunday, June 11 and Durham’s next one is a week later on June 18.  Get all the details (including a list of participating trucks) for Durham here and for Raleigh here.
  • A dozen food trucks will join the regular Holly Springs Farmers Market June 24 for the Park It in the Market Food Truck Rodeo. The rodeo is 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. across the street from Holly Springs Town Hall, 128 S. Main St., in the East Center Street Public Parking Lot. (The market starts at 8:30 a.m.) There also will be live music and children’s activities. Another food truck rodeo is scheduled Sept. 23. Get all the details here.
  • Cary’s Downtown Chowdown (formerly known as the Chatham Street Chowdown) is leaving its East Chatham Street home and moving to the refurbished Academy Street for its next rodeo from noon to 5:30 p.m. June 25. Head to Academy Street between Chatham Street and Dry Avenue and the new Downtown Park. The Cary rodeo features 30 trucks, beer and wine vendors along with live music and seating areas. Other upcoming rodeos are July 30 and Oct. 1, all from noon to 5:30 p.m. Get all the details here.

Events

  • Triangle Restaurant Week concludes this weekend, ending on June 11. So there is still time to get out and enjoy the restaurants featuring 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 THIS 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 registration for the race at this point is at Fleet Feet tonight or prior to the race tomorrow morning (cash and check only at this point). Kudos Meredith! Here are additional details on the race.
  • The next Chefs for a Change dinner is coming up on June 19th. This dinner will feature chef/owner Seth Gross, chef Cece Lopez and chef Joe LaPorte from Pompieri Pizza and Bull City Burger and Brewery. Tickets are $75 and benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details (including future dinners on August 21, October 16th and December 8th) here.
  • La Farm’s Lionel Vatinet will host his fifth annual Bread Bakers Guild of America Open House at La Farm Bakery in Cary on June 24th from 3pm to 5pm. La Farm will offer behind-the-scene tours of the bakery, followed by a bread shaping demo, and an opportunity to see the bakers scoring and loading breads into and out of the hearth oven. La Farm Bakery is located at 4248 NW Cary Parkway. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Right now they are seeking chefs and food artisans to participate. June 20th is the deadline to submit your application. Do so 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, 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 – June 2, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Every year, on the first Friday in June (that is TODAY!), doughnut shops around the country take part in National Doughnut Day. Quite honestly, it should be a national holiday. Sadly, it isn’t. Fortunately the News & Observer has pulled together a roundup of deals at Triangle doughnut shops. Be prepared for crowds. Here’s the list.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Closures, improvements and updates seem to be the “norm” along Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street. So it is with H-Street Kitchen as they recently closed for the summer allowing for them to “execute some changes.” They were short on details, but plan to re-open when the students return in the fall. Stay tuned as we will be watching for their re-opening and what “H-Street 2.0” will  bring. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Saw on Facebook that The Cortez Seafood & Cocktail, slated to open 413 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh in the former Cafe Helios spot, is closer to becoming a reality. They recently secured their health permit and are awaiting their liquor license. So….getting close. In the meantime, keep up with their progress and pending opening on their Facebook page here. Congratulations to Charlie Ibarra, chef Oscar Diaz and their entire team.
  • Reader Russ O’Melia noticed a Domino’s “coming soon” sign in a window in downtown Raleigh in the Edison Lofts building at 109 Davie Street next to Amorino. Check out Domino’s here.
  • Over in Apex, reader Chris Graham brought it to our attention that Glory Days Grill is coming to the Publix Point shopping center at 1413 Kelly Road. This will be the first North Carolina location for the chain which has locations all over Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Florida. Glory Days is a sports themed American Grill. Get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The folks over at Bites of Bull City notified us that acclaimed baker and pastry chef Phoebe Lawless opened her first full-service restaurant and bar, The Lakewood, on May 25. It is located in the former Davis Baking Co. building on Chapel Hill Road in the Tuscaloosa-Lakewood neighborhood. But she’s not slowing down. Next up, the second location of Scratch Bakery sometime in early July. Check out The Lakewood here and the second location of Scratch here.
  • The News & Observer reported that the Glass Jug bottle shop will become the Glass Jug Beer Lab this fall, with an on-site brewery, outdoor beer garden and expanded event space.The Glass Jug, which opened in September 2014 in Greenwood Commons shopping center on N.C. 55, will reopen in a new space a few doors down. The new 2,940-square foot space has a grassy backyard that will be used for outdoor seating and food trucks. Owners Katy and Chris Creech said they hope to open by September. They will close for a few weeks in late summer to accommodate the move, but a date hasn’t been set. Check them out here.
  • Also in Durham, Namu Restaurant and Coffee Bar, the collaborative effort between Bulkogi Truck & Bo’s Kitchen, is getting close to opening at 5420 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. Facebook pictures this week showed finishing touches on the interior. Keep up with the latest on their Facebook page here.
  • We first told you about this back in October, but reader Jimmy Poole brought it to our attention that Built Custom Burger has opened in the food court at the Streets at Southpoint mall. The west-coast chain has another location under construction in Alston Place on Highway 55 in Cary. It’s like a Chipotle-type burger restaurant where you go down the line and order what you want for toppings as they cook the burger. Check them out here.
  • There is a little bit more room to enjoy a great cup of coffee in Chapel Hill thanks to the recent expansion of Coco Bean located at East 54 near Tobacco Road Cafe. They expanded into the space next door adding a comfy couch, tons more tables and plenty of outlets to plug-in to. Check them out here.
  • Marco’s Pizza is opening in the former Fig & Honey (and before that, Starbucks) location in Chatham County just outside of Chapel Hill on 15-501. The signs are up, but no word on an opening date. Check out Marco’s here.

Closings

  • Renee Luongo shared with us that NY Pizza in North Raleigh’s Falls Village shopping center closed.

Food Trucks

  • The big food truck news this week comes from Mattie Beason (think Mattie B’s and Black Twig Cider House) and his business partners who are building a “barn” called County Fare at 1920 Chapel Hill Road. The News & Observer noted that the concept will feature four food trucks parked next to the 150-seat barn with 200 additional outdoor seats. Basically a daily mini-food-truck rodeo. Beer, wine and cider, along with kid-friendly grub, will also be served.  Look for the project to be completed sometime between mid-fall and the end of the year. Get all the details here.
  • There will be a food truck rodeo over at Five Points in Raleigh to raise money for the new Kiwanis Park. It will take place on June 4th at Kiwanis Park (2525 Noble Road). The event is free, kid-friendly and open to the public. Get all the details here. Thanks to Jennifer Schrage for the heads up on this fun event.
  • 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

  •  The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic weekend is upon us, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village. It will celebrate the 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, click 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.
  • The pop-up dinners hosted by the Raleigh Food Corridor celebrating local food and community in Raleigh continue on June 7th and 8th. These are small, intimate dinners and seats are limited. The June 7th dinner will be prepared by chefs Angela Salamanca of Centro and Ryan McGuire of the Chefs Academy. The dinner on the 8th will feature chef Patrick Cowden of Green Planet Catering and a five-course vegan dinner at Pharmacy Cafe. Get details and tickets now to both dinners by clicking 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!
  • The next Chefs for a Change dinner is coming up on June 19th. This dinner will feature chef/owner Seth Gross, chef Cece Lopez and chef Joe LaPorte from Pompieri Pizza and Bull City Burger and Brewery. Tickets are $75 and benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details (including future dinners on August 21, October 16th and December 8th) here.
  • La Farm’s Lionel Vatinet will host his fifth annual Bread Bakers Guild of America Open House at La Farm Bakery in Cary on June 24th from 3pm to 5pm. La Farm will offer behind-the-scene tours of the bakery, followed by a bread shaping demo, and an opportunity to see the bakers scoring and loading breads into and out of the hearth oven. La Farm Bakery is located at 4248 NW Cary Parkway. Get 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!
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “Peoples’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.

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 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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