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Friday Fun Food Facts – June 1, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  David Sadeghi could be at the heyday of his quite successful restaurant career. He just announced three new additions to the Triangle dining scene. First up is the announcement that he will open two more Town Hall Burger & Beer locations – one in Holly Springs at Sunset Commons due to open in late October/early November; and one in North Raleigh at 13100 Falls of the Neuse Road, slated to open in April. These two will join his other two THB&B locations in Durham and Chatham County. Check out Town Hall Burger & Beer here. Thanks to John Conway for the heads up on this!
  • Also announced was Sadeghi’s newest concept which is also very close to his heart – the opening of a very distinctive coffee shop called People’s in south Durham adjacent to his Durham location of Town Hall Burger & Beer (near Bonefish on 751). The shop will feature coffee (from Black & White Coffee Roasters), smoothies and juices (from his son’s Cold Off the Press) and a unique breakfast menu. Bringing all kinds of people together will be the motivation behind this warm and inviting space. Look for People’s to open in August (at the latest, likely sooner). Stay tuned for more.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • For 88 years downtown Raleigh’s Mecca Restaurant has been run by different members of the Doumbalis family, beginning with Nicolaos Doumbalis and his wife Helen. Just this week, the legendary restaurant was sold to Greg Hatem and will become part of the Empire Eats family (Gravy, Sitti, The Pit Raleigh, The Pit Durham, The Raleigh Times, and The Morning Times). Hatem is a long-time friend of the Doumbalis family and has vowed, after some needed updates, to keep things pretty much the same. Congrats on a successful transition of a downtown institution! Keep up with Mecca here.
  • The ITB Insider is reporting this week that a new bakery called Flake & Crumb will soon open on Gavin Street, not far from Neuse River Brewing Company and Nickelpoint Brewing Company. Few details are available at this point, but permits were just issued for upfitting the space. We will keep an eye on this.
  • Over in Cary, reader Chris Creighton informed us that the Buffalo Brothers has now officially opened on Kildaire Farm Road in Saltbox Village. Check them out here.
  • Down in Holly Springs things are starting to come to life with the town’s new development on Main Street called Town Hall Commons. A few tenants have been announced including Osha Thai Kitchen & Sushi. Osha, meaning “tasty” or “delicious” in Thai, focuses on authentic Thai cuisine prepared with fresh ingredients to create well-balanced dishes bursting with flavor. Osha will also offer a Sushi bar and separate liquor bar, both with full menu ordering capability. Get more details here in this article.
  • Also in Town Hall Commons will be Shoes & Brews…that serves up, well, running shoes and craft beer. Now, if that doesn’t get you running, I don’t know what will. Keep up with them on their Facebook page here. Thanks to Scott Eaton for the tip on the happenings at Town Hall Commons.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • WRAL’s Sarah Krueger sent out a tweet announcing that Thai @ Main Street (in the former Dame’s Chicken and Waffles space) has opened in downtown Durham. Congrats to chef/owner Jay Aparoj who also owns Bangkok 54 in Chapel Hill. Thai @ Main Street will serve the dishes of central Thailand, focusing on the flavors of Bangkok, where Aparoj grew up. And stay tuned, apparently there is a third concept in the works. In the meantime, check out Thai @ Main Street here.
  • And Durham foodie Johanna Kramer let folks know that Dimsum Asian Bistro has opened on Hwy. 55, not far from the intersection with Hwy. 54 (5410 NC Highway 55 Ste Y, to be exact), in the Greenwood Commons shopping center. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Reader Loren Watterson let us know that the Chapel Hill location of Noodles & Company on Franklin Street is no more. But don’t fret, they still have 7 locations throughout the Triangle.

Food Trucks

  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • It is here. Today. June 1 is National Donut Day. You know what to do. What to look for. Go. Get. Donuts! Enough said.
  • The 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events and the fun begins with the first event this weekend, June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • Also on June 3rd, PORCH, an all-volunteer, grassroots nonprofit organization that distributes food to hundreds of at-risk families in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, will host its first-ever PORCHfest from 5-8pm on the Lawn at Southern Village. The free event will feature rhythm-and-blues band Too Much Fun, along with goodies available from Al’s Burger Shack, Maple View Farms, and Carolina Brewery, as well as several Southern Village-located businesses including Pazzo – with proceeds benefiting PORCH’s fresh food program. Get all the details here.
  • Next week beginning on June 4th and running through June 11th sees the return of the bi-annual Triangle Restaurant Week. During the week, participating restaurants within Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham and surrounding areas will offer a special, 3-course prix fixe lunch menu ($10 or $15) and/or 3-course prix fixe dinner menu ($20, $25, $30 or $35) each day they are open. It is a great opportunity to check out new restaurants that you might not have tried yet. Get all the details on their website here.
  • On June 11th, Mandolin chef Sean Fowler welcomes author Debbie Moose, an award-winning journalist and author of many cookbooks, for a dinner celebrating the debut of her newest book, “Carolina Catch,” a 96-recipe cookbook highlighting North Carolina seafood. Joining Fowler for this summer celebration of NC seafood and NC beer are Ryan Speckman and Lin Peterson from Locals Seafood Market & Oyster Bar, Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood, Nate Garyantes of Mateo bar de tapas, and Jake Wood of 18 Seaboard for a 5-course, beer-paired dinner featuring seasonal beers from Bond Brothers Beer Company, Fullsteam Brewery, Brewery Bhavana and more. Guests will hear from author Debbie Moose as well as from the talented chefs, organizations and brewers, and may purchase signed books at the dinner. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit NC Catch, the organization committed to strengthening the state’s seafood economy through promotion and education. Tickets for the $75 dinner may be purchased here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • And finally, listen up chefs! The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. It’s a culinary competition open to chefs (savory and pastry) across the state. There are two regional semi-finalist rounds remaining (Hickory June 4 and Raleigh, June 25) that will result in a final competition on Monday, Aug 27 in Charlotte. The final event is in conjunction with the first night of the industry’s Restaurant & Hotel Expo. Get all the information you need here.

Food Bank Corner

  • As a part of the Stop Summer Hunger initiative, generous friends of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina will match every gift – dollar for dollar. Please help them reach their matching goal of $135,000. For every $20 you give, the Food Bank can provide 200 meals! Make your donation here!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 25, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Who doesn’t like big trophies – the bigger the better, right? Such is the case with the news this week that the Morgan Street location of Trophy Brewing Co. will build a new brewing system that focuses on expanding its sour and barrel-aged program while also adding more outdoor seats along the front of the building. Congrats to David Meeker, Chris Powers and David “Woody” Lockwood on their continued success. Keep up with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Over in Cary, the News & Observer reported this week that after months of selling bagels, biscuits and doughnuts at pop-ups on weekends, the owners of downtown Cary’s Pizzeria Faulisi, Amber and Zach Faulisi, will open Big Dom’s Bagel Shop in the recently closed Little Caesar’s pizza spot out in front of Pizzeria Faulisi. They signed a lease this week. They are aiming to open in 2018 and will also be using the drive-thru window to dole out the breakfast goods. Keep up with their progress here.
  • We told you about this last October, but it was recently announced that next month will see the opening of Viva in the former McAlister’s Deli location in North Hills. With multiple locations in and around Charlotte, this will be the first Triangle-area location for the rotisserie joint that specializes in pollo a la brasa. Get to know them here.
  • In coffee news, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared via Twitter that Benelux will soon open another location in downtown Raleigh. They currently have a location in Cameron Village as well as in the Alexander Family YMCA on Hillsborough Street. No word yet on the exact location or the timing. Stay tuned. Check them out here.
  • Got word from the folks over at North Hills that Raleigh’s sixth location of Chipotle will open this fall in the Lassiter District, between Panera Bread and Verizon Wireless. Check out Chipotle here.
  • Up in North Raleigh, reader Paul Prause notified us that Jasmin & Olivz Mediterranean restaurant will open another location in the old NY Pizza spot in Falls Village next to Tropical Smoothie and Smashburger (6679 Falls of Neuse Road to be exact). This will be their 7th Triangle-area location. No word yet on an open date. Get familiar with them here.
  • In Morrisville, Peppers’ owners Jess and Missy Fowler announced that as of June 1st their long time general manager Rebekah Rhodes will be assuming her new role as the owner of Peppers. There is no doubt the 9-year-old sandwich shop is in great hands having personally worked with Rebekah for many years! Stop by to wish Jess and Missy well in their next chapter as they will be around for a bit longer to help with the transition. Check out Peppers here.
  • Earlier this month Will Pettis, owner of The Kitchen Archive, a commercial kitchen where business owners in the food and beverage industry can rent shared or private kitchen spaces, has opened a second location in Raleigh (the first one is in Durham and has a waitlist). Raleigh is larger and already has 17 tenants, with room for about 40 more. Check them out here.
  • And down in Fuquay-Varina buddy David McCreary notified me that Abbey Road Bar & Grill plans to open it’s third Triangle location. The newest Abbey Road will be located at 7711 N. Main Street in Fuquay-Varina in the former Cooley’s Restaurant & Pub spot. No word yet on a timeline. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Amber Watson at Bites of Bull City reported this week that the vacant warehouses and garages on Geer and Foster Street will fill quickly this summer with the announcement that Hutchins Garage, a full-service bar serving Grandma-style pizza, salads, and sandwiches, will be moving in. Keep up with their progress on Facebook here.
  • A brief update, as we haven’t heard much regarding the newest location of Neomonde in Durham. We reached out to them this week and learned that after a few construction delays, they are moving along and planning to open next month. Stay up with the latest on their Facebook page here.
  • Over on Duke’s campus, the JB Duke Hotel announced a new executive chef this week – Troy Stauffer, who has served the past three years as the sous chef as sister property, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club. Prior to that he was executive chef over at City Club Raleigh. Visit JB Duke Hotel here.
  • And we cannot go without paying our respect to an amazing woman and leader in the industry that we lost this week. Our prayers are with the family and friends of Mildred Council, aka Mama Dip. She was 89. She opened Mama Dips in 1976. Services are this Sunday.

Closings

  • Reader Dave Scocca reported that Spice and Curry, near the intersection of Highways 54 and 55 in Durham, has closed.
  • And the folks over at EatRaleigh reported that the Freshii on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh has a sign stating it’s permanently closed.

Food Trucks

  • NC Sugar Rush. Sign me up! Seriously, check this out. Its Raleigh’s first all-dessert food truck rodeo, taking place Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 27th from 1-5pm in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. More than 20 local dessert vendors will be there to serve you. Come and enjoy a dessert bouquet like no other featuring ice cream, Italian ice, pies, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecake, popcorn, cotton candy, beignets, donuts and much more. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • June 1 is National Donut Day. You know what to do. What to look for. Be prepared. Plan accordingly. Enough said.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • Also on June 3rd, PORCH, an all-volunteer, grassroots nonprofit organization that distributes food to hundreds of at-risk families in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, will host its first-ever PORCHfest from 5-8pm on the Lawn at Southern Village. The free event will feature rhythm-and-blues band Too Much Fun, along with goodies available from Al’s Burger Shack, Maple View Farms, and Carolina Brewery, as well as several Southern Village-located businesses including Pazzo – with proceeds benefiting PORCH’s fresh food program. Get all the details here.
  • On June 11th, Mandolin chef Sean Fowler welcomes author Debbie Moose, an award-winning journalist and author of many cookbooks, for a dinner celebrating the debut of her newest book, “Carolina Catch,” a 96-recipe cookbook highlighting North Carolina seafood. Joining Fowler for this summer celebration of NC seafood and NC beer are Ryan Speckman and Lin Peterson from Locals Seafood Market & Oyster Bar, Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood, Nate Garyantes of Mateo bar de tapas, and Jake Wood of 18 Seaboard for a 5-course, beer-paired dinner featuring seasonal beers from Bond Brothers Beer Company, Fullsteam Brewery, Brewery Bhavana and more. Guests will hear from author Debbie Moose as well as from the talented chefs, organizations and brewers, and may purchase signed books at the dinner. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit NC Catch, the organization committed to strengthening the state’s seafood economy through promotion and education. Tickets for the $75 dinner may be purchased here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • And finally, listen up chefs! The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. It’s a culinary competition open to chefs (savory and pastry) across the state. There are three regional semi-finalist rounds (New Bern May 22, Hickory June 4 and Raleigh, June 25) that will result in a final competition on Monday, Aug 27 in Charlotte. The final event is in conjunction with the first night of the industry’s Restaurant & Hotel Expo. Chefs can apply to compete now – May 9. Get all the information you need here.

Food Bank Corner

  • May is Older Americans Month. Although food insecurity affects people of all ages, seniors are particularly vulnerable. The folks at the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina know that reaching seniors with nutritious, dependable sources of food leads to amazing outcomes for families and communities. They have a fresh video here, as well as a blog post here that highlights how they are working to solve senior hunger. #SolveSeniorHunger

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 18, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • NC Sugar Rush. Got your attention? Sign me up! Seriously, check this out. Its Raleigh’s first all-dessert food truck rodeo, taking place Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 27th from 1-5pm in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. More than 20 local dessert vendors will be there to serve you. Enjoy a dessert bouquet like no other featuring ice cream, Italian ice, pies, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecake, popcorn, cotton candy, beignets, donuts and much more. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • This is something that will make you happy. We first told you about this back in April, 2017, but got word this week that Happy + Hale will open on June 5 in North Hills at the new Park Central apartment tower building. They are known for their fresh juice, salads and smoothies. This will be their third Triangle-area location (downtown Raleigh and Ninth Street in Durham). Check them out here.
  • And this will make many in North Raleigh (and around the Triangle) sad. Reader Alice Avery brought it to our attention that Las Margaritas in the Six Forks Station shopping center had posted on their Facebook page that “after 25 years of proudly serving our loyal patrons, Las Margaritas is looking for a new owner.” It goes on to suggest that their last day is June 30. So you have two choices: get by before June 30…or buy it! Check them out here.
  • We first told you about this in January, but Sam Ruby updated us that Cocula Mexican Restaurant, that replaced the Tripps at Garner Station, is now open at 1428 Garner Station Blvd., just south of downtown Raleigh. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • And finally an overdue shout out to my friends over at Ole Time BBQ on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street (on the way into Cary). They just celebrated 25 years of serving up some of the area’s best que. Congrats to Jerry and Charlotte and the entire team! Check out OTB here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Reader Abhijeet Chaudhari notified us that a new Indian restaurant called Thali has opened in Durham/RTP at 5311 S. Miami Blvd. in Durham. Apparently they opened back on May 4th. Get familiar with them here
  • And beer is food, amirite? Well, House of Hops has announced May (likely the very end of May) for the opening of their next location, this one in Chatham Park in Pittsoboro – right next to The Root Cellar and sharing an outside eating/drinking patio/space. This will be a great place to unwind in the evening. Get familiar with them here. Thanks to Neha Shah with the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention and Visitors Bureau for that update.

Closings

  • This is a hard one to write, especially for someone born and bred here in Raleigh. The Baskins-Robbins ice cream shop in Cameron Village closed this past Wednesday, after serving up scoops for over 50 years!
  • One of our readers, Kari, pointed out that the Cary location of Macaroni Grill has closed (apparently back in January). A quick search indicates there is only one Macaroni Grill left in the Triangle (Triangle Towne Center). And only one of two in the entire state.

Food Trucks

  • The RDU Mobile Food Association announced that the Carrboro Food Fest is THIS Sunday, May 20th at the Carrboro’s Farmer’s Market and will feature at least 10 food trucks, music and family fun from 12-4 p.m. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • NC Sugar Rush. Sign me up! Seriously, check this out. Its Raleigh’s first all-dessert food truck rodeo, taking place Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 27th from 1-5pm in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. More than 20 local dessert vendors will be there to serve you. Come and enjoy a dessert bouquet like no other featuring ice cream, Italian ice, pies, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecake, popcorn, cotton candy, beignets, donuts and much more. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • This weekend, May 18-20th, will welcome the 2018 version of the Got To Be NC Festival at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. The annual event is sort of a mini N.C. State Fair with rides, animals, N.C. food and beverages, demonstrations, games and more. But here’s the great part about it: It’s free! There is no fee for either parking or admission. Get all the details here. 
  • Beer and Bacon Fest. May 19th. Cary. Not much else needs to be said. Check it out here.
  • Also on May 19th is the Durham Blues & Brews Festival. What started as a rockin’ good time has become a Durham tradition, filled with music, food, and outstanding craft beer! This isn’t a Beer Fest with music, or a Blues Fest with beer. It’s a new type of event offering great Blues music and only North Carolina craft beers. The brewers will be on site to tell you about their breweries and beers. Serving full 12 oz. pours for you to enjoy while learning about their beers, and listening to great blues bands. Proceeds from the festival benefit local Durham charities and programs, including the Exchange Family Center, a Durham-based non-profit agency dedicated to preventing child abuse. Get all the details and tickets here. Use code “TFB5” to get $5 off!
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • Also on June 3rd, PORCH, an all-volunteer, grassroots nonprofit organization that distributes food to hundreds of at-risk families in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, will host its first-ever PORCHfest from 5-8pm on the Lawn at Southern Village. The free event will feature rhythm-and-blues band Too Much Fun, along with goodies available from Al’s Burger Shack, Maple View Farms, and Carolina Brewery, as well as several Southern Village-located businesses including Pazzo – with proceeds benefiting PORCH’s fresh food program. Get all the details here.
  • On June 11th, Mandolin chef Sean Fowler welcomes author Debbie Moose, an award-winning journalist and author of many cookbooks, for a dinner celebrating the debut of her newest book, “Carolina Catch,” a 96-recipe cookbook highlighting North Carolina seafood. Joining Fowler for this summer celebration of NC seafood and NC beer are Ryan Speckman and Lin Peterson from Locals Seafood Market & Oyster Bar, Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood, Nate Garyantes of Mateo bar de tapas, and Jake Wood of 18 Seaboard for a 5-course, beer-paired dinner featuring seasonal beers from Bond Brothers Beer Company, Fullsteam Brewery, Brewery Bhavana and more. Guests will hear from author Debbie Moose as well as from the talented chefs, organizations and brewers, and may purchase signed books at the dinner. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit NC Catch, the organization committed to strengthening the state’s seafood economy through promotion and education. Tickets for the $75 dinner may be purchased here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • And finally, listen up chefs! The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. It’s a culinary competition open to chefs (savory and pastry) across the state. There are three regional semi-finalist rounds (New Bern May 22, Hickory June 4 and Raleigh, June 25) that will result in a final competition on Monday, Aug 27 in Charlotte. The final event is in conjunction with the first night of the industry’s Restaurant & Hotel Expo. Chefs can apply to compete now – May 9. Get all the information you need here.

Food Bank Corner

  • May is Older Americans Month. Although food insecurity affects people of all ages, seniors are particularly vulnerable. The folks at the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina know that reaching seniors with nutritious, dependable sources of food leads to amazing outcomes for families and communities. They have a fresh video here, as well as a blog post here that highlights how they are working to solve senior hunger. #SolveSeniorHunger

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 11, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, brought it to our attention that LaStella Wood Fired on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh has closed, but has plans to open in August in Cary in the former Hurricane Grill & Wings spot in the Shoppes at Kildaire (corner of Kildaire Farm Road and Cary Parkway) out in front of Trader Joe’s. Fayetteville Street’s La Stella remains open. Keep up with their move here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saw in the ITB Insider that Lynnwood Brewing Concern, which operates a grill and taproom in North Raleigh and a brewery and bar at Dock 1053 on East Whitaker Mill Road, will soon add a new restaurant to Dock 1053. Wilson’s, named after Lynnwood’s owner’s dog, will focus on “flatbread pizzas and crafted sandwiches” and will feature “several house-made sodas & mixers” in their craft cocktails. Wilson’s is set to open in late August. Hart Roberts provided the initial write-up. Keep up with Lynwood Grill & Brewing Concern here.
  • Reader Jeanette Hauser brought it to our attention that Peking Duck & Dumplings has opened on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street near the intersection with Dan Allen Drive in the 2811 building. Apparently they are in the space that used to house Pho Vietnam. Check them out here.
  • In Raleigh, blogger Eat Raleigh reported that Seoul 116 Korean Kitchen & Bar, City Market Sushi’s sister restaurant, has opened in the former More. Kitchen & Wine Bar space at 116 N West St. Get familiar with them on Facebook here.
  • Saw in a tweet from John Huisman that Caretta Coffee is coming to North Raleigh next to The Hop Yard in the Falls River Town Center at 1141 Falls River Avenue. They will be serving up coffee, breakfast and lunch frittatas, fresh baked goods, smash toast and smoothies. Their original location is in Hilton Head. They are looking to open this month. Get all the details here.
  • Also in Raleigh, the News & Observer reported that a sports and hookah bar is taking over the former Hillsborough Street Applebee’s across the street from Meredith College. TLC Wings and Grill, formerly on West Peace Street, is making the cross-town move. Owners say they want the bigger space and higher traffic spot and are shooting for a May 15 opening. The new TLC will seat 200 in the dining room and feature a dozen TVs, plus a patio for smoking hookah.  Check them out here.
  • And over in Cary, reader Nancy Parker learned upon a recent visit to Paisan’s Italian Restaurant at the corner of NW Maynard and High House that they are transforming into Northern Indian / Himalayan cuisine at the end of this month. Their website is currently down. But we will keep an eye on this one. Thanks Nancy!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The burger news out of Chapel Hill keeps getting better and better. Got word this week that Greensboro’s Hops Burger Bar has opened in the 140 West Building where Lime Fresh Mexican Grill once was on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street. Burger aficionados may recall that Hops was ranked as the nation’s top burger restaurant in 2015 by TripAdvisor and was No. 17 earlier this year on Business Insiders’ top 50 list. Get familiar with them here. Or visit their Facebook page here. Thanks to Melissa Boyce for the heads up on the opening.
  • The folks over at Taste Carolina notified us that Cha House has opened on Chapel Hill’s West Franklin Street between The Crunkleton and Mellow Mushroom. Looks to be an Asian-inspired tea house, influenced by the tastes and traditions of Taiwan along with desserts. Get to know them on Facebook here.

Closings

  • Another loss on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street. The News & Observer reported that the R&R Grill is closing this Sunday, May 13 on Mother’s Day. The restaurant is tucked in the back of CVS Plaza.
  • Amy Woodring brought it to our attention that Cantina 225 in Apex has closed.
  • And fans of Mr. Sticky Buns food truck up on Capital Blvd. in North Raleigh will be sad to learn that they have closed up shop. Apparently you can still order buns to be shipped. Thanks to Rebecca Calhoun for bringing this to our attention.

Food Trucks

  • The RDU Mobile Food Association announced that the Carrboro Food Fest is set for Sunday, May 20th at the Carrboro’s Farmer’s Market and will feature at least 10 food trucks, music and family fun from 12-4 p.m. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • This Saturday, May 12 from 12 noon until 6 p.m., you can show your NC pride by going to the Triangle Craft Beer Fest – highlighting over 30+ of your favorite local breweries in one spot. Each brewery will be pouring a special one-off beer you won’t be able to get anywhere else! Perfect for craft beer lovers in North Carolina! Enjoy live music, chow down with food trucks and shop local vendors! Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The weekend of May 18-20th will welcome the 2018 version of the Got To Be NC Festival at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. The annual event is sort of a mini N.C. State Fair with rides, animals, N.C. food and beverages, demonstrations, games and more. But here’s the great part about it: It’s free! There is no fee for either parking or admission. Get all the details here. 
  • Beer and Bacon Fest. May 19th. Cary. Not much else needs to be said. Check it out here.
  • Also on May 19th is the Durham Blues & Brews Festival. What started as a rockin’ good time has become a Durham tradition, filled with music, food, and outstanding craft beer! This isn’t a Beer Fest with music, or a Blues Fest with beer. It’s a new type of event offering great Blues music and only North Carolina craft beers. The brewers will be on site to tell you about their breweries and beers. Serving full 12 oz. pours for you to enjoy while learning about their beers, and listening to great blues bands. Proceeds from the festival benefit local Durham charities and programs, including the Exchange Family Center, a Durham-based non-profit agency dedicated to preventing child abuse. Get all the details and tickets here. Use code “TFB5” to get $5 off!
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • And finally, listen up chefs! The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. It’s a culinary competition open to chefs (savory and pastry) across the state. There are three regional semi-finalist rounds (New Bern May 22, Hickory June 4 and Raleigh, June 25) that will result in a final competition on Monday, Aug 27 in Charlotte. The final event is in conjunction with the first night of the industry’s Restaurant & Hotel Expo. Chefs can apply to compete now – May 9. Get all the information you need here.

Food Bank Corner

  • THIS Saturday, May 12th, is “Stamp Out Hunger” where you can place nonperishable food donations in a bag by your mailbox and your letter carrier will take care of the rest. Get all the details here. Don’t want to leave food out? You can still help the cause by donating via our Virtual Food Drive. Get details on that here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 4, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Such great news! Al and Melody Bowers of Al’s Burger Shack and Mel’s Commissary & Catering announced this week that they are opening a neighborhood pub in Chatham County’s Governors Village this summer. Al’s Pub Shack will feature its own spin on traditional pub fare with beer, wine and a full bar in a comfortable, family-friendly space. Al’s Pub Shack will open this summer at 50050 Governors Village in Chapel Hill. Keep up with their progress on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh, it appears as if the Wahlburger’s, located in the former Oxford space, is finally open. According to the N&O they were holding a soft opening for a better part of this past week, with plans for a full opening by week’s end (i.e. now). Now that they are finally open, you can get familiar with them here.
  • We now have a date for the opening of Hi-Poke in Morrisville thanks to a note we received from Yuling Wang. It will be the first Poke restaurant in Morrisville and they are committed to serving healthy, fresh, comfort foods. Hi-Poke will offer both poke-bowls and salads, along with fruit smoothies and milk tea. The restaurant is located in Park Place Shopping Center in Morrisville. Get to know them here.
  • Also in Morrisville, this Saturday, May 5th is the grand opening of the second location of ZenFish (original location is in Durham). They are located at 9924 Chapel Hill Road in Morrisville near the intersection with Weston Parkway. Get the details on their Facebook events page here.
  • The latest Buffalo Brothers Pizza & Wing Co., located in Cary’s Salt Box Village, is opening soon. But it is a moving target. It looks like (on their Facebook page) May 9th is the date. But could be a soft opening over the weekend. Best bet is to check into their Facebook page. Do so here.
  • Down in Fuquay-Varina, got word from David McCreary that a new BBQ restaurant is coming soon to 1526 Broad Street called Daddy D’s BBQ. It will serve slow-cooked beef, pork and chicken. They are looking at an opening sometime in June. For more information, visit them on Facebook here.
  • And if that is not enough yummy goodness coming to Fuquay-Varina, how about a place that serves ice cream and beer? Yep, looks like someone else has been reading my diary. David McCreary was the first to mention Pints Ice Cream & Beer, and we confirmed it via their Facebook page. It is 100% true! They are located in the former Blanchard’s Plumbing building. Dreams do come true. Keep up with their progress here.
  • In Garner, reader Sam Ruby notified us that the Grill 57 that closed now has a sign saying that it will be the new home of Steak ‘n Shake. Get familiar with them here.
  • And over in Knightdale, this coming Monday (May 7th) ground will be broken in a ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m. for Prime Barbecue at 403 Knightdale Station Run. Champion pitmaster Christopher Prieto will be on hand. You can get all the details and start getting familiar with them on their website here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Saw on the Chapelboro website that we now know what is replacing Franklin Street’s legendary Spanky’sLula’s. It’s going to be a Southern restaurant – really good fried chicken and porkchops and short ribs and farm-to-table vegetables, freshly squeezed lemonade, homemade biscuits and mint juleps according to Greg Overbeck, one of the owners of Chapel Hill Restaurant Group. No word yet on a timeline. Check out the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group here.
  • Don’t forget – this weekend is the grand opening of Vecino Brewing Company in Carrboro. Today is $4 Vecino pints and $1 off guest taps all day. Saturday brings us half-priced selected appetizers and small plates. And Sunday enjoy $5 sandwich specials. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.

 

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here. The first Raleigh rodeo is THIS weekend on Sunday, May 6th from 12-6 p.m.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • May 5th is the date for West Cary’s very own Fest in the West, a festival featuring food, beer, crafts, music and a kids’ zone. It will take place from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball Training Complex at 7445 Green Hope School Road. Get all the details here.
  • Get your tickets now for Thrive NC, set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. All ticket sale proceeds will be donated to North Carolina nonprofits that address issues related to food insecurity. Attendees will help determine which nonprofits receive funding from ticket sales. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.
  • Beer and Bacon Fest. May 19th. Cary. Not much else needs to be said. Check it out here.
  • Also on May 19th is the Durham Blues & Brews Festival. What started as a rockin’ good time has become a Durham tradition, filled with music, food, and outstanding craft beer! This isn’t a Beer Fest with music, or a Blues Fest with beer. It’s a new type of event offering great Blues music and only North Carolina craft beers. The brewers will be on site to tell you about their breweries and beers. Serving full 12 oz. pours for you to enjoy while learning about their beers, and listening to great blues bands. Proceeds from the festival benefit local Durham charities and programs, including the Exchange Family Center, a Durham-based non-profit agency dedicated to preventing child abuse. Get all the details and tickets here. Use code “TFB5” to get $5 off!
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • And finally, listen up chefs! The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. It’s a culinary competition open to chefs (savory and pastry) across the state. There are three regional semi-finalist rounds (New Bern May 22, Hickory June 4 and Raleigh, June 25) that will result in a final competition on Monday, Aug 27 in Charlotte. The final event is in conjunction with the first night of the industry’s Restaurant & Hotel Expo. Chefs can apply to compete now – May 9. Get all the information you need here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Next Saturday, May 12th, is “Stamp Out Hunger” where you can place nonperishable food donations in a bag by your mailbox and your letter carrier will take care of the rest. Get all the details here. Don’t want to leave food out? You can still help the cause by donating via our Virtual Food Drive. Get details on that here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 27, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • A new deli snuck in under our radar over in Durham. Thanks to the folks over at Taste Carolina, we now know that Cure Delicatessen & Cafe has opened over off Highway 54 near the intersection with Fayetteville Road (245 Hwy. 54 to be exact). The chef and proprietor is Matt Butler who had stints at Ruth’s Chris, Watts Grocery and The Great Room at Top of the Hill. They specialize in house cured, roasted and smoked meats for breakfast and lunch. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Last week we told you about Bu.ku in Wake Forest opening last Friday. This week WRAL shared the news that the lease in the original downtown location (ground floor of the Red Hat building) was due to end this month, but has been extended through the beginning of next year. And, yes, they are actively seeking a downtown location to move into when this lease extension is up. So if you know of anything…Thanks to reader Elizabeth Allen who originally brought this to our attention. Stay in touch with Bu.ku here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, saw on the ITB Insider that Cold Off The Press has opened at 416 W. South Street offering you optimum nutrition through nutritionally dense whole-foods products – like cold-pressed organic juices, coconut based bowls, smoothies, coffee, powersnacks and specialty beverages. Check them out here.
  • Over off Wake Forest Road, in what is now being referred to as Midtown East (near Trader Joe’s), the developer of the Wegman’s site announced some of the other tenants on the way, including two restaurants. Maple Street Biscuit Company, a Florida restaurant chain, was one. And Cava, a Mediterranean restaurant from Washington, D.C. On a side note, Cava will also be going into Village Plaza shopping center in Chapel Hill. Get familiar with Maple Street Biscuit Company here and Cava here.
  • Over in Morrisville, reader Prashant Pai notified us that he saw signage for Hi Poke going up next to Alpaca at 9575 Chapel Hill Road in the Park Place shopping center. We couldn’t find a definitive web presence, but we will keep an eye on it.
  • And up in Wake Forest, saw on Twitter this week that the latest edition of Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers is coming to 11708 Retail Drive, near the intersection of Hwy. 98 and Capital Blvd. No word yet on an exact open date. Get familiar with Freddy’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Also in Chapel Hill, saw in the Daily Tar Heel that Frutta Bowls recently opened on April 14 at 140 W. Franklin Street, dishing out a variety of smoothies and bowls. Get familiar with them here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here. The first Raleigh rodeo is the first weekend in May (i.e. next weekend) on Sunday, May 6th.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • North Carolina’s largest craft beer festival, Brewgaloo Beer Festival, returns to downtown Raleigh THIS Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28th. The weekend kicks off TONIGHT with the Friday Night Block Party from 6-10 p.m. Tickets to the block party are $45 (all you can sample!), but my readers can get them for $35 using the code “IKnowTheBrewer”. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • This Saturday, April 28th from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. is the 25th Annual Spring Daze Festival at Bond Park in Cary. It features over 170 North Carolina artists, entertainment on four stages, delicious festival food, and Cary’s annual Earth Day Celebration. But what’s most important to us is the food, so here is a link to the food portion of the day.
  • May 5th is the date for West Cary’s very own Fest in the West, a festival featuring food, beer, crafts, music and a kids’ zone. It will take place from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball Training Complex at 7445 Green Hope School Road. Get all the details here.
  • This will be a cool experience. Chef/owner Sean Fowler of Mandolin in Raleigh will host a dinner on his family’s farm (truly farm to table) on May 6 at 5:30pm. Guests will enjoy a farm-guided tour during cocktail hour, with hors d’oeuvres, followed by a wine-paired family-style meal featuring eggs and produce from his chicken coops and surrounding gardens at his childhood home at Mandolin Farm. Get familiar with the farm here.
  • Want to enjoy food perfectly paired with some of the areas best brews amongst lions and tigers and bears…oh my? Well, maybe not bears, but lynxes and lemurs? Get tickets to the Conservators Center’s Lions, Tigers and Beer event to be held on May 4 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event will feature six food and beer pairings from local chefs and breweries, as well as a walking tour. All proceeds from the event go to the Animal Care Fund at the Conservators Center. But hurry, only 80 tickets will be sold – $100 each or two for $180. Get them here.
  •  Tickets have gone on sale for Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. All ticket sale proceeds will be donated to North Carolina nonprofits that address issues related to food insecurity. Attendees will help determine which nonprofits receive funding from ticket sales. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.
  • Beer and Bacon Fest. May 19th. Cary. Not much else needs to be said. Check it out here.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Double Your Impact! Right now, you can make twice the difference for children and families facing hunger. Friends of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina will match every gift – up to $66,000 – until April 30.  For every $10 you give, the Food Bank can provide 100 meals! Donate now!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 20, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Up in Wake Forest, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, notified us via Twitter that the Bu.ku in Wake Forest opens today, April 20th. This first weekend of service will be via reservation only. Bu.ku’s original location is in downtown Raleigh and they have a sister restaurant, So.Ca, in Raleigh’s Cameron Village. Get familiar with Bu.ku here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Last week we told you that Buffalo Brothers Pizza & Wing Co. is moving into the former Outback Steakhouse location in Saltbox Village. This week we learned that they are looking at an opening as early as next month, with a soft opening on April 27. Stay tuned and keep up with Buffalo Brothers here.
  • In downtown Raleigh, at 222 Glenwood Avenue, the folks over at NC Triangle Dining noted via Twitter that Tapworks, a 50-tap, self pour joint is scheduled to open this summer. Don’t know about food, but…50 taps….Love their tag line – life is too short to wait on a bartender!
  • Out in Brier Creek, got word from reader Jeanette Hauser that Panera Bread is moving from their current location, across Glenwood into the former Johnny Carino’s spot. A drive-thru will be added. Check out Panera here.
  • Also in Brier Creek, a quick update that it is looking like early May for the opening of the latest location of Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken. Stay tuned, but check them out here.
  • Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries opened their 94th location in North Carolina (8thin the Triangle area) this past week at 8440 Louisburg Road in Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • Up in North Raleigh, got word from reader Brian Hammill that Taziki’s Mediterranean Grill is opening in the old Pickled Onion space in Bent Tree Plaza at 7901 Falls of Neuse Road. This will be their third Triangle location (two in Cary) and first in Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • Over in Cary, things just got a lot sweeter. Mithai Indian Cafe, a dessert bar and cafe in Cary’s Chatham Square shopping center recently changed ownership and they are known for their locally made, artisan Indian confection. They pride themselves on the fact that they craft and sell Indian confections made the old-school way, with integrity and quality ingredients. Get familiar with them here, and then swing by the shop at 744 E. Chatham Street.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Carrboro’s YesterYear Brewery truly lived up to its name and is now a distant memory. The owners brought in new partners, a new experience, added a kitchen and reopened under a new name – Vecino Brewing Co. Celebrating their grand opening May 4-6 (they are already open), they will brew and serve award-winning craft beer and offer elevated taproom fare using local ingredients. They are located at 300 East Main Street next to Cat’s Cradle. Get familiar with the newness here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, got a quick update from the folks at MidiCi Neopolitan Pizza that they are looking at June opening at the corner of Franklin Street and Columbia Street. Time to get familiar with them here.

 

Closings

  • Got word from reader Jeanette Hauser that O’Charley’s in Brier Creek will close on July 1.

Food Trucks

  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two food truck rodeo’s in Chapel Hill on this weekend! Saturday, April 21 will be Table’s Food Truck Rodeo at Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Blvd. from 3-7 p.m. And on Sunday, April 22 at noon is the Rodeo on Rosemary featuring 15 of the best trucks in the Triangle. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here for Table and here for the Rodeo on Rosemary.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • This Saturday, April 21st from noon until 6 p.m. is the 10th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival in downtown Raleigh in the Warehouse District (Harrington & Davie Streets) near The Pit. The event features the region’s finest pitmasters gathering for this daylong event where Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue is king. In addition to the delicious eats, guests can sample from a selection of local beers and enjoy toe-tappin’ bluegrass music. Get all the details here.
  • The Third Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will be held Thursday, April 26 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features teams comprised of Rise Biscuits & Donuts chefs and a local brewery or beverage company. Each Rise chef will prepare a special biscuit and donut with inventive toppings and fillings that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. Tickets are $50 and available in advance here.
  • North Carolina’s largest craft beer festival, Brewgaloo Beer Festival, returns to downtown Raleigh April 27 and 28th. The weekend kicks off with the Friday Night Block Party from 6-10 p.m. Tickets to the block party are $45 (all you can sample!), but my readers can get them for $35 using the code “IKnowTheBrewer”. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • May 5th is the date for West Cary’s very own Fest in the West, a festival featuring food, beer, crafts, music and a kids’ zone. It will take place from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball Training Complex at 7445 Green Hope School Road. Get all the details here.
  • This will be a cool experience. Chef/owner Sean Fowler of Mandolin in Raleigh will host a dinner on his family’s farm (truly farm to table) on May 6 at 5:30pm. Guests will enjoy a farm-guided tour during cocktail hour, with hors d’oeuvres, followed by a wine-paired family-style meal featuring eggs and produce from his chicken coops and surrounding gardens at his childhood home at Mandolin Farm. Get familiar with the farm here.
  • Want to enjoy food perfectly paired with some of the areas best brews amongst lions and tigers and bears…oh my? Well, maybe not bears, but lynxes and lemurs? Get tickets to the Conservators Center’s Lions, Tigers and Beer event to be held on May 8 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event will feature six food and beer pairings from local chefs and breweries, as well as a walking tour. All proceeds from the event go to the Animal Care Fund at the Conservators Center. But hurry, only 80 tickets will be sold – $100 each or two for $180. Get them here.
  •  Tickets have gone on sale for Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. All ticket sale proceeds will be donated to North Carolina nonprofits that address issues related to food insecurity. Attendees will help determine which nonprofits receive funding from ticket sales. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.
  • Beer and Bacon Fest. May 19th. Cary. Not much else needs to be said. Check it out here.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Double Your Impact! Right now, you can make twice the difference for children and families facing hunger. Friends of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina will match every gift – up to $66,000 – until April 30.  For every $10 you give, the Food Bank can provide 100 meals! Donate now!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 13, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • It was announced last week via Facebook that Chapel Hill’s Roots Bakery, Bistro and Bar on Franklin Street will open a second location in the former Hope Valley Bar and Grill space (before that, Hope Valley Brewing Company and before that, City Beverage) at 4810 Hope Valley Road in Hope Valley Pointe. They will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The transition/opening could happen as soon as the end of this month according to Triangle Business Journal. Get familiar with Roots here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saying that Ken Yowell is a busy man is an understatement. Following on last week’s announcement that Calavera Empanadas will re-emerge (moving into the Tasty 8s spot) came word that his latest venture, Kaiju Bowl and Bao, is simply waiting on equipment and their final inspection before opening at 170 East Davie Street. Keep up with their latest announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • WRAL reported last week that eighteen months after reopening, Standard Foods has closed again. Apparently they will reopen once a new head chef is found. The grocery portion of the store at 205 E. Franklin in Raleigh remained open through last Sunday, but has closed for at least a week according to the News & Observer. No confirmation on the timing of either’s future. Stay tuned. There is literally nothing (other than a logo) on their website.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, in the Glenwood South district, the ITB Insider reported this week that site plans have been filed for the Tin Roof Restaurant and Bar, which will be located at 300 Glenwood Avenue at the intersection with West Lane. The plans were filed by the owners of Tin Roof, a popular live-music bar in Nashville with about 15 other locations around the country. The Tin Roof in Nashville offers a lunch and dinner menu in addition to serving as a bar/nightlife hotspot with live country music. Get familiar with them here.
  • And before leaving downtown Raleigh, there was a bit of a scare this week as news circulated that the property that Krispy Kreme donuts sits on had sold to a New York developer. Fearing the donut mecca would be cleared for more apartments, rumors began to swell. But relief came with the discovery that KK has a 20-year lease on their building, with the option to renew it beyond that. So, for the immediate future, the “Hot Now” light remains aglow. Whew!
  • Just outside of downtown just off Wake Forest Road, the ITB Insider reported this week that Funguys Brewery announced a grand opening date of Saturday, April 14. The so-called “start-up microbrewery” will be located off Wake Forest Road near Biscuitville at 2408 Paula Street. For details of their grand opening, head over to their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Cary, reader Jessica Amato brought it to our attention that there is a sign for a Buffalo Brothers Pizza & Wing Co. in the former Outback Steakhouse location in Saltbox Village shopping center on Kildaire Farm Road. No word on the timing of their opening. This will be their 5th Triangle area location. Check out Buffalo Brothers here.
  • Also in Cary, reader Paul Dettorre informed us that Chengdu 7 Sichuan Cuisine has opened in the former Korean Garden Korean Steakhouse spot at 748 E. Chatham Street. Unfortunately we can’t find a web presence, but the initial Yelp reviews are strong.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that cousins Jimmy and Julian Kim from South Korea will open Cucciolo Osteria this summer at 601 W. Main Street in the West Village development. The restaurant is devoted to their childhood comfort food of Italian cuisine (they lived in Europe for a decade while growing up). Jimmy went to Duke University and opened the Mixed Korean Bistro and food truck. Julian started the first Cucciolo Osteria as a 20-seat restaurant in Seoul. Look for a June opening. Here is the Facebook page for their location in Seoul, South Korea.
  • It is official. County Fare, Durham’s rotating mini-food truck venue with a full service beer garden (30 beers on tap) and a place to enjoy it all (indoor and outdoor), opens next week on Wednesday, April 18th, missing my birthday by one day! County Fare will be located at 1920 Chapel Hill Road. Keep up with their schedule and get all the details here.
  • Friend Glenn Gillen notified me that New Tokyo, a fast service Japanese restaurant, opened on March 29th at 3822 S. Roxboro Street in Durham. Couldn’t find an online presence, but the initial Yelp reviews are pretty strong.

 

Closings

  • WRAL reported this week that after leaving its Raleigh location and moving to Durham, Finch’s is “retiring” and their last day is this Sunday, April 15. Apparently a gig called East Cut, serving gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads, beer, and wine, will move into that spot.
  • A reader/viewer over at WRAL brought it to our attention that both the Moe’s Southwest Grill and McDonald’s at Triangle Town Center have closed.

Food Trucks

  • Down in Knightdale, the RDU Mobile Food Association is hosting the BBQ & Beer Fest Food Truck Rodeo this Sunday, April 15th from 12-4 p.m. at the Knightdale Park Station. In addition to the trucks and beer, they will have a BBQ contest with you as the judge. Get all the details on their Facebook events page here.
  • And keeping the trucks in Knightdale, the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays will be back in full swing come April 19th. Trucks will be on hand for lunch and dinner each Thursday at the Knightdale Station Park. Get a full schedule and truck listing on their website here. Thanks to Mark Ginsberg for the heads up.
  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two food truck rodeo’s in Chapel Hill on the same weekend! Saturday, April 21 will be Table’s Food Truck Rodeo at Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Blvd. from 3-7 p.m. And on Sunday, April 22 at noon is the Rodeo on Rosemary featuring 15 of the best trucks in the Triangle. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here for Table and here for the Rodeo on Rosemary.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • The Indy brought it to our attention that the Bull City Vegan Challenge will return to Durham for the fifth time in April (kicked off April 1), with chefs at ten downtown meat-centric restaurants creating specialty plant-based dishes that their menus will carry throughout the month, culminating in a competition decided by diners’ votes. This year’s participants, all full-service restaurants, are: Dos Perros, Parizade, Pompieri, M Kokko, Juju, Guglhupf, Counting House, Jack Tar Diner, Unscripted, and Grub. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • The 20th annual Lebanese Festival is this Saturday, April 14th in Raleigh City Plaza in downtown Raleigh from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. The event will feature authentic Lebanese food, cooking demos, performances and more. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.  
  • Les Dames d’Escoffier’s North Carolina Chapter will host their annual fundraising event to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle and the NC K-12 Culinary Institute on Thursday, April 12 at Whitaker & Atlantic in Raleigh. The event, showcasing dishes created and served by Dames, station-style, will highlight NC products. Guests will have the opportunity to meet and sample the work of Les Dames d’Escoffier members who are chefs, caterers, journalistic writers, cookbook authors, restaurateurs and leaders in the culinary industry. Get all the details here. 
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  • On Saturday, April 14 the Animal Protection Society of Durham will host a Pints for Paws Craft Beverage Festival from 12-4 p.m. at Northgate Plaza. More than a dozen Durham craft beverage makers including beer, cider, mead, spirits, sodas, and tea purveyors will be on hand along with local food trucks and doggie wading pools at this all-Durham family/dog-friendly festival. Get details and ticket information here.
  • The Third Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will be held Thursday, April 26 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features teams comprised of Rise Biscuits & Donuts chefs and a local brewery or beverage company. Each Rise chef will prepare a special biscuit and donut with inventive toppings and fillings that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. Tickets are $50 and available in advance here.
  • May 5th is the date for West Cary’s very own Fest in the West, a festival featuring food, beer, crafts, music and a kids’ zone. It will take place from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball Training Complex at 7445 Green Hope School Road. Get all the details here.
  • Want to enjoy food perfectly paired with some of the areas best brews amongst lions and tigers and bears…oh my? Well, maybe not bears, but lynxes and lemurs? Get tickets to the Conservators Center’s Lions, Tigers and Beer event to be held on May 8 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event will feature six food and beer pairings from local chefs and breweries, as well as a walking tour. All proceeds from the event go to the Animal Care Fund at the Conservators Center. But hurry, only 80 tickets will be sold – $100 each or two for $180. Get them here.
  •  Tickets have gone on sale for Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. All ticket sale proceeds will be donated to North Carolina nonprofits that address issues related to food insecurity. Attendees will help determine which nonprofits receive funding from ticket sales. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.
  • Beer and Bacon Fest. May 19th. Cary. Not much else needs to be said. Check it out here.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Sadly, this article by Matt Kupac is one of the best reminders of what many folks in our community are faced with every day – having to put food on the table with just $4.70. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program providing support to low-income, low asset people facing extreme food insecurity. Matt took the challenge to eat on $4.70 per day and here is what he experienced. Please support the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and their efforts right here in our community.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 6, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Sometimes good news is accompanied by a little bad news. Such is the case with the news this week out of the News & Observer that Calavera Empanadas, which closed earlier this year, will reopen in the Tasty 8’s space at 121 Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. Tasty 8’s last day was yesterday. The new Calavera will have more than twice the seating, plus churros and possibly breakfast, keeping the Latin-focused concept open from early to late. He plans to keep the walk-up window. Yowell said he likes the idea of a pop-up Cinco de Mayo event in the new space on May 5. After some renovations, he hopes to open back up by June. Visit Calavera here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • On Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street, the News & Observer took us on a behind-the-scenes look at the long-anticipated Wahlburgers going into the former Oxford space. According to the article they are in their final stages and will open “any day now” and likely unannounced. But don’t expect the Walhberg brothers…that’s a long shot. Read the full article here.
  • Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is opening its first Triangle location on April 26th at 2116 New Bern Avenue in Raleigh. But don’t think just movie theatre and beer (although those are two great things to think about), think also about great food and free movie rentals (75,000 titles)! And…strict rules of no texting and no commercials. Get familiar with them here.
  • The ITB Insider reported this week that City Market Sushi will soon open a sister restaurant, Seoul 116, at 116 N. West Street near Clouds Brewing. The new Korean restaurant will operate out of the former home of More. Kitchen & Bar, and before that Blue Martini. No online presence found just yet, so in the meantime, check out City Market Sushi here.
  • Over on Hillsborough Street, saw in Raleigh Offline that Guasaca, the popular Venezuelan arepa concept, is opening another location that will be located under the new Target. Guasaca has another location on Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh, as well as locations in Morrisville and Durham. Check out Guasaca here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that the baker behind the bread at all of chef Ashley Christensen’s restaurants is striking out on his own. Andrew Ullom, the longtime executive pastry chef of Christensen’s AC Restaurants, will open a new bakery in Raleigh next year called Union Special. It’s the first project to publicly attach itself to the Gateway Plaza redevelopment off of Crabtree Boulevard in the Woodcrest neighborhood. Get familiar with them here.
  • Up in north Raleigh, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer notified us via Twitter that Rosemarie’s Seafood Joint is coming soon to Wakefield Commons shopping center in the former Dickeys BBQ space at 14460 Falls Of Neuse Road. No word yet on a timeline, and we weren’t able to find an online presence. Thanks John!
  • In Raleigh, WRAL reported that Nancy’s Pizzeria, home of the original stuffed pizza pie, announced that it has officially opened the doors to its 32nd location in Raleigh at 8111 Creedmoor Rd. in the Brennan Station shopping center. Nancy’s Pizzeria is hosting its grand opening party this Friday & Saturday (April 6th & 7th) with free pizza for a year for its first 100 customers starting at 5 p.m. Check out Nancy’s here.
  • In Raleigh’s Brier Creek the ITB Insider reported that the next location of Mellow Mushroom will be located at 9600 Brier Creek Parkway in what is currently an empty lot. With final permits just issued, it could possibly open by this fall. Mellow Mushroom already has locations in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Check out Mellow here.
  • Over in Cary, the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that the next location of MOD Pizza will be in the new Publix shopping center under construction at the northwest corner of Carpenter Fire Station and Green Level Church roads. TBJ also noted that Hey Cream, a concept shop that will serve bubble tea and rolled ice cream, will be in the same center. The shops are on target to open this fall. Check out MOD here.
  • And if you can’t get to that side of Cary, don’t worry. The Triangle Business Journal announced this week that MOD Pizza will also also be going into Waverly Place on the plaza level next to Famous Toastery offering their signature “build your own” pizzas.
  • Also in Cary, reader Chris Creighton informed me that a concept called Cary Towne Kitchen & Bar is going into the former TGI Fridays space at 2002 Kildaire Farm Road. As of now, they are keeping their menu under wraps. Look for them to open this month. Keep up with the latest on their Facebook page here.
  • Staying in Cary, brothers Clif and Drew Bullard announced this week that they are bringing the CoreLife Eatery concept to Cary in September this year. It will be the second of an anticipated14 locations in the Raleigh and Wilmington markets. CoreLife Eatery offers a wide variety of fresh ingredients that are transformed into custom-created dishes. All foods are free of trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners, other artificial additives and GMO’s. The exact location hasn’t been unveiled, but you can get familiar with them here.
  • Things are getting sweeter in Cary with the anticipated opening of Vida Dulce Ice Cream and Popsicles at 836 E. Chatham Street in the new strip mall behind Bojangles. Look for them to open any day now. Keep up with them on Facebook here. Thanks to Hugh Autry for that tip!
  • Down in Fuquay-Varina, WRAL reported that a new coffee shop and roastery is coming to the downtown area next month in the former EMS building across from the library. Cultivate Cafe + Coffee Roasters will serve freshly-roasted organic coffee and other complementary house-made products, like ice cream made from grass-fed organic milk and hand-crafted sweet and savory baked goods from Bestow Bakery, which will share Cultivate’s space. Get to know Cultivate here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • If you have also been dreaming about a rotating mini-food truck venue…every day…with a full service beer garden (30 beers on tap) and a place to enjoy it all (indoor and outdoor), then you will be pleased to hear the news that Amber Watson at Bites of Bull City shared with us this week – County Fare will open on April 18th, missing my birthday by one day! County Fare will be located at 1920 Chapel Hill Road. Keep up with their schedule and get all the details here.
  • The other big news out of Durham is that chef Michael Lee, chef and owner of M Sushi and M Koko, will be turning the former downtown Scratch Bakery location into a Japanese tempura restaurant called M Tempura. Look for a June or July opening. Check out M Sushi here and M Koko here.
  • A regional chain of fried fish joints in Virginia will open its first Triangle location in April, with several more on the way. The Skrimp Shack now has 10 locations, mostly in the Newport News and Richmond areas of Virginia. The next one will be in Durham’s North Duke Crossings strip mall off of Duke and Roxboro streets in the space formerly occupied by Blue Stingray. There are plans for a total of six in the Triangle market. Get familiar with The Skrimp Shack here.
  • Also in Durham, Amber Watson at Bites of Bull City reported that Maze Taco, a pop-up taco spot from the owner of former food truck Zeke’s Meats, will run from April 4th through May 5th on Ninth Street Bakery’s patio after hours – 5:30-10 pm Wednesday through Saturday and late hours Friday and Saturday. Follow Maze Taco on Twitter to keep up with the latest.
  • With spring and warm weather comes the reopening of Honeycukle Tea House just west of Chapel Hill and Carrboro. If you are not familiar with them, you should do so here. Thanks John Huisman for the reminder!

Closings

  • This past week saw the biggest “closing” announcement on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street since the closing of my beloved Peppers Pizza. Spanky’s, after a 40 year run, closed this past Saturday to make way for a new concept from the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group. Look for the new concept as early as later this month. Stay tuned.
  • And nearly a dozen people notifed me that they had driving down Kildaire Farm Road in Cary and noticed that the Newk’s Eatery had closed. Any chance we can get our Hibernia back now? Pretty please!!!
  • And down in Garner, reader Arlette Lambert confirmed that the Grill 57 has closed.

Food Trucks

  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo will be held on Sunday, April 8th from 12-4 at the Over the Falls shopping center located at 405 S. Brooks St. If you can’t make that, future rodeo dates are June 24th and October 28th. Check in with them on Facebook here.
  • Likewise on April 8th from 12-5, Garner will also have their very own April Foods Day Food Truck Rodeo on Main Street in downtown Garner. 15 food trucks, 3 NC craft breweries, live music, crafts and all sorts of kid activities. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • Down in Knightdale, the RDU Mobile Food Association is hosting the BBQ & Beer Fest Food Truck Rodeo on Sunday, April 15th from 12-4 p.m. at the Knightdale Park Station. In addition to the trucks and beer, they will have a BBQ contest with you as the judge. Get all the details on their Facebook events page here.
  • And keeping the trucks in Knightdale, the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays will be back in full swing come April 19th. Trucks will be on hand for lunch and dinner each Thursday at the Knightdale Station Park. Get a full schedule and truck listing on their website here. Thanks to Mark Ginsberg for the heads up.
  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two food truck rodeo’s in Chapel Hill on the same weekend! Saturday, April 21 will be Table’s Food Truck Rodeo at Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Blvd. from 3-7 p.m. And on Sunday, April 22 at noon is the Rodeo on Rosemary featuring 15 of the best trucks in the Triangle. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here for Table and here for the Rodeo on Rosemary.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • The Indy brought it to our attention that the Bull City Vegan Challenge will return to Durham for the fifth time in April (kicks off April 1), with chefs at ten downtown meat-centric restaurants creating specialty plant-based dishes that their menus will carry throughout the month, culminating in a competition decided by diners’ votes. This year’s participants, all full-service restaurants, are: Dos Perros, Parizade, Pompieri, M Kokko, Juju, Guglhupf, Counting House, Jack Tar Diner, Unscripted, and Grub. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Les Dames d’Escoffier’s North Carolina Chapter will host their annual fundraising event to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle and the NC K-12 Culinary Institute on Thursday, April 12 at Whitaker & Atlantic in Raleigh. The event, showcasing dishes created and served by Dames, station-style, will highlight NC products. Guests will have the opportunity to meet and sample the work of Les Dames d’Escoffier members who are chefs, caterers, journalistic writers, cookbook authors, restaurateurs and leaders in the culinary industry. Get all the details here. 
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  • On Saturday, April 14 the Animal Protection Society of Durham will host a Pints for Paws Craft Beverage Festival from 12-4 p.m. at Northgate Plaza. More than a dozen Durham craft beverage makers including beer, cider, mead, spirits, sodas, and tea purveyors will be on hand along with local food trucks and doggie wading pools at this all-Durham family/dog-friendly festival. Get details and ticket information here.
  • The Third Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will be held Thursday, April 26 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features teams comprised of Rise Biscuits & Donuts chefs and a local brewery or beverage company. Each Rise chef will prepare a special biscuit and donut with inventive toppings and fillings that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. Tickets are $50 and available in advance here.
  • Want to enjoy food perfectly paired with some of the areas best brews amongst lions and tigers and bears…oh my? Well, maybe not bears, but lynxes and lemurs? Get tickets to the Conservators Center’s Lions, Tigers and Beer event to be held on May 8 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event will feature six food and beer pairings from local chefs and breweries, as well as a walking tour. All proceeds from the event go to the Animal Care Fund at the Conservators Center. But hurry, only 80 tickets will be sold – $100 each or two for $180. Get them here.
  •  Tickets have gone on sale for Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. All ticket sale proceeds will be donated to North Carolina nonprofits that address issues related to food insecurity. Attendees will help determine which nonprofits receive funding from ticket sales. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.
  • Beer and Bacon Fest. May 19th. Cary. Not much else needs to be said. Check it out here.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Sadly, this article by Matt Kupac is one of the best reminders of what many folks in our community are faced with every day – having to put food on the table with just $4.70. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program providing support to low-income, low asset people facing extreme food insecurity. Matt took the challenge to eat on $4.70 per day and here is what he experienced. Please support the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and their efforts right here in our community.

Leave a Comment

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Friday Fun Food Facts – March 23, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  One month after the Old Havana Sandwich Shop in Durham ended a seven-year run, the husband and wife team of Roberto Copa Matos and Elizabeth Turnbull will open the farm-to-table Cuban restaurant Copa today at 107 West Main Street in the larger, renovated former Revolution spot. Copa will start with lunch service this week, adding dinner and brunch in a week or so. The lunch menu is the Old Havana you may be familiar with, but the dinner menu is where Copa separates itself from Old Havana, with a menu comprised largely of tapas and small plates. Get to know them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Just outside of Raleigh up in Franklin County, an email from Russ Vollmer of the Vollmer Farm indicated that he and his wife Vanessa are going to open a restaurant, a true farm to table restaurant, right on their farm in Bunn this fall. Called Rustic Root, it will tap into local farmers (including Russ) to source their menu and Vanessa’s background in the restaurant business. Stay in touch with their efforts and progress on their website here.
  • In Raleigh, reader Morgan Hinch-Wood notified us that there is a sign up for a Mega Pizza in the old Marco’s location at 9101 Leesville Road in the Food Lion shopping center. Not much of an online presence, so we will have to ask Morgan to keep an eye on this for us.
  • Over in Cary, saw in Offline Raleigh + Durham that Milk Lab has opened at 6418 Tryon Road serving up ‘rolled’ Thai ice cream with unlimited toppings and organic milk tea. Not much on their website yet, but you can get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Remember last week we told you that last weekend was the last chance to get by German Grille before they were closing their doors? Well, WRAL learned that they realized they needed a bit more time to say goodbye to their customers. To that end, they will be open limited hours over the next 3-4 weekends and continue offering brats, schnitzel and beer. They will also be selling off some of their German décor. Best course of action is to make reservations through their website here and keep up with their plans to wind down on their Facebook page here.
  • Down in Apex, reader Chris Creighton noticed a sign this week hanging outside the old Perkins restaurant on US 64 for a Ciudad Mexico coming soon. No word yet on a time-frame. Stay tuned amigos!
  • And finally, a couple of Saturday celebrations to attend tomorrow – Saturday, March 24. Escazu Chocolates will celebrate their 10th anniversary all day on Saturday with free birthday cake for all (while it lasts). They are located at 936 N. Blount Street in downtown Raleigh. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Also, Chronic Tacos will hold their grand opening celebration tomorrow at 9424 Falls of the Neuse Road featuring live music, an eating contest, lots of giveaways and an appearance by Wee Man. Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The wait is over. This past Wednesday saw the opening of East Durham Bake Shop at 406 South Driver Street. They specialize in handmade seasonally inspired pastries that can be paired with house-made soups and salads alongside locally roasted espresso beverages and organic teas. And of course their flaky, buttery, handmade sweet and savory pies. Check them out here.
  • Also in Durham, Glenn Gillen notified me that Urel’s Jamaica House is now open in the Hope Valley Shopping Center at 3825 S Roxboro Street. You can learn more about them on their Facebook page here.

 

Closings

  • Learned through the News & Observer, just after Greg Cox had reviewed and given them a very favorable 3 ½ stars, that Just Cookin’ in Garner has closed.
  • Reader Chris Creighton informed us that TGI Fridays in Cary on Kildaire & Tryon has closed. That leaves just one in Raleigh and one in Garner for our market.
  • Creighton also informed us that the Applebee’s at the corner of Gorman and Hillsborough Street in Raleigh has closed.

Food Trucks

  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo will be held on Sunday, April 8th from 12-4 at the Over the Falls shopping center located at 405 S. Brooks St. If you can’t make that, future rodeo dates are June 24th and October 28th. Check in with them on Facebook here.
  • The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • The Indy brought it to our attention that the Bull City Vegan Challenge will return to Durham for the fifth time in April (kicks off April 1), with chefs at ten downtown meat-centric restaurants creating specialty plant-based dishes that their menus will carry throughout the month, culminating in a competition decided by diners’ votes. This year’s participants, all full-service restaurants, are: Dos Perros, Parizade, Pompieri, M Kokko, Juju, Guglhupf, Counting House, Jack Tar Diner, Unscripted, and Grub. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  • The Third Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will be held Thursday, April 26 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features teams comprised of Rise Biscuits & Donuts chefs and a local brewery or beverage company. Each Rise chef will prepare a special biscuit and donut with inventive toppings and fillings that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. Tickets are $50 and available in advance here.
  • Want to enjoy food perfectly paired with some of the areas best brews amongst lions and tigers and bears…oh my? Well, maybe not bears, but lynxes and lemurs? Get tickets to the Conservators Center’s Lions, Tigers and Beer event to be held on May 8 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event will feature six food and beer pairings from local chefs and breweries, as well as a walking tour. All proceeds from the event go to the Animal Care Fund at the Conservators Center. But hurry, only 80 tickets will be sold – $100 each or two for $180. Get them here.
  •  Tickets have gone on sale for Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. All ticket sale proceeds will be donated to North Carolina nonprofits that address issues related to food insecurity. Attendees will help determine which nonprofits receive funding from ticket sales. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Sadly, this article by Matt Kupac is one of the best reminders of what many folks in our community are faced with every day – having to put food on the table with just $4.70. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program providing support to low-income, low asset people facing extreme food insecurity. Matt took the challenge to eat on $4.70 per day and here is what he experienced. Please support the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and their efforts right here in our community.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized