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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 1, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  This is one of those events that makes you realize how very great it is to be in America. Saturday, February 2nd is National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (and no, that is not something Sean Lennard nor Tim Coynesmith made up). And our good friends at Maple View Farm Ice Cream in Chapel Hill/Hillsborough are helping us fulfill our childhood fantasies with ice cream for breakfast! Can I get an AMEN!?! Proceeds from this sugar rush of a morning will go to Angel’s Among Us Team TumorNators, an organization supporting those fighting brain tumors. The special menu will feature pancakes, waffles, doughnuts and cinnamon roll sundaes. Wear your pajamas or superhero attire to support the cause. For more information, visit them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • As the tenants at Transfer Co. Food Hall continue to ramp up, you can now add Benchwarmers Bagels to the list. Blogger EatRaleigh informed us that the wood-fired bagel and coffee shop from the folks at Boulted Bread and Jubala Coffee is set to open today, February 1, at Raleigh’s newest food hall. Get familiar with them here.
  • Saw online that Oak City Fish and Chips is holding their grand opening for their second location this Saturday, February 2nd. The second location is in Farmington Square at 2822 New Birch Drive in Raleigh. They also have a location inside the Morgan Street Food Hall as well as 3 mobile units traveling all over the Triangle. Stop by their newest location tomorrow and try some Fried Lobster Tail! Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The folks over at the ITB Insider reported this week that permits were issued last week for the much-anticipated Pooleside Pies pizzeria from Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen. The new restaurant, next door to Poole’s, will feature Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizzas. Built in 1915, the building at 428 S. McDowell Street is now undergoing a nearly $400k renovation. Keep up with the progress through their Instagram account here.
  • Got word via Twitter from a reader that Chinese restaurant Peking Garden in the Colony Shopping Center on Millbrook Road was sold earlier this year and is under new management. The new owner is renovating the restaurant and the menu and food is very different. Peking originally opened in 1990. Visit them here.
  • Got word from my high school buddy (and award-winning dentist) Dana McCall that Cava is opening soon in the old Bob Evans location at Crossroads over in Cary. Cava just opened in Chapel Hill and has plans for stores in Raleigh. Get to know them here.
  • Also in Cary, got word from WRAL this week that Dean’s Kitchen and Bar has completed the transition into Der Biergarten. Look for it to replicate a “typical” German establishment where beer and local food are served, typically at shared tables, surrounded with games for entertainment. The menu will feature classic American fare (and some favorites from Dean’s) as well as German inspired dishes and a Sunday brunch buffet. Get all the details on their site here.
  • Months ago we told you about McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks announcing their departure in June of this year. Well, things progressed a little quicker than anticipated and reader Lisa Galanis notified us that they have already closed up shop. Not sure what that does to the timeline for Uncle Julio’s to fill that spot. Stay tuned and get familiar with Uncle Julio’s here.
  • And down in Holly Springs, got word reader Chris Creighton that Eggs Up Grill is now open at 4216 Lassiter Road, next to the recently opened Butcher’s Market. This marks their second Triangle area location with the first over in Fuquay-Varina. Get to know them here.
  • And while this isn’t “technically” Triangle area restaurant news, it is worth sending a kudos to a local team/couple growing their restaurant empire! Kevin and Stacey Jennings, owners of Urban Food Group (Vivace, Coquette and Chow in Raleigh; Vivace in Charlotte; and Avelina in Denver), announced their expansion into the Wilmington market according to Neal DePersia of DePersia & Associates who represented the Jennings. They recently purchased Boca Bay, Brasserie Du Soleil and Osteria Ciccheti, three highly successful restaurants in Wilmington that will continue to operate with the current menus and staff. Visit Urban Food Group here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Reader Holly Deng notified us that Sister Liu’s Kitchen has opened in Durham  in the space in front of New Hope Commons near the intersection of 15-501 and Interstate 40 (same complex as Namu). She noted that they are serving up homemade dumplings, northern Chinese “hamburgers”, and a few cold plates all prepared using family recipes. Check them out here.

Closings

  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks! (Other than McCormick & Schmick’s noted above)

Food Trucks…are back! 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.

Events

  • Today, Feb. 1, the Cary Rotary Club will raise money to fight hunger around the world and in our community with its 16th Annual Chili Dinner. The meals, consisting of chili, pasta salad and cornbread, are available for $8 each and will be prepared by Whole Foods Market. Lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m. and dinner will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, 200 High Meadow Dr. in Cary. Tickets are available at the door or from members of the Cary Rotary Club. Get all the details here.
  • Chatham OutReach Alliance (CORA) invites the public to the 9th Annual Chatham Empty Bowls Fundraiser on Sunday, February 24th at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington in Pittsboro. Empty Bowls is an event designed to raise awareness and funds for our battle to end hunger in Chatham County. Get all the details here. Purchase tickets here or at the door.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – January 25, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  A popular dining spot on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street is going dormant, but just temporarily, after the Super Bowl. Got word from reader Jordan Kab that East Village Grill will be closing after Super Bowl Sunday on February 3 as the land between Daisy Street and Dixie Trail will be redeveloped into an apartment complex. That’s the bad news for EVG fans. The good news is they will reopen in the brand new space on the ground floor when it opens in 2020. Get there before February 3rd and then keep up with them during the transition on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Also along Hillsborough Street, noticed in Ashton Mae Smith’s newsletter that Sushi Mon has opened at 105 Friendly Drive offering up sushi and Japanese small plates. Get to know them on Facebook here.
  • Over at North Hills it was announced this week that Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, a seafood restaurant offering Maine lobster and shrimp rolls, will be opening in the Main District at North Hills. Located between Bartaco and the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel, the restaurant is projected to open in 2019. This will be their first restaurant in North Carolina but they have other locations in Maryland, South Carolina, Delaware and Virginia. Get to know them here.
  • Got word via a Facebook chat group that Boondini’s at Celebrations at Six Forks is closing that location before the end of the year. Apparently they are unable to renew their lease and Billy has decided to retire. Unless you know someone that is willing to take over. Boondini’s began in Buies Creek before moving to Tryon Hills and eventually to its current location on Six Forks Road in 1986. Pay Boondini’s a visit here.
  • And this is terrible news. Just last Friday, after months of wondering when they would ever open, Mami’s opened on Glenwood Avenue on the way to the airport near the intersection with Duraleigh. That’s the good news. The bad news is the very next day they suffered an electrical fire that leaves it closed indefinitely. Keep up with any news on their Facebook page here.
  • And in other “Glenwood” news, a reader shared with us that the Sawasdee Thai restaurant has been converted into the Cajun Crab House. The restaurant is under the same ownership and will keep a few popular dishes from the Sawasdee menu but they now come with seafood options only and most other dishes will be served at Tamarind Asian Fusion Bistro, which is their sister restaurant in Brier Creek Commons. Check out the Cajun Crab House here.
  • The folks over at ITB Insider reported this week that The Melting Pot on Wake Forest Road  is about to expand into the vacant space in the rear of the building that was once an Enterprise Rent-a-Car. No exact word on the timeline. Check them out here.
  • Got word this week that Coleen Speaks is beginning brunch service at her Hummingbird restaurant on Whitaker Mill Road this weekend. Brunch service will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also, be on the lookout for new additions to the regular breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, including large plates in the evening. Check out Hummingbird here.
  • Also in Raleigh, we are getting closer to the opening of the Mellow Mushroom at Brier Creek according to my friend Neha Shah. It is located at 9600 Brier Creek Parkway across from the  Duke Medical Center and Walgreens complex. They are in the middle of their job fair, so we are getting closer! Keep up with their announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Cary, Hugh Autry brought it to my attention that Havana Grill on Chatham Street has closed and been “replaced” by a concept called Tacos Estilo Hidalgo #3. I haven’t had a chance to go by yet, but a Yelp posting noted that the Havana Grill menu is still posted on the wall inside, so might be more of a rebranding. Stop by and check it out. The Yelp page is all we’ve been able to find online.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The Daily Tar Heel reported over in Chapel Hill that there is a new sign in the window at the closed Asia Cafe indicating that Curry Point Express, an Indian fast food restaurant located in Durham, have bought the establishment. The space will be renovated and upgraded, and the menu will retain some of Asia Cafe’s favorites. Mike DePersia of National Restaurant Properties oversaw the sale of Asia Cafe. Get familiar with Curry Point Express here.

Closings

  • Got a note from Keri Owen that The Twisted Fork at Triangle Town Center is closed and all their equipment is being auctioned off next week.

Food Trucks…are back! 

  • This Saturday, January 26th, Bull City Ciderworks on Roxboro Street in Durham  is hosting their first Mini Food Truck Rodeo of the year. The last Saturday of each month they will host four (4)  trucks serving up delicious treats from 2 – 7 p.m. This month will feature Will & Pop’s, Mr. Wingz & Mrs. Thingz, Saigon Lily and Holy Moly Cannoli. Get all the details here.
  • And this Sunday, January 27th Durham Central Park will host the Winter Food Truck Rodeo from 12 noon until 4 p.m. – and the weather looks fantastic – sunny and in the 50s! And while you are adding this to your calendar, go ahead and mark down the rest of the dates for 2019 – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the details on Sunday’s rodeo here.

Events

  •  On Friday, Feb. 1, the Cary Rotary Club will raise money to fight hunger around the world and in our community with its 16th Annual Chili Dinner. The meals, consisting of chili, pasta salad and cornbread, are available for $8 each and will be prepared by Whole Foods Market. Lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m. and dinner will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, 200 High Meadow Dr. in Cary. Tickets are available at the door or from members of the Cary Rotary Club. Get all the details here.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – January 18, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh the News & Observer shared the news that the Days Inn motor-lodge, the aging hotel on your way into Raleigh, will soon become a boutique hotel called the Longleaf Hotel. Which is great, but the BIGGER news, me thinks, is going to be the adjoining restaurant (ish) Delicatessen at Longleaf. (ish) is the creation of Matt Fern, a veteran of Raleigh’s food and beverage scene, who was the longtime beverage director of Ashley Christensen’s AC Restaurants. The deli will be built in a stand-alone building next to the hotel, formerly the NC Deli, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’re looking at about nine months for the renovation to be complete. Keep up with this development through their Instagram here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In North Raleigh, got word from John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, and Donald Richardson (Don Rio’s and The Caterhaus) that 13 Tacos & Taps opened this past Tuesday in North Raleigh in the former Chubbys Tacos spot in Falls River. Check them out here.
  • Also in North Raleigh, reader Adrian Emerson shared with us that the Raleigh location of Rockin’ Rolls Sushi Express opened this week at 9650 Strickland Road. The original Triangle-area location is in Durham on Hillsborough Road. Check them out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh news, the folks over at ITB Insider reported that a bake shop is coming to West Street as work began on the Layered Croissanterie bake shop at the old Rainbow Upholstery Building at 911 N. West Street. Look for them to open in the summer of 2019. It is developed by husband-and-wife team Mark and Kawsar Chavez. Follow them on Instagram here.
  • If you are traveling anytime soon, you’ll soon notice some changes in the dining options out at RDU according to the Triangle Business Journal. Looks like Five Guys Burger and Fries is out come February, but making way for BurgerFi, which is looking to open in that space by early July. BurgerFi made its Triangle debut in Cary in 2012 and also has a location in Raleigh. The restaurant serves “natural” burgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings and frozen custard, along with craft beers and wine. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Cary they like to drink, apparently. According to the Triangle Business Journal, Cary will add a new brewery when Brent Webb opens Cotton House Craft Brewers in a historic home next to the Mayton Inn at 307 Academy Street. The brewer will follow in the steps of Cary breweries such as Fortnight Brewing Co., Jordan Lake Brewing Co. and Bond Brothers Beer Co. No exact word on an open date, but the website says 2019. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • One of my favorite little guys in Chapel Hill, Teagan Coynesmith, noticed on a recent trip home with his mom (the legendary ‘First Lady of Awesomeville’ – Tina Coynesmith) that Sal’s Pizza has reopened after a successful move into the former coffee shop space just across the breezeway at 2811 Homestead Road. Thanks Teags for keeping your eyes open for me! Check out Sal’s here.
  • Got word from Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties that they facilitated the sale of [B]Ski’s at 147 E Franklin St. in Chapel Hill to Michael Newell of Dame’s Chicken & Waffles. Word is they will remodel and hope to be open before March Madness! Now, if we can get Dame’s back open in Durham! 🙂 Check out [B]Ski’s here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, we first told you back in November about Haw River Grill at 243 S. Elliott Road in the Elliott Square shopping center just down from Jersey Mike’s. Got word this week from multiple readers that they are now open. Get to know them here.
  • Over in Durham, WRAL reported that vegan restaurant Earth to Us Kitchen, featuring American and Latin vegan comfort food, just opened in The Shops at Northgate (1720 Guess Road), right next to Northgate Mall, facing Guess Road. You may recognize the name from their food truck. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Durham, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared the news that Jeddah’s Teahouse is coming to downtown Durham this summer. No word yet on an exact location, so you’ll have to follow them on Instagram here to keep up this developing story.

Closings

  • WRAL reported this week that after an eight-year run, Gigi’s Cupcakes on Oberlin Road has closed their doors. Their last day was yesterday.
  • The bad BBQ news continues this week with the closing of The Q Shack at North Hills (open until 7 p.m. this Saturday) after a 15-year run and (not exactly the Triangle, but still….) the announcement that Bill Ellis Barbecue in Wilson has closed.
  • And down in Fuquay-Varina, reader George Cronk shared the news (and confirmed by David McCreary) that the Lin Hibachi Buffet that opened in the old Golden Corral location has closed.

Events

  • The annual Triangle Restaurant Week returns January 21-27, 2019. Triangle Restaurant Week is a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants. During TRW, participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity for residents and visitors alike to indulge in the area’s finest cuisine! No reservations, tickets or passes required. Pricing for the event is $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20,$25, $30 or $35 for a 3-course dinner. Price is for each person and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Get all the details and a listing of participating restaurants here.
  • On Friday, Feb. 1, the Cary Rotary Club will raise money to fight hunger around the world and in our community with its 16th Annual Chili Dinner. The meals, consisting of chili, pasta salad and cornbread, are available for $8 each and will be prepared by Whole Foods Market. Lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m. and dinner will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, 200 High Meadow Dr. in Cary. Tickets are available at the door or from members of the Cary Rotary Club. Get all the details here.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – January 11, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Raleigh fell in love with Jake Wood as chef de cuisine at 18 Seaboard (and before that with stints at 42nd Street Oyster Bar and The Cowfish). And so you likely heard a collective deep breath when it was announced he was leaving for a new venture. We can all breathe easy now as it was announced this week that he would stay here locally, taking over as the head chef at Plates Neighborhood Kitchen on Glenwood South. Not only does Wood bring his newly designed menu to Plates, but a new dining atmosphere with fresh paint, new lighting fixtures, shiplap walls and a new decor setting the tone for his new menu. Check out the new Plates here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Burial Beer Company opened “The Exhibit” next to Transfer Co. Food Hall at 500 E. Davie Street on January 5. It’s an exhibit space, a cafe for craft beer. On most days it’s a get off work, stop and sample a beer, take a 4 pack for home type vibe. On release days it’s a communal marketplace to access limited beers. Stop by or check it out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, Jason Howard’s Atlantic Lounge opened at 620 North Person Street (below Crawford and Son) in downtown Raleigh. Keys, which are required for entrance, were offered to locals in surrounding neighborhoods first. Those interested in an invitation are encouraged to inquire with friends who are members or contact The Atlantic Lounge. You can keep up with them on Instagram.
  • Got word from Derek Wilkins that they opened their third installment of The Butcher’s Market this past Saturday at 4200 Lassiter Rd in Holly Springs in the Holly Lakes Center. They also have locations in Raleigh’s Quail Corners and Cary’s Saltbox Village. Stop in and check them out. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Over in Cary, got word from reader Michael Janni that Alex & Teresa’s Pizzeria & Trattoria has opened, transforming the old Randy’s Pizza place at the Northwoods Shopping Center at 941 N. Harrison Avenue. The restaurant is owned and operated by two former employees of Enrigo Italian Restaurant, along with a chef from Naples, Italy. Check them out here. Get to know them here.
  • Back over in Raleigh, got word from Jeanette Hauser that a Jersey Mike’s is coming to the Corners at Brier Creek shopping center (think Harris Teeter) in northwest Raleigh

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Over in Chapel Hill, the Triangle Business Journal was the first to report that after years of sitting empty, the once-beloved Ramshead Rathskeller restaurant space in a Franklin Street alley will soon be home to Gizmo Brew Works’ 4,500-square-foot taproom. Get familiar with Gizmo here.
  • Saw on their Twitter feed that Boxcar Bar + Arcade opened their third location, this one in downtown Durham at 621 Foster Street overlooking the historic Durham Athletic Park, at the corner of Foster and Geer streets. The new hangout offers over 70 arcade games, a full bar including 24 craft American drafts, private event space and a Neapolitan-style pizza kitchen. They also have locations in Raleigh and Greensboro. Get to know them here.
  • Glenn Gillen happened upon a Mr. Shark Fish & Chicken on S. Roxboro Street where Amante Pizza used to be. Like Glenn, I’m not certain what “Chicago style” fish and chicken exactly means. Here is their Facebook page.

Closings

  • Got word from multiple readers that both Freddy’s and Wendy’s on High House at Davis Drive in Cary.

Events

  • The annual Triangle Restaurant Week returns January 21-27, 2019. Triangle Restaurant Week is a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants. During TRW, participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity for residents and visitors alike to indulge in the area’s finest cuisine! No reservations, tickets or passes required. Pricing for the event is $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20,$25, $30 or $35 for a 3-course dinner. Price is for each person and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Get all the details and a listing of participating restaurants here.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • And this week was the announcement of the return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – January 4, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  While we first reported this in October of last year, Big Ed’s officially announced on January 3, 2019 that they are indeed opening a third location, this one in Garner at 231 Timber Drive (near intersection with Hwy. 50) in the former Just Cookin’ location (Food Lion shopping center). No exact date, just “early 2019” according to their Facebook page. And they announced a new website here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word from reader Mark Ginsberg that Jaipur Indian Cuisine has opened at 1520 Blue Ridge Rd in Raleigh inside of the Ramada Inn. They are the sister restaurant of Sitar India in Durham. Get to know them here.
  • First got word from one of our readers (“Patrick”) that Brookside Pizza & Market at the corner of Brookside Drive and Glascock Street near downtown Raleigh closed. And we have confirmed what Patrick had heard – that Falafel and Company will be opening in the Brookside spot. You can get to know Falafel and Company on their Facebook page here.
  • Over off Hillsborough Street, got word from Katherine W. that Sushi Mon, a new sushi restaurant located on Friendly Dr, has opened. And during the month of January they are celebrating their opening by offering complimentary nigiri to all their dinner dine-in customers. Get to know them and see their grand opening offer on their Facebook page here.
  • Up in North Raleigh, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, was the first to point out that 13 Tacos and Taps is moving into the old Chubby Tacos location in the plaza on Durant Road adjacent to Nantucket Grill. It is being brought to us by the same folks behind the very popular food truck , the 13th Taco. According to a Facebook page they are looking to open on January 17th, but stay tuned and keep up with any announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Morrisville, reader Wesley Mays informed us that Pho X.O., serving up traditional Vietnamese cuisine, has opened at at 10290 Chapel Hill Rd. Check them out here.
  • And in Cary, saw on their Facebook page that Dean’s Kitchen + Bar (which changed ownership last year) is transitioning the concept into a Biergarten at the end of this month. They will continue to have the Sunday brunch and they will keep many guest favorites, but the new menu will focus on locally sourced fresh ingredients including some German influenced items. No indication as of yet as to what the new name might be. Keep up with the transition on their Facebook page here.
  • And down in Holly Springs, I noticed a sign for Eggs Up Grill at 4200 Lassiter Road in the same complex as the next location of The Butcher’s Market. This will be their second Triangle area location (one in Fuquay-Varina). Get to know them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  The lovely and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard was the first to inform me that chef Brandon Sharp will open Hawthorne & Wood in 2019 in former Raaga spot in Chapel Hill’s East 54. You can visit their website here and keep up on their progress on Instagram here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, next to the new Monterrey Mexican restaurant location in Chapel Hill’s Rams Plaza, Mr. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant has opened. Most notably on their website is that they offer an unlimited sushi and hibachi menu for lunch and dinner. Check them out here.
  • Over in Hillsborough reader Cathy Wells provided me with a quick update on a couple of happenings in that corner of Orange County. First up, J&F Kitchen opened back in the spring at 155 Mayo Street and is a family-run restaurant serving up a homestyle mix of American, Italian, and Balkan cuisine. Check them out.
  • Just over the Durham County line we got word from Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson that over the holidays Namu Durham expanded by adding/opening a new beer hall adjacent to their restaurant/cafe. Now it is a great place to enjoy drinks along with their flavorful Korean food adjacent to their cozy restaurant and outdoor garden. Get to know all about them here.
  • And on more somber note, we were saddened to learn the news that Lowell Thomas “Tommy” Bullock, who owned and operated Bullock’s Bar-B-Cue restaurant and catering business after his father opened the restaurant in 1952,  died over the holidays. Our prayers and thoughts are with the entire Bullock family. Bullock’s is a Durham institution.

Closings

  • Got word from reader Jeanette Hauser that it looks like Toppers Pizza has retreated from the area – with all Triangle area locations now closed (once had three locations).
  • Got a tweet from Jane Bell that the Pharaoh’s at the Museum (Museum of History) on Edenton Street has closed.
  • And unless you were under a rock over the holidays, the seven-month-old Wahlburger’s in downtown Raleigh closed.

Events

  •  An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – 2018 Year End Edition

Top Restaurant News of 2018

A Place at the Table opened in January 2018 as Raleigh’s very first “pay-what-you-can” style restaurant and is located in the former Café de los Muertos space in downtown Raleigh at 300 W. Hargett Street. It concluded the year being featured on NBC. Can’t think of a better representation of the Triangle spirit in general, and the spirit of the locally owned and operated restaurants we are blessed with here. “Pay” them a visit in 2019!  

Top Wake County News of 2018

After multiple delays, Morgan Street Food Hall in downtown Raleigh’s warehouse district opened following on the heels (pun intended) of Blue Dogwood Public Market food hall in Chapel Hill, and will be followed by another in downtown Raleigh – Transfer Co. Food Hall – as well as one in Durham – Durham Food Hall – opening in 2019.  Check out Morgan Street here.

The legendary, 88-year-old Mecca Restaurant was sold to Greg Hatem and became 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.

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, opened their newest restaurant called Wilson’s Eatery featuring locally sourced, scratch made sandwiches, flatbreads and salads and “several house-made sodas & mixers” in their craft cocktails. Visit their website here.

We enjoyed the much-anticipated opening of Big Dom’s Bagel Shop in downtown Cary in the former Little Caesars space. It is a grab and go bagel shop offering bagels, biscuits and b’donuts and is brought to us by the folks that also own Pizzeria Faulisi. It is located at 203 E. Chatham Street. Check them out here.

Top Durham County News of 2018

Shortly 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 opened a farm-to-table Cuban restaurant Copa at 107 West Main Street in the larger, renovated former Revolution spot. 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.

If you had 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 were just as excited as I was with the opening of County Fare at 1920 Chapel Hill Road. Keep up with their schedule and get all the details here.

Hutchins Garage opened in the Central Park District at 402 W. Geer Street in Durham. Pizza and beer top the list of great options there as well as a very cool atmosphere. Check them out on Facebook here.

Eastcut Sandwich Bar slid into the former Finch’s spot (3211 Old Chapel Hill Road) They serve up East Coast sandwich fare, salads, small plates, soups, sweets, and beer, wine and limited cocktails. The establishment is very family friendly and they even allow dogs on their deck. A great new Durham spot. Check them out here.

Deeluxe Chicken opened in the former Oval Park Grille spot at 1116 Broad St. by chefs Scott Howell and Rick Robinson, who first met nearly 30 years ago working together at Durham’s Magnolia Grill. The menu is built around fried chicken, of course, with dark and light quarters served with a side. Check them out here.

The Saleh family brought its newest Neomonde Mediterranean Deli to downtown Durham in the Unscripted Hotel building at 202 Corcoran St. As most know, Neomonde has locations in Raleigh and Morrisville. Get familiar with them here.

The latest addition to the M Restaurant Group in Durham came to life with the opening of M Tempura located in the former downtown Scratch Bakery location at 111 Orange Street. Chef Michael Lee’s other restaurants include nearby M Sushi and M Kokko. Get to know M Tempura here.

There is a new place to get your morning brew in South Durham with the opening of People’s Coffee located at the intersection of 751 and Renaissance Parkway, behind Bonefish Grill and beside Town Hall Burger and Beer. Brought to us by Jordan Wells and David Sadeghi, the concept features coffee from Black & White Coffee Roasters, pastries and such from Strong Arm Baking Co., and a grab-and-go menu and cold-pressed juice offerings from Cold Off The Press. Get familiar with them here.

Top Orange County News of 2018

Franklin Street’s legendary Spanky’s “retired” and was repurposed under the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group’s umbrella as Lula’s – a Southern restaurant featuring really good fried chicken, porkchops, short ribs, farm-to-table vegetables, freshly squeezed lemonade, homemade biscuits and mint juleps. Check out the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group here.

Fusion Fish, the global Asian fusion restaurant featuring sushi, spirits and cocktails, opened in the former One spot in Chapel Hill’s Meadowmont. You can find them on Facebook here.

Award-winning Oakleaf restaurant has successfully completed their move (after a temporary “stay-over” with their sister restaurant, Alberello) from quaint Pittsboro to hip downtown Carrboro. They opened in the spot adjacent to the Cats Cradle and in the same building as Fleet Feet and Rise Donuts. Check out their new space here.

Crunkleton’s Gary Crunkleton is expanding his empire following the news that he would be part of the new ownership of Crook’s Corner – he has now partnered with Sam Suchow, the owner of the barbecue restaurant The Pig, and opened The Neighborhood Bar right next to The Pig on Weaver Dairy Road in north Chapel Hill. Don’t worry, there is a “pass through” between the two establishments allowing you to order barbecue! Check them out here.

Chapel Hill welcomed the second location of Heavenly Buffaloes in the former home of Sandwich on Franklin Street. The Chapel Hill location is much larger than the original Durham “shack” and will be more of a traditional restaurant, including a dining room with seating for nearly 80 people. Get familiar with them here.

Top Chatham County News of 2018

The Pickle Jar Café, once in Siler City, relocated to the former Oakleaf spot in Pittsboro’s historic Chatham Mills. They specialize in fresh, local ingredients and scratch made recipes that support local farmers and community. Check them out here.

Chapel Hill’s The Root Cellar opened their second location in Chatham Park between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro. The space is absolutely gorgeous and inviting with three large garage doors that open to an expansive outside dining area. And next door House of Hops has opened, with the potential for a lot of joint endeavors. Check out The Root Cellar Pittsboro here.

Closings in 2018

Wake County – Raleigh Closings

Tarbouch on Creedmoor Road in Raleigh; Menchie’s at Sutton Square; Calavera Empanadas and Tequilla in downtown Raleigh; Positalia Italian Eatery in Brier Creek; Applebee’s at the corner of Gorman and Hillsborough Street in Raleigh; Standard Foods in downtown Raleigh; Mr. Sticky Buns food truck up on Capital Blvd.; Baskins-Robbins ice cream shop in Cameron Village; Freshii on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh; Kimbap in Raleigh’s Seaboard Station; the final Z Pizza location in downtown Raleigh; O’Charley’s location in Raleigh’s Brier Creek; Toppers Pizza location on Ronald Drive in Raleigh; Sugarland Bakery’s Cameron Village location; Phat Chicken on Martin Street; TLC Wings that had moved into the former Applebee’s location on Hillsborough Street; Raleigh Raw at Morgan Street Food Hall; Noodles & Company in Cameron Village; Bocci Trattoria & Pizzeria on Hillsborough Street; Oak & Dagger Public House at Seaboard Station; Chick-fil-A in downtown Raleigh on Fayetteville Street; Bedford Bistro in North Raleigh; 888 Chinese Take Out on Creedmoor Road in the Stonehenge Shopping Center.  

Wake County – Apex / Fuquay / Holly Springs / Clayton / Garner Closings

McCall’s Bar-b-Que and Seafood in Clayton (still have the original location in Goldsboro); SiP Bistro in Holly Springs; Bruegger’s Bagels in Garner; Just Cookin’ in Garner; Grill 57 in Garner; Rock Harbor Grill in Fuquay-Varina.

Wake County – Cary / Morrisville / Apex Closings

Tossed location in Morrisville; Bob Evans on Walnut Street in Cary; Uncle Maddio’s in Parkside Town Commons; Tijuana Flats in Cary’s Bradford Shops; Cary location of Little Caesar’s; German Grille in Cary; TGI Fridays in Cary on Kildaire & Tryon; Newk’s Eatery in Cary; Cantina 225 in Apex; Rookies Sports Bar in Apex; Lee’s Garden Chinese Restaurant in Apex; Macaroni Grill in Cary; Giardino Gourmet Salads in Cary; Smok’t BBQ & Tap in Cary’s Cornerstone Village; West Park Tavern in Cary; Gigi’s Cupcakes in Cary’s Waverly Place; Cary Towne Kitchen & Bar at 2002 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary; Patrick Jane’s Bar & Bistro at The Shoppes of Kildaire in Cary; The Original NY Pizza location at High House Crossing in Cary.  

Durham County Closings

Amante Pizza in the Hope Valley Shopping Center; Scratch, “Baby” Scratch & The Lakewood; Finch’s after moving to Durham; Spice and Curry, near the intersection of Highways 54 and 55 in Durham; Satisfaction Restaurant & Bar near Brightleaf Square; Ninth Street’s The Pie Hole; After 26 years, Scott Howell’s Nana’s; Maybelle’s in Durham’s American Tobacco Campus; Basan, part of the Eschelon Experiences restaurant group; The Cupcake Bar in downtown Durham; Vegan Flava Cafe in Durham by Northgate Mall; Cure Deli in Durham.

Orange County – Chapel Hill / Carrboro / Hillsborough Closings

Spanky’s, after a 40 year run (replaced by Lula’s); R&R Grill also on Franklin Street; Noodles & Company on Franklin Street; Smoothie King on Franklin Street; Toppers Pizza on Franklin Street; Sugarland Bakery on Franklin Street; Living Kitchen on Chapel Hill’s Elliott Road; Mystery Brewing Company in Hillsborough; The Shoppe Bar and Meatball Kitchen in Carrboro; Raaga in Chapel HIll at East 54; Allen & Son BBQ between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough (Chatham County location still open!).

Chatham County Closings

Alberello in North Chatham (but replaced by Sadie’s Southern).

The “Rest” of the News In 2018

Other Wake County – Raleigh Noteworthy News in 2018

The Pizza Times joined downtown favorites The Raleigh Times Bar and The Morning Times and is serving up pizzas by the pie and by the slice. They are open around the corner from The Raleigh Times at 210 Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh. Check them out here.

Two years after a fire completely destroyed their restaurant, Sushi Nine on Western Blvd. reopened at 3812 Western Boulevard. While the building is certainly new, the menu is just like their customers remember – nothing changed there! Check them out here.

Smashed Waffles (all waffles, all the time) opened at 2304 Hillsborough Street, directly across from NC State. Check out the Greenville-based concept here.

Tonbo Ramen, brought to us by the owners of Kanki, opened in the Moore Square District at 211 S. Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh serving up quintessential Japanese ramen dishes, such as Tonkotsu, Shio and Shoyu. Also they have an upstairs Izakaya bar, their version of a Japanese speakeasy, where you can enjoy craft cocktails and small plates, offering the unique flavors of Japan. Check them out here.

CO, offering a modern take on traditional Southeast Asian cuisine, moved into the AC Hotel at North Hills adding to their locations in Charleston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Savannah and Myrtle Beach. Get familiar with them here.

Chronic Tacos opened their Raleigh location at 9424 Falls of the Neuse Road (same shopping center as Sprouts Farmers Market) in early 2018. Check them out here.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema opened its first Triangle location at 2116 New Bern Avenue, but its not just a movie theatre and beer (although those are two great things), they also serve up great food and free movie rentals – 75,000 titles! Get familiar with them here.

Wahlburger’s finally opened in the former Oxford space…and just closed, seven months later.

Seoul 116 Korean Kitchen & Bar, City Market Sushi’s sister restaurant, opened in the former More. Kitchen & Wine Bar space at 116 N West St. Get familiar with them on Facebook here.

Happy + Hale opened in the Park Central building in North Hills serving up salads, juices and smoothies. The newest location offers a larger indoor seating area, outdoor patio seating, and brunch on the weekends. They’ve also partnered with Counter Culture Coffee and Brewery Bhavana to offer coffee and beer. Check them out here.

Viva moved into the former McAlister’s Deli location in North Hills. With multiple locations in and around Charlotte, this is the first Triangle-area location for the rotisserie joint that specializes in pollo a la brasa. Get to know them here.

In downtown Raleigh, the much anticipated Kaiju Bowl and Bao opened on Davie Street in the former Dickey’s Barbecue spot. Visit their website here.

Fig, a coffee shop and cocktail bar, serving your favorite drinks all day and a small menu to accompany those, opened at 1000 Brookside Drive. Get to know them on their website here.

Tapworks, a 50-tap, self-pour joint at 222 Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh, opened and also includes a pretty fun food menu. Check them out here.

Also at 222 Glenwood South, Anise Pho opened serving up authentic Vietnamese cuisine. This is actually a re-opening, as they moved from Cary to this location. Get familiar with them here on Facebook.

GiGi’s Pizza took over the former ZPizza spot in the Bank of America building in downtown Raleigh. The menu includes specialty pizzas, strombolis, calzones, sandwiches and salads. They kept the self-service 20-beer draft system they inherited from ZPizza. Get familiar with them on their Facebook page here.

The national “super-food” cafe chain Kale Me Crazy opened in the former home of Baskin-Robbins in Cameron Village. The restaurant offers juices, smoothies, salads, and wraps in a sleek, upscale environment. With a location in Cary, this will be their second Triangle area location. Get familiar with them here.

Lola’s Beach Bar opened a few doors down from NOFO and Third Place Coffee Shop on Glenwood Avenue at Five Points. They are self-described as a gritty surf/tiki beach bar in serving street tacos, burritos, nachos with margaritas, beer and tequila. Check them out here.

O-Ku Sushi opened in The Dillon at 411 W Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh’s warehouse district. O-Ku is described as authentic Asian cuisine with a southern approach. They have additional locations in Charlotte, Charleston, Atlanta, Nashville and Washington, D.C. Get familiar with them here.

Papa Shogun, moved into the former Kimbap spot in Seaboard Station, combining the techniques and flavors of Italian and Japanese cuisines for a new perspective on familiar foods in a refined yet fun environment. Check them out here.

The newest Triangle location of Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar opened in Raleigh at McNeil Point, just off Wake Forest Road (across from Mami Nora’s). They currently have two locations in Cary and a location in Durham. Check them out here.

Tenedor, a neighborhood taqueria that focuses on fast, fresh Latin fare consisting of family recipes mated with secret sauces and seasonings, opened at the end of November just outside of 440 on New Bern Avenue/Hwy. 64. Check them out here.

Other Wake – Cary / Morrisville Noteworthy News in 2018

Postmaster at 160 E Cedar Street in Cary opened featuring seasonal southern dishes using local ingredients, paired with a classic, but creative, bar program. Check them out here.

Early May saw the grand opening of the second location of ZenFish (original location is in Durham) at 9924 Chapel Hill Road in Morrisville near the intersection with Weston Parkway. Get the details on their Facebook events page here.

LaStella Wood Fired on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh closed but has reopened in Cary in the former Hurricane Grill & Wings spot in the Shoppes at Kildaire (corner of Kildaire Farm Road and Cary Parkway) Check them out here.

Anna Ko opened Terra Bonum Salad Cafe in the spot formerly occupied by Giardino Gourmet Salads on Harrison Avenue in the Bass Pro Shop shopping center offering up fresh salads, wraps and grain bowls. Get to know them on Facebook here.

Over in Morrisville G.58 Cuisine finally opened in the building at corner of Chapel Hill Road and Carrington Mill Boulevard. This is a concept we first reported on in late 2016. Get familiar with them here.

Anjappar Indian Restaurant opened in Cary’s Stone Creek Village shopping center in the former Chubby’s Tacos / Guacamaya spot. They also have locations in New York and New Jersey. Get familiar with them here.

Piasans Italian Restaurant closed making way for Kathmandu Kitchen at 1275 Northwest Maynard Road in the Maynard Crossing Shopping Center. It is an authentic Himalayan restaurant featuring Indian, Nepali and Tibetian dishes. Get familiar with them here.

CoreLife Eatery opened in late November in Cary’s Crossroads Shopping Center. The active lifestyle restaurant serves a variety of greens, grains and broth-based dishes. The eatery has other locations in North Carolina, which include Fayetteville and Greensboro, and 49 locations across the U.S. Get to know them here.

Other Wake County – Wake Forest / Rolesville Noteworthy News in 2018

Bu.ku, the restaurant that introduced global street food to downtown Raleigh, opened a second location in Wake Forest at 1228 Heritage Links Drive in the Heritage development, next to Wine 101 wine shop. Check out Bu.ku here.

Just over in Rolesville, The Cobalt Café, a coffee shop and breakfast and lunch spot, opened at 6150 Rogers Road. In addition to great coffee, they bake their muffins fresh daily from scratch. Get to know them here.

Showmars, a fast, casual concept featuring a blend of Greek and Southern, serving up sandwiches and salads, opened at the corner of Capital and Stadium Drive in Wake Forest. Get familiar with them here.

Other Wake County – Fuquay-Varina / Holly Springs / Apex Noteworthy News in 2018

Osteria G opened at 5160 Sunset Lake Road in Apex in the former Little Hen spot, where every day different special dishes are cooked according to the fresh products that the local market offers. Diners enjoy varied dishes accompanied by a good glass of wine. Check out their website here.

Bawarchi Grill & Spirits opened in the former Rookies in Apex (and before that, Rudino’s) space at 800 W. Williams Street. Indian cuisine and booze…sounds like my kinda place! Check them out here.

Cultivate Cafe + Coffee Roasters, a new coffee shop and roaster, opened in the downtown Fuquay-Varina area in the former EMS building serving up  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. Get familiar with them here.

Scratch Kitchen & Taproom at 225 N. Salem Street in the former Tobacco & Mule Exchange building in downtown Apex opened. Scratch represents a partnership between two restaurant families with over a dozen successful concepts between them. Jeff and Meredith Kromenhoek and the ownership team of The Mason Jar Tavern and The Mason Jar Lager Company have come together to bring a truly exciting new concept. Think Southern food with a touch of Asian flair. Here’s the link their Facebook page.

In Fuquay-Varina, Abbey Road Tavern & Grill opened at 711 N. Main Street. They also have locations in Cary and Apex and have earned the title of ‘Best Burger’ in the Triangle 14 times. Check them out here.

Also in downtown Fuquay-Varina, Vicious Fishes Brewery, Taproom & Kitchen opened at 132 S. Fuquay Avenue in the former Rock Harbor Grill space. The new spot will combine a craft brewery already known for its location in Angier with a gastropub featuring wood-fired cuisine. Visit them on Facebook here.

Other Durham County Noteworthy News in 2018

A new fast-casual restaurant called Sushiōki (“Oki” means big in Japanese) opened in February at 4900 Highway 55 (near the intersection with Highway 54, next to Brigs restaurant). The concept features large, burrito-sized sushi rolls. Find them here.

There is a new North Indian restaurant called Naan Stop over on Erwin Road next to Black Twig, and their website (get this) is Naan Stop Duke. Love the clever name. Check them out here.

East Durham Bake Shop opened at 406 South Driver Street specializing 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.

A new Korean BBQ joint called Itaewon Grill opened on Erwin Road in the former Hungry Leaf spot. Visit them online here.

Chapel Hill’s Roots Bakery, Bistro and Bar opened 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 serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Get familiar with Roots here.

Thai @ Main Street opened in the former Dame’s Chicken and Waffles space in downwtown Durham.  Chef/owner Jay Aparoj 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. Check them out here.

Tamale Factory and Tequila Bar has opened in the Erwin Terrace building at 2816 Erwin Road (think Nosh, Black Twig Cider House, Pho & Poke House). Check them out on Facebook here.

Foster Street Coffee, owned by Tracy Cooper, opened on the ground level of the Liberty Warehouse apartments and just steps away from Durham Central Park. Get to know them here.

Hi-Wire Brewing opened a taproom in downtown Durham at 800 Taylor Street at the Golden Belt campus. It has a large interior space, as well as an outdoor covered patio and beer garden. Dubbed the “Durham Fun Zone,” the space is game and activity heavy, featuring full-sized shuffleboard courts, soccer pool tables, table tennis and more. Get familiar with them here.

A new Zimbabwean restaurant called Zweli’s Kitchen opened at 4600 Chapel Hill-Durham Blvd. Check them out on Facebook here.

Cucciolo Osteria, a new Italian restaurant tucked away off of 601 W. Main Street (down from The West End Wine Bar) opened mid-summer. Get familiar with them here.

The former Joe Van Gogh spot on Duke’s campus become Beyu Blue Coffee – from the folks at Beyu Caffé. Beyu’s owner, Dorian Bolden, is a Duke alumnus. Check out Beyu here.

Pokeworks is now open in downtown Durham on the ground floor of One City Center at 122 W. Main Street. Pokéworks serves build-your-own poké bowls, poké burritos and poké salads with a variety of proteins, sauces and toppings to choose from. This is their first North Carolina location with another on the way in Raleigh. Check them out here.

Saint & Co. opened in the space formerly occupied by The Pie Hole at the intersection of Ninth and Green streets in Durham. The bakery/cafe menu features fresh baked artisan pastries and breads, salads, sandwiches, and amazing brick hearth Neapolitan style pizza. Check them out on Facebook here.

Uncle Julio’s Mexican restaurant moved into the former Champps location at the Streets at Southpoint but you won’t recognize the inside – a complete remodel. Check them out here.

Bralie’s Sport Bar & Grill has opened a second location (affectionately called Bralie’s 2) at 4707 Hillsborough Road. The original location is on Carpenter Fletcher Road near the intersection of Hwy. 55 and Interstate 40. Get to know them here.

Other Orange County – Chapel Hill / Carrboro Noteworthy News in 2018

Over on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street Bonchon Chicken opened in the former McAlister’s location and specializes in Korean-style fried chicken and a variety of savory Asian fusion dishes. They have 236 restaurants in nine countries with more than 63 in the United States. Get familiar with them here.

Korean restaurant MinGa moved into the former Captain Poncho (and Mixed before that) space on Franklin Street, near the intersection with Estes Drive. Check them out here.

Chapel Hill was also the beneficiary of the opening of the popular Greensboro burger maker Hops Burger Bar and their gourmet burgers at 140 West Franklin Street in the former Lime Fresh Mexican Grill space. Of note, Trip Advisor named them the best burger spot in the nation in 2015! Visit their website here.

Carrboro’s YesterYear Brewery truly lived up to its name and is now a distant memory as it transformed with new partners, a new experience, an added kitchen and reopened under a new name – Vecino Brewing Co. They are located at 300 East Main Street next to Cat’s Cradle. Get familiar with them here.

In Chapel Hill’s Rams Plaza, Mr. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant moved into the space next door to the newly relocated Monterrey Mexican. Apparently they have a couple of locations in the Charlotte area, but most notably on their website is that they offer an unlimited sushi and hibachi menu for lunch and dinner. Get familiar with them here.

Gael Chatelain of Napoli Food Truck fame opened Napoli Café at 105 E. Main Street in downtown Carrboro. The café serves up handmade from scratch gelato using local milk, espresso based drinks with Counter Culture beans, teas from Sangha Tea and local craft beer on draft. You can order from the truck in the cafe and enjoy it all on the new patio between the truck and café. Check them out on Facebook here.

CAVA opened in the Village Plaza shopping center on Elliott Road just down from Whole Foods. The Greek/Mediterranean concept allows you to customize your ideal grain bowl, salad, or pita. Get familiar with them here.

B.GOOD opened on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street completing their coverage of the entire Triangle with locations in Raleigh (North Hill and downtown) and Morrisville. Each location serves “food with roots” – meaning food that is sustainable, natural, clean and freshly prepared and served every day. Get familiar with B.GOOD here.

Other Chatham County Noteworthy News in 2018

Charlie Farris and Clint Winslow opened another Jersey Mike’s in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill in the Lowe’s Foods shopping center. Farris and Winslow also own locations in Chapel Hill (2 locations), Durham and Hillsborough. Check out Jersey Mike’s here.

Alberello closed at the end of October, making room for Sadie’s Southern from Leslie and Brendan Cox, owners of Oakleaf in downtown Carrboro. Check out Sadie’s here.



Friday Fun Food Facts – December 14, 2018

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  ‘Tis the season! The News & Observer has compiled a list of restaurants that are open on Christmas Day (and a few on Christmas Eve). And don’t forget to check out Postal Fish Company bringing an Italian tradition to the Triangle as they host the Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Check out Postal’s event here and the full list of restaurants here

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Learned last week of Tenedor, which opened at the end of November. It  is a neighborhood taqueria that focuses on fast, fresh Latin fare consisting of family recipes mated with secret sauces and seasonings. They are located in Raleigh just outside of 440 on New Bern Avenue/Hwy. 64. Owner Lee Cordova was born in Veracruz, Mexico and moved to the United States early in life. Check them out here.
  • This is worth a trip over to Trophy Brewing Company on Monday nights (as if you need another reason). But apparently after a research trip to Detroit and much testing in their kitchen, they are making 20 “Detroit Style” pizzas every Monday night (who knew there was Detroit style pizza?). Dine in only. When they are gone, they are gone. Check out Trophy here.
  • And lots of changes on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street according to @catonatrain on Twitter. First up, Marco’s Pizza was replaced by a new place called Hot Tomato. Check out Hot Tomato here. Waba closed and was replaced by a Peruvian/Colombian/Venezuelan  place called Pisco Mar, although interestingly enough, they still have a few Korean items on the menu. Visit them on Facebook here. And finally, Mama Jee is gone and in its place is a sushi bar called Mon Sushi. Can’t find an online presence, but they are already getting really good reviews on Yelp. I think I have found my Hillsborough Street beat reporter!
  • Reader Jeanette Hauser noticed signage for Poke Bros. at 780 Alexander Place, Suite 110 in Brier Creek. They offer fast, fresh, fit. high-quality, sushi-grade fish and farm-fresh veggies in an authentic Hawaiian poké bowl. No word yet on an open date. Get familiar with them here.
  • In Morrisville, Offline Raleigh reported this week that Fount Coffee + Kitchen opened in the Marketplace at Perimeter Park (corner Chapel Hill Road and Carrington Mill Blvd.). They will offer coffee and teas, smoothie bowls, salads, stacks and small plates. Check them out here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, reader Keith Weitz pointed out that signage is up for a concept called Harvest Moon in the former SiP Bistro location at 128 Bass Lake Road. Unfortunately an online search didn’t turn up anything, so stay tuned. Thanks Keith!
  • And in downtown Fuquay-Varina, David McCreary shared the news that Vicious Fishes Brewery, Taproom & Kitchen opened this week at 132 S. Fuquay Avenue in the former Rock Harbor Grill space. The new spot will combine a craft brewery already known for its location in Angier with a gastropub featuring wood-fired cuisine. Visit them on Facebook here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Over in Durham, Triangle Explorer John Huisman just reported that Sofia Pizza has opened at 2201 Angier Avenue. Sofia’s is a casual neighborhood spot where neighbors new and old can hang out and enjoy tasty pizza, pasta, soft serve, and local beers. Get to know them here.
  • Offline Durham noted that Sweet Charlie’s (hand rolled ice cream) is having their Grand Opening this Saturday in the Hope Valley Commons shopping center in South Durham near the WhichWich, Makus Empanadas and Mattie B’s. This appears to be their first North Carolina locations. Check them out here.
  • One final note from Chapel Hill, SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill will operate a Dewey’s Bakery holiday shop at the SECU House (NOT in University Place as originally planned) at 123 Old Mason Farm Rd in Chapel Hill through Dec. 23. Thirty-five percent of proceeds from each sale will go directly to SECU Family House – a safe, nurturing and affordable home for patients and their loved ones who travel great distances to UNC Hospitals for lifesaving procedures due to serious illnesses. Dewey’s baked goods have been a treasured holiday tradition since the bakery opened in downtown Winston-Salem in 1930. Get familiar with Dewey’s here.

Closings

  • Got word last week that Ruckus Pizza & Pasta in Cary at the Arboretum is closing. Owner Robert Royster confirmed that the last day will be January 3rd. Stay tuned on the new owner and that concept. The good news is Ruckus has 4 other locations in the Triangle!

Events

  • This Saturday, December 15th is the date of the Holiday Pop-up Wine Dinner at Vino Wine Shop at 89 Hillsboro Street in downtown Pittsboro. This first dinner in a series will feature chef Regan Stachler, former owner-chef of Little Hen farm to table restaurant in Holly Springs. The cost is $69 per person and features four courses paired with five fabulous wines. Space is limited to 26 people so hurry and buy your ticket before they are gone. Here is the Facebook event page with all the details.
  • Also on this Saturday, December 15th, Eastcut Sandwich Bar and Ponysaurus Brewing are coming together for a Oysters + Oyster Saison Garden Party. Fresh oysters, pints of oyster saison, live music and more in their heated garden from 2pm-10pm. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The folks over at The Rickhouse will host the first Durham Village Holiday Market featuring North Carolina made eats, drinks  and gifts on December 16-18. Sample independent food, beverage, and craft producers while you complete your shopping list. Each night will have a bar and a different food truck for you to enjoy. Get all the details, including hours, on their Facebook page here.
  • Postal Fish Company brings an Italian tradition to the Triangle as they host the Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Christmas Eve is a vigil, or fasting day, and the abundance of seafood reflects the observance of abstinence from meat until the feast of Christmas Day itself. Today, the meal typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. The tradition comes from Southern Italy, where it is known simply as The Vigil (La Vigilia). This celebration commemorates the wait, the Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus. The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from eating meat on the eve of a feast day. This “feast” features 7 courses paired with 5 wines. Dinner starts at 4:45 promptly, doors open at 4:30pm. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • And looking ahead to next year, an annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019 is a restored 1981 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.

Food Bank Corner

  • There is Hope for the Holidays at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina where your gift today (and through the holidays) is doubled! We know the feeling of warmth, security, and belonging that comes from being around a meal with family. This year, we’re asking you to help us provide hope for the holidays. Your gift today will be doubled when you give to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina! That’s twice as many nutritious meals for working families, individuals, children, and seniors in our 34-county service area. Every $10 you donate doubles to $20, providing up to 100 meals! Make your gift today!

Friday Fun Food Facts – December 7, 2018

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Following on last week’s news that Sam Jones was bringing his barbecue to Raleigh, we got news this week that North Hill’s Q Shack will be closing in January and that Chapel Hill’s legendary Allen & Son BBQ has closed. The good news is that you can continue enjoying the Q Shack through January 19th and you can order your smoked turkey, honey-glazed ham or chile-rubbed beef brisket for the holidays. Additionally, owner Tom Meyer will continue sharing his culinary talent through catering offered by Southern Harvest Hospitality Group and he will continue on with his Sprout Cafe and Elements Coffee Bar both located at the Museum of Life & Science in Durham. For Allen & Son fans, there is still the franchise location on 15-501 midway between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro owned by Jimmy Stubbs. Check out Southern Harvest here and the remaining Allen & Son here. Order your Christmas/Holiday dinner here.  

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh, Leo Sauarez shared via Twitter that Budacai Boba Bar is coming to the former Povenance space at 120 E. Martin Street. The sign in the window indicates that this will be North Carolina’s first Boba Bar. We couldn’t find an online presence, so stay tuned.
  • One of our readers let us know that there is a Bad Daddy Burger Bar coming to The Corners at Brier Creek just beyond 540 off Glenwood Avenue (Harris Teeter shopping center). Site indicates they will open in January, 2019. Check out Bad Daddy’s here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal shared this week that CoreLife Eatery opened Nov. 30 at 200 Crossroads Blvd. in Cary. The active lifestyle restaurant serves a variety of greens, grains and broth-based dishes. The eatery has other locations in North Carolina, which include Fayetteville and Greensboro, and 49 locations across the U.S. Get to know them here.
  • Reader Greg Beatty shared that there is a new online dessert company based in Cary called Taste Desserts. He can personally vouch for the deliciousness of their offerings (he especially enjoyed their Key Lime Pie). He noted that they ship certain items and have local pickup for all their offerings. Information can be found here.
  • Also in Cary, Cary Magazine shared that Sushi at the Park is opening soon at Parkside Town Commons at the corner of Hwy. 55 and O’Kelly Chapel Road. They will be offering over 40 ultra-fresh sushi rolls for your enjoyment. Keep up with their opening announcement on their Facebook page here.
  • Down toward Garner, reader Hugh Autry noted a Yemen Kitchen banner now hanging on the former Bruegger’s location at 117 Small Pines Drive, across from Walmart. No other information is available at this time.
  • And if you are a fan of cider, make your way over to Morrisville where Matthew Galiani has opened Naughty Penguin Hard Cider where they craft rich hard apple cider from regionally sourced apples. And they have a tasting room open 7 days a week. Thanks to Nancy Scotto for the heads up! Get all the details and check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  In Chapel HIll, Crunkleton’s Gary Crunkleton is expanding his empire. Following on the news that he would be part of the new ownership of Crook’s Corner, the News & Observer shared this week that he is partnering with Sam Suchow, the owner of the barbecue restaurant The Pig, to open The Neighborhood Bar right next to The Pig on Weaver Dairy Road in north Chapel Hill. Don’t worry, there will be a “pass through” between the two establishments allowing you to order barbecue! Look for it to open in August.
  • Reader Jacqueline Atlas noticed a new sign in the old Monterrey Mexican restaurant location on Elliott Road that read Don Chicken Rotisserie. Other than that, we were not able to find any sort of online presence. She did note that it looks like a fairly thorough renovation/remodel. Thanks Jacqueline! And we will continue to keep an eye on it.
  • In Durham, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared that Liturgy Beverage Company, a new retail coffee, tea, and chocolate business, is coming to the Durham Food Hall (in the Central Park neighborhood of Durham) in early 2019. To make it all happen, they have a Kickstarter campaign to help them fulfill this dream. Check it out here.
  • Bralie’s Sport Bar & Grill has opened a second location (affectionately called Bralie’s 2) at 4707 Hillsborough Road. My wife and I stopped in shortly after they opened, but they didn’t have food at the time. I’m happy to report they began lunch service around the middle of last month and have a chef that makes daily specials and is building on their current menu. The original location is on Carpenter Fletcher Road near the intersection of Hwy. 55 and Interstate 40. Get to know them here.
  • And also in Durham, the founders of the popular food truck Soomsoom Pita Pockets are moving back to Isarel, but they are not taking the truck with them. They have sold it to the folks at Cast Iron Group (think The Cookery, Dashi and Ponysaurus Brewing Co.). Check out Cast Iron here.
  • One final note from Chapel Hill, SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill will operate a Dewey’s Bakery holiday shop at the SECU House (NOT in University Place as originally planned) at 123 Old Mason Farm Rd in Chapel Hill through Dec. 23. Thirty-five percent of proceeds from each sale will go directly to SECU Family House – a safe, nurturing and affordable home for patients and their loved ones who travel great distances to UNC Hospitals for lifesaving procedures due to serious illnesses. Dewey’s baked goods have been a treasured holiday tradition since the bakery opened in downtown Winston-Salem in 1930. Get familiar with Dewey’s here.

Closings

  • Not a good week for closings. We already mentioned above the pending closing of Raleigh’s Q Shack at North Hills (open through January 19th) as well as the already closed Allen & Son BBQ in Chapel Hill.
  • Not exactly restaurants, but we also learned this week that Funny Girl Farm and Sam’s Quick Shop, both in Durham, are closing. Funny Girl on December 15th and Sam’s on December 31st.

Events

  •  December 15th is the date of the Holiday Pop-up Wine Dinner at Vino Wine Shop at 89 Hillsboro Street in downtown Pittsboro. This first dinner in a series will feature chef Regan Stachler, former owner-chef of Little Hen farm to table restaurant in Holly Springs. The cost is $69 per person and features four courses paired with five fabulous wines. Space is limited to 26 people so hurry and buy your ticket before they are gone. Here is the Facebook event page with all the details.
  • Also on December 15th, Eastcut Sandwich Bar and Ponysaurus Brewing are coming together for a Oysters + Oyster Saison Garden Party. Fresh oysters, pints of oyster saison, live music and more in their heated garden from 2pm-10pm. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The folks over at The Rickhouse will host the first Durham Village Holiday Market featuring North Carolina made eats, drinks  and gifts on December 16-18. Sample independent food, beverage, and craft producers while you complete your shopping list. Each night will have a bar and a different food truck for you to enjoy. Get all the details, including hours, on their Facebook page here.
  • Postal Fish Company brings an Italian tradition to the Triangle as they host the Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Christmas Eve is a vigil, or fasting day, and the abundance of seafood reflects the observance of abstinence from meat until the feast of Christmas Day itself. Today, the meal typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. The tradition comes from Southern Italy, where it is known simply as The Vigil (La Vigilia). This celebration commemorates the wait, the Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus. The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from eating meat on the eve of a feast day. This “feast” features 7 courses paired with 5 wines. Dinner starts at 4:45 promptly, doors open at 4:30pm. Get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Over 60% of students in our 34-county service area qualify for free/reduced-price lunch. It’s difficult for any student to excel academically when they come to school hungry. So we invite all students, staff, parents, and teachers to join our Students Against Hunger food and fund drive to help feed hungry children and their families in our community. Since 1996, students in our area have donated enough to provide nearly 6 million meals. Join the cause! Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 1 through November 30. Competing schools must deliver their donations to any of our branches by 11am on Friday, November 30th. Find out if your child’s school is participating (and if not, get them to!) here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – November 30, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  We’ve been hearing this rumor for months, but the News & Observer confirmed this week that Sam Jones, known for cooking some of the most acclaimed whole hog barbecue in the South, is coming to Raleigh. The fourth-generation pitmaster and James Beard semifinalist is opening his second Sam Jones BBQ restaurant at 502 W. Lenoir St., in the former Dusty’s Garage near Boylan Heights. Sam Jones BBQ opened in 2015 near Greenville just down from his family’s legendary Skylight Inn in Ayden, a modest brick restaurant topped by a silver Capitol dome, self-proclaiming it as the center of the barbecue universe. Look for the Raleigh location to open next fall. If you are not already, get familiar with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We learned that the former Kamado Grille location in North Raleigh is going to have a new tenant thanks to a note passed along to us from Steve Howell. He shared that Cape Fear Seafood confirmed on Facebook that they will open first half of 2019 at 832 Spring Forest Rd. in Raleigh. Get familiar with them here.
  • Got word from WRAL that The Lost Cajun is holding their grand opening in Wakefield on December 3rd at 10901 Forest Pines Dr (old Wendy’s). You’ll be able to enjoy their delicious gumbo as well as their famous catfish and Po boys. Check them out here.
  • The latest location of Kale Me Crazy has opened in Raleigh at 2018 Cameron Street in Cameron Village in the former home of Baskin-Robbins. They also have a location in Cary in the Waverly Place shopping center. Kale Me Crazy is a superfood cafe offering juices, smoothies, salads, and wraps in a sleek, upscale environment. The menu also includes poke bowls, acai bowls, coffee, tea, and avocado toast (obvi). Check them out here.
  • We also learned that the newest Triangle location of Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar has opened in Raleigh at McNeil Point, just off Wake Forest Road (across from Mami Nora’s). They currently have two location in Cary and a location in Durham. Congratulations to Brad Barbour and his team. Check them out here.
  • In downtown Raleigh, at the Morgan Street Food Hall, we learned that YoHo Asian Bistro, a Japanese and Thai restaurant, is coming online there later this year, first of next year. Their original location is in Tryon Village on the corner of Tryon Road and Walnut Street. They will be serving up hibachi and sushi burritos. Check them out here.
  • Thanks to the keen eyes of reader Wesley Mays, we have learned that there is a “coming soon” sign for Pho XO Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine at 10290 Chapel Hill Road in Morrisville in the Greenwood Village shopping center. We were unable to find an online presence and we don’t have a timeline. Stay tuned!
  • Up in Wake Forest, the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Lonerider Brewing Company has plans to open a new taproom called The Hideout. Look for them to open in early 2019. It will be located in The Factory, where the old go-karts used to be. The taproom will have 3,100 square feet of space inside and around 5,000 square feet outside featuring many of Lonerider’s beers. The outdoor beer garden will provide the option to buy food from food trucks. Keep up with Lonerider’s busy 2019 here.
  • Over in Cary, Asali Events announced last week via Instagram that they are opening a bakery in the MacGregor Village Shopping Center called Asali Desserts and Cafe. They will be serving up fresh desserts, savory small plates, and coffee  in their new home. You can keep up with their progress on their Instagram page here.
  • Across the way in Apex, got word from Sadiye Sezenol that she is opening a 100% Vegan restaurant called Vegan Community Kitchen at 803 E. Williams Street in the former Sweet Cheeks Bakery location. The restaurant will feature 100% vegan casual Mediterranean fast food. Look for them to open in January, 2019. In the meantime, get familiar with them here.
  • And down in Fuquay Varina, David McCreary provided two quick updates. First up, Oaklyn Springs Brewery is open at 2912 North Main Street, Suite 100. Not sure food is on the menu, but sometimes all you need is a good beer. Check them out here. And David shared that a plan has been submitted to the town for a Panera Bread to be located at 1330 North Main Street in Sunset Plaza.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  I had lunch this week with Neha Shah with the Pittsboro-Siler City Visitors Bureau and she brought it to my attention that Sadie’s Southern is now open in Northern Chatham County off 15-501. You’ll remember that Sadie’s is the newest concept from the husband and wife team of Leslie and Brendan Cox in the former Alberello’s spot. They also own Oakleaf in Carrboro. Sadie’s positions itself as fantastic home cooked food served with true Southern hospitality. They are open for lunch and dinner. Get familiar with them on Facebook here.
  • Over in Durham, WRAL reported that Hi-Wire Brewing out of Asheville will open a taproom in Durham at 800 Taylor Street (Golden Belt) with a public grand opening celebration scheduled for Dec. 1. The new taproom consists of 8,844 square feet of interior space, as well as a 1,678 square foot outdoor covered patio and beer garden. The space is game and activity heavy, featuring full-sized shuffleboard courts, soccer pool tables, table tennis, and more. The bar’s 24 taps feature ours full line-up of beers, including year-round, seasonal, specialty, sour, and one-offs, as well as wine, local cider, and guest taps from neighboring breweries. The Dec. 1 grand opening party will have a circus theme, with roving circus acts, a Rock-O-Plane spinning wheel, high striker and aerial artists. Funk band, Lotus Sun, will provide musical entertainment with two sets starting at 6:30 p.m. The Durham tap room is in addition to Hi-Wire’s two locations in Asheville. Get familiar with them here.
  • Looks like while we were “away” last week, B.GOOD opened on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street. With this opening, they now have locations in Raleigh (North Hill and downtown), Morrisville and now Chapel Hill. Each location serves “food with roots” – meaning food that is sustainable, natural, clean and freshly prepared and served every day. It’s food with heritage and origin, homemade, shared and grown by communities. Get familiar with B.GOOD here.
  • One final note from Chapel Hill, SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill will operate a Dewey’s Bakery holiday shop at the SECU House (NOT in University Place as originally planned) at 123 Old Mason Farm Rd in Chapel Hill through Dec. 23. Thirty-five percent of proceeds from each sale will go directly to SECU Family House – a safe, nurturing and affordable home for patients and their loved ones who travel great distances to UNC Hospitals for lifesaving procedures due to serious illnesses. Dewey’s baked goods have been a treasured holiday tradition since the bakery opened in downtown Winston-Salem in 1930. Get familiar with Dewey’s here.

Closings

  •  Got word from reader Stacie Creech that Bedford Bistro in North Raleigh has closed. But word is they are looking to sell, so if you are looking for restaurant space in North Raleigh, let me know and I can connect the two of you.
  • Mike DePersia confirmed that 888 Chinese Take Out on Creedmoor Road in the Stonehenge Shopping Center has closed.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, we learned that Raaga closed down as well. They had just celebrated 10 years back in October.
  • And in Durham, Glen Gillen brought it to my attention that Cure Deli has closed.

Events

  •  Tonight, November 30th, at 5 p.m. 222 Fusion Bistro and Bar will hold their grand opening at 222 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. Their menu will feature homemade dumplings, Japanese pasta, Korean BBQ ribs, whole snapper, Vietnamese shaken beef, seafood boil, Filipino chicken adobo and more in a casual dining experience. Get familiar with them here.
  • Join Motorco as they welcome Allagash Brewing of Portland, Maine and Oysters Carolina of Harkers Island, NC for a Wonderful Winter Time Oyster Roast on the patio at Motorco on Sunday, December 2nd from noon until 6:00 p.m. They will be pouring tasters and glasses of several of Allagash’s fantastic brews including some special reserve barrels. Additionally, Oysters Carolina will be providing their fresh (harvested that morning) oysters grown on their farm off the waters of Harker’s Island. These deep cup award winning oysters are known as some of the saltiest in the state. Just choose raw, roasted or grilled. Preorder to guarantee your oysters. Details here and ordering here.
  • Herons, Rooted in the South will now feature two guest chefs to cook alongside chefs Steven Greene and Jonathan Fisher on December 5th. Kevin Johnson of The Grocery in Charleston and David Bancroft of Acre and just-opened Bow & Arrow will join chefs Greene and Fisher in the Herons kitchen to develop a collaborative menu of dishes born from their Southern roots and create an unforgettable experience to benefit the Southern Foodways Alliance. Herons will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales to the Southern Foodways Alliance, which documents, studies and explores the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. Tickets are $150 per person, with optional wine pairings for an additional $75, and can be purchased by calling the restaurant at (919) 447-4050. Get all the details on the Herons events page here.
  • John T. Edge, executive director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, will lead a Celebration of Southern Food to benefit Farm to Fork from 6-9 p.m.Thursday, Dec. 6, at Lavender Oaks Farm in Chapel Hill. The dinner will be prepared by several of the Triangle’s best-known chefs: Sean Fowler of Mandolin in Raleigh; Cheetie Kumar of Garland in Raleigh; Brendan Cox of Oakleaf in Chapel Hill; Wyatt Dickson of Picnic in Durham; Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham; and Robert Kinneen of The Boot in Durham. Dessert will be prepared by Jonathan Fisher of Herons at the Umstead Hotel and Phoebe Lawless, formerly of Scratch Baking and the Lakewood. Counterclockwise String Band will perform. Tickets are $45 per person. Proceeds from the nonprofit’s events provide training and mentorship through the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro and Breeze Farm Incubator in Orange County. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • December 15th is the date of the Holiday Pop-up Wine Dinner at Vino Wine Shop at 89 Hillsboro Street in downtown Pittsboro. This first dinner in a series will feature chef Regan Stachler, former owner-chef of Little Hen farm to table restaurant in Holly Springs. The cost is $69 per person and features four courses paired with five fabulous wines. Space is limited to 26 people so hurry and buy your ticket before they are gone. Here is the Facebook event page with all the details.
  • The folks over at The Rickhouse will host the first Durham Village Holiday Market featuring North Carolina made eats, drinks  and gifts on December 16-18. Sample independent food, beverage, and craft producers while you complete your shopping list. Each night will have a bar and a different food truck for you to enjoy. Get all the details, including hours, on their Facebook page here.
  • Postal Fish Company brings an Italian tradition to the Triangle as they host the Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Christmas Eve is a vigil, or fasting day, and the abundance of seafood reflects the observance of abstinence from meat until the feast of Christmas Day itself. Today, the meal typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. The tradition comes from Southern Italy, where it is known simply as The Vigil (La Vigilia). This celebration commemorates the wait, the Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus. The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from eating meat on the eve of a feast day. This “feast” features 7 courses paired with 5 wines. Dinner starts at 4:45 promptly, doors open at 4:30pm. Get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Over 60% of students in our 34-county service area qualify for free/reduced-price lunch. It’s difficult for any student to excel academically when they come to school hungry. So we invite all students, staff, parents, and teachers to join our Students Against Hunger food and fund drive to help feed hungry children and their families in our community. Since 1996, students in our area have donated enough to provide nearly 6 million meals. Join the cause! Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 1 through November 30. Competing schools must deliver their donations to any of our branches by 11am on Friday, November 30th. Find out if your child’s school is participating (and if not, get them to!) here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – November 16, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  The greatest feast week of the year is here! Loosen up the belt buckle and get ready for some great couch naps! We thought we’d share who is open for Thanksgiving thanks to WRAL. Also, don’t forget that our good friends over at Donovan’s Dish are doing fully prepared (and delivered – if you order by this Sunday, November 18th!) Thanksgiving meals for your home. Check out Donovan’s here and the full list on WRAL here.  Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! See you in two weeks!

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word from the folks over at ITB Insider that Boylan Bridge Brewpub is under new ownership. Sara and Chris Abernethy have been holding the reins for just shy of two months and they already have plans for lots of changes, beginning with a new menu that comes out this week. Stay tuned as new life is pumped into this special place. Check them out here.
  • Over in Cameron Village, the ITB Insider also broke the news that Cava Mezze is moving into the former Noodles & Company space. Cava Mezze is a sister restaurant of Cava Grill. The sit-down restaurant version of the fast-casual Cava chain offers similar menus that include classic Mediterranean ingredients like lamb, hummus, falafel, yogurt, and more. Permits were issued last week. Get familiar with them here.
  • Out in the Glenwood Avenue area heading out toward the airport we got a couple of updates from reader Pat Rago. The first was that there is a “Now Hiring” sign up at Mami Nora’s (albeit the sign says Mami’s). Pat also shared the news that The Pickled Onion (actually, The Pickled Onion 2, as this is their second location), behind CarMax (at 8511 Cantilever Way) is now open. Check out Mami Nora’s here and The Pickled Onion here.
  • Got word from WRAL that The Lost Cajun is holding their grand opening in Wakefield on December 3rd at 10901 Forest Pines Dr (old Wendy’s). You’ll be able to enjoy their delicious gumbo as well as their famous catfish and Po boys. Check them out here.
  • Also in North Raleigh, got word that Burney’s Sweets & More is getting very close to swinging open their doors at 4500 Falls of Neuse Road. Yes, their famous glazed croissants and 15-Layer cakes will soon be making their grand appearance in the Oak City. Keep up with their opening on Facebook here.
  • This season, the Hurricanes are hosting an All Star Chef Series during six home games, pairing a four-course meal tasting from a curated collection of North Carolina’s premier chefs with tickets to a Carolina Hurricanes home game at PNC Arena. The first one kicked off Nov. 10. The dinners will be held in the Arena Club restaurant two hours before the game. Tickets to the dinner and hockey game are $135, with seats in the lower level of PNC Arena. Hurricanes season ticket holders can get dinner tickets for $75. To get tickets and to see the schedule of chefs, go here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  On a recent drive through Chapel Hill, saw a sign up for Haw River Grill at 243 S. Elliott Road in the Elliott Square shopping center just down from Jersey Mike’s. Surprisingly, we were unable to locate an online presence. So we’ll just have to wait a little longer until someone can share a little bit more information.
  • One location change from Chapel Hill — the SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill will operate a Dewey’s Bakery holiday shop at the SECU House (NOT in University Place as originally planned) at 123 Old Mason Farm Rd in Chapel Hill Friday, Nov. 16 through Dec. 23. Thirty-five percent of proceeds from each sale will go directly to SECU Family House – a safe, nurturing and affordable home for patients and their loved ones who travel great distances to UNC Hospitals for lifesaving procedures due to serious illnesses. Dewey’s baked goods have been a treasured holiday tradition since the bakery opened in downtown Winston-Salem in 1930. Get all the details here.

Closings

  •  Got word from reader Kimberly Cannon that the The Original NY Pizza location at High House Crossing on Highway 55 in Cary has closed. They have two other locations in Cary and one in Holly Springs. Check them out here.

Events

  •  Come celebrate with us TONIGHT at the 2018 Brewer’s Ball: A Celebration of Triangle’s Finest on Friday, November 16, 2018, at American Institute of Architects at 14 E Peace St in Raleigh from 7 to 10 p.m. (VIP Honoree and Sponsors Reception at 6:30 p.m.). The Brewer’s Ball is an evening featuring the finest in brews, cocktails, food, music, and difference makers in the community. Guests are treated to a variety of hand-crafted brews and beverages from around town, creative and delicious food pairings from the city’s top restaurants, live music, expansive live and silent auctions, and a chance to mix and mingle with the best and brightest in the Triangle, all while being a part of a great cause: helping move us closer to a cure for CF. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also TONIGHT, Bull Durham Beer Co. is partnering with Oyster 365 for a pop-up dinner from 6-9 p.m. TONIGHT, Friday, November 16 at The Bullpen at 359 Blackwell Street at the American Tobacco Campus. Sold tickets will guarantee your half dozen oysters. Additional oysters will be available for purchase – please note that quantities may be limited and offered on a first come first serve basis. Come early to secure your spot! Tickets are $20 and include ½ dozen oysters and a beer. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • The folks over at The Rickhouse will host the first Durham Village Holiday Market featuring North Carolina made eats, drinks  and gifts on December 16-18. Sample independent food, beverage, and craft producers while you complete your shopping list. Each night will have a bar and a different food truck for you to enjoy. Get all the details, including hours, on their Facebook page here.
  • Join Motorco as they welcome Allagash Brewing of Portland, Maine and Oysters Carolina of Harkers Island, NC for a Wonderful Winter Time Oyster Roast on the patio at Motorco on Sunday, December 2nd from noon until 6:00 p.m. They will be pouring tasters and glasses of several of Allagash’s fantastic brews including some special reserve barrels. Additionally, Oysters Carolina will be providing their fresh (harvested that morning) oysters grown on their farm off the waters of Harker’s Island. These deep cup award winning oysters are known as some of the saltiest in the state. Just choose raw, roasted or grilled. Preorder to guarantee your oysters. Details here and ordering here.
  • John T. Edge, executive director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, will lead a Celebration of Southern Food to benefit Farm to Fork from 6-9 p.m.Thursday, Dec. 6, at Lavender Oaks Farm in Chapel Hill. The dinner will be prepared by several of the Triangle’s best-known chefs: Sean Fowler of Mandolin in Raleigh; Cheetie Kumar of Garland in Raleigh; Brendan Cox of Oakleaf in Chapel Hill; Wyatt Dickson of Picnic in Durham; Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham; and Robert Kinneen of The Boot in Durham. Dessert will be prepared by Jonathan Fisher of Herons at the Umstead Hotel and Phoebe Lawless, formerly of Scratch Baking and the Lakewood. Counterclockwise String Band will perform. Tickets are $45 per person. Proceeds from the nonprofit’s events provide training and mentorship through the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro and Breeze Farm Incubator in Orange County. Get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Over 60% of students in our 34-county service area qualify for free/reduced-price lunch. It’s difficult for any student to excel academically when they come to school hungry. So we invite all students, staff, parents, and teachers to join our Students Against Hunger food and fund drive to help feed hungry children and their families in our community. Since 1996, students in our area have donated enough to provide nearly 6 million meals. Join the cause! Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 1 through November 30. Competing schools must deliver their donations to any of our branches by 11am on Friday, November 30th. Find out if your child’s school is participating (and if not, get them to!) here.