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Friday Fun Food Facts – March 17, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • History is being made today in downtown Raleigh. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will change its iconic glazed doughnuts name by adding an apostrophe – O’riginal Glazed. Additionally, they are bringing back their specially formulated green doughnuts for this one-day-only celebration. Check it all out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Two restaurants that were in the “waiting pattern” last week have now opened according to each of their Facebook pages. Soca has opened in the former Faire spot in Raleigh’s Cameron Village and is being brought to us by the owners of the popular eatery Buku, Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins. Check them out here. And over in Apex, the second location of Abbey Road Tavern & Grill has opened in the Off Kilter Pub & Grille location at 1700 Center St. Check them out here.
  • Here is something to get up early for on the weekend. We told you about this back in January, but the date has been set and it is getting closer. Your weekend brunch options just got a lot more interesting with the April 1st (no kidding) launch of weekend brunch service at Poole’s Diner. Prompted by the closing of Ashley Christensen’s Joule (being replaced by St. Roch Oyster + Bar), Poole’s brunch service will feature many of the dishes from Joule. Check it out here.
  • Next up in the “when will they finally open!” category is Brewery Bhavana, a hybrid restaurant, brewery, flower shop and book shop, located in the former Tir Na Nog spot adjacent to Moore Square. The News & Observer reported this week that they will open at the end of March. Brewery Bhavana is the brainchild of brother and sister Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha, who also own the Laotian restaurant Bida Manda next door, and brewer Patrick Woodson. Get a sneak peek here.
  • Those that enjoy a good beer with a nice view of downtown Raleigh will be excited to learn that both the website southwestraleigh.com and WRAL reported this week that we are not far from the re-opening of the Boylan Bridge Brewpub, which closed about a year ago due to a collapsed support wall. According to WRAL, they will open sometime this Spring, just in time for the warm weather. Congrats to Andrew Leager and his hard work and dedication to keep this landmark going. Keep up with their progress here.
  • City Barbeque announced that their newest location, in Raleigh at 9424 Falls of Neuse Rd, will open to the public on March 27 and their grand opening celebration will be April 1 from 11 am – 3:30 pm. Check them out here.
  • Over in Morrisville, got word that Potbelly Sandwich Shop opened its first Triangle area location at 9662 Chapel Hill Rd. across the street from Park West Village. Widely acclaimed for being a popular neighborhood hangout, Potbelly features toasty warm sandwiches, hand-dipped milkshakes and live music. Congrats to owners Mohit Kishore and Tulshi Bhakar. Check them out here.
  • In Apex, got word this week from owner Robert Royster that Ruckus Pizza, Pasta & Spirits has opened at 1021 Pine Plaza Dr. This is Ruckus number 5! Check them out on Facebook here.
  • In Cary, Eighty8 Asian Bistro held their grand opening this past Monday at 1077 Darrington Drive (in the same complex as Dean’s Seafood just off Cary Parkway). Eighty8 is an exotic twist on Asian cuisine serving a variety of sushi rolls, entrees, and cocktails with unique, fresh and made from scratch sauces. Check them out here.
  • Also down that way, the News & Observer reported that Chipotle has two locations coming to eastern Wake County. Garner will get its first Chipotle in White Oak Plaza (68 Eagle Wing Way, Garner) and it opens today (March 17). Fuquay-Varina’s Chipotle will open Thursday, April 27 at the corner of Main Street and Hwy 401 (1385 N. Main St., Fuquay-Varina). Check out Chipotle here.
  • My friends over at Relish Cafe & Bar announced a change this week, but just in name. They are officially changing their name to Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar! After nearly six years of finding and perfecting their niche, they are thrilled to show off what they’ve learned about bourbon, and what they’ve always known about the food that comes from their kitchen. Check them out here.
  • And finally an opportunity for anyone looking for a kitchen to operate their catering service out of. It is small, but well designed and very centrally located in the Triangle. Drop me an email if you are interested.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • A quick update on things at Eastgate Crossing as things heat up. The first (of 5 I think) new eateries has set an open date. Signs for Chipotle went up this week and they expect to open Thursday, April 6. Shortly following that will be Chopt, which also has a location in Raleigh’s Cameron Village (and rumored to have a second Raleigh location in the works). Check out Chipotle here and Chopt here.
  • Over in Durham, this Saturday is the grand opening of ZenFish Poke Bar on Ninth Street (810 Ninth Street to be exact by the Solis Apartments). Hint: their soft opening is happening now! Get all the details on their website here. Congrats to Janet Lee!
  • Also in Durham, The Herald Sun reported that the team behind Nosh, Piper’s in the Park and Jo Rae Cafe is in the midst of renovating a 61-year-old service station on West Chapel Hill Street into a restaurant called Grub. The restaurant is expected to open at the beginning of May. In the meantime, visit Nosh here and Piper’s here.
  • And finally, in Durham, certified cider expert Mattie Beason celebrates the first year anniversary of Black Twig Cider House – a cider-focused restaurant featuring the largest variety of cider in the Southeast – Saturday, April 1st from 11am to 5pm with local cider on draft, bottles and in the txotx, as well as games and food for the entire family! Get all the details on the celebration here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • Durham is getting ready to get a new food truck called Medley. Their approach is a bit different, with a focus on a heartier, more balanced version of healthy food. Their larger goal is to help people broaden their definition of healthy eating, make it more approachable, and of course tasting great. Look for them to start rolling around the Triangle next week. Congrats to Sam Sager, Zach Strom and chef Johnny Carlo. Check them out here.
  • I never thought I’d see this. Chapel Hill is holding their first food truck rodeo – Rodeo on Rosemary. Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation in collaboration with the Downtown Partnership and the Raleigh Durham Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) will hold this milestone on March 26 from 12pm – 5pm on the block of Rosemary Street between Henderson and North Columbia Streets. Looks like about 13 trucks so far. Get all the details here.

Events

  • Families Moving Forward in Durham launched Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that will pair the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The chefs participating in the series are: Ricky Moore (Saltbox), Billy Cotter (Dashi), Seth Gross (Pompieri/Bull City Burger & Brewery) and John May (Piedmont). The series features a dinner every other month (beginning April 17, my birthday) featuring one of the distinguished chefs serving three or more courses. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details on the series here.
  • The inaugural Cooking for a Classic series to benefit the Lucy Daniels Center moves into round 2 this month with local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. Get information on the chefs, dates and ticket information here.
  • Bites of Bull City and Southern Food and Drink are teaming up to bring you a fun behind-the-scenes “Taste & Sip” tour of historic Brightleaf Square in downtown Durham on Saturday, March 25 from 1-5 p.m. On this easy walking tour, guests will experience several Brightleaf Square/Main Street mainstays as well as get an introduction to several brand new restaurants and shops making a name for themselves in the area! Tickets are $50. Get all the details here.
  • Acclaimed chef Scott Crawford is launching a guest chef series in April at his restaurant, Crawford and Son. “Oakwood and Friends” will serve food from Crawford and collaborators – chefs from renowned restaurants in the Southeast. That includes Ryan Smith of Staplehouse in Atlanta, Mike Lata of The Ordinary in Charleston, S.C., John Fleer of Rhubarb in Asheville and Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta. The first dinner is Sunday, April 23, with Ryan Smith of Staplehouse. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier will host “Dames in the Kitchen” on April 6th offering a culinary tour through North Carolina by eight Dame cookbook authors and chefs. Benefiting the Interfaith Food Shuttle, it will take place at The Root Cellar in Chapel Hill from 6:30 to 9pm. Tickets can be purchased for $65 ($30 tax deductible) here.
  • I’m going to just put this right here for my buddy Tim Coynesmith. You (and Tim) will just have to click through to see what it is. Let’s just say it involves beer…and bacon…need I say more? Oh, and clear your calendar for April 8th.
  • Also on April 8th, the Bull City Homebrew Chili Challenge will take place at Bull City Homebrew on Highway 54 near the intersection with Highway 55. It takes place from noon until 4 p.m. If you’d like to enter your chili, register on their site. The event is free and kid friendly. Register your chili and get all the details here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • The extremely popular craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, returns the weekend of April 21-22 all in and around downtown Raleigh. The weekend kicks off with a block party/sampler event on Friday night followed by Saturday’s big event from 2-10 p.m. featuring craft beer, food vendors and trucks, live music and more. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • On Sunday, April 30 the Taste for a Cure Gala will take place from 5-10pm at the Rickhouse in Durham, where guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • Got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.
  • Listen up, the dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South) have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars, more details to follow in the coming weeks/months. It will kick off on Wednesday, October 18, and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, October 21, 2017. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May. Keep up with the latest here.

Food Bank Corner

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

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Friday Fun Food Facts – March 10, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Samad Hachby announced this week that his Moroccan restaurant, Babylon, will move to a smaller, more intimate location making way for an Italian restaurant called Mulino Italian Kitchen and Bar. Mulino’s menu will focus on homemade pastas, pizzas and breads cooked in the woodfired oven, locally sourced meats and seafood as well as traditional Italian fare and an expansive Italian wine selection. The new location for Babylon hasn’t been announced, but they did confirm it will remain in Raleigh. You can eat at the current location of Babylon (309 N. Dawson Street) until April 2. Mulino will open mid-April. Keep up with the transition here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Seems like we are in the “waiting pattern” on a couple of Wake County eateries. On March 3, Soca announced via Facebook that they were 10 days away from opening…that’s next Monday (3/13). But no official word yet. Soca is going into the former Faire spot in Raleigh’s Cameron Village and is being brought to us by the owners of the popular eatery Buku, Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins. Get a peek at their menu and keep up with their pending opening on their Facebook page here.
  • And we continue to await the opening of the second location of Abbey Road Tavern & Grill coming to Apex. Their last Facebook post suggested they are just waiting on “final inspections” so it could be any day now. The original location is on W. Chatham Street location. The Apex location will be in the Off Kilter Pub & Grille location at 1700 Center St. Keep up with pending announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • And the final “holding pattern” seems to almost be over for G.58 in Morrisville on Chapel Hill Road. This past week they invited special guests in for a preview (which, ahem, I was not invited to) prior to their opening later this month. G.58 is the brainchild of Julia Li, and the story behind the name goes that the last two numbers of their address, “58” are auspicious lucky numbers in Chinese culture, with eight being “prosper, wealth, success” and five being “me.” They chose to use that along with the “G” for “great.” Thanks to the folks over at the FoodCary blog for the update. Check out their preview here. Did I mention I wasn’t invited?
  • The News & Observer reported this week that brothers John and Paul Batista, are bringing their family business from Long Island, N.Y., to North Carolina. They are opening Lume Grill (pronounced Loo-me) to the former Pita Bon spot in a shopping center at 1207 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary. They expect to open early to mid-April. Batista emphasizes that their restaurant is Portuguese cuisine from Portugal. The barbecue steakhouse is known for its whole chicken rotisserie cooked over wood charcoal. Keep up with their progress on their website here.
  • Not sure how I missed this, but Susan Alford brought it to my attention that Istanbul Restaurant has opened in Cary at 914 Kildaire Farm Road directly in front of the Carolina Pottery. Susan tells me the food is excellent and the owner is super nice. Well worth a visit. Check them out here.
  • Got word from reader Kristy Hwang that the third Triangle-area location of First Watch will open to the public next Monday (March 13) in the Shops at Bradford at the corner of High House and Davis Drive. First Watch is a breakfast- and brunch-focused restaurant chain with locations on Glenwood Avenue and on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • And down in Holly Springs, the News & Observer reported that Rise, the popular doughnut and biscuit spot, is continuing to expand its reach into Wake County. The eighth Triangle location is scheduled to open in Holly Springs Saturday, March 18. The new store is in the Holly Springs Towne Center, along N.C. 55, at 169 Grand Hill Place. Check out their Facebook page for special offers and promotions.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Listen up, the dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South) have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars, more details to follow in the coming weeks/months. It will kick off on Wednesday, October 18, and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, October 21, 2017. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May. Keep up with the latest here.
  • Here is some news that might be of interest to my buddy Tom Meyer (as I know how much he loves Chapel Hill and the Tar Heels!) – got word that the legendary Carolina Coffee Shop on Franklin Street is for sale. The Carolina Coffee Shop has been a staple of the community and serving students, faculty, and staff of UNC Chapel Hill in the same cozy spot on Franklin St. since 1922. Check in with Mike DePersia here if you want to grab it up before Tom does.
  • Next door in Carrboro, the Daily Tar Heel reported that One Fish, Two Fish, a poke joint, is bringing Hawaiian cuisine to Carrboro this March, replacing the former Tom+Chee restaurant at 370 E. Main St. Not familiar with poke? It’s a traditional Hawaiian dish served with fresh, diced fish on a base of rice or lettuce, topped with your choice of crunchy additions, salty morsels, sweet sauces or spicy kicks. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Over in Durham, got word from Ranbir Bahhshi that Alpaca (Peruvian charcoal chicken) is moving into the former Tijuana Flats space on 9th St. in Durham next to Happy + Hale. This will be Alpaca’s 5th location! They look to open in May. Keep up with the latest here.
  • Got the official word that Pine Cone, serving up ice cream, shakes and coffee, is now officially open in Durham’s Brightleaf Square. They feature Maple View Farms ice cream and Joe Van Gogh roasted coffee. Yumm! Check them out here.
  • Also in Durham, certified cider expert Mattie Beason celebrates the first year anniversary of Black Twig Cider House – a cider-focused restaurant featuring the largest variety of cider in the Southeast – Saturday, April 1st from 11am to 5pm with local cider on draft, bottles and in the txotx, as well as games and food for the entire family! Get all the details on the celebration here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • I never thought I’d see this. Chapel Hill is holding their first food truck rodeo – Rodeo on Rosemary. Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation in collaboration with the Downtown Partnership and the Raleigh Durham Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) will hold this milestone on March 26 from 12pm – 5pm on the block of Rosemary Street between Henderson and North Columbia Streets. Looks like about 13 trucks so far. Get all the details here.

Events

  • Families Moving Forward in Durham launched Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that will pair the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The chefs participating in the series are: Ricky Moore (Saltbox), Billy Cotter (Dashi), Seth Gross (Pompieri/Bull City Burger & Brewery) and John May (Piedmont). The series features a dinner every other month (beginning April 17, my birthday) featuring one of the distinguished chefs serving three or more courses. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details on the series here.
  • The inaugural Cooking for a Classic series to benefit the Lucy Daniels Center moves into round 2 this month with local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. Get information on the chefs, dates and ticket information here.
  • Viceroy Durham will collaborate with Bull McCabes Irish Pub to celebrate the spring festival of Holi on March 11th on the lawn at Bull McCabes. The food will be a preview of the thali style dishes that will be available when Viceroy opens for lunch service. The color fight will be taking place between noon and 3pm with kid’s activities throughout the day. DJ’s will keep the party going until 11pm. Get all the details on their website here.
  • DPAC is partnering again with Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop to host the 5th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, March 12. The event features the Harris On stage Experience showcasing additional brewery and local food vendors, unlimited samplings and three floors of food & beverage options, so make sure you visit each level of DPAC’s lobbies for the full experience. Get additional information and tickets here.
  • Bites of Bull City and Southern Food and Drink are teaming up to bring you a fun behind-the-scenes “Taste & Sip” tour of historic Brightleaf Square in downtown Durham on Saturday, March 25 from 1-5 p.m. On this easy walking tour, guests will experience several Brightleaf Square/Main Street mainstays as well as get an introduction to several brand new restaurants and shops making a name for themselves in the area! Tickets are $50. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier will host “Dames in the Kitchen” on April 6th offering a culinary tour through North Carolina by eight Dame cookbook authors and chefs.  Benefiting the Interfaith Food Shuttle, it will take place at The Root Cellar in Chapel Hill from 6:30 to 9pm. Tickets can be purchased for $65 ($30 tax deductible) here.
  • I’m going to just put this right here for my buddy Tim Coynesmith. You (and Tim) will just have to click through to see what it is. Let’s just say it involves beer…and bacon…need I say more? Oh, and clear your calendar for April 8th.
  • Also on April 8th, the Bull City Homebrew Chili Challenge will take place at Bull City Homebrew on Highway 54 near the intersection with Highway 55. It takes place from noon until 4 p.m. If you’d like to enter your chili, register on their site. The event is free and kid friendly. Register your chili and get all the details here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • On Sunday, April 30, 2017 from 5-10pm at The Rickhouse in Durham, guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here .
  • And got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.

Food Bank Corner

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 3, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The folks over at North Hills in Raleigh announced this week that CO, a Vietnamese restaurant, will be opening in the Park District at North Hills on the ground level of the AC Hotel and is projected to open this Fall. In Vietnamese, “CO” is the word for feast. The restaurant will offer a contemporary Asian cuisine destination, serving banh mi, pho, ramen, dumplings, as well as signature cocktails. Get familiar with CO here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh, the News & Observer reported that the owners behind Cafe Lucarne are transforming the City Market cafe into a neighborhood bar, which will be affectionately known as LPM, or Lucarne at Night. The restaurant will be closed for the next few weeks while the space undergoes a complete overhaul. They also own Royale, and hope the changes will better complement that establishment. Check out Lucarne here.
  • Out in Morrisville, got word this week that Mekong Vietnamese Cuisine is now open at 2121 TW Alexander Drive in the Alexander Village shopping center. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • The much-anticipated Pizzeria Faulisi in downtown Cary opened for dinner last night, and will be open for dinner tonight and Saturday (and possibly Sunday depending on how the first 3 days go!) The restaurant is on the first floor of the recently completed building at 215 E. Chatham St., next to Mid-Town Square. Check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, saw in the FoodCary blog that the Great Harvest Bread Co., well known to Caryites for their bread made from scratch with milled grain, has expanded with a new café to sell sandwiches, salads and more. It is located 1240 NW Maynard Rd., just a few doors down from the bakery. With the cafe now open, the bakery will close and transform to become a gluten-free bakehouse. Look for the bakery to re-open at the end of March. Check them out here.
  • And we are awaiting the opening of the second location of Abbey Road Tavern & Grill coming to Apex. Their last Facebook post suggested they are just waiting on “final inspections” so it could be any day now. The original location is on Cary’s W. Chatham Street. The Apex location is in the Off Kilter Pub & Grille location at 1700 Center St. Keep up with pending announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Johnston County, Simple Twist Restaurant has opened at The Market at Riverwood shopping center at 272 Pritchard Road in Clayton. This is the third Simple Twist location for chef Nathan Roby and his wife Colleen (there is one in Garner and one in Smithfield). Simple Twist is a cafe and bar serving delicious, made from scratch meals sourcing local vendors and farms. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Reader Jason Klaitman alerted me to the new building going up on E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill adjacent to the Siena Hotel. Turns out the new structure will be a Dunkin Donuts location. In classic Chapel Hill fashion, it will lack a drive-thru. Congestion could become even more challenging on Sunday mornings with it being so close to Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen.

Closings

  • Got word from reader Glenda Bastress that Kamado Grille in North Raleigh has closed, hopefully just temporarily. WRAL confirmed that they have moved from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection case to Chapter 7 “in order to facilitate an orderly wind down of its (Kamado Grille’s) operations.”
  • Got word from reader Bill Striegel (and confirmed on Yelp) that Nishiki Sushi in Cary’s Parkside Town Commons has closed. Apparently there is a banner now up for Szechuan Heat. Stay tuned.
  • First got word from reader Kris Shuford that the Raleigh and Cary locations of Sweet Tomatoes have closed. WRAL confirmed it is part of a larger bankruptcy reorg.
  • And one of our readers informed us that the TCBY location in the Shoppes of Kildaire in Cary has closed.

Food Trucks

  • I never thought I’d see this. Chapel Hill is holding their first food truck rodeo – Rodeo on Rosemary. Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation in collaboration with the Downtown Partnership and the Raleigh Durham Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) will hold this milestone on March 26 from 12pm – 5pm on the block of Rosemary Street between Henderson and North Columbia Streets. Looks like about 13 trucks so far. Get all the details here.

Events

  • Families Moving Forward in Durham launched Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that will pair the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The chefs participating in the series are: Ricky Moore (Saltbox), Billy Cotter (Dashi), Seth Gross (Pompieri/Bull City Burger & Brewery) and John May (Piedmont). The series features a dinner every other month (beginning April 17, my birthday) featuring one of the distinguished chefs serving three or more courses. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details on the series here.
  • The inaugural Cooking for a Classic series to benefit the Lucy Daniels Center is underway and continues throughout February and March featuring the talents of 16 local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. Get information on the chefs, dates and ticket information here.
  • With the theme “Girls Kick Butt,” Ray Price Harley-Davidson in downtown Raleigh will hold its Boston Butt Cook-off event this Saturday, March 4th where a dozen or more BBQ cookin’ crazies will be smoking some awesome Boston Butts! And all funds go to charity. This year’s annual Boston Butt Cook-Off will incorporate a celebration of Women in Motorsports! Just a $5 donation to the Ride for Kids Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation gets you all you can eat BBQ! Vote for your favorite to win the coveted People’s Choice Award. Get all the details here.
  • Viceroy Durham will collaborate with Bull McCabes Irish Pub to celebrate the spring festival of Holi on March 11th on the lawn at Bull McCabes. The food will be a preview of the thali style dishes that will be available when Viceroy opens for lunch service. The color fight will be taking place between noon and 3pm with kid’s activities throughout the day. DJ’s will keep the party going until 11pm. Get all the details on their website here.
  • DPAC is partnering again with Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop to host the 5th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, March 12. The event features the Harris On stage Experience showcasing additional brewery and local food vendors, unlimited samplings and three floors of food & beverage options, so make sure you visit each level of DPAC’s lobbies for the full experience. Get additional information and tickets here.
  • The North Carolina Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier will host “Dames in the Kitchen” on April 6th offering a culinary tour through North Carolina by eight Dame cookbook authors and chefs.  Benefiting the Interfaith Food Shuttle, it will take place at The Root Cellar in Chapel Hill from 6:30 to 9pm. Tickets can be purchased for $65 ($30 tax deductible) here.
  • I’m going to just put this right here for my buddy Tim Coynesmith. You (and Tim) will just have to click through to see what it is. Let’s just say it involves beer…and bacon…need I say more? Oh, and clear your calendar for April 8th.
  • Also on April 8th, the Bull City Homebrew Chili Challenge will take place at Bull City Homebrew on Highway 54 near the intersection with Highway 55. It takes place from noon until 4 p.m. If you’d like to enter your chili, register on their site. The event is free and kid friendly. Register your chili and get all the details here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • On Sunday, April 30 from 5-10pm at the Rickhouse in Durham, guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • And got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.

Food Bank Corner

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

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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 24, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that chef Ricky Moore, owner of Saltbox Seafood Joint in downtown Durham, is adding a second location with the purchase of the recently closed Shrimp Boats restaurant on the Durham Chapel Hill Boulevard in Durham. Look for it to open in the next 2 months with indoor and outdoor seating and an expanded menu. Check out Saltbox here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The little ol’ sleepy town of Cary is getting its third microbrewery starting next Monday! Jordan Lake Brewing Company is set to open at 320 E. Durham Road according to the News & Observer. They turned the warehouse space into an inviting taproom with darts, billiards, cornhole boards and other games. A covered patio is outside. The brewery is both family friendly and dog-friendly. They have three beers on tap now, with more on the way. And once the brewery is open full time, they hope to have two food trucks on site on a daily basis. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Getting word that the Rudino’s on High House in Cary is changing things up a bit. Word is that they are re-inventing themselves (just this location) as Smok’d BBQ & Tap. Out with the pizza, in with the pig. Nothing is up yet on their website (although the Cary location is no longer listed on the Rudino’s site). We will keep an eye on it and keep you informed. Thanks to several posters on a Yelp message board for this tip.
  • We have an open date for the much-anticipated Pizzeria Faulisi in downtown Cary. Looks like they will finally swing open their doors on Thursday, March 2, at 5 p.m. The restaurant is on the first floor of a building that’s been under constructionat 215 E. Chatham St., next to Mid-Town Square. Check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, got word from Michael DePersia that the former San Remo space in Cary’s Millpond Village (where Publix just opened) will become a Thai restaurant called Thai Lotus. They will celebrate their grand opening on April 28th. Check them out here (although there is nothing much up on the site just yet).
  • And WRAL shared with us that Waverly Place will add three new eateries to their portfolio. This spring the center will welcome TASU Asian Bistro, along with previously announced Gonza Tacos Y Tequila. Kale Me Crazy will also be added to the diverse dining line in the summer.
  • Got word from my buddy David McCreary that Fuquay-Varina is about to see the debut of its first Indian eatery. Zeera Indian Restaurant will open mid-March at 1311 East Broad Street. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also in Fuquay-Varina, got word that Draft Line Brewing Company is ceasing brewing operations and will have a farewell party on Saturday, April 29th. That’s the bad news. The good news is that starting on April 30th, Mason Jar Tavern will be taking over brewery and tap room operations. Get more details on the transition and the farewell party here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Got word this week that next Monday, February 27th is the opening of Stoney River Steakhouse in Chapel Hill’s University Place on Estes Drive. It is located in the space just in front of the new Silverspot Cinema. Stoney River is part of the J. Alexander’s group (which just opened a J. Alexander’s Restaurant up the hill from Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh). Go ahead and start perusing the menu here.
  • Down in Chatham County it looks like the popular Bean & Barrel Coffee Shop, Bar & Grill is under new ownership. Word has it that the folks behind Tarantini Italian Restaurant have taken over ownership. That sounds like great news to us! Check out Bean & Barrel here and Tarantini here. Thanks to my buddy Denny Marcin for the original tip on this as well as Marcia Sanders.

Closings

  • The News & Observer reported this week that Queen of Sheba in Chapel Hill will close this Saturday after a 13-year run. Sorry to see them go.
  • Got word from one of our readers that Carrabba’s in Cary on Kildaire Farm Road has closed. Still scratching my head on this one as parking always seemed to be a challenge. Reminds me of this Yogi Berra quote, “No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.”

Food Trucks

  • A couple of new food truck alerts from our friends over at WRAL. Mr. Mongolian BBQ food truck had a  soft launch last Friday and Gonza Tacos new food truck rolled out last weekend. Also, got word that Mr. A’s Beignets will be rolling out a second truck at the beginning of March.
  • I never thought I’d see this. Chapel Hill is holding their first food truck rodeo – Rodeo on Rosemary. Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation in collaboration with the Downtown Partnership and the Raleigh Durham Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) will hold this milestone on March 26 from 12pm – 5pm on the block of Rosemary Street between Henderson and North Columbia Streets. Looks like about 13 trucks so far. Get all the details here.
  • And just like that, after last week’s plea, we have dates for this year’s Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Go ahead and mark your calendars for Sunday, May 7th, Sunday August 6th and Sunday, October 8th (only 3 this year compared to 4 in year’s past). Keep up with the latest here.

Events

  • This Saturday, February 25th Chatham County’s Captain John’s Dockside restaurant will host a Brazilian Carnival featuring Feijoada, Moqueca, Caipirinha and other Brazilian fare. Festivities kick off at 4 with dinner and music, followed by a DJ and dancing at 8. $5 to enter and kids are free. Dockside is located in North Chatham Village (formerly Cole Park Plaza) just south of Chapel Hill on 15-501.
  • Families Moving Forward in Durham launched Chefs for Change this past week, a fundraising dinner series that will pair the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The chefs participating in the series are: Ricky Moore (Saltbox), Billy Cotter (Dashi), Seth Gross (Pompieri/Bull City Burger & Brewery) and John May (Piedmont). The series features a dinner every other month (beginning in April) featuring one of the distinguished chefs serving three or more courses. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details on the series here.
  • The inaugural Cooking for a Classic series to benefit the Lucy Daniels Center is underway and continues throughout February and March featuring the talents of 16 local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. Get information on the chefs, dates and ticket information here.
  • Empty Bowls, the signature event for Urban Ministries of Durham, will take place the evening of Thursday, March 2, at Durham Convention Center. You’ll have the chance to sample soups prepared by local chefs and vote for your favorites. Local artists and artisans are making hundreds of hand-crafted bowls, and with certain tickets, you can select one to take home. The family-friendly evening (kids 6 and under admitted free for soup only) includes music and the chance to learn more about the important work Urban Ministries of Durham does to feed, clothe and shelter our neighbors. Tickets and info here.
  • With the theme “Girls Kick Butt,” Ray Price Harley-Davidson in downtown Raleigh will hold its Boston Butt Cook-Off event Saturday, March 4th where a dozen or more BBQ cookin’ crazies will be smoking some awesome Boston Butts! And all funds go to charity. This year’s annual Boston Butt Cook-Off will incorporate a celebration of Women in Motorsports! Just a $5 donation to the Ride for Kids Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation gets you all you can eat BBQ! Vote for your favorite to win the coveted People’s Choice Award. Get all the details here.
  • Viceroy Durham will collaborate with Bull McCabes Irish Pub to celebrate the spring festival of Holi on March 11th on the lawn at Bull McCabes. The food will be a preview of the thali style dishes that will be available when Viceroy opens for lunch service. The color fight will be taking place between noon and 3pm with kid’s activities throughout the day. DJ’s will keep the party going until 11pm. Get all the details on their website here.
  • DPAC is partnering again with Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop to host the 5th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, March 12. The event features the Harris On stage Experience showcasing additional brewery and local food vendors, unlimited samplings and three floors of food & beverage options, so make sure you visit each level of DPAC’s lobbies for the full experience. Get additional information and tickets here.
  • I’m going to just put this right here for my buddy Tim Coynesmith. You (and Tim) will just have to click through to see what it is. Let’s just say it involves beer…and bacon…need I say more? Oh, and clear your calendar for April 8th.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • On Sunday, April 30, 2017 from 5-10pm Taste for a Cure Gala will take place at the Rickhouse in Durham, guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • And got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 17, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Total domination. That is what you would think looking at the Triangle’s representation on the list of North Carolina chefs named semifinalists for the 27th annual James Beard Foundation Awards (basically the Oscars of the culinary world). Local chefs nominated this year include: Ashley Christensen (Poole’s Diner, Death & Taxes, and several others); Vivian Howard (Chef & The Farmer, Boiler Room Oyster Bar); Andrea Reusing (Lantern in Chapel Hill and The Durham Hotel); Gabe Barker (Pizzeria Mercato); Phoebe Lawless (Scratch); Lionel Vatinet (La Farm Bakery); Colin Bedford (The Fearrington House); Steven Devereaux Greene (Herons in the Umstead Hotel); Matt Kelly (Mateo); Cheetie Kumar (Garland). Finalists will be named March 15 and the 2017 James Beard Awards Gala will be May 1 in Chicago. For a full list, go to their website here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Reader Hugh Autry tipped me off to the fact that Oak City Cafe has opened at 3909 S. Wilmington Street. They feature breakfast all-day, southern comfort food as well as southern and southwest flavors. Check them out here.
  • The News &  Observer noted this week that Famous Toastery, with a location in Cary’s Waverly Place, is set to open a second location in Morrisville’s Weston Corners next month. And that will quickly be followed by at least 8 other locations in and around the Triangle. Check them out here.
  • Also in Morrisville, a quick update on the upscale Asian restaurant G.58 that is located at the corner of Chapel Hill Road and Carrington Mill Blvd. Saw on a Craigslist posting this week that they are beginning to hire for all positions. That simply means we are getting closer to an opening. From what we understand, this concept is from the same folks that were behind the 35 Chinese over on Kildaire Farm Road. Stay tuned.
  • Over in Cary, according to a tip on a Yelp message board it appears as if the latest version of Guasaca has opened in the new Weston Corners retail complex at the intersection of Weston Parkway and Chapel Hill Road, less than a half-mile from the Park West Village shopping center in Morrisville. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • The ITB Insider reported this week that Chronic Tacos will open at the new Sprouts grocery store anchored Olive Park shopping center on Falls of the Neuse Road in Raleigh. There is already a Chronic Tacos in Chapel Hill, and one planned for Wake Forest. Check out Chronic Tacos here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • And just like that, Living Kitchen has opened their latest location (last Friday) – this one in Chapel Hill on Elliott Road in the new Village Plaza development next to Whole Foods at 201 South Elliott Rd. Their first Triangle-area location is in the Charter Square building on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, Cerritos Cantina, authentic Mexican cuisine, has moved into the former Cinco de Mayo spot on E. Franklin Street (1502 E. Franklin Street to be exact). Check them out here.
  • Over in Durham, Bites of Bull City blogger Amber Watson tipped us off to the news that an Ethiopian restaurant called Goorsha is coming to 910 W. Main Street in downtown Durham in the old Rainbow Chinese Restaurant space. Keep up with their announcements and pending opening on their Facebook page here.
  • And in Hillsborough, Mystery Brewing Public House will celebrate its reopening on Feb. 25 with a new kitchen, full menu, and expanded dining area at 230 S. Nash Street in Hillsborough. The reopening on Feb. 25 coincides with Mystery Brewing Company’s fifth birthday so look for an all-day celebration. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • Thanks for a tip from the Burgeoning Baker (on Twitter), we learned that the Little Hen restaurant in Apex will serve up their last meal this Saturday, February 18th. But they do suggest this isn’t a final goodbye. Perhaps they have something else planned? Stay tuned.

Food Trucks

  • And just like that, after last week’s plea, we have dates for this year’s Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Go ahead and mark your calendars for Sunday, May 7th, Sunday August 6th and Sunday, October 8th (only 3 this year compared to 4 in years past). Keep up with the latest here.

Events

  • Families Moving Forward in Durham is launching Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that will pair the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The series kicks off Monday, February 20 with a launch party at the Rickhouse and will be followed by a dinner every other month (beginning in April) featuring a distinguished chef serving three or more courses. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. The chef line-up will be announced at the launch party. Tickets to that are just $25. Get all the details on the series here and on Families Moving Forward here.
  • Also kicking off on February 20th, the Lucy Daniels Center is proud to announce the inaugural Cooking for a Classic series. This unique philanthropic event held at 1705 Prime (1705 E. Millbrook Road) in Raleigh throughout February and March will feature the talents of 16 local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. Get information on the chefs, dates and ticket information here.
  • How about this…Girl Scout cookies and beer? Genius, right? Is it just me, or is everyone’s mouth watering as well? Brixx Wood Fired Pizza at Parkside Town Commons and Bradford Shops in Cary will be offering a unique Beer & Girl Scout Cookie Tasting Wednesday, Feb. 22. The Beer & Girl Scout Cookie Tasting menu will be available from 5 p.m. to close for just $5.50. Guests will receive three drink samples specifically selected from a variety of craft beers accompanied by three popular girl scout cookie samples, such as Samoas, Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties and more. Check out Brixx here.
  • Empty Bowls, the signature event for Urban Ministries of Durham, will take place the evening of Thursday, March 2, at Durham Convention Center. You’ll have the chance to sample soups prepared by local chefs and vote for your favorites. Local artists and artisans are making hundreds of hand-crafted bowls, and with certain tickets, you can select one to take home. The family-friendly evening (kids 6 and under admitted free for soup only) includes music and the chance to learn more about the important work Urban Ministries of Durham does to feed, clothe and shelter our neighbors. Tickets and info here.
  • Viceroy Durham will collaborate with Bull McCabes Irish Pub to celebrate the spring festival of Holi on March 11th on the lawn at Bull McCabes. The food will be a preview of the thali style dishes that will be available when Viceroy opens for lunch service. The color fight will be taking place between noon and 3pm with kid’s activities throughout the day. DJ’s will keep the party going until 11pm. Get all the details on their website here.
  • DPAC is partnering again with Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop to host the 5th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, March 12. The event features the Harris On stage Experience showcasing additional brewery and local food vendors, unlimited samplings and three floors of food & beverage options, so make sure you visit each level of DPAC’s lobbies for the full experience. Get additional information and tickets here.
  • I’m going to just put this right here for my buddy Tim Coynesmith. You (and Tim) will just have to click through to see what it is. Let’s just say it involves beer…and bacon…need I say more? Oh, and clear your calendar for April 8th.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • Taste for a Cure Gala will take place on Sunday, April 30, 2017 from 5-10pm at the Rickhouse in Durham. There, guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • And got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 10, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Are you looking for Valentine’s Day plans for you and your sweetheart? Well, the News & Observer has you covered. Here’s a roundup of some of the offerings from Triangle restaurants, tour groups, bakeries and more by county.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • WRAL brought it to our attention that Brewery Bhavana has posted “early March” as the anticipated opening of their new spot – a brewery, taproom, dim sum restaurant, and flower shop – located at 218 South Blount Street off Raleigh’s Moore Square in the former Tir na Nog space. Keep up with their progress and announcement on their Facebook page here.
  • Soca, which is going into the former Faire spot in Raleigh’s Cameron Village, posted on their Facebook page this week that they will open March 1st…ish. Soca is being brought to us by the owners of the popular eatery Buku, Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins. Where Buku tends to focus on updates of popular, approachable dishes from Asia, Soca will shift its eye to South and Central America, the menu bouncing between Colombia and Mexico, Trinidad and Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Chile. Get a peek at their menu and keep up with their updates and pending opening on their Facebook page here.
  • And just down Oberlin Road, Diced opened their newest location this past Monday at 1028 Oberlin Road. The original location is on Kildaire Farm Road in Cary. Check out Diced here.
  • Over in Cary there is something brewing at Cozzolino’s New York Style Pizza at the corner of Kildaire Farm and Penny Rd. As of now, it is closed, but I’m hearing there are big plans in the works. Stay tuned as this story develops.
  • And finally, the good folks over at the Western Wake Farmers Market are trying to secure a “forever” home in partnership with the town of Morrisville. It would be a wonderful addition to the community and they need your support. If you are inclined, jump over to the site to see how you can contribute to make this a reality. Thanks!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer announced this week that Fullsteam Brewery, Durham’s beloved beer hall and gathering place, will be adding a kitchen that will be run by chef Kyle McKnight, most recently of Highland Avenue Restaurant in Hickory. Sean Lilly Wilson, owner of Fullsteam, said Tuesday morning that he hopes to have the first phase of the kitchen open by the brewery’s seventh anniversary in August. Check out Fullsteam here.
  • Got word from Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City that Wedgies Sandwich Shop opened this past Wednesday on the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham at 359 Blackwell Street. The original Wedgies, and thus it’s name, is located in the golfing community of Southern Pines. Get familiar with Wedgies here.
  • Over near the Streets at Southpoint, got word from Glenn Gillen that The Melting Pot is moving from its current location “around the corner” to the former Ai Fuji spot in the Southpoint Crossing Shopping Center at 202 NC Hwy 54. An employee at The Melting Pot confirmed the move and noted it would be sometime this summer. Check them out here.
  • Staying on that side of town, reader Jeff Cross shared with us that a new restaurant called Bua Thai is moving into the old Pale and Porter spot in Sutton Square shopping center on Fayetteville Road in Durham. The banner says opening March 15. Unfortunately, we could not find a web presence. Stay tuned. Thanks Jeff!
  • And in Chapel Hill, John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) shared that the Honeysuckle Tea House will open for the season on April 1, 2017. If you’ve never been, it is worth the trek. Check them out here.

Closings

  • This past Monday Café de los Muertos, a popular coffee shop on Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh, closed rather abruptly. Apparently there is new ownership in play, but no details have emerged yet about when they might reopen. The News & Observer has a little more information on this development here.

Food Trucks

  • Anyone have any information on the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo’s dates for 2017? We are a week into February and no dates have been posted. Certainly would hate to see that event end. Truck calendars fill up early…If anyone has any details, let me know.

Events

  • The Downtown Durham Food Tour has a few spots open for their next tour this Saturday! It will take place in the city’s center and highlight a few favorite new restaurants near DPAC and the Durham Bulls Stadium. Attendees will get to try all kinds of delicious cuisine from American to Japanese to South American! The meet up spot is the new beer garden, The Bullpen; other stops include Basan and Luna. Must be 21+ to attend. (Alcoholic drinks beyond what is provided by the restaurants during the tour must be purchased separately.) Contact the host in advance if there are any food allergy restrictions. Get all the details here.
  • Families Moving Forward in Durham is launching Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that will pair the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The series kicks off Monday, February 20 with a launch party at the Rickhouse and will be followed by a dinner every other month (beginning in April) featuring a distinguished chef serving three or more courses. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. The chef line-up will be announced at the launch party. Tickets to that are just $25. Get all the details on the series here and on Families Moving Forward here.
  • The Lucy Daniels Center is proud to announce the inaugural Cooking for a Classic series. This unique philanthropic event held at 1705 Prime (1705 E. Millbrook Road) in Raleigh throughout February and March will feature the talents of 16 local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. Get information on the chefs, dates and ticket information here.
  • Viceroy Durham will collaborate with Bull McCabes Irish Pub to celebrate the spring festival of Holi on March 11th on the lawn at Bull McCabes. The food will be a preview of the thali style dishes that will be available when Viceroy opens for lunch service. The color fight will be taking place between noon and 3pm with kid’s activities throughout the day. DJ’s will keep the party going until 11pm. Get all the details on their website here.
  • DPAC is partnering again with Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop to host the 5th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, March 12. The event features the Harris On stage Experience showcasing additional brewery and local food vendors, unlimited samplings and three floors of food & beverage options, so make sure you visit each level of DPAC’s lobbies for the full experience. Get additional information and tickets here.
  • I’m going to just put this right here for my buddy Tim Coynesmith. You (and Tim) will just have to click through to see what it is. Let’s just say it involves beer…and bacon…need I say more? Oh, and clear your calendar for April 8th. (hint: it’s a festival involving beer and bacon…)
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • On Sunday, April 30, 2017 from 5-10pm at the Rickhouse in Durham, guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here .
  • And got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, a day that focuses around nice meals, flowers, and candy. The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina reminds us that for our food-insecure neighbors in need, however, it’s just another day of making tough choices between paying rent or filling empty bellies. Do you have a Heart for Hunger this Valentine’s Day?

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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 3, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Carrboro is getting cooler and cooler. And the latest announcement certainly helps. The owners of Al’s Burger Shack in Chapel Hill are opening a new restaurant in Carrboro called Mel’s Commissary & Luncheonette. Melody Bowers and her husband, Al, plan to open the concept in March at 109 W. Main St., where Tres Amigos Restaurant and Cantina used to be. Check out Al’s here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word from David Prestrud at Plan A. Architecture that Lume Grill is coming to Cary in the old Pita Bon / Loop Pizza spot on Kildaire Farm Road. Unfortunately we don’t have a timeline or a link to share, but we will keep an eye on it. Thanks David!
  • Also in Cary, Prestrud shared that Pro’s Epicurean Market and Cafe is coming to 211 E. Chatham St. (the spot where The Food Factory and then Dorry’s Downtown were), in front of Bond Brothers Brewery. It touts itself as an eclectic market, wine bar and café featuring authentic Italian/French/European cuisine. Keep up with their progress on Facebook here.
  • And an update on Charlie Grainger’s newest location on Chapel Hill Road. According to one of our reader’s who was in that location, they will swing open their doors next Monday, February 6. Check out Grainger’s here.
  • Over in Raleigh’s North Ridge Shopping Center, Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Zoe’s Kitchen and Chopt Creative Salad Company will open locations there. The North Ridge location will be Chopt’s second in Raleigh, which opened its first at Cameron Village in December. Zoe’s Kitchen has three locations in Raleigh and Morrisville, plus a fourth location planned at the Shops at Eastgate on 1800 E. Franklin St. in Chapel Hill. Check out Zoe’s here and Chopt here.
  • And finally, the good folks over at the Western Wake Farmers Market are trying to secure a “forever” home in partnership with the town of Morrisville. It would be a wonderful addition to the community and they need your support. If you are inclined, jump over to the site to see how you can contribute to make this a reality. Thanks!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Chapel Hill’s legendary La Residence reopened yesterday (February 2) after being closed since June of last year due to a fire. Time to work them back into your rotation. Check out their Facebook page for pictures of the “new” La Rez!
  • We are getting closer and closer to the opening of Stoney River Steakhouse in Chapel Hill’s University Place on Estes Drive. It is located in the space just in front of the new Silverspot Cinema. Stoney River is part of the J. Alexander’s group (which just opened a J. Alexander’s Restaurant up the hill from Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh). The sign is up and they are actively hiring. Any day now… Check them out here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) shared that the Honeysuckle Tea House will open for the season on April 1, 2017. If you’ve never been, it is worth the trek. Check them out here.
  • And John also brought it to our attention that Sangha Tea is moving towards opening a permanent location in Chapel Hill. We don’t know where yet, but there is a photo of the interior of the space on their Twitter feed. Stay tuned! In the meantime, learn more about Sangha Tea here.
  • An update on the news last month that Jasmin Mediterranean had closed their location in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill (intersection of Columbia and Franklin) to make way for Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza. We learned this week that Jasmin is planning their next location on 15-501 somewhere between Durham & Chapel Hill. A little vague, I know, but good news nonetheless. Check out Jasmin here.
  • Over in Durham, got word from a Yelp message board that a sign has gone up in the Erwin Terrace development (think Nosh and Black Twig Cedar House) for a donut shop called Early Bird Donuts. According to their Facebook page, they are a few weeks away from opening.
  • And if that is not enough sweetness for Durham, got word this week that the folks over at East Durham Pie Company are that much closer to opening a brick and mortar location. It was announced that their new home will be in East Durham at 406 S. Driver St. They plan to open this summer thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Check them out here.
  • Also in Durham, learned this week that the folks over at Alley Twenty Six at 320 E. Chapel Hill Street in Durham have opened a kitchen right next door to the bar and it will be helmed by Carrie Schleiffer (think Bar Virgile and G2B). Check them out on Facebook here and their website here.

Closings

  • Unless you were under a rock this week, it was announced last weekend that Cary’s An Cuisines closed after a 10-year run.
  • We learned that Yogurt Mountain on Creedmoor Road in Raleigh has closed.

Food Trucks

  • Come on food trucks, send me some info/updates!

Events

  • On February 8th, Piedmont’s executive Chef John May welcomes chef Justin Burdett – whose Local Provisions in Asheville, NC was named by EATER among the “21 Best New Restaurants in America” –  to collaborate on a 7-course winter menu (below) featuring North Carolina seafood and a wide range of preservation methods. Look for dishes featuring pickling, smoking, curing and more, alongside sustainably caught North Carolina seafood from Locals Seafood. Reservations can be made by contacting 919-683-1213. All special menus may be previewed in the events section on their website.
  • The Lucy Daniels Center is proud to announce the inaugural Cooking for a Classic series. This unique philanthropic event held at 1705 Prime (1705 E. Millbrook Road) in Raleigh throughout February and March will feature the talents of 16 local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. Get information on the chefs, dates and ticket information here.
  • DPAC is partnering again with Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop to host the 5th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, March 12. The event features the Harris On stage Experience showcasing additional brewery and local food vendors, unlimited samplings and three floors of food & beverage options, so make sure you visit each level of DPAC’s lobbies for the full experience. Get additional information and tickets here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • On Sunday, April 30, 2017 from 5-10 pm the Taste for A Cure Gala will take place at the Rickhouse in Durham, where guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • And got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, a day that focuses around nice meals, flowers, and candy. For our food-insecure neighbors in need, however, it’s just another day of making tough choices between paying rent or filling empty bellies. Do you have a Heart for Hunger this Valentine’s Day? Donate Now!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 27, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • He’s back! WRAL and the News & Observer reported that renowned barbecue pitmaster Ed Mitchell officially launches his food truck –  Ed Mitchell’s Q on Wheels – today, Friday, January 27, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Hampton Inn & Suites at Brier Creek. The hotel is at 8021 Arco Corporate Drive. He also plans on opening a brick-and-mortar location in Brier Creek. Check out his website here and his Facebook page here.
  • And looking for a great restaurant read (and/or to kill 15 minutes at the office today)? There is nothing more fun to read than the annual listing of the area’s “best” restaurants according to the News & Observer’s Greg Cox, as well as his pick for the “Restaurant of the Year.” Well done Greg! No spoilers here, you’ll have to read it yourself. Here you go.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • This past Tuesday, the guys over at Trophy Brewing Company opened Trophy Tap and Table on South Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh in the former Busy Bee location. They will feature both Trophy Brewing as well as guest brewers and will have a menu centered around rotisserie chicken. So it is like a backyard cookout with someone else pouring you your beer and you don’t have to cook. Giddy up! Check them out here.  Thanks to John Huisman for the tip on that!
  • WRAL reported this week that signage has gone up for Soca in the former Faire spot in Raleigh’s Cameron Village and will likely open next month. Soca is being brought to us by the owners of the popular eatery Buku, Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins. Where Buku tends to focus on updates of popular, approachable dishes from Asia, Soca will shift its eye to South and Central America, the menu bouncing between Colombia and Mexico, Trinidad and Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Chile. Get a peek at their menu and keep up with their updates and pending opening on their Facebook page here.
  • Thanks to a tip from Bob Newell, we learned that over on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street Bob Jewett, owner of Bocci Trattoria and Pizzeria in Cary and Durham, is opening a third location in the former spot of Porter’s Tavern and later McDaids. Jewett, an N.C. State grad who got his start in the restaurant industry at the beloved Two Guys Pizza, said he hopes to open by early April. Check out Bocci here.
  • Got word from reader Joanne Gehas that there is a Vietnamese restaurant called Mekong Vietnamese Cuisine coming into the Alexander Village shopping center at 2121 T.W. Alexander Drive near Brier Creek. It will be located in the same shopping center as the Food Lion. They note that you will be able to enjoy authentic dishes from the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam. No word yet on an open date, so we will keep an eye on it. Here is a link to their Facebook page.
  • The newest Triangle-area location of Moe’s held their grand opening this past Wednesday. It is located in Cary’s Alston Town Center on Hwy. 55, just south of NC540. Their actual address is 5020 Arco Street, Cary, NC 27519, but being a new street, it still doesn’t show up on some mapping services. Check out Moe’s here.
  • Also in Cary, got word this week that the third Triangle-area location of First Watch is on schedule to open next month in the Shops at Bradford (Publix grocery store) at the corner of High House and Davis Drive. First Watch is a breakfast- and brunch-focused restaurant chain with locations on Glenwood Avenue and on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh. Check out First Watch here.
  • Over in Wake Forest, WRAL noted that it looks like sometime around the 1st of February the Triangle will be able to enjoy the next location of Panera Bread. This one will be located at 11665 Northpark Drive. Check out Panera here.
  • And speaking of Wake Forest, WRAL also noted that we are getting closer to the opening of the second Triangle-area location of MOD Pizza at 2815 Rogers Road as signage has now gone up on the building. Check out MOD here.
  • And finally, the good folks over at the Western Wake Farmers Market are trying to secure a “forever” home in partnership with the town of Morrisville. It would be a wonderful addition to the community and they need your support. If you are inclined, jump over to the site to see how you can contribute to make this a reality. Thanks!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City let me know that the Durham version of Beer Study is now open in the Rockwood Shopping Center where 15-501 Business intersects with University Drive. It is a joint effort of Beer Study and Starpoint Brewing. Check out the new space on their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Durham, saw on a Yelp message board that Pho & Poke recently opened just off Erwin Road in the same shopping center as Nosh and Black Twig Cedar House (where Chai’s used to be). Check them out here.
  • And speaking of poke, we have a quick update on ZenFish Poke Bar which is coming to Durham’s Ninth Street (810 Ninth Street to be exact). According to their Facebook page, the holidays and then snow slowed their progress, but they are now slated to open in February! Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here or check out their regular site here.

Closings

  • Got word this week that the North Raleigh location of Tribeca Tavern on Falls of the Neuse Road will close Sunday, January 29th as Tribeca Hospitality focuses on its other properties. This ends a 6 year run. You can still frequent the Tribeca Tavern in Cary. Tribeca Hospitality also owns the First Watch franchise brand which has two locations in Raleigh and is opening a third in Cary next month. Visit their website here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Gregory Hamm announced via Facebook that he will be closing his P.G. Werth’s Restaurant & Market in downtown Raleigh by mid-February. He plans to continue operating his Café 121 restaurant and event venue in Sanford and Chef Hamm Inc. Catering, as well as continue to teach culinary classes.
  • Also in Raleigh, got word this week from the Triangle Business Journal that the Shucker’s location at 510 Glenwood Avenue will be closing. You can still visit their original location in Wake Forest.
  • Reader Steve Solloway informed us that Moonlight Swirl in north Raleigh in the Shops at Falls Village has closed.
  • Speaking of sweets, the beautiful and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard informed me that the Ben & Jerry’s location on Broad Street in Durham has closed.

Food Trucks

  • Everyone remembers Steven Goff, right? Former butcher at Standard Foods. We told you awhile back that he was working toward bringing a food truck to the Triangle (and entire state). Well, looks like we are just days/weeks away from him hitting the streets with his Brine Haus Food + Provisions food truck! In fact, he’s is already booking the truck for events. Keep up with his progress on the final details on the truck and his official announcement here on his Facebook page.

Events

  • This is cool. This Sunday at 6 p.m., chef Josh Young at Humble Pie in downtown Raleigh is hosting a Trash Ramen Pop-Up Dinner. What is that? Glad you asked. The wonderful U.S. of A. wastes more food than any nation on the planet. That’s not cool! Chef Josh Young is doing something about it. He’s making ramen broth utilizing stock and scraps and vegetables that are left over or likely thrown away to make a delicious, nourishing soup. He’ll be dishing out his magic this Sunday, Jan. 29th, beginning at 6:00 p.m. sharp until there’s nothing left. The bar will be open and ramen is only 12 bucks a bowl. Even better, a portion of the night’s proceeds will be donated to NO KID HUNGRY NC. Come on friends and slurp up some delicious ramen for a good cause. No reservations, just show up on time. Check out the details here.
  • Also on January 29th, City Barbeque will host its first-ever charitable Pass the Pigs competition. Contributions from playing a modified version of the classic game- where throwing two small plastic pigs results in a score-will directly benefit local food banks in the area. During the competition, guests who donate $5 or more to support each joint’s food bank partner will receive a free Pass the Pigs game set, and donations of any amount will be accepted. The highest scorer in each restaurant will win a $50 gift card, and the highest score across all restaurants will win a $250 gift card. Get all the details here.
  • Tickets are now on sale for the annual Triangle Wine Experience, which offers dinners, wine tastings and more from Feb. 2-4. At 7 p.m. Feb. 2, there are winemaker dinners at restaurants throughout the Triangle. Many are sold out but check the website for what is still available. Cost: $150-$165. At 5 p.m. Feb. 4, the grand gala with live and silent auctions. The location of the gala is still to be determined. Cost: $225-$250. All proceeds benefits the Frankie Lemmon School, a Raleigh nonprofit that provides support and instruction for children with special needs. Click here for more information and tickets.
  • On February 8th, Piedmont’s executive chef John May welcomes chef Justin Burdett – whose Local Provisions in Asheville, NC was named by EATER among the “21 Best New Restaurants in America” –  to collaborate on a 7-course winter menu (below) featuring North Carolina seafood and a wide range of preservation methods. Look for dishes featuring pickling, smoking, curing and more, alongside sustainably caught North Carolina seafood from Locals Seafood. Reservations can be made by contacting 919-683-1213. All special menus may be previewed in the events section on their website.
  • The Lucy Daniels Center is proud to announce the inaugural Cooking for a Classic series. This unique philanthropic event held at 1705 Prime (1705 E. Millbrook Road) in Raleigh throughout February and March will feature the talents of 16 local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. Get information on the chefs, dates and ticket information here.
  • DPAC is partnering again with Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop to host the 5th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, March 12. The event features the Harris On stage Experience showcasing additional brewery and local food vendors, unlimited samplings and three floors of food & beverage options, so make sure you visit each level of DPAC’s lobbies for the full experience. Get additional information and tickets here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.

Food Bank Corner 

  • Want to host a “food drive”? From the comfort of your office and your computer? Huh? Well, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina’s Virtual Food Drive is a food drive online! Through an existing drive or one that you start yourself, participants can browse through our virtual grocery aisles, select items to add to a shopping cart, and check-out by making a monetary donation. Check it out here!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 20, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • I got a sneak peek last night of Raleigh’s hottest new addition – Vidrio, brought to us by the folks at LM Restaurants. This place is simply stunning – in look, feel, service and menu. Located at 500 Glenwood Avenue (first two floors of the Carolina Ale House building), the Mediterranean-style dining experience begins next Monday, January 23rd when you’ll be able to enjoy a blend of Greek, Turkish, Lebanese, Moroccan, Spanish, and other coastal influences. And the drink menu? Off the charts! In addition to the amazingly delicious cocktails, Vidrio also offers more than 50 wines on tap and another 300 by the bottle. Get this spot in your rotation as soon as possible! Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • WRAL reported that the folks behind Sushi Nine (that burned nearly to the ground in January, 2016) held a groundbreaking ceremony this week announcing the rebuilding of the popular eatery in its former location at 3812 Western Boulevard. No exact timeline was released. See renderings of the rebuild and keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Your weekend brunch options just got a lot more interesting. The News & Observer reported this week that both Poole’s and Standard Foods would begin offering weekend brunch service. Prompted by the closing of Ashley Christensen’s Joule (being replaced by St. Roch Oyster + Bar), Poole’s will begin this spring, and will feature many of the dishes from Joule. Standard will begin their brunch service this Sunday (January 22). Check out Poole’s here and Standard Foods here.
  • Sean O’Neill informed me last week that the building permit for the next/second location of Chronic Tacos Mexican Grill in the Triangle has been issued. They expect to open in late March or early April at 1000 Forrestville Road in Wake Forest. Chronic’s other Triangle location is in Chapel Hill’s Meadowmont development. Check out Chronic Tacos here.
  • The ITB Insider reported this week that the popular North Raleigh brunch spot Brigs Restaurant in Brennan Station on Creedmoor Road should be reopening its doors very soon, as permits to repair damage caused by an electrical fire earlier this month were issued last week. Follow their Facebook page here to keep up with their reopening date.
  • Over in Cary, got word that Bottle Dog Bites & Brews will hold their grand opening this weekend (January 20-22). It is owned by the folks behind Woody’s, a longtime popular sports bar with locations in Cary and Raleigh and is located on Chapel Hill Road, just a few doors down from the Cary location of Woody’s. Check out their website to get all the details on the grand opening celebration lasting all weekend!
  • Also in Cary (and soon to be in Raleigh), got word from reader Laura A. that Kader’s French Bakery has closed in Cary Towne Center. That is the bad news, especially after just 7 months there. But word is that they are relocating to 1213 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. We will keep an eye on this one. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • And finally, the good folks over at the Western Wake Farmers Market are trying to secure a “forever” home in partnership with the town of Morrisville. It would be a wonderful addition to the community and they need your support. If you are inclined, jump over to the site to see how you can contribute to make this a reality. Thanks!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • On Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street, we got word from reader Thomas Viemont that the “express” version of Durham’s Cuban Revolution (nicknamed The Cube) has opened at the spot of the former Mina’s Grill at 401 W. Franklin Street (right next to The Franklin Hotel). Check them out here.
  • Last week we told you about the closing of Jasmin Mediterranean Bistro at the corner of Franklin Street and Columbia Street. This week The Daily Tar Heel reported that that spot will be filled by Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza (just when you thought Franklin Street already had “lotsa” pizza joints). This will be the chain’s sixth location in the U.S. No word yet on a timeline. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, Mixed, a casual Korean bistro located at 1404 E. Franklin Street (that is at the bottom of the hill next to Caribou Coffee) has closed. That is the bad news (I really liked that place – fresh and made to order). But the Captain Poncho empire has expanded into that space and they are already open! What began as a truck, then adding a brick and mortar in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village, now has Captain Poncho’s Tacqueria at 1404 E. Franklin Street. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Got word from reader Chris Creighton that the Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt location in Cary’s Waverly Place has closed.
  • Learned from my friend Tabitha Turner that Mixed, a casual Korean bistro, has closed. It was near the intersection of E. Franklin and Estes Drive (see above to find out what is now in that space).
  • Got word from reader Paul Prause that On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina at Plantation Point (intersection of US1 and 540) has closed.

Food Trucks

  • Who else out there is missing their favorite food trucks? Might be the worst part of winter. But this weekend (Sunday afternoon) is the Winter Weekend for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo featuring over 50 of your favorite food trucks! They will all be at the park (501 Foster Street) in downtown Durham from noon until 4 p.m. this Sunday, January 22 waiting to give you your winter fix of food truck goodness. Along with WXDU DJs spinning funky tunes and college rock, they’ll also have inflatables for the kids to jump in from Bull City Inflatables! Check out the website here for a list of all the trucks and other details.
  • I had the pleasure to sit down yesterday with Deb Keller with Cousins Maine Lobster food truck (if you haven’t met her, you should – she’s great!). Anyway, big news! Can you say double your lobster pleasure?!? Yes, they have just begun the process of securing a second truck for the Triangle (that’s what happens when your first truck is basically all booked up)! Look for truck two later this spring, early summer. Keep up with their truck here.

Events

  • Starting this Monday! January 23-29 marks the 10-year anniversary edition of Triangle Restaurant Week, a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants. Dine at participating restaurants which offer a special menus and deals throughout the week. No advance tickets necessary. Visit their website to see which restaurants are taking part this year!
  • Tickets are now on sale for the annual Triangle Wine Experience, which offers dinners, wine tastings and more from Feb. 2-4. At 7 p.m. Feb. 2, there are winemaker dinners at restaurants throughout the Triangle. Many are sold out but check the website for what is still available. Cost: $150-$165. At 5 p.m. Feb. 4, the grand gala with live and silent auctions. The location of the gala is still to be determined. Cost: $225-$250. All proceeds benefits the Frankie Lemmon School, a Raleigh nonprofit that provides support and instruction for children with special needs. Click here for more information and tickets.
  • On February 8th, Piedmont’s executive chef John May welcomes chef Justin Burdett – whose Local Provisions in Asheville, NC was named by EATER among the “21 Best New Restaurants in America” –  to collaborate on a 7-course winter menu (below) featuring North Carolina seafood and a wide range of preservation methods. Look for dishes featuring pickling, smoking, curing and more, alongside sustainably caught North Carolina seafood from Locals Seafood. Reservations can be made by contacting 919-683-1213. All special menus may be previewed in the events section on their website.
  • The Lucy Daniels Center is proud to announce the inaugural Cooking for a Classic series. This unique philanthropic event held at 1705 Prime (1705 E. Millbrook Road) in Raleigh throughout February and March will feature the talents of 16 local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. Get information on the chefs, dates and ticket information here.
  • DPAC is partnering again with Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop to host the 5th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, March 12. The event features the Harris On stage Experience showcasing additional brewery and local food vendors, unlimited samplings and three floors of food & beverage options, so make sure you visit each level of DPAC’s lobbies for the full experience. Get additional information and tickets here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.

Food Bank Corner 

  • Want to host a “food drive”? From the comfort of your office and your computer? Huh? Well, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina’s Virtual Food Drive is a food drive online! Through an existing drive or one that you start yourself, participants can browse through our virtual grocery aisles, select items to add to a shopping cart, and check-out by making a monetary donation. Check it out here!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 13, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The trend of food trucks transitioning into brick-and-mortar locations continues with the ladies behind Pho Nomenal Dumpling truck (which won season six of the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race”) announcing that they will bring their concept to City Market in downtown Raleigh with a restaurant named MOFU Shoppe. According to the News & Observer they hope to open by May, if not sooner. Check out their website here and keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • An update on the former Helio’s spot on Glenwood South. The ITB Insider reported this week that the new spot (brought to us by the Ibarra brothers from Jose & Sons, among others) will be called The Cortez Restaurant, according to permits filed. No additional information is available at this time.
  • ITB Insider also reported that Sweetheart Treats, a local purveyor of delectable desserts, will soon be opening its doors at the Falls River Shopping Center on 10930 Raven Ridge Road in North Raleigh. It is possible they will be open before the end of the month. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • And finally in Raleigh, ITB Insider also reported that permits for the first Raleigh location of the national BBQ chain City Barbeque were issued December 30 for a spot at the new Olive Park Shopping Center, where work is also underway for Raleigh’s second Bad Daddy’s burger joint. Check out City Barbecue here and Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar here.
  • Over in Wake Forest, WRAL reported that Party Delights, a custom cake and cupcake studio, will be opening in early February (hopefully in time for Valentine’s Day!) at 701 North Main Street, right next to Pelicans. Check them out on Facebook here and their website here.
  • And down in Holly Springs, reader Chris Creighton notified me that Springs Pizza & Wings has opened in the former Ricci’s Pizza location at the intersection of Holly Springs Rd and Sunset Lake. Check out their Facebook page here and their website here.
  • And related to that, the owner of Ricci’s has opened a new place in Cary called Ricci’s Trattoria located at 10110 Green Level Church Road. Check them out on Facebook here and their website here.
  • The rednecks are coming. You have been warned. At least that is what their website says at this point. The rest of the story is that longtime competitive barbecue cook Jerry Stephenson Jr. is opening The Redneck BBQ Lab at 11 a.m. on January 16 in Benson according to the News & Observer. The restaurant is located to the left of the BP gas station at exit 319 off Interstate 40. Keep up with them on Facebook here and their website (which heeds the warning about rednecks) here.
  • And finally, the good folks over at the Western Wake Farmers Market are trying to secure a “forever” home in partnership with the town of Morrisville. It would be a wonderful addition to the community and they need your support. If you are inclined, jump over to the site to see how you can contribute to make this a reality. Thanks!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • A quick update to a bit of news we broke last week. According to the News & Observer, chef Adam Rose hopes to open his lunch-only restaurant, Luncheonette, by the end of the week in Chapel Hill’s Europa Center. You’ll recognize Rose from his stints at Il Palio at the Siena Hotel, Black House at Straw Valley, and Raleigh’s H Street Kitchen. He will be in the same space that was home to Paul Covington’s Crook’s Atrium Cafe and Southern Comfort Cafe. You can learn more about Rose and some of his other projects here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, the Daily Tar Heel reported that Might as Well Bar and Grill, a popular spot for college students in Wilmington, is opening a new location on West Franklin Street in the former Fitzgerald’s spot and is hoping to open around January 22 (if permitting permits). Get a sneak peek at them here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Durham’s Phoebe Lawless, owner of Scratch Bakery, is opening The Lakewood, a full-service restaurant and bar in Durham, this spring. It will be a 90-seat restaurant and bar with a rooftop terrace serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch at 2022 Chapel Hill Road. Additionally, she will be opening a second Scratch Bakery Cafe in the same location. Look for updates about The Lakewood on their Facebook page here.
  • The Pie Hole, the Los Angeles based American pie and coffee shop, will be expanding to North Carolina in 2017, bringing its made-from- scratch sweet and savory pies to the East Coast. The News & Observer reported that the initial location will likely be in Durham, although it won’t be officially announced for a few more weeks. Look for them to open this summer. Two additional Triangle-area locations are planned. Check out The Pie Hole here.

Closings

  • Got word that the Stonehenge Tavern on Creedmoor Road in Raleigh closed at year’s end. It was in the former Carolina Wing Company space at 7504 Creedmoor Road. They had just opened this past February.
  • Got word from reader Laura A. that Wild Wing Cafe in Cary in the Centrum at Crossroads (Walnut Street) has closed.
  • The Daily Tar Heel reported this week that Jasmin Mediterranean Bistro, in the middle of downtown Chapel Hill, has closed. They also reported that Khushi Salads and Wraps, just down Franklin Street, has also closed.

Cool New App (Food Trucks Are Still Hibernating)

  • This isn’t a restaurant feature, but technology that can enhance your “eating out” experience in the Triangle and across the US. Developed here in the Triangle, CurEat is an innovative new restaurant app designed to help residents and travelers discover a great place to dine and drink. CurEat will provide trustworthy, curated lists of award-winning, independent and time-honored restaurants in over 60 cities across the United States, and empower users to create and share their own lists. And best of all…NO CHAINS! Two core features of the app include: making lists of restaurants that you like and would recommend to friends and family; and seeing recommendations from prominent chefs, bartenders and other “local influencers” who share their recs. Check it out here.

Events

  • Congratulations to Sam & Starr Ratto, owners of Videri Chocolate Factory, as they celebrate their five-year anniversary this Sunday, January 15th. They are celebrating this milestone with fun events for the public from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at their factory at 327 W. Davie St. in downtown Raleigh. There will be free hot chocolate, Videri tattoos, a one-time “buy five bars, get one free” offer and a variety of chocolate samples. For the children, there will be coloring and art activities with “chocolate” (brown) paint. They also will be be raffling off custom-designed, special edition fifth-anniversary posters made of chocolate. For purchases of more than $50, Ratto will personalize and sign a special edition poster to take home. Details on the event are here.
  • Go ahead and mark your calendar for January 23-29 for the 10-year anniversary edition of Triangle Restaurant Week, a week-long celebration of culinary excellence designed to incorporate the premier Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding area restaurants. Dine at participating restaurants which offer a special menus and deals throughout the week. No advance tickets necessary. Visit their website to see which restaurants are taking part this year!
  • Tickets are now on sale for the annual Triangle Wine Experience, which offers dinners, wine tastings and more from Feb. 2-4. At 7 p.m. Feb. 2, there are winemaker dinners at restaurants throughout the Triangle. Many are sold out but check the website for what is still available. Cost: $150-$165. At 5 p.m. Feb. 4, the grand gala with live and silent auctions. The location of the gala is still to be determined. Cost: $225-$250. All proceeds benefits the Frankie Lemmon School, a Raleigh nonprofit that provides support and instruction for children with special needs. Click here for more information and tickets.
  • On February 8th, Piedmont’s executive chef John May welcomes chef Justin Burdett – whose Local Provisions in Asheville, NC was named by EATER among the “21 Best New Restaurants in America” –  to collaborate on a 7-course winter menu (below) featuring North Carolina seafood and a wide range of preservation methods. Look for dishes featuring pickling, smoking, curing and more, alongside sustainably caught North Carolina seafood from Locals Seafood. Reservations can be made by contacting 919-683-1213. All special menus may be previewed in the events section on their website.
  • The Lucy Daniels Center is proud to announce the inaugural Cooking for a Classic series. This unique philanthropic event held at 1705 Prime (1705 E. Millbrook Road) in Raleigh throughout February and March will feature the talents of 16 local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. Get information on the chefs, dates and ticket information here.
  • DPAC is partnering again with Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop to host the 5th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, March 12. The event features the Harris On stage Experience showcasing additional brewery and local food vendors, unlimited samplings and three floors of food & beverage options, so make sure you visit each level of DPAC’s lobbies for the full experience. Get additional information and tickets here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.

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