Category Archives: Uncategorized

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 31, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Amber Watson of Bites of Bull City shared the news this week that there’s a new Italian restaurant in Brightleaf Square in the former Little Dipper restaurant space called Trattoria Salve. It is owned by Gianni Cinelli, who also has Vivo Ristorante Pizzeria In Raleigh and Osteria G in Apex. They had their soft opening last weekend and officially opened this past Tuesday. Check them out here. Get to know them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Reader Roger Hurley shared via Twitter that the first North Carolina location of Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille will be in Raleigh in Crabtree Terrace (new building under construction) across from Crabtree Valley Mall. They are looking to open in early 2020. Keep up with them here.
  • The former Boylan Bridge Brewpub owners Chris Borreson and Sara Abernethy will “re-invent” that beloved Raleigh skyline spot and reopen on June 12th as Wye Hill Kitchen + Brewing. Keep up with their progress here.
  • Not much more to share here other than the fact that reader Hugh Autry spotted a sign for Heubowl Vietnamese Kitchen going in at old Burger King at 3701 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. We were unable to find an online presence as of yet.
  • The Kitchen Table at Relish, the newest concept from the folks behind Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar opened yesterday (May 30). Located right next door to Relish in the former Dos Taquitos space at 5629 Creedmoor Road, the new concept features biscuits, brews and board games. Keep up with Relish here.
  • Chef Jake Wood is staying busy over at Plates Neighborhood Kitchen on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. They announced this week that they would begin offering their brunch menu 6 days a week, Tuesday through Sunday (10:30 am until 2:30 pm). And while you are there, check out their brand new patio renovation (courtesy of Jake!). Check them out here.
  • Over in Cary, thanks to Hugh Autry, looks like there is a new pizza joint in the former Brooklyn Boys Pizza spot at 1260 NW Maynard Road called Pizzeria Veritas. Apparently there was a change of ownership and the new concept was launched back in March. Keep up with them on Instagram here.
  • And finally, some sad news for restauranteurs. Used Restaurant Equipment & Décor, which has served the restaurant scene for over eight years, will be closing at the end of this month and will hold a public auction to sell off all remaining inventory. It will be held June 3rd and 4th. You can visit their website for more info.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Closings

  • The News & Observer shared this week that after 15 years Carrboro gastropub Milltown closed last Monday.

Food Trucks 

  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • And learned from the News & Observer’s Drew Jackson that apparently the Longleaf Swine folks are parting with their barbecue trailer as they are focusing on building a restaurant in the Transfer Co. Food Hall. Check out the trailer here.

Events

  •  The Apex Latino Festival will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 3-10 p.m in downtown Apex. Celebrate the Latino culture with children’s arts and crafts workshops, local Latino art exhibits, a culinary event, Latin American dance, music performances, and an authentic arts and crafts bazaar. Purchase a passport to sample tasty authentic food and dessert delights from over 12 different Latino Countries. Get all the details here.
  • The annual Triangle Restaurant Week summer event, is set to run NEXT week, June 3rd- 9th. During the event, participating restaurants within Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham and surrounding areas will offer a special, 3-course prix fixe lunch menu ($10 or $15) and/or 3-course prix fixe dinner menu ($20, $25, $30 or $35) each day they are open. Get all the details and a list of participating restaurants here
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Also on Saturday, June 8th, Raleigh will play host to their own International Food Festival held in downtown on the Raleigh City Plaza. Last year nearly 17k people attended the day full of dance performances, bands and food from around the world from noon until 10 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • Ever wanted to show off your pickle? Now is your chance. The Rickhouse hosts Durham’s 5th Annual PickleFest on June 22 – featuring a Home Pickler’s Contest. The pickle-packed tasting event and marketplace will be showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi! Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips! VIP $25 includes early bird entry from Noon – 1pm + Home Pickler’s Contest Tasting + (1) free drink ticket. General Admission $10 – Session 1 from 1 – 3pm | Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • The folks over at Pompieri Pizza are expanding their annual Lambrusco Fest this year – extending it over 6 days from June 17 through June 22! Lambrusco Fest was a one day festival, but this year they are changing up with events happening over six days. They will have pasta and parmesan dinners as well as specials featuring prosciutto and balsamic and fun things! Get all the details on what is being offered each day (some events are already sold out!).
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Over half a million people in the 34 counties we serve struggle with food insecurity. You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members or coworkers. Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 24, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • And now we know. Boylan Bridge Brewpub is no more. But the new owners, Chris Borreson and Sara Abernethy, have unveiled nearly all the details on the upcoming Wye Hill Kitchen + Brewing which takes over the same spot come June 5. Some serious restaurant talent like Brad Wynn, Max Trujillo, Bobby McFarland and Kyle Fletcher are or have been involved in the “rebirth” of the best view of the Raleigh skyline. Looking forward to June 5! Keep up with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We are getting closer to the opening of The Kitchen Table at Relish, the newest concept from the folks behind Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar. The new concept, located right next door to Relish in the former Dos Taquitos space at 5629 Creedmoor Road, features biscuits, brews and board games. The biscuits will feature the classic buttermilk biscuits, iced blueberry or blackberry biscuits, bacon and chive biscuits, jalapeno and corn biscuits, cinnamon biscuits, and vegan biscuits just to name a few. Brews means rotating selections from NC’s 130 plus craft breweries as well as locally roasted coffee. And Boardgames means they already have a collection of more than 400 board games! After a pre-opening event for friends and family, they are looking to open next week on May 30. Keep up with Relish here.
  • The ITB Insider reported this week that work is now underway on Rosewater, a Mediterranean restaurant from the Giorgios Group, in the old Bruegger’s space at North Hills. A set of permits were recently issued to be performed as an “alteration” to the space.  Best guesses is that it will open before year’s end. Check them out here.
  • Speaking of North Hills, friend Susan Tu and her brother Eddie are closing up their Spring Rolls location on May 26 after a nine-year run – that is the bad news. The good news is that they are moving it to Durham and their other Raleigh location in Wade Park will remain open. They will open the new location in Durham in the Chesterfield Building (701 W. Main St.) at the corner with Duke Street. Look for them to open in July. They will have a “Last Call” Celebration tonight (May 24) at 5 pm featuring live music and drink specials at the North Hills location. Thanks to Kenan Barnes for the update on this. Visit Spring Rolls here.
  • Over on Hillsborough Street, WRAL shared the news that Rush Bowls is opening their first Triangle location at 2811 Hillsborough Street on June 10th, with a Grand Opening Party from noon until 5 p.m. A location on Durham’s Ninth Street will not be far behind. They offer meals crafted from the finest fruit, topped with granola & honey, and blended with protein, vitamins and other nutritious ingredients that taste delicious while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Get to know them here.
  • A few weeks ago we told you that the Garner Char-Grill was closing and being replaced by an Indian street food joint. Thanks to the News & Observer we now know that to be Chhote’s which already has a location in Transfer Co. Food Hall in downtown Raleigh. Chhote’s is designed by Andes Fernandes, a Mumbai native and founder of Biryani Maxx in Cary. The Garner Chhote’s is in its soft opening phase with a grand opening expected next month. Check out information on Chhote’s on the Transfer Co. Food Hall site here.
  • Over in Cary, high school buddy Dana McCall shared with me that BurgerFi is going into Cary Crossroads next to the new Cava, where Verizon once was. This will be the third location in the Triangle. If you are not familiar with BurgerFi, check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, WRAL reported that a new coffeehouse and cafe is slated to open May 28th in west Cary. Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea will be located in Amberly Square off McCrimmon Parkway. The cafe will serve Asian and globally-inspired coffees, teas, pastries, sandwiches and salads. Sweetwaters is a franchise with more than 100 planned shops across the country. Get to know them here.
  • And if you are a cat and coffee lover, you’ll be excited to hear that the newest coffee/cat combo joint is coming to Raleigh. Purr Cup Cafe announced this week that they found their home on Prospect Avenue just outside of downtown Raleigh. Get all the details here.
  • And finally, some sad news for restauranteurs. Used Restaurant Equipment & Décor, which has served the restaurant scene for over eight years, will be closing at the end of this month and will hold a public auction to sell off all remaining inventory. It will be held June 3rd and 4th. You can visit their website for more info.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Hillsborough, Rasoi Ventures announced they are opening a new global tapas-style bistro at 124 King St. – they haven’t landed on a name yet. Part-owner of Durham’s Viceroy, BJ Patel has teamed up with friends and family, including Sejal Patel. They will be featuring mostly international flavors as well as exploring fusion-style cuisine – for example, Kimchi Samosas or Curried Poutine. They also hope to partner with area farms to bring an international flavor to locally sourced products. Look for a mid-fall opening. Keep up with them on Instagram here.
  • A quick shout-out to our friends over at Heavenly Buffaloes. What originally started in Durham, then expanded over into Chapel Hill (on W. Franklin Street) has now announced they will open a third location this summer over in Greensboro! Kudos to them and their continued success. Visit Heavenly Buffaloes here.
  • And finally, a bit of a retraction. We learned this week that news item we shared a few weeks ago is not actually going to happen. We had shared information from what we thought to be a credible source, but it turns out it wasn’t. There will NOT be a Chick-fil-A inside the Mountaire Farms chicken processing plant in Siler City. Sorry Chathamites! But maybe we got Chick-fil-A’s attention with all the excitement that was generated!

Closings

  • Sorry to have learned from reader John Norris that Wimpy’s Grill, at the corner of Hicks and Hillsborough streets in Durham, has closed. They had hoped to stay open through today, Friday, May 24, but once the news spread, they sold out of all their product at the end of the day yesterday according to the News & Observer.
  • Readers Jane Paige and Samuel Allison notified us that there is a closed sign on the door at Hot Point Deli in Cary on Walnut Street.
  • The folks over at EatRaleigh reported that the couple behind the amazing Filipino market and restaurant Bitter Melon in Angier have decided to retire, and will be closing shop on May 26th. There is still time to get by!

Food Trucks 

  • This Sunday, May 26th from 1-5 pm at City Market in downtown Raleigh, be sure to stop by and enjoy Raleigh’s annual All-Dessert Food Rodeo! Get by and enjoy four delicious hours of sweetness from 20+ vendors offering a range of goodies from Ice cream, Italian ice, cheesecake, pie’s, lemonade, pineapple drinks, popcorn, donuts, cupcakes, cookies, sno cones, cotton candy, various cake slices and much more including face painters and balloon artists for the kids. Get the details on WRAL here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  The Apex Latino Festival will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 3-10 p.m in downtown Apex. Celebrate the Latino culture with children’s arts and crafts workshops, local Latino art exhibits, a culinary event, Latin American dance, music performances, and an authentic arts and crafts bazaar. Purchase a passport to sample tasty authentic food and dessert delights from over 12 different Latino Countries. Get all the details here.
  • They’re at it again! Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Catering, and IP3 Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up to bring you a special Spring Caffe Marrone. Enjoy 5 courses of Italian favorites full of fresh, spring flavors and perfectly paired wines at the Mel’s Carrboro location on Wednesday, June 5th, at 7pm. The cost is $75 including wine. Get tickets (Now! They will sell out) here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Also on Saturday, June 8th, Raleigh will play host to their own International Food Festival held in downtown on the Raleigh City Plaza. Last year nearly 17k people attended the day full of dance performances, bands and food from around the world from noon until 10 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • Ever wanted to show off your pickle? Now is your chance. The Rickhouse hosts Durham’s 5th Annual PickleFest on June 22 – featuring a Home Pickler’s Contest. The pickle-packed tasting event and marketplace will be showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi! Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips! VIP $25 includes early bird entry from Noon – 1pm + Home Pickler’s Contest Tasting + (1) free drink ticket. General Admission $10 – Session 1 from 1 – 3pm | Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • The folks over at Pompieri Pizza are expanding their annual Lambrusco Fest this year – extending it over 6 days from June 17 through June 22! Lambrusco Fest was a one day festival, but this year they are changing up with events happening over six days. They will have pasta and parmesan dinners as well as specials featuring prosciutto and balsamic and fun things! Get all the details on what is being offered each day (some events are already sold out!).
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Over half a million people in the 34 counties we serve struggle with food insecurity. You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members or coworkers. Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 17, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This Sunday, May 19, is the last chance to bid your farewell to Boylan Bridge Brewpub’s 10-year run as we know it. The weather will be perfect and the view is one of the best of the Raleigh skyline. The good news is that they will be transitioning into a brand new concept, but those details won’t be unveiled until the last pint is served. Any details you need can be found here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We are getting close to the opening of Asali Desserts & Cafe, which will be located in Cary’s MacGregor Village. Owners and husband-wife team Hanadi Asad and Jamaal Ali will be offering homemade Mediterranean treats such as kunafa, baklava and lady fingers, hummus and pita, and other small plates, along with a full-service coffee and tea bar. Look for an announcement soon about their opening date, but likely around the end of May, first of June. In the meantime, keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Ryan and Jennifer Kolarov of Raleigh’s Neuse River Brewing Company are just months away from dding a restaurant to their brewery. The new concept will be a European-style café with a North Carolina flair and featuring fresh ingredients from the state. The couple plan on adding the kitchen and plating station behind the existing bar and will be bringing in Steven Jankowski, who was the executive chef at the Governor’s Mansion in South Carolina under Nikki Haley. Along with the French-inspired menu, the Kolarov’s plan to bring in a stocked bar to be able to serve mixed drinks. Keep up with them here.
  • WRAL shared the news this week that CAVA, the Washington, DC-based Mediterranean fast-casual and culinary brand, is excited to announce that their newest restaurant in Cary will open on Monday, May 20th. This will be the brand’s seventh location in North Carolina, and third in the Raleigh Metro area, joining CAVA Cameron Village and CAVA Chapel HIll. Get to know CAVA here.
  • And the folks at the ITB Insider informed us that Just Salad will soon be making its way to the Marketplace at Lake Boone joining the other dining options including Buffalo Brothers, Vic’s Italian Restaurant and Pizza, WhichWich, and Guasaca. Permits indicate they will be moving into the space right next to Guasaca that was previously occupied by HealthSource of Lake Boone Trail, a chiropractor’s office. They have locations in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Hong Kong, Dubai and soon, Raleigh. Get to know them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Got the announcement that Stem Ciders will celebrate the opening of The Northern Spy, a bottle shop and restaurant, with a local grand opening fête on Thursday, May 23rd from 4pm – 8pm. This is a free neighborhood block party featuring local producers, purveyors and community friends. Highlights of the evening will include: live music, free pulled pork sandwiches by pitmaster Wyatt from PICNIC, ice cream cider floats by The Parlour and $5 dollar specialty draft cocktails. The bottle shop, restaurant, and bar will be open for guests to order from and peruse. The Northern Spy is located at 2812 Erwin Road in Durham. Follow along on their website and Instagram here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that starting next spring a new restaurant will open in Terminal 1. The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority approved a contract Thursday for Raleigh Brewing Tavern, which will feature beers from Raleigh Brewing Co. The restaurant will also serve Port City Java coffee and both sit-down and carry-out meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The tavern will be operated by Uptown Airport Group, the company that has run the Char-Grill and Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina in Terminal 1 since 2014. Check out Raleigh Brewing Co. here.     

Closings

  • Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City shared the news this week that the Lilly’s Pizza location in Durham was closing. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the original location in Raleigh is alive and well. And there will be a new pizza concept under new ownership opening soon in that Durham spot. Jaime Greaves would be taking over ownership and renaming the restaurant Peabody Pizza Place.
  • Got word from Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties that CrossTies Bistro & Beer Garden in Carrboro has permanently closed. The Station will remain open for nightly live music.
  • The folks over at EatRaleigh reported that the couple behind the amazing Filipino market and restaurant Bitter Melon in Angier have decided to retire, and will be closing shop on May 26th. There is still time to get by!

Food Trucks 

  •  Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  Saturday, May 18th is the date for the 14th Annual Carolina Pig Jig, a BBQ cook-off at the NC State Fairgrounds and part of the Got To Be NC Festival. The event runs from 11 a.m. until the BBQ runs out. All proceeds go go to the Masonic Home for Children. Get all the details here.
  • In fact, the entire Got To Be NC Festival is next Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19 at the NC State Fairgrounds. The event features a full carnival with more than 30 rides, food vendors and games of chance. On Friday and Sunday, thrill seekers can take advantage of an unlimited-ride wristband for just $20. Additionally, North Carolina food companies, breweries and wineries will be sampling and selling some of the most delightful flavors North Carolina has to offer in the Homegrown Marketplace from Friday 12-8pm, Saturday 10am-8pm and Sunday 10am-6pm. Get all the details here.
  • Mark your calendar for May 19th from 5 to 8 p.m. and make your way over to Pittsboro for their Farm & Art Dinner where they will celebrate Chatham’s culinary artistry, visual and performing artistry, and appreciation for small family farms. Main Street Pittsboro will welcome friends, guests and family to a table in the center of Hillsboro Street to discover, acknowledge, and honor the skills of local chefs, farmers, and artists in this fundraiser to continue the mission of revitalizing the historic downtown district. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Durham Strong Fundraiser for May 19th has been canceled, BUT there is another event that same day at the Transfer Co. Food HallDunkin’ for Durham. It will take place on the 19th from 4-7 pm and will feature chefs from across the Triangle and beyond gathering to support their Durham brothers and sisters in the restaurant industry by hosting a food festival. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The Apex Latino Festival will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 3-10 p.m in downtown Apex. Celebrate the Latino culture with children’s arts and crafts workshops, local Latino art exhibits, a culinary event, Latin American dance, music performances, and an authentic arts and crafts bazaar. Purchase a passport to sample tasty authentic food and dessert delights from over 12 different Latino Countries. Get all the details here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Also on Saturday, June 8th, Raleigh will play host to their own International Food Festival held in downtown on the Raleigh City Plaza. Last year nearly 17k people attended the day full of dance performances, bands and food from around the world from noon until 10 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • The folks over at Pompieri Pizza are expanding their annual Lambrusco Fest this year – extending it over 6 days! Lambrusco Fest was a one day festival, but this year they are changing up with events happening over six days. They will have pasta and parmesan dinners as well as specials featuring prosciutto and balsamic and fun things! Get all the details on what is being offered each day (some events are already sold out!).
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Over half a million people in the 34 counties we serve struggle with food insecurity. You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members or coworkers. Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 10, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Yep. She’s a badass. We already knew that, but now the entire world knows that Raleigh is home to Ashley Christensen, the nation’s top outstanding chef as selected by the James Beard Foundation. This past Monday Christensen brought home the hardware after going up against four other Beard finalists including: David Kinch, Los Gatos, California; Marc Vetri, Philadelphia; Corey Lee, San Francisco; Donald Link, New Orleans. Christensen took over the old Poole’s Diner, which first opened in 1945, in downtown Raleigh in 2007. That small location, with its homey atmosphere and southern food, soon became a sensation as it dished out patron-favorite macaroni and cheese and other updates on traditional Southern cuisine. Christensen’s group also includes Death and Taxes, Beasley’s Chicken and Honey, Chuck’s and the Fox Liquor Bar. Well done and well deserved. Visit all her restaurants here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • And if that is not enough awesomeness out of Ashley Christensen in one week, WRAL reported that Happy and Hale has teamed up with James Beard award winner for a special salad in honor of her upcoming pizza restaurant. The Pooleside Salad will be available at all four locations May 16 through Aug. 14 and features arugula, kale, charred squash, marinated peas, roasted tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, crispy sopressata, toasted seed mix, basil yogurt and an oregano and roasted tomato vinaigrette. Fifty cents from each Pooleside Salad will be donated to NextStep Raleigh, a community-based paralysis recovery and fitness center, started by Whiskey Kitchen co-owner Michael Thor’s family. Thor suffered a spinal cord injury in a motorcycle accident in Raleigh in 2015. NextStep will also receive all proceeds from each limited edition Pooleside Salad T-shirt sold. Check out Happy and Hale here.
  • Saw this week in Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email that August 3rd is the target date for the reopening of Moore Square in downtown Raleigh. As you will recall, Empire Eats, the group behind The Pit (Raleigh & Durham), Raleigh Times, Morning Times, Gravy, Sitti, and The Mecca, will be leasing the cafe on the property. No word yet on what kind of fare they will be bringing to the park. Will we watching this one closely. Visit Empire Eats here.
  • Also, saw on Ashton Mae Smith’s Twitter feed that the folks over at Calavera had their soft opening earlier this week and are now officially open in their new space at 615 W. Morgan Street (in the former Moonlight Pizza spot). For now, they are just open for dinner, but will be adding lunch soon. Get by and check them out. Visit them here on Facebook.
  • In Cary, a follower on Twitter shared the news that a restaurant called Himalayan Grill Restaurant & Bar has opened at 1207 Kildaire Farm Road in the former Super Asian Buffet spot. They specialize in Indian and Nepalese cuisine. Check them out here. Thanks Chris!
  • And in the eastern part of Wake County my buddy David McCreary shared two bits of news from those parts. First up, One Stop Market, which serves a wide variety of scratch-made Italian provisions, now has inside seating available. It’s located inside a Citgo convenience store/gas station at 101 Dickens Road in Fuquay-Varina. Check out here on Facebook. And secondly, Blind Pelican Seafood House is now open at 120 Bass Lake Road in Holly Springs. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Started doing the happy dance this week when reader Joe Keilholz shared the news that the masterminds behind KoKyu BBQ joint are opening another location in the former Cure Deli & Cafe spot at 245 E NC-54. That is just 2.5 miles from their current Kokyu joint Na’Mean. No word yet on a timeline – but the sign is up! Get to know them here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Bull City Solera and Taproom is the new beer-centric project from Seth Gross, who also owns Bull City Burger and Brewery and Pompieri Pizza. It will open this fall  in the shuttered Chick-fil-A at 4120 University Drive, behind Target. Construction will start this summer to transform the fast-food restaurant. The drive-thru window will be built over, and Solera will have outdoor seating and tables and fire pits on its patio. For the menu, Gross plans “Mexican Pizza” and “Italian Tacos,” as well as vegan and gluten-free options, saying in a release that the restaurant won’t repeat what’s going on in his other restaurants. Keep up with their progress here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that a Chicago-based Italian-American cuisine restaurant and entertainment concept called Pinstripes will be opening inside The Streets at Southpoint in Durham. Pinstripes, alongside food, wine and cocktails, also combines bowling and bocce ball to its repertoire. No word yet on an exact timeline. Get familiar with them here.
  • Got word this week that a Haitian Caribbean Cuisine inspired restaurant called Pierro ToGo opened about a month ago at 2100 Angier Ave. in Durham. Jethro Pierre is the owner/chef and he originally set up shop in Emporia VA and has now branched out with this being the first in the Triangle. Get to know them here.
  • And finally, the most curious restaurant news of the week (and possibly the year). Chatham County News informed us this week that Siler City is getting a Chick-fil-A. That certainly is not extraordinary news. But what makes this news worthy of something you might hear on April 1, is the fact that it will open inside the Mountaire Farms chicken processing plant. And yes, in case you were wondering, Mountaire is a supplier for Chick-fil-A (talk about fresh). And yes it will be accessible to the general public. Only in Siler City…

Closings

  • Got word this week that the Cameron Village location of Brixx Wood Fired Pizza closed this past Sunday. Already hearing rumblings of something else coming into that space, so stay tuned.
  • Reader Jeff Dunmire shared the hard-to-believe news that Char-Grill has closed in Garner. That’s the bad news. But apparently there is already a sign announcing “Indian Street Food” coming soon. Who doesn’t like Indian street food!?!
  • The folks over at EatRaleigh reported that the couple behind the amazing Filipino market and restaurant Bitter Melon in Angier have decided to retire, and will be closing shop on May 26th. There is still time to get by!

Food Trucks 

  •  Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  Der Biergarten at 1080 Darrington Dr. in Cary will host a Grand Opening Lawn Party starting at 2 p.m. this Saturday, May 11 with live music, giveaways, prizes, face painting, scavenger hunts for both kids and adults, an arts and crafts station, and food and drink specials. Check it out here.
  • Saturday, May 18th is the date for the 14th Annual Carolina Pig Jig, a BBQ cook-off at the NC State Fairgrounds and part of the Got To Be NC Festival. The event runs from 11 a.m. until the BBQ runs out. All proceeds go go to the Masonic Home for Children. Get all the details here.
  • In fact, the entire Got To Be NC Festival is next Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19 at the NC State Fairgrounds. The event features a full carnival with more than 30 rides, food vendors and games of chance. On Friday and Sunday, thrill seekers can take advantage of an unlimited-ride wristband for just $20. Additionally, North Carolina food companies, breweries and wineries will be sampling and selling some of the most delightful flavors North Carolina has to offer in the Homegrown Marketplace from Friday 12-8pm, Saturday 10am-8pm and Sunday 10am-6pm. Get all the details here.
  • Mark your calendar for May 19th from 5 to 8 p.m. and make your way over to Pittsboro for their Farm & Art Dinner where they will celebrate Chatham’s culinary artistry, visual and performing artistry, and appreciation for small family farms. Main Street Pittsboro will welcome friends, guests and family to a table in the center of Hillsboro Street to discover, acknowledge, and honor the skills of local chefs, farmers, and artists in this fundraiser to continue the mission of revitalizing the historic downtown district. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • Also on May 19th from 5-8 p.m., the Rickhouse will host Durham Strong to help support those  injured or out of work from the explosion that shook downtown Durham. The event will feature live music, food, drink and a silent auction. $150 VIP early admission (4 p.m.) with an exclusive “In the Parlour” discussion with our city’s food leaders, or $100 for regular admission. Participants include:It’s a Southern Thing; COPA; Viceroy; Lula & Sadies’; Ramblers  ; Louella Wine Beer & Beverage; Alley 26; Fullsteam; Durham Distillery; Union Member House; The Parlor; Loaf; East Durham Bake Shop; and more. All proceeds go to the Bull City Strong Fund with Upserve Works in Durham 501(c)(3) and will benefit those injured or out of work from the explosion. Get details and tickets here.
  • The Apex Latino Festival will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 3-10 p.m in downtown Apex. Celebrate the Latino culture with children’s arts and crafts workshops, local Latino art exhibits, a culinary event, Latin American dance, music performances, and an authentic arts and crafts bazaar. Purchase a passport to sample tasty authentic food and dessert delights from over 12 different Latino Countries. Get all the details here.
  • The annual Farm to Fork Picnic returns to Fearrington Village in Chatham County on June 2nd from 4-7 pm. Visit the beautiful grounds of ​Fearrington Village​, where ​dozens of the area’s best chefs, farmers, artisan producers and beverage providers ​will create a dizzying array of delectable dishes highlighting the bounty of the season. The Picnic also features fun activities for children, live music, and surprises for the whole family. Tickets for adults are $100. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • One of my favorite annual events released details about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • The annual National Association of Letter Carriers will hold their “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive TOMORROW Saturday, May 11. The annual drive, where you leave non-perishable goods at your mailbox, supports food distributions to families experiencing food-insecurity. Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – May 3, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • One of my favorite annual events released details this week about their event dates and when tickets will go on sale. The 10th anniversary edition of Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival will take place in Chapel Hill October 16 – 19, 2019. Tickets go on sale July 11, so put that date on your calendar to snap up the quick sell-outs! Get all the details here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Downtown Raleigh’s Transfer Co. Food Hall announced two more tenants this week. Alimentari at Left Bank will serve Italian classics, flatbreads and freshly-made pasta by the pound. It will also feature downtown Raleigh’s first whole-animal butchery and charcuterie shop, which will source its animals from local farms in Saxaphaw and Snow Camp. Get to know them here.
  • The second announcement this week was Mama Crow’s, which will feature fresh, locally-sourced salads, burgers, house-made cheeses and hand-cut fries. These two additions join the diverse mix of Transfer’s existing food booths, which include Longleaf Swine, Bul Box, Locals Seafood, Burial Beer Co., Benchwarmer Bagels, Che Empanadas, Chhote’s, Captain Cookie and The Milkman and Dank Burrito. Check out Mama Crow here.
  • Additional announcements out of Transfer Co. Food Hall this week included expanded hours –  open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. It also announced the addition of new coworking and event spaces. A rentable, 3,000 sq. ft. ballroom can be used for private events but will also provide space for community events like concerts and pop-up markets. The final addition will be a 50-desk coworking space for startups and entrepreneurs to meet and collaborate. Transfer Co. Food Hall is located at 500 E. Davie Street in downtown Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • Down in Apex, reader Chris Creighton shared the news that a new Asian restaurant opened at 2143 Ten Ten Road called JJ Cafe. It occupies the former Fuji Express location and serves up Japanese and Asian cuisine. Get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer shared the news this week that chef Sidney Coves has opened (opening today, May 3) the second location of his True Flavors Diner at 2022 Chapel Hill Road, taking over the former Lakewood restaurant space and Scratch Baking spots. The original location is also in Durham, just outside of RTP at 5410 Highway 55. Check them out here.
  • Got word this week that Stem Ciders opened The Northern Spy, a bar, restaurant and bottle shop featuring the largest variety of cider in the Southeast. The Northern Spy features cider, beer, wine, and cocktails paired with a locally sourced, scratch-made food menu, offering ‘American Fare with a Southern Twist’. It is located at 2812 Erwin Road in Durham, North Carolina in the space formerly occupied by Mattie Beason’s Black Twig Cider House. Get to know them here.
  • Over in Durham and Chapel Hill, WRAL is reporting that as of May 1, the Durham location of the Bagel Bar has closed indefinitely and that the Chapel Hill location is for sale. Owner Jonathan Collins indicated the name is for sale as well. Hopefully someone will come along and keep things going. Keep up with them as it unfolds. .
  • In Chapel Hill, reader Glenn Gillen noted that WCHL radio and its website Chapelboro.com were reporting that Sutton’s has opened a second Chapel Hill location.  It’s in the remodeled atrium at the Europa Center. Sutton’s also has a location in Graham. Check them out here.
  • Down in Hillsborough, the News & Oberver’s Drew Jackson reported that James Pharmacy, which replaced LaPlace Louisiana Cookery after a five-year run, opened this week. The new concept serves fresh North Carolina seafood and kept LaPlace’s creative beverage program, the popular Sunday brunches, and their famous Bloody Mary menu. Also improved outdoor seating and an expanded beer and wine selection. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • On a sad note, our friends over at Pulcinella’s in Durham shared the news that Salvatore “Rino” Fevola, principal partner in Pulcinella’s in Durham, passed away on Tuesday. Rino brought smiles and touched hearts to all who knew him. Our prayers are with his family and everyone that knew and loved him. See Pulcinella’s here.
  • And down in Kinston, friend and on-air radio extraordinaire Kitty Kinnin shared this week that Chef & The Farmer’s Vivian Howard (just in time for Mother’s Day) is launching Handy & Hot, a new small-batch, mail order bake shop from their ovens in Kinston. Their first batch, a limited release of Coconut Lime Cornmeal Pound Cake, pays homage to moms everywhere – especially Vivian’s. Check it out here.

Closings

  • The folks over at EatRaleigh reported that the couple behind the amazing Filipino market and restaurant Bitter Melon in Angier have decided to retire, and will be closing shop on May 26th. There is still time to get by!

Food Trucks 

  •  Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  On May 4th, the good folks at the Root Cellar in Pittsboro will host another of their extremely popular Low Country Shrimp Boil. The $30 ticket will entitle you to all-you-can-eat Gulf shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and banana pudding. The event runs from 4-7 p.m. Get details and tickets here.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Saturday, May 18th is the date for the 14th Annual Carolina Pig Jig, a BBQ cook-off at the NC State Fairgrounds and part of the Got To Be NC Festival. The event runs from 11 a.m. until the BBQ runs out. All proceeds go go to the Masonic Home for Children. Get all the details here.
  • Mark your calendar for May 19th from 5 to 8 p.m. and make your way over to Pittsboro for their Farm & Art Dinner where they will celebrate Chatham’s culinary artistry, visual and performing artistry, and appreciation for small family farms. Main Street Pittsboro will welcome friends, guests and family to a table in the center of Hillsboro Street to discover, acknowledge, and honor the skills of local chefs, farmers, and artists in this fundraiser to continue the mission of revitalizing the historic downtown district. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • Also on May 19th from 5-8 p.m., the Rickhouse will host Durham Strong to help support those  injured or out of work from the explosion that shook downtown Durham. The event will feature live music, food, drink and a silent auction. $150 VIP early admission (4 p.m.) with an exclusive “In the Parlour” discussion with our city’s food leaders, or $100 for regular admission. Participants include:It’s a Southern Thing; COPA; Viceroy; Lula & Sadies’; Ramblers  ; Louella Wine Beer & Beverage; Alley 26; Fullsteam; Durham Distillery; Union Member House; The Parlor; Loaf; East Durham Bake Shop; and more. All proceeds go to the Bull City Strong Fund with Upserve Works in Durham 501(c)(3) and will benefit those injured or out of work from the explosion. Get details and tickets here.
  • The Apex Latino Festival will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 3-10 p.m in downtown Apex. Celebrate the Latino culture with children’s arts and crafts workshops, local Latino art exhibits, a culinary event, Latin American dance, music performances, and an authentic arts and crafts bazaar. Purchase a passport to sample tasty authentic food and dessert delights from over 12 different Latino Countries. Get all the details here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • The annual National Association of Letter Carriers will hold their “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive on Saturday, May 11. The annual drive, where you leave non-perishable goods at your mailbox, supports food distributions to families experiencing food-insecurity. Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – April 26, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Forget Taco Tuesday, let’s do tacos every day! At least if you are in Chapel Hill that has to be on your mind as the News & Observer shared the news that the folks behind Italian Pizzeria III (brothers Vinnie and Angelo) and Al’s Burgers (Al Bowers) are joining forces to open Yellow House Tacos later this year in the little yellow house behind those two Franklin Street institutions at 104 N. Graham Street. They are hoping to open in September, in time for the return of the students. In the meantime, check out IPIII here and Al’s Burgers here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • North Hills announced this week that their newest dining destination, STIR, a restaurant offering premium oysters, craft cocktails with artisanal ice and a made-from-scratch menu, will be opening in the Park District at North Hills this June across from the AC Hotel on the ground floor level of the Bank of America Tower next to The Capital Grille. To keep up with their progress, check them out on Facebook here or Instagram here.
  • The folks over at Eat Raleigh brought it to our attention that Two Roosters Ice Cream will hold their grand opening (actually, re-opening) this Sunday, April 28th from 2 – 9 p.m. at the Person Street Plaza location at 215 E. Franklin Street in downtown Raleigh next to Yellow Dog Bread. You’ll remember they opened in 2018, but closed for renovations. Come check out their new space.
  • Ashley Mukoyama shared with us this week that they (the folks behind the The Pickled Onions – with two locations) just opened The Pickled Pub, a local neighborhood bar serving small plates and custom cocktails, at 14460 Falls of the Neuse Road. Get to know them here.
  • The ITB Insider shared the news that the former Burger King location at 3701 Hillsborough Street was sold in February 2019 and it will become Hieubowl Vietnamese Kitchen. Permits were just issued for the renovation, so we don’t have an open date for it, but we will keep an eye on it. We also were unable to locate an online presence.
  • And the folks at Eat Raleigh also shared that there is a new restaurant called Seagate Seafood and Sushi coming into the former Captain J’s location at 4420 Capital Blvd. You can get to know them here.
  • And on the way out of Raleigh, heading down towards Garner, reader Hugh Autry noticed this past week that a Marcos Pizza and a Starbucks are going into the shopping center just down from Grandons Buffet on Fayetteville Road.
  • A little bit of confusion was created last week when we shared the news that Mezeh is opening in the old Kamado Grill/Lucky 32 building at 832 Spring Forest Road. Folks asked, “But I thought Cafe Fear Seafood was going into that location?” The answer is….they are! The building has undergone renovations that allow it to house two concepts! Check out Mezeh here and Cape Fear here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • NC Triangle Dining shared the news this week that chef Mike Lee (think M Kokko, M Sushi, M Tempura) will be opening up his newest concept, M Pocha next month! M Pocha will feature Korean small plates at 101 E. Chapel Hill Street in the old Cupcake Bar space at Five Points. Get familiar with all of Lee’s restaurants (and other upcoming restaurants) here.
  • The folks over at Bites of Bull City shared that there’s a pop up Mexican restaurant with chef Miguel Torres (Lantern chef de cuisine with Andrea Reusing) at the The Durham Hotel from now through May 10th. Primavera en Durham is a collaboration between chef Miguel Torres and The Durham Hotel celebrating spring with the flavors of his childhood in Guanajuato, Mexico. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  •  Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  Shop Local Raleigh’s annual craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, is taking place THIS WEEKEND April 26-27, 2019 Brewgaloo features craft breweries from North Carolina and partners with local food trucks, local vendors and local bands. Get tickets now and all the details on their website here.
  • On May 4th, the good folks at the Root Cellar in Pittsboro will host another of their extremely popular Low Country Shrimp Boil. The $30 ticket will entitle you to all-you-can-eat Gulf shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and banana pudding. The event runs from 4-7 p.m. Get details and tickets here.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Saturday, May 18th is the date for the 14th Annual Carolina Pig Jig, a BBQ cook-off at the NC State Fairgrounds and part of the Got To Be NC Festival. The event runs from 11 a.m. until the BBQ runs out. All proceeds go go to the Masonic Home for Children. Get all the details here.
  • Mark your calendar for May 19th from 5 to 8 p.m. and make your way over to Pittsboro for their Farm & Art Dinner where they will celebrate Chatham’s culinary artistry, visual and performing artistry, and appreciation for small family farms. Main Street Pittsboro will welcome friends, guests and family to a table in the center of Hillsboro Street to discover, acknowledge, and honor the skills of local chefs, farmers, and artists in this fundraiser to continue the mission of revitalizing the historic downtown district. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here

Food Bank Corner

  • The annual National Association of Letter Carriers will hold their “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive on Saturday, May 11. The annual drive, where you leave non-perishable goods at your mailbox, supports food distributions to families experiencing food-insecurity. Get all the details here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – April 19, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This Friday, April 19th there will be a benefit event at The Rickhouse in support of the victims of the Durham gas explosion, including staff from the affected restaurants. Lots of local sponsors and raffle items. Get all the details on the event Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The folks over at Transfer Co. Food Hall announced this week that Dank Burrito will open their third location this Friday and will be serving up their signature fresh-to-death tacos and burritos starting at 10:30 a.m. Apparently loyal foodies are referred to as “Danksters” or part of the “Burrito Mafia.” Stop by Friday if you think you qualify. They have two locations in Morehead City and Beaufort plus a food truck which serves chef-driven burritos, tacos, bowls and salads. Get to know them here.
  • Also saw on Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly post that Bul Box opened this past week at Transfer Co. Food Hall. The Bul Box team has been serving Asian cuisine in the Triangle for over 20 years. Their journey began here in the Raleigh-Durham area and the adventure didn’t stop there. Today, they’re pursuing their dream of spreading Asian flavors throughout Charlotte, Atlanta, Savannah and more. Check them out here.
  • Speaking of food halls, across downtown Morgan Street Food Hall announced their newest addition, YoHo Hibachi & Sushi Burritos according to the folks over at the ITB Insider. They offer contemporary Chinese dishes and Japanese sushi, YoHo will be located at the far end of the food hall next to Sassool Select. They’ll offer signature dishes such as their Hawaiian Burrito, Hibachi Steak, and much more at their grand opening April 18th – 21st, with the first 20 customers each day receiving their meal for free. They have a location in Cary. Check them out here.
  • In more downtown Raleigh news, we learned of the good news that A Place at the Table announced that they will be expanding next door and building a full kitchen. Congrats to founder and executive director Maggie Kane for her passion and vision for bringing the pay-what-you-can restaurant to life, and now expanding it all. Kudos! If you haven’t been, check them out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, The Acorn, downtown’s newest craft cocktail and small plates bar, opened this past week. They are the sister project of Oak City Meatball Shoppe and Calavera Empanadas & Tequila. Check them out here.
  • Reader Sara Addison-Kristel reported that Barcelona Wine Bar, a wine and tapas restaurant inspired by the culture of Spain, has opened at The Dillon in the Warehouse District at 223 W. South Street. They have locations throughout Connecticut and in Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, Nashville, Reston Virginia and Washington DC. The Dillon location will be their first restaurant in the Raleigh market. Meet them here.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared the news that the popular coffee shop Brew is opening another location just outside of downtown Raleigh. It will be opening in summer 2019 in McNeill Pointe off of Wake Forest Rd. at 2310 Bale Street. They have locations in Raleigh at Seaboard Station, coming to Gateway Plaza and in downtown Cary at the Cary Theater. Check them out here.
  • High-school buddy and dentist extraordinaire, Dana McCall, shared the news that Mezeh is opening two locations in Raleigh North Raleigh (in the old Kamato Grill/Lucky 32 building) and Hillsborough Street (where Freshii was, next to Chipotle). Mezeh is a 19-store Chipotle-styled Middle Eastern fast casual concept out of the Washington, DC area. Go ahead and get familiar with them here.
  • Got word from owner Gregory Goldberg that he has opened Uninhibited Tapas Bar in the former Taste location on Medlin Drive (off Dixie Trail/Wade)  in Raleigh. They will be serving serving international tapas using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible with an eclectic wine list, inventive cocktails, and a growing local beer list. You can get familiar with them here.
  • In North Raleigh, reader Chuck Till informed us that the Five Guys on Creedmoor Road in Brennan Station has reopened after a lengthy remodeling. Check out Five Guys here.
  • Down in Fuquay-Varina we got word that Johnny’s Pizza is opening in the former Mattress 2.0 location next to Krispy Kreme. The NY-style pizza joint already has locations in Apex, Cary and Wake Forest. Get familiar with them here.
  • And over in Garner, Big Ed’s opened their third location (two locations in Raleigh) this week at the Timber Crossings Shopping Center at 231 Timber Drive. Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City shared the much-anticipated news that Scott Howell’s iconic Nana’s restaurant is officially back in action with a smaller, more focused menu. Check out the new website as well here.
  • WRAL shared the news that Lime & Lemon Indian Grill on Ninth Street (former Dale’s spot) held its grand opening this week. They offer cuisines of both northern and southern India. The restaurant is located at 811 Ninth Street. Get familiar with them here.
  • Amber also shared the news this week that Toriano and Serena of Boricua Soul, described as Southern soul, Caribbean flair and Euro-African roots, have secured a brick and mortar spot at the American Tobacco Campus. Look for their arrival this summer! Check them out here.
  • WRAL reported that B.Good opened this past Thursday in their Durham location in the One City Center in downtown Durham. They provide great tasting, responsibly sourced burgers, bowls, salads, smoothies and more. This is  the chain’s fifth location in the Triangle and ninth in North Carolina. Durhamites get to know them here.
  • The folks over at Bites of Bull City also shared that there’s a pop up Mexican restaurant with Chef Miguel Torres (Lantern chef de cuisine with Andrea Reusing) at The Durham Hotel from now through May 10th. Primavera en Durham is a collaboration between Chef Miguel Torres and The Durham Hotel celebrating spring with the flavors of his childhood in Guanajuato, Mexico. Get all the details here.
  • In Chapel Hill, reader Mark Monroe let us know that chef Brandon Sharp opened Hawthorne & Wood last week in the former Raaga spot in Chapel Hill’s East 54. Sharp, grew up in Greensboro and attended UNC-Chapel Hill. He spent the next twenty years cooking in New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, and northern California, earning seven consecutive Michelin stars as executive chef of Solbar in Napa Valley from the years 2010-2016. Brandon and his family returned to Chapel Hill in the fall of 2016. Check them out here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, got word from the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership that East Franklin Street is getting used bookstore of sorts called Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews. Epilogue is an independent bookstore and Spanish-style chocolatería that aims to foster community in the heart of Chapel Hill. It is a place for people to gather, whether to cultivate new ideas, learn old ones, or escape into the welcoming atmosphere that books, chocolate, beer, and coffee all provide. Keep up with any announcements they might make on their Facebook page here.
  • And before leaving Chapel Hill, reader Ross Hannah let us know that Don Chicken, a Mexican rotisserie with Southern inspired sides, has opened on Elliot Road in the former Monterrey location (Monterrey moved to Rams Plaza). Don Chicken is family owned and operated and also serves up some great tacos. Follow them on Instagram here.
  • Down in Hillsborough, WRAL reported that LaPlace Louisiana Cookery has closed, but will soon be replaced with a concept called James Pharmacy. LaPlace enjoyed a five-year run. The new concept will serve fresh North Carolina seafood. They noted that many of their company hallmarks will remain – the creative beverage program of well-crafted cocktails, the freshest ingredients, the popular Sunday brunches, and their famous Bloody Mary menu. Also improved outdoor seating and an expanded beer and wine selection. No word on how long the transition will take, but perhaps they will post it on the LaPlace Facebook page.
  • Over in Chatham, we told you about this last August, but the Triangle’s third location of Mi Cancun has opened in the Penguin Place development adjacent to Marco’s Pizza, House of Hops Pittsboro and The Root Cellar Café (behind Bojangles). Chatham, get familiar with Mi Cancun on their Facebook page here.

Closings

  • Tyler’s Taproom at American Tobacco Campus announced that it will close today, Friday, April 19, after a 14 year run. There is still a Tyler’s in downtown Carrboro.
  • Also in Durham, Blu Seafood & Bar on Hillsborough Road closed according to a sign on the door.
  • Got word from several sources that Saint & Co. on 9th St. has also closed. The bakery and cafe opened in October and served brick hearth Neapolitan style pizza, fresh baked pastries, breads and sandwiches.
  • The Boot Italian restaurant on University Drive closed last Friday. The Boot opened in 2014.
  • And staying in Durham, reader S.R. Begnoche Informed us that Mexican restaurant Tonali on Shannon Road also closed its doors this month.
  • Saw in Triangle Business Journal that Bison & Bull Tavern (formerly a franchise of Ohio sports bar Buffalo Wings and Rings) in Morrisville’s Grove Park closed.

Food Trucks 

  •  Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  • Barbecue, beer and bluegrass return to Raleigh’s warehouse district at The Pit Authentic Barbecue’s 11th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival Saturday, April 20 from noon to 6 p.m. The pig cookers will be fired up outside The Pit on Davie Street, which will be blocked off to cook and serve plenty of the The Pit’s famous barbecue. We’ll also have a selection of local and regional beers from Blowing Rock Brewing Company, Noble Cider, Mother Earth Brewing and The Unknown Brewing Company. Eight blue grass bands will also headline the day. All profits from ‘Cuegrass, including the $10 suggested entrance donation, go to improve the lives of kids in need in Wake County with proceeds going to SAFEchild, Wake County’s only child-abuse prevention agency, the Junior League of Raleigh’s BackPack Buddies program, which serves healthy weekend meals and snacks to more than 500 children at Lacy, Conn, Hunter, Beaverdam and Root elementary schools and the YMCA’s Camp High Hopes, and Cub Scout Troop 325. Get all the details here
  • Driftwood Southern Kitchen will host a Crawfish Boil on Saturday, April 20th from 12pm to 4pm in conjunction with Lafayette Village’s Seafood Festival. Crawfish plates with potatoes and sausage as well as peel-and-eat shrimp will be offered alongside local pours from Mother Earth Brewery based in Kinston, NC. With over 350 pounds of crawfish, Driftwood Southern Kitchenwill have plenty of deliciousness to go around! Crawfish plates will be offered for $15 and peel-and-eat shrimp for $20 per pound. For more information on Lafayette Village’s Seafood Festival go here.
  • Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Catering and IP3 Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up once again to bring you Caffe Marrone – 6 courses of your Italian favorites and a wine pairing at the Mel’s Carrboro location at 7 p.m. on April 24. These seats will fill quickly, so be sure to get your tickets before they’re gone!
  • On May 4th, the good folks at the Root Cellar in Pittsboro will host another of their extremely popular Low Country Shrimp Boil. The $30 ticket will entitle you to all-you-can-eat Gulf shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and banana pudding. The event runs from 4-7 p.m. Get details and tickets here.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Mark your calendar for May 19th from 5 to 8 p.m. and make your way over to Pittsboro for their Farm & Art Dinner where they will celebrate Chatham’s culinary artistry, visual and performing artistry, and appreciation for small family farms. Main Street Pittsboro will welcome friends, guests and family to a table in the center of Hillsboro Street to discover, acknowledge, and honor the skills of local chefs, farmers, and artists in this fundraiser to continue the mission of revitalizing the historic downtown district. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10 worth of food or five meals. Over half a million people in the 34 counties we serve struggle with food insecurity. You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members or coworkers. Find out how you can do it here.

Our hearts are broken…

Our heart goes out to the Lee family, everyone at Kaffeinate, friends, first responders, all those injured, and the entire Triangle community after the tragic events of this past Wednesday.

If you feel compelled, consider supporting the GoFundMe page established to support the Lee family. Kong and his children started the coffee shop in October 2017 in order “to embrace the community by showcasing the best of what NC has to offer.”

We will put out Friday Fun Food Facts on Monday.

Here is the link to the GoFundMe page.

Friday Fun Food Facts – April 5, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Rise Biscuits and Donuts is getting a little less sweet and a little more Southern with the announcement this week of a slight change in their focus, and a name change. The News & Observer shared that Rise Biscuits and Donuts is pivoting to fried chicken concluding that their  future lies in the power of the fried chicken biscuit, changing its name to Rise Southern Biscuits and Righteous Chicken. In playing up biscuits and fried chicken, the company said it’s downplaying the sweeter side of its business, giving doughnuts a smaller corner of the menu. Visit them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • When the world needs more good news, there is this. 321 Coffee has opened a retail location at the State Farmers Market. 321 Coffee is a “nonprofit coffee shop… staffed by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities” and operates in partnership with students from NC State. The 321 in the name is “representative of Down Syndrome – the third copy of the 21st chromosome.” The business hopes to “highlight the uniqueness of those with Down Syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.” The location at the State Farmers Market will be open from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Check out this amazing shop here. Thanks to ITB Insider for highlighting this.
  • Reader Scott Eaton noticed a new Korean BBQ place called Honey Pig coming to Preston Walk in Cary where Panera used to be. No word yet on an open date. Get familiar with them here.
  • A quick update from reader Scott Howell indicates that Cape Fear Seafood coming to Raleigh’s Spring Forest Road is now targeting a late May, early June opening. Keep up with their opening on their Facebook page here.
  • WRAL shared the news this week that Fresh. Local Ice Cream shop, with locations in Raleigh and Cary, has opened a third location in Apex at 109 N. Salem Street just in time for the warm weather. Get to know them here.
  • If you’ve been camping out up at Raleigh’s Brier Creek in anticipation of the next Mellow Mushroom, we got an update that they are now targeting April 15th for their open date. But stay tuned and keep up with their official announcement here. Thanks to reader reader Jennifer Buchholz for keeping us updated.
  • The folks over at ITB Insider shared the news this week that Raleigh will be getting a second Biscuitville, which will be opening on Western Boulevard in 2019. The new Biscuitville will be located in the former home of Wicked Tacos, next to Cook Out and a few doors down from Bojangles’. If you are not familiar with Biscuitville (first, shame on you), do so here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Cary’s Amberley Square will welcome the first Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea shop to North Carolina when the 1,500 square foot café opens to the public later this spring (early estimate is May). The café’s menu will feature a globally-inspired menu of premium coffees, teas, pastries and sandwiches. Check them out.
  • The folks at ITB Insider also shared the news that site plans have been filed for a new bar and restaurant called Bowstring Bar, which will be located at 1930 Wake Forest Road just off the Capital Boulevard interchange. No other details are available at this time. Stay tuned.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • It is going to happen next week! Yes, you heard it straight from the Mayor himself – Tim Coynesmith. Al’s Pub Shack will swing open their doors in Chatham County in the Food Lion shopping center across from the entrance to the Governor’s Club. Tim got a sneak preview this week and shared the plans to open “one day next week” according to Al himself. Get ready Chatham! Look for them to make the opening day announcement on their Facebook page here.  
  • Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City shared that this month’s Pop Up at American Tobacco (318 Blackwell Street) showcases a tea house that will be opening a brick and mortar spot on Market Street this summer. This is a great opportunity to get a sneak preview of Jeddah’s Artisanal Tea, April 5-26th. Learn more about them on their Facebook page  here.
  • Down in Chatham, we told you about this last August, but it looks like it is “any day now” for the opening of the Triangle’s third location of Mi Cancun. It is opening in the Penguin Place development adjacent to Marco’s Pizza, House of Hops Pittsboro and The Root Cellar Café (behind Bojangles). Chatham, get familiar with Mi Cancun on their Facebook page here. Thanks to Shelley Colbert for keeping an eye on this.

Closings

  • Got word this week from WRAL that The Little Dipper Fondue restaurant in Durham’s Brightleaf Square closed on March 29. They still have the original location in Wilmington.
  • Reader Burke Williams shared that the 6 Flavors Indian Restaurant in the Harvest Oaks shopping center off Strickland Road is closed. The Facebook page suggests it is just temporary, so stay tuned.

Food Trucks 

  • April Foods Day Food Truck Rodeo in downtown Garner on Main Street is this Sunday, April 7th from 12 – 5 p.m.  The annual event features 15 food trucks and 3 local NC craft breweries! Enjoy live acoustic/bluegrass music by City Dirt Trio, local artisan vendors, handmade crafts and kid-friendly activities! FREE parking, FREE admission, Rain or Shine, No pets please. Get all the details on their Facebook events page here.
  • Wake Forest is holding their first food truck rodeo of the year this Sunday. At least 14 trucks will be participating in the Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo this Sunday, April 7th from 12-4 at 405 S. Brooks St. in the Wake Forest Renaissance Center/Brooks Street Bowl lot. The next two dates are set for June 30th and October 27th. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • This is kinda cool. Central Carolina Community College Culinary Arts Program has a food truck (which in and of itself is pretty cool), but now you get to name it! They are holding a context to name their truck. Submit your idea and get all the details here. Thanks to Neha Shah for the heads up on this.

Events

  • Les Dames, NC, a philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality is hosting its annual fundraising event – Dudes for Dames Dinner. This year, chefs Bill Smith of Crooks Corner, Sean Fowler of Mandolin and other extraordinary chefs will be cooking to support this organization in their efforts to raise funds for the NC K12 Culinary Institute and No Kid Hungry in Memory of Karen Barker. The event is Sunday, April 7th, 2019 from 4:00pm – 7:00pm at Lavender Oaks Farm. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • Also on April 7th, celebrate North Carolina Beer Month at Fearrington from 2-5 pm for their second annual N.C. Beer Fest! Craft brewers from across the state will be pouring a variety of beers for you to sample so join us to honor some of our favorite NC breweries. The festivities don’t stop there! They’re making this an all North Carolina affair with live music and Allen & Sons BBQ will be serving traditional BBQ and sides. Love one of the beers you’ve sampled at the festival? Pint tickets will be available for purchase as well. Get ticket prices and all the details here.
  • The Town of Cary will host their Downtown Chowdown on Sunday, April 14th from 12:30 until 5:00 p.m. where you can enjoy a food-filled afternoon along Academy Street in Downtown Cary. Taste some of the best food in the Triangle, enjoy cool beverages from craft beer and wine vendors, and relax to the music of great local performers. See you Downtown! Get all the details here.
  • Also on April 14th, Lonerider Brewery is hosting its 10th Anniversary Party from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. at The Hideout at Lonerider Brewery (8816 Gulf Court, Raleigh),They’ll be debuting new beers on tap, bringing back an old fan favorite, food trucks, a pop pup mini golf course, and more! Twenty percent of all proceeds from food trucks will go back to Triangle Beagle Club who will be hosting their 4th Annual Beers for Beagles event the same day. Get all the details here.
  • On Thursday, April 18 at 6 p.m., executive chef Thomas Card of Counting House at 21c Museum Hotel Durham will host a Dinner to Benefit No Kid Hungry, an exclusive multi-course event to benefit the No Kid Hungry campaign’s work to end childhood hunger in America. Chef Card will team up with Social House Vodka and local guest chefs including Matt Kelly of Mateo Bar de Tapas, Phoebe Lawless of Scratch Bakery, and Colin Bedford of the Fearrington House Restaurant. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Driftwood Southern Kitchen will host a Crawfish Boil on Saturday, April 20th from 12pm to 4pm in conjunction with Lafayette Village’s Seafood Festival. Crawfish plates with potatoes and sausage as well as peel-and-eat shrimp will be offered alongside local pours from Mother Earth Brewery based in Kinston, NC. With over 350 pounds of crawfish, Driftwood Southern Kitchenwill have plenty of deliciousness to go around! Crawfish plates will be offered for $15 and peel-and-eat shrimp for $20 per pound. For more information on Lafayette Village’s Seafood Festival go here.
  • Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Catering and IP3 Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up once again to bring you Caffe Marrone – 6 courses of your Italian favorites and a wine pairing at the Mel’s Carrboro location at 7 p.m. on April 24. These seats will fill quickly, so be sure to get your tickets before they’re gone!
  • Recently Brewgaloo was nominated as one of the top beer festivals in the country! That’s right, in the country! Right now we sit atop the leaderboard, but we need your vote to stay there. Please click through here and keep us there! Thanks to Jennifer Martin for bringing this to my attention.
  • On May 4th, the good folks at the Root Cellar in Pittsboro will host another of their extremely popular Low Country Shrimp Boil. The $30 ticket will entitle you to all-you-can-eat Gulf shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and banana pudding. The event runs from 4-7 p.m. Get details and tickets here.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Tickets are on sale now for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh – NOTE: Friday’s event is SOLD OUT! The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details here. Get all the details here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10 worth of food or five meals. Over half a million people in the 34 counties we serve struggle with food insecurity. You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members or coworkers. Find out how you can do it here.

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 29, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Just when you thought everything in New York was already in Cary, it was announced this week that the Shake Shack is coming to Cary’s Waverly Place. Shake Shack is a modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100% all- natural Angus beef burgers, chicken sandwiches and griddled flat-top dogs (no added hormones or antibiotics – ever), fresh-made frozen custard, crispy crinkle-cut fries, craft beer, wine and more. The Cary Shack menu will feature all the classics, including the ShackBurger®, crinkle-cut fries and handspun shakes, plus a selection of frozen custard concretes in collaboration with local food purveyors. The business started out as a hot dog cart in New York’s Madison Square Park in 2001. In 2004, a permanent kiosk opened at the park. While permits have been filed, no word yet on an opening date. Get familiar with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • A much deserved tip-of-the-hat to Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen who was announced this week as a finalist for a national James Beard Foundation Award. She is up for best chef in the country, an award she was a finalist for last year as well. The awards are often referred to as “The Oscars of Food,” and the Triangle has a legacy of taking home honors. Let’s hope she wins! See all the honorees here.
  • The folks over at EatRaleigh stumbled upon some great news this past week. They noticed at 17 E. Martin Street in downtown Raleigh that the Slice Pie Company, home of the State Fair blue ribbon pie, and Sweet Water New York Ice Co. are setting up a joint shop together. No word on a timeline, so stay tuned. In the meantime, let your mouth water by visiting Slice here and Sweetwater here.
  • Reader Hugh Autry shared the news that J&S New York Pizza, which has locations in Apex and Fuquay-Varina, opened at some point in the last week or two in Cary. They are in the former Ruckus Pizza & Pasta spot at the Arboretum at the intersection of Weston Parkway and Harrison Avenue. The restaurant is known for its New York-style pizzas. Get to know them here.
  • Also in Cary, a reader shared the news that Amberly Local, a beer, wine and sandwich shop, is opening sometime in May in the small shopping center in Amberly Village Square. It is owned by the same folks behind High Craft Beer Market. Check them out on Facebook for more details and their opening date once it is announced.
  • Not long after the opening of the Triangle’s first location of The Lost Cajun at 10901 Forest Pines Dr., reader Burke Williams shared the news that a second location is on the way in North Raleigh in Bent Tree Plaza at 7909 Falls of Neuse Rd. No word yet on a timeline. Get familiar with The Lost Cajun here.
  • Also in North Raleigh, Derek Wilkins shared the news that NDB Commercial Real Estate has broken ground on Bedford Market a mixed use development located at Falls of Neuse and Dunn Rd in N Raleigh. This will be home to the fourth installment of locally owned The Butcher’s Market. Look for them along with some other restaurant and retail options such as Triangle Wine to open up early fall 2019. The Butcher’s Market has locations in Raleigh, Cary and Holly Springs. You can keep up with their progress here.
  • Things just got a lot sweeter at Crabtree Valley Mall when Triangle Business Journal shared the news that a permanent Häagen-Dazs ice cream kiosk will open soon in front of Starbucks, Zales and Lencrafters, upstairs in the former Sears corridor. Check them out here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, saw on a Facebook post by Shane Phillips that a new seafood joint is on the way. The Blind Pelican Seafood House is coming soon, possibly early April, to 120 Bass Lake Road. Nothing much on their website, but you can follow their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • And just south of the Triangle in Harnett County, we got word that Daddy Bob’s Barbeque is laying down roots in Angier. Fans of the food truck can dine at Daddy Bob’s new brick and mortar location at 333 N. Raleigh Street E. in Angier. Daddy Bob’s was named some of the Triangle’s best barbecue by the News & Observer. Get to know them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Durham, WRAL reported that NanaTaco has a new ownership structure and name. Jennifer Gillie and Scott Howell opened the Durham restaurant in September 2011 in a former garage on University Drive. In late 2018, Gillie, a Durham native, became the sole owner and announced that the name will officially be changed to NuvoTaco. The menu will continue to include the same hand-pressed corn tortillas, house-pickled jalapeños and “Dirty Meats,” including local hog jowls, pork belly and crispy chicken liver. NuvoTaco is located at 2512 University Drive, is open 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Check them out here.
  • Reader Nick McBride shared with us that he saw a sign that Durham’s Mad Hatter Cafe is soon to open a location on UNC’s campus in Chapel Hill. Not sure exactly where (I’ll go anywhere for Mad Hatter) or what the timeline. We will keep an eye on this one. Check out Mad Hatter here.

Closings

  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.

Events

  • Les Dames, NC, a philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality is hosting its annual fundraising event – Dudes for Dames Dinner. This year, chefs Bill Smith of Crooks Corner, Sean Fowler of Mandolin and other extraordinary chefs will be cooking to support this organization in their efforts to raise funds for the NC K12 Culinary Institute and No Kid Hungry in Memory of Karen Barker. The event is Sunday, April 7th, 2019 from 4:00pm – 7:00pm at Lavender Oaks Farm. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • Recently Brewgaloo was nominated as one of the top beer festivals in the country! That’s right, in the country! Right now we sit atop the leaderboard, but we need your vote to stay there. Please click through here and keep us there! Thanks to Jennifer Martin for bringing this to my attention.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Tickets are on sale now for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh – NOTE: Friday’s event is SOLD OUT! The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details here. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Right now, through March 31, your gift to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina goest TWICE as far! No child should ever have to go to bed hungry. And right now, your gift goes twice as far towards making sure children in our community go to bed with full stomachs. Through March 31, your gift to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina will be doubled up to $107,000! Make your donation today.