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Friday Fun Food Facts – October 20, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • There is something fishy going on over in Pittsboro and I can’t wait to check it out. Got word from fellow Pittsboro restaurateur Greg Lewis (Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store) that Postal Fish Company opened this week at 75 W. Salisbury Street in the old post office building. Chefs James Clark and Bill Hartley, most recently with The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, are the ones behind the venture. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word that Sommelier’s Roast, a new gourmet coffee and amenities shop in the Regions Bank building at 3700 Glenwood Avenue, has opened serving a light-fare for breakfast and lunch. It is a joint venture between certified sommelier Lance Odvody, formerly from the Angus Barn, James Voltz, co-owner of The Raleigh Wine Shop, and Grubb Ventures. They will hold their grand opening event on Thursday, October 26th from 4:30-7pm where you can enjoy complimentary wine, coffee and tea tastings with food pairings, a live jazz trio, enter to win prizes from The Angus Barn, North Carolina Symphony, Sommelier’s Roast, The Raleigh Wine Shop and more. Get familiar with them here.
  • Just days after the closing of McAlister’s Deli in North Hills, it was announced that the spot would be filled by Viva Chicken, a Peruvian rotisserie joint specializing in Pollo a la Brasa. They are expected to open in the summer of 2018. With locations all over Charlotte, this will be the first Triangle location. Get familiar with them here.
  • A quick update on Mami Nora’s newest location at 6711 Glenwood Avenue thanks to the folks over at ITB Insider. They had initially announced plans to open in early 2017, but just this past April, permits were issued for a new wall sign, and in the last two weeks a small interior alteration permit for “equipment change and related building work” was issued. So, the good news is it is still happening. Just taking a little longer than anticipated. In the meantime, check out Mami Nora’s here.
  • PokeGo, Poke & Noodles is now open according to reader Camille Lane who just ate there and gave it a thumbs up. It is located in the former Yogurt Mountain location on Creedmoor Road (8107 Creedmoor Road) in Raleigh.
  • Not sure how I missed this, but saw in the FoodCary blog that Penn Station East Coast Subs has opened a West Cary location at 5036 Arco St. (Whole Foods shopping center). Penn Station has four Triangle-area locations. Check them out here.
  • Saw in Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email last week that food blogger EatRaleigh announced that a new pizza place would be opening in downtown Raleigh “behind the Raleigh Times” at 206 S Wilmington. Kind of vague at this point, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Durham, congratulations to Honeygirl Meadery as they celebrate their 3rd anniversary today, October 20, with a part from 6-9 p.m. tonight. They will have mead tastings, new Fall meads, new test batch tastes and a surprise announcement. Oh, and Mr. Mongolian food truck will be on hand. Check out their event on Facebook here.
  • And it looks like we are down to the “any day” status for a new (and very pretty lit up at night) Taco Bell coming to Chatham County, just south of Chapel Hill on 15-501. Look for it to open any day now.

Closings

  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Friend David McCreary notified me that downtown Fuquay-Varina is hosting a food truck rodeo on Sunday, October 29 from 1-4. The rodeo will feature Chirba Chirba Dumplings, Dusty Donuts, JAM Ice Cream and Morfa Empanadas. And beer vendors Aviator Brewing Co., Fainting Goat Brewing and Mason Jar Lager. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the last food truck rodeo for the year  in Durham is fast approaching –  November 5th. Get all the details here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards starts this fall with expanded categories and subcategories. You can nominate your favorite businesses through Nov. 8. On Nov. 13, they will unveil the official voting ballot. To nominate a business, click here. And if you are a business interested in sponsoring this year’s awards or getting promotional graphics to help encourage people to nominate your business, click here.
  • November 4th brings us one of my favorite events of the year (and the Lennard fam will be there!) – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.
  • Also on November 4th, join Bites of Bull City from 10-12 for a Durham brunch tour. Why go to brunch at just one restaurant when you can try three! Your delicious tour will take you to Piedmont, Pie Pushers and Counting House. You will meet the chefs behind the dishes and get a taste of the unique flavor and styles at each stop. Cost is $45. Use coupon code SAVEFIVE to get $5 off through this Sunday. Get your tickets here.
  • And then on November 5th  is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • It’s time for the 2017 Triangle Chili Challenge. On Sunday, November 12 in Downtown Cary, restaurateurs and food trucks compete alongside the Cary Police and Fire Departments for the “Best Chili in the Triangle”. The event also features live music, craft beer, art vendors, raffles and cash prizes. The winner will go home with $300 in cash, a trophy and serious bragging rights. Registration is now open. For sponsorship packages, competitor registration and more information, go here.
  • Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Get all the details here.
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. Get all the details here 

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – October 13, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Saw on the H Street Facebook page that La Stella Wood Fired Pizza is officially open on Hillsborough Street in the space formerly occupied by H Street Kitchen (2420 Hillsborough Street to be exact). Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • So the whole Amazon thing held up the opening of the new Whole Foods in west Cary. But what matters most (i.e. to me…)  is that it put a hold on the opening of a full-scale LaFarm Bakery inside that Whole Foods! But the wait is over. November 7th is the opening date when La Farm Bakery and Cafe will open. Check out LaFarm here.
  • Reader Jeanette Hauser pointed out that PhoSure has opened in the Celebration at Six Forks shopping center in Raleigh. Founded in Saigon, they are focused on serving Vietnamese healthy choice foods. Check them out here.
  • Saw on a tweet from Leo Suarez that Saigon Vietnamese Grille and Bar is coming to the former Indio space at 222 Glenwood Avenue. No word yet on a timeline nor could we find an web presence just yet. Stay tuned.
  • Saw in NCSU’s student newspaper The Technician that a new Mexican restaurant, Coco Bongo, has opened in the former La Rancherita spot at 2400 Hillsborough Street. You can check them out on Facebook here.
  • Thanks to the keen eyes of reader Chris Creighton, he noticed that a Popeyes Louisiana Chicken sign has gone up in the former location of Greek Fiesta on Raleigh’s Western Boulevard. Check out Popeyes here.
  • Leo Suarez also came across a sign at 610 Glenwood Avenue for The Dogwood Bar & Eatery, from Bunch of Fives Hospitality Group, hanging in the spot where ViewBar formerly was. Expect shareable bites, cocktails and local drafts (of course), outdoor deck areas, and more. Again, no timeline but you can keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Also in Cary, we got word via @DianeNC on Twitter that the new Outback Steakhouse on Walnut Street has opened. Check out Outback here.
  • And down in Holly Springs we have an opening after a series of back-to-back changes. A quick recap – Ricci’s closed and became Springs Pizza & Wings, which closed to become Sunset Lake Bistro, which never opened. And now we can happily report that Cristo’s Bistro & Pizza, with a sister location in Raleigh’s Quail Corners (Cristo’s NY Style Pizza), has now opened!  Get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • A chef change over in Durham with the announcement this week that Guglhupf hired Alex Ricci as its new executive chef. Originally from Florida, Ricci has cooked in kitchens in Asheville and Durham and was most recently at the Durham Hotel with chef Andrea Reusing. Ricci will add his own unique spin to Guglhupf’s contemporary, German-inspired cuisine. Check out Guglhupf here.
  • Over in Chatham County near Pittsboro, reader Debra DuBose pointed out that Compadres Tequila Lounge Mexican restaurant is now open behind Lowes Home improvement store near Carolina Brewery & Grill. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • And on a recent drive down 15-501 in Chapel Hill, noticed that a new Firehouse Subs is going into one of the new outparcel buildings at Rams Plaza (just across from Eastgate). Folks in Chapel Hill can once again get their Hook & Ladder! No word on an open date. Check out Firehouse here.

Closings

  • Lifelong friend Kenan Barnes brought it to my attention that the North Hills location of McAlister’s Deli will be closing October 15th. That leaves only a few days to get by and enjoy some of their sweet tea. They still have a location in Raleigh, Apex and two in Durham.
  • Jeanette Hauser notified us that Sol Azteca at 120 Morrisville Square Way in Morrisville has closed.

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Friday returns TODAY, Friday, October 13, from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • Art Sheppard informed me that on Sunday, October 15th the RDU Mobile Food Assoc. is hosting the Food and Funk in the Town of Carrboro’s Town Commons.  In addition to food trucks and craft beer, the event will have live performances with Strange Lady and a bouncy house. The event takes place from noon to 4pm. Check out their Facebook event page here.
  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Raleigh are over for the year and just one remaining in Durham for the year on November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here.

Events

  •  Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • On Thursday, October 19th the Garner Rotary will host their 13th annual OysterFest. It will take place from 5-8:30 p.m. in the Agri Supply parking lot on US 70 East. $30 for an all-you-can-eat ticket. The menu includes: steamed oysters, fried catfish, shrimp scampi with penne, bistro clam chowder, coleslaw, chicken fingers, BBQ pork, seafood bisque, salt potatoes, green beans, french fries, banana pudding, hush puppies and rolls. All proceeds go toward helping Garner-area seniors to help offset first year of college expenses. Get all the details here.
  • Happening on November 4th is one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.
  • And then on November 5th  is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  •  Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. Get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – October 6, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Time is running out (some events have sold out) to get tickets to one of my favorite foodie events of the year – there is something for everyone! Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival is October 18-21 and they are celebrating their eighth year. The multi-day celebration brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Thanks Colleen Minton for all you do! Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • New Raleigh brought it to our attention this week that renovation and construction is picking up steam at Tonbo Ramen at 211 S. Wilmington Street. The authentic, made-from-scratch ramen shop is looking to open before year’s end, but there is a LOT of work yet to be done. Check out their renovation pictures and keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Michael DePersia notified me this week that his company, National Restaurant Properties, handled the selling of The Pizza Dude at 1763 W Williams St. in Apex to Laxman Roka and Sudeep Pandey. At this moment there are no plans to change anything other than possibly opening up on Mondays. Check out The Pizza Dude here.
  • According to the ITB Insider, Zaxby’s is back on track for a return to Hillsborough Street. Although The Technician reported in August that construction was wrapping up, it appears permits for the job were just issued last week. The restaurant, which shut down in March, apparently has a new owner and they are set to open sometime later this fall. Check out Zaxby’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  I failed to mention this last week, but Gray Squirrel Coffee has successfully completed their move into their new space in Carrboro at 360 East Main St. #100 right next door to WomanCraft Gifts. They had been located inside the YesterYears Brewery next to the Cats Cradle. Check them out on Facebook here.

Closings

  • This really is my least favorite section of my blog. Especially when I have to announce three cool local spots closing
  • First up on that list is Bona Fide Sandwich Shop over in Hillsborough. They remain open this week (not sure what their actual last day will be), but they will cease operations. However, their sister property, the Wooden Nickel Pub will open for lunch starting next week.
  • In Raleigh, Provenance, which opened in February 2016, closed its doors this week. It was located in the heart of downtown at 120 E. Martin Street. Thanks to reader Katie Page for the tip on this.
  • And over in Carrboro, the News & Observer reported that Mel’s has closed their lunchtime service and will just focus on catering. Mel’s is owned by Melody and Al Bowers of Al’s Burger Shack fame.

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Friday returns Friday, October 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • Art Sheppard informed me that on Sunday, October 15th the RDU Mobile Food Assoc. is hosting the Food and Funk in the Town of Carrboro’s Town Commons.  In addition to food trucks and craft beer, the event will have live performances with Strange Lady and a bouncy house. The event takes place from noon to 4pm. Check out their Facebook event page here.
  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo this Sunday, October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  • Congratulations to the folks behind Carroll’s Kitchen as they celebrate their 1st anniversary next Friday, October 6th. Additionally, they also recently announced they will be opening a second location in the Morgan Street Food Hall. And if that is not enough, their job training program now employs five women coming out of homelessness or incarceration. Help them celebrate all of this on Friday, October 6th by visiting their Facebook event page here and attending.
  • This Saturday, October 7th the best barbecue chefs in North Carolina will compete in the Sir Walter Smoke-off at Dix Park. Teams will be competing for the coveted Sir Walter Smoke-Off Golden Pig Medallion as well as $500 in prize money. There will also be music, beer and a children’s zone. The event begins at 12 noon, but get there early! This event supports the Oak City Outreach Center and the Partnership to End Homelessness. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Symphony 2017 Fundraising Gala will be an amazing blend of a great cause, great chefs, great food all in a great setting. To be held on October 7, the black-tie, $500-ticket event will be unlike anything ever experienced in downtown Raleigh. Chef Vivian Howard along with chefs Dean Ogan of Rocky Top Hospitality (among others) and Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard (among others) will be planning and executing a farm-to-table menu from a custom-built kitchen on Fayetteville Street. Event attendees will be sitting on Fayetteville Street under a translucent canopy as they enjoy a dinner as envisioned by chef Howard. All proceeds from the event will benefit the NC Symphony. Get all the details here.
  • Also on October 7th, Little City Brewing + Provisions, a boutique brewpub at 400 W. North Street, is celebrating its one-year anniversary with Blocktober Fest, an inaugural block party celebration full of beer, food, music and more, on Saturday, October 7, from noon to 10 p.m. Blocktober Fest attendees can enjoy an array of new brews from Little City, as well as bites from downtown restaurants Linus & Pepper’s, Virgil’s Original Taqueria and Raleigh Raw. For more information, visit their website here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Only a little over 14 days until the NC State Fair – October 12-22. Go ahead and coat your stomach with Pepto-Bismol (trust me, it works. Just ask my wife.) and get ready for deep-fried…everything! Oh, and they will have beer and wine flights available this year (what could possibly go wrong there?). Anyway, get all the details here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • On Thursday, October 19th the Garner Rotary will host their 13th annual OysterFest. It will take place from 5-8:30 p.m. in the Agri Supply parking lot on US 70 East. $30 for an all-you-can-eat ticket. The menu includes: steamed oysters, fried catfish, shrimp scampi with penne, bistro clam chowder, coleslaw, chicken fingers, BBQ pork, seafood bisque, salt potatoes, green beans, french fries, banana pudding, hush puppies and rolls. All proceeds go toward helping Garner-area seniors to help offset first year of college expenses. Get all the details here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.
  • Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 29, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Neal DePersia of DePersia & Associates informed me of the great news that Erik Lensch and Jeff Fisher, owners of the Honeysuckle Tea House, purchased the Looking Glass Cafe at 601 W. Main Street in Carrboro. Honeysuckle Tea House is a tea & herbal farm, & music venue located on 17 acres on the west side of Chapel Hill. Looking Glass Cafe is located in the heart of downtown Carrboro. Check out Looking Glass here and Honeysuckle here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Congratulations to Rocco Quaranto who owns a tea cafe called Tama Tea located in Wilmington. He announced this week that they are opening a location in Chapel Hill (any day now) at 105 E. Franklin Street (where Sweet Frog used to be) and then a third location in downtown Raleigh at the corner of Davie and Fayetteville streets in about 3 weeks. Get familiar with Tama Tea here.
  • The ITB Insider reported this week that a permit was issued for a NY Bagels in the Shoppes at Greenway on Ramble Way off 401 in North Raleigh. They were unable to confirm whether this new shop is associated with NY Bagels & Deli. We will keep an eye on it.
  • Reader Hugh Autry told me about a relatively new Peruvian chicken place in Garner called Chios Rotisserie. They are located at 2656 Timber Drive in Garner. Check them out here.
  • Over in Cary, got word from reader Jeanette Hauser that Swagat Indian Cuisine is opening (may already be open) at 9549 Chapel Hill Road in the spot formerly occupied by Martin’s Curry Rice. No web presence that we could find, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Johanna Kramer noted on Facebook this week that the “re-invented” Alivia’s in Durham held a soft-opening this week as Maverick’s. Owners Fergus Bradley and Jason Sholtz teamed up with barbecue chef Brian Stinnett to create Maverick’s Smokehouse and Taproom at 900 West Main St. Maverick’s offers slow smoked barbecue pork, beef brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey, sausage, fish and more. Check them out here.
  • Reader Corina May pointed out that the Durham location of Baba Ghannouj has closed and that Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Shack will open in that location sometime in October/early November. It will be located at 2200 W. Main Street in downtown. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here.
  • Friend Glenn Gillen noticed that the Nothing Bundt Cakes location is now open in Hope Valley Commons in Durham where Char-Grill used to be. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • The Pie Hole will hold their Grand Opening Celebration on Ninth Street this Saturday, Sept. 30 all day (technically 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.) at 810 Ninth Street. They will have live music, activities for the kids and of course pie! And the weather? Let’s just say there will be a huge orange pie in the sky all day! Get the event details on Facebook here.

Closings

  • David McCreary sent me a note indicating that longtime eatery Cooley’s Restaurant in Fuquay-Varina has closed its doors after two decades in business.
  • Got word from Chris Creighton and Erik Mazzone that the Greek Fiesta location on Western Blvd. is now empty with a “For Lease” sign in the window. But the good news is that they still have five other locations around the Triangle.
  • Got word from reader Jeanette Hauser that the Morrisville location of Amante Pizza is closed. They still have a location in Carrboro.

Food Trucks

  • Cary’s Downtown Throwdown is this Sunday from 12:30 until 5 p.m. on Chatham Street between Harrison Avenue and Walker Street. Look for nearly 30 food and beverage trucks, entertainment and nearly perfect weather! Get all the details here.
  • Food Truck Friday returns Friday, October 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  • Congratulations to the folks behind Carroll’s Kitchen as they celebrate their 1st anniversary next Friday, October 6th. Additionally, they also recently announced they will be opening a second location in the Morgan Street Food Hall. And if that is not enough, their job training program now employs five women coming out of homelessness or incarceration. Help them celebrate all of this on Friday, October 6th by visiting their Facebook event page here and attending.
  • The North Carolina Symphony 2017 Fundraising Gala will be an amazing blend of a great cause, great chefs, great food all in a great setting. To be held on October 7, the black-tie, $500-ticket event will be unlike anything ever experienced in downtown Raleigh. Chef Vivian Howard along with chefs Dean Ogan of Rocky Top Hospitality (among others) and Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard (among others) will be planning and executing a farm-to-table menu from a custom-built kitchen on Fayetteville Street. Event attendees will be sitting on Fayetteville Street under a translucent canopy as they enjoy a dinner as envisioned by chef Howard. All proceeds from the event will benefit the NC Symphony. Get all the details here.
  • Also on October 7th, Little City Brewing + Provisions, a boutique brewpub at 400 W. North Street, is celebrating its one-year anniversary with Blocktober Fest, an inaugural block party celebration full of beer, food, music and more, on Saturday, October 7, from noon to 10 p.m. Blocktober Fest attendees can enjoy an array of new brews from Little City, as well as bites from downtown restaurants Linus & Pepper’s, Virgil’s Original Taqueria and Raleigh Raw. For more information, visit their website here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Only a little over 14 days until the NC State Fair – October 12-22. Go ahead and coat your stomach with Pepto-Bismol (trust me, it works. Just ask my wife.) and get ready for deep-fried…everything! Oh, and they will have beer and wine flights available this year (what could possibly go wrong there?). Anyway, get all the details here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held October 18-21. Celebrating their eighth year, TerraVita has grown into a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 22, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  The biggest news this week involves both Chatham and Orange counties, as it became official that Oakleaf will serve its last meal in Pittsboro on November 25th before moving to its new digs at 300 E. Main St. in downtown Carrboro in early February, 2018. During that interim, Oakleaf will “take over the evening shift” at it’s sister restaurant Alberello, located between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro. But you’ve got plenty of time to get by the original location between now and Thanksgiving! Check out Oakleaf here and Alberello here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that Regan Stachler, who was at Apex’s Little Hen restaurant (which closed in February after six years of farm-to-table cooking), is now the executive chef at Verandah restaurant in the Mayton Inn on South Academy Street. Check out Verandah here.
  • Got word this week from Derek Wilkins that he will soon open his third location of the popular The Butcher’s Market. The newest location will be in Holly Springs at a new retail development at the intersection of Sunset Lake and Holly Springs roads. Look for them to open next Spring. We are also hearing about the possibility of a fourth location, but stay tuned on that. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Joseph Fasy, a well-known Triangle restaurant owner who operates the Hook & Cleaver on Broad in downtown Fuquay-Varina, is going to open a second location at Morgan Street Food Hall & Market. Called Hook & Cleaver on Morgan, Fasy’s restaurant will feature fresh meats, seafood and prepared foods. Get familiar with them here.
  • Speaking of Morgan Street Food Hall, the News & Observer reported this week that they have adjusted their timeline for opening in early 2018, not the earlier projection of early summer. Keep up with all their additions here.
  • And the ITB Insider reported this week that Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream will soon be making its way to North Hills, as permits were issued for the newest location of the national sweets shop at 200 Park at North Hills Street. They are set to open in November. They already have locations in Morrisville and Cary. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  In Durham, Bites of Bull City brought it to our attention that It’s a Southern Thing restaurant will swing open their doors next Monday, September 25th at 605 W. Main Street. They took over the former Motto space. Congrats to Pete Susca and chef Matt Kulp. Get familiar with them here.
  • And David Sadeghi seems to be keeping very busy these days. The owner of Southern Village’s Town Hall Grill just completed a new menu update as well as renovations at the Chapel Hill icon. He is also in the middle of adding a new bar to his Town Hall Burger and Beer location near the Streets at Southpoint. And he also hinted at a Durham location for Smash Waffles, also near the Streets at Southpoint. Stay tuned on that. Check out Town Hall Grill here and Town Hall Burger and Beer here.
  • Saw in Chapel Hill magazine that Dan Friedman has opened up a new chocolate boutique shop in Chapel Hill’s Timberlyne shopping center. The shop, Special Treats, offers gourmet chocolates, cookies, biscotti and much more made by adults with disabilities around the country. Get by soon and check them out! Visit them on Facebook here.
  • And it was announced this week that Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers recently broke ground at 3812 N Roxboro St near Duke Regional Hospital. The fast-casual restaurant franchise will open in the coming months, and joins the market’s original location at Patterson Place. Check out Freddy’s here.

Closings

  • Folks, we got word this week that we are losing two really great local establishments. I beg you to KEEP EATING LOCAL!
  • The first is Oval Park Grill on Broad Street in Durham. Really sorry to see them go. But word is they sold the restaurant, but it hasn’t been announced yet who the new owners are, or when they will open.
  • The other is Franklin Street’s Sandwich in Chapel Hill. They closed yesterday. Another great local operation. The “early rumors” are that Heavenly Buffaloes is moving into that space. We will try and get 100% confirmation on that.

Food Trucks

  • Food Truck Friday returns Friday, October 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  •  Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on THIS Sunday, September 24th at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • The owners of Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Luncheonette and Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up to host a special vegetarian Italian wine dinner on Wednesday, September 27th at 7 p.m. Dubbed Caffe Marrone, the six course meal will feature Italian favorites paired with wine for $50 (not including gratuity). The dinner will be at Mel’s at 109 West Main Street in Downtown Carrboro. For tickets and information, click here.
  • Il Palio at the Siena Hotel will host their 4th Annual Olive Oil Dinner on September 28 from 7pm to 9pm. This special dinner highlights Italy’s top five olive oil producing regions with a five course dinner that chef Teddy served at the prestigious James Beard House earlier in the year. Chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio and special guest Gennaro Villella, the producer and importer of Villella Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the former chef at Il Palio restaurant team up once again to deliver an exceptional dining experience. Tickets are $140 each, including a bottle of Gennaro’s extra virgin olive oil, wine pairings, tax and gratuity. To make reservations, please call 919-918-2545.
  • The North Carolina Symphony 2017 Fundraising Gala will be an amazing blend of a great cause, great chefs, great food all in a great setting. To be held on October 7, the black-tie, $500-ticket event will be unlike anything ever experienced in downtown Raleigh. Chef Vivian Howard along with chefs Dean Ogan of Rocky Top Hospitality (among others) and Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard (among others) will be planning and executing a farm-to-table menu from a custom-built kitchen on Fayetteville Street. Event attendees will be sitting on Fayetteville Street under a translucent canopy as they enjoy a dinner as envisioned by chef Howard. All proceeds from the event will benefit the NC Symphony. Get all the details here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held October 18-21. Celebrating their eighth year, TerraVita has grown into a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 15, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • And then there were two. Al’s Burger Shack is opening a second burger shack in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village next Monday, September 18th. The new location will be serving up the same experience as the original Franklin Street shack, but with more seating, free parking and an expanded menu. Check out Al’s here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Owners Missy and Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery announced this week that they will open a new venue inside a Whole Foods Market slated to open this fall at Alston Town Center in Cary. And if that is not enough, they also announced that they would expand their original location into the ABC store space next door in the Preston Corners shopping center in late September. Check out La Farm here.
  • The Person Street Partnership shared the exciting news that Oakwood Pizza Box is now open at 610 N. Person Street on the edge of downtown Raleigh. Congrats to Anthony Guerra, whose family owned Bella Mia. Here is Oakwood’s website.
  • Saw in the Beltline Buzz blog that Aladdin’s Eatery has opened at North Hills in the former Black Cat Cafe location at 4209 Lassiter Mill Road. They also have a location in Raleigh’s Brier Creek. Check them out here.
  • Saw in the ITB Insider update this week that work is now underway on a new restaurant calling itself Hearth Kitchen, which will soon open in the former home of Zydeco at City Market in downtown Raleigh. Permits were issued last week for the space at 208 Wolfe Street. We will keep an eye on this for you.
  • Also in the ITB Insider, they noted that CO Vietnamese, which offers a “modern take on traditional southeast Asian cuisine,” will be opening before year’s end at the AC Hotel in North Hills. The regional restaurant chain, which has locations in Savannah, Charleston, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte, features a menu with a focus on Pho, Ramen, Dumplings, Banh Mi and Sushi. Check them out here.
  • Just got word from Michael DePersia from DePersia & Associates, that they just closed on a lease deal putting Johnny Pavlik from Johnny’s Pizza of Cary into a new store in Wake Forest in the Harris Crossing shopping center off of US1. He plans to open in the first quarter of next year. Check out Johnny’s here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that the Brookside Market & Pizza location on the outskirts of downtown Raleigh at the corner of at Brookside Drive and Glascock Street is getting new life. Duane Williams is renovating the entire building and has lined up a coffee and cocktail bar from the owner of Brew, the coffee shop in nearby Seaboard Station, a Pilates studio and a retro barber shop. He also hopes to bring in a restaurant or other retail for the remaining storefront in the plaza. Williams hopes to open the market before the first of October, the pizza kitchen before the end of October, and have the other tenants in by the end of the year. Read the full article here.
  • In North Raleigh, Rebecca Calhoun notified us that Wayback Burgers will be opening a location at 6320 Capital Boulevard in the Plantation Square shopping center. No word on an exact timeline. They also have a location in Durham. Thanks Rebecca! Get familiar with Wayback here.
  • And finally, it appears as if the Wahlburgers is still coming to Raleigh. The News & Observer reported this week that they still plan on occupying the former Oxford space on Fayetteville Street and should open before year’s end. Will believe it when I see it. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Closings

  • Chapel Hill’s Sandwich announced this week that they would close come mid-September. An exact date hasn’t been announced. That is the terrible news. The “good” news is there is someone coming into that space with a similar focus on “local” and most of the staff will remain. Thanks for the last 12 years Janet Elbetri! And thanks to Kitt Wolfenden for letting us know. Read the full announcement here.
  • Reader Wendy Henderson shared with us this week that the Hillsborough Street location of Pieology in Raleigh has closed.
  • Got word from Michael DePersia that Latin Quarters in the Celebration at Six Forks shopping center  in Raleigh has closed.

Food Trucks

  • Food Truck Friday returns Friday, October 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope this Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. at the event space at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event next Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Celebrate all things pork at The Root Cellar’s 6th annual Porkapalooza on Friday, September 22nd at 6:30 p.m. From country-fried to country ham and everything in between, this evening will be sure to invigorate your taste buds. Tickets are $50-$55. Get details and tickets here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • The owners of Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Luncheonette and Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up to host a special vegetarian Italian wine dinner on Wednesday, September 27th at 7 p.m. Dubbed Caffe Marrone, the six course meal will feature Italian favorites paired with wine for $50 (not including gratuity). The dinner will be at Mel’s at 109 West Main Street in Downtown Carrboro. For tickets and information, click here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held October 18-21. Celebrating their eighth year, TerraVita has grown into a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 8, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is the time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held over four days October 18-21. Celebrating their eighth year, TerraVita has grown into a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Go. To something. To everything! Thank me later. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saw on the Food Cary blog that Kale Me Crazy has opened its first location outside of Georgia at Waverly Place in Cary. Congrats to owner Jeff Hutto. If you are not familiar with the concept, it is a superfood café offering juices, smoothies, salads and wraps in a sleek, upscale environment. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also on the Food Cary blog they noted that Lenny’s Grill and Subs, formerly known as Lenny’s Sub Shop, is opening its first stores in the Triangle with an expansion into Cary, Raleigh and other surrounding cities. They haven’t identified their Cary location yet, but they already have locations in Asheville and Charlotte. Check them out here.
  • A quick update on last week’s news down in Holly Springs where the former Ricci’s space became Springs Pizza & Wings, which closed to become Sunset Lake Bistro which never happened. Well, Derek Wilkins (of The Butcher’s Market) informed me that it will be Cristo’s Pizza, which has a location in Raleigh’s Quail Corners shopping center. No word on a timeline. But for now, check them out here.
  • In the ITB Insider Update this week they noted that work is now underway in North Raleigh’s Brennan Station on Creedmoor Road on a deep-dish pizza chain called Nancy’s Pizza (no relation, I don’t think, to Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane). We don’t have a firm opening date yet. Get familiar with Nancy’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Good friend Aziz Carrell told me about a new sushi place in Durham called Rockin’ Rolls Sushi Express located just off 15-501 on Hillsborough Road (the shopping center with Chick-fil-A) that just opened. Basically it is an all-you-can-eat conveyor belt sushi experience featuring 50 different sushi offerings. If you see something you like, you can take it directly from the belt. The cost? $10.99 per person (less for children)!  In addition, they offer salad and dessert. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Got word from Mike DePersia of DePersia & Associates (National Restaurant Properties) that Blackfinn Ameripub in Morrisville’s Park West Village closed on September 3rd.

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Events

  • Also this weekend starting today (September 8th – 10th) the 36th Annual Greek Raleigh Festival is taking place at the Jim Graham Building at the NC State Fairgrounds featuring Greek dancing, music, cooking demos, kid’s crafts & activities and of course food, food, food! Want free admission? Click here.
  • This Sunday, Sept. 10th from 2-5pm Raleigh’s Mandolin Restaurant will hold their second annual BBQ Fundraiser to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle. It will be held across the street from Mandolin at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. They will have live music and lots of great food and drink prepared by chef Sean Fowler which has been donated by Cheney Bros. food distributors, Topo distillery, Locals Seafood, Videri Chocolate, Neuse River Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing and Mandolin Sauces. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also this Sunday, September 10th, the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund will host their 4th Annual Dinner in the Meadow benefit hosted by WUNC’s Frank Stasio and featuring dishes prepared by Triangle area and regional chefs. Held in Franklin County, the dinner is $100 per person. Visit their website to see the amazing list of chefs and menus. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • The Underground Kitchen hosts its second pop up dinner in Raleigh on September 15th (new date) at 7 p.m. Attendees will experience the great outdoors and a deliciously rustic, multi-course dinner in a wilderness-within- the-city locale. Virginia-based celebrity chef J. Ponder will pull out all the stops with a flavorsome exploration of aged meats, time-tested techniques, and truffle wine pairings! Tickets can be purchased here.
  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope on Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. at the event space at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event on Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Celebrate all things pork at The Root Cellar’s 6th annual Porkapalooza on Friday, September 22nd at 6:30 p.m. From country-fried to country ham and everything in between, this evening will be sure to invigorate your taste buds. Tickets are $50-$55. Get details and tickets here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • The owners of Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Luncheonette and Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up to host a special vegetarian Italian wine dinner on Wednesday, September 27th at 7 p.m. Dubbed Caffe Marrone, the six course meal will feature Italian favorites paired with wine for $50 (not including gratuity). The dinner will be at Mel’s at 109 West Main Street in Downtown Carrboro. For tickets and information, click here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – September 1, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • So how does something originally announced in June, 2015 on this very blog make it back into the “featured restaurant news” section? Well, if your name is Ashley Christensen and you just posted instagram photos of a “research tour” in Italy preparing for the opening of PooleSide Pie, that might work. According to her postings, look for PooleSide Pie to open in 2018 featuring Neapolitan-style, wood-fired pizza among other things. It will be adjacent to her Poole’s Diner (see what she did there?) on South McDowell Street in downtown Raleigh. Check out their Instagram feed to see what she is up to.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • So this doesn’t quite make the “Closings” section as the story continues to unfold. But what we do know is that Triangle Business Journal reported this week that the Apex location of Tyler’s  in the Beaver Creek Commons shopping center in Apex will be closing this coming Tuesday (September 6) after a 10 year run. But as that news got out, additional reports of potential partners appeared with hopes of keeping that location open. We will continue to watch this. In the meantime, you definitely have a few more days to get by (and maybe more) as well as the other Tyler’s locations in Durham and Carrboro. Check out Tyler’s here.
  • Back over in downtown Raleigh, Morgan Street Food Hall & Market keeps getting tastier and tastier. It was announced this week that popular food truck Curry in a Hurry and Iyla’s Southern Kitchen will be joining the mix of food vendors . Curry in a Hurry is known for its wide variety of Kati Rolls, an Indian version of a burrito that is a popular street food, a wide selection of curry dishes and Naan sandwiches. Look for Iyla’s Southern Kitchen to offer signature dishes like Chicken and Waffles with homemade Pimento Cheese and Chow Chow slaw. Check out the full list of vendors and the latest developments here.
  • Staying in downtown Raleigh, we have a little more information on Kaiju Bowl & Bao thanks to the folks over at the News & Observer. We learned that Ken Yowell, who owns Oak City Meatball Shoppe and Calavera Empanadas and Tequila, will be opening Kaiju, possibly by year’s end. Yowell resists calling Kaiju just a ramen shop, saying that doesn’t go far enough, noting that it will serve a concept of Asian noodles and steamed buns and lots of surprises. Still no online presence yet, just a Twitter account at this point.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, got a tweet from Hunter Butler that Phat Chicken has opened at 717 E. Martin Street serving up southern-style chicken with their own twist. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Continuing their growth in Wake County, Triangle Explorer pointed out that the second Wake County location of Chronic Tacos will open next Wednesday, September 6th. This one will open in North Raleigh next to Sprouts on Falls of the Neuse Road. They also have a location in Chapel Hill as well as one in Wake Forest. Check out the newest location of Chronic Tacos here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, back in June we told you that Springs Pizza & Wings, which took over the former Ricci’s space, had closed. Well, then we got word that Sunset Lake Bistro was taking over that space. Well, that never happened and now there is a sign up for some sort of Italian place. Let’s just say…stay tuned. Thanks Scott Eaton for your help in keeping up with this one!
  • Over in Clayton, got word from reader Emily Beddingfield that Clayton will soon be home to a new spot called Ingredient of Clayton, a farm to table restaurant and pub concept coming to 101 W. First Street. They are utilizing a historic building and adding nearly 2,000 square feet and sharing a courtyard with a new coffee shop that is also coming in. Look for them to open in 2018. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  The Pie Hole in Durham, serving up sweet & savory pies from scratch along with signature coffee & drinks, will hold their grand opening on Labor Day weekend. They will be located at 810 Ninth Street. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Well that didn’t last long. Got word from one of our readers that Charlie Grainger’s on Chapel Hill Road in Morrisville closes today (Friday) at 5 p.m. They just opened in February. But don’t fret, their website lists 16 new locations coming soon to North Carolina.
  • Got word from reader Matthew Cotton that the Greek Fiesta location in the Falls Pointe shopping center in North Raleigh has closed.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, got word that Italian restaurant, Vespa, on W. Franklin Street has closed.

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back in full swing. Durham’s is this Sunday (September 3rd). Check out the Durham dates here and the Raleigh dates here.

Events

  •  The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • On Sunday, Sept. 10th from 2-5pm Raleigh’s Mandolin Restaurant will hold their second annual BBQ Fundraiser to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle. It will be held across the street from Mandolin at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. They will have live music and lots of great food and drink prepared by chef Sean Fowler which has been donated by Cheney Bros. food distributors, Topo distillery, Locals Seafood, Videri Chocolate, Neuse River Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing and Mandolin Sauces. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also on September 10th, the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund will host their 4th Annual Dinner in the Meadow benefit hosted by WUNC’s Frank Stasio and featuring dishes prepared by Triangle area and regional chefs. Held in Franklin County, the dinner is $100 per person. Visit their website to see the amazing list of chefs and menus. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • The Underground Kitchen hosts its second pop up dinner in Raleigh on September 15th (new date) at 7 p.m. Attendees will experience the great outdoors and a deliciously rustic, multi-course dinner in a wilderness-within- the-city locale. Virginia-based celebrity chef J. Ponder will pull out all the stops with a flavorsome exploration of aged meats, time-tested techniques, and truffle wine pairings! Tickets can be purchased here.
  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope on Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. at the event space at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event on Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to our warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – August 25, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • So now we know what is going into the former McAlister’s Deli space on East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Saw on a Yelp message board that BonChon Chicken, the fast casual Korean fried chicken chain, is opening its first Triangle-area location at the 205 E. Franklin Street address. No word on a timeline. Get familiar with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • According to the News & Observer, Anthony Guerra, whose family owned Bella Mia, will open Oakwood Pizza Box at 610 N. Person St. (a few doors down from Crawford and Son where he works as the general manager). Check them out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, several people pointed out to me this week that there is a sign in the window for “Kaiju” in the space next to Oak City Meatball on E. Davie Street. Unfortunately, our online search didn’t turn up any additional information. We’re just going to have to be patient on this one. Stay tuned.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, alerted me to the news that a Culver’s, with their signature ButterBurgers and frozen custard, is now open in Wake Forest at 2819 Rogers Road next to the new Rite Aid drug store near The Factory sports and retail complex on Main Street. This is their Triangle-area debut, but likely won’t be their only. Check them out here.
  • Got word from reader Paul Prause that Pickled Onion Restaurant & Bar will close its current location on Falls of the Neuse Road on August 27th and relocate to 10750 Wakefield Commons in Wakefield. Look for them to open in the new location in mid-September. Keep up with their move on their Facebook page here.
  • And reader Jane Bell noticed construction activity at the former Lone Star Steakhouse location in the Townridge shopping center in Raleigh. No indication as of yet as to what is going in there.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Johanna Kramer reported this week that after closing Alivia’s Durham Bistro in June, owners Fergus Bradley and Jason Sholtz are teaming up with barbecue chef Brian Stinnett to open Maverick’s Smokehouse and Taproom on West Main St. in September. Maverick’s will offer slow smoked barbecue pork, beef brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey, sausage, fish and more. Visit their website here.
  • Got word from Cherith Andes that Babalu Tapas & Tacos has set next Monday, August 28th as the opening date for their latest location in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing. I’m getting an early tasting tonight and super excited! This is the Triangle’s first location and will feature latin-inspired taco and tapas dishes with a Southern twist. And I’ve heard the drinks are pretty amazing as well. Check them out here.
  • The Pie Hole in Durham, serving up sweet & savory pies from scratch along with signature coffee & drinks, will hold their grand opening on Labor Day weekend. They will be located at 810 Ninth Street. Check them out here.
  • As if you needed another reason to get to Scott Howell’s NanaSteak in downtown Durham, reader Sara Bill informed us that they will begin brunch service this Saturday. Check out NanaSteak here.
  • This will make your mouth water. Merritt’s Grill in Chapel Hill celebrates this month the 25th anniversary of serving up their (now world famous) BLTs. Hard to believe it has been 25 years! And they will have events and activities all day tomorrow (Saturday, August 26th) from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Check out Merritt’s here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership reported that Perennial Coffee & Pastries is now open at 403 W. Franklin Street right next to the Cuban Revolution Express. The only online presence we could find was the partnership’s posting about it opening. Here it is.

Closings

  • Learned from the folks over at Taste Carolina that after just six months, Wedgies at American Tobacco campus, has closed. You can still visit their original location in Southern Pines.
  • Was sad to learn from reader Jeanette Hauser that the Morrisville location of Danny’s BBQ has closed. That’s the bad news. The good news is their Cary and RTP locations remain open.
  • Art Sheppard, aka The Wandering Sheppard, notified us this week that the brick-and-mortar location of Porchetta (at Streets at Southpoint food court) has closed. But you can still catch the truck all over the Triangle. Keep up with them here.
  • Several people, including The Wandering Sheppard himself (Art Sheppard) that the Bruegger’s Bagels in Pleasant Valley has closed. Follows closely on the footsteps of the one that closed at North Hills just a few weeks back.
  • And reader Gloria Waters notified me this week that the Triangle Town Center location of California Pizza Kitchen closed. They still have locations in Durham at Streets at Southpoint as well as at RDU International Airport.

Food Trucks

  •  The Lazy Days Festival in Cary has expanded to two days, August 26 & 27. In addition to arts and crafts tents, it will feature more than 25 food vendors and trucks! It is not a party until a food truck rolls up! The entire festival is wonderful, but if you want to plan your food strategy before you go, do so here. 
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.

Events

  • How does beer and fresh produce sound? Count me in! The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market at University Place will hold their annual Brewfest on Saturday, August 26 from 8 a.m. until noon. The event will feature brews from 11 different breweries. Check out their Facebook event page here for all the details.
  • The Underground Kitchen hosts its second pop up dinner in Raleigh on August 30 at 7 p.m. Attendees will experience the great outdoors and a deliciously rustic, multi-course dinner in a wilderness-within- the-city locale. Virginia-based celebrity chef J. Ponder will pull out all the stops with a flavorsome exploration of aged meats, time-tested techniques, and truffle wine pairings! Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • On Sunday, Sept. 10th from 2-5pm Raleigh’s Mandolin Restaurant will hold their second annual BBQ Fundraiser to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle. It will be held across the street from Mandolin at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. They will have live music and lots of great food and drink prepared by chef Sean Fowler which has been donated by Cheney Bros. food distributors, Topo distillery, Locals Seafood, Videri Chocolate, Neuse River Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing and Mandolin Sauces. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also on September 10th, the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund will host their 4th Annual Dinner in the Meadow benefit hosted by WUNC’s Frank Stasio and featuring dishes prepared by Triangle area and regional chefs. Held in Franklin County, the dinner is $100 per person. Visit their website to see the amazing list of chefs and menus. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope on Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. at the event space at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event on Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • This is the LAST weekend for Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week. Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe dinners for either $21 or $31 per person, depending on the venue (tax and tip not included). As a special amenity to downtown employees and other daytime downtown visitors, some restaurants will be offering $5 and $10 lunch specials during Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week only! And NEW THIS YEAR, they are partnering with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to donate $1 from each Restaurant Week dinner sold to those in need! Get all the details here!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – August 18, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
Featured Restaurant News
  • The big news this week was the confirmation that A Place at the Table, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit pay-what-you-can cafe, has secured a permanent location in the former Café de los Muertos space in downtown Raleigh. This new restaurant is expected to begin renovations soon and will open in the fall of 2017 (hearing November) at 300 W Hargett Street. Check them out here.
Wake County Restaurant News
  • Learned this week that Heirloom Brewshop, a specialty coffee shop, premium tea house and sake bar, will be opening their first location at The Dillon in downtown Raleigh. The Dillon is located in the Warehouse District at 223 S. West Street. Look for Heirloom to open in the summer of 2018. Get more information on the entire project here.
  • Got word from reader Paul Prause that Pickled Onion Restaurant & Bar will close its current location on Falls of the Neuse Road on August 27th and relocate to 10750 Wakefield Commons in Wakefield. Look for them to open in the new location in mid-September. Keep up with their move on their Facebook page here.
  • Saw in Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email that Raleigh Downtown Living Advocates reported that a new BBQ joint called Southern Charred is coming to a spot at 510 Glenwood South. They will offer a NC-style que blended with Memphis and Texas influences. This is from the same folks behind Anchor Raleigh, The Milk Bar and Mofu Shoppe. No word yet on an open date. Keep up with them here.
  • We got a little more detail this week on the opening of Morehead City’s HappyCakes Cupcakery in Cary. Reader and Morehead City native Monica Williams tells me that the Cary location will be at Shoppes at Weston Corners off Chapel Hill Rd. Get familiar with them here.
  • Thanks to the sharp eyes of Barbara Calise we now know that PokeGo, Poke & Noodles is going into the former Yogurt Mountain location on Creedmoor Road (8107 Creedmoor Road) in Raleigh. No other details are available at this time.
  • This isn’t exactly restaurant news, but cool nonetheless. CurEat, a restaurant app that provides you with a list of unique, locally owned restaurants from food and beverage insiders, is now available on Android (it released on iTunes back in January). To find out more about CurEat and to create your own account, visit them here.
Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News
  • Saw this week that Saint James Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar, housed in the iconic historic building that was formerly Fishmonger’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar in Durham, is slated to open in early September. Focusing on sustainability, the menu celebrates the South’s plethora of seafood. Saint James will be Matthew Kelly’s fifth restaurant in Durham, joining a family of restaurants that include Mateo Bar de Tapas, Vin Rouge, Mothers & Sons Trattoria and Lucky’s Delicatessen. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • On a recent drive down Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street (getting my solar eclipse glasses from Morehead Planetarium) I noticed that Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza is now open at the corner of Franklin and Rosemary streets. Get familiar with them here.
  • And finally (didn’t think they would ever open), we got word from Cherith Andes that Babalu Tapas & Tacos has set August 28th as the opening date for their latest location in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing shopping center. This is the Triangle’s first location and will feature latin-inspired taco and tapas dishes with a Southern twist. And I’ve heard the drinks are pretty amazing as well. Check them out here.
  • And they are now open! Namu Restaurant and Coffee Bar is the collaborative effort between Bulkogi Truck & Bo’s Kitchen. They are located at 5420 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. where Bohme was and before that Straw Valley Food + Drink. Get the latest on their Facebook page here.
  • Got word from my Twitter friend Burgeoningbaker that Rose’s Meat Market & Sweet Shop has reopened with their new concept – as a restaurant and bakery after 4 years as a combination whole animal butcher shop and sweet shop. They are located at 121 N. Gregson Street in Durham, just down from Brightleaf Square. You can get all the details on their newly designed website here.
  • The Pie Hole in Durham, serving up sweet & savory pies from scratch along with signature coffee & drinks, will hold their grand opening on Labor Day weekend. They will be located at 810 Ninth Street. Check them out here.
Closings
  • Reader Jackie Atlas was the first to notify us that Crepe Traditions has closed their location on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. They still have two locations in Raleigh at North Hills and on Hillsborough Street.
Food Trucks
  • The RDU Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) is holding their first annual Tacopalooza Food Truck Rodeo & Competition this Sunday, August 20, at Knightdale Station located at 810 N First Ave. in Knightdale. It will run from 12-4 p.m. Get a listing of trucks (10) and all the details here. 
  • The Lazy Days Festival in Cary has expanded to two days, August 26 & 27. In addition to arts and crafts tents, it will feature more than 25 food vendors and trucks! It is not a party until a food truck rolls up! The entire festival is wonderful, but if you want to plan your food strategy before you go, do so here. 
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.

Events

  •  Join North Carolina brewers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for their fourth annual Natural Selections event on Friday, August 18. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science among the museum’s dioramas. Sample unique creations fitting the museum’s natural science focus from more than 20 North Carolina breweries. Enjoy hands-on science of beer activities, a panel discussion, games and live music by Handsome Al and the Lookers. Vote for your favorite beer during the event and award the second annual Natural Selections People’s Choice Award to one lucky brewery. $65 VIP; $40; $25 for Friends of the Museum members. Price includes beer samples, activities, tasting guide, and collectible Natural Selections tasting glass. You must be 21 years or older to attend. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • And not to miss out on the Solar Eclipse hype, Krispy Kreme doughnuts will launch the first-ever Chocolate Glazed Doughnut Aug. 21 and during special evening Hot Light hours Aug. 19-20 in Raleigh. Learn more about the yumminess here.
  • How does beer and fresh produce sound? Count me in! The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market at University Place will hold their annual Brewfest on Saturday, August 26 from 8 a.m. until noon. The event will feature brews from 11 different breweries. Check out their Facebook event page here for all the details.
  • The Underground Kitchen hosts its second pop up dinner in Raleigh on August 30 at 7 p.m. Attendees will experience the great outdoors and a deliciously rustic, multi-course dinner in a wilderness-within- the-city locale. Virginia-based celebrity chef J. Ponder will pull out all the stops with a flavorsome exploration of aged meats, time-tested techniques, and truffle wine pairings! Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • On Sunday, Sept. 10th from 2-5pm Raleigh’s Mandolin Restaurant will hold their second annual BBQ Fundraiser to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle. It will be held across the street from Mandolin at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. They will have live music and lots of great food and drink prepared by chef Sean Fowler which has been donated by Cheney Bros. food distributors, Topo distillery, Locals Seafood, Videri Chocolate, Neuse River Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing and Mandolin Sauces. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also on September 10th, the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund will host their 4th Annual Dinner in the Meadow benefit hosted by WUNC’s Frank Stasio and featuring dishes prepared by Triangle area and regional chefs. Held in Franklin County, the dinner is $100 per person. Visit their website to see the amazing list of chefs and menus. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope on Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event on Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!
Food Bank Corner
  • Go ahead and mark your calendar for Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week August 21-27. Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe dinners for either $21 or $31 per person, depending on the venue (tax and tip not included). As a special amenity to downtown employees and other daytime downtown visitors, some restaurants will be offering $5 and $10 lunch specials during Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week only! And NEW THIS YEAR, they are partnering with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to donate $1 from each Restaurant Week dinner sold to those in need! Get all the details here!

 

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