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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 13, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

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

 

Closings

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

Food Trucks

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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

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Friday Fun Food Facts – April 6, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

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

Closings

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

Food Trucks

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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

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Friday Fun Food Facts – March 23, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

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

 

Closings

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

Food Trucks

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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

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Friday Fun Food Facts – March 16, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Folks, this is a big deal. Raleigh’s own Ashley Christensen is a finalist for outstanding chef in the country at the annual James Beard Foundation awards. The awards are often referred to as “The Oscars of Food,” and the Triangle has a legacy of taking home honors. Finalists were announced this past Wednesday. Christensen owns Poole’s, Death and Taxes, Beasley’s, Chuck’s and the soon to open, Poolside Pizza. She is also a previous James Beard winner, taking home the award for best chef in the southeast in 2014. A nod also to chef Vivian Howard who was nominated for best host for her work on PBS’ “A Chef’s Life.” Winners will be announced in May. Check out all of Ashley’s restaurants here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We told you about this last week, but WRAL updated us that CO restaurant, featuring a modern take on traditional Southeast Asian cuisine, will open for dinner this Saturday, March 17 at 101 Park at North Hills Street in North Hills. They are situated street level at the AC Hotel North Hills and will be open for dinner daily at 5 p.m., beginning this Saturday. The official grand opening with lunch and dinner service daily will be Monday, March 26th, with regular business hours beginning at 11a.m. Get familiar with them here.
  • Saw a tweet earlier this week from the Glenwood South Neighborhood Collaborative that NY Bagel Cafe & Deli opened yesterday (Thursday, but please call before going to be sure) at 301 Glenwood Ave. It is located in the same building as Plates and Sushi Blues. Apparently they have locations all over the country, with two more planned for the Triangle market. Get familiar with the concept here.
  • While they have been open for a while now, the folks over at Chronic Tacos will hold their grand opening on Saturday, March 24th at their Raleigh location at 9424 Falls of the Neuse Road (same shopping center as Sprouts Farmers Market). The event will include a special appearance by TV personality Wee Man, live music, a taco eating contest and the opportunity for the first fifty attendees to win free tacos for a year. Check them out here.
  • Down in Zebulon, got word from reader Jeanette Hauser that Southland Steakhouse opened last week at 1007 Shepard School Rd. Menu looks like you would expect at a steakhouse – prime rib, steaks, entrees, sandwiches, salads and soups. Get familiar with them on Facebook here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Beer drinking has gone to the dogs over in Durham. Literally. This week saw the opening of Barley Labs, the first dog-focused bar in Durham where people can bring their furry best friends to sit, stay and sip. The new shop features a bar serving craft beer, indoor and outdoor seating, bottled beer and growler fills for off-site consumption, and retail shelves filled with gifts for dog and beer lovers. Sniff around their website here.
  • Reader Corina May notified us that a new Korean BBQ joint called Itaewon Grill is opening next Monday, March 19th on Erwin Road in the former Hungry Leaf spot. Congratulations to owner Jay Park. Visit them online here.
  • Also learned this week that a little bakery called Crumbs is “coming soon” to the Bull City featuring made from scratch vegan pastries and desserts. Currently they are offered at various events in the area. Stay tuned as we learn more, but check them out on Facebook here.
  • Durham’s Northgate Mall announced this week the opening of Vegan Flava Café, a 100% hand-crafted vegan hand-crafted comfort food café. It is owned by and operated by husband and wife team Yah-I Tow and Maat Amen Bruton who re-located the café to the Shops at Northgate (1720 Guess Road) from their former South Square Durham location. Check them out here.
  • Northgate Mall also announced that Simon and Lingere Camara have opened a second location of Carolina BBQ & Chicken (also in Creedmoor) in the food court. The menu includes signature baked, barbequed, and fried chicken and barbequed pulled pork. Get familiar with them here.
  • And in Chapel Hill, the lovely and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard noticed this week that a concept called Meet Fresh, featuring Taiwanese desserts and teas, is coming into the former Five Guys location in Meadowmont. This is the first east coast location for the international franchise. No word on an open date, but I’ll ask Mrs. Lennard to keep an eye on it. In the meantime, check them out here.

 

Closings

  • Got word from reader Will Cannon that the Cary location of Little Caesar’s at 203 E Chatham St (corner of E. Chatham and N. Walker) has closed. No word yet on what might go into that space.
  • Got word from readers Kevin Carpenter and Craig Rothwell and confirmed by WRAL that after four years in business, German Grille in Cary will close its doors this weekend.

Food Trucks

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

Events

  • This Saturday, March 17th is the date for the second annual Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Growing School Gardens program (better known as the Sean is Faster Than Gordon race). Put it this way, if I can do it, you can do it! Come on out and support a great cause. Register and get all the details here.
  • The Indy brought it to our attention that the Bull City Vegan Challenge will return to Durham for the fifth time in April (kicks off April 1), with chefs at ten downtown meat-centric restaurants creating specialty plant-based dishes that their menus will carry throughout the month, culminating in a competition decided by diners’ votes. This year’s participants, all full-service restaurants, are: Dos Perros, Parizade, Pompieri, M Kokko, Juju, Guglhupf, Counting House, Jack Tar Diner, Unscripted, and Grub. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  •  Tickets have gone on sale for Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. All ticket sale proceeds will be donated to North Carolina nonprofits that address issues related to food insecurity. Attendees will help determine which nonprofits receive funding from ticket sales. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Go ahead and mark your calendars and get your tickets for the Food Bank’s Chef’s Feast at Fearrington Village coming up on March 22. Four renowned chefs will prepare, and serve favorite recipes through four courses in an intimate environment. Guests will enjoy beverage pairings, an opportunity to bid on unique auction items, and learn more about what the Food Bank and its partner agencies are doing in the community for those facing food insecurity. Get more information and tickets here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – March 9, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Congratulations to Ranbir Bakshi and his family as they announced this week that they will open their sixth location of Alpaca Peruvian Chicken in Brier Creek Commons by the middle of next month. They will take over the space formerly occupied by Positalia Italian Eatery. Check out Alpaca here.
  • WRAL reported this week that CO, offering a modern take on traditional Southeast Asian cuisine, is moving into the AC Hotel at North Hills later this month. The restaurant also has locations in Charleston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Savannah and Myrtle Beach. CO will be at 101 Park at North Hills Street on the ground level of the AC Hotel. Get familiar with them here.
  • WRAL reported last week that the Lynwood Brewing Concern brewery production brewery at 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Road will add a small restaurant in the building across the lot called Wilson by late summer or early fall where they will be serving up flatbread pizzas, sandwiches and more. Keep up with them here.
  • Penn Station East Coast Subs, the fast-casual restaurant known for its grilled, made-to-order sub sandwiches, opened their sixth Triangle-area location this past Wednesday at 3001 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. Owner Jeff Martyn plans to open two additional restaurants in the Raleigh area over the next year. Check out Penn Station here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The brother and sister team of Susan and Eddie Tu are bringing their Raleigh concept Spring Rolls to Durham’s Chesterfield building by early August. They currently have two locations in Raleigh and this will be their first concept in Durham. Their “Chinese fusion” features a variety of culinary traditions including ramen, homemade pork belly, pho (soup) and sushi. Get familiar with Spring Rolls here.
  • Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson posted on Twitter this week a picture of a new concept coming to the former Dame’s Chicken and Waffles location at 317 W. Main Street. Called Thai @ Main Street, it notes that it is Thai cuisine with a twist. But at this point, not much else is known. Stay tuned.
  • Also in Durham, Amber Watson also pointed out that the recently reopened Glass Jug Beer Lab (they just moved a few doors down) will begin their Food Truck Fridays TODAY (March 9). Part of the reason they moved was for more outdoor space (Brewery & Beer Garden) and the opportunity to host food trucks. Get all the details here on their Facebook events page.
  • Down in Chatham County, got word from the Chatham County Visitors Bureau that Circle City Grill has opened at 517 West Street in Pittsboro. Serving up hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue and fish tacos, they are open for lunch and dinner six days a week (closed on Mondays). Check them out here.
  • And here is something really cool. Carrboro’s Glasshalfull, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and bar, started donating 10% of sales each Tuesday to the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2017, they donated $17,854. They are now adding Wednesday and will rotate donations to 5 different organizations in the community. With all the craziness in our world, it is great to see things like this. Kudos to Glasshalfull. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • Reader Spencer Brown notified us that Positalia Italian Eatery in Brier Creek closed at the end of February. He did note, however, they still have a location in Wilmington.
  • Wes Mays notified us that the Tijuana Flats in Cary’s Bradford Shops (corner of Davis and High House) has closed. They still have two other Cary locations.

Food Trucks

  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo will be held on Sunday, April 8th from 12-4 at the Over the Falls shopping center located at 405 S. Brooks St. If you can’t make that, future rodeo dates are June 24th and October 28th. Check in with them on Facebook here.
  • The dates have been set (first one is THIS Sunday, March 11) for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • Saturday, March 10th will be the date of the White Street BBQ Experience brought to us by the folks over at White Street Brewing Company. At the heart of the all day (11-5) street festival will be a BBQ contest featuring 20 teams competing for the coveted People’s Choice award. In addition to tasting a sampling of several styles, varieties and flavors of barbecue, festivalgoers will experience hands-on demonstrations, equipment showcases, recipe formulations, technique discussions and unmatched interaction with the cooks. And of course music and beer. Get all the details and/or enter your team here.
  • March 17th is the date for the second annual Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Growing School Gardens program (better known as the Sean is Faster Than Gordon race). Put it this way, if I can do it, you can do it! Come on out and support a great cause. Register and get all the details here.
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  •  Tickets have gone on sale for Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. All ticket sale proceeds will be donated to North Carolina nonprofits that address issues related to food insecurity. Attendees will help determine which nonprofits receive funding from ticket sales. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Tickets will go on sale in February. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Go ahead and mark your calendars and get your tickets for the Food Bank’s Chef’s Feast at Fearrington Village coming up on March 22. Four renowned chefs will prepare, and serve favorite recipes through four courses in an intimate environment. Guests will enjoy beverage pairings, an opportunity to bid on unique auction items, and learn more about what the Food Bank and its partner agencies are doing in the community for those facing food insecurity. Get more information and tickets here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – March 2, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Got word from Lisa Jeffries that the extremely popular Rebus Works Saturday Market is turning their market space into a local “convenience” store and coffee shop that will be open Monday through Friday, from 7-10 a.m. The store will be serving up coffees, baked goods, and North Carolina sourced breakfasts. Like The Saturday Market, you will be able to purchase local goods such as cheeses, breads, produce, milk, and body products, all sourced from local farms and artisans. Stay tuned as they are looking to open sometime in March. Might be best to keep up with them on their Facebook page to get the latest.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saigon Grill & Bar, which closed and reopened with a totally new authentic Vietnamese menu, will have a grand reopening on March 6. The new menu features items like Banh xeo, pho, varieties of summer rolls and much more!! The new menu will be posted here soon.
  • The latest Moe’s Southwest Grill opened yesterday in North Raleigh’s Falls Pointe Village shopping center. According to my count, this is the 16th location in the Triangle. Check out Moe’s here.
  • In Cary, reader Cat Link let us know that a European grocery and deli called Golden Hex just opened at 1246 NW Maynard Road. Specializing in Russian/Ukranian food, brothers Erik and Arthur Shwarts started this concept in California, but relocated to North Carolina, bringing the business with them. Check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, reader Jackie Rodgers noticed a sign in Cary’s Crossroads Plaza next to Men’s Warehouse for a location of The Juicy Crab. It is a concept out of Duluth, Georgia and features seafood with a New Orleans inspiration. No word on an open date. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Apex, reader Scott Eaton notified us that a concept called Bawarchi Grill & Spirits has opened in the former Rookies in Apex (and before that, Rudino’s) space at 800 W. Williams Street. Indian cuisine and booze…sounds like my kinda place! Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City brought it to our attention that Durham’s Ninth Street is getting a unique concept – Snow Factory, serving up Thai pan-fry ice cream rolls. It is ‘cooked’ on a Hibachi table kept at 10 degrees below zero and the ice cream is then mixed with fresh fruit and other ingredients and then chopped and stirred until it is crystallized. Some 20 flavors to choose from and even more toppings! No word yet on an open date. Check them out here.
  • Also in Durham, got word from William Faircloth that Kickback Jack’s has opened in the old Tripp’s building by Northgate Mall at 918 West Club Boulevard. This is the concept’s 14th location, number 11 in North Carolina, with one of those being a location in Raleigh. In addition to food and beer, this location taps out at just over 50 televisions! Check out Kickback Jack’s here.
  • In Carrboro, friend Neal DePersia notified me that Carrboro Pizza Oven in Carr Mill Mall was sold by National Restaurant Properties to Jeff Mauldin who has taken over the reigns from Craig Samuels who started the business 5 years ago. Mauldin has over 25 years of experience in the food service business, operating and managing multiple concepts for both regional and national chains. Check them out here.
  • And over in Chapel Hill, Fusion Fish, which has been operating in a “soft-opening” mode since Valentine’s Day, will have their grand opening this weekend. Can’t tell exactly what that means, other than there will be sake and wine! Check out their Facebook page for any details. They are located in Meadowmont in the former One space.

 

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, tweeted that there is a new “pizza” concept truck coming to the Triangle. Called Kono Pizza – pizza served in the shape of a cone (think ice cream cone). Someone has been reading my diary again! Get familiar with the concept here.
  • The dates have been set (at least initial dates) for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. The first one up is the one in Durham on March 11. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • Saturday, March 10th will be the date of the White Street BBQ Experience brought to us by the folks over at White Street Brewing Company. At the heart of the all day (11-5) street festival will be a BBQ contest featuring 20 teams competing for the coveted People’s Choice award. In addition to tasting a sampling of several styles, varieties and flavors of barbecue, festivalgoers will experience hands-on demonstrations, equipment showcases, recipe formulations, technique discussions and unmatched interaction with the cooks. And of course music and beer. Get all the details and/or enter your team here.
  • March 17th is the date for the second annual Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Growing School Gardens program (better known as the Sean is Faster Than Gordon race). Put it this way, if I can do it, you can do it! Come on out and support a great cause. Register and get all the details here.
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  •  Tickets have gone on sale for Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. All ticket sale proceeds will be donated to North Carolina nonprofits that address issues related to food insecurity. Attendees will help determine which nonprofits receive funding from ticket sales. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Tickets will go on sale in February. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Go ahead and mark your calendars and get your tickets for the Food Bank’s Chef’s Feast at Fearrington Village coming up on March 22. Four renowned chefs will prepare, and serve favorite recipes through four courses in an intimate environment. Guests will enjoy beverage pairings, an opportunity to bid on unique auction items, and learn more about what the Food Bank and its partner agencies are doing in the community for those facing food insecurity. Get more information and tickets here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 23, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The excitement level reaches a feverish pitch in the Triangle come March – especially in Chapel Hill, home of the reigning men’s basketball national champions. But the excitement this March may not just be just about basketball, but about the addition of the second location of Heavenly Buffaloes in the former home of Sandwich on Franklin Street. According to the News & Observer they have set a target open date which coincides with the ACC Tournament (March 6-11). The Chapel Hill location will be much larger than the original Durham “shack” and will be more of a traditional restaurant, including a dining room with seating for 73. Let’s keep our fingers crossed it all goes as planned. Get familiar with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Yesterday, February 22nd, Osteria G opened at 5160 Sunset Lake Road in Apex in the former Little Hen spot. Check out the menu and other details on their website here.
  • Got word from Lisa Jeffries that Saigon Grill & Bar on Glenwood South will close after dinner service on Saturday night and will re-open on Thursday, March 1st with a totally new authentic Vietnamese menu. More details next week. In the meantime, check out Saigon here.
  • In Raleigh’s Brier Creek, Your Pie, a fast casual pizza concept, opens today at 4233 Corners Pkwy. This will be the brand’s second Triangle-area store owned by father-son duo John and Jack Fladeland. The other location is in Cary. The brick-oven pizzeria offers a customizable, down-the-line experience and has more than 50 stores nationwide. Check them out here.
  • Over in Morrisville, reader Ami Patel informed us that Singas Pizza is coming to Lower Shiloh Way near the WalMart. Straight out of New York, the concept operates 15 locations in the tri-state area. No word yet on an open date. Get familiar with them here.
  • In Cary, reader Scott Eaton notified us that Mazaa Indo-pak Halal Cuisine has closed and will be replaced by Everest Nepali Kitchen. It is located in the Harrison Pointe shopping center near the intersection of Harrison Avenue and NW Maynard Road. No word yet on an open date.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Friend Tina Coynesmith brought it to my attention that after 37 years, Filippo and Sylvia Tornetta of Sal’s Pizza in Chapel Hill are retiring. This Monday, February 26th will be their last day. The good news is they have sold the restaurant to a long-time employee who will keep things, for the most part, as they are. We do know, however, that they will move across the breezeway at 2811 Homestead Road into the former coffee shop space. Our very best to Filippo and Sylvia! Keep up with Sal’s here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, reader Cassie Spracklen notified us that popular Greensboro burger maker Hops Burger Bar is bringing its gourmet burgers to 140 West Franklin Street in the former Lime Fresh Mexican Grill space. According to employees in Greensboro, they are scheduled to open the first of March. Those not familiar with Hops, based out of Greensboro, should note that Trip Advisor named them the best burger spot in the nation in 2015! Stay tuned to their opening on their website here.
  • Over in Durham, Blaze Pizza opened their fourth Triangle location yesterday (February 22) at 5320 McFarland Drive, just out in front of Home Depot near the intersection of 15-501 and Interstate 40. They also have locations in Morrisville, Garner and Holly Springs. If you follow them on any of their social media platforms, you can enjoy free pizza today (February 23) from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Check out Blaze here.
  • Also in Durham, Amber Watson at Bites of Bull City informed me that craft beer store and neighborhood bar, The Glass Jug, has reopened in their new space at 5410 Hwy 55. The move was just a few doors down within the Greenwood Commons shopping center, but now gives them an on-site microbrewery and beer garden in the back which allows for outdoor seating and regular food truck visits! Congrats to Katy and Chris Creech. Check them out here.
  • And one last Durham note, fast-casual restaurant concept, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, opened its second Durham location yesterday (Feb. 22) at 3812 N Roxboro Street near Duke Regional Hospital. The opening joins Freddy’s first Durham location at Patterson Place. Check out Freddy’s here.

 

Closings

  • Reader Scott Eaton notified us that Bruegger’s Bagels on Route 401 in Garner has closed.

Food Trucks

  • The dates have been set (at least initial dates) for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. The first one up is the one in Durham on March 11. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  • Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop will host the 6th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, February 25. The event features 30 restaurants paired with 30 breweries spread throughout all three DPAC floors featuring unlimited samplings and the Harris On Stage Experience showcasing local food trucks with the help of County Fare, a daily food truck rodeo opening soon. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • March 17th is the date for the second annual Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Growing School Gardens program (better known as the Sean is Faster Than Gordon race). Put it this way, if I can do it, you can do it! Come on out and support a great cause. Register and get all the details here.
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  • And looking ahead a bit, it was announced this week that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will host a culinary event called Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Tickets will go on sale in February. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Go ahead and mark your calendars and get your tickets for the Food Bank’s Chef’s Feast at Fearrington Village coming up on March 22. Four renowned chefs will prepare, and serve favorite recipes through four courses in an intimate environment. Guests will enjoy beverage pairings, an opportunity to bid on unique auction items, and learn more about what the Food Bank and its partner agencies are doing in the community for those facing food insecurity. Get more information and tickets here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 16, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, brought some Durham news my way with the announcement that Boxcar Bar + Arcade is on track to open a third location in downtown Durham in late spring of 2018. With the addition of a wood fired pizza kitchen, this will be their first location to include food as part of their bar and arcade concept. In addition to the kitchen, the Durham location, at over ten-thousand square feet, will be home to over 80 arcade games, a full bar, an extensive craft American draft menu, a covered patio and some unique features, such as a possible outdoor fire pit. Located at 619 Foster Street, this location overlooks the historic Durham Athletic Park, directly across from Geer Street Pub and around the corner from Durham’s famous Motorco Music Hall. Keep up with this as it develops on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Tonbo Ramen, brought to us by the owners of Kanki, recently opened in the Moore Square District at 211 S. Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh. They are serving up quintessential Japanese ramen dishes, such as Tonkotsu, Shio and Shoyu. Also they have an upstairs Izakaya bar, their version of a Japanese speakeasy, where you can enjoy craft cocktails and small plates, offering the unique flavors of Japan. Thanks to Pirya Matai for the tip. Check them out here.
  • With our need to keep Mendy Iler entertained, we feel it is necessary to inform everyone that a sign has now been added to the outside of the soon-to-be Wahlburger’s on downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street. Still no word on when the brothers and their burgers will actually arrive. Stay tuned. Thanks to Russ O’Melia for letting us know about the sign. Dial into their Facebook page for any further updates.
  • And a quick update on a new Italian restaurant called Osteria G opening very soon at 5160 Sunset Lake Road in Apex in the former Little Hen spot. At the time of this posting, they are still not open (but that could change at any moment). Check their website, Facebook and Instagram before venturing out. Check out the menu and other details on their website here.
  • Over in Cary, friend Hugh Autry notified me that a new Firehouse Subs is going in near Panera Bread at the Centrum at Crossroads shopping center where it will replace the Qdoba. No word yet on an open date. Check out Firehouse here.
  • And the semi-finalists were announced this week for the annual James Beard Foundation awards. Congrats to all those that made it to the next round. I’ll keep saying it — we are truly blessed in this market with amazing culinary talent. Check out the impressive list here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • We are excited to announce that Fusion Fish, the global Asian fusion restaurant featuring sushi, spirits and cocktails in the former One spot in Chapel Hill’s Meadowmont, is now open in the evening for their soft opening. Their “official” opening will be on March 1. Be sure to call before heading over during this “soft opening” period. You can find them on Facebook here.
  • Next Monday, February 19th, a new fast-casual restaurant called Sushioki (“Oki” means big in Japanese) will open at 4900 Highway 55 (near the intersection with Highway 54, next to Brigs restaurant). The concept features large, burrito-sized sushi rolls, both traditional (raw tuna, raw salmon, tempura shrimp) and non-traditional (double fried chicken, southern pork BBQ, Korean bulgogi, and veggie). Check them out here.
  • Congratulations to the folks over at Carrboro’s ACME Food & Beverage Company as they celebrate their 20-year anniversary. And they are holding a party (like it’s 1998 – sorry Prince) tomorrow, Saturday, February 17th from 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. They will have a heated tent behind the restaurant and will have dancing, snacks, drinks and (of course) a damn good time. Admission is a $20 donation to Be Loud! Sophie, which supports adolescent and young adult cancer patients at UNC Hospitals. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • In downtown Durham, the owners of the popular restaurant Old Havana are in the process of transitioning into a new concept, Copa (a farm to table tapas and cocktails of old Cuba), in the old Revolution. They are looking to open the new venture in March. However, to complete that dream, they are asking for community support to make renovations/furnishings possible. If you are inclined to help, click here.

Closings

  • WRAL reported that after more than six years in business, Calavera Empanadas and Tequilla ill be closing in downtown Raleigh. Their last day will be February 24. That’s the bad news. The good news is they also own Oak City Meatball Shoppe and the soon-to-open Kaiju Bowl and Bao.

Food Trucks

  • Got word from Britt DelPizzo that there is a new truck coming to the Triangle that will especially excite those transplants from western New York. Buffolina will serve up wings, chicken fingers, dogs, legendary beef on weck, pizza logs and of course, canned “pop” – among others. See their full menu and keep up with them on Twitter here.
  • And dates have been set (at least initial dates) for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  •  Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop will host the 6th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, February 25. The event features 30 restaurants paired with 30 breweries spread throughout all three DPAC floors featuring unlimited samplings and the Harris On Stage Experience showcasing local food trucks with the help of County Fare, a daily food truck rodeo opening soon. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • March 17th is the date for the second annual Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Growing School Gardens program (better known as the Sean is Faster Than Gordon race). Put it this way, if I can do it, you can do it! Come on out and support a great cause. Register and get all the details here.
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  • And looking ahead a bit, it was announced this week that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will host a culinary event called Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Tickets will go on sale in February. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Go ahead and mark your calendars and get your tickets for the Food Bank’s Chef’s Feast at Fearrington Village coming up on March 22. Four renowned chefs will prepare, and serve favorite recipes through four courses in an intimate environment. Guests will enjoy beverage pairings, an opportunity to bid on unique auction items, and learn more about what the Food Bank and its partner agencies are doing in the community for those facing food insecurity. Get more information and tickets here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 9, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  It was announced this week that Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is providing 20 fresh, healthy meals per day for 365 days to those in need via A Place at the Table in Raleigh. So cool! A Place at the Table, located at 300 West Hargett Street, invites customers to pay what they can for a fresh, healthy meal while experiencing community and conversation in the café. On May 10th & 11th Blue Cross NC will present Thrive NC, a two-day event featuring an immersive culinary experience with contributions from top chefs and restaurants. Tickets for that event go on sale at the end of February. Get more information on A Place at the Table here and on Thrive NC here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh, the folks over at St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar announced recently that they have begun brunch service on Saturday and Sunday, open 10 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on those days. This is in addition to their evening dining hours. They also noted that their oyster bar stays open all day on the weekend! Check out their full menu and get all their details here.
  • The ITB Insider reported this week that Poke Bar, a California-based franchise offering its own spin on the traditional Hawaiian dish poke, opened its first North Carolina location last week at 2604 Hillsborough Street. Get familiar with them here.
  • Speaking of North Hills, a quick update thanks to the folks over at the ITB Insider – work has begun on the Bartaco that will open next to Mura. The initial information from North Hills listed a summer 2018 opening. Stay tuned. Check out Bartaco here.
  • In Cary, reader Christine Johnson notified us that she spotted a coming soon sign for the next location of Zoes Kitchen. It will be in Cary’s Crossroads shopping center in the former Tasu outparcel at 2007 Walnut Street. No word yet on an open date. Visit Zoes here.
  • And speaking of Cary, if you are over that way, Postmaster is holding their Grand Opening today (February 9) with specials on cocktails, wine and beer along with some special items the chefs will be preparing. Visit them here.
  • Also in Apex, I’m not really sure what happened here, but what I do know is that the Blistered Pig is now Cantina 2 Twenty Five (of course, located at 225 Salem Street). They serve up Mexican cuisine, featuring unique tacos, tequila and mezcal. Get to know them here. Thanks to David Amann for letting us know about the change.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The folks over at Taste Carolina notified me that there is a new North Indian restaurant called Naan Stop over on Erwin Road next to Black Twig, and their website (get this) is Naan Stop Duke. Love all these clever names.
  • Also in Durham, a huge shoutout and congratulations to the folks over at Toast on celebrating their 10-year anniversary! Check them out here.
  • Congratulations also to the folks over at Carrboro’s ACME Food & Beverage Company as they celebrate their 20-year anniversary. And they are holding a party (like it’s 1998 – sorry Prince) on Saturday, February 17th from 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. They will have a heated tent behind the restaurant and will have dancing, snacks, drinks and (of course) a damn good time. Admission is a $20 donation to Be Loud! Sophie, which supports adolescent and young adult cancer patients at UNC Hospitals. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, we have now confirmed that the Korean restaurant MinGa is moving from its current location into the former Captain Poncho space on Franklin Street, near the intersection with Estes Drive. Look for them to open the new space in March. Check them out here. Thanks to Matthew, the Burgeoning Baker, for the tip.
  • In downtown Durham, the owners of the popular restaurant Old Havana are in the process of transitioning into a new concept, Copa (a farm to table tapas and cocktails of old Cuba), in the old Revolution. They are looking to open the new venture in March. However, to complete that dream, they are asking for community support to make renovations/furnishings possible. If you are inclined to help, click here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • Art Sheppard, the Wandering Sheppard, tipped me off to the fact that there is another new truck roaming the streets of the Triangle – and you are going to love the name, and the food. It is Pork in the Road, and you guessed it, serving up everything pork (with a few options for our vegetarian friends). Check them out here.
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  •  Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop will host the 6th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, February 25. The event features 30 restaurants paired with 30 breweries spread throughout all three DPAC floors featuring unlimited samplings and the Harris On Stage Experience showcasing local food trucks with the help of County Fare, a daily food truck rodeo opening soon. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • March 17th is the date for the second annual Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Growing School Gardens program (better known as the Sean is Faster Than Gordon race). Put it this way, if I can do it, you can do it! Come on out and support a great cause. Register and get all the details here.
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  • And looking ahead a bit, it was announced this week that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will host a culinary event called Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Tickets will go on sale in February. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Go ahead and mark your calendars and get your tickets for the Food Bank’s Chef’s Feast at Fearrington Village coming up on March 22. Four renowned chefs will prepare, and serve favorite recipes through four courses in an intimate environment. Guests will enjoy beverage pairings, an opportunity to bid on unique auction items, and learn more about what the Food Bank and its partner agencies are doing in the community for those facing food insecurity. Get more information and tickets here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – February 2, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported last week that chef Mike Lee, who operates M Sushi and M Kokko, has plans for 5 more restaurants. Next up, M Kogi and M Taco which he hopes to open in the 4th quarter of this year. Lee likes the model of his restaurants opening adjacent to each other and sharing a kitchen. Once Kogi and Taco are up and running, Lee will shift to his next projects: one built around Buddhist cuisine and offering a vegan menu and another that’s essentially a permanent pop-up spot, with the menu and chef changing often, but the space staying the same. And finally, Lee ultimately plans to launch a non-profit fast-casual concept. This is going to be fun to watch (and enjoy!). Check our M Sushi here and M Kokko here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh it was announced this week that O-Ku Sushi, an Asian restaurant with locations in Charleston, Atlanta and Charlotte, will open at The Dillon this summer. They were named “Top 20 Best New Restaurant” by Esquire in 2010 and “Best Sushi Restaurant in the U.S.” by Travel + Leisure in 2013. Go ahead and get familiar with them here.
  • Last week the folks over at Zen Fish on Durham’s Ninth Street announced that they had officially started construction on their second location – this one in the Weston Corners Plaza on Chapel Hill Road in Cary/Morrisville (next to Guasaca and Famous Toastery. Check them out here. Thanks to Jenny Bengen Albert for the tip.
  • Up in North Raleigh John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, brought it to our attention that Kwench Juice Bar is opening soon in the Falls Point shopping center. They will be serving up Acai bowls, salads, juices and smoothies. Check them out here.
  • And I’m happy to report that North Hill’s Vivace Italian restaurant has reopened after taking on extensive damage due to a burst water pipe in early January. Get by and welcome them back! Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • This is going to be big! Monday, February 19th will be the grand opening of a new fast-casual restaurant called Sushiōki (“Oki” means big in Japanese) at 4900 Highway 55 (near the intersection with Highway 54, next to Brigs restaurant). The concept features large, burrito-sized sushi rolls, both traditional (raw tuna, raw salmon, tempura shrimp) and non-traditional (double fried chicken, southern pork BBQ, Korean bulgogi, and veggie). Can’t wait to check this place out. Find them here.
  • And this is exciting. A viewer on WRAL shared the news that a ‘coming soon’ sign appeared for Duck Donuts over at Patterson Place in Durham. No word on a timeline, but we will definitely keep an eye on this. Check out Duck Donuts here.
  • Considering my daughter’s name and the fact I love cheesecake, I was excited to learn from Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson that Lily’s Cheesecake Bakery & Cafe held their grand opening this past week. They are located at 5504 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Check them out here.
  • In downtown Durham, the owners of the popular restaurant Old Havana are in the process of transitioning into a new concept, Copa (a farm to table tapas and cocktails of old Cuba), in the old Revolution. They are looking to open the new venture in March. However, to complete that dream, they are asking for community support to make renovations/furnishings possible. If you are inclined to help, click here.
  • Amber Watson at Bites of Bull City tweeted this week that it looks like Khaja’s Curry on 9th Street is open, where Chubby’s used to be at 748 Ninth Street. We could not find an online presence for them. Will have to just go by and check it out!
  • Glen Gillen notified me that the Amante Pizza in the Hope Valley Shopping Center in Durham (3825 S. Roxboro Road) has closed and has been replaced by a Subway. He also pointed out that there is a new outparcel across the street with signage that says “New Tokyo” but it appears to still be under construction.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, things are starting to become a little clearer as to what is happening with the former One space in Meadowmont. It will become Fusion Fish, a global Asian fusion restaurant featuring sushi and spirits and cocktails. They won’t commit to anything more definite than “opening soon” so we will just have to keep peeking in the windows for now. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, we are not certain if this is a move or a second location, but we do know for sure that the Korean restaurant MinGa is moving into the former Captain Poncho  (and before that, Mixed) space on Franklin Street, near the intersection with Estes Drive. Look for them to open the new space in March. Check them out here. Thanks to Matthew, the Burgeoning Baker, for the tip.
  • Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street will get another pizza joint soon. The Pizza Press, a create your own pizza concept, will be located just down from Target in Carolina Square (formerly University Square) at 123 W. Franklin Street. And snooping around their site, it looks like they will also open a location in Raleigh, just don’t know where just yet (guessing Hillsborough Street??). Check them out here.
  • And while on the subject of Carolina Square on Franklin Street, signage went up recently for the next location of B.Good. They already have locations in Morrisville, downtown Raleigh and Raleigh’s North Hills. No word on a timeline for the Chapel Hill location. Check out B.Good here.

Closings

  • And this is a hard one to report, but Indy Week was the first to report that Scratch will be closing their 8-year-old location in downtown Durham to focus on their newest ventures – “Baby Scratch” and the Lakewood on Chapel Hill Street. They will close at the end of this month, so there is still time to get by!
  • Got word from reader Scott Eaton that SiP Bistro in Holly Springs (once featured on Restaurant Impossible)has closed.

Food Trucks

  • For those that live in and/or frequent North Raleigh, you will be happy to know that Mr. Sticky’s Sticky Buns food truck has opened and can be found at 9229 Capital Blvd. next to Pro Tire. Check them out on Facebook here. Congrats to Ed Hall!
  • Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it here.

Events

  •  The 2018 version of the Lucy Daniels Center Cooking for a Classic is coming to a conclusion as chef Matt Hannon of Ironwood Cafe goes up against chef Dean Thompson of Raleigh Renaissance Hotel on February 7th. Tickets are still available. Get a peek at the truck and tickets here.
  • The Cary Rotary Club is hosting its 15th annual Chili Dinner fund-raiser to Stop Hunger on Friday, January 26 at Kirk of Kildare Presbyterian Church (200 High Meadow Drive in Cary) between the hours of 12 and 2 p.m. and 5 and 7 p.m. This year they are working toward providing 94,000+ meals internationally and generating $11,000+ to support local hunger relief efforts. Each $8 ticket purchased will send ~19 meals internationally and $2.40 to relieve hunger in our own neighborhoods.  International meals are typically served in schools. Doing so encourages attendance and supports education/literacy. Delicious meals prepared by Whole Foods Market will be served at lunch and dinner. Get details on their Facebook event page here.
  • Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop will host the 6th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, February 25. The event features 30 restaurants paired with 30 breweries spread throughout all three DPAC floors featuring unlimited samplings and the Harris On Stage Experience showcasing local food trucks with the help of County Fare, a daily food truck rodeo opening soon. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • March 17th is the date for the second annual Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Growing School Gardens program (better known as the Sean is Faster Than Gordon race). Put it this way, if I can do it, you can do it! Come on out and support a great cause. Register and get all the details here.
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  • And looking ahead a bit, it was announced this week that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will host a culinary event called Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Tickets will go on sale in February. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Go ahead and mark your calendars and get your tickets for the Food Bank’s Chef’s Feast at Fearrington Village coming up on March 22. Four renowned chefs will prepare, and serve favorite recipes through four courses in an intimate environment. Guests will enjoy beverage pairings, an opportunity to bid on unique auction items, and learn more about what the Food Bank and its partner agencies are doing in the community for those facing food insecurity. Get more information and tickets here.

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