Category Archives: Uncategorized

Our hearts are broken…

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

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

We will put out Friday Fun Food Facts on Monday.

Here is the link to the GoFundMe page.

Friday Fun Food Facts – April 5, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

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

Closings

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

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 29, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

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

Wake County Restaurant News

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

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

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

Closings

  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

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

Events

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

Food Bank Corner

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

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 22, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer broke the news yesterday that a “freaking fired up” Scott Howell has made the fantastic decision to reopen his legendary Nana’s restaurant in Durham on University Drive, which he had closed last summer after a 26-year run. The reopened Nana’s will have a slightly pared down dining room, around 60 seats, and a smaller, more seasonally focused menu based on what happens to be available. In addition to Nana’s, Howell’s other projects include the popular fast casual Nanataco, Bar Virgile and DPAC-adjacent Nana Steak. No word on an exact reopening date, so stay tuned. Visit Nana’s here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word that that Budacai Boba Bar, in the former Provenance space at 120 E. Martin Street, is now in their soft opening mode. The sign in the window indicates that this is North Carolina’s first Boba Bar. Get to know them through their Facebook page here.
  • Over in the Brier Creek area, got word from from reader Jennifer Buchholz that the Mellow Mushroom is targeting March 25 for their opening. It is located at 9600 Brier Creek Parkway. Follow their social media to confirm their opening. Visit them on their website here and on Facebook here.
  • Also on March 25th, we got word from their Twitter feed, that the Cameron Village location of CAVA will have a “Community Day” in their newest location at 403 Daniels Street. They will be open from 10:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. and again from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday with complimentary meals and all donations going to Sow Much Good. Their official first day will follow on Tuesday, March 26th. Check them out here.
  • Rebecca Calhoun shared the news that Firenza Pizza In in the McNeill Point development at the corner of McNeill Street and Wake Forest Road (next to Mami Nora’s) is now open. This is the second location in the state (Charlotte has one) and the first in the Triangle. Get to know them here.
  • Also in Raleigh, reader Dane Christensen noted that the Brennan Station location (8107 Creedmoor Road) of Five Guys is currently closed for renovation. No word on the timeline of completion. In the meantime, visit the other 7 Triangle area locations. Visit Five Guys here.
  • And we got word this week that Showmars, a “part Greek, part Southern, all Carolina”, fast-casual concept will open a second Triangle-area location this summer in Raleigh’s Brier Creek at 4203 Corners Parkway. The original Triangle location is in Wake Forest. Look for them to break ground at the end of this month, with a summer target open date. Visit Showmars here.
  • Down in the “Quay” David McCreary gave me a quick update that the Pizza Hut at 1301 N. Main St. in Fuquay-Varina has closed its doors, and a Pizza Hut Express has opened at 1009 E. Broad St. Unit E01B in the Walmart Shopping Center. Pizza Hut Express offers carryout and delivery but not dine-in.
  • And over in Clayton, reader John Tipton noticed the construction of a Culver’s at 11959 US Hwy. 70 Business. No word on a timeline, but will be the 4th North Carolina location, and the second in the Triangle (one in Wake Forest). Get familiar with Culver’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Saw a tweet from Miss Penny Loafer that There’s a “Coming Soon” sign for GG Taste of Chicago Fish & Chicken at the Woodcroft Shopping Center in the old Chubby’s Tacos location (Chubby’s moved to a larger space in the same shopping center). There is currently a GG location at on Fayetteville Street, so not sure yet if this will be a second location, or a move. Stay tuned. Visit them here.
  • Thanks to the keen eyes of Austin and Claire Moss, we learned that both of Ricky Moore’s Saltbox Seafood Joint locations have extended their hours into the evening. The Old Five Points (Mangum St) location hours are now 11am to 6pm Tuesday – Saturday; and the Rockwood (Durham Chapel Hill Blvd) location hours are now 11am to 8pm Tuesday – Saturday. See you for dinner!?! Visit them here.

Closings

  • Saw on their Facebook feed that Big Bundts & More Bakery in Durham at 721 Broad Street has made the decision to permanently close. They will have a closing sale this Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon.
  • And in Chapel Hill, got word from reader Katherine Hasard Vinson that the Cuban Revolution Express location on Franklin Street has closed. The Durham location remains open.

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24 (THIS SUNDAY!), June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.

Events

  • On Sunday, March 24th Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop present the 7th annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience where 30 of Durham’s finest restaurants are paired with 30 refreshing beers. Unlimited food and beer samplings will be spread throughout all three DPAC floors, plus the On Stage Experience will showcase local food and live music on the DPAC stage. This event is a fundraising event to benefit the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. Get all the details here.
  • Also on Sunday, March 24, Postal Fish Company, Sanctuary Vineyards, and Vino Wine Shop are joining forces to bring you a truly local seafood and wine dinner, Sanctuary Vineyards Wine Dinner, that will change your mind about North Carolina wines. Tickets are $65. All the details and ticket information can be found on their Facebook event page here.
  • Recently Brewgaloo was nominated as one of the top beer festivals in the country! That’s right, in the country! Right now we sit atop the leaderboard, but we need your vote to stay there. Please click through here and keep us there! Thanks to Jennifer Martin for bringing this to my attention.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Tickets are on sale now for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details here. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

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

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 15, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • In the heart of downtown Raleigh at Moore Square park, the folks over at ITB Insider shared that the $12 million renovation of the park is nearing completion and  is set to reopen late this summer, following nearly two years of construction. The bulk of the remaining work is now focusing on the cafe, the trellis, and the play and fountain areas of the project. Empire Eats, the group behind The Pit (Raleigh & Durham), Raleigh Times, Morning Times, Gravy, Sitti,  and The Mecca, will be leasing the cafe on the property. No word yet on what kind of fare they will be bringing to the park. Will we watching this one closely. Visit Empire Eats here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word from the folks over at NC Triangle Dining that the upcoming Calavera Empanadas and Tequila restaurant will not be opening in the former Tasty 8’s hot dog restaurant space on Fayetteville Street, but will instead take over the old Moonlight Pizza location on Morgan Street, according to owner Ken Yowell. Visit Calavera on Facebook here.
  • And speaking of Ken Yowell, not sure if we officially shared this, but his Acorn at Oak City is now open next to his Oak City Meatball Shoppe on East Davie Street. It replaced Kaiju, a ramen and bao bar, which he closed Feb. 8. They serve breakfast and brunch daily and then switch to small plates accompanied by wine and spirits  in the evenings. Thanks to Drew Jackson and the News & Observer for the update. Visit them on Instagram here.
  • Got word from Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties that he sold the Five Bro’s Pizza (former Toppers Pizza) off Wake Forest Rd on Ronald Dr. (just behind Hooters) to John Molite who plans on opening up his second Triangle location of Manhattan Pizza in the next few weeks. Their original location is  in the former Greek Fiesta spot in the Falls Point shopping center at Durant and Falls of Neuse. Visit Manhattan Pizza here.
  • In Morrisville, got word from reader Joe McGarry a while ago, and just confirmed, that Hickory Tavern is bringing a location to Park West Village in the former BlackFinn Ameripub space. Actual address is 3201 Village Market Place. No word on a timeline. They already have Triangle-area locations in Cary and Carrboro. Check them out here.
  • In Apex got word from Jennifer Willis that the Chick-fil-A at Beaver Creek is closed for renovations. Their Facebook page notes they will be closed through April 15th. So, every day is a Sunday from now until Tax Day for those in Apex. Sorry! Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in the Brier Creek area, got word from from reader Jennifer Buchholz that the Mellow Mushroom is targeting March 25 for their opening. It is located at 9600 Brier Creek Parkway. Follow their social media to confirm their opening. Visit them on their website here and on Facebook here.
  • Well, not exactly Triangle-area restaurant news, but certainly something that impacts anyone in the Triangle that has planned their trips to the coast around a stop at Goldsboro’s Wilber’s Barbecue. Got word from Mike DePersia that the N.C. Dept. of Revenue has shut it down. Will keep an eye on it in the event the situation is rectified.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Durham near the intersection of Mt. Moriah Road and 15/501, the Shiki Sushi Facebook page indicated that they are very close to opening another location of their sister restaurant, Tasu Asian Bistro (was referred to as Tasu Express). They currently have Tasu locations in Raleigh’s Brier Creek and Cary’s Waverly Place. No word on a timeline. Keep up with them here.
  • On a recent visit out to RTP, I noticed a sign for Daily Taco at the corner of Hwy. 54/Chapel Hill Road and Carrington Mill Blvd. That is at the same intersection as Daily Grind Coffeehouse. Hmmm. Not sure if there is a relationship there, but one has to speculate. Stay tuned.
  • A quick update in Chapel Hill. A few weeks ago we shared that a Japan Express was going into the former Pizza Hut location on Estes Drive. Well, reader Davene Mainwaring shared the news that they actually leveled the old Pizza Hut location. Kinda sad, but looking forward to the new development for Japan Express.
  • Over in Carrboro we have solved the “musical chairs” surrounding a couple of restaurants thanks to readers Tom Viemont and Ari Bowers. We now know that Esperanza Empanadas & Tequila has permanently closed. With that closure, One Fish Two Fish Poke has closed their current location BUT will move into and reopen in the Esperanza space. No word on a timeline for the reopening of One Fish Two Fish. Also, no word as of yet what will go into their (now) former space. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page.
  • And down in Chatham County, saw on the Town of Pittsboro Facebook page that Cafe Diem coffee shop (I think it is officially Davenport’s Cafe Diem)  has opened at 439 Hillsboro Street. Filtered brewed coffee, Café au lait, Café & cocoa, Espresso, Cappuccino, Macchiato, Café Latte, Café Mocha, Café Americano and frozen drinks are on the menu. Check their website out here and their Facebook page here.

Closings

  • Gluten-free restaurant Primal Food & Spirits in Durham posted on their Facebook page this past weekend that they were closed effective immediately. Thanks to reader Sammi Van Hoy for alerting us to this.
  • And got word from several readers that the Fiesta Mexicana at the corner of High House and Cary Parkway has closed.
  • And in Chapel Hill, The Daily Tar Heel reported that Roots Bistro & Bar closed last month. They still have their location in Durham.

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.

Events

  • On Sunday, March 24th Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop present the 7th annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience where 30 of Durham’s finest restaurants are paired with 30 refreshing beers. Unlimited food and beer samplings will be spread throughout all three DPAC floors, plus the On Stage Experience will showcase local food and live music on the DPAC stage. This event is a fundraising event to benefit the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. Get all the details here.
  • Also on Sunday, March 24, Postal Fish Company, Sanctuary Vineyards, and Vino Wine Shop are joining forces to bring you a truly local seafood and wine dinner, Sanctuary Vineyards Wine Dinner, that will change your mind about North Carolina wines. Tickets are $65. All the details and ticket information can be found on their Facebook event page here.
  • Recently Brewgaloo was nominated as one of the top beer festivals in the country! That’s right, in the country! Right now we sit atop the leaderboard, but we need your vote to stay there. Please click through here and keep us there! Thanks to Jennifer Martin for bringing this to my attention.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Tickets are on sale now for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details here. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our first Fork + Bottle Dinner of 2019 is Thursday, March 21. Join award-winning chef Thomas Card as he welcomes local favorites The Kast Brothers to Counting House and 21c Museum Hotel Durham. Alex Kast is the director of Chapel Hill Creamery and brother Max Kast of Broadbent Selections, Inc. is the only Master Sommelier in North Carolina. The night will start with a tour of our current exhibition, Portraying Power and Identity: A Global Perspective, followed by cocktail hour and dinner. Chef Card has designed a menu to pair with Chapel Hill Creamery selections and wine will be poured to accompany the meal. Tickets are $75 a person and a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Visit their Facebook event page here for all the details.

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 8, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This could be the best news to come out of RTP ever (if you are a foodie). Boxyard RTP, a 15,000-square-foot cargotecture development (i.e. shipping containers) with space for up to nine food and beverage vendors, will be coming to the Frontier RTP campus (Highway 54 near T.W. Alexander Drive) in 2020. The outdoor venue/food court/retail spaces will feature covered spaces for seating, special events and performances. Check them out here or follow them on Instagram here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saw on Ashton Mae Smith’s Twitter feed that Longleaf Swine BBQ, a very popular BBQ truck around the Triangle, is opening a permanent location in the Transfer Co. Food Hall. The venture brings Adam Cunningham’s Eastern North Carolina background and Marc Russell’s Puerto Rican background blended together in a unique, whole-hog, wood fire experience. Check out their announcement here.
  • Just outside of downtown Raleigh, renovations are nearing completion of the Gateway Plaza shopping center. One of my favorite Raleigh institutions has remained open through the entire renovation – Gateway Restaurant – and will soon be joined by Union Special, a new bakery run by the baker behind the bread at all of chef Ashley Christensen’s restaurants; Brew Coffee, a Raleigh-based coffee shop that has a shop at Seaboard Station; and Mordecai Beverage Co., a small brew pub. Visit Gateway Restaurant on Facebook here.
  • Think you can’t impact the food scene in the Triangle? Check this out. Reader Kristin Stewart shared with me that she is a big fan of Denver-based breakfast spot Snooze, an A.M. eatery. On a recent visit after inquiring about opening a location in the Triangle, she was told they were coming to Charlotte. She expressed her disappointment and encouraged them to consider the Triangle. On her most recent visit to Denver, she was given the news that they had decided to come to the Triangle instead of Charlotte (perhaps they will do that further down the road). How about that! Well done Kristin! Now, get familiar with the concept Kristin is such a big fan of here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, we got word that local owner David Morris opened a location of Firehouse Subs at 11704 Retail Drive, near the intersection of Highway 98 and US 1. Check out Firehouse Subs here.
  • For the folks down in Garner, get ready. WRAL reported this week that there is a “Now Hiring” sign outside the Big Ed’s location in Garner’s Timber Crossings shopping center (231 Timber Drive) where it took over the former Just Cookin’ space. This will be their third location. Visit Big Ed’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Big news out of Durham. Getting word that we are just days away from the opening of the new Durham location of Dame’s Chicken and Waffles. Located in the Liberty Warehouse Apartment building at the corner of Foster Street and W. Corporation Street replaces their former location over on Main Street that closed for the move many, many months ago. This follows on the footsteps of the news last week that Dame’s is also bringing their concept to Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street. The Chapel Hill location will be their fourth location (Greensboro and Cary). Check them out here for any announcements about their opening before trying to go.
  • The other big news out of Durham is we got multiple reports of seeing the sign going up on the building outside the much-anticipated Durham Food Hall also in the Liberty Warehouse building (530 Foster Street) with Dame’s. Get all the details and a list of the vendors here.
  • And got word from the News & Observer that Mattie Beason recently sold his Black Twig Cider House to Denver-based Stem Ciders, and the bar will be renamed The Northern Spy. This sale marks Beason’s exit from the Triangle food scene – last year he sold Mattie B’s Public House and was originally part of the group behind the now shuttered County Fare food truck venue. The new owners plan to reopen this spring with a new menu and more beer options mixed in with cider. The new Northern Spy also will dedicate about half its space to its bottle shop. Get familiar with them here.

Closings

  • Got word from reader Kent Del Castillo that Sawasdee up on Capital Blvd. has closed, ending all locations now in the Triangle.

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.

Events

  •  Cooking for a Classic 2019 Finale is March 11at 1705 East in Raleigh! The chase for the prize (a restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler) is down to the final TWO. Tickets are $125 for the Finale. You can get all the details here and tickets here. The evening features six plated courses. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle. Get all the details here. And tickets here.
  • Tomorrow, March 9th, is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, water and a raffle to win a $1700 Myron Mixon BarQ-1700 Pellet Cooker. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • Toast to the Triangle is this Sunday, March 10 from 6-9pm at the McKimmon Center on NC State’s campus. The event brings together 30 of the Triangle area’s best restaurants and beverage providers competing to be the favorite flavor of the night by providing samples of their fare. In between bites, guests can bid on over 100 silent auction items and packages, purchase a mystery bottle of wine, snap a photo in the green screen photo booth and more! All of the money raised is to support the Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation for the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities. Tickets are $100 each for the event and can be purchased here.
  • On Sunday, March 24, Postal Fish Company, Sanctuary Vineyards, and Vino Wine Shop are joining forces to bring you a truly local seafood and wine dinner, Sanctuary Vineyards Wine Dinner, that will change your mind about North Carolina wines. Tickets are $65. All the details and ticket information can be found on their Facebook event page here.
  • Also this past week, Brewgaloo was nominated as one of the top beer festivals in the country! That’s right, in the country! Right now we sit atop the leaderboard, but we need your vote to stay there. Please click through here and keep us there! Thanks to Jennifer Martin for bringing this to my attention.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Tickets are on sale now for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details here. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our first Fork + Bottle Dinner of 2019 is Thursday, March 21. Join award-winning chef Thomas Card as he welcomes local favorites The Kast Brothers to Counting House and 21c Museum Hotel Durham. Alex Kast is the director of Chapel Hill Creamery and brother Max Kast of Broadbent Selections, Inc. is the only Master Sommelier in the Southeast. The night will start with a tour of our current exhibition, Portraying Power and Identity: A Global Perspective, followed by cocktail hour and dinner. Chef Card has designed a menu to pair with Chapel Hill Creamery selections and wine will be poured to accompany the meal. Tickets are $75 a person and a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Visit their Facebook event page here for all the details.

Friday Fun Food Facts – March 1, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  WRAL reported that Raleigh’s own Ashley Christensen is a semi-finalist for a national James Beard Foundation award, often referred to as “The Oscars of Food.” Christensen, who owns Poole’s, Death and Taxes, Beasley’s, and Chucks, is up for the award for Outstanding Chef in the country. She was a finalist for the honor last year and was awarded the best chef in the southeast in 2014. Durham’s own Sean Lilly Wilson of Fullsteam Brewery is a semi-finalist for outstanding wine, spirits or beer producer in the country. And the best chef in the southeast award semi-finalist list includes: Steven Devereaux Greene of Herons in Cary; Oscar Diaz of The Cortez in Raleigh; and Cheetie Kumar of Garland in Raleigh. The James Beard Award finalists will be announced March 27. The awards will be presented at a gala on May 6 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. See the full list here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word from Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties that up in Wake Forest, Filippo Fanfani has purchased Bruno’s Italian Bistro located at 1248 S. Main St and will bring many recipes from his Italian homeland. He will also rename the restaurant Amalia’s Authentic Italian Restaurant. Don’t have a website for Amalia’s, but you can visit Bruno’s Italian here.
  • Over in Raleigh, reader Hugh Autry noticed that a Eastern Gate Cafe has opened in the old Applebee’s spot at the corner of Hillsborough Street and Gorman Street. It is a coffee shop/hookah bar. Not much on their website, other than a really cool car parked out front. See for yourself.
  • And down in Fuquay-Varina, got the official press release that Vicious Fishes Brewery has expanded to a second location, opening a new restaurant in downtown Fuquay Varina at 132 S. Fuquay Avenue. Named Tap & Kitchen to reflect the presence of a taproom and full restaurant, the 8,350 square foot location features 16 taps of Vicious Fishes beer and an eclectic food menu, as well as wine, local cider and a full liquor bar. Get to know them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Chapel Hill, Michael DePersia also shared that the old Sugarland space on Franklin Street will be the new home to Blue Spoon Microcreamery serving up ice cream made in-house with liquid nitrogen. The Daily Tar Heel added that Cindy and Dave Somasunderam will open the ice cream shop on April 1.  They’ve been making ice cream for 45 years and have owned ice cream shops all over the US. We were unable to find an online presence, so stay tuned.
  • Also on Franklin Street, The Daily Tar Heel also shared the news that restaurant chain Peño Mediterranean Grill plans to expand to Chapel Hill to replace Tama Cafe at 105 Franklin Street that recently closed. The new Chapel Hill location will be the seventh for the franchise. Their menu includes gyrö sandwiches, wraps and bowls. Their site also indicates a location is coming to Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • Reader Nidia Salazar shared the news that Pho Happiness has opened on the West end of Franklin Street at 508-A Franklin Street in the former Guru India Restaurant spot (next to Italian Pizzeria III). She notes that they offer great food, prices and amazing bahn mi all day long! That will make anyone happy! Check them out here.
  • And rounding out the news in Chapel Hill, reader Charles Harrington shared that a sign for Japan Express is up in front of the former Pizza Hut location on Estes Drive in Chapel Hill. There was a Japan Express on Elliott Road, and there is one in Durham. But I don’t know if there is any relation to either of these. Stay tuned. Thanks Charles!

Closings

  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

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

Events

  •  Cooking for a Classic 2019 is in full gear at 1705 East in Raleigh! The chase for the prize (a restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler) enters the second round next week and the Finale is March 11. Tickets are $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle. Get all the details here. And tickets here.
  • On Tuesday, March 5, participating restaurants are donating a percentage of sales to the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake as part annual gala week. The proceeds from this evening will help to support children and their families who are facing a critical illness. View a (growing) list of participating restaurants here.
  • BBQ lovers should put March 9th on their calendar. That is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, water and a raffle to win a $1700 Myron Mixon BarQ-1700 Pellet Cooker. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • Toast to the Triangle will be on Sunday, March 10 from 6-9pm at the McKimmon Center on NC State’s campus. The event brings together 30 of the Triangle area’s best restaurants and beverage providers competing to be the favorite flavor of the night by providing samples of their fare. In between bites, guests can bid on over 100 silent auction items and packages, purchase a mystery bottle of wine, snap a photo in the green screen photo booth and more! All of the money raised is to support the Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation for the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities. Tickets are $100 each for the event and can be purchased here.
  • Brewery Bhavana announced that they will host a Soft Beer Fest on Sunday, March 31 from 2 to 6 p.m. featuring beer and cider samples from Brewery Vivant, Civil Society, Fonta Flora, New Belgium, Oxbow, Shacksbury, Trve and Zillicoah Beer Co. The festival will be centered on soft and delicate beers, full of flowers, soft music, and friendly faces. The full beer list and band list is expected to be announced in the next two weeks. Only 300 tickets will be sold for the event. Those tickets, which are $70 each, go on sale online at noon on March 6. Your ticket covers unlimited pours, food and music. Get all the details here.
  • Also this past week, Brewgaloo was nominated as one of the top beer festivals in the country! That’s right, in the country! Right now we sit atop the leaderboard, but we need your vote to stay there. Please click through here and keep us there! Thanks to Jennifer Martin for bringing this to my attention.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Tickets are on sale now for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details here. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our first Fork + Bottle Dinner of 2019 is Thursday, March 21. Join award-winning chef Thomas Card as he welcomes local favorites The Kast Brothers to Counting House and 21c Museum Hotel Durham. Alex Kast is the director of Chapel Hill Creamery and brother Max Kast of Broadbent Selections, Inc. is the only Master Sommelier in the Southeast. The night will start with a tour of our current exhibition, Portraying Power and Identity: A Global Perspective, followed by cocktail hour and dinner. Chef Card has designed a menu to pair with Chapel Hill Creamery selections and wine will be poured to accompany the meal. Tickets are $75 a person and a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Visit their Facebook event page here for all the details.

Friday Fun Food Facts – February 22, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Saw on a twitter post from blogger EatRaleigh that the The Acorn at Oak City, a small plate and craft cocktail joint, and sister project of Oak City Meatball Shoppe and Calavera Empanadas and Tequila Bar, is on its way to 170 East Davie Street in the former Kaiju Bowl and Bao spot. No word yet on a timeline, but keep up with them on Instagram here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Reader Hugh Autry shared the news from Raleigh (near Garner) that Yemen Kitchen is now open in the former Bruegger’s location at 117 Small Pines Drive, across from Walmart.  If you’ve never had the opportunity to try Yemeni cuisine, check them out here.
  • Over in Cary got word that LemonShark Poké, a “fine-casual” premium poké concept known for serving top-quality locally-sourced ingredients, will opens its first North Carolina restaurant in Cary at  Stone Creek Village (corner of Davis and High House) this Saturday, February 23. This location is owned by Conner Dingman. They are in the former Daily Grind location. Check them out here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, got word from David McCreary that fast food seafood restaurant Skrimp Shack (no, I didn’t spell that wrong) has opened in the former Hwy. 55 Burgers Shakes and Fries location at 7224 Alford Highway. They have locations up and down the east coast from Florida to Virginia. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Durham, Amber Watson of Bites of Bull City shared that the next pop-up vendor at the American Tobacco Warehouse in Durham March 1-27th will be the Filipino cuisine from food truck operator The Bamboo Cookhouse. Get to know them here.

Closings

  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

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

Events

  •  This Saturday,  February 23 Transfer Co. Food Hall will hold a Winter Seafood Jubilee which is the grand opening of the newest Locals Seafood fresh fish market. They are celebrating with Locals Oyster Bar hosting a fish fry on the Transfer Co. Food Hall patio, with additional food and raw oysters available at the bar. The event is free and open to the public and will be serving fried seafood platters for $12, in addition to our raw bar & counter service menus. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Chatham OutReach Alliance (CORA) invites the public to the 9th Annual Chatham Empty Bowls Fundraiser on Sunday, February 24th at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington in Pittsboro. Empty Bowls is an event designed to raise awareness and funds for our battle to end hunger in Chatham County. Get all the details here. Purchase tickets here or at the door.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – kicks off next week! The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from Plates vs. Jonathan Blackley form Vidrio; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • On Tuesday, March 5, participating restaurants are donating a percentage of sales to the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake as part annual gala week. The proceeds from this evening will help to support children and their families who are facing a critical illness. View a (growing) list of participating restaurants here.
  • BBQ lovers should put March 9th on their calendar. That is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, water and a raffle to win a $1700 Myron Mixon BarQ-1700 Pellet Cooker. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • Brewery Bhavana announced that they will host a Soft Beer Fest on Sunday, March 31 from 2 to 6 p.m. featuring beer and cider samples from Brewery Vivant, Civil Society, Fonta Flora, New Belgium, Oxbow, Shacksbury, Trve and Zillicoah Beer Co. The festival will be centered on soft and delicate beers, full of flowers, soft music, and friendly faces. The full beer list and band list is expected to be announced in the next two weeks. Only 300 tickets will be sold for the event. Those tickets, which are $70 each, go on sale online at noon on March 6. Your ticket covers unlimited pours, food and music. Get all the details here.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our first Fork + Bottle Dinner of 2019. Join award-winning chef Thomas Card as he welcomes local favorites The Kast Brothers to Counting House and 21c Museum Hotel Durham. Alex Kast is the director of Chapel Hill Creamery and brother Max Kast of Broadbent Selections, Inc. is the only Master Sommelier in the Southeast. The night will start with a tour of our current exhibition, Portraying Power and Identity: A Global Perspective, followed by cocktail hour and dinner. Chef Card has designed a menu to pair with Chapel Hill Creamery selections and wine will be poured to accompany the meal. Tickets are $75 a person and a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Visit their Facebook event page here for all the details.

Friday Fun Food Facts – February 15, 2019

Featured Restaurant News

  •  John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared the news this week that Gonza Tacos y Tequila founders, Gonza Salamanca and Carlos Rodriguez, have announced their newest venture, Macondo Latin Cuisine, which will open in Sojourn Glenwood Place Apartments in Raleigh (near the intersection of 440 and Glenwood Avenue). Macondo will feature small tastes of traditional Latin flavors that will rotate seasonally. Look for them to open this fall. In the meantime, keep up with their progress on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • High school classmate Kevin Stavredes shared the news that Saints & Scholars had finished their remodel and had re-opened (February 2) at 909 Spring Forest Road. Kevin noted that they are back open with many of the same great made-from-scratch menu items that made them famous…great burgers, wraps, unbelievable fresh salads (the Mediterranean is my favorite), great appetizers, and great Main Plates including a nice fresh Salmon entree, homemade Jambalaya, pot roast and shepherd’s pie – plus great bar drinks. Check them out here.
  • Reader Jennifer Buchholz shared that Poke Bros. at 780 Alexander Place, Suite 110 in Brier Creek has opened (did so on Feb. 2). They offer fast, fresh, fit. high-quality, sushi-grade fish and farm-fresh veggies in an authentic Hawaiian poké bowl. Get familiar with them here.
  • The folks over at ITB Insider shared the news that McNeill Pointe along Wake Forest Road will soon be adding yet another new restaurant to their growing list of offerings: Chido Taco. Chido, a Spanish language equivalent to the American slang word “cool,” does not appear to be a chain of any kind. However, we can’t find an online presence for them. Stay tuned.
  • John Huisman also shared the news that Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center is bringing their bowling alley/restaurant concept to 4020 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh (Ashton Square shopping center). No word yet on an opening date. Keep up with any announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Raleigh, WRAL shared the news that Burney’s Sweets & More has opened a location at 4500 Falls of Neuse Road. They are known for their original recipe glazed and filled croissants, 15-Layer cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, donuts, pastries, ice cream, and coffee (they had me at glazed and filled croissants!). You can get to know them here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, WRAL’s Kathy Hanrahan shared the news that Rosati’s is just temporarily closed and will reopen soon under new ownership and new management. They are located at 2101 S. Main Street. We will keep our eyes open for their re-open date. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Down in Fuquay Varina friend David McCreary shared the news that Tsuru Sweets & Coffee opened its doors for business yesterday at 411 Broad Street in Fuquay-Varina. Check them out here.
  • David also shared that Fera’Wyn’s Artisan Chocolates has opened at 652 Holly Springs Road at Holly Springs Crossings shopping center in Holly Springs. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Chapel Hill, reader Tom Viemont shared with us that he noticed that Swasdee Thai Restaurant on Columbia Street (near the intersection with Franklin Street) was closed for renovations. A little snooping on my part revealed that it is being converted to a Cajun Crab House just like what was done with the former Swasdee location in Raleigh. Both establishments are owned by the Oriental Hospitality Group (also own Tamarind Asian Fusion Bistro). No word on a timeline. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Durham, Amber Watson of Bites of Bull City shared that Soul Cocina will be the featured “pop-up” at the American Tobacco Campus (359 Blackwell Street)through February 22nd. They are accompanied by Chocolatay Confections. If you can’t make it there, you can also find Soul Cocina at Chapel Hill’s Blue Dogwood Public Market at 306 W. Franklin Street. Check them out here.

Closings

  • The News & Observer broke the news that after less than a year in business, the weekly food truck rodeo County Fare has closed indefinitely. County Fare closed at the end of last year for winter break, and its four-person ownership group says the project is now for sale.
  • Blogger Eat Raleigh shared the news that Kaiju Bowl and Bao closed this past weekend for a few weeks while they reconcept.
  • And in Cary, friend Suzanne Smith shared the news that LaShish Mediterranean Cuisine has closed their doors.

Food Trucks 

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

Events

  • Chatham OutReach Alliance (CORA) invites the public to the 9th Annual Chatham Empty Bowls Fundraiser on Sunday, February 24th at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington in Pittsboro. Empty Bowls is an event designed to raise awareness and funds for our battle to end hunger in Chatham County. Get all the details here. Purchase tickets here or at the door.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from Plates vs. Jonathan Blackley form Vidrio; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • On Tuesday, March 5, participating restaurants are donating a percentage of sales to the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake as part annual gala week. The proceeds from this evening will help to support children and their families who are facing a critical illness. View a (growing) list of participating restaurants here.
  • BBQ lovers should put March 9th on their calendar. That is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, and water. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

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

Friday Fun Food Facts – February 8, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Things are really starting to get busy at Raleigh’s newest food hall – Transfer Co. Food Hall with the opening this week of Benchwarmers Bagels and the upcoming grand opening celebration of Locals Seafood fish market with a fish fry on February 23. The current list of open operators are: Benchwarmers Bagels, Burial Beer Co., Captain Cookie & The Milkman, Che Empanadas and Locals Oyster Bar. Coming up next (over the next few weeks and into the Spring) include: Bul Bowl (a Japanese Izakaya); Chhote’s (Indian Street Food); and Dank Burrito. Check out the Facebook event page for the Locals Seafood fish fry. And get all the details on the entire food hall here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Big news this week for Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar fans! They will be opening The Kitchen Table at Relish-Biscuits, Brews, and Boardgames next door in the former Dos Taquitos space some time in the Spring of 2019. Let me breakdown the three components for you. The biscuits will feature the classic buttermilk biscuits, iced blueberry or blackberry biscuits, bacon and chive biscuits, jalapeno and corn biscuits, cinnamon biscuits, and vegan biscuits just to name a few. Brews means rotating selections from NC’s 130+ craft breweries as well as locally roasted coffee. And Boardgames means they already have a collection of over 400 board games! In other words, put your phones down! Until then, check out Relish here.
  • And today (February 8) is the day for the grand opening of the much-anticipated Oak Steakhouse in The Dillon in downtown Raleigh. A tip-of-the-hat to Crash Gregg for the mouth-watering photos he shared via social media of a pre-opening event he attended (and forgot to invite me!). They also have locations in Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte and Nashville. Check out Oak here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that J&S New York Pizza, which has locations in Apex and Fuquay-Varina, will be opening up a new location in Cary. The restaurant, known for its New York-style pizzas, will take over the Ruckus Pizza & Pasta spot at the Arboretum at the intersection of Weston Parkway and Harrison Avenue. Ruckus Pizza, which opened in 1999, still has four locations in the Triangle, including restaurants in Raleigh, Apex, Morrisville and Tryon Village in Cary. Check out J&S here.
  • NC State fans have something to celebrate following a week that saw their men’s and women’s basketball teams fall to the Tar Heels – Guasaca’s newest Raleigh location opened on the ground floor of the Target at 2512 Hillsborough Street. The restaurant is known for their delicious arepas and has locations in Morrisville, Durham and their original location on Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • On the other side of State’s campus on Western Boulevard, Dana McCall shared that Biscuitville is going into the old Wicked Taco spot. Thanks for the tip Dana! Check out Biscuitville here.
  • Back in November we told you that Fred Chason’s Grandsons Buffet was coming to south Raleigh near Garner in the former Larry’s Southern Kitchen spot at 4205 Fayetteville Road. Hugh Autry reported this week that it is now open. Check them out here.
  • And just down the road  in Garner, Hugh Autry also reported that a Honeybaked Ham store is coming to the White Oak Crossing shopping center next to Krafty’s Burgers and Brews, close to Regal Cinemas. Also in Garner, Autry shared that a Jersey Mike’s is going into the former Beef Jerkey Outlet spot, near Blaze, Five Guys and Cabelas. Thanks for the Garner updates Hugh! 
  • And this is a fun read – the the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau posted on their site this week a list of the oldest restaurants in Raleigh. If you are looking to mix-up your dining options, this list includes some tried-and-true institutions that are well worth a visit. Check the list out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared via Twitter this week that the Cat Tails Cat Cafe in Chapel Hill is shooting to open next week. It will be located at 431 W. Franklin St., Suite 210, which is in the Courtyard (where Kipos and Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe are). In addition to 12 free-roaming adoptable cats, the cafe will serve coffee, beer, wine and tasty treats. Check them out here.
  • Fresh off of his research and development trip to Rome, chef-owner Teddy Diggs of Coronato plans to host two pop-up events before the grand opening of his new Roman-style pizzeria this summer in Carrboro. The first is slated for Monday, February 18th at Fox Liquor Bar in downtown Raleigh, NC and the second is Thursday, March 7th at TOPO Organic Distillery in Chapel Hill, NC. You can get details on both pop-up events on the Coronato Facebook page here.

Closings

  • Was sad to learn this week that Moonlight Pizza, a spot that often landed on lists of the the top pizzas in Raleigh, has closed.
  • And the Taco Mac location in Cary’s Waverly Place also closed this week. That leaves them with two locations in North Carolina, both in the Charlotte area. 
  • And not exactly a closing, but learned of a restaurant for sale thanks to a Facebook post by childhood friend Julie LiddleCafe Buongiorno’s (Cafe B as it is affectionately known)in the Bedford community is for sale, but it will be “business as usual” until they have a buyer. So, if you are interested, you can contact the cafe here.

Food Trucks…are back! 

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

Events

  • Chatham OutReach Alliance (CORA) invites the public to the 9th Annual Chatham Empty Bowls Fundraiser on Sunday, February 24th at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington in Pittsboro. Empty Bowls is an event designed to raise awareness and funds for our battle to end hunger in Chatham County. Get all the details here. Purchase tickets here or at the door.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from Plates vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • BBQ lovers should put March 9th on their calendar. That is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, and water. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

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