Friday Fun Food Facts – October 25, 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 some really big news this week. Brother and sister Vansana (“Van”) and Vanvisa Nolintha will open Luang Prabang (pronounced LWAHNG prah-BAHNG) next year on the ninth floor of The Dillon in downtown Raleigh. As you know the siblings are the life and soul behind Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana and named the new restaurant after their childhood home in Laos. They are joined in the project by Patrick Woodson, their business partner and head brewer in Brewery Bhavana. The Nolinthas and Woodson have planned a restaurant that includes a 5,000-square-foot inside dining room with a cocktail-driven bar and a kitchen fueled by a charcoal grill. There will be an even larger outside terrace bar with a view of downtown Raleigh. Together, the new restaurant will be larger than Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana combined! Luang Prabang is aiming for a fall 2020 opening. In the meantime, visit Bida Manda here and Brewery Bhavana here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Big news out of Cary this week from kō*än. Sean Degnan and chef Drew Smith are now in possession of their Certificate of Occupancy (it is for 368 people for those that are into things like that)! So it is literally any day now for the doors to swing open at 2800 Renaissance Park Place in the former An location. Kō*än’s menu is focused on sharing food that celebrates the unsung heroes of Southeast Asian cuisine. Staying glued to their Instagram here or Facebook page here are probably the best thing to do for the pending announcement (most likely not before November 1). Best to Sean and Drew!
  • Also in Cary, the News & Observer shared exciting news for all the transplanted New Yorkers – Cary developer Chatham Street Commercial purchased a strip shopping center last month with plans to renovate and to add a touch of Brooklyn with one of the tenants being a spin-off from an iconic New York City pizzeria – Di Fara Pizza. They have been open in Brooklyn since 1965 and the New Yorker, The New York Times, Zagat’s and the late chef Anthony Bourdain all calling Di Fara the best pizza in New York. This will be the restaurant’s first East Coast location outside of New York City, confirmed Greg Norton, nephew of Di Fara founder Dom DeMarco. Norton and his wife moved to Cary four years ago. The new Di Fara Pizza, slated for early 2020, will be both a tavern and a pizzeria and will be a separate brand from the original restaurant, though serving pizza in the same family style. Get familiar with them here.
  • And one more bit of Cary news, the Triangle Business Journal shared this week that Cary’s highly anticipated Wegmans-anchored shopping center — known as Fenton (Cary Towne Boulevard at Interstate 40) — will include the six-screen, 35,000-square-foot, luxury dine-in theater CineBistro. The theater’s dining options will include and a menu of small plates, entrees and desserts, making use of local, seasonal ingredients, as well as a wide selection of wines, liquors and cocktails. Look for it to open sometime in 2021. Until they open the second one, you can visit their current location in Cary’s Waverly Place.
  • A slight update since last week as we learned that Rosewater Kitchen & Bar will open on Tuesday, October 29 at 5 p.m. Rosewater is the newest concept from the Giorgios Group, and will be located in the Park District at North Hills, in the old Bruegger’s space. It will be a full-service restaurant that offers grab-and-go options during breakfast and lunch hours, a weekend brunch, and a seated dinner service that transforms the space into “the piazza where people gather to exchange laughter, bites, and great cocktails and wine…a true gathering center. Keep up with any announcements/changes on their Facebook page here.
  • WRAL shared the news this week that after two years of serving coffee at a booth at the State Farmers Market, 321 Coffee, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is looking to open a storefront in downtown Raleigh. Until then, you can visit 321 Coffee at the State Farmers Market on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get to know them here.
  • Out in Brier Creek, reader Jennifer Buchholz noticed that Fujisan Steakhouse is now Umami Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi. It is nestled between Azitra and Noodles & Company. You can visit their website here.
  • Down in Apex, reader Scott Eaton shared two bits of exciting news. Looks like a new place is coming to the former Peak City Grille location called The Peak on Salem. And according to the folks over at Peak City Podcast, it is under the ownership from the folks behind Jimmy V’s Steakhouse & Tavern. Thanks also to reader Mike Fleer for providing some early insight into this story. And right next door (124 N. Salem St.) a new place called Mission Market is opening soon…looks like coffee, wine, etc. owned by Kyle and Megan Denis. Their Facebook page says they are opening in October (so any day now). We couldn’t find an online presence for The Peak, so visit Jimmy V’s here and visit Mission Market here.
  • North Carolina chef and PBS star Vivian Howard is raising money to help an Ocracoke restaurant recover from Hurricane Dorian. Howard, host of the award-winning PBS show, “A Chef’s Life,” is selling super soft gray short sleeve shirts emblazoned with the saying “One Island Under Tacos” on her website to benefit Eduardo Chavez’s beloved Ocracoke establishment Eduardo’s taco stand. Each t-shirt costs $25 plus shipping. The shirts are on sale until midnight Oct. 25 (that’s tonight!) and will ship starting on Nov. 15. All proceeds will be donated directly to Eduardo Chavez for the purpose of rebuilding his business. Get your shirts here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Learned from the folks over at Bites of Bull City that there is now a Chick-fil-A kiosk in American Tobacco Campus. You can find it inside the Diamond View III building (next to the Durham Bulls park, by the bull sign). Get your fix for the next 6 months (except on Sundays).
  • And we noticed a sign for Jersey Mike’s joining the line-up at Eastgate Crossing in Chapel Hill. A quick check-in with the boys Clint Winslow and Charlie Ferris confirmed that they are simply moving their Elliott Road Jersey Mike’s location over to Eastgate. While an exact timeline is not finalized, look for the move to be completed sometime around year’s end. Visit Jersey Mike’s here.


  • None to report…keeping eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  •  The folks over at EatRaleigh notified us that a new barbecue truck, And Also With Cue, is rolling into the Triangle. It is a social enterprise in partnership with the First Baptist Church, where every purchased meal equals a barbecue sandwich for a person in need. Their grand opening will be THIS Sunday, October 27th. Get to know them here.
  • The next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo happens THIS Sunday, October 27th from 12-4pm at 405 S. Brooks St. downtown Wake Forest! Just about everything and anything that is served from the back of a truck will be featured from savory food and dessert vendors. In addition, a beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl, live music, a variety of craft vendors, and a Kid’s Zone. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.


  • The fifth-annual Voters’ Choice Awards presented by Millennium Buildings launched in a major way. Over 20,000 nominations were made for the area’s best events, restaurants, businesses and more. And thanks to my amazing readers and followers, yours truly (Triangle Food Guy) was nominated for Best Blog AND Best Twitter personality ! But now that I am in the final five, the real work begins! Voting is now open through December 1st and I would greatly appreciate your support! Thanking you in advance. Vote early and vote often!!! Vote here!
  • The folks over at The Beltline Buzz reminded us that the 5th Annual NC Wine Festival is Saturday, Oct 26 at the Coastal Credit Union Midtown Park at North Hills. Enjoy the best from NC award-winning wines, breweries, spirits, and ciders paired up with chef-inspired treats. Enjoy tasting more than 100 different varieties of North Carolina wines from sweet to dry. Once your glass is filled groove to the music from live bands, grab a bite from food vendors and enjoy browsing the exhibitor’s tents for treasures. General Admission ticket holders will receive a commemorative wine tasting glass, unlimited wine tastings and entertainment throughout the day with three live bands. Gates open at 12:00 noon and it goes until 6 p.m. Tickets here and website here.
  • On Sunday, November 3rd, more than 30 of the Triangle’s finest restaurants will be paired with world-class wines at the third annual Sip + Savor – A Wine, Food and Music Experience.  Sip + Savor will showcase 30+ culinary all-stars, sommeliers, on-stage experience with live music, VIP lounge, and more. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • The folks over at Mandolin Restaurant will hold their Fall Oyster Roast on their farm on Durant Road on Sunday, November 3rd from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. At their traditional North Carolina Oyster Roast, they will be cooking wild NC oysters over an open fire and serving them with the traditional accompaniments and seasonal dishes from our farm. $65 per person includes all food, non-alcoholic beverages, and gratuity. Wine and beer will be available for a supplemental fee. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will hold their Brewer’s Ball on November 8, 2019 from 6:30-10pm at The Rickhouse in Durham. The Ball  is an evening celebrating the Triangle’s “finest” young professionals and features food, beer, live music, live and silent auctions, and a chance to mingle, all while being a part of a great cause: helping move us closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis.  This one-of-a-kind beer tasting event has grown each year with the 2018 event hosting over a dozen different vendors including local craft breweries, and food from several Triangle area restaurants. The event will be capped at 300 people and tickets have sold out every year! Get tickets and details here.
  • If you are looking for the recipe for a perfect fall day, here’s a tip: Salt & Smoke VII presented by chef Kevin Callaghan and his team at ACME on Saturday, November 9th from 1:30 to 6:30 pm. Join the nearly 300 people who’ve already bought their tickets to the seventh annual celebration of southern food and drink and music at the beautiful Rock Quarry Farm in Orange County. Visit their Facebook events page here and get tickets here. Isn’t it time you #GetYourSouthOn? Thanks to the folks over at Taste Carolina for the reminder.
  • Sunday, November 10th from 12 to 2 p.m. is the annual Triangle Chili Challenge that brings out some of the best restaurants, food trucks, caterers, businesses and organizations as they compete for the title of “Best Chili in the Triangle”. Triangle Chili Challenge will donate a portion of this year’s proceeds to Special Olympics North Carolina. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • November 14th is the date for the next Uninhibited Bourbon & Wine Dinner over at Uninhibited Tapas at 3048 Medlin Drive in Raleigh. Chef Gregory Goldberg’s first one was a huge success and they are looking to build on that with this one. Tickets are $45++ with the bar opening at 6, and the dinner beginning at 7:30. Get all the details on his website here.

Food Bank Corner

  • This month, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina launched a new initiative with breweries/bottle shops called Hops Against Hunger. For the entire month of October, breweries, bottle shops and cideries are coming together to raise money to support the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina to help make sure No One Goes Hungry!  Each place has a different promotion, meaning there are lots of great options to enjoy a cold one for a cause! List of participants can be found here.

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