Friday Fun Food Facts – January 31, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • If you love keeping up with the latest and greatest restaurant news (I assume you do and thus why you are even reading this), this is one of the things I look forward to each year – Greg Cox at the News & Observer puts together his list of the best restaurants in the Triangle. I shared that with you last week. And this week, he shared his Restaurant Of The Year. Drum roll please! Congrats to chef Michael Lee and his M Tempura Restaurant hauling in this year’s honor from Mr. Cox. Well deserved. Check out Greg’s article here and visit M Tempura here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Cape Fear Seafood Company, which currently has one location in Raleigh on Spring Forest Rd., will open two additional locations in the Triangle with franchise partners Eddie Elliott and Matt Wivell. The News and Observer’s Drew Jackson shared that the next location would be in Cary, likely in the summer of next year, and would lead to a newly built restaurant. The third local Cape Fear restaurant will open somewhere in the Triangle, but at this point there’s not a specific city. Get ready for them here.
  • Also in Raleigh, Samantha Leach shared that at the old Sweet Tomatoes building at 3105 Capital Blvd., there is now a sign up for Outback Steakhouse. It is also showing up on their website. Visit them here.
  • Over in Cary, reader Tom Moynihan shared with us that Parkway Tavern is now open. They are located at 982 High House Rd in the former Ledo Pizza & Pasta spot next to Thai Spices and Sushi. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Cary, reader Bill Velto shared that Noodle Blvd is moving from their tiny spot on N. Harrison in the Wal-Mart anchored Northwoods Shopping Center to the old Pizza Hut/Hotpoint Deli location at 1718 Walnut Street (Walnut Street and Buck Jones Road). Right now the plan is to close the current location on February 10, but stay tuned to their social media, as things tend to change. Their Facebook page is here and their website is here.
  • Velto also notified us that the Egg and I on Walnut is falling in line with its counterparts as it is being converted to another location of First Watch (First Watch purchased Egg & I). Visit them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City shared the news that in a few short months, Fresh Levant Bistro, a Raleigh restaurant well known for its fresh-baked pastries and Mediterranean food (all organic and gluten-free) will be opening a second location in Durham in the same building (above) Kingfisher Bar at 321 E. Chapel Hill Street. They are working diligently to stay on schedule for a late spring opening. Congrats to owner Anita Khalek on her success! Check them out here.
  • Amber also shared that a new coffee shop is getting ready to “jet” to town. Jetplane Coffee Co. is making progress converting a former workshop at 812 N. Mangum Street into a chic diner and coffee shop. Owner Daryn Berlin worked on the Counter Culture Coffee team for 23 years before launching this venture. He has been labeling the new spot as a “restaurant disguised as a coffee shop” so expect great food and great Counter Culture Coffee. For now, you can find Jetplane at its Parrish Street pop-up for a few more months (maybe longer). The hours are currently Monday-Friday 7:30 am – 5:30 pm. The hope is to open the permanent location this spring. Visit their Facebook page here to keep up with their progress.
  • Dear friend Beth Deacon shared with the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group on Facebook that Market and Moss will be the name of the restaurant opening in the former Pazzo spot in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village. It is owned by Annie Johnston who also owns La Vita Dolce Espresso & Gelato Cafe a few doors down. Annie shared that Market and Moss will be a seasonal new American restaurant and bar offering fresh, vibrant cuisine made with local ingredients, a carefully curated wine list, and specialty cocktails all in an organic European ambiance. Look for them to open in April (but remember, this is Chapel Hill, so…). In the meantime, keep up with their progress on Instagram here and see some of the creations of their (obviously) talented chef here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, reader Jeremy Simon shared with us that he had noticed a sign up in the spot formerly occupied by Hops Burger Bar at 140 W. Franklin Street for Que Chula Tacos and Craft Tequilas. Nothing much on their website yet, but did I mention tacos and tequila? No word on a timeline yet.
  • And speaking of new openings in Chapel Hill, we are down to the short rows (we’re hearing a matter of weeks) of waiting on Hawkers Asian Street Fare set to open in University Place across the open space from Bartaco, SilverSpot and Stoney River. Keep up with any announcements here.
  • Over in Carrboro, you won’t see chef Teddy Diggs or his staff at Coronato Pizza for a few days. He shared that they are taking off for Winter Vacation from January 27th to February 3rd! He noted that especially after the holidays, this is an important measure that they are taking to stand up for our employees and stand against the mental health and workaholism issues that plague the industry. Kudos! Head back over on the 4th!
  • Carolina Brewery, the oldest brewery in the Triangle, turns 25 years old on February 9th. To commemorate the event, Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro is hosting two events – a tapping party on Wednesday, February 5th, and an Open House on Saturday, February 8th. These events will celebrate the reopening of the Pittsboro restaurant after extensive renovations were completed in January (a more open floor plan including garage doors and large-pane tower windows, new tables and booths, an open kitchen, and new lighting and decor), an updated menu, and the launch of a new pale ale. In 2017, it modernized its brewery restaurant in Chapel Hill. Check them out here.
  • Don’t have plans for Monday night? Great, settle in front of your tv and watch as Pizzeria Toro will be featured Monday, February 3rd at 9 pm on Cooking Channel’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate! Tune in to see chef/owner Gray Brooks in action, to discover which dish they cover and to see which one of these folks recommends it: Mauro, Simon Majumdar, Ali Khan, Elena Besser, Pati Jinich, Shinmin Li, and Marc Murphy! Check them out here.

Closings (maybe)

  • So, this is interesting. My Twitter pal @BurgeoningBaker tipped me off to the fact that Treforni in Durham’s Hope Valley Commons shopping center has closed. Their website simply states, “Closed” and Yelp and others are reporting them closed. However, a member of the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies Facebook group indicated that they are moving. No confirmation on that, so stay tuned. See for yourself here.

Food Trucks 

  • If you are enjoying the warmer-than-normal winter as much as I am, you will also sense that the food trucks are warming up as well. And that means food truck rodeos! Durham rolled out their first one last weekend and their list for the year has been unveiled. Check it out here. Raleigh, we are ready to see your schedule! In the meantime, visit Durham’s here.
  • As things get cold, here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.


  •  The Cary Rotary Club is holding its 17th Annual Chili Dinner fundraiser for hunger relief where they will be serving 1400-1500 lunches and dinners on January 31. Individual tickets are $8 which includes: 8oz. bowl of chili (vegetarian available), cheese, pasta salad and cornbread. Lunch is served from 12-2:00 p.m. and dinner is served from 5 – 7:30p.m. Meals are prepared by Whole Foods Market and will be served at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church at 200 High Meadow Drive in Cary. Additional details can be found here.
  • Everything Bagels returns to The Durham Hotel on Saturday, February 1! Join them in the Coffee Shop for bagels paired with spreads and salads, from coconut curry and lemon miso cream cheese to chicken waldorf and curried tofu salads. Get a taste of their bagels before they move into their permanent home at the Durham Food Hall. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours will offer Valentines/Eat Your Heart Out walking tours in eight North Carolina cities on Valentine’s Day 2020 – Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill/Carrboro, Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Asheville. Sign up for the tours are underway, and gift certificates are available. Each guided tour visits multiple restaurants for food and drink and chats with chefs and owners. A holiday gift is also included on these special tours. Registration for February 14th and for weekend tours throughout 2020 can be found here. Taste Carolina gift certificates are the perfect experience gift for all who love food and fun, and they can be purchased online here.
  • The 8th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience will take place on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the DPAC. The event pairs delicious local restaurants, with breweries from across the nation. Unlimited food and beer samplings will be spread throughout all three floors at DPAC, plus the On Stage Experience will bring guests up onto the performing arts stage to showcase even more food, beverages and live music. Get all the details here.
  • The 4th Annual Cooking for a Classic benefiting the kids at the Lucy Daniels Center begins with round one on February 24-27 and tickets are just $75 each. Two chefs each night will prepare three courses each with at least one secret ingredient per dish, and attendees and guest judges decide which chef advances to the next round. Rond One features the following chefs: Monday, Feb. 24 – Eli Rodriguez of so·ca vs. Kevin Smith of 41Hundred at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel Tuesday, Feb. 25 – Blake Gotliffe of Under the Oak vs. Kyle Teears of Whiskey Kitchen Wednesday, Feb. 26 – Kyle Fletcher of Wye Hill vs. Scott Ruzicka of Mia Francesca Thursday, Feb. 27 – Andres Kaifer of Vidrio vs. Carey Ball of STIR. All events take place at 1705 East in Raleigh. New this year, enter a raffle to win a triple-black loaded 1969 Chevy Camaro! Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Lindsey Chester notified us that Fest in the West is back for its fifth year on Saturday, May 2 from 11 am- 5 pm at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. The event features food & beer, music, arts & crafts, a KidZone, contests and a petting zoo. A great way to spend time with 7,000 of your closest friends. Admission is free! Get all the details here.
  • The 5th Annual Raleigh International Food Festival will be held on Saturday, June 6 from noon until 10 p.m. in the 100-200 block of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. While there you will be able to try authentic international food, desserts as well as  imported beer and wine! There will also be lots of music and entertainment at this child and pet friendly event. Admission is free and parking on the street is as well. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Thrive NC Food Festival will return to downtown Raleigh this spring on May 7 and 8. Thrive NC, which held its inaugural festival in 2018, was developed to help raise awareness about food insecurity in the Triangle, where more than 1.5 million North Carolinians struggle with hunger on a daily basis. The first day will include a food summit that delves into ways to address hunger in the state. A service project will be held on the second day involving members of the community in partnership with a local non-profit. Each night includes a food festival with more than 65 local restaurants and beverage purveyors, live entertainment, chef demonstrations and music. Tickets for Thrive NC’s food festivals are $30 each and go on sale Feb. 27. Tickets have sold out each year. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Singles Night at the Food Bank! Food is love! The Food Bank is looking to provide the community with both this Valentine’s season. The first ever Singles Night volunteer events will be held on Thursday, February 6 at their Raleigh Branch and Durham Branch. The volunteer shift will run from 6 pm – 7:30pm, but the evening doesn’t end there. The fun and mingling will continue after the meals are packed at local bar partners. In Raleigh, volunteers can walk across the parking lot to Mordecai Beverage Co. In Durham, Boxcar Bar + Arcade is providing tokens and some prizes to Food Bank volunteers, after the volunteer session! For more details or to register, visit here.

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