Friday Fun Food Facts – February 14, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Hillsborough tops the news this week as we got word that Nomad, the latest restaurant from Rasoi Ventures, is set to open in early March. The global fusion restaurant will offer a diverse range of cuisine influenced by the owners’ travels around the world and the types of foods they’ve experienced in various countries, in traditional ethnic dishes with a unique spin. One can expect delicious renditions of popular Korean, Thai and Indian street dishes. Nomad will be located in the historic Osbunn Theater in Hillsborough, an old movie theater  at 120 W. King Street. This is the same restaurant group behind Kasturi in Greenville and Tan-Durm and Viceroy in Durham. Get familiar with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The folks over at ITB Insider shared the news this week that two dining/drinking establishments are planned for the 3800 Glenwood building currently under construction just inside the beltline. They noted that developer Grubb Ventures shared that The Pizza Press (which also has a location in Chapel Hill) and The Glenwood Taproom will likely open near the end of the year in the 3800 building. There doesn’t appear to be an online presence for the taproom just yet, but get familiar with The Pizza Press here.
  • Saw in the RalToday email this week that a new cafe called Bean Sprouts is now open at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh. The healthy dining concept has 17 locations nationwide – serving up sandwiches, salads, and pizza at family destinations – but this is the brand’s first East Coast store. Get familiar with them here.
  • The folks over at Taste Carolina informed us that we are getting very close to the opening of Lady Luck on Glenwood South, which will soon begin serving small plates (under the direction of chef Kevin Ruiz) and cocktails (led by Megan Corbally). They are taking over the former Blue Mango/Indio space at 222 Glenwood Avenue. In fact, they have a ‘pop-up’ on February 22 at Little City Brewing + Provisions Co. where you can get a preview of their menu and cocktails. Get all the details and sign up here. Follow them on Instagram here.
  • Also in Raleigh, the Triangle Business Journal reported that breakfast lovers will have another spot to eat starting this spring with the opening of a new First Watch restaurant at the Marketplace at Lake Boone (think Bottle Revolution, Buffalo Brothers, Guasaca, Just Salads and The Oaks). They are set to open next month. First Watch is a breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant with nine Triangle locations. Visit First Watch here.
  • Over in Morrisville, Twitter buddy @BurgeoningBaker notified me that Meeples Brew, Morrisville’s first board game cafe, opened this past weekend in the same shopping center as Swagat Indian and Alpaca Chicken at 9545 Chapel Hill Road. Get to know them here.
  • And before we ‘leave’ Wake County, a happiest of birthdays to a Raleigh institution – The Players’ Retreat is turning 69 this year, and to celebrate, they’re throwing it all the way back to 1951, the year The PR was born! On February 24th, join them all day at the restaurant to enjoy original Players’ Retreat prices and menu items, like 25¢ hotdogs and 35¢ Budweiser. Get the latest on their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Chapel Hill, Ed Elliott shared with the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group that a gluten free bakery and restaurant called Savor has opened at 110 Columbia Street, just behind Lula’s (formerly Spanky’s). They had a successful soft-opening event, and are open tomorrow (Saturday, 2/15) with a full-bakery and a limited breakfast menu from 9 am to 3 pm. And on Sunday, they are hosting a Pancake Breakfast/Brunch from 9 am until 2 pm! Get details on the Pancake Breakfast here and visit their website here.
  • Over in Carrboro, Carrie Brogren with the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group on Facebook shared two nuggets this week. First up, Thai Station in Carrboro just passed their final inspection and their grand opening date will be Monday, February 17th. You can keep up with any announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • Brogren also shared that Luna’s grand opening in Carrboro will be Tuesday, February 18th. They have moved into the former Milltown space where they will begin serving up wood-fired rotisserie meats, Andean-inspired braises, empanadas and small plates. Think of it as South American meets American South! The original location remains at 112 W. Main Street in Durham. Get familiar with them here.


  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • Saw on the Facebook page for the “You Know You Grew Up In Raleigh North Carolina When. . .” group that an old classic Raleigh favorite is back…in the form of a food truck. That’s right, Don Murray’s is now rolling around the streets. Member Mary Holt Collins added that, “Kenny is the man, and he and his wife have the truck set up every Tuesday and Thursday in the Marathon gas station lot at the corner of Departure Drive and Millbrook. Go pay them a visit. I just inhaled some bbq and mac n cheese and my childhood came right back.” Check them out here and their Facebook page here.
  • How can we not share this. Also saw in the RalToday email that a popular Atlanta-based food truck called The Slutty Vegan will host a pop-up event this Saturday, February 15 at Hi-Wire Brewery in Durham. They will be there from 6 to 10 p.m. Be sure to check out their flavor-filled Impossible burgers, vegan shrimp + chicken, and the PLT – grilled jerk-seasoned plantains with caramelized onions, lettuce, and tomato on a Hawaiian bun. Get all the details about the event in Spectacular Magazine here.
  • 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 schedule. Raleigh, we are ready to see your schedule! In the meantime, visit Durham’s here.  
  • Here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.


  •  The Sarcoma Foundation of America is hosting a fundraising  event at The Glass Jug on Saturday, February 22nd. The Glass Jug will be featuring a one off beer by Starpoint Brewing being brewed specifically for the event. There will also be a silent auction and Boricua Soul food truck. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The recently announced Lawrence BBQ, slated to open late this summer in Boxyard RTP, will be serving up mouthwatering sandwiches, oysters and their “not yet famous sticky ribs” at Kingfisher on Thursday, February 20 starting at 6 p.m. Guests will sip on Sean Umstead’s award-winning ground-to-glass cocktails in a space designed by co-owner Michelle Vanderwalker, while enjoying food from Jake Wood’s Lawrence BBQ + Oysters. Visit Kingfisher here and Lawrence BBQ on Facebook here.
  • Jennifer Noble Kelly reached out to us to let us know that as part of his on-going Bravo TV Top Chef Series, chef Katsuji Tanabe of High Horse welcomes James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: Northeast” 2018 winner chef/owner Karen Akunowicz of Fox & Knife in Boston for dinner at High Horse on Monday, Feb 24th. Meet chef Karen Akunowicz in Raleigh before she airs on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef All Stars” March 19th. Reserve through RESY at 7pm February 24th 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.
  • On March 1st, Locals Seafood will host their sixth annual Winter Seafood Jubilee at their oyster bar in downtown Raleigh. The 2020 Jubilee will feature a fish fry and oyster roast at Transfer Co. Food Hall. Special guests at the Jubilee will include oyster growers, fishermen and women, policy makers and industry stakeholders. This event gives consumers the opportunity to enjoy eating seafood while meeting the folks who harvest, produce, and advocate for our seafood resources. This educational event is free and open to the public. There are no tickets required for the Jubilee, but guests are encouraged to RSVP on Facebook here.
  • Then on March 2,  the celebration of seafood continues with the day-long NC Catch Summit. The Summit is an annual gathering of folks from every facet of the industry to discuss the state of North Carolina seafood and the industry as a whole. This year will be the first time the Summit is not held on the coast. Attendees can expect presentations and panel discussions from 9:30am to 4pm inside the Transfer Co. Ballroom. A break for lunch will allow attendees to enjoy food from the many vendors inside the food hall. The Summit is free and open to the public. Registration and all the details can be found here.
  • This sounds like a lot of fun – the Sisters vs. Sisters Battle on April 2nd that will pit the Sassool Sisters facing off against the Soul-Full Sisters in a family recipe battle like you’ve never tasted before! Noelle and Simone are the sisters that run the three Sassool restaurants in Raleigh and Cary. And Paten and Quinn are sister food bloggers and storytellers who just really love food. The battle pits Lebanese family recipes against Southern home cooking. The event will be held at 1705 East venue (1705 East Millbrook Road in Raleigh) at 6 pm on Thursday, April 2. The battle will benefit the Lucy Daniels Center, which supports programs in children’s mental health. You decide who wins! 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

  • Want to do something for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina at your office? Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… create a food drive without the heavy lifting using our Virtual Food Drive, and maximize your donation times five! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide FIVE meals! You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members, or coworkers.  Starting a Virtual Food Drive is easy! See how easy here!

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