Friday Fun Food Facts – February 24, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that chef Ricky Moore, owner of Saltbox Seafood Joint in downtown Durham, is adding a second location with the purchase of the recently closed Shrimp Boats restaurant on the Durham Chapel Hill Boulevard in Durham. Look for it to open in the next 2 months with indoor and outdoor seating and an expanded menu. Check out Saltbox here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The little ol’ sleepy town of Cary is getting its third microbrewery starting next Monday! Jordan Lake Brewing Company is set to open at 320 E. Durham Road according to the News & Observer. They turned the warehouse space into an inviting taproom with darts, billiards, cornhole boards and other games. A covered patio is outside. The brewery is both family friendly and dog-friendly. They have three beers on tap now, with more on the way. And once the brewery is open full time, they hope to have two food trucks on site on a daily basis. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Getting word that the Rudino’s on High House in Cary is changing things up a bit. Word is that they are re-inventing themselves (just this location) as Smok’d BBQ & Tap. Out with the pizza, in with the pig. Nothing is up yet on their website (although the Cary location is no longer listed on the Rudino’s site). We will keep an eye on it and keep you informed. Thanks to several posters on a Yelp message board for this tip.
  • We have an open date for the much-anticipated Pizzeria Faulisi in downtown Cary. Looks like they will finally swing open their doors on Thursday, March 2, at 5 p.m. The restaurant is on the first floor of a building that’s been under constructionat 215 E. Chatham St., next to Mid-Town Square. Check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, got word from Michael DePersia that the former San Remo space in Cary’s Millpond Village (where Publix just opened) will become a Thai restaurant called Thai Lotus. They will celebrate their grand opening on April 28th. Check them out here (although there is nothing much up on the site just yet).
  • And WRAL shared with us that Waverly Place will add three new eateries to their portfolio. This spring the center will welcome TASU Asian Bistro, along with previously announced Gonza Tacos Y Tequila. Kale Me Crazy will also be added to the diverse dining line in the summer.
  • Got word from my buddy David McCreary that Fuquay-Varina is about to see the debut of its first Indian eatery. Zeera Indian Restaurant will open mid-March at 1311 East Broad Street. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also in Fuquay-Varina, got word that Draft Line Brewing Company is ceasing brewing operations and will have a farewell party on Saturday, April 29th. That’s the bad news. The good news is that starting on April 30th, Mason Jar Tavern will be taking over brewery and tap room operations. Get more details on the transition and the farewell party here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Got word this week that next Monday, February 27th is the opening of Stoney River Steakhouse in Chapel Hill’s University Place on Estes Drive. It is located in the space just in front of the new Silverspot Cinema. Stoney River is part of the J. Alexander’s group (which just opened a J. Alexander’s Restaurant up the hill from Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh). Go ahead and start perusing the menu here.
  • Down in Chatham County it looks like the popular Bean & Barrel Coffee Shop, Bar & Grill is under new ownership. Word has it that the folks behind Tarantini Italian Restaurant have taken over ownership. That sounds like great news to us! Check out Bean & Barrel here and Tarantini here. Thanks to my buddy Denny Marcin for the original tip on this as well as Marcia Sanders.


  • The News & Observer reported this week that Queen of Sheba in Chapel Hill will close this Saturday after a 13-year run. Sorry to see them go.
  • Got word from one of our readers that Carrabba’s in Cary on Kildaire Farm Road has closed. Still scratching my head on this one as parking always seemed to be a challenge. Reminds me of this Yogi Berra quote, “No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.”

Food Trucks

  • A couple of new food truck alerts from our friends over at WRAL. Mr. Mongolian BBQ food truck had a  soft launch last Friday and Gonza Tacos new food truck rolled out last weekend. Also, got word that Mr. A’s Beignets will be rolling out a second truck at the beginning of March.
  • I never thought I’d see this. Chapel Hill is holding their first food truck rodeo – Rodeo on Rosemary. Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation in collaboration with the Downtown Partnership and the Raleigh Durham Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) will hold this milestone on March 26 from 12pm – 5pm on the block of Rosemary Street between Henderson and North Columbia Streets. Looks like about 13 trucks so far. Get all the details here.
  • And just like that, after last week’s plea, we have dates for this year’s Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Go ahead and mark your calendars for Sunday, May 7th, Sunday August 6th and Sunday, October 8th (only 3 this year compared to 4 in year’s past). Keep up with the latest here.


  • This Saturday, February 25th Chatham County’s Captain John’s Dockside restaurant will host a Brazilian Carnival featuring Feijoada, Moqueca, Caipirinha and other Brazilian fare. Festivities kick off at 4 with dinner and music, followed by a DJ and dancing at 8. $5 to enter and kids are free. Dockside is located in North Chatham Village (formerly Cole Park Plaza) just south of Chapel Hill on 15-501.
  • Families Moving Forward in Durham launched Chefs for Change this past week, a fundraising dinner series that will pair the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The chefs participating in the series are: Ricky Moore (Saltbox), Billy Cotter (Dashi), Seth Gross (Pompieri/Bull City Burger & Brewery) and John May (Piedmont). The series features a dinner every other month (beginning in April) featuring one of the distinguished chefs serving three or more courses. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details on the series here.
  • The inaugural Cooking for a Classic series to benefit the Lucy Daniels Center is underway and continues throughout February and March featuring the talents of 16 local and regional chefs competing head to head to win a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. The competition is structured tournament style, with two chefs paired together each night and the winner advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. Get information on the chefs, dates and ticket information here.
  • Empty Bowls, the signature event for Urban Ministries of Durham, will take place the evening of Thursday, March 2, at Durham Convention Center. You’ll have the chance to sample soups prepared by local chefs and vote for your favorites. Local artists and artisans are making hundreds of hand-crafted bowls, and with certain tickets, you can select one to take home. The family-friendly evening (kids 6 and under admitted free for soup only) includes music and the chance to learn more about the important work Urban Ministries of Durham does to feed, clothe and shelter our neighbors. Tickets and info here.
  • With the theme “Girls Kick Butt,” Ray Price Harley-Davidson in downtown Raleigh will hold its Boston Butt Cook-Off event Saturday, March 4th where a dozen or more BBQ cookin’ crazies will be smoking some awesome Boston Butts! And all funds go to charity. This year’s annual Boston Butt Cook-Off will incorporate a celebration of Women in Motorsports! Just a $5 donation to the Ride for Kids Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation gets you all you can eat BBQ! Vote for your favorite to win the coveted People’s Choice Award. Get all the details here.
  • Viceroy Durham will collaborate with Bull McCabes Irish Pub to celebrate the spring festival of Holi on March 11th on the lawn at Bull McCabes. The food will be a preview of the thali style dishes that will be available when Viceroy opens for lunch service. The color fight will be taking place between noon and 3pm with kid’s activities throughout the day. DJ’s will keep the party going until 11pm. Get all the details on their website here.
  • DPAC is partnering again with Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop to host the 5th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, March 12. The event features the Harris On stage Experience showcasing additional brewery and local food vendors, unlimited samplings and three floors of food & beverage options, so make sure you visit each level of DPAC’s lobbies for the full experience. Get additional information and tickets here.
  • I’m going to just put this right here for my buddy Tim Coynesmith. You (and Tim) will just have to click through to see what it is. Let’s just say it involves beer…and bacon…need I say more? Oh, and clear your calendar for April 8th.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • On Sunday, April 30, 2017 from 5-10pm Taste for a Cure Gala will take place at the Rickhouse in Durham, guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • And got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.

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