Friday Fun Food Facts – March 3, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • The folks over at North Hills in Raleigh announced this week that CO, a Vietnamese restaurant, will be opening in the Park District at North Hills on the ground level of the AC Hotel and is projected to open this Fall. In Vietnamese, “CO” is the word for feast. The restaurant will offer a contemporary Asian cuisine destination, serving banh mi, pho, ramen, dumplings, as well as signature cocktails. Get familiar with CO here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh, the News & Observer reported that the owners behind Cafe Lucarne are transforming the City Market cafe into a neighborhood bar, which will be affectionately known as LPM, or Lucarne at Night. The restaurant will be closed for the next few weeks while the space undergoes a complete overhaul. They also own Royale, and hope the changes will better complement that establishment. Check out Lucarne here.
  • Out in Morrisville, got word this week that Mekong Vietnamese Cuisine is now open at 2121 TW Alexander Drive in the Alexander Village shopping center. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • The much-anticipated Pizzeria Faulisi in downtown Cary opened for dinner last night, and will be open for dinner tonight and Saturday (and possibly Sunday depending on how the first 3 days go!) The restaurant is on the first floor of the recently completed building at 215 E. Chatham St., next to Mid-Town Square. Check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, saw in the FoodCary blog that the Great Harvest Bread Co., well known to Caryites for their bread made from scratch with milled grain, has expanded with a new café to sell sandwiches, salads and more. It is located 1240 NW Maynard Rd., just a few doors down from the bakery. With the cafe now open, the bakery will close and transform to become a gluten-free bakehouse. Look for the bakery to re-open at the end of March. Check them out here.
  • And we are awaiting the opening of the second location of Abbey Road Tavern & Grill coming to Apex. Their last Facebook post suggested they are just waiting on “final inspections” so it could be any day now. The original location is on Cary’s W. Chatham Street. The Apex location is in the Off Kilter Pub & Grille location at 1700 Center St. Keep up with pending announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Johnston County, Simple Twist Restaurant has opened at The Market at Riverwood shopping center at 272 Pritchard Road in Clayton. This is the third Simple Twist location for chef Nathan Roby and his wife Colleen (there is one in Garner and one in Smithfield). Simple Twist is a cafe and bar serving delicious, made from scratch meals sourcing local vendors and farms. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Reader Jason Klaitman alerted me to the new building going up on E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill adjacent to the Siena Hotel. Turns out the new structure will be a Dunkin Donuts location. In classic Chapel Hill fashion, it will lack a drive-thru. Congestion could become even more challenging on Sunday mornings with it being so close to Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen.


  • Got word from reader Glenda Bastress that Kamado Grille in North Raleigh has closed, hopefully just temporarily. WRAL confirmed that they have moved from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection case to Chapter 7 “in order to facilitate an orderly wind down of its (Kamado Grille’s) operations.”
  • Got word from reader Bill Striegel (and confirmed on Yelp) that Nishiki Sushi in Cary’s Parkside Town Commons has closed. Apparently there is a banner now up for Szechuan Heat. Stay tuned.
  • First got word from reader Kris Shuford that the Raleigh and Cary locations of Sweet Tomatoes have closed. WRAL confirmed it is part of a larger bankruptcy reorg.
  • And one of our readers informed us that the TCBY location in the Shoppes of Kildaire in Cary has closed.

Food Trucks

  • 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.


  • Families Moving Forward in Durham launched Chefs for Change, 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 April 17, my birthday) 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.
  • With the theme “Girls Kick Butt,” Ray Price Harley-Davidson in downtown Raleigh will hold its Boston Butt Cook-off event this 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.
  • The North Carolina Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier will host “Dames in the Kitchen” on April 6th offering a culinary tour through North Carolina by eight Dame cookbook authors and chefs.  Benefiting the Interfaith Food Shuttle, it will take place at The Root Cellar in Chapel Hill from 6:30 to 9pm. Tickets can be purchased for $65 ($30 tax deductible) 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.
  • Also on April 8th, the Bull City Homebrew Chili Challenge will take place at Bull City Homebrew on Highway 54 near the intersection with Highway 55. It takes place from noon until 4 p.m. If you’d like to enter your chili, register on their site. The event is free and kid friendly. Register your chili and get all the details here.
  • 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 from 5-10pm 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.

Food Bank Corner

  • Now is the time to give to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. During the month of March, there is a special “matching gift” opportunity – the Table2Table Matching Gift Challenge! All donations from March 1 through March 31 will be matched up to $50,000. For this month only, instead of your $1 providing five meals, every dollar will provide 10 meals! Make your donation today!

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