Friday Fun Food Facts – March 17, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • History is being made today in downtown Raleigh. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will change its iconic glazed doughnuts name by adding an apostrophe – O’riginal Glazed. Additionally, they are bringing back their specially formulated green doughnuts for this one-day-only celebration. Check it all out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Two restaurants that were in the “waiting pattern” last week have now opened according to each of their Facebook pages. Soca has opened in the former Faire spot in Raleigh’s Cameron Village and is being brought to us by the owners of the popular eatery Buku, Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins. Check them out here. And over in Apex, the second location of Abbey Road Tavern & Grill has opened in the Off Kilter Pub & Grille location at 1700 Center St. Check them out here.
  • Here is something to get up early for on the weekend. We told you about this back in January, but the date has been set and it is getting closer. Your weekend brunch options just got a lot more interesting with the April 1st (no kidding) launch of weekend brunch service at Poole’s Diner. Prompted by the closing of Ashley Christensen’s Joule (being replaced by St. Roch Oyster + Bar), Poole’s brunch service will feature many of the dishes from Joule. Check it out here.
  • Next up in the “when will they finally open!” category is Brewery Bhavana, a hybrid restaurant, brewery, flower shop and book shop, located in the former Tir Na Nog spot adjacent to Moore Square. The News & Observer reported this week that they will open at the end of March. Brewery Bhavana is the brainchild of brother and sister Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha, who also own the Laotian restaurant Bida Manda next door, and brewer Patrick Woodson. Get a sneak peek here.
  • Those that enjoy a good beer with a nice view of downtown Raleigh will be excited to learn that both the website and WRAL reported this week that we are not far from the re-opening of the Boylan Bridge Brewpub, which closed about a year ago due to a collapsed support wall. According to WRAL, they will open sometime this Spring, just in time for the warm weather. Congrats to Andrew Leager and his hard work and dedication to keep this landmark going. Keep up with their progress here.
  • City Barbeque announced that their newest location, in Raleigh at 9424 Falls of Neuse Rd, will open to the public on March 27 and their grand opening celebration will be April 1 from 11 am – 3:30 pm. Check them out here.
  • Over in Morrisville, got word that Potbelly Sandwich Shop opened its first Triangle area location at 9662 Chapel Hill Rd. across the street from Park West Village. Widely acclaimed for being a popular neighborhood hangout, Potbelly features toasty warm sandwiches, hand-dipped milkshakes and live music. Congrats to owners Mohit Kishore and Tulshi Bhakar. Check them out here.
  • In Apex, got word this week from owner Robert Royster that Ruckus Pizza, Pasta & Spirits has opened at 1021 Pine Plaza Dr. This is Ruckus number 5! Check them out on Facebook here.
  • In Cary, Eighty8 Asian Bistro held their grand opening this past Monday at 1077 Darrington Drive (in the same complex as Dean’s Seafood just off Cary Parkway). Eighty8 is an exotic twist on Asian cuisine serving a variety of sushi rolls, entrees, and cocktails with unique, fresh and made from scratch sauces. Check them out here.
  • Also down that way, the News & Observer reported that Chipotle has two locations coming to eastern Wake County. Garner will get its first Chipotle in White Oak Plaza (68 Eagle Wing Way, Garner) and it opens today (March 17). Fuquay-Varina’s Chipotle will open Thursday, April 27 at the corner of Main Street and Hwy 401 (1385 N. Main St., Fuquay-Varina). Check out Chipotle here.
  • My friends over at Relish Cafe & Bar announced a change this week, but just in name. They are officially changing their name to Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar! After nearly six years of finding and perfecting their niche, they are thrilled to show off what they’ve learned about bourbon, and what they’ve always known about the food that comes from their kitchen. Check them out here.
  • And finally an opportunity for anyone looking for a kitchen to operate their catering service out of. It is small, but well designed and very centrally located in the Triangle. Drop me an email if you are interested.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • A quick update on things at Eastgate Crossing as things heat up. The first (of 5 I think) new eateries has set an open date. Signs for Chipotle went up this week and they expect to open Thursday, April 6. Shortly following that will be Chopt, which also has a location in Raleigh’s Cameron Village (and rumored to have a second Raleigh location in the works). Check out Chipotle here and Chopt here.
  • Over in Durham, this Saturday is the grand opening of ZenFish Poke Bar on Ninth Street (810 Ninth Street to be exact by the Solis Apartments). Hint: their soft opening is happening now! Get all the details on their website here. Congrats to Janet Lee!
  • Also in Durham, The Herald Sun reported that the team behind Nosh, Piper’s in the Park and Jo Rae Cafe is in the midst of renovating a 61-year-old service station on West Chapel Hill Street into a restaurant called Grub. The restaurant is expected to open at the beginning of May. In the meantime, visit Nosh here and Piper’s here.
  • And finally, in Durham, certified cider expert Mattie Beason celebrates the first year anniversary of Black Twig Cider House – a cider-focused restaurant featuring the largest variety of cider in the Southeast – Saturday, April 1st from 11am to 5pm with local cider on draft, bottles and in the txotx, as well as games and food for the entire family! Get all the details on the celebration here.


  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • Durham is getting ready to get a new food truck called Medley. Their approach is a bit different, with a focus on a heartier, more balanced version of healthy food. Their larger goal is to help people broaden their definition of healthy eating, make it more approachable, and of course tasting great. Look for them to start rolling around the Triangle next week. Congrats to Sam Sager, Zach Strom and chef Johnny Carlo. Check them out here.
  • 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 moves into round 2 this month with 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.
  • Bites of Bull City and Southern Food and Drink are teaming up to bring you a fun behind-the-scenes “Taste & Sip” tour of historic Brightleaf Square in downtown Durham on Saturday, March 25 from 1-5 p.m. On this easy walking tour, guests will experience several Brightleaf Square/Main Street mainstays as well as get an introduction to several brand new restaurants and shops making a name for themselves in the area! Tickets are $50. Get all the details here.
  • Acclaimed chef Scott Crawford is launching a guest chef series in April at his restaurant, Crawford and Son. “Oakwood and Friends” will serve food from Crawford and collaborators – chefs from renowned restaurants in the Southeast. That includes Ryan Smith of Staplehouse in Atlanta, Mike Lata of The Ordinary in Charleston, S.C., John Fleer of Rhubarb in Asheville and Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta. The first dinner is Sunday, April 23, with Ryan Smith of Staplehouse. Get all the details 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.
  • The extremely popular craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, returns the weekend of April 21-22 all in and around downtown Raleigh. The weekend kicks off with a block party/sampler event on Friday night followed by Saturday’s big event from 2-10 p.m. featuring craft beer, food vendors and trucks, live music and more. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • On Sunday, April 30 the Taste for a Cure Gala will take place from 5-10pm at the Rickhouse in Durham, where 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.
  • 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.
  • Listen up, the dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South) have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars, more details to follow in the coming weeks/months. It will kick off on Wednesday, October 18, and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, October 21, 2017. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May. Keep up with the latest 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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