Friday Fun Food Facts – April 7, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • I’m beginning to wonder if we are on our way to 18 restaurants in the 18 Restaurant Group portfolio. Currently we sit at four with the recent opening of Cantina 18 in Morrisville’s Park West Village. Congrats to owner and executive chef Jason Smith, who also owns the sister Cantina 18 in Cameron Village, Harvest 18 in Durham and 18 Seaboard in downtown Raleigh. Check out his entire portfolio here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Watts & Ward suggested via their Facebook page that they will open next week! This soon-to-open craft cocktail bar from Ireland native and Hibernian Hospitality owner Niall Hanley will be 6,000-square-feet of 1920s America underground spirit. Located beneath Caffé Luna and directly across from Moore Square, Watts & Ward will have multiple rooms and multiple bars, each with their own personality. Leather seats, booths and low-key jazz events all mean you’ll need to carve out some time to swing by this speakeasy on a night out. Check them out here.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, tweeted last week that Oakwood Pizza Box is coming to Person Street in downtown Raleigh along the strip where Crawford & Son and William & Co are located. Apparently it will replace Cybergraph at 610 N. Person St. and is looking to open this fall. Nothing much there yet, but here is their Facebook page.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Seasons 52, a new restaurant with a focus on seasonal ingredients, opened its first North Carolina location this past Monday at Crabtree Valley Mall. It is on the second floor near Banana Republic and also has a patio. Check them out here.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Raleigh’s Bella Monica Cucina & Vino is planning to open a new location in Cary’s Parkside Town Commons near the intersection of 540 and Hwy. 54. Look for them to open in early May. Check them out here.
  • The owners of Serena Sicilian restaurant posted on their Facebook page that they have been proud to serve the North Raleigh community for the past four years and are excited to share the news that they have purchased a building and are moving Serena to this new location. We will keep any eye out for information about the new location. In the meantime, you can visit their RTP location at at 5311 South Miami Blvd in Durham. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • The daily blog The Point reported this week that Sir Walter Coffee opened its doors in downtown Raleigh last weekend, featuring local Joe Van Gogh coffee and iced tea cocktails. It is located at the base of the Edison Lofts at the corner of Davie and Blount Street. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Over in Cary, the blog Food Cary reported that Your Pie will open at 685 Cary Towne Blvd. in the former spot of Tom Yum Thai. No word yet on an open date. Get familiar with them here.
  • Down in Holly Springs, WRAL reported that Mama Bird’s Cookies and Cream will hold their grand opening on Friday, May 5th with Napoli wood-fired pizza, music, dance, bounce house, face painting, balloons and much more. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • If you are down in Clayton and need gas and a great meal, swing into the Vallero gas station at the corner of Guy Road and Hwy. 42 and visit the recently opened Grab Hot Meals featuring made from scratch food from Margot Miles who is from the Philippines with Chinese ethnicity. Check them out here.
  • Reader Paul Prause informed us that Tropical Smoothie Cafe is taking over the old Moonlight Swirl location at Falls Village, next to NY Pizza and Smashburger. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported this week that One Fish Two Fish, a poke restaurant, opened in Carrboro Thursday. Poké, pronounced “poh-kay,” is a traditional Hawaiian dish with marinated raw fish. One Fish Two Fish is owned by Scott and Lauren Kleczkowski who operate Goose Hospitality, which owns other restaurants on the same block that focus on one concept – Esperanza, which serves empanadas, and The Shoppe Bar and Meatball Kitchen. Check them out here.
  • In Chapel Hill, got word from the Herald-Sun that Chipotle in Eastgate Crossing will officially open on Thursday, April 20th. Check out Chipotle here.
  • Got word from a couple of readers that there is a new Hawaiian shave ice stand, Shaka Shave Ice, at the corner of Merritt Mill Rd and Franklin St, just on the Carrboro/Chapel Hill line. Apparently this place is legit – not a snow cone, not Italian ice, nor a sno ball; it’s authentic Hawaiian shave ice, with flavors made fresh daily and cream that is not simply condensed milk. Check them out on Instagram here.
  • Over in Durham, Fullsteam Brewery launches the first phase of Fullsteam food tonight (April 7) with chef Kyle McKnight. For now he is focusing on beer friendly bar snacks and small plates (smoked paprika tortellini, braised pork belly, coastal poached shrimp, sorghum dumplings, and Working Man’s Crunch and Paychex snack mixes). The menu will continue to evolve, as will the kitchen space. Check them out here.


  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • On April 23, The Hill Center in Durham will hold its annual school fundraiser – Hill Mile! There will be a one mile race & walk, a kids’ dash and a fast mile on the track. All proceeds benefit Student Financial Aid at The Hill Center, a half-day school program for children with learning differences.  Additionally, a mini food truck rodeo will feature: Caffé Bellezza, Flirting with Fire, Locopops, Only Burger and Sympathy for the Deli. Get all the details here.
  • And the food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up in April. Every Thursday from April through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). The April 6th kick-off will feature live music. Get all the details and schedule here.


  •  Tomorrow, April 8, is the return of the Beer & Bacon Fest at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater. Things run from noon until 8 p.m. Remember, bottoms up and bacon down! 75 craft beers, 15 restaurants, 10 bacons from all across the US and lots of piggy love! Get all the details here.
  • Also tomorrow, 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.
  • And if that is not enough food events for April 8th, add the 19th Annual Lebanese Festival to the mix in downtown Raleigh’s City Plaza (400 block of Fayetteville Street). The festivities (food – amazing food, dance, cultural activities and tons of kid activities) will take place from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. The event is free. Get all the details here.
  • The inaugural Cooking for a Classic series to benefit the Lucy Daniels Center moves into the final and championship round on Monday, April 10th (was moved to this new date) with the winner winning a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. Get information and tickets to the final round here.
  • The 9th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival will be held Saturday, April 15 at The Pit beginning at 12 noon. To date, the event has raised $107,000, which has gone right back into the community to help kids and families through BackPack Buddies and helping to prevent child abuse through SAFEchild. Lawn chairs, dogs, kids are all welcome for a great line-up of five bands, local and regional beer and tons and tons of barbecue! As usual, it’s $5 at the gates. Get all the details here.
  • In Durham, Families Moving Forward’s Chefs for Change fundraising dinner series kicks off April 17th. The chefs participating in the series are: Ricky Moore (Saltbox), Billy Cotter (Dashi), Seth Gross (Pompieri/Bull City Burger & Brewery) and John May (Piedmont). All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details on the series 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.
  • One of my favorite annual events is coming up soon – The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market present the Piedmont Farm Tour, hosted by 35 Triangle Area farms on Saturday and Sunday April 22-23 from 2-6 p.m. each day. The tour, in its 22nd year, is the oldest farm tour of it’s kind in the United States. The family-friendly (and budget-friendly) two-day event features 35 farms this year, spread across Alamance, Chatham, Orange and Person counties. Tour tickets purchased in advance are $30 per car for all farms, all weekend – good for a full carload of people. Day of tickets are $35. Or, become a CFSA member and tickets are $25. The tour is rain or shine. Get tickets and 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 SECU Family House in Chapel Hill is hosting a pig pickin on Thursday April 27th from 5:30-8:30 pm with fare by Chapel Hill Restaurant Group featuring an auction of artist-painted garden pigs and music by Honey Magpie. Tickets can be purchased here.
  • On Sunday, April 30 from 5-10pm the Taste for the Cure Gala will take place 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.
  • The Blind Pig Supper Club in partnership with TerraVita Food & Drink Festival brings you an incredible evening on May 7 of amazing cuisine featuring eight chefs from across the state working together to create an eight-course meal. Eve of the Eighth will celebrate 2017 as the eighth year of the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival. Our “8” theme will appear visually on the plate and in ingredient selection and sourcing. To see a list of those amazing 8 chefs and purchase tickets ($88), click 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.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them 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.

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