Friday Fun Food Facts – April 14, 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 Samad Hatchby’s new restaurant, Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar, will open next Tuesday, April 18th, in his former Babylon space on Dawson Street at the entrance to downtown Raleigh. A new location for Babylon hasn’t been announced yet, but should be soon. In the meantime, look forward to a menu of homemade pastas, wood-fired oven pizza and entrees. Check Mulino out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saw on the Jose & Sons Facebook page this week that they unveiled their newest concept which is going into the former Helio’s spot on Glenwood South – The Cortez Seafood & Cocktail. No word yet on an exact open date, so we will keep an eye on it. Congratulations to Charlie Ibarra, chef Oscar Diaz and their entire team. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that the folks behind Two Roosters Ice Cream (a popular food truck scooping their yummy offerings from a vintage camper) have found a brick and mortar location in Raleigh’s Greystone Village shopping center. Look for them to open in time for summer sometime in June. Check them out here.
  • Saw in James Borden’s Development Beat in ITB Insider that Anisette Sweet Shop, a local bakery and coffee shop on Bickett Boulevard, announced its plans to open a second Raleigh location. The Anisette Little Shop will be located at 222 North Bloodworth Street in the Oakwood neighborhood. Although renovations are not scheduled to begin until the fall, the Little Shop will be open Saturdays only beginning in late May. Check out Anisette here.
  • Over in Cary, WRAL reported that Thai Lotus will look to swing open their doors (after some unexpected construction delays) on Friday, May 26. In the meantime, check them out 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.
  • And just over in Knightdale, reader “Elma” informed me that a new restaurant is on the way called iPho Sushi Kitchen & Bar. Apparently it’s a pho/sushi/Vietnamese restaurant located in Widewaters shopping center, off of Widewaters Parkway/Knightdale Boulevard. A couple of posts on their Facebook page here suggest an April opening. So any day now!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Saw on a Yelp message board that Stacey Poston and Wendy Woods (think Piper’s in the Park and Nosh) will be opening their next venture, Grub, in the next month or two at 1200 W. Chapel Hill Street (which is located between downtown and Duke’s campus). Check them out here.
  • Got word from reader Thomas Viemont that Chapel Hill’s Queen of Sheeba in the Timberlyne Shopping Center has closed, only to be replaced by (and now open) Queen of Pho. We weren’t able to find a website, but they have pretty good listing on Yelp here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, got a tip from a reader that the Captain Poncho’s location on East Franklin Street (in the former Mixed location) is now El Nino Taco Joint, and the truck with the same name was parked out front. We will keep an eye on this, but here is their Facebook page.
  • 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.
  • Over in Durham, we told you about this back in February, but had several people inform me that Bua Thai is now open in Sutton Station on Fayetteville Road. Can’t find a website, but the Yelp reviews so far are fairly strong. Check them out here.


  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • Cary’s Downtown Chowdown Food Truck Rodeo will take place on Sunday, April 23 from 12:30 until 5 p.m. on Chatam Street between Harrison Avenue and Walker Street. Looks like nearly 30 food trucks and beer and wine vendors will be present, along with music throughout the day. Get all the details here.
  • 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). Get all the details and schedule here.
  • 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.


  • The 9th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival will be held this 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 Monday, 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.
  • Lisa Jeffries tipped me off to the fact that Glenwood South’s The Wine Feed is partnering with the United Arts Council and Locals Seafood to bring you Hook & Vine: Seafood & Wine Festival on April 30th from 12-5 p.m. Each restaurant partner will be preparing seafood-inspired dishes which will be paired with a sample of wine that will be specifically chosen by The Wine Feed. Get all the details 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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