Friday Fun Food Facts – April 21, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Justin and Ryan Riek, partners in JMR Kitchens, announced this week the expansion of their popular restaurant concept, taste, with a second location in Raleigh. This new addition is expected to open in May at 1912 Bernard St., also in Raleigh, where the Cave 1912 restaurant is currently located. Check out taste here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Dean Ogan continually amazes me at the way he adapts and responds to changes in the marketplace. So it comes as no surprise at the recent changes ($100k in renovations to be exact!) to his Dean’s Seafood Grill & Bar location in Cary. He announced this week that it will reopen April 24 as Dean’s Kitchen+Bar. Located at 1080 Darrington Drive in Cary, Dean’s Kitchen+Bar will retain the former’s favorite seafood dishes while adding new seasonal menus (70% of their ingredients will be locally sourced), redesigning the outdoor dining space and expanding service to include lunch. Check out the changes here.
  • Caught wind this past week that super-talented chef Marshall Smith has joined the staff over at Midtown Grille as their new executive chef. I’m a huge fan of Marshall and Midtown, so this is great news! Check out Midtown Grille here. Thanks Jo Smith for the tip!
  • New Raleigh reported last week that Hillsborough St is getting a new Mexican restaurant, Coco Bongo, in the former La Rancherita spot, at 2400 Hillsborough Street. We couldn’t find an online presence for them, so you’ll just have to check them out when they open.
  • 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 some menu updates to some popular establishments here in Raleigh. First up, over at Tupelo Honey Cafe, located in Raleigh’s Cameron Village, chef Eric Gabrynowicz has launched a new menu, but don’t worry, many of the old classics are still there. And over at Jimmy V’s Osteria & Bar on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, new executive chef Tom Stagikas has introduced a new wood-fired menu, while staying true to their Italian roots. Check out the new Tupelo menu here and the new Jimmy V’s menu here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Got word from the gentlemen behind the two Jersey Mike’s in Chapel Hill, and the one on Hwy. 54 near I40 in Durham, that they are opening another location, this one in Hillsborough in mid to late May in the Oakdale Village Center a few doors down from Pizza Hut. Congrats to Charlie Farris and Clint Winslow. Owner/operator of the Hillsborough store will be Griffin Kennedy. Check out Jersey Mike’s here.
  • Got word from Amber Watson, author of the Durham food blog Bites of Bull City, that Maybelle’s is now open inside the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. This barbecue and biscuit concept is from the folks behind Tyler’s. Check out their listing at American Tobacco here.
  • And reader David Scocca informed me that the long-anticipated move of Chubby Tacos, renamed Guacamaya Fresh Mex, from one side of Woodcroft Shopping Center to the other side (and a bigger space) has finally happened. Get by and check out the new space. Check them out on Facebook 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.
  • TABLE, a nonprofit organization that provides food to hungry kids in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area, is hosting their 5th annual Food Truck Rodeo on Saturday, April 29, from 3-7 p.m. at Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Jr. Blvd. near Homestead Road. 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 extremely popular craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, returns this weekend, 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 also this weekend – The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market present the Piedmont Farm Tour, hosted by 35 Triangle Area farms this 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.
  • Who doesn’t like pizza and beer? Well, the folks over at Mattie B’s Public House have teamed up with the folks over at Trophy Brewing for a “Taste and Talk” on small batch brewing. Tickets ($25) include 5 tasting pours of Trophy Wife IPA, Trophy Husband Farmhouse Ale, and 3 experimental beers from the Little Trophy small batch production facility as well as two slices of our collaborative pizza, the Brewers’ Breakfast. The event is April 29th at 3 p.m. Get all the details 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.

Food Bank Corner

  • Go ahead and start planning (get your kids involved) and join the National Association of Letter Carriers for the largest one-day food drive in the nation! Stamp Out Hunger takes place on Saturday, May 13th. Look out for a designated donation bag delivered to you by your letter carrier, fill it with your donation, and your letter carrier will pick it up on May 13! Or forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store and “shop” their virtual food drive and maximize your donation times ten! Get those details here.

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