Friday Fun Food Facts – June 23, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Saw on Facebook this week that Neomonde is venturing over into Durham. They announced this week that they will have a location in the Unscripted Hotel in downtown Durham at 202 N. Corcoran Street. Neomonde will occupy 3,000 square feet on the first floor of the building. Other first-floor tenants include Pour Taproom, which is expected to open soon, and the Jack Tar Diner, from the creators of Pizzeria Toro and Littler. Neomonde is expected to open later this fall, with early November as a target according to the News & Observer. Check out Neomonde here and Unscripted here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • So it appears as if the Flights Restaurant inside of the Renaissance Hotel at North Hills is no more. It has been replaced by a newly renovated space and a concept called 41Hundred (a play on their address of 4100 Main at North Hills Street) and headed up by chef Dean Thompson and his team. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Reader Stephanie Narron tipped us off to the fact that the Ibarra family has opened their latest venture – Fogata Brava Mexican Bar & Grill in North Raleigh in the Plantation Point shopping center. Fogata is owned by the Ibarra family, the folks behind Jose & Sons, LaRancherita, El Rodeo and the recently opened Cortez, among others. Check them out here.
  • Cary food news blog, FoodCary, reported this week that JuiceVibes is opening its first Cary location in Shoppes of Kildaire on July 17. JuiceVibes is located at 1369 Kildaire Farm Rd. Check them out here.
  • And got word that Caribbean Spice, a Caribbean restaurant that combines traditional island dishes with newer dishes, is opening this Saturday, June 24 at 2822 New Birch Drive in Raleigh. They will have samples, giveaways music and lots of fun. Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Durham, got word from Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City that Early Bird Donuts had their grand opening this past Tuesday. They are located on Erwin Road in Durham close to Black Twig Cider House and Nosh. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, friend Emily Martine was the first to tip me off to the fact that Al’s Burger Shack, a popular destination on Franklin Street, is opening a second location, this one in the former Captain Poncho’s location in Southern Village. Look for them to open at some point this summer. Check out Al’s here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, last week we told you we saw “Now Hiring” signs for Babalu Tapas & Tacos in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing shopping center. Well, the official word came out this week that they will open on Monday, July 24. Go ahead and get to know Babalu here.


  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  •  A dozen food trucks will join the regular Holly Springs Farmers Market June 24 for the Park It in the Market Food Truck Rodeo. The rodeo is 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. across the street from Holly Springs Town Hall, 128 S. Main St., in the East Center Street Public Parking Lot. (The market starts at 8:30 a.m.) There also will be live music and children’s activities. Another food truck rodeo is scheduled Sept. 23. Get all the details here.
  • Cary’s Downtown Chowdown (formerly known as the Chatham Street Chowdown) is leaving its East Chatham Street home and moving to the refurbished Academy Street for its next rodeo from noon to 5:30 p.m. June 25. Head to Academy Street between Chatham Street and Dry Avenue and the new Downtown Park. The Cary rodeo features 30 trucks, beer and wine vendors along with live music and seating areas. Other upcoming rodeos are July 30 and Oct. 1, all from noon to 5:30 p.m. Get all the details here.
  • The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town on  Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. Get all the details here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back into full gear (Durham has one this Sunday!). Get all the details (including a list of participating trucks) for Durham here and for Raleigh here.


  • The city (or is it still a town?) of Cary is throwing a party and you are invited. They are celebrating the reopening/renovation of Academy Street this Saturday, June 24, from 4:30 to 9 p.m. The event will feature food trucks, live music, street performers, and a special dedication ceremony followed by a finale light show at the fountain. Get all the details here.
  • La Farm’s Lionel Vatinet will host his fifth annual Bread Bakers Guild of America Open House at La Farm Bakery in Cary on June 24th from 3pm to 5pm. La Farm will offer behind-the-scene tours of the bakery, followed by a bread shaping demo, and an opportunity to see the bakers scoring and loading breads into and out of the hearth oven. La Farm Bakery is located at 4248 NW Cary Parkway. Get all the details here.
  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: June 27: Summer Picnic featuring Durham Distillery; July 13: Sweet & Savory Cheese Dinner featuring Boxcarr Handmade Cheese; July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Right now they are seeking chefs and food artisans to participate. June 20th is the deadline to submit your application. Do so here.
  • Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don’t want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival, scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Nearly 300,000 children in the Food Bank’s 34 counties rely on the free and reduced-cost meals at school to get them through the day. For them, summertime doesn’t mean a fun-filled vacation. For them, no school means no meals. Stop Summer Hunger is the Food Bank’s annual initiative to provide additional food to feed these children and their families during this season of increased need. For example: A donation of $35 will feed a child for two months; A donation of $75 will feed a family of four for one month; and a donation of $150 will feed a family of four for two months. Help reach the goal of 3.4 million meals before July 31 and ensure that children will receive the daily, nutritious meals they need to grow healthy and strong! Click here to donate and find out more.

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