Friday Fun Food Facts – September 8, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is the time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held over four days October 18-21. Celebrating their eighth year, TerraVita has grown into a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Their truly is something for everyone – seven different events over four days. Go. To something. To everything! Thank me later. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Saw on the Food Cary blog that Kale Me Crazy has opened its first location outside of Georgia at Waverly Place in Cary. Congrats to owner Jeff Hutto. If you are not familiar with the concept, it is a superfood café offering juices, smoothies, salads and wraps in a sleek, upscale environment. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also on the Food Cary blog they noted that Lenny’s Grill and Subs, formerly known as Lenny’s Sub Shop, is opening its first stores in the Triangle with an expansion into Cary, Raleigh and other surrounding cities. They haven’t identified their Cary location yet, but they already have locations in Asheville and Charlotte. Check them out here.
  • A quick update on last week’s news down in Holly Springs where the former Ricci’s space became Springs Pizza & Wings, which closed to become Sunset Lake Bistro which never happened. Well, Derek Wilkins (of The Butcher’s Market) informed me that it will be Cristo’s Pizza, which has a location in Raleigh’s Quail Corners shopping center. No word on a timeline. But for now, check them out here.
  • In the ITB Insider Update this week they noted that work is now underway in North Raleigh’s Brennan Station on Creedmoor Road on a deep-dish pizza chain called Nancy’s Pizza (no relation, I don’t think, to Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane). We don’t have a firm opening date yet. Get familiar with Nancy’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Good friend Aziz Carrell told me about a new sushi place in Durham called Rockin’ Rolls Sushi Express located just off 15-501 on Hillsborough Road (the shopping center with Chick-fil-A) that just opened. Basically it is an all-you-can-eat conveyor belt sushi experience featuring 50 different sushi offerings. If you see something you like, you can take it directly from the belt. The cost? $10.99 per person (less for children)!  In addition, they offer salad and dessert. Check them out here.


  • Got word from Mike DePersia of DePersia & Associates (National Restaurant Properties) that Blackfinn Ameripub in Morrisville’s Park West Village closed on September 3rd.

Food Trucks

  •  Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  • Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held on November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.
  • And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are winding down, with one in each city remaining for the year. Raleigh has their last rodeo October 8th and Durham’s last is November 5th. Get all the details for Durham here and for Raleigh here.


  • Also this weekend starting today (September 8th – 10th) the 36th Annual Greek Raleigh Festival is taking place at the Jim Graham Building at the NC State Fairgrounds featuring Greek dancing, music, cooking demos, kid’s crafts & activities and of course food, food, food! Want free admission? Click here.
  • This Sunday, Sept. 10th from 2-5pm Raleigh’s Mandolin Restaurant will hold their second annual BBQ Fundraiser to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle. It will be held across the street from Mandolin at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. They will have live music and lots of great food and drink prepared by chef Sean Fowler which has been donated by Cheney Bros. food distributors, Topo distillery, Locals Seafood, Videri Chocolate, Neuse River Brewing, Lynnwood Brewing and Mandolin Sauces. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Also this Sunday, September 10th, the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund will host their 4th Annual Dinner in the Meadow benefit hosted by WUNC’s Frank Stasio and featuring dishes prepared by Triangle area and regional chefs. Held in Franklin County, the dinner is $100 per person. Visit their website to see the amazing list of chefs and menus. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • The Underground Kitchen hosts its second pop up dinner in Raleigh on September 15th (new date) at 7 p.m. Attendees will experience the great outdoors and a deliciously rustic, multi-course dinner in a wilderness-within- the-city locale. Virginia-based celebrity chef J. Ponder will pull out all the stops with a flavorsome exploration of aged meats, time-tested techniques, and truffle wine pairings! Tickets can be purchased here.
  • Relish Craft Kichen & Bourbon Bar will host their 2nd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown for Hope on Sunday, September 17th from 6-9 p.m. at the event space at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh. Benefiting the Hope Center at Pullen, the event features chefs from around the Triangle showing off their “mac and cheese” talent. They will have a bartender competition as well. Tickets in advance are $25. Get all the details here.
  • Mix 101.5 will host their Savor the Triangle event on Wednesday, September 20th to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Over 20 restaurants (so far) are participating. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Celebrate all things pork at The Root Cellar’s 6th annual Porkapalooza on Friday, September 22nd at 6:30 p.m. From country-fried to country ham and everything in between, this evening will be sure to invigorate your taste buds. Tickets are $50-$55. Get details and tickets 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. Get all the details here.
  • The owners of Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Luncheonette and Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up to host a special vegetarian Italian wine dinner on Wednesday, September 27th at 7 p.m. Dubbed Caffe Marrone, the six course meal will feature Italian favorites paired with wine for $50 (not including gratuity). The dinner will be at Mel’s at 109 West Main Street in Downtown Carrboro. For tickets and information, click here.
  • On October 8th, from 1-4pm TROSA will hold their BBQ & Friends fundraiser. Co-presented by Nana’s Scott Howell and Sysco Raleigh, this fun, family-friendly event will feature music, games, make-and-take crafts with The Scrap Exchange, and an amazing sampling of food from the Triangle’s most beloved chefs from Nana’s, Nanataco, Rise, Foster’s Market, The Original Q-Shack, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Mateo, Piedmont Restaurant, The Lakewood, Sage & Swift, Watt’s Grocery, J. Betski’s, Rue Cler, and more. Get all the details here.
  • And on October 12th, the local chapter of the March of Dimes will bring back their Signature Chefs Auction. The gathering of talented chefs from around the Triangle will be held at The Garden on Millbrook beginning at 6:30 p.m. A full list of chefs will be released soon. Get all the details on their website here.
  • Sip + Savor will take place on October 15th. At the event all three levels of the Durham Performing Arts Center will be filled with dishes by renowned chefs from across North Carolina, paired with world-famous wineries from across the globe. Sip+Savor is brought to you by the producers of Bull City Food & Beer Experience and TASTE events to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful. Get all the details and purchase tickets here.
  • Also on October 15th from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., TABLE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding local hungry kids, will host their annual fundraising Empty Bowls dinner at Carrboro’s Weaver Street Market, featuring live music along with a hearty meal of soup, bread and dessert. Guests who purchase a $30 ticket will also take home a locally made pottery bowl. Tickets: $15-$50. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
  • Looking ahead to November, there are two events of note and both are on November 5th. First up is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • November 5th also plays host to one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

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