Friday Fun Food Facts – September 29, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Neal DePersia of DePersia & Associates informed me of the great news that Erik Lensch and Jeff Fisher, owners of the Honeysuckle Tea House, purchased the Looking Glass Cafe at 601 W. Main Street in Carrboro. Honeysuckle Tea House is a tea & herbal farm, & music venue located on 17 acres on the west side of Chapel Hill. Looking Glass Cafe is located in the heart of downtown Carrboro. Check out Looking Glass here and Honeysuckle here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Congratulations to Rocco Quaranto who owns a tea cafe called Tama Tea located in Wilmington. He announced this week that they are opening a location in Chapel Hill (any day now) at 105 E. Franklin Street (where Sweet Frog used to be) and then a third location in downtown Raleigh at the corner of Davie and Fayetteville streets in about 3 weeks. Get familiar with Tama Tea here.
  • The ITB Insider reported this week that a permit was issued for a NY Bagels in the Shoppes at Greenway on Ramble Way off 401 in North Raleigh. They were unable to confirm whether this new shop is associated with NY Bagels & Deli. We will keep an eye on it.
  • Reader Hugh Autry told me about a relatively new Peruvian chicken place in Garner called Chios Rotisserie. They are located at 2656 Timber Drive in Garner. Check them out here.
  • Over in Cary, got word from reader Jeanette Hauser that Swagat Indian Cuisine is opening (may already be open) at 9549 Chapel Hill Road in the spot formerly occupied by Martin’s Curry Rice. No web presence that we could find, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  Johanna Kramer noted on Facebook this week that the “re-invented” Alivia’s in Durham held a soft-opening this week as Maverick’s. Owners Fergus Bradley and Jason Sholtz teamed up with barbecue chef Brian Stinnett to create Maverick’s Smokehouse and Taproom at 900 West Main St. Maverick’s offers slow smoked barbecue pork, beef brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey, sausage, fish and more. Check them out here.
  • Reader Corina May pointed out that the Durham location of Baba Ghannouj has closed and that Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Shack will open in that location sometime in October/early November. It will be located at 2200 W. Main Street in downtown. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here.
  • Friend Glenn Gillen noticed that the Nothing Bundt Cakes location is now open in Hope Valley Commons in Durham where Char-Grill used to be. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • The Pie Hole will hold their Grand Opening Celebration on Ninth Street this Saturday, Sept. 30 all day (technically 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.) at 810 Ninth Street. They will have live music, activities for the kids and of course pie! And the weather? Let’s just say there will be a huge orange pie in the sky all day! Get the event details on Facebook here.


  • David McCreary sent me a note indicating that longtime eatery Cooley’s Restaurant in Fuquay-Varina has closed its doors after two decades in business.
  • Got word from Chris Creighton and Erik Mazzone that the Greek Fiesta location on Western Blvd. is now empty with a “For Lease” sign in the window. But the good news is that they still have five other locations around the Triangle.
  • Got word from reader Jeanette Hauser that the Morrisville location of Amante Pizza is closed. They still have a location in Carrboro.

Food Trucks

  • Cary’s Downtown Throwdown is this Sunday from 12:30 until 5 p.m. on Chatham Street between Harrison Avenue and Walker Street. Look for nearly 30 food and beverage trucks, entertainment and nearly perfect weather! Get all the details here.
  • Food Truck Friday returns Friday, October 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club as part of the SAS Championship golf tournament (but free and open to the public). Participating food trucks include: Cousin’s Maine Lobster; Red Hot & Blue; Hanu Truck; Taco Grande’ Barone Meatball Company; and Ice Queen Ice Cream. Get all the details here.
  • 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.


  • Congratulations to the folks behind Carroll’s Kitchen as they celebrate their 1st anniversary next Friday, October 6th. Additionally, they also recently announced they will be opening a second location in the Morgan Street Food Hall. And if that is not enough, their job training program now employs five women coming out of homelessness or incarceration. Help them celebrate all of this on Friday, October 6th by visiting their Facebook event page here and attending.
  • The North Carolina Symphony 2017 Fundraising Gala will be an amazing blend of a great cause, great chefs, great food all in a great setting. To be held on October 7, the black-tie, $500-ticket event will be unlike anything ever experienced in downtown Raleigh. Chef Vivian Howard along with chefs Dean Ogan of Rocky Top Hospitality (among others) and Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard (among others) will be planning and executing a farm-to-table menu from a custom-built kitchen on Fayetteville Street. Event attendees will be sitting on Fayetteville Street under a translucent canopy as they enjoy a dinner as envisioned by chef Howard. All proceeds from the event will benefit the NC Symphony. Get all the details here.
  • Also on October 7th, Little City Brewing + Provisions, a boutique brewpub at 400 W. North Street, is celebrating its one-year anniversary with Blocktober Fest, an inaugural block party celebration full of beer, food, music and more, on Saturday, October 7, from noon to 10 p.m. Blocktober Fest attendees can enjoy an array of new brews from Little City, as well as bites from downtown restaurants Linus & Pepper’s, Virgil’s Original Taqueria and Raleigh Raw. For more information, visit their website 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.
  • Only a little over 14 days until the NC State Fair – October 12-22. Go ahead and coat your stomach with Pepto-Bismol (trust me, it works. Just ask my wife.) and get ready for deep-fried…everything! Oh, and they will have beer and wine flights available this year (what could possibly go wrong there?). Anyway, get all the details 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.
  • It is getting closer and now (before it is too late) is time to get your tickets for Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival held 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. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets 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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