Friday Fun Food Facts – October 6, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Time is running out (some events have sold out) to get tickets to one of my favorite foodie events of the year – there is something for everyone! Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival is October 18-21 and they are celebrating their eighth year. The multi-day celebration 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. Thanks Colleen Minton for all you do! Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • New Raleigh brought it to our attention this week that renovation and construction is picking up steam at Tonbo Ramen at 211 S. Wilmington Street. The authentic, made-from-scratch ramen shop is looking to open before year’s end, but there is a LOT of work yet to be done. Check out their renovation pictures and keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Michael DePersia notified me this week that his company, National Restaurant Properties, handled the selling of The Pizza Dude at 1763 W Williams St. in Apex to Laxman Roka and Sudeep Pandey. At this moment there are no plans to change anything other than possibly opening up on Mondays. Check out The Pizza Dude here.
  • According to the ITB Insider, Zaxby’s is back on track for a return to Hillsborough Street. Although The Technician reported in August that construction was wrapping up, it appears permits for the job were just issued last week. The restaurant, which shut down in March, apparently has a new owner and they are set to open sometime later this fall. Check out Zaxby’s here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  •  I failed to mention this last week, but Gray Squirrel Coffee has successfully completed their move into their new space in Carrboro at 360 East Main St. #100 right next door to WomanCraft Gifts. They had been located inside the YesterYears Brewery next to the Cats Cradle. Check them out on Facebook here.


  • This really is my least favorite section of my blog. Especially when I have to announce three cool local spots closing
  • First up on that list is Bona Fide Sandwich Shop over in Hillsborough. They remain open this week (not sure what their actual last day will be), but they will cease operations. However, their sister property, the Wooden Nickel Pub will open for lunch starting next week.
  • In Raleigh, Provenance, which opened in February 2016, closed its doors this week. It was located in the heart of downtown at 120 E. Martin Street. Thanks to reader Katie Page for the tip on this.
  • And over in Carrboro, the News & Observer reported that Mel’s has closed their lunchtime service and will just focus on catering. Mel’s is owned by Melody and Al Bowers of Al’s Burger Shack fame.

Food Trucks

  •  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.
  • Art Sheppard informed me that on Sunday, October 15th the RDU Mobile Food Assoc. is hosting the Food and Funk in the Town of Carrboro’s Town Commons.  In addition to food trucks and craft beer, the event will have live performances with Strange Lady and a bouncy house. The event takes place from noon to 4pm. Check out their Facebook event page 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 this Sunday, 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.
  • This Saturday, October 7th the best barbecue chefs in North Carolina will compete in the Sir Walter Smoke-off at Dix Park. Teams will be competing for the coveted Sir Walter Smoke-Off Golden Pig Medallion as well as $500 in prize money. There will also be music, beer and a children’s zone. The event begins at 12 noon, but get there early! This event supports the Oak City Outreach Center and the Partnership to End Homelessness. Get all the details here.
  • 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.
  • On Thursday, October 19th the Garner Rotary will host their 13th annual OysterFest. It will take place from 5-8:30 p.m. in the Agri Supply parking lot on US 70 East. $30 for an all-you-can-eat ticket. The menu includes: steamed oysters, fried catfish, shrimp scampi with penne, bistro clam chowder, coleslaw, chicken fingers, BBQ pork, seafood bisque, salt potatoes, green beans, french fries, banana pudding, hush puppies and rolls. All proceeds go toward helping Garner-area seniors to help offset first year of college expenses. 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.
  • Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Purchase tickets and 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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