Friday Fun Food Facts – November 3, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Matt Kelly has done it again. Just yesterday he opened his latest venture, St. James Restaurant and Raw Bar in the former Fishmonger’s spot in the Brightleaf District. Kelly first opened Mateo Bar De Tapas where he was named a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2013. And last year he added Mothers & Sons Trattoria, an Italian trattoria, and Lucky’s Delicatessen, a sandwich shop with a choice beer cooler. Get by soon, but in the meantime, check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Downtown Raleigh’s Glenwood South district recently saw the opening of Saigon Grill & Bar located on the ground floor at 222 Glenwood. The menu features a fusion of Asian and Vietnamese culinary traditions. It is owned and operated by John Tang and Richard Fong. Tang is the owner of Sushi O Bistro and Sushi Bar, while Fong hails from New York, but most recently was working in the now closed An Asian Cuisine restaurant in Cary. Check them out here. Thanks to Jennifer Martin with Shop Local Raleigh/Greater Raleigh Merchants Association for the tip.
  • Last weekend Southern Charred, a new barbecue joint serving up pulled pork, smoked deviled eggs, biscuit sliders and more, opened their doors at 510 Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh. Southern Charred is part of the Bunch of Fives Hospitality Co. that also brought us The Anchor Bar, The Milk Bar, Mofu Shoppe and the soon-to-be Dogwood Bar & Eatery (coming in 2018). Check them out here.
  • Over on NC State’s Centennial Campus the StateView Hotel recently opened overlooking Lake Raleigh. Of equally important note, the hotel features an American-style restaurant called Flask & Beaker, which draws inspiration from North Carolina flavors and crops, as well as incorporating innovative and unique cooking style techniques. Check them out here.
  • And we have a little bit more information on Zanyu Asian Noodles coming to Lafayette Village in North Raleigh. As of now, they plan on opening the middle of this month. Chef and owner Michael Bongiorno spent 15 years working as an executive chef for Hyatt International in Asia, working in the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Guam, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan. Can’t wait to check this place out!
  • Down in Garner, reader Hugh Autry pointed out that Just Cookin’ opened at the end of September at 231 Timber Drive in Garner. It’s in the former El Dorado space at the Timber Crossings shopping center at Timber and Benson Rd. Check them out here.
  • Also in Garner, Hugh Autry also let us know that Oak City Pizza, a wood-fired pizza spot, has opened at 206 Forest Hills Drive in the Forest Hills shopping center in Garner. Check them out here.
  • Over in Holly Springs we are getting closer to the opening of the latest Famous Toastery in the Holly Springs Towne Center. They are having their invitation-only preview meals the middle of next week, and they typically open a few days after that. Stay tuned and we will let you know as soon as we get the official date. They already have locations in Cary and Morrisville. In the meantime, get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Just across the Chatham County line from Chapel Hill, Chathamites can now make a run for the border with the opening of the latest Taco Bell located at 48 Knox Way right along 15-501 South. Thanks to ready Delonda Alexander for pointing this out to us. In the event you live under a rock and need to get familiar with Taco Bell, do so here.


  • At the beginning of this week, Bare Bones, located in downtown Raleigh in the former Zinda spot, announced their immediate closing. They are part of the Eschelon Experiences restaurant group. Thanks to Paul Prause for the heads up on that.

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 this Sunday, November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.

Thanksgiving Made Easy

  • It is turkey time! Donovan’s Dish is serving up chef prepared Thanksgiving meals to you and your family. Think fresh, made from scratch, locally-sourced and of course delicious; all without you having to spend hours in front of the stove. All this and they’ll deliver it right to your door! Order your Thanksgiving dinner and take the day off to enjoy friends and family. You’ll be THANKFUL you did! Get all the easy details here.
  • If you don’t want to spend your Thanksgiving in the kitchen, we have some information you will be interested in. Raleigh’s Q Shack offers up everything from whole smoked turkeys, to sides, to the entire turkey-day meal! My family has been doing this for several years and it has been fantastic! Order online here.


  • The new Voters’ Choice Awards starts this fall with expanded categories and subcategories. You can nominate your favorite businesses through Nov. 8. On Nov. 13, they will unveil the official voting ballot. To nominate a business, click here. And if you are a business interested in sponsoring this year’s awards or getting promotional graphics to help encourage people to nominate your business, click here.
  • Tonight, November 3rd, is the annual Brewer’s Ball, an evening of the finest foods, unique craft beers, and pure North Carolina indulgence in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  It takes place tonight at Bond Brothers Beer in Cary beginning at 6:30 p.m. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • November 4th brings us 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.
  • Also on November 4th, join Bites of Bull City from 10-12 for a Durham brunch tour. Why go to brunch at just one restaurant when you can try three! Your delicious tour will take you to Piedmont, Pie Pushers and Counting House. You will meet the chefs behind the dishes and get a taste of the unique flavor and styles at each stop. Cost is $45. Use coupon code SAVEFIVE to get $5 off through this Sunday. Get your tickets here.
  • And then on November 5th  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.
  • On November 11th, the folks over at Mofu Shoppe are holding their inaugural Pho-All Fest at Mofu Shoppe on Blount Street in downtown Raleigh. All proceeds to benefit Neighbors to Neighbors. In addition to their truck, there will be lots of music and fun activities including several eating contests. Come join in the fun! Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • It’s time for the 2017 Triangle Chili Challenge. On Sunday, November 12 in Downtown Cary, restaurateurs and food trucks compete alongside the Cary Police and Fire Departments for the “Best Chili in the Triangle”. The event also features live music, craft beer, art vendors, raffles and cash prizes. The winner will go home with $300 in cash, a trophy and serious bragging rights. Registration is now open. For sponsorship packages, competitor registration and more information, go 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 15  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. Get all the details here.
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. 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.

Raising a Ruckus

  • Fellow restaurateurs, Ruckus Pizza has created a non-profit organization, Raising a Ruckus (RAR), which works with local guidance counselors to help identify families most in need in our Wake County School system. These are families that without someone stepping in to help, would not have what many of us know as “Christmas.” In the spirit of the season, we would like to reach out to our fellow restaurant owners and see if you would be open to partnering with us for collaboration on this annual project.

    Ruckus will take care of the organization of the project, including identifying the families needs, creating marketing materials, putting together all materials your restaurant would need and coordinating the pickup and delivery of the items to these families. What we are asking of you is to consider “adopting” one of these families with us and promoting the giving tree in your location and working to collect all items on the family’s wish list. More often than not, most items are basics like socks, pants, a jacket, a gift card for groceries, a new doll and other basic items.

    With several of us working together, we can partner to help provide for those most in need in our area and allow our customers to get involved in the giving process. This is a brief summary of the program, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on how to get involved or if you have more questions. We hope you will consider a partnership together during the time of year that can often be one of the most difficult for those in need. For more information contact:

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