Friday Fun Food Facts – December 8, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  I’ve been telling you folks for years that we are blessed with some amazing dining options here in the Triangle. But if you won’t listen to me (I understand, I wouldn’t either) please take note of the two HUGE feathers we received this week in our collective cap. First up was the news that the food blog Eater named Raleigh’s Ashley Christensen as their Chef of the Year! And if that wasn’t enough news for one week, Forbes included Raleigh’s Brewery Bhavana on their Top 10 Coolest Places to Eat…in the world! Check out the Eater article here and the Forbes article here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • And if that is not enough Ashley Christensen news, we send out a quick congratulatory note to Ashley wishing her a happy 10th anniversary of Poole’s Diner coming up on December 17th. Kudos Ashley! Check out Poole’s here.
  • The big news out of downtown Raleigh this week is that Weaver Street Market, a popular co-op food market founded in Carrboro nearly thirty years ago, will be opening at The Dillon in Raleigh’s warehouse district in late Summer 2018. While I normally don’t cover grocery store news, I have enjoyed some great meals over the years at the other Weaver Street locations (and was employed at the Carrboro location during my college years!). Get familiar with Weaver Street here.
  • The ITB Insider and News & Observer both reported this week that after closing Cafe Lucarne in March in City Market, the owners of Royale have re-opened a new concept in the same location as simply Lucarne. Co-owner Jesse Bardyn said the new Lucarne will focus on small plates to snack on while imbibing on cocktails, wine and beer. The new chef is Bobby McFarland, who was previously the chef de cuisine at Royale. Keep up with them on instagram here.
  • And keeping the Wahlburger’s vigil alive, reader Jeff Gimondo notified us this week that a sign now hangs outside their “coming soon” location in downtown Raleigh. And their latest Facebook posting in late November was a “now hiring” post. Any day now….Keep up with them on their Facebook page here.
  • Over on HIllsborough Street in Raleigh, the ITB Insider reported that Penn Station East Coast Subs will soon be serving their signature sandwiches from the ground floor of the Stanhope at 3001 Hillsborough Street. Permits for the interior completion of the space were issued last week. They already have locations in Cary, Durham, Morrisville and Raleigh. Get familiar with Penn Station here.
  • Over in downtown Cary, we first told you about this in May, but it looks like we are very close to the opening of the Postmaster Restaurant and Bar at the corner of E. Cedar St. and North Walker Street. Looks like this weekend they have a soft-opening that is invitation only, with the possibility of it opening to the public next week. Postmaster is the creation of Tyler Watt who also owns and operates Pharmacy Bottle & Beverage just a block away. Keep up with it all on their Facebook page here.
  • WRAL shared the news this week that that California Tortilla, fast-casual Mexican-inspired restaurant, will soon expand into North Carolina for the first time after inking a deal in Raleigh. California Tortilla is currently looking for retail locations in the Triangle and hoping to open in late 2018. Get familiar with them here.
  • We told you about this back on October 6th, but it became official recently that Rocky Top Catering sold Twisted Fork in Raleigh and Dean’s Kitchen+Bar in Cary to Darryl Cook (wonder if he will change it to Darryl’s…) of  Cook Hospitality Group. Cook formerly managed Empire Eats restaurants. Rocky Top will open a new catering kitchen in 2018 and will focus on their catering and event venues. Check out Dean’s here and Twisted Fork here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The Wine Feed, a Raleigh-based wine bar and shop, is opening a second location in downtown Durham at 305 S. Roxboro Street. Opening in early 2018, it will feature an indoor and outdoor wine bar and lounge area that offers wines by the glass, tasting flights and snacks for pairing with wine. An expanded retail wine section will also offer a diverse selection of wines to take home. The adjoining event space, Pine & Poplar, will accommodate up to 125 people for wedding receptions, corporate functions or private gatherings. The Wine Feed will be located next to Bull City Ciderworks. Check them out here.


  • Got word from readers Sharon and Todd Dawson that the North Raleigh location of Chubby Tacos at Falls River Town Center has closed after a seven-year run.
  • And John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, noted on Twitter that the coffee trailer in Carrboro called Tin Cup Joe is closing up shop at the end of December. Last call for those Dr. Pepper lattes.

Food Trucks

  • So if you love food trucks and are looking for a good cause to support this time of year, do I have the opportunity for you. Carly Erickson is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign (halfway there!) to fund the next phase of her Boro Beverage business – a “beverage camper” that will allow her to mobilize her dream of bringing healthy drinks to the Triangle. Consider helping her Kickstarter campaign here. Thanks to Julie Albert for bringing this to our attention!
  • Or if you are thinking you want a career change in 2018, how about owning and operating a food truck? Right now you can purchase the Mac-Ur-Roni food trailer (a turnkey purchase) for just $55k (an additional $20k if you want the truck to pull it). Say goodbye to that boring 9-5 desk job crunching numbers for the man. Check it out here.
  • So, with the cold months upon us there simply aren’t many “official” food truck rodeos happening. So, you will have to act like a squirrel and really work to find your food trucks for the next several months. Here are a couple of online resources to help you do just that (please note, this is not an endorsement of any of these sites, just an effort to help my readers find their favorite trucks). Street Food Finder is one, check them out here. And another is aptly named Roaming Hunger and you can find them here.


  • The new Voters’ Choice Awards voting is under way now through December 17. The awards allow you to vote for your favorite North Carolina people, places and businesses, from the mountains to the coast. Vote here. And while you are there, if you love my blog I would be greatly honored if you’d throw a vote my way for Best Blogger! 🙂
  • Families for a Change will hold their Chefs for a Change Dessert Gala tonight, December 8th from 7-10 p.m. at the Rickhouse in Durham. In addition to celebrating their extremely successful inaugural year, they will be announcing the 2018 chef line-up at 9 p.m. If you want to make it tonight, get your tickets here.
  • The 3rd Annual Bull City Holiday Food & Wine Soirée will take place again this year at the Rickhouse in Durham on Sunday, December 10th from 1 to 5 pm.  It is a food and beverage-centric pop-up holiday market with over 25 local NC producers.  This year pick up your stocking stuffers, Secret Santa gifts and holiday treats all in one place while you support local businesses. Get all the details here.
  • And here is a great event to kick off your 2018… Can you say sausage!?! Durham’s first Sausagefest invites meat-lovers to taste and stock your fridge with locally crafted sausages from your favorite restaurants and butcher shops! VIP tickets include early entry from noon – 1pm with passed appetizers, T-shirt and an exclusive sausage making demo. General Admission entry from 1 – 4pm. Sausages of all kinds will be available for take home from First Hand Foods, Left Bank Butchery and more. Restaurants providing bites to include Gocciolina, Dashi, The Root Cellar, Black Twig Cider House and more.  VIP tickets (Noon – 1pm) are $45; General Admission (1-4 p.m.) are $25. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Also, the dates for the Lucy Daniels Center 2018 version of their popular Cooking for a Classic have been set. This year’s event consists of three rounds and eight chefs vying to win a restored ’49 truck. It is gorgeous! The first round kicks off on Monday, January 22 and continues through the week. The semifinals are the following week and the final showdown will be on Wednesday, February 7th. This year’s competing chefs are Trey Cleveland of Top of the Hill, Chapel Hill; Matt Hannon of Ironwood Café, Southern Pines; Jonathan Ballard of Dean’s Kitchen and Bar, Cary; James Patterson, McConnell Golf Dining; Troy Stauffer, City Club Raleigh; Aaron Matyac, Whiskey Kitchen, Raleigh; Dean Thompson, Raleigh Renaissance Hotel; and Nick Fay, Coquette, Raleigh. Get a peek at the truck and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • No child or family should go hungry during the holidays… and with your help, they won’t! That’s the power of your giving when you share a meal from your table to theirs. Help reach the goal of 2.5 million meals before December 31!
  • A gift of $35 will feed a child for twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $85 will provide groceries to an elderly couple for over twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $120 will provide enough food to sustain a familyTWO FAMILIES through the winter months
  • A gift of $210 will provide more than 1,0002,000 piping hot holiday meals to local familiesAnd your gift goes even further this winter. To help make sure our neighbors have enough to eat, friends of the Food Bank have generously agreed to match donations, up to $56,000, now through December 31st. Help ensure that no one goes hungry this holiday season…Share a meal today!

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