Friday Fun Food Facts – January 12, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  The News & Observer reported this week that Bu.ku, the restaurant that introduced global street food to downtown Raleigh, will open a second location by March or April in Wake Forest. This will be the third restaurant for owners Sean Degnan, Tony Hopkins and Todd Ohle, who also operate in Cameron Village. The new Bu.ku will be at 1228 Heritage Links Drive, in the Heritage development, next to Wine 101 wine shop. Check out Bu.ku here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In Raleigh, got word that a new pizza franchise named Firenza will open in the McNeill Point development at the corner of McNeill Street and Wake Forest Road (next to Mami Nora’s). This will be the second location in the state (Charlotte has one) and the first in the Triangle. Get familiar with them here.
  • Speaking of pizza, blogger EatRaleigh reported last week that Brookside Market & Pizza is now open at 1000 Brookside Drive in Raleigh. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • And if that is not enough pizza news for you, the folks over at ITB Insider reported this week that Manhattan Pizza will be opening soon at the Falls Pointe shopping center at 9660 Falls of Neuse Road. While we are not aware of the timeline, the restaurant will open in the space once occupied by Greek Fiesta. The chain has locations in Virginia and Maryland and this will be their first venture into North Carolina. Check them out here.
  • We first told you about this back in June, 2017, but the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Growler USA will open its first Triangle location this month at 314 S. Blount St. in the Moore Square Historic District. Apparently other locations are expected in Durham and Wilmington. Check out Growler here.
  • Got a note from reader Carole Walker that Creedmoor Café is now open for breakfast and lunch at 8315 Creedmoor Road. Check them out here.
  • And we are getting closer to the opening of the North Ridge location of Zoes Kitchen on Falls of the Neuse Road. There was an invitation-only event last night, and they are conducting staff training with invited guests on Saturday and next Monday. That usually means an opening immediately following that. Stay tuned. Check out Zoes here.
  • Over in Cary, reader Forrest Stroud sent me a note letting me know that the closed Peter Wang’s Asian Buffet and Szechuan on Kildaire Farm Road has been replaced by Silk Road Dim Sum & Sichuan. Couldn’t find an online presence for them – just their Yelp review here.
  • Down in Apex one of our readers brought it to our attention that Archibald’s Tavern at 5160 Sunset Lake Road fairly seamlessly transitioned to Shakey Ray’s Tavern. Might be too early to know what changes to expect, but the website suggests a new menu is forthcoming. Check them out here.
  • Also in Apex, reader Chris Creighton shared that a Mr. Dumpling has opened at 5470 Apex Peakway in the former location of Lee’s Garden Chinese Restaurant. They are serving up (you guessed it) dumplings as well as other Chinese food. Check them out here.
  • And finally a shout out to Chuck Russell over at D’Nardys Caterers. In addition to his catering, he has over 40 years of experience (he started when he was 6!) whipping cream cheese, sugar, and cream together to bring you the finest homemade cheesecakes. His D’Nardys Cheesecake Jars are now available in Whole Foods in the bakery department at nine locations in Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary. Kudos to Chuck and his success. Check his cheesecakes out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Durham, the newer, more casual feeling Piedmont Restaurant re-opened this week featuring lower prices, expanded beer and wine selections, and a menu that chef John May created chock full of whimsical dishes. Check out the new menu here.

  • In Ram’s Plaza in Chapel Hill I noticed this week that the newest location of Firehouse Subs opened. It is in the new standalone building near the front of the shopping center. Check out Firehouse here.


  • Got word from a colleague that the Tossed location in Morrisville closed. The Tossed site suggests it might be relocating – so stay tuned.

Food Trucks

  •  See, even Mother Nature loves a good food truck rodeo. The single digit temperatures are gone and a warm(er) sunny Sunday is in the forecast for this Sunday’s Winter Food Truck Rodeo at Durham’s Central Park. Located at 501 Foster Street, the rodeo will take place this Sunday, January 14th from 12-4 p.m. Get all the details here.


  • And here is a great event to kick off your 2018… Can you say sausage!?! Durham’s first Sausagefest will take place this Sunday January 14th inviting 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-1 p.m. with passed appetizers, t-shirt and an exclusive sausage-making demo. General Admission entry from 1-4 p.m. 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 are $45; General Admission is $25. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Here’s a great time. I mean a really great time. The guys behind the NC Food & Beverage Podcast (Max and Matt) have teamed up with John May over at Piedmont in Durham to offer up their first dinner called “Pork & Rum” on Sunday, January 28th. They will be pairing rums from Lassiter Distilling with a menu by May – think Caribbean-meets-Hawaiian-meets-North Carolina. And for the best part, it’s family-style, i.e. big tables, big plates and flowing cocktails. Tickets are $65. Get your tickets and all the details 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 Ironwoods Cafe, 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.
  • Mark your calendars for the return of Triangle Restaurant WeekJanuary 22-28, 2018. During TRW, participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity to try places you’ve never been before – or to enjoy your old reliables with a new twist. No reservations, tickets or passes required. Get all the details and a list of participating restaurants here.
  • The Cary Rotary Club is hosting its 15th annual Chili Dinner fund-raiser to Stop Hunger on Friday, January 26 at Kirk of Kildare Presbyterian Church (200 High Meadow Drive in Cary) between the hours of 12 and 2 p.m. and 5 and 7 p.m. This year they are working toward providing 94,000+ meals internationally and generating $11,000+ to support local hunger relief efforts. Each $8 ticket purchased will send ~19 meals internationally and $2.40 to relieve hunger in our own neighborhoods.  International meals are typically served in schools. Doing so encourages attendance and supports education/literacy. Delicious meals prepared by Whole Foods Market will be served at lunch and dinner. Get details on their Facebook event page here.
  • March 17th is the date for the second annual Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Growing School Gardens program (better known as the Sean is Faster Than Gordon race). Put it this way, if I can do it, you can do it! Come on out and support a great cause. Register and get all the details here.
  • And looking ahead a bit, it was announced this week that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will host a culinary event called Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Tickets will go on sale in February. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Looking to get your company involved (in a very easy way) in fighting hunger in our community? Virtual Food Drives increase the impact of your donations! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide $10 worth of food, thanks to their partnerships and buying power! Create a personal page and invite your friends and family to browse through our virtual grocery aisles, add items to a shopping cart, and check-out by making a monetary donation. Consider making it a team effort by organizing a competition between your neighbors, within your company, or among your community by easily setting up a team page. Find out how to set up a Virtual Food Drive here.

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