Friday Fun Food Facts – January 19, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • With 65,000 votes cast in his year’s WRAL.COM Voters’ Choice Awards, the winners were announced this past Tuesday at Level 7 at AC Hotels in North Hills. I am humbled to share that yours truly, Triangle Food Guy, was voted Best Blogger – so a huge thank you to the readers for throwing a little kudos my way. Lots of great people, programs and businesses were recognized – including some great restaurants throughout the Triangle. The highlight of the night was Ashley Christensen hauling in the Woman of the Year award! Get a full list of winners here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Two years after a fire completely destroyed their restaurant, Sushi Nine on Western Blvd. in Raleigh has reopened according to WRAL. Located at 3812 Western Boulevard the building is certainly new, but the menu will be just like their customers will remember – nothing changed there! Check them out here,
  • The North Ridge location of Zoes Kitchen on Falls of the Neuse Road (6004 Falls of the Neuse Road) opened this past week. Apparently this new store will be the prototype for all future locations. Check out Zoes here.
  • And if you were eagerly anticipating a location of Ed Mitchell’s barbecue in Brier Creek, the News & Observer reported this week that that project has stalled. Ed and his son have redirected their focus to online endeavors. He did leave the door open that at some point there would be another Ed Mitchell barbecue joint. The truck concept has been parked as well.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • WRAL’s Sarah Krueger reported that the Liberty Warehouse Apartments will not only have the Durham Food Hall locating in their first floor retail space, as well as Dame’s Chicken & Waffles, but apparently there is also a coffee shop in the works – Foster Street Coffee. Lots of exciting things happening there, just across from Durham Central Park. The Durham Dame’s location is closed in January for the move. Foster Street looks to open in February as well. And the Food Hall will open later in 2018. Check out the Durham Food Hall here. Dame’s Chicken and Waffles here. And Foster Street Coffee here.
  • Also in Durham, WRAL reported this week that Vegan Flava Café recently opened on Guess Road in Durham, near Northgate Mall. The menu has all kinds of comfort food, from curried lentils and rice to red beans and rice. Check them out here.
  • A quick update on Chapel Hill’s Monterrey Mexican Restaurant from reader Cassie Spracklen…she learned a little more about the move from the current restaurant to the Rams Plaza location in the former Bailey’s spot, but this is more to do with the current location. During a recent visit, she learned that the current location will be converted to a more casual “grab and go” concept (similar to Chipotle) which will have a completely different menu and will feature empanadas. Sounds great! Stay tuned and thanks Cassie for the updates! Check out Monterrey here.


  • Got word from reader Chris Creighton that the Bob Evans on Walnut Street in Cary has closed.
  • Also in Cary, got word from reader Rachel Goer that Uncle Maddio’s in Parkside Town Commons closed in December.

Food Trucks

  •  Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one – find it here. And another, aptly named, is Roaming Hungerfind it 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.
  • Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop will host the 6th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, February 25. The event features 30 restaurants paired with 30 breweries spread throughout all three DPAC floors featuring unlimited samplings and the Harris On Stage Experience showcasing local food trucks with the help of County Fare, a daily food truck rodeo opening soon. Get all the details and tickets 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.
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets 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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