Friday Fun Food Facts – February 16, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, brought some Durham news my way with the announcement that Boxcar Bar + Arcade is on track to open a third location in downtown Durham in late spring of 2018. With the addition of a wood fired pizza kitchen, this will be their first location to include food as part of their bar and arcade concept. In addition to the kitchen, the Durham location, at over ten-thousand square feet, will be home to over 80 arcade games, a full bar, an extensive craft American draft menu, a covered patio and some unique features, such as a possible outdoor fire pit. Located at 619 Foster Street, this location overlooks the historic Durham Athletic Park, directly across from Geer Street Pub and around the corner from Durham’s famous Motorco Music Hall. Keep up with this as it develops on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Tonbo Ramen, brought to us by the owners of Kanki, recently opened in the Moore Square District at 211 S. Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh. They are serving up quintessential Japanese ramen dishes, such as Tonkotsu, Shio and Shoyu. Also they have an upstairs Izakaya bar, their version of a Japanese speakeasy, where you can enjoy craft cocktails and small plates, offering the unique flavors of Japan. Thanks to Pirya Matai for the tip. Check them out here.
  • With our need to keep Mendy Iler entertained, we feel it is necessary to inform everyone that a sign has now been added to the outside of the soon-to-be Wahlburger’s on downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street. Still no word on when the brothers and their burgers will actually arrive. Stay tuned. Thanks to Russ O’Melia for letting us know about the sign. Dial into their Facebook page for any further updates.
  • And a quick update on a new Italian restaurant called Osteria G opening very soon at 5160 Sunset Lake Road in Apex in the former Little Hen spot. At the time of this posting, they are still not open (but that could change at any moment). Check their website, Facebook and Instagram before venturing out. Check out the menu and other details on their website here.
  • Over in Cary, friend Hugh Autry notified me that a new Firehouse Subs is going in near Panera Bread at the Centrum at Crossroads shopping center where it will replace the Qdoba. No word yet on an open date. Check out Firehouse here.
  • And the semi-finalists were announced this week for the annual James Beard Foundation awards. Congrats to all those that made it to the next round. I’ll keep saying it — we are truly blessed in this market with amazing culinary talent. Check out the impressive list here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • We are excited to announce that Fusion Fish, the global Asian fusion restaurant featuring sushi, spirits and cocktails in the former One spot in Chapel Hill’s Meadowmont, is now open in the evening for their soft opening. Their “official” opening will be on March 1. Be sure to call before heading over during this “soft opening” period. You can find them on Facebook here.
  • Next Monday, February 19th, a new fast-casual restaurant called Sushioki (“Oki” means big in Japanese) will open at 4900 Highway 55 (near the intersection with Highway 54, next to Brigs restaurant). The concept features large, burrito-sized sushi rolls, both traditional (raw tuna, raw salmon, tempura shrimp) and non-traditional (double fried chicken, southern pork BBQ, Korean bulgogi, and veggie). Check them out here.
  • Congratulations to the folks over at Carrboro’s ACME Food & Beverage Company as they celebrate their 20-year anniversary. And they are holding a party (like it’s 1998 – sorry Prince) tomorrow, Saturday, February 17th from 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. They will have a heated tent behind the restaurant and will have dancing, snacks, drinks and (of course) a damn good time. Admission is a $20 donation to Be Loud! Sophie, which supports adolescent and young adult cancer patients at UNC Hospitals. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • In downtown Durham, the owners of the popular restaurant Old Havana are in the process of transitioning into a new concept, Copa (a farm to table tapas and cocktails of old Cuba), in the old Revolution. They are looking to open the new venture in March. However, to complete that dream, they are asking for community support to make renovations/furnishings possible. If you are inclined to help, click here.


  • WRAL reported that after more than six years in business, Calavera Empanadas and Tequilla ill be closing in downtown Raleigh. Their last day will be February 24. That’s the bad news. The good news is they also own Oak City Meatball Shoppe and the soon-to-open Kaiju Bowl and Bao.

Food Trucks

  • Got word from Britt DelPizzo that there is a new truck coming to the Triangle that will especially excite those transplants from western New York. Buffolina will serve up wings, chicken fingers, dogs, legendary beef on weck, pizza logs and of course, canned “pop” – among others. See their full menu and keep up with them on Twitter here.
  • And dates have been set (at least initial dates) for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • 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.


  •  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.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Go ahead and mark your calendars and get your tickets for the Food Bank’s Chef’s Feast at Fearrington Village coming up on March 22. Four renowned chefs will prepare, and serve favorite recipes through four courses in an intimate environment. Guests will enjoy beverage pairings, an opportunity to bid on unique auction items, and learn more about what the Food Bank and its partner agencies are doing in the community for those facing food insecurity. Get more information and tickets here.

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