Friday Fun Food Facts – May 18, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • NC Sugar Rush. Got your attention? Sign me up! Seriously, check this out. Its Raleigh’s first all-dessert food truck rodeo, taking place Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 27th from 1-5pm in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. More than 20 local dessert vendors will be there to serve you. Enjoy a dessert bouquet like no other featuring ice cream, Italian ice, pies, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecake, popcorn, cotton candy, beignets, donuts and much more. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • This is something that will make you happy. We first told you about this back in April, 2017, but got word this week that Happy + Hale will open on June 5 in North Hills at the new Park Central apartment tower building. They are known for their fresh juice, salads and smoothies. This will be their third Triangle-area location (downtown Raleigh and Ninth Street in Durham). Check them out here.
  • And this will make many in North Raleigh (and around the Triangle) sad. Reader Alice Avery brought it to our attention that Las Margaritas in the Six Forks Station shopping center had posted on their Facebook page that “after 25 years of proudly serving our loyal patrons, Las Margaritas is looking for a new owner.” It goes on to suggest that their last day is June 30. So you have two choices: get by before June 30…or buy it! Check them out here.
  • We first told you about this in January, but Sam Ruby updated us that Cocula Mexican Restaurant, that replaced the Tripps at Garner Station, is now open at 1428 Garner Station Blvd., just south of downtown Raleigh. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • And finally an overdue shout out to my friends over at Ole Time BBQ on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street (on the way into Cary). They just celebrated 25 years of serving up some of the area’s best que. Congrats to Jerry and Charlotte and the entire team! Check out OTB here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Reader Abhijeet Chaudhari notified us that a new Indian restaurant called Thali has opened in Durham/RTP at 5311 S. Miami Blvd. in Durham. Apparently they opened back on May 4th. Get familiar with them here
  • And beer is food, amirite? Well, House of Hops has announced May (likely the very end of May) for the opening of their next location, this one in Chatham Park in Pittsoboro – right next to The Root Cellar and sharing an outside eating/drinking patio/space. This will be a great place to unwind in the evening. Get familiar with them here. Thanks to Neha Shah with the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention and Visitors Bureau for that update.

Closings

  • This is a hard one to write, especially for someone born and bred here in Raleigh. The Baskins-Robbins ice cream shop in Cameron Village closed this past Wednesday, after serving up scoops for over 50 years!
  • One of our readers, Kari, pointed out that the Cary location of Macaroni Grill has closed (apparently back in January). A quick search indicates there is only one Macaroni Grill left in the Triangle (Triangle Towne Center). And only one of two in the entire state.

Food Trucks

  • The RDU Mobile Food Association announced that the Carrboro Food Fest is THIS Sunday, May 20th at the Carrboro’s Farmer’s Market and will feature at least 10 food trucks, music and family fun from 12-4 p.m. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • NC Sugar Rush. Sign me up! Seriously, check this out. Its Raleigh’s first all-dessert food truck rodeo, taking place Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 27th from 1-5pm in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. More than 20 local dessert vendors will be there to serve you. Come and enjoy a dessert bouquet like no other featuring ice cream, Italian ice, pies, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecake, popcorn, cotton candy, beignets, donuts and much more. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The dates have been set 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.

Events

  • This weekend, May 18-20th, will welcome the 2018 version of the Got To Be NC Festival at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. The annual event is sort of a mini N.C. State Fair with rides, animals, N.C. food and beverages, demonstrations, games and more. But here’s the great part about it: It’s free! There is no fee for either parking or admission. Get all the details here. 
  • Beer and Bacon Fest. May 19th. Cary. Not much else needs to be said. Check it out here.
  • Also on May 19th is the Durham Blues & Brews Festival. What started as a rockin’ good time has become a Durham tradition, filled with music, food, and outstanding craft beer! This isn’t a Beer Fest with music, or a Blues Fest with beer. It’s a new type of event offering great Blues music and only North Carolina craft beers. The brewers will be on site to tell you about their breweries and beers. Serving full 12 oz. pours for you to enjoy while learning about their beers, and listening to great blues bands. Proceeds from the festival benefit local Durham charities and programs, including the Exchange Family Center, a Durham-based non-profit agency dedicated to preventing child abuse. Get all the details and tickets here. Use code “TFB5” to get $5 off!
  • 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.
  • Also on June 3rd, PORCH, an all-volunteer, grassroots nonprofit organization that distributes food to hundreds of at-risk families in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, will host its first-ever PORCHfest from 5-8pm on the Lawn at Southern Village. The free event will feature rhythm-and-blues band Too Much Fun, along with goodies available from Al’s Burger Shack, Maple View Farms, and Carolina Brewery, as well as several Southern Village-located businesses including Pazzo – with proceeds benefiting PORCH’s fresh food program. Get all the details here.
  • On June 11th, Mandolin chef Sean Fowler welcomes author Debbie Moose, an award-winning journalist and author of many cookbooks, for a dinner celebrating the debut of her newest book, “Carolina Catch,” a 96-recipe cookbook highlighting North Carolina seafood. Joining Fowler for this summer celebration of NC seafood and NC beer are Ryan Speckman and Lin Peterson from Locals Seafood Market & Oyster Bar, Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood, Nate Garyantes of Mateo bar de tapas, and Jake Wood of 18 Seaboard for a 5-course, beer-paired dinner featuring seasonal beers from Bond Brothers Beer Company, Fullsteam Brewery, Brewery Bhavana and more. Guests will hear from author Debbie Moose as well as from the talented chefs, organizations and brewers, and may purchase signed books at the dinner. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit NC Catch, the organization committed to strengthening the state’s seafood economy through promotion and education. Tickets for the $75 dinner may be purchased here.
  • The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9th event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewood and Scratch) and the September 10th event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • And finally, listen up chefs! The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. It’s a culinary competition open to chefs (savory and pastry) across the state. There are three regional semi-finalist rounds (New Bern May 22, Hickory June 4 and Raleigh, June 25) that will result in a final competition on Monday, Aug 27 in Charlotte. The final event is in conjunction with the first night of the industry’s Restaurant & Hotel Expo. Chefs can apply to compete now – May 9. Get all the information you need here.

Food Bank Corner

  • May is Older Americans Month. Although food insecurity affects people of all ages, seniors are particularly vulnerable. The folks at the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina know that reaching seniors with nutritious, dependable sources of food leads to amazing outcomes for families and communities. They have a fresh video here, as well as a blog post here that highlights how they are working to solve senior hunger. #SolveSeniorHunger

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