Friday Fun Food Facts – August 17, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Things are heating up in the “food hall” business in the Triangle. Of course Chapel Hill’s Blue Dogwood is already open. We’ve heard from several sources that Morgan Street Food Hall (which has had a few delays) will begin a soft-opening next Monday (but, please, please confirm with your social media before heading out). Transfer Company Food Hall (other side of downtown Raleigh) continues to make new announcements (latest being a new fire wood bagel shop from Bolted Bread and Jubala Coffee named Benchwarmers). And downtown Durham is inching closer with their Durham Food Hall at Liberty Warehouse. Keep up with them all and get ready to enjoy the craze that is sweeping every corner of the Triangle!

Wake County Restaurant News

  • We told you about this back in January, but the folks over at ITB Insider updated us that the Taco Bell Cantina opened this week on Hillsborough Street on the ground floor of the 2304 Hillsborough Apartments. What makes it a cantina? 6 beers on tap, wine, Sangria and liquor slushies. Check it out here.
  • Got additional information on Dix Café that recently opened on the Dorothea Dix campus. The NC Department of Health and Human Services did a newsletter article on the café, which you can find here. And a pdf of their menu, featuring hand-crafted sandwiches, salads, burgers, smoothies and more, can be found here. Get by and enjoy!
  • In Cary, reader Wesley Mays provided us with an update that Anjappar Indian Restaurant has opened in the Stone Creek Village shopping center in the former Chubby’s Tacos / Guacamaya spot. They also have locations in New York and New Jersey. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Stone Creek Village, the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that a new restaurant called LemonShark Poke will soon be serving up the Hawaiian-inspired bowls of rice and fresh fish in the former It’s A Grind Coffee House location. John Dingman has plans to open a total of four locations in Triangle of the California-based restaurant franchise. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Cary, reader Gary Miller notified us that Piasans Italian Restaurant has closed and Kathmandu Kitchen has opened in 1275 Northwest Maynard Road in the Maynard Crossing Shopping Center. They are in the middle of their soft opening, with a grand opening planned for August 25th. It is an authentic Himalayan restaurant featuring Indian, Nepali and Tibetian dishes. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Fuquay Varina, the keen eyes of Hugh Autry noticed a new sign up for Icey Poke in the Kings Grant shopping center (Harris Teeter) at 8101 Fayetteville Road. The concept features poke bowls and the newest craze, Thai rolled ice cream. David McCreary provided an additional update that they are now open. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Down in Knightdale, the newest WhichWich has opened at 7200 Knightdale Boulevard at the intersection of Knightdale Blvd. and US 64 Business. It is located in the Whalen gas station. The Whalen Corporation is a family- owned and operated business that has been in the community since 1984. Check them out here.
  • And Rolesville seems to be the hot-spot in the Triangle for homegrown concepts, the latest being The Cobalt Café at 6150 Rogers Road. It is a coffee shop serving up breakfast and lunch with everything made in house. Definitely worth a visit. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Out in RTP, reader Paul Prause notified us that at the corner of Page Road and S. Miami Blvd. at Churchill Commons development in Durham a Panera, Firehouse Subs, Chipotle and Gusto Farm to Street are on the way – and apparently pretty close to opening according to reader Jeff Gimondo. Jeff was also able to find this link to the development.


  •  None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  •  The RDU Mobile Food Association is hosting their annual Tacopalooza this Sunday, August 19th from 12-4 p.m. at the Knightdale Station Park. Participating trucks so far include: Qspresso, Holy Mole, Poblanos Tacos, La Republica, El Rey del Taco, Boricua Soul, Tacos Las Gringas , Medley, Hot Chix, Bandido’s, 13th Taco , JAM Ice Cream and Cocoa Forte. Get all the details on their Facebook events page here.
  • Only a few dates remain in 2018 for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo. The next one is in Durham on Sunday, September 2nd. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.


  •  This weekend is the 2018 version of Triangle Vegfest, a two-day event full of presenters, vendors and samples to be held Saturday August 18th and Sunday 19th. Saturday’s events are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Durham Arts Council PSI Theater and Sunday’s events are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Durham Armory. Get a line-up of presenters and vendors on their website here.
  • The 2nd annual Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market Brewfest is happening on Saturday, August 25, with a 12 pack of local brewers and fermenters bringing product to sample and sell. Look for: Botanist & Barrel, Bull City Burger and Brewery, Bull City Ciderworks, Dingo Dog Brewing, Fullsteam Brewery, Haw River Farmhouse Ales, Mystery Brewing, Oak & Dagger Public House, Raleigh Brewing, Starpoint Brewing, 3rd Degree Brewhouse, and Vecino Brewing. The address is 201 S. Estes Drive Chapel Hill. (University Place next to Silverspot) and hours are regular market hours, 8am-12. Get details here.
  • Sunday, August 26th is the date for Families Moving Forward’s Kids for Change End of Summer Celebration at Durham Central Park from 3-5 p.m. featuring budget-friendly food trucks and lots of fun entertainment. Admission is free. Check it out here.
  • The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. 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. Get all the information you need here.
  • On Saturday, September 8th from 12-5 p.m. Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre will be host to Tacos ‘N Taps featuring all you care to taste beer and tequila along with the area’s best tacos and Mexican food. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • The Root Cellar and the House of Hops will host a Low Country Boil and Brew on Sunday, September 9th from 4-8 p.m. at their adjoining Pittsboro locations in Chatham Park. Your $25 ticket gets you an overflowing plate of fresh shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob, and potatoes. Thirsty? They’ll have 24 craft beers on tap and hundreds of bottled and canned beers, available for purchase. Get your tickets and all the details here.
  • And one of my daughter’s favorite events has set the date for their 2018 edition – the Mac and Cheese Throwdown is scheduled for Sunday, September 16th from 5pm until 8pm at 214 Martin.  They’ve had a great response from some “mac makers” and have some new contestants this year.  So far, it looks like the lineup is Relish, Oak and Dagger, Wandering Moose, Dram and Draught, US Foods, The Mac House, Southern Charred, NOFO and the chef from 214 Martin. My daughter and I will be judges again this year! Check it out.
  • The Root Cellar Cafe & Catering announced that they will host their annual Porkapalooza Festival at their new Pittsboro restaurant on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. To celebrate their seventh year, the celebration will offer small plate creations, featuring locally raised pork from Hickory Nut Gap and Sharp Family Farms, served casually indoors and outdoors, rather than a traditional seated dinner. Their Pittsboro location is at 35 Suttles Road in Penguin Place in Pittsboro. Tickets for Porkapalooza are $50, which includes all food, entertainment and a souvenir pint cup. Get all the details here.
  • The 2nd annual Sip + Savor, featuring 30 restaurants, 30 wineries and live music, will take place at the DPAC on Sunday, October 14th from 4 – 7 p.m. The event is an exclusive opportunity to sample the Triangle’s top restaurants paired with famed wineries from across the world. There will also be live music, desert and bubbly on the DPAC stage. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • Ok, here it is again. And I tell you EVERY year, but I will repeat it again. DO. NOT. MISS. THIS. EVENT. You can just thank me later. The dates have been set for the 9th annual TerraVita Festival over in Chapel Hill. Those dates are October 17-20. Things will kick off Wednesday, October 17, with the East Meets West dinner (first year at The Carolina Inn) and end on October 20 with the Fall Fête on The Green in Southern Village. Check out this video that give you a great look at all the events that make up TerraVita. Or visit their website here.

Food Bank Corner

  • For most of us and for our children summertime is full of memories and fun times and it seems like school will be here before we know it. But for many, summertime is the hardest time of the year – children not feeling full and parents struggling to keep food on the table. The Food Bank CENC can remove the grown-up worries for kids in our community, and help ease the stress of their parents…but they cannot Stop Summer Hunger alone. Help kids just be kids for the rest of the summer by donating today.

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