Friday Fun Food Facts – August 31, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  The folks over at North Hills announced this week that STIR, a restaurant offering premium oysters, craft cocktails with artisanal ice and a made-from-scratch menu, will be opening in the Park District at North Hills located on the ground floor level of the Bank of America Tower next to The Capital Grille. Look for it to open in 2019. STIR is owned and operated by Square One Holdings and has one other location in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Get familiar with them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Yesterday in downtown Raleigh I met with Biagio Lubrano-Lavadera, the owner of GiGi’s Pizza which took over the former ZPizza spot in the Bank of America building. The menu includes specialty pizzas, stromboli, calzones, sandwiches and salads. They kept the self-service draft system they inherited from ZPizza and it has 20 beers on tap, with a heavy emphasis on beer from North Carolina. Get familiar with them on their Facebook page here.
  • Over on Hillsborough Street, the ITB Insider reported that Guasaca will soon open its newest Raleigh location on the ground floor of the Target at 2512 Hillsborough Street. Permits for the space were recently filed, which means they should be open in the next few months. The restaurant is known for their delicious arepas and has locations in Morrisville, Durham and their original location on Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • Also according to the ITB Insider, It looks like the national “super-food” cafe chain Kale Me Crazy will soon be open in the former home of Baskin-Robbins in Cameron Village. The restaurant offers juices, smoothies, salads, and wraps in a sleek, upscale environment. With a location in Cary, this will be their second Triangle area location. Get familiar with them here.
  • Reader Cheyenne Jones notified us that the El Rodeo off Glenwood at 4112 Pleasant Valley Rd has a Viva Mexico sign that says “coming soon” and looks like the same owners as Viva Mexico on Davis Drive in Morrisville. Visit their website here.
  • Out in Morrisville, the Triangle Explorer reported this week that Fount Coffee + Kitchen will open this fall in the Marketplace at Perimeter Park (10954 Chapel Hill Road). They will offer coffee and teas, smoothie bowls, salads, stacks and small plates. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Cary, this past Saturday saw the much-anticipated opening of Big Dom’s Bagel Shop in downtown in the former Little Caesars space. It is a grab and go bagel shop offering bagels, biscuits and b’donuts and is brought to us by the folks that also own Pizzeria Faulisi. It is located at 203 E. Chatham Street. Check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, reader Cheyenne Jones noticed a banner in the window announcing that Tadka Indian Grill is coming into the space formerly occupied by German Grill in the Harrison Pointe shopping center at 243 Grande Heights Drive. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Just a programming note with regard to a new offering over at Postmaster in Cary. They are now serving Sunday Brunch (not this Sunday – Sept. 2 – as they are closed for an employee outing). Service runs from 10 am to 2 pm, with outdoor seating available. The menu focuses on classic Carolina dishes, such as biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, fried fish sandwich and eggs Benedict.  And of course served alongside creative brunch cocktails. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Durham recently, I noticed that there is a First Watch coming into the former Lone Star Steakhouse space at New Hope Commons (5307 New Hope Commons Blvd.). The sign is up, so it won’t be long. They currently have three locations in Raleigh and a location in Cary. Check them out here.
  • The students are back in Chapel Hill and things are really starting to purr. Seriously. Chapel Hill is getting a cat café, more specifically, Cat Tales Cat Cafe. The new venture will open at 431 W. Franklin Street this fall. Cat Tales will be home to a dozens of cats available for adoption (and petting!). Check them out here.
  • And listen up restaurateurs; got word that Durham County government has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking tenants to fill two brand new restaurant spaces in the newly renovated County Administrative Building II. If you haven’t seen this building, it is absolutely gorgeous and right on Main Street! The RFP and required documentation for submission can be downloaded from the Durham County Government website here.


  •  None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  •  Namu Restaurant and Coffee Bar and the RDU Mobile Food Association are holding a Food Truck Rodeo on Sunday, September 23 from 12 to 4 p.m. at at the Zen and beautiful gardens of Namu Durham (5420 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd.). At this point there are eight trucks, live music and more planned. Check out their Facebook event 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 is THIS Sunday, September 2nd. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.


  •  This is always a fun event for the family to attend – the 37th Annual Raleigh Greek Festival being held September 7-9 at the NC State Fairgrounds. Get all the details including the food, entertainment and ticket information on their website here.
  • The 5th annual Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival, featuring over 70 breweries, 15 food trucks, 3 great bands, and a few thousand of your closest friends, will take place on Saturday, September 8th in Holly Springs at the Sugg Farm Park. VIP time starts at noon and general admission begins at 2 pm. Get all the details and tickets at their website 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, The Butcher’s Market, 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.
  • Chef Satoshi Katakura travels from Tokyo, Japan to Durham to join the Dashi team for a four-night Omakase Dinner Series September 17-20. The Japanese chef and owner of Hiro, an izakaya in the Nakameguro neighborhood in Tokyo, will team up with co-owner and head chef, Billy Cotter, for the third year in a row, to create a unique omakase meal of five courses that highlight Japanese culinary skills while showcasing local, North Carolina ingredients. Get all the details here.
  • St. Ann Church in Clayton will host their 10th International Food Festival on September 22nd, featuring foods from 20 countries prepared by parishioners. The family friendly event also includes live international entertainment on stage, children’s games and a silent auction. Admission and parking are free. Hours are from 11 till 6. For more information, visit them here.
  • The folks out at Brier Chapel in Chatham County will hold the 11th Annual Pepper Festival on September 23, 3-6 p.m. The annual Pepper Festival challenges approximately 50 of the state’s top chefs and brewers to craft one-of-a-kind recipes using the locally grown and bred North Carolina pepper while celebrating North Carolina chefs, cuisines, music and culture to benefit Abundance NC, a nonprofit that supports sustainable food and fuels. Get all the details here.
  • 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 folks over at Melina’s Fresh Pasta reached out to let me know that a group of Italian Americans in the Triangle have gotten together to plan the Inaugural Festa Italiana on October 7 from 11 to 6 in the 600 block of Tucker Street in front of Lucky B’s. They will have a great list of food vendors and food trucks, an entertainment stage and more. Get all the details on their Facebook page 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

  •  September is Hunger Action Month! Everyone has a role to play in ending hunger. Hunger Action Month is your opportunity to join a movement that has a real and lasting impact on our effort to feed more North Carolinians than ever before. Whether it’s by advocating and raising awareness, making a donation, having a short conversation with friends, or volunteering, you can find the way that’s right for you to make a difference during Hunger Action Month. Together, we can solve hunger. Each voice counts. Every action matters. Find out how you can make a difference here.

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