Friday Fun Food Facts – September 14, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that the second Mami Nora’s, a Peruvian chicken restaurant in Raleigh, is set to open within the next month having recently passed inspections. This location is larger than the original location on Wake Forest Road, also in Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • The ITB Insider noted this week that Vita Vite has opened its second location in the North Hills Park Central district. The popular wine bar and art gallery, which began with a downtown location nearly three years ago, opened over the weekend. The new location offers a wine bar complemented by craft beers, and small plates. The 6,000 square foot space has a mezzanine level with outdoor seating and bars on both levels. Check them out here.
  • Over in Apex David McCreary notified me that Scratch Kitchen & Taproom at 225 N. Salem Street in the former Tobacco & Mule Exchange building in downtown Apex is now open in the evenings, with plans to open for lunch a bit down the road. According to their website, Scratch represents a partnership between two restaurant families with over a dozen successful concepts between them. Jeff and Meredith Kromenhoek and the ownership team of The Mason Jar Tavern and The Mason Jar Lager Company have come together to bring a truly exciting new concept to Apex. Think Southern food with a touch of Asian flair.  Here’s the link their Facebook page.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Saw in the News & Observer that Deeluxe Chicken opened this week in the former Oval Park Grille spot at 1116 Broad St. It is brought to us by chefs Scott Howell and Rick Robinson, who first met nearly 30 years ago working together at Durham’s Magnolia Grill. The menu is built around fried chicken, of course, with dark and light quarters served with a side. It’s been unofficially christened “NanaChicken” on social media, borrowing the counter-service system from the popular NanaTaco. Instead of a salsa bar, there’s a sauce bar with about a dozen concoctions to add to chicken and sandwiches, including Peruvian green sauce, Alabama white sauce and a spicy dip barbecue sauce. Check them out here.
  • Also in Durham, friend Wendy Ransbury notified me that First Watch, in the former Lone Star Steakhouse space at New Hope Commons (5307 New Hope Commons Blvd.), will open to the public next Monday, September 17. They currently have three locations in Raleigh and a location in Cary. Check them out here.
  • Thanks to an update from the lovely and talented Lori Bowers-Lennard, we now know that Meet Fresh, a Taiwanese dessert spot offering such things a tasty taro q balls, refreshing herbal jelly and smooth tofu pudding among others, is now open in Meadowmont in Chapel Hill in the former Five Guys spot. This is their first venture into North Carolina. Get familiar with them here.
  • And if that is not enough sweets for Chapel Hill, reader Ryan Burns notified me that a rolled ice cream (and soon shaved ice) place called Ice & Lab has opened at 405 W. Franklin St. Check out their Instagram page here.
  • And this is really fun and a good way to spend a half-hour riding out Florence. “Food Town: Durham, N.C.”, a new documentary, goes behind the scenes through lunch rush and nightcaps, from midnight bakery shifts to 7 a.m. seafood deliveries, as Durham chefs hustle through the pulse of a dynamic restaurant scene. Charting 24 hours in the life of chefs and tastemakers, it showcases the city and its signature cuisines. The half-hour program will air on UNC-TV at 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 and will also be featured as seven episodes on PBS Food. The concept was conceived by filmmaker Cynthia Hill and her Durham, N.C.-based television and film production company, Markay Media, which also produced the Emmy, Peabody and James Beard award-winning series, “A Chef’s Life.” The concept was executed by emerging filmmaker David Mayer. Extremely well done…as would be expected. Happy viewing!


  •  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.


  • The Mac and Cheese Throwdown and the Farm to Fork Pop-up Dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering (both scheduled for Sunday, September 16th) have been postponed. As soon as we have information regarding their new dates we will let you know. Here are links to both events here and here.
  • 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.
  • MIX 101.5’s Savor the Triangle is coming up on Wednesday, September 19th in the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. It will be a night of food, fun, and shopping with the Triangle’s best restaurants – all in one place! Tickets are $45 and proceeds benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. See a full list of participating restaurants and 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.
  • Chef Teddy Diggs of Coronato, a new Roman-style pizzeria concept slated to open in early 2019, is partnering with master baker Lionel Vatinet of LaFarm to host a pizza pop-up at La Farm Bakery. The pop-up is scheduled for Sunday, September 23, beginning at 5pm at the original La Farm Bakery location, 4248 NW Cary Parkway, Cary, NC 27513. He will fire up 70 pizzas throughout the night and will be using Vatinet’s terrific flours. Guests have their choice of a starter, pizza and dessert. Complimentary Roman wine tastings will also be available. Seating will be every 30 minutes from 5pm to 8pm. Italian beers and Roman wines from Sunrise Wines will be available. Get tickets and all the details here. Win two tickets 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.
  • Saw in the Beltline Buzz that the East Meets West Festival in Morrisville will return again on September 29th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. It is a day of food, culture, and music from around the world. Enjoy small plates from local restaurants, performances by cultural groups from around the community and fun activities for kids, including face painting and a bounce house. Festival admission is free. 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 porktastic 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.
  • October 19th and 20th are the dates for the 5th Annual Triangle Oktoberfest held again this year at the beautiful Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. Presented by the Apex Sunrise and Cary MacGregor Rotary Clubs in collaboration with the Town of Cary, it is an authentic German festival focused on family fun, traditional Bavarian food and fare, and plenty of local and authentic German beers from Munich, all to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and other local and international charities. In addition to brats grilled up by volunteers, the event has confirmed the following food vendors so far: The Butcher’s Market, Annelore’s German Bakery, Capital Club 16, Uncle Dave’s Kettle Corn and The Nutty Bavarian. More to come. Get tickets and details 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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