Friday Fun Food Facts – February 15, 2019

Featured Restaurant News

  •  John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared the news this week that Gonza Tacos y Tequila founders, Gonza Salamanca and Carlos Rodriguez, have announced their newest venture, Macondo Latin Cuisine, which will open in Sojourn Glenwood Place Apartments in Raleigh (near the intersection of 440 and Glenwood Avenue). Macondo will feature small tastes of traditional Latin flavors that will rotate seasonally. Look for them to open this fall. In the meantime, keep up with their progress on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • High school classmate Kevin Stavredes shared the news that Saints & Scholars had finished their remodel and had re-opened (February 2) at 909 Spring Forest Road. Kevin noted that they are back open with many of the same great made-from-scratch menu items that made them famous…great burgers, wraps, unbelievable fresh salads (the Mediterranean is my favorite), great appetizers, and great Main Plates including a nice fresh Salmon entree, homemade Jambalaya, pot roast and shepherd’s pie – plus great bar drinks. Check them out here.
  • Reader Jennifer Buchholz shared that Poke Bros. at 780 Alexander Place, Suite 110 in Brier Creek has opened (did so on Feb. 2). They offer fast, fresh, fit. high-quality, sushi-grade fish and farm-fresh veggies in an authentic Hawaiian poké bowl. Get familiar with them here.
  • The folks over at ITB Insider shared the news that McNeill Pointe along Wake Forest Road will soon be adding yet another new restaurant to their growing list of offerings: Chido Taco. Chido, a Spanish language equivalent to the American slang word “cool,” does not appear to be a chain of any kind. However, we can’t find an online presence for them. Stay tuned.
  • John Huisman also shared the news that Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center is bringing their bowling alley/restaurant concept to 4020 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh (Ashton Square shopping center). No word yet on an opening date. Keep up with any announcements on their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Raleigh, WRAL shared the news that Burney’s Sweets & More has opened a location at 4500 Falls of Neuse Road. They are known for their original recipe glazed and filled croissants, 15-Layer cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, donuts, pastries, ice cream, and coffee (they had me at glazed and filled croissants!). You can get to know them here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, WRAL’s Kathy Hanrahan shared the news that Rosati’s is just temporarily closed and will reopen soon under new ownership and new management. They are located at 2101 S. Main Street. We will keep our eyes open for their re-open date. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Down in Fuquay Varina friend David McCreary shared the news that Tsuru Sweets & Coffee opened its doors for business yesterday at 411 Broad Street in Fuquay-Varina. Check them out here.
  • David also shared that Fera’Wyn’s Artisan Chocolates has opened at 652 Holly Springs Road at Holly Springs Crossings shopping center in Holly Springs. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over in Chapel Hill, reader Tom Viemont shared with us that he noticed that Swasdee Thai Restaurant on Columbia Street (near the intersection with Franklin Street) was closed for renovations. A little snooping on my part revealed that it is being converted to a Cajun Crab House just like what was done with the former Swasdee location in Raleigh. Both establishments are owned by the Oriental Hospitality Group (also own Tamarind Asian Fusion Bistro). No word on a timeline. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Durham, Amber Watson of Bites of Bull City shared that Soul Cocina will be the featured “pop-up” at the American Tobacco Campus (359 Blackwell Street)through February 22nd. They are accompanied by Chocolatay Confections. If you can’t make it there, you can also find Soul Cocina at Chapel Hill’s Blue Dogwood Public Market at 306 W. Franklin Street. Check them out here.


  • The News & Observer broke the news that after less than a year in business, the weekly food truck rodeo County Fare has closed indefinitely. County Fare closed at the end of last year for winter break, and its four-person ownership group says the project is now for sale.
  • Blogger Eat Raleigh shared the news that Kaiju Bowl and Bao closed this past weekend for a few weeks while they reconcept.
  • And in Cary, friend Suzanne Smith shared the news that LaShish Mediterranean Cuisine has closed their doors.

Food Trucks 

  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: March 24, June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.


  • Chatham OutReach Alliance (CORA) invites the public to the 9th Annual Chatham Empty Bowls Fundraiser on Sunday, February 24th at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington in Pittsboro. Empty Bowls is an event designed to raise awareness and funds for our battle to end hunger in Chatham County. Get all the details here. Purchase tickets here or at the door.
  • An annual favorite – Cooking for a Classic 2019 – is just around the corner. The prize for 2019  is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from Plates vs. Jonathan Blackley form Vidrio; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.
  • On Tuesday, March 5, participating restaurants are donating a percentage of sales to the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake as part annual gala week. The proceeds from this evening will help to support children and their families who are facing a critical illness. View a (growing) list of participating restaurants here.
  • BBQ lovers should put March 9th on their calendar. That is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, and water. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.
  • The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Get all the details, including when tickets will go on sale (February 28), here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

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