Friday Fun Food Facts – January 26, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • And let the water cooler debates begin. The much-anticipated “Restaurant of the Year” list has been released by the News & Observer’s Greg Cox. The annual release of the areas best restaurants was unveiled this week and a huge kudos (and much deserved nod) goes to Scott Crawford and his Crawford & Son restaurant as this year’s top restaurant. Lots of other restaurants also earned Cox’s praise. Check out this year’s list in the News & Observer here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • It is time for pizza. More specifically, The Pizza Times. That’s right, The Pizza Times joins downtown favorites The Raleigh Times Bar and The Morning Times and is serving up pizzas by the pie and by the slice. They are open 11 am – 2 am around the corner from The Raleigh Times at 210 Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • Over on Wake Forest Road in Raleigh in the same shopping center as Trader Joe’s, the Jersey Mike’s location has closed to make way for the first North Carolina location of a healthy fast casual restaurant concept called Gusto which seems to feature hand-crafted, fast-fired pizzas and yummy salads. Look for a late spring, early summer opening. Find out more about Gusto here.
  • Got word from reader Michelle Hillison that a location of Pastries “N” Chaat is coming to Cary at 2711 Highway 55 in the space formerly occupied by La Carreta near the intersection with High House Road. The Indian franchise has locations in Arizona, Utah, California, Florida and Colorado. This is the first in North Carolina. Check them out here.
  • Plates Neighborhood Kitchen is celebrating their 4th year with some exciting changes, beginning with bringing back chef Sam Bradford as chef and Stephanie Schenck as general manager. Additionally, they are now open for lunch and have refreshed and renovated their dining space and outdoor patio. Congrats on 4 years and the new changes. Check out Plates here.
  • Over in Morrisville, Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties notified me that they recently sold The Red Dragon Chinese Restaurant (4051 Davis Drive) to the group that also recently purchased David’s Dumpling and Noodle Bar on Hillsborough Street. They plan on keeping things the same and not making any changes. Check out Red Dragon here.
  • And how do you make Taco Bell tasty? Booze, lots of booze. And that is exactly what is happening with a new Taco Bell coming to the ground floor of Raleigh’s 2304 Hillsborough Apartments according to the folks over at ITB Insider. They noted this week that a Taco Bell Cantina is set to open later this year and will offer, in addition to their normal fare, Sangria, wine and draft beers.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Over on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street, my twitter colleague Burgeoning Baker brought it to my attention that Bonchon Chicken has opened in the former McAlister’s location. Bonchon is a franchise specializing in Korean-style fried chicken and a variety of savory Asian fusion dishes. They have 236 restaurants in nine countries with more than 63 in the United States. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also on Franklin Street, got a note from Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties that they sold Artisan Pizza to a local restaurant group that will be converting it to a Hibachi style quick service restaurant. They plan to open in the next few weeks after completing a nice remodel. Stay tuned for additional information on that.
  • In Durham, the folks over at Taste Carolina brought it to my attention that The Bullpen on Blackwell Street, adjacent to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, recently had a grand re-opening of their kitchen. Their new kitchen is serving up a brand new expanded menu that highlights the beer offerings by Bull Durham Beer Co, and food items that include veggie melts, grain bowl salads, and beer infused chicken chili verde. Check them out here.
  • And a quick kudos to owner and chef Bret Jennings of Elaine’s on Franklin in Chapel Hill as they celebrate 18 years! To commemorate the occasion, chef will hold a special anniversary dinner on January 28th. Get a look at the menu and all the details here.

 

Closings

  • Got word from reader Katie Zimmerman that Tarbouch on Creedmoor Road in Raleigh has closed.
  • And it looks like Menchie’s at Sutton Square in Raleigh has closed.

Food Trucks

  • 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

  • Here’s a great time. I mean a really great time. The guys behind the NC Food & Beverage Podcast (Max and Matt) have teamed up with John May over at Piedmont in Durham to offer up their first dinner called “Pork & Rum” on Sunday, January 28th. They will be pairing rums from Lassiter Distilling with a menu by May – think Caribbean-meets-Hawaiian-meets-North Carolina. And for the best part, it’s family-style, i.e. big tables, big plates and flowing cocktails. Tickets are $65. Get your tickets and all the details here.
  • Also, the dates for the Lucy Daniels Center 2018 version of their popular Cooking for a Classic have been set. This year’s event consists of three rounds and eight chefs vying to win a restored ’49 truck. It is gorgeous! The first round kicks off on Monday, January 22 and continues through the week. The semifinals are the following week and the final showdown will be on Wednesday, February 7th. This year’s competing chefs are Trey Cleveland of Top of the Hill, Chapel Hill; Matt Hannon of Ironwoods Cafe, Southern Pines; Jonathan Ballard of Dean’s Kitchen and Bar, Cary; James Patterson, McConnell Golf Dining; Troy Stauffer, City Club, Raleigh; Aaron Matyac, Whiskey Kitchen, Raleigh; Dean Thompson, Raleigh Renaissance Hotel; and Nick Fay, Coquette, Raleigh. Get a peek at the truck and all the details here.
  • Triangle Restaurant Week runs through this weekend ending on January 28. During TRW, participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity to try places you’ve never been before – or to enjoy your old reliables with a new twist. No reservations, tickets or passes required. Get all the details and a list of participating restaurants here.
  • The Cary Rotary Club is hosting its 15th annual Chili Dinner fund-raiser to Stop Hunger on Friday, January 26 at Kirk of Kildare Presbyterian Church (200 High Meadow Drive in Cary) between the hours of 12 and 2 p.m. and 5 and 7 p.m. This year they are working toward providing 94,000+ meals internationally and generating $11,000+ to support local hunger relief efforts. Each $8 ticket purchased will send ~19 meals internationally and $2.40 to relieve hunger in our own neighborhoods.  International meals are typically served in schools. Doing so encourages attendance and supports education/literacy. Delicious meals prepared by Whole Foods Market will be served at lunch and dinner. Get details on their Facebook event page here.
  • Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop will host the 6th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, February 25. The event features 30 restaurants paired with 30 breweries spread throughout all three DPAC floors featuring unlimited samplings and the Harris On Stage Experience showcasing local food trucks with the help of County Fare, a daily food truck rodeo opening soon. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • March 17th is the date for the second annual Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Growing School Gardens program (better known as the Sean is Faster Than Gordon race). Put it this way, if I can do it, you can do it! Come on out and support a great cause. Register and get all the details here.
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  • And looking ahead a bit, it was announced this week that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will host a culinary event called Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Tickets will go on sale in February. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Go ahead and mark your calendars and get your tickets for the Food Bank’s Chef’s Feast at Fearrington Village coming up on March 22. Four renowned chefs will prepare, and serve favorite recipes through four courses in an intimate environment. Guests will enjoy beverage pairings, an opportunity to bid on unique auction items, and learn more about what the Food Bank and its partner agencies are doing in the community for those facing food insecurity. Get more information and tickets here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 19, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • With 65,000 votes cast in his year’s WRAL.COM Voters’ Choice Awards, the winners were announced this past Tuesday at Level 7 at AC Hotels in North Hills. I am humbled to share that yours truly, Triangle Food Guy, was voted Best Blogger – so a huge thank you to the readers for throwing a little kudos my way. Lots of great people, programs and businesses were recognized – including some great restaurants throughout the Triangle. The highlight of the night was Ashley Christensen hauling in the Woman of the Year award! Get a full list of winners here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Two years after a fire completely destroyed their restaurant, Sushi Nine on Western Blvd. in Raleigh has reopened according to WRAL. Located at 3812 Western Boulevard the building is certainly new, but the menu will be just like their customers will remember – nothing changed there! Check them out here,
  • The North Ridge location of Zoes Kitchen on Falls of the Neuse Road (6004 Falls of the Neuse Road) opened this past week. Apparently this new store will be the prototype for all future locations. Check out Zoes here.
  • And if you were eagerly anticipating a location of Ed Mitchell’s barbecue in Brier Creek, the News & Observer reported this week that that project has stalled. Ed and his son have redirected their focus to online endeavors. He did leave the door open that at some point there would be another Ed Mitchell barbecue joint. The truck concept has been parked as well.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • WRAL’s Sarah Krueger reported that the Liberty Warehouse Apartments will not only have the Durham Food Hall locating in their first floor retail space, as well as Dame’s Chicken & Waffles, but apparently there is also a coffee shop in the works – Foster Street Coffee. Lots of exciting things happening there, just across from Durham Central Park. The Durham Dame’s location is closed in January for the move. Foster Street looks to open in February as well. And the Food Hall will open later in 2018. Check out the Durham Food Hall here. Dame’s Chicken and Waffles here. And Foster Street Coffee here.
  • Also in Durham, WRAL reported this week that Vegan Flava Café recently opened on Guess Road in Durham, near Northgate Mall. The menu has all kinds of comfort food, from curried lentils and rice to red beans and rice. Check them out here.
  • A quick update on Chapel Hill’s Monterrey Mexican Restaurant from reader Cassie Spracklen…she learned a little more about the move from the current restaurant to the Rams Plaza location in the former Bailey’s spot, but this is more to do with the current location. During a recent visit, she learned that the current location will be converted to a more casual “grab and go” concept (similar to Chipotle) which will have a completely different menu and will feature empanadas. Sounds great! Stay tuned and thanks Cassie for the updates! Check out Monterrey here.

Closings

  • Got word from reader Chris Creighton that the Bob Evans on Walnut Street in Cary has closed.
  • Also in Cary, got word from reader Rachel Goer that Uncle Maddio’s in Parkside Town Commons closed in December.

Food Trucks

  •  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

  • Here’s a great time. I mean a really great time. The guys behind the NC Food & Beverage Podcast (Max and Matt) have teamed up with John May over at Piedmont in Durham to offer up their first dinner called “Pork & Rum” on Sunday, January 28th. They will be pairing rums from Lassiter Distilling with a menu by May – think Caribbean-meets-Hawaiian-meets-North Carolina. And for the best part, it’s family-style, i.e. big tables, big plates and flowing cocktails. Tickets are $65. Get your tickets and all the details here.
  • Also, the dates for the Lucy Daniels Center 2018 version of their popular Cooking for a Classic have been set. This year’s event consists of three rounds and eight chefs vying to win a restored ’49 truck. It is gorgeous! The first round kicks off on Monday, January 22 and continues through the week. The semifinals are the following week and the final showdown will be on Wednesday, February 7th. This year’s competing chefs are Trey Cleveland of Top of the Hill, Chapel Hill; Matt Hannon of Ironwoods Cafe, Southern Pines; Jonathan Ballard of Dean’s Kitchen and Bar, Cary; James Patterson, McConnell Golf Dining; Troy Stauffer, City Club, Raleigh; Aaron Matyac, Whiskey Kitchen, Raleigh; Dean Thompson, Raleigh Renaissance Hotel; and Nick Fay, Coquette, Raleigh. Get a peek at the truck and all the details here.
  • Mark your calendars for the return of Triangle Restaurant WeekJanuary 22-28, 2018. During TRW, participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity to try places you’ve never been before – or to enjoy your old reliables with a new twist. No reservations, tickets or passes required. Get all the details and a list of participating restaurants here.
  • The Cary Rotary Club is hosting its 15th annual Chili Dinner fund-raiser to Stop Hunger on Friday, January 26 at Kirk of Kildare Presbyterian Church (200 High Meadow Drive in Cary) between the hours of 12 and 2 p.m. and 5 and 7 p.m. This year they are working toward providing 94,000+ meals internationally and generating $11,000+ to support local hunger relief efforts. Each $8 ticket purchased will send ~19 meals internationally and $2.40 to relieve hunger in our own neighborhoods.  International meals are typically served in schools. Doing so encourages attendance and supports education/literacy. Delicious meals prepared by Whole Foods Market will be served at lunch and dinner. Get details on their Facebook event page here.
  • Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom and Sam’s Quik Shop will host the 6th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience on Sunday, February 25. The event features 30 restaurants paired with 30 breweries spread throughout all three DPAC floors featuring unlimited samplings and the Harris On Stage Experience showcasing local food trucks with the help of County Fare, a daily food truck rodeo opening soon. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • March 17th is the date for the second annual Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Growing School Gardens program (better known as the Sean is Faster Than Gordon race). Put it this way, if I can do it, you can do it! Come on out and support a great cause. Register and get all the details here.
  • Durham Magazine, Chapel Hill Magazine and Chatham Magazine return with their popular culinary event, Taste to take place April 18-22 highlighting the culinary talents along the Durham/Chapel Hill corridor. The event will feature over 30 of the area’s top chefs at four unique events throughout the week. Keep up with the latest and get tickets here.
  • And looking ahead a bit, it was announced this week that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will host a culinary event called Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Tickets will go on sale in February. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Looking to get your company involved (in a very easy way) in fighting hunger in our community? Virtual Food Drives increase the impact of your donations! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide $10 worth of food, thanks to their partnerships and buying power! Create a personal page and invite your friends and family to browse through our virtual grocery aisles, add items to a shopping cart, and check-out by making a monetary donation. Consider making it a team effort by organizing a competition between your neighbors, within your company, or among your community by easily setting up a team page. Find out how to set up a Virtual Food Drive here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 12, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  The News & Observer reported this week that Bu.ku, the restaurant that introduced global street food to downtown Raleigh, will open a second location by March or April in Wake Forest. This will be the third restaurant for owners Sean Degnan, Tony Hopkins and Todd Ohle, who also operate so.ca in Cameron Village. The new Bu.ku will be at 1228 Heritage Links Drive, in the Heritage development, next to Wine 101 wine shop. Check out Bu.ku here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In Raleigh, got word that a new pizza franchise named Firenza will open in the McNeill Point development at the corner of McNeill Street and Wake Forest Road (next to Mami Nora’s). This will be the second location in the state (Charlotte has one) and the first in the Triangle. Get familiar with them here.
  • Speaking of pizza, blogger EatRaleigh reported last week that Brookside Market & Pizza is now open at 1000 Brookside Drive in Raleigh. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • And if that is not enough pizza news for you, the folks over at ITB Insider reported this week that Manhattan Pizza will be opening soon at the Falls Pointe shopping center at 9660 Falls of Neuse Road. While we are not aware of the timeline, the restaurant will open in the space once occupied by Greek Fiesta. The chain has locations in Virginia and Maryland and this will be their first venture into North Carolina. Check them out here.
  • We first told you about this back in June, 2017, but the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Growler USA will open its first Triangle location this month at 314 S. Blount St. in the Moore Square Historic District. Apparently other locations are expected in Durham and Wilmington. Check out Growler here.
  • Got a note from reader Carole Walker that Creedmoor Café is now open for breakfast and lunch at 8315 Creedmoor Road. Check them out here.
  • And we are getting closer to the opening of the North Ridge location of Zoes Kitchen on Falls of the Neuse Road. There was an invitation-only event last night, and they are conducting staff training with invited guests on Saturday and next Monday. That usually means an opening immediately following that. Stay tuned. Check out Zoes here.
  • Over in Cary, reader Forrest Stroud sent me a note letting me know that the closed Peter Wang’s Asian Buffet and Szechuan on Kildaire Farm Road has been replaced by Silk Road Dim Sum & Sichuan. Couldn’t find an online presence for them – just their Yelp review here.
  • Down in Apex one of our readers brought it to our attention that Archibald’s Tavern at 5160 Sunset Lake Road fairly seamlessly transitioned to Shakey Ray’s Tavern. Might be too early to know what changes to expect, but the website suggests a new menu is forthcoming. Check them out here.
  • Also in Apex, reader Chris Creighton shared that a Mr. Dumpling has opened at 5470 Apex Peakway in the former location of Lee’s Garden Chinese Restaurant. They are serving up (you guessed it) dumplings as well as other Chinese food. Check them out here.
  • And finally a shout out to Chuck Russell over at D’Nardys Caterers. In addition to his catering, he has over 40 years of experience (he started when he was 6!) whipping cream cheese, sugar, and cream together to bring you the finest homemade cheesecakes. His D’Nardys Cheesecake Jars are now available in Whole Foods in the bakery department at nine locations in Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary. Kudos to Chuck and his success. Check his cheesecakes out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Durham, the newer, more casual feeling Piedmont Restaurant re-opened this week featuring lower prices, expanded beer and wine selections, and a menu that chef John May created chock full of whimsical dishes. Check out the new menu here.

  • In Ram’s Plaza in Chapel Hill I noticed this week that the newest location of Firehouse Subs opened. It is in the new standalone building near the front of the shopping center. Check out Firehouse here.

Closings

  • Got word from a colleague that the Tossed location in Morrisville closed. The Tossed site suggests it might be relocating – so stay tuned.

Food Trucks

  •  See, even Mother Nature loves a good food truck rodeo. The single digit temperatures are gone and a warm(er) sunny Sunday is in the forecast for this Sunday’s Winter Food Truck Rodeo at Durham’s Central Park. Located at 501 Foster Street, the rodeo will take place this Sunday, January 14th from 12-4 p.m. Get all the details here.

Events

  • And here is a great event to kick off your 2018… Can you say sausage!?! Durham’s first Sausagefest will take place this Sunday January 14th inviting meat-lovers to taste and stock your fridge with locally crafted sausages from your favorite restaurants and butcher shops! VIP tickets include early entry from noon-1 p.m. with passed appetizers, t-shirt and an exclusive sausage-making demo. General Admission entry from 1-4 p.m. Sausages of all kinds will be available for take home from First Hand Foods, Left Bank Butchery and more. Restaurants providing bites to include Gocciolina, Dashi, The Root Cellar, Black Twig Cider House and more. VIP tickets are $45; General Admission is $25. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Here’s a great time. I mean a really great time. The guys behind the NC Food & Beverage Podcast (Max and Matt) have teamed up with John May over at Piedmont in Durham to offer up their first dinner called “Pork & Rum” on Sunday, January 28th. They will be pairing rums from Lassiter Distilling with a menu by May – think Caribbean-meets-Hawaiian-meets-North Carolina. And for the best part, it’s family-style, i.e. big tables, big plates and flowing cocktails. Tickets are $65. Get your tickets and all the details here.
  • Also, the dates for the Lucy Daniels Center 2018 version of their popular Cooking for a Classic have been set. This year’s event consists of three rounds and eight chefs vying to win a restored ’49 truck. It is gorgeous! The first round kicks off on Monday, January 22 and continues through the week. The semifinals are the following week and the final showdown will be on Wednesday, February 7th. This year’s competing chefs are Trey Cleveland of Top of the Hill, Chapel Hill; Matt Hannon of Ironwoods Cafe, Southern Pines; Jonathan Ballard of Dean’s Kitchen and Bar, Cary; James Patterson, McConnell Golf Dining; Troy Stauffer, City Club, Raleigh; Aaron Matyac, Whiskey Kitchen, Raleigh; Dean Thompson, Raleigh Renaissance Hotel; and Nick Fay, Coquette, Raleigh. Get a peek at the truck and all the details here.
  • Mark your calendars for the return of Triangle Restaurant WeekJanuary 22-28, 2018. During TRW, participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity to try places you’ve never been before – or to enjoy your old reliables with a new twist. No reservations, tickets or passes required. Get all the details and a list of participating restaurants here.
  • The Cary Rotary Club is hosting its 15th annual Chili Dinner fund-raiser to Stop Hunger on Friday, January 26 at Kirk of Kildare Presbyterian Church (200 High Meadow Drive in Cary) between the hours of 12 and 2 p.m. and 5 and 7 p.m. This year they are working toward providing 94,000+ meals internationally and generating $11,000+ to support local hunger relief efforts. Each $8 ticket purchased will send ~19 meals internationally and $2.40 to relieve hunger in our own neighborhoods.  International meals are typically served in schools. Doing so encourages attendance and supports education/literacy. Delicious meals prepared by Whole Foods Market will be served at lunch and dinner. Get details on their Facebook event page here.
  • March 17th is the date for the second annual Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5K to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Growing School Gardens program (better known as the Sean is Faster Than Gordon race). Put it this way, if I can do it, you can do it! Come on out and support a great cause. Register and get all the details here.
  • And looking ahead a bit, it was announced this week that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will host a culinary event called Thrive NC set to take place at downtown Raleigh’s City Market on May 10-11. The two-day event will highlight the fact that 1.5 million people in the state struggle to buy affordable and fresh foods. A highlight of the event will be a two-day food festival featuring top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night. Tickets will go on sale in February. Keep up with the details as they unfold here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Looking to get your company involved (in a very easy way) in fighting hunger in our community? Virtual Food Drives increase the impact of your donations! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide $10 worth of food, thanks to their partnerships and buying power! Create a personal page and invite your friends and family to browse through our virtual grocery aisles, add items to a shopping cart, and check-out by making a monetary donation. Consider making it a team effort by organizing a competition between your neighbors, within your company, or among your community by easily setting up a team page. Find out how to set up a Virtual Food Drive here.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – January 5, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  A Place at the Table will open this Monday, January 8th as Raleigh’s very first “pay-what-you-can” style restaurant, joining the list of nearly 60-70 restaurants of this kind worldwide. It will be located in the former Café de los Muertos space in downtown Raleigh at 300 W. Hargett Street. Check out this exciting new concept here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • So excited to share the news that one of my favorite chefs, Michael Chuong, the owner of Elements in Chapel Hill, will return to Cary (where he was formerly with An Cuisines) and open a second restaurant in the historic Sam-Jones House in downtown Cary. No timeline on the opening or the name, as some improvements will need to be made to the historic home before Chuong takes over. Thanks to the News & Observer for the details. In the meantime, visit Elements here.

 

  • Ashton Mae Smith was the first to let me know that the folks behind Raleigh Times and Morning Times (and four other concepts under Empire Eats) are opening a pizza joint, The Pizza Times, on the Wilmington Street side of their ’empire’ at 210 Wilmington Street. The opening date hasn’t been announced yet, but look for it very soon. In the meantime, check out the rest of the Empire Eats concepts here.

 

  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, noted that just two months after opening a location in Chapel Hill, Wilmington’s Tama Tea has opened their Raleigh location at 401 Fayetteville Street (at the intersection with E. Davie Street). They serve up tea, coffee, smoothies and toast. Get to know them here.

 

  • Also saw in Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly email that The Dogwood Bar & Eatery opened over the holidays at 610 Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh. The Dogwood is the latest concept out of Bunch of Fives Hospitality Company (The Anchor Bar, The Milk Bar, Mofu Shoppe and Southern Charred). Visit all five concepts here.

 

  • Got word from reader Monica Williams that Postmaster at 160 E Cedar Street in Cary has opened. They feature seasonal southern dishes using local ingredients, paired with a classic, but creative bar program. Check them out here.

 

  • Thanks to the folks over at Raleigh Offline, we learned that Edwards Bar & Grill recently completed a mini-overhaul including a new chef, a new menu and a new look. Highlights of the new menu include a weekend brunch and $5 Burger Saturdays. Leading the menu overhaul is the chef from Mura with family recipes and NC inspiration. Check them out here.

 

  • Got a press release in December that Vita Vite, the popular Raleigh wine bar and art gallery, will open a Midtown location this spring in the Park Central building at North Hills. Keep up with them here.

 

  • On the beer front, ITB Insider reported that Funguys Brewing will be holding a grand opening celebration of their new Raleigh brewery at 2408 Paula Street on February 24. They will have their first can release, a food truck, games and more. Get all the details here.

 

  • Down in Garner, got word from Hugh Autry that the Tripps at Garner Station had closed and was being replaced by a Mexican concept called Cocula Mexican Restaurant. We don’t have any other information at this point, but will kindly ask Hugh to keep an eye on it for us!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Saw in the News & Observer that Saltbox Seafood Joint, the shack that turned fried fish into an art form, opened its second Durham location the Tuesday before Christmas. The new Saltbox is in the former Shrimp Boats spot on Chapel Hill-Durham Boulevard. Congrats Ricky MooreMoore said the original location will go dormant and reopen in the spring. Check them out here.

 

  • The News & Observer also reported that Jack Tar & the Colonel’s Daughter opened that same Tuesday on the ground floor of the Unscripted Hotel in downtown Durham. Jack Tar takes its name from the original hotel on Corcoran Street, which was renovated and reopened earlier this year as the boutique Unscripted Hotel. This is the third restaurant from the owners of Pizzeria Toro and fine dining bistro Littler, Gray Brooks, his wife, Cara Stacy, and business partner Jay Owens. Get familiar with them on Facebook here.

 

  • Durham’s farm-to-table pioneer Piedmont is going “casual” in the new year, shifting somewhat away from fine dining, which has been its identity for nearly a decade, to more of a neighborhood restaurant. Piedmont will reopen Jan. 10 with a new, more playful menu that’s built around smaller plates and a few shareable entrees at lower price points with the talented John May still working his magic in the kitchen. Keep up with them here.

 

  • Ali Rudel’s plans to open a pie shop in East Durham just got bigger with the new year! Indy reported this week that with the new year (and a slight weather delay) Rudel has changed up the name of the soon-to-open bakery to East Durham Bake Shop, expanding the menu beyond pies (the plan was always to eventually expand the offerings – it is just happening sooner rather than later). In addition to everyone’s favorite sweet pies, she will also carry savory pies, soups, salads, and other pastries like croissants from scratch, seasonal cobbler, scones, and morning buns. Doors should open in a week or two. Follow their progress and opening on Instagram here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, reader Charles Harrington noted that the Monterrey Mexican restaurant on Elliot Road is moving in February into the former Bailey’s spot in Ram’s Plaza. No word on the exact date. They also have a location in Carrboro. Check them out here.
  • And down in Chatham County, the folks behind Chapel Hill’s The Root Cellar (Sera Cuni and Susan White) have opened their second location very close to the intersection of 15-501 and Hwy. 64 in the Chatham Park development. The space is absolutely gorgeous and inviting with three large garage doors that will open to an expansive outside dining area when the weather cooperates a little more. And next door will be a brewery set to open this spring. I see a lot of collaborative outdoor ‘events’ in this space. Check out The Root Cellar Pittsboro here.

Closings

  • Two closures to report in Apex. Readers Jeanette Hauser and Chris Creighton confirmed that Rookies Sports Bar has closed. And Creighton also shared that Lee’s Garden Chinese Restaurant has closed.
  • Also sad to report that the Clayton location of McCall’s Bar-b-Que and Seafood has closed after a 13 year run. They still have the original location in Goldsboro.

Food Trucks

  •  This is going to be fun to watch in 2018 – County Fare over in Durham. What is it? Let’s see if this gets your attention. A barn located at 1920 Chapel Hill Road in the Lakewood neighborhood that will be surrounded daily by at least four food trucks with seating inside for 150, outside for an additional 200. And did I mention a ‘beer garden’ that will offer beer, wine, cider and other beverages? Yes Mattie Beason, you have our attention. Look for it to open in the fall of this year, or by year’s end. Follow their progress on Twitter here.
  • Hopefully these frigid temperatures are soon a distant memory, and we can once again enjoy being outside – just in time for the Winter Food Truck Rodeo at Durham’s Central Park (501 Foster Street) on Sunday, January 14th from 12-4 p.m. Get all the details here.

Events

  • And here is a great event to kick off your 2018… Can you say sausage!?! Durham’s first Sausagefest will take place on January 14th inviting meat-lovers to taste and stock your fridge with locally crafted sausages from your favorite restaurants and butcher shops! VIP tickets include early entry from noon-1 p.m. with passed appetizers, t-shirt and an exclusive sausage making demo. General Admission entry from 1-4 p.m. Sausages of all kinds will be available for take home from First Hand Foods, Left Bank Butchery and more. Restaurants providing bites to include Gocciolina, Dashi, The Root Cellar, Black Twig Cider House and more. VIP tickets are $45; General Admission are $25. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Also, the dates for the Lucy Daniels Center 2018 version of their popular Cooking for a Classic have been set. This year’s event consists of three rounds and eight chefs vying to win a restored ’49 truck. It is gorgeous! The first round kicks off on Monday, January 22 and continues through the week. The semifinals are the following week and the final showdown will be on Wednesday, February 7th. This year’s competing chefs are Trey Cleveland of Top of the Hill, Chapel Hill; Matt Hannon of Ironwoods Cafe, Southern Pines; Jonathan Ballard of Dean’s Kitchen and Bar, Cary; James Patterson, McConnell Golf Dining; Troy Stauffer, City Club, Raleigh; Aaron Matyac, Whiskey Kitchen, Raleigh; Dean Thompson, Raleigh Renaissance Hotel; and Nick Fay, Coquette, Raleigh. Get a peek at the truck and all the details here.
  • Mark your calendars for the return of Triangle Restaurant WeekJanuary 22-28, 2018. During TRW, participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity to try places you’ve never been before – or to enjoy your old reliables with a new twist. No reservations, tickets or passes required. Get all the details and a list of participating restaurants here.

Food Bank Corner

  • The last thing you probably want to do after reading this long blog (especially long after the holiday break) is read more. But I’m going to challenge you. PLEASE take an extra three minutes out of your day to read this blog post over on the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina’s website. It is a post by Matt Kopac where he challenged himself to ‘survive’ on just $4.70 per day for food through the SNAP Challenge. It is a real eye-opener to the reality of food insecurity and the importance of organizations like the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina in preventing hunger in our community. Please read this! You can thank me later for the perspective it will provide you. And perhaps you will take the SNAP Challenge.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – December 15, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Saw a tweet from Ted Boyd sharing the news that Annelore’s German Bakery, owned by Norbert and Annelore Gstattenbauer, opens today, Friday, December 15th, in their new building at 308 W. Chatham Street in downtown Cary. The Gstattenbauers have been operating their home-based bakery since they moved to the area in 2008. Prior to today’s opening, they have sold their goods at the Western Wake Farmers Market and State Farmers Market (and they will continue to do so!). Keep up with them on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Thanks to a post from friend Jimmy Schmid, I learned of the soft-opening of Your Pie in Cary this past week. The grand opening is today, December 15th. They specialize in personalized/customized pizzas, paninis and chopped salads. They are located at 685 Cary Towne Blvd. in the Cary Village Square shopping center. Congrats to Jack Fladeland! Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Also in Cary, got word from Matthew Bettinger about a new bar he is bringing to the downtown scene. SideBar is a neighborhood bar with a strong spirit focus that shares a wall with Pizzeria Faulisi and an outdoor space with Pro’s Epicurean Restaurant and Bond Brother’s Brewery. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Over in Raleigh, got a note from Joey Guarglia about a new spot opening soon next to Chow’s in Brennan Station at the intersection of Creedmoor Road and Strickland. The sign in the window says Creedmoor Cafe “coming soon” and “under new ownership.” I couldn’t find anything online, so we’ll just have to stay tuned. Thanks Joey!
  • Looking to make a difference this holiday season? Carroll’s Kitchen has been open a little over a year, offering opportunities for local women to escape homelessness by providing job training at the restaurant as well as housing. Recently, the project announced a second location, and they need your help to bring it to fruition! Carroll’s plans to have a spot in the Morgan Street Food Hall in downtown Raleigh and they’re looking to raise $150,000 to pay for equipment that will help them expand the non-profit restaurant. So this holiday season, consider giving a gift that will keep on giving while making Raleigh a better place for all. Click here to lend them your support.
  • And a HUGE congratulations to Ashley Christensen and Vivian Howard on being named the News & Observer’s 2017 Tar Heels of the Year! Read the full article here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • So you’ll see below the announcement about the closing of Heavenly Buffaloes at The Bullpen in downtown Durham. But the good news is that Heavenly Buffaloes is opening another location in the former Sandwich spot on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street. Sandwich closed back on September 21st. No word as of yet on when Heavenly will swing open their doors. Congrats to Dain Phelan and Mark Dundas. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, friend Karis Jackson noted the signage on the doors of the former One Restaurant in Meadowmont. It reads “Fusion Fish Sushi & Bar” but I have been unable to dig up any additional information. We will keep an eye on it.
  • Over in Durham, Karis also informed me of a new sushi place coming to the Food Lion shopping center near the intersection of Highways 54 and 55 (next to Brig’s). Sushioki is a new fast-casual concept specializing in burrito-sized, hand held sushi rolls called sushi burritos. Lawrence Yoo, Jeff Carter and Jiyun Bulcken are behind the concept. Yoo and Bulcken bring years of kitchen/restaurant experience to the venture. Sushioki will open in January 2018. Keep up with their progress here.
  • Congrats to my friends over at Durham-based Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours on their expansion to two new cities, Charlotte and Asheville. That makes nine cities overall in which they operate walking food tours: Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill/Carrboro, Hillsborough, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Wilmington, Charlotte and Asheville. A fun holiday gift idea is a Taste Carolina gift certificate, which allows recipients to choose any tour in any city on any date! Check them out here. Kudos to Lesley Stracks-Mullem and Joe Philipose!

Closings

  • Heavenly Buffaloes announced via Facebook that their location at The Bullpen in downtown Durham was closing (December 9th was the last day). They noted that their contract (just one year) was not renewed. It was on the ground floor of the American Tobacco Campus’ Diamond View III building. The Bullpen’s Facebook page notes a “new menu” coming in January. Stay tuned. Heavenly Buffaloes still has their original location, “the shack,” at 1807 W. Markham Ave. in Durham. Keep up with them here.

Food Trucks

  • Got word from Ed Hall that he is bringing a new franchise to the Triangle called Mr. Stickys. It’s a food trailer that serves up sticky buns. Wha?? Sign me up!! Mr. Stickys is operating in PA and NY and has a big following. Welcome to the South! We wish you much success Mr. Sticky! They are targeting a January 20th launch. Stay tuned.
  • So if you love food trucks and are looking for a good cause to support this time of year, do I have the opportunity for you. Carly Erickson is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign (halfway there!) to fund the next phase of her Boro Beverage business – a “beverage camper” that will allow her to mobilize her dream of bringing healthy drinks to the Triangle. Consider helping her Kickstarter campaign here. Thanks to Julie Albert for bringing this to our attention!
  • So, with the cold months upon us there simply aren’t many “official” food truck rodeos happening. So, you will have to act like a squirrel and really work to find your food trucks for the next several months. Here are a couple of online resources to help you do just that (please note, this is not an endorsement of any of these sites, just an effort to help my readers find their favorite trucks). Street Food Finder is one, check them out here. And another is aptly named Roaming Hunger and you can find them here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards voting is under way now through December 17. The awards allow you to vote for your favorite North Carolina people, places and businesses, from the mountains to the coast. Vote here. And while you are there, if you love my blog I would be greatly honored if you’d throw a vote my way for Best Blogger! 🙂
  • Here is a great event to kick off your 2018… Can you say sausage!?! Durham’s first Sausagefest invites meat-lovers to taste and stock your fridge with locally crafted sausages from your favorite restaurants and butcher shops! VIP tickets include early entry from noon – 1pm with passed appetizers, T-shirt and an exclusive sausage making demo. General Admission entry from 1 – 4pm. Sausages of all kinds will be available for take home from First Hand Foods, Left Bank Butchery and more. Restaurants providing bites to include Gocciolina, Dashi, The Root Cellar, Black Twig Cider House and more.  VIP tickets (Noon – 1pm) are $45; General Admission (1-4 p.m.) are $25. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Also, the dates for the Lucy Daniels Center 2018 version of their popular Cooking for a Classic have been set. This year’s event consists of three rounds and eight chefs vying to win a restored ’49 truck. It is gorgeous! The first round kicks off on Monday, January 22 and continues through the week. The semifinals are the following week and the final showdown will be on Wednesday, February 7th. This year’s competing chefs are Trey Cleveland of Top of the Hill, Chapel Hill; Matt Hannon of Ironwood Café, Southern Pines; Jonathan Ballard of Dean’s Kitchen and Bar, Cary; James Patterson, McConnell Golf Dining; Troy Stauffer, City Club Raleigh; Aaron Matyac, Whiskey Kitchen, Raleigh; Dean Thompson, Raleigh Renaissance Hotel; and Nick Fay, Coquette, Raleigh. Get a peek at the truck and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • No child or family should go hungry during the holidays… and with your help, they won’t! That’s the power of your giving when you share a meal from your table to theirs. Help reach the goal of 2.5 million meals before December 31!
  • A gift of $35 will feed a child for twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $85 will provide groceries to an elderly couple for over twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $120 will provide enough food to sustain a familyTWO FAMILIES through the winter months
  • A gift of $210 will provide more than 1,0002,000 piping hot holiday meals to local families

    And your gift goes even further this winter. To help make sure our neighbors have enough to eat, friends of the Food Bank have generously agreed to match donations, up to $56,000, now through December 31st. Help ensure that no one goes hungry this holiday season…Share a meal today!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – December 8, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  I’ve been telling you folks for years that we are blessed with some amazing dining options here in the Triangle. But if you won’t listen to me (I understand, I wouldn’t either) please take note of the two HUGE feathers we received this week in our collective cap. First up was the news that the food blog Eater named Raleigh’s Ashley Christensen as their Chef of the Year! And if that wasn’t enough news for one week, Forbes included Raleigh’s Brewery Bhavana on their Top 10 Coolest Places to Eat…in the world! Check out the Eater article here and the Forbes article here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • And if that is not enough Ashley Christensen news, we send out a quick congratulatory note to Ashley wishing her a happy 10th anniversary of Poole’s Diner coming up on December 17th. Kudos Ashley! Check out Poole’s here.
  • The big news out of downtown Raleigh this week is that Weaver Street Market, a popular co-op food market founded in Carrboro nearly thirty years ago, will be opening at The Dillon in Raleigh’s warehouse district in late Summer 2018. While I normally don’t cover grocery store news, I have enjoyed some great meals over the years at the other Weaver Street locations (and was employed at the Carrboro location during my college years!). Get familiar with Weaver Street here.
  • The ITB Insider and News & Observer both reported this week that after closing Cafe Lucarne in March in City Market, the owners of Royale have re-opened a new concept in the same location as simply Lucarne. Co-owner Jesse Bardyn said the new Lucarne will focus on small plates to snack on while imbibing on cocktails, wine and beer. The new chef is Bobby McFarland, who was previously the chef de cuisine at Royale. Keep up with them on instagram here.
  • And keeping the Wahlburger’s vigil alive, reader Jeff Gimondo notified us this week that a sign now hangs outside their “coming soon” location in downtown Raleigh. And their latest Facebook posting in late November was a “now hiring” post. Any day now….Keep up with them on their Facebook page here.
  • Over on HIllsborough Street in Raleigh, the ITB Insider reported that Penn Station East Coast Subs will soon be serving their signature sandwiches from the ground floor of the Stanhope at 3001 Hillsborough Street. Permits for the interior completion of the space were issued last week. They already have locations in Cary, Durham, Morrisville and Raleigh. Get familiar with Penn Station here.
  • Over in downtown Cary, we first told you about this in May, but it looks like we are very close to the opening of the Postmaster Restaurant and Bar at the corner of E. Cedar St. and North Walker Street. Looks like this weekend they have a soft-opening that is invitation only, with the possibility of it opening to the public next week. Postmaster is the creation of Tyler Watt who also owns and operates Pharmacy Bottle & Beverage just a block away. Keep up with it all on their Facebook page here.
  • WRAL shared the news this week that that California Tortilla, fast-casual Mexican-inspired restaurant, will soon expand into North Carolina for the first time after inking a deal in Raleigh. California Tortilla is currently looking for retail locations in the Triangle and hoping to open in late 2018. Get familiar with them here.
  • We told you about this back on October 6th, but it became official recently that Rocky Top Catering sold Twisted Fork in Raleigh and Dean’s Kitchen+Bar in Cary to Darryl Cook (wonder if he will change it to Darryl’s…) of  Cook Hospitality Group. Cook formerly managed Empire Eats restaurants. Rocky Top will open a new catering kitchen in 2018 and will focus on their catering and event venues. Check out Dean’s here and Twisted Fork here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The Wine Feed, a Raleigh-based wine bar and shop, is opening a second location in downtown Durham at 305 S. Roxboro Street. Opening in early 2018, it will feature an indoor and outdoor wine bar and lounge area that offers wines by the glass, tasting flights and snacks for pairing with wine. An expanded retail wine section will also offer a diverse selection of wines to take home. The adjoining event space, Pine & Poplar, will accommodate up to 125 people for wedding receptions, corporate functions or private gatherings. The Wine Feed will be located next to Bull City Ciderworks. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Got word from readers Sharon and Todd Dawson that the North Raleigh location of Chubby Tacos at Falls River Town Center has closed after a seven-year run.
  • And John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, noted on Twitter that the coffee trailer in Carrboro called Tin Cup Joe is closing up shop at the end of December. Last call for those Dr. Pepper lattes.

Food Trucks

  • So if you love food trucks and are looking for a good cause to support this time of year, do I have the opportunity for you. Carly Erickson is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign (halfway there!) to fund the next phase of her Boro Beverage business – a “beverage camper” that will allow her to mobilize her dream of bringing healthy drinks to the Triangle. Consider helping her Kickstarter campaign here. Thanks to Julie Albert for bringing this to our attention!
  • Or if you are thinking you want a career change in 2018, how about owning and operating a food truck? Right now you can purchase the Mac-Ur-Roni food trailer (a turnkey purchase) for just $55k (an additional $20k if you want the truck to pull it). Say goodbye to that boring 9-5 desk job crunching numbers for the man. Check it out here.
  • So, with the cold months upon us there simply aren’t many “official” food truck rodeos happening. So, you will have to act like a squirrel and really work to find your food trucks for the next several months. Here are a couple of online resources to help you do just that (please note, this is not an endorsement of any of these sites, just an effort to help my readers find their favorite trucks). Street Food Finder is one, check them out here. And another is aptly named Roaming Hunger and you can find them here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards voting is under way now through December 17. The awards allow you to vote for your favorite North Carolina people, places and businesses, from the mountains to the coast. Vote here. And while you are there, if you love my blog I would be greatly honored if you’d throw a vote my way for Best Blogger! 🙂
  • Families for a Change will hold their Chefs for a Change Dessert Gala tonight, December 8th from 7-10 p.m. at the Rickhouse in Durham. In addition to celebrating their extremely successful inaugural year, they will be announcing the 2018 chef line-up at 9 p.m. If you want to make it tonight, get your tickets here.
  • The 3rd Annual Bull City Holiday Food & Wine Soirée will take place again this year at the Rickhouse in Durham on Sunday, December 10th from 1 to 5 pm.  It is a food and beverage-centric pop-up holiday market with over 25 local NC producers.  This year pick up your stocking stuffers, Secret Santa gifts and holiday treats all in one place while you support local businesses. Get all the details here.
  • And here is a great event to kick off your 2018… Can you say sausage!?! Durham’s first Sausagefest invites meat-lovers to taste and stock your fridge with locally crafted sausages from your favorite restaurants and butcher shops! VIP tickets include early entry from noon – 1pm with passed appetizers, T-shirt and an exclusive sausage making demo. General Admission entry from 1 – 4pm. Sausages of all kinds will be available for take home from First Hand Foods, Left Bank Butchery and more. Restaurants providing bites to include Gocciolina, Dashi, The Root Cellar, Black Twig Cider House and more.  VIP tickets (Noon – 1pm) are $45; General Admission (1-4 p.m.) are $25. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Also, the dates for the Lucy Daniels Center 2018 version of their popular Cooking for a Classic have been set. This year’s event consists of three rounds and eight chefs vying to win a restored ’49 truck. It is gorgeous! The first round kicks off on Monday, January 22 and continues through the week. The semifinals are the following week and the final showdown will be on Wednesday, February 7th. This year’s competing chefs are Trey Cleveland of Top of the Hill, Chapel Hill; Matt Hannon of Ironwood Café, Southern Pines; Jonathan Ballard of Dean’s Kitchen and Bar, Cary; James Patterson, McConnell Golf Dining; Troy Stauffer, City Club Raleigh; Aaron Matyac, Whiskey Kitchen, Raleigh; Dean Thompson, Raleigh Renaissance Hotel; and Nick Fay, Coquette, Raleigh. Get a peek at the truck and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • No child or family should go hungry during the holidays… and with your help, they won’t! That’s the power of your giving when you share a meal from your table to theirs. Help reach the goal of 2.5 million meals before December 31!
  • A gift of $35 will feed a child for twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $85 will provide groceries to an elderly couple for over twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $120 will provide enough food to sustain a familyTWO FAMILIES through the winter months
  • A gift of $210 will provide more than 1,0002,000 piping hot holiday meals to local familiesAnd your gift goes even further this winter. To help make sure our neighbors have enough to eat, friends of the Food Bank have generously agreed to match donations, up to $56,000, now through December 31st. Help ensure that no one goes hungry this holiday season…Share a meal today!

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Friday Fun Food Facts – December 1, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Alright Ursula Littlejohn, here is the spot for our next lunch! WRAL shared the great news that Dame’s Chicken and Waffles will be opening a third Triangle-area location. Located on the ground floor of Liberty Warehouse Apartments at 530 Foster Street, this one is not too far from their original Durham location on Main Street. They also have a location in Cary as well as in Greensboro.  If you haven’t already done so, get familiar with Dame’s here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word from JMR Kitchens Restaurant Group owners Justin and Ryan Riek that their Medlin Drive location of Taste has changed to Tuesday through Sunday dinner service until January 27th – at which time that location will close. That’s the bad news. The great news is they have opened another Taste location (Five Points) at 1912 Bernard St in the Highpark Shopping Center off Whitaker Mill. In addition to dinner service (same menu as Medlin location) seven days a week, they also run coffee/brunch service from 7a to 1p Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday Brunch from 10a to 2p. Check out all their restaurants here.
  • Coleen Speaks, who recently launched the event venue Whitaker & Atlantic, has opened a cocktail bar and café called Hummingbird in the adjacent space. Located at Dock 1053, at the corner of Whitaker Mill and Atlantic Ave., it is open Monday through Saturday from 8am until midnight. Check it out here.
  • The on-again, off-again story of Boylan Bridge Brewpub continues with WRAL reporting that is has closed again, but just temporarily. The restaurant reopened in May after being closed for more than a year after a wall collapsed. A drop-off in business, attributed to street closures due to the construction of the multi-use development The Dillon, led to the most recent closure. Look for it to reopen early next year. Read the full article here.
  • The ITB Insider reported that permits have been issued for Kaiju Bowl & Bao, the latest offering from Ken Yowell who also owns the Oak City Meatball Shop and Calavera Empanadas and Tequila. The new restaurant, located at 170 East Davie Street in the former home of Dickey’s BBQ, will offer a kind of “Asian chicken wing.” Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, it was announced this week that Barcelona Wine Bar, a wine and tapas restaurant inspired by the culture of Spain, will be opening at The Dillon in the Warehouse District at 223 W. South Street. They currently have locations throughout Connecticut and in Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, Nashville, Reston Virginia and Washington DC. The Dillon location will be their first restaurant in the Raleigh market. Get familiar with them here.
  • In North Raleigh, reader Rebecca Calhoun notified us that the Nothing Bundt Cakes location at Falls Village (6643 Falls of Neuse Rd.) opened yesterday, and they have opening events schedule for today (December 1) and tomorrow. Check out their website for all the details.
  • Also in Falls Village, the ITB Insider reported that a wine and craft beer shop with a taproom called Falls Village Wine & Beer opened its doors for the first time last week. So now bundt cakes and beer. What else could North Raleigh possibly need? Not much on their website yet, but get the latest on their Facebook page here.
  • Reader Hugh Autry notified us that La Roca Mexican Grill has opened in Raleigh at the Garner Station shopping center at 1431 Garner Station Blvd. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Over in Cary, Autry also noticed that there is a Buffalo Brothers moving into the former Outback location at Saltbox Village on Kildaire Farm Road. Buffalo Brothers already has locations in Raleigh, Garner and Wake Forest. No word yet on a timeline. Check them out here.
  • Sassool continues their explosive growth announcing that their Cary location has added a new grocery and retail section. The addition opened November 27 in the space formerly occupied by Neighborhood Bottle Shop in the Shoppes of Kildaire at 1347 Kildaire Farm Road. Check out Sassool here.
  • Also in Cary, congratulations to Cary-based ice cream shop, Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream as their French Vanilla ice cream won second place at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association (NICRA) conference this November, a coveted prize among national ice cream shop owners. Check them out here.
  • And we were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Wake Forest’s Bill Joyner, who owned and operated Shorty’s Hot Dogs with his son Chris. Bill Joyner’s grandfather and Uncle “Shorty” opened the restaurant in 1916. We lost a truly great man. Rest in Peace. Shorty’s.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Chapel Hillians rejoice! You no longer have to drive to Durham for your holiday stollen! This week the much-anticipated location of Guglhupf opened in Eastgate Crossing. Guglhupf Bake Shop is just a few doors down from Trader Joe’s. Check them out here.
  • Antonio McBroom, who owns the Franklin Street location of Ben & Jerry’s, opened a location in November in the Streets at Southpoint mall according to The Daily Tar Heel. Check them out here.
  • And Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street is getting (wait for it) another pizza place. Reader Delonda Alexander notified us that MidiCi, The Neopolitan Pizza Company, will move into the former Ackland Art Museum gift shop space below Top of the Hill at the corner of Franklin and Columbia streets. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Got word from the folks over at Market Street Coffee that after over ten years of serving the Meadowmont community in Chapel Hill, they will be closing on December 15th. They still have locations on Elliot Road in Chapel Hill and in Carrboro. Get more information on those locations here.

Food Trucks

  • RDUMFA is hosting their 3rd Annual Rudolph’s Holiday Rodeo at Knightdale Station Park on Sunday, December 3rd from noon to 4 pm. Eleven decorated trucks will be there donating proceeds to Meals on Wheels of Wake County. Meals on Wheels of Wake County will be there to share information about their programs (donate, sign up and/or volunteer). There will also be a 50/50 raffle. Get the details on this rodeo on their Facebook event page here. Thanks Art Sheppard!
  • So, with the cold months upon us there simply aren’t many “official” food truck rodeos happening. So, you will have to act like a squirrel and really work to find your food trucks for the next several months. Here are a couple of online resources to help you do just that (please note, this is not an endorsement of any of these sites, just an effort to help my readers find their favorite trucks). Street Food Finder is one, check them out here. And another is aptly named Roaming Hunger and you can find them here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards voting is under way now through December 17. The awards all you to vote for your favorite North Carolina people, places and businesses, from the mountains to the coast. Vote here. And while you are there, if you love my blog I would be greatly honored if you’d throw a vote my way for Best Blogger! 🙂
  • The Raleigh Beer Garden will host an International Tasting Festival this Saturday, December 2 from 11:30 until 2:30. Your $35 ticket gives you access to over 220 national and international beers as well as a sampling mug. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The 3rd Annual Bull City Holiday Food & Wine Soirée will take place again this year at the Rickhouse in Durham on Sunday, December 10th from 1 to 5 pm.  It is a food and beverage-centric pop-up holiday market with over 25 local NC producers.  This year pick up your stocking stuffers, Secret Santa gifts and holiday treats all in one place while you support local businesses. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • No child or family should go hungry during the holidays… and with your help, they won’t! That’s the power of your giving when you share a meal from your table to theirs. Help reach the goal of 2.5 million meals before December 31!
  • A gift of $35 will feed a child for twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $85 will provide groceries to an elderly couple for over twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $120 will provide enough food to sustain a familyTWO FAMILIES through the winter months
  • A gift of $210 will provide more than 1,0002,000 piping hot holiday meals to local families

    And your gift goes even further this winter. To help make sure our neighbors have enough to eat, friends of the Food Bank have generously agreed to match donations, up to $56,000, now through December 31st. Help ensure that no one goes hungry this holiday season…Share a meal today!

Raising a Ruckus

  • Fellow restaurateurs, Ruckus Pizza has created a non-profit organization, Raising a Ruckus (RAR), which works with local guidance counselors to help identify families most in need in our Wake County School system. These are families that without someone stepping in to help, would not have what many of us know as “Christmas.” In the spirit of the season, we would like to reach out to our fellow restaurant owners and see if you would be open to partnering with us for collaboration on this annual project.

    Ruckus will take care of the organization of the project, including identifying the families needs, creating marketing materials, putting together all materials your restaurant would need and coordinating the pickup and delivery of the items to these families. What we are asking of you is to consider “adopting” one of these families with us and promoting the giving tree in your location and working to collect all items on the family’s wish list. More often than not, most items are basics like socks, pants, a jacket, a gift card for groceries, a new doll and other basic items.

    With several of us working together, we can partner to help provide for those most in need in our area and allow our customers to get involved in the giving process. This is a brief summary of the program, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on how to get involved or if you have more questions. We hope you will consider a partnership together during the time of year that can often be one of the most difficult for those in need. For more information contact: Robert@ruckuspizza.com

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Friday Fun Food Facts – November 17, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •   After operating for nearly 70 years in Raleigh, the legendary Finch’s Restaurant is now open in Durham at 3211 Chapel Hill Road in the former Family Garden plant store and greenhouse. In addition to their breakfast offerings, they offer dinner and outdoor seating. A huge loss for Raleigh; an amazing gain for Durham; and a lot of smiling faces for all of those in the Triangle that have missed Finch’s since they closed. Not much has changed on their Facebook page.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • A couple of updates over at Crabtree Valley Mall thanks to Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties. Crabtree Beer Garden (former Tomato Pie across from Panera Bread) closed and will hopefully be opening soon as the Crabtree Ale House with an operator out of Fayetteville. Stay tuned.
  • Also, DePersia also informed us that the Red Monkey Tavern (formerly owned by the same group as Crabtree Beer Garden) was sold to new owners from Lincoln Brewery and Tropical Picken Chicken. There are no plans to change anything, aside from the addition of beers from Lincoln Brewery. The restaurant never closed throughout the sale and they are looking forward to the busy holiday season. Check them out here.
  • In North Raleigh, the folks over at the ITB Insider reported that Raleigh’s only source of fresh-baked English muffins, Michael’s English Muffins, will soon have a permanent spot to call home in a space at the Towne Square shopping center (corner of Capital Blvd. and Spring Forest Rd.). The English muffins are currently sold at a number of farmers markets and other retail locations around the area, but now the small cafe allows customers to either purchase the muffins in bulk or enjoy them on site with a variety of spreads. Congrats to owner Michael Annabelle Comisar. They hope to open by the end of the year. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Raleigh, Rocky Top Catering has announced that its premier event venue located at 1705 East Millbrook Street in Raleigh has been rebranded from 1705 Prime to 1705 East. The new name reflects the expanded scope of events the facility is able to host, from celebrations and special events to business meetings and corporate functions. Check it out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Conveniently located on Hwy. 86 between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, reader Sara Weiss notified us that New Hope Market is now open. Located just north of Allen & Sons they are open for breakfast, lunch and early dinner. The restaurant/market features a grill menu, locally roasted coffee (Carrboro Coffee Roasters), a market for everything from pantry staples to craft beer and local meat. Really looks like a cool spot. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, the folks over at Taste Carolina informed me that Wilmington’s Tama Tea has opened at 105 East Franklin Street (most recently Sweet Frog Yogurt) serving up tea, coffee, smoothies and toast. And it doesn’t look like they are stopping there. A recent blog post suggested they are now looking to open a location in Raleigh. Stay tuned. In the meantime, check them out there.
  • In Chapel Hill’s University Place (I still call it University Mall), Southern Season’s restaurant, Weathervane, has revamped their menu and added back breakfast service. Thanks to Richard Brewer for the update. Check out Weathervane here.
  • Over in Durham, the INDY reported this week that the owners of Durham’s Old Havana Sandwich Shop will open a new restaurant, COPA, at 107 West Main Street (once occupied by Revolution restaurant) in mid-February. This new venture, however, means that Old Havana will close at least two weeks before COPA opens. Keep up with Old Havana here.
  • Also in Durham, Bites of Bull City founder Amber Watson informed me this week that Melina’s Fresh Pasta, located at 2717 Chapel Hill Road in Durham, will hold its grand opening Saturday, December 2 and will features new Grand Opening pasta varieties that will be announced closer to the date. During the event, there will be pasta samples, cooking and pasta making demos, and tours of the facility as the pasta machines are running. Check out details on the grand opening on their Facebook event page here.
  • Last week WRAL reported Northgate Mall’s Earth To Us, a 100% vegan farm to table restaurant, had closed after operating for less than a month. We learned this week that Green Paradise, a 100% vegan/vegetarian hand-crafted comfort food restaurant, has opened in that spot. It is owned by Esther Betty Ortiz and replaces her Lucky Chicken establishment.
  • Also at Northgate Mall, Salcedo’s Pizza has opened in their food court and features Italian fare including pizza pies, pizza by the slice, salads, pastas, stromboli, calzones, and paninis. Check them out here.
  • Timing is everything in the restaurant business, and so it is with Pittsboro Roadhouse’s Greg Lewis. Just as things start to turn cold here in North Carolina, Greg landed a gig this week cooking in tents in Naples, Florida where he’s been tapped to be the executive chef at the LPGA CME Group Tour Championship at the Tiburón Golf Club, Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. Greg heads a team of chef’s from around the country. You are a smart man Greg, but we’ll see you back up here in the cold  in a few days! Check out Pittsboro Roadhouse here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • So, with the cold months upon us there simply aren’t many “official” food truck rodeos happening. So, you will have to act like a squirrel and really work to find your food trucks for the next several months. Here are a couple of online resources to help you do just that (please note, this is not an endorsement of any of these sites, just an effort to help my readers find their favorite trucks). Street Food Finder is one, check them out here. And another is aptly named Roaming Hunger and you can find them here.

Thanksgiving Made Easy

  • It is turkey time! Donovan’s Dish is serving up chef prepared Thanksgiving meals to you and your family. Think fresh, made from scratch, locally-sourced and of course delicious; all without you having to spend hours in front of the stove. All this and they’ll deliver it right to your door! Order your Thanksgiving dinner and take the day off to enjoy friends and family. You’ll be THANKFUL you did! Get all the easy details here.
  • If you don’t want to spend your Thanksgiving in the kitchen, we have some information you will be interested in. Raleigh’s Q Shack offers up everything from whole smoked turkeys, to sides, to the entire turkey-day meal! My family has been doing this for several years and it has been fantastic! Order online here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards voting is under way now through December 17. The awards all you to vote for your favorite North Carolina people, places and businesses, from the mountains to the coast. Vote here. And while you are there, if you love my blog I would be greatly honored if you’d throw a vote my way for Best Blogger! 🙂
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. Get all the details here 

Food Bank Corner

  • No child or family should go hungry during the holidays… and with your help, they won’t! That’s the power of your giving when you share a meal from your table to theirs. Help reach the goal of 2.5 million meals before December 31!
  • A gift of $35 will feed a child for twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $85 will provide groceries to an elderly couple for over twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $120 will provide enough food to sustain a familyTWO FAMILIES through the winter months
  • A gift of $210 will provide more than 1,0002,000 piping hot holiday meals to local families

    And your gift goes even further this winter. To help make sure our neighbors have enough to eat, friends of the Food Bank have generously agreed to match donations, up to $56,000, now through December 31st. Help ensure that no one goes hungry this holiday season…Share a meal today!

Raising a Ruckus

  • Fellow restaurateurs, Ruckus Pizza has created a non-profit organization, Raising a Ruckus (RAR), which works with local guidance counselors to help identify families most in need in our Wake County School system. These are families that without someone stepping in to help, would not have what many of us know as “Christmas.” In the spirit of the season, we would like to reach out to our fellow restaurant owners and see if you would be open to partnering with us for collaboration on this annual project.
    Ruckus
    will take care of the organization of the project, including identifying the families needs, creating marketing materials, putting together all materials your restaurant would need and coordinating the pickup and delivery of the items to these families. What we are asking of you is to consider “adopting” one of these families with us and promoting the giving tree in your location and working to collect all items on the family’s wish list. More often than not, most items are basics like socks, pants, a jacket, a gift card for groceries, a new doll and other basic items.
    With several of us working together, we can partner to help provide for those most in need in our area and allow our customers to get involved in the giving process. This is a brief summary of the program, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on how to get involved or if you have more questions. We hope you will consider a partnership together during the time of year that can often be one of the most difficult for those in need. For more information contact: Robert@ruckuspizza.com

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Friday Fun Food Facts – November 10, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  WRAL reported this week that The Remedy Diner moved into a new home in downtown Raleigh this past Tuesday to 927 W. Morgan St. – that is the old home of P.G. Werth’s, which closed in February after two years in business. Remedy has been around for eight years. Check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Whitaker & Atlantic, chef Coleen Speaks’ new private event venue, is now open and available for holiday parties, weddings, pop-up dinners, fundraising galas, corporate dinners and community events. It is located at 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road and can accommodate 150 for dinner and 275 for cocktails. Get all the details here.
  • In North Raleigh, the ITB Insider reported this week that the Falls Pointe Shopping Center on Falls of Neuse Road will soon become the second Falls of Neuse shopping center to house a Moe’s Southwest Grill. Permits were issued for the renovation of the space that previously housed CasaSan Carlo Italian Bistro. San Carlo closed in July. No timeline yet on when this location of Moe’s will open. Check out Moe’s here.
  • Also in North Raleigh, Chopt Creative Salad Co. opened its second Raleigh location this week and 51st store on the East Coast at the North Ridge Shopping Center. It is located in half of the space that used to be Tribeca. The other half is slated to be a Zoës Kitchen. Check out Chopt here.
  • Doel Gonzalez and Antonio Rodriguez owners of Spanglish Food Truck purchased Nashers Sandwich House on Durant Rd, Raleigh and plan to keep the menu the same but change the name to Pressed Sandwich House. The deal was brokered by Neal DePersia of National Restaurant Properties. Check out Nashers here and Spanglish here.
  • And we can’t leave Raleigh before mentioning the panic that ensued with the closing of the Starbucks in the Harris Teeter at Cameron Village as they moved into a stand-alone building across the street. The transition to the new space forced them to close for a few days. Eegad! Last we checked, everyone survived and the new location is now open. Thank goodness!
  • Over in Cary, the second Cary location of Shuckin’ Shack’ will be part of a Harris Teeter anchored shopping center at Tryon Village. They are targeted to open November 14th. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here.
  • Got word from Ravi Patel that he and his business partner opened Built Custom Burgers in the new Whole Foods shopping center at Alston Town Center in Cary. This is their second location, the first being in the food court at the Streets at Southpoint. Get familiar with them here.
  • And down in Holly Springs, the latest Famous Toastery opens today (November 10th)  in the Holly Springs Towne Center. They already have locations in Cary and Morrisville. Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • After operating for nearly 70 years in Raleigh, the News & Observer reported that the legendary Finch’s Restaurant will open in Durham next Friday, November 17th at 3211 Chapel Hill Road in the former Family Garden plant store and greenhouse. In addition to their breakfast offerings, look for the new location to offer dinner and outdoor seating. A huge loss for Raleigh; an amazing gain for Durham; and a lot of smiling faces for all of those in the Triangle that have missed Finch’s since they closed. Not much has changed on their Facebook page.
  • Nothing like family to help during a transition. And so it is with restaurants as well. Alberello’s big sister restaurant, Oakleaf, is moving locations from Pittsboro to Carrboro (last meal in Pittsboro isn’t until November 25) and while the new space is under construction, they will both be operating out of the Alberello’s space in Briar Chapel. From December 1 through January 27, Alberello’s menu will be available for lunch from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. and then they will reopen at 5:30 p.m. operating as Oakleaf for dinner. What could be better than two awesome restaurants under one roof?! Check out Oakleaf here and Alberello here.
  • And just on the outskirts of downtown Durham in Erwin Square, the Triangle’s second location of Shuckin’ Shack just opened at 2200 West Main Street. They opened at the end of October. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here.

Closings

  • WRAL reported this week that Earth To Us, a 100% vegan farm to table restaurant in The Shops at Northgate, has closed after operating for less than a month.
  • The News & Observer reported that Korean Garden in Cary announced on Facebook that it will close its restaurant at 748 E. Chatham St. at the end of the month.
  • And got word from several clients in downtown, that Cafe Carolina will close their doors in the Wells Fargo building on November 13th. The News & Observer noted that it was an 18 year run. And word is they are looking for a smaller, downtown spot so stay tuned.

Food Trucks

  • One final Food Truck Thursdays of the season in Knightdale. Next Thursday, November 16th, Mama Voula’s will be at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details here.

Thanksgiving Made Easy

  • It is turkey time! Donovan’s Dish is serving up chef prepared Thanksgiving meals to you and your family. Think fresh, made from scratch, locally-sourced and of course delicious; all without you having to spend hours in front of the stove. All this and they’ll deliver it right to your door! Order your Thanksgiving dinner and take the day off to enjoy friends and family. You’ll be THANKFUL you did! Get all the easy details here.
  • If you don’t want to spend your Thanksgiving in the kitchen, we have some information you will be interested in. Raleigh’s Q Shack offers up everything from whole smoked turkeys, to sides, to the entire turkey-day meal! My family has been doing this for several years and it has been fantastic! Order online here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards voting begins next Monday, Nov. 13th. The awards all you to vote for your favorite North Carolina people, places and businesses, from the mountains to the coast. Starting Monday, vote here.
  •  On November 11th, the folks over at Mofu Shoppe are holding their inaugural Pho-All Fest at Mofu Shoppe on Blount Street in downtown Raleigh. All proceeds to benefit Neighbors to Neighbors. In addition to their truck, there will be lots of music and fun activities including several eating contests. Come join in the fun! Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • It’s time for the 2017 Triangle Chili Challenge. On Sunday, November 12 in Downtown Cary, restaurateurs and food trucks compete alongside the Cary Police and Fire Departments for the “Best Chili in the Triangle”. The event also features live music, craft beer, art vendors, raffles and cash prizes. The winner will go home with $300 in cash, a trophy and serious bragging rights. Registration is now open. For sponsorship packages, competitor registration and more information, go here.
  • Also on November 12, the Much Ado About Cheese Festival is taking place from 1-4 p.m. at the Rickhouse in downtown Durham. American Meltdown, Durham’s gourmet grilled cheese food truck (and now restaurant!) aims to bring the wonders of the Triangle’s local cheeses to the community. Tickets are $8-$15. Tickets and all the details can be found here.
  • Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15  at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Get all the details here.
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. Get all the details here 

Food Bank Corner

  • No child or family should go hungry during the holidays… and with your help, they won’t! That’s the power of your giving when you share a meal from your table to theirs. Help reach the goal of 2.5 million meals before December 31!
  • A gift of $35 will feed a child for twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $85 will provide groceries to an elderly couple for over twoFOUR months
  • A gift of $120 will provide enough food to sustain a familyTWO FAMILIES through the winter months
  • A gift of $210 will provide more than 1,0002,000 piping hot holiday meals to local families

    And your gift goes even further this winter. To help make sure our neighbors have enough to eat, friends of the Food Bank have generously agreed to match donations, up to $56,000, now through December 31st. Help ensure that no one goes hungry this holiday season…Share a meal today!

Raising a Ruckus

  • Fellow restaurateurs, Ruckus Pizza has created a non-profit organization, Raising a Ruckus (RAR), which works with local guidance counselors to help identify families most in need in our Wake County School system. These are families that without someone stepping in to help, would not have what many of us know as “Christmas.” In the spirit of the season, we would like to reach out to our fellow restaurant owners and see if you would be open to partnering with us for collaboration on this annual project.

    Ruckus will take care of the organization of the project, including identifying the families needs, creating marketing materials, putting together all materials your restaurant would need and coordinating the pickup and delivery of the items to these families. What we are asking of you is to consider “adopting” one of these families with us and promoting the giving tree in your location and working to collect all items on the family’s wish list. More often than not, most items are basics like socks, pants, a jacket, a gift card for groceries, a new doll and other basic items.

    With several of us working together, we can partner to help provide for those most in need in our area and allow our customers to get involved in the giving process. This is a brief summary of the program, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on how to get involved or if you have more questions. We hope you will consider a partnership together during the time of year that can often be one of the most difficult for those in need. For more information contact: Robert@ruckuspizza.com

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Friday Fun Food Facts – November 3, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Matt Kelly has done it again. Just yesterday he opened his latest venture, St. James Restaurant and Raw Bar in the former Fishmonger’s spot in the Brightleaf District. Kelly first opened Mateo Bar De Tapas where he was named a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2013. And last year he added Mothers & Sons Trattoria, an Italian trattoria, and Lucky’s Delicatessen, a sandwich shop with a choice beer cooler. Get by soon, but in the meantime, check them out here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Downtown Raleigh’s Glenwood South district recently saw the opening of Saigon Grill & Bar located on the ground floor at 222 Glenwood. The menu features a fusion of Asian and Vietnamese culinary traditions. It is owned and operated by John Tang and Richard Fong. Tang is the owner of Sushi O Bistro and Sushi Bar, while Fong hails from New York, but most recently was working in the now closed An Asian Cuisine restaurant in Cary. Check them out here. Thanks to Jennifer Martin with Shop Local Raleigh/Greater Raleigh Merchants Association for the tip.
  • Last weekend Southern Charred, a new barbecue joint serving up pulled pork, smoked deviled eggs, biscuit sliders and more, opened their doors at 510 Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh. Southern Charred is part of the Bunch of Fives Hospitality Co. that also brought us The Anchor Bar, The Milk Bar, Mofu Shoppe and the soon-to-be Dogwood Bar & Eatery (coming in 2018). Check them out here.
  • Over on NC State’s Centennial Campus the StateView Hotel recently opened overlooking Lake Raleigh. Of equally important note, the hotel features an American-style restaurant called Flask & Beaker, which draws inspiration from North Carolina flavors and crops, as well as incorporating innovative and unique cooking style techniques. Check them out here.
  • And we have a little bit more information on Zanyu Asian Noodles coming to Lafayette Village in North Raleigh. As of now, they plan on opening the middle of this month. Chef and owner Michael Bongiorno spent 15 years working as an executive chef for Hyatt International in Asia, working in the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Guam, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan. Can’t wait to check this place out!
  • Down in Garner, reader Hugh Autry pointed out that Just Cookin’ opened at the end of September at 231 Timber Drive in Garner. It’s in the former El Dorado space at the Timber Crossings shopping center at Timber and Benson Rd. Check them out here.
  • Also in Garner, Hugh Autry also let us know that Oak City Pizza, a wood-fired pizza spot, has opened at 206 Forest Hills Drive in the Forest Hills shopping center in Garner. Check them out here.
  • Over in Holly Springs we are getting closer to the opening of the latest Famous Toastery in the Holly Springs Towne Center. They are having their invitation-only preview meals the middle of next week, and they typically open a few days after that. Stay tuned and we will let you know as soon as we get the official date. They already have locations in Cary and Morrisville. In the meantime, get familiar with them here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Just across the Chatham County line from Chapel Hill, Chathamites can now make a run for the border with the opening of the latest Taco Bell located at 48 Knox Way right along 15-501 South. Thanks to ready Delonda Alexander for pointing this out to us. In the event you live under a rock and need to get familiar with Taco Bell, do so here.

Closings

  • At the beginning of this week, Bare Bones, located in downtown Raleigh in the former Zinda spot, announced their immediate closing. They are part of the Eschelon Experiences restaurant group. Thanks to Paul Prause for the heads up on that.

Food Trucks

  • Food Truck Thursdays is back in Knightdale. Every Thursday from September through November, Knightdale hosts a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Thanks to Mark Ginsburg for the heads up. Get all the details and a listing of the upcoming trucks here.
  •  Art Sheppard notified me that Chapel Hill is bringing back the Rodeo on Rosemary. It will be held this Sunday, November 5th from 12-4 (also same day as the Durham Rodeo…decisions, decisions). Get all the details on Facebook here.

Thanksgiving Made Easy

  • It is turkey time! Donovan’s Dish is serving up chef prepared Thanksgiving meals to you and your family. Think fresh, made from scratch, locally-sourced and of course delicious; all without you having to spend hours in front of the stove. All this and they’ll deliver it right to your door! Order your Thanksgiving dinner and take the day off to enjoy friends and family. You’ll be THANKFUL you did! Get all the easy details here.
  • If you don’t want to spend your Thanksgiving in the kitchen, we have some information you will be interested in. Raleigh’s Q Shack offers up everything from whole smoked turkeys, to sides, to the entire turkey-day meal! My family has been doing this for several years and it has been fantastic! Order online here.

Events

  • The new WRAL.com Voters’ Choice Awards starts this fall with expanded categories and subcategories. You can nominate your favorite businesses through Nov. 8. On Nov. 13, they will unveil the official voting ballot. To nominate a business, click here. And if you are a business interested in sponsoring this year’s awards or getting promotional graphics to help encourage people to nominate your business, click here.
  • Tonight, November 3rd, is the annual Brewer’s Ball, an evening of the finest foods, unique craft beers, and pure North Carolina indulgence in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  It takes place tonight at Bond Brothers Beer in Cary beginning at 6:30 p.m. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • November 4th brings us one of my favorite events of the year – the 5th annual Salt & Smoke Festival where chef Kevin Callaghan and his team from Acme capture a perfect autumn day in the South with bluegrass, whole hog barbecue, oysters on the half shell and local drinks – so many rich traditions rolled into one singular and spectacular celebration at Rock Quarry Farm. This is a “don’t miss” event. Get all the details here.
  • Also on November 4th, join Bites of Bull City from 10-12 for a Durham brunch tour. Why go to brunch at just one restaurant when you can try three! Your delicious tour will take you to Piedmont, Pie Pushers and Counting House. You will meet the chefs behind the dishes and get a taste of the unique flavor and styles at each stop. Cost is $45. Use coupon code SAVEFIVE to get $5 off through this Sunday. Get your tickets here.
  • And then on November 5th  is the 27th annual A Tasteful Affair at The Blue Zone at Kenan Stadium where 500 guests will enjoy delicious samples from more than two-dozen of the area’s best restaurants, catering companies, beverage purveyors and food trucks – all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Details and tickets here.
  • On November 11th, the folks over at Mofu Shoppe are holding their inaugural Pho-All Fest at Mofu Shoppe on Blount Street in downtown Raleigh. All proceeds to benefit Neighbors to Neighbors. In addition to their truck, there will be lots of music and fun activities including several eating contests. Come join in the fun! Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • It’s time for the 2017 Triangle Chili Challenge. On Sunday, November 12 in Downtown Cary, restaurateurs and food trucks compete alongside the Cary Police and Fire Departments for the “Best Chili in the Triangle”. The event also features live music, craft beer, art vendors, raffles and cash prizes. The winner will go home with $300 in cash, a trophy and serious bragging rights. Registration is now open. For sponsorship packages, competitor registration and more information, go here.
  • Reap the spoils of competition while top Triangle chefs compete to be named Soup-erior Chef at Urban Ministries of Wake County’s annual Stone Soup Supper on Wednesday, November 15  at NCSU McKimmon Center. Funds raised from the event will be used to feed, shelter, and provide healthcare to low income individuals living within Wake County. Guests receive unlimited bowls of specially crafted soup from more than a dozen chefs. Guests also receive one piece of artisan pottery, hand-crafted by the Triangle Potters Guild. Get all the details here.
  • Mattie Beason of Black Twig Cider House will host TxotxFest on November 18 from noon to 4 pm. TxotxFest returns for a second year, offering award-winning regional and national ciders with North Carolina cuisine, and features the txotx – a traditional Spanish cider barrel. Beason introduced TxotxFest in 2016 as the first event of its kind in the Southeast to celebrate cider, the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. This year, Beason kicks off TxotxFest November 17th with a $50 five-course cider-paired dinner at Black Twig Cider House featuring Asheville’s chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat & Provisions and ciders from Noble Cider, Urban Orchard, Appalachian Mountain, and James Creek. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Our friends at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be holding a Students Against Hunger food drive from October through December for schools in the area. Participants in the Students Against Hunger campaign collect food and funds from October 2 through December 2. Competing schools must deliver their donations to their warehouse by noon on Saturday, December 2. There are lots of creative ways for your child’s school to participate. Register your school and get all the details here.

Raising a Ruckus

  • Fellow restaurateurs, Ruckus Pizza has created a non-profit organization, Raising a Ruckus (RAR), which works with local guidance counselors to help identify families most in need in our Wake County School system. These are families that without someone stepping in to help, would not have what many of us know as “Christmas.” In the spirit of the season, we would like to reach out to our fellow restaurant owners and see if you would be open to partnering with us for collaboration on this annual project.

    Ruckus will take care of the organization of the project, including identifying the families needs, creating marketing materials, putting together all materials your restaurant would need and coordinating the pickup and delivery of the items to these families. What we are asking of you is to consider “adopting” one of these families with us and promoting the giving tree in your location and working to collect all items on the family’s wish list. More often than not, most items are basics like socks, pants, a jacket, a gift card for groceries, a new doll and other basic items.

    With several of us working together, we can partner to help provide for those most in need in our area and allow our customers to get involved in the giving process. This is a brief summary of the program, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on how to get involved or if you have more questions. We hope you will consider a partnership together during the time of year that can often be one of the most difficult for those in need. For more information contact: Robert@ruckuspizza.com

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