Friday Fun Food Facts – February 16, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, brought some Durham news my way with the announcement that Boxcar Bar + Arcade is on track to open a third location in downtown Durham in late spring of 2018. With the addition of a wood fired pizza kitchen, this will be their first location to include food as part of their bar and arcade concept. In addition to the kitchen, the Durham location, at over ten-thousand square feet, will be home to over 80 arcade games, a full bar, an extensive craft American draft menu, a covered patio and some unique features, such as a possible outdoor fire pit. Located at 619 Foster Street, this location overlooks the historic Durham Athletic Park, directly across from Geer Street Pub and around the corner from Durham’s famous Motorco Music Hall. Keep up with this as it develops on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Tonbo Ramen, brought to us by the owners of Kanki, recently opened in the Moore Square District at 211 S. Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh. They are serving up quintessential Japanese ramen dishes, such as Tonkotsu, Shio and Shoyu. Also they have an upstairs Izakaya bar, their version of a Japanese speakeasy, where you can enjoy craft cocktails and small plates, offering the unique flavors of Japan. Thanks to Pirya Matai for the tip. Check them out here.
  • With our need to keep Mendy Iler entertained, we feel it is necessary to inform everyone that a sign has now been added to the outside of the soon-to-be Wahlburger’s on downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street. Still no word on when the brothers and their burgers will actually arrive. Stay tuned. Thanks to Russ O’Melia for letting us know about the sign. Dial into their Facebook page for any further updates.
  • And a quick update on a new Italian restaurant called Osteria G opening very soon at 5160 Sunset Lake Road in Apex in the former Little Hen spot. At the time of this posting, they are still not open (but that could change at any moment). Check their website, Facebook and Instagram before venturing out. Check out the menu and other details on their website here.
  • Over in Cary, friend Hugh Autry notified me that a new Firehouse Subs is going in near Panera Bread at the Centrum at Crossroads shopping center where it will replace the Qdoba. No word yet on an open date. Check out Firehouse here.
  • And the semi-finalists were announced this week for the annual James Beard Foundation awards. Congrats to all those that made it to the next round. I’ll keep saying it — we are truly blessed in this market with amazing culinary talent. Check out the impressive list here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • We are excited to announce that Fusion Fish, the global Asian fusion restaurant featuring sushi, spirits and cocktails in the former One spot in Chapel Hill’s Meadowmont, is now open in the evening for their soft opening. Their “official” opening will be on March 1. Be sure to call before heading over during this “soft opening” period. You can find them on Facebook here.
  • Next Monday, February 19th, a new fast-casual restaurant called Sushioki (“Oki” means big in Japanese) will open at 4900 Highway 55 (near the intersection with Highway 54, next to Brigs restaurant). The concept features large, burrito-sized sushi rolls, both traditional (raw tuna, raw salmon, tempura shrimp) and non-traditional (double fried chicken, southern pork BBQ, Korean bulgogi, and veggie). Check them out here.
  • Congratulations to the folks over at Carrboro’s ACME Food & Beverage Company as they celebrate their 20-year anniversary. And they are holding a party (like it’s 1998 – sorry Prince) tomorrow, Saturday, February 17th from 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. They will have a heated tent behind the restaurant and will have dancing, snacks, drinks and (of course) a damn good time. Admission is a $20 donation to Be Loud! Sophie, which supports adolescent and young adult cancer patients at UNC Hospitals. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • In downtown Durham, the owners of the popular restaurant Old Havana are in the process of transitioning into a new concept, Copa (a farm to table tapas and cocktails of old Cuba), in the old Revolution. They are looking to open the new venture in March. However, to complete that dream, they are asking for community support to make renovations/furnishings possible. If you are inclined to help, click here.

Closings

  • WRAL reported that after more than six years in business, Calavera Empanadas and Tequilla ill be closing in downtown Raleigh. Their last day will be February 24. That’s the bad news. The good news is they also own Oak City Meatball Shoppe and the soon-to-open Kaiju Bowl and Bao.

Food Trucks

  • Got word from Britt DelPizzo that there is a new truck coming to the Triangle that will especially excite those transplants from western New York. Buffolina will serve up wings, chicken fingers, dogs, legendary beef on weck, pizza logs and of course, canned “pop” – among others. See their full menu and keep up with them on Twitter here.
  • And dates have been set (at least initial dates) for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.
  • 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

  •  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.
  • And the 2018 version of Farm to Fork expanded to three events over several seasons and tickets to all three just went on sale. The fun begins with the first event on June 3, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then on September 16 they’ll host a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. And the series will conclude on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm. You can buy ticket to each individual event, or all three. Get tickets and all the details on their site 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 – February 9, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  It was announced this week that Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is providing 20 fresh, healthy meals per day for 365 days to those in need via A Place at the Table in Raleigh. So cool! A Place at the Table, located at 300 West Hargett Street, invites customers to pay what they can for a fresh, healthy meal while experiencing community and conversation in the café. On May 10th & 11th Blue Cross NC will present Thrive NC, a two-day event featuring an immersive culinary experience with contributions from top chefs and restaurants. Tickets for that event go on sale at the end of February. Get more information on A Place at the Table here and on Thrive NC here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh, the folks over at St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar announced recently that they have begun brunch service on Saturday and Sunday, open 10 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on those days. This is in addition to their evening dining hours. They also noted that their oyster bar stays open all day on the weekend! Check out their full menu and get all their details here.
  • The ITB Insider reported this week that Poke Bar, a California-based franchise offering its own spin on the traditional Hawaiian dish poke, opened its first North Carolina location last week at 2604 Hillsborough Street. Get familiar with them here.
  • Speaking of North Hills, a quick update thanks to the folks over at the ITB Insider – work has begun on the Bartaco that will open next to Mura. The initial information from North Hills listed a summer 2018 opening. Stay tuned. Check out Bartaco here.
  • In Cary, reader Christine Johnson notified us that she spotted a coming soon sign for the next location of Zoes Kitchen. It will be in Cary’s Crossroads shopping center in the former Tasu outparcel at 2007 Walnut Street. No word yet on an open date. Visit Zoes here.
  • And speaking of Cary, if you are over that way, Postmaster is holding their Grand Opening today (February 9) with specials on cocktails, wine and beer along with some special items the chefs will be preparing. Visit them here.
  • Also in Apex, I’m not really sure what happened here, but what I do know is that the Blistered Pig is now Cantina 2 Twenty Five (of course, located at 225 Salem Street). They serve up Mexican cuisine, featuring unique tacos, tequila and mezcal. Get to know them here. Thanks to David Amann for letting us know about the change.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The folks over at Taste Carolina notified me that there is a new North Indian restaurant called Naan Stop over on Erwin Road next to Black Twig, and their website (get this) is Naan Stop Duke. Love all these clever names.
  • Also in Durham, a huge shoutout and congratulations to the folks over at Toast on celebrating their 10-year anniversary! Check them out here.
  • Congratulations also to the folks over at Carrboro’s ACME Food & Beverage Company as they celebrate their 20-year anniversary. And they are holding a party (like it’s 1998 – sorry Prince) on Saturday, February 17th from 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. They will have a heated tent behind the restaurant and will have dancing, snacks, drinks and (of course) a damn good time. Admission is a $20 donation to Be Loud! Sophie, which supports adolescent and young adult cancer patients at UNC Hospitals. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, we have now confirmed that the Korean restaurant MinGa is moving from its current location into the former Captain Poncho space on Franklin Street, near the intersection with Estes Drive. Look for them to open the new space in March. Check them out here. Thanks to Matthew, the Burgeoning Baker, for the tip.
  • In downtown Durham, the owners of the popular restaurant Old Havana are in the process of transitioning into a new concept, Copa (a farm to table tapas and cocktails of old Cuba), in the old Revolution. They are looking to open the new venture in March. However, to complete that dream, they are asking for community support to make renovations/furnishings possible. If you are inclined to help, click here.

Closings

  • None to report. Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

  • Art Sheppard, the Wandering Sheppard, tipped me off to the fact that there is another new truck roaming the streets of the Triangle – and you are going to love the name, and the food. It is Pork in the Road, and you guessed it, serving up everything pork (with a few options for our vegetarian friends). Check them out here.
  • 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

  •  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 – February 2, 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 last week that chef Mike Lee, who operates M Sushi and M Kokko, has plans for 5 more restaurants. Next up, M Kogi and M Taco which he hopes to open in the 4th quarter of this year. Lee likes the model of his restaurants opening adjacent to each other and sharing a kitchen. Once Kogi and Taco are up and running, Lee will shift to his next projects: one built around Buddhist cuisine and offering a vegan menu and another that’s essentially a permanent pop-up spot, with the menu and chef changing often, but the space staying the same. And finally, Lee ultimately plans to launch a non-profit fast-casual concept. This is going to be fun to watch (and enjoy!). Check our M Sushi here and M Kokko here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • In downtown Raleigh it was announced this week that O-Ku Sushi, an Asian restaurant with locations in Charleston, Atlanta and Charlotte, will open at The Dillon this summer. They were named “Top 20 Best New Restaurant” by Esquire in 2010 and “Best Sushi Restaurant in the U.S.” by Travel + Leisure in 2013. Go ahead and get familiar with them here.
  • Last week the folks over at Zen Fish on Durham’s Ninth Street announced that they had officially started construction on their second location – this one in the Weston Corners Plaza on Chapel Hill Road in Cary/Morrisville (next to Guasaca and Famous Toastery. Check them out here. Thanks to Jenny Bengen Albert for the tip.
  • Up in North Raleigh John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, brought it to our attention that Kwench Juice Bar is opening soon in the Falls Point shopping center. They will be serving up Acai bowls, salads, juices and smoothies. Check them out here.
  • And I’m happy to report that North Hill’s Vivace Italian restaurant has reopened after taking on extensive damage due to a burst water pipe in early January. Get by and welcome them back! Check them out here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • This is going to be big! Monday, February 19th will be the grand opening of a new fast-casual restaurant called Sushiōki (“Oki” means big in Japanese) at 4900 Highway 55 (near the intersection with Highway 54, next to Brigs restaurant). The concept features large, burrito-sized sushi rolls, both traditional (raw tuna, raw salmon, tempura shrimp) and non-traditional (double fried chicken, southern pork BBQ, Korean bulgogi, and veggie). Can’t wait to check this place out. Find them here.
  • And this is exciting. A viewer on WRAL shared the news that a ‘coming soon’ sign appeared for Duck Donuts over at Patterson Place in Durham. No word on a timeline, but we will definitely keep an eye on this. Check out Duck Donuts here.
  • Considering my daughter’s name and the fact I love cheesecake, I was excited to learn from Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson that Lily’s Cheesecake Bakery & Cafe held their grand opening this past week. They are located at 5504 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Check them out here.
  • In downtown Durham, the owners of the popular restaurant Old Havana are in the process of transitioning into a new concept, Copa (a farm to table tapas and cocktails of old Cuba), in the old Revolution. They are looking to open the new venture in March. However, to complete that dream, they are asking for community support to make renovations/furnishings possible. If you are inclined to help, click here.
  • Amber Watson at Bites of Bull City tweeted this week that it looks like Khaja’s Curry on 9th Street is open, where Chubby’s used to be at 748 Ninth Street. We could not find an online presence for them. Will have to just go by and check it out!
  • Glen Gillen notified me that the Amante Pizza in the Hope Valley Shopping Center in Durham (3825 S. Roxboro Road) has closed and has been replaced by a Subway. He also pointed out that there is a new outparcel across the street with signage that says “New Tokyo” but it appears to still be under construction.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, things are starting to become a little clearer as to what is happening with the former One space in Meadowmont. It will become Fusion Fish, a global Asian fusion restaurant featuring sushi and spirits and cocktails. They won’t commit to anything more definite than “opening soon” so we will just have to keep peeking in the windows for now. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, we are not certain if this is a move or a second location, but we do know for sure that the Korean restaurant MinGa is moving into the former Captain Poncho  (and before that, Mixed) space on Franklin Street, near the intersection with Estes Drive. Look for them to open the new space in March. Check them out here. Thanks to Matthew, the Burgeoning Baker, for the tip.
  • Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street will get another pizza joint soon. The Pizza Press, a create your own pizza concept, will be located just down from Target in Carolina Square (formerly University Square) at 123 W. Franklin Street. And snooping around their site, it looks like they will also open a location in Raleigh, just don’t know where just yet (guessing Hillsborough Street??). Check them out here.
  • And while on the subject of Carolina Square on Franklin Street, signage went up recently for the next location of B.Good. They already have locations in Morrisville, downtown Raleigh and Raleigh’s North Hills. No word on a timeline for the Chapel Hill location. Check out B.Good here.

Closings

  • And this is a hard one to report, but Indy Week was the first to report that Scratch will be closing their 8-year-old location in downtown Durham to focus on their newest ventures – “Baby Scratch” and the Lakewood on Chapel Hill Street. They will close at the end of this month, so there is still time to get by!
  • Got word from reader Scott Eaton that SiP Bistro in Holly Springs (once featured on Restaurant Impossible)has closed.

Food Trucks

  • For those that live in and/or frequent North Raleigh, you will be happy to know that Mr. Sticky’s Sticky Buns food truck has opened and can be found at 9229 Capital Blvd. next to Pro Tire. Check them out on Facebook here. Congrats to Ed Hall!
  • 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

  •  The 2018 version of the Lucy Daniels Center Cooking for a Classic is coming to a conclusion as chef Matt Hannon of Ironwood Cafe goes up against chef Dean Thompson of Raleigh Renaissance Hotel on February 7th. Tickets are still available. Get a peek at the truck and tickets 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 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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