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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 29, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Today we begin week 2 of Phase 2. As this is a moving target, with so many variables in play, my best recommendation to know the details surrounding your favorite restaurant, like – are they open for in-house dining?; what are their modified hours?; what is their, possibly modified, menu?; are they continuing to offer curbside pickup and/or delivery?…etc. – is to simply go to their website and/or better yet, their social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. That is likely where you will find the latest and greatest. Keep supporting our local restaurants!
  • To that end, kudos to the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association for their “Count on Me NC” restaurant promise initiative. When customers see this endorsement, they can be certain that the restaurant is taking all necessary steps to protect their employees and customers and is committed to playing a leadership role in protecting our communities. See a list of participating restaurants here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The folks over at RalToday shared the news that Five Star Chinese Restaurant will relocate at the end of June. That means they will close their doors at 511 W. Hargett Street as of Monday, June 1 so that they can complete the move to 301 N. West Street and reopen at the end of June. Visit their website here to keep up with the move details and reopening announcements.
  • Thanks to Neal DePersia over at National Restaurant Properties, we learned of an update to a story we started covering in November, 2019. DePersia shared that The Flying Mayan (which had originally planned to open in December) at 319 Fayetteville Street in the former Wahlburger’s space, is now looking to open in June. Billing itself as a place where “the Southwest meets the Southeast,” The Flying Mayan specializes in “fresh, made from scratch sauces, salsas, and menu items that have their roots in both regions.” It is being developed by the same team behind the Flying Burrito, located on Grove Barton Road. Get familiar with them here.
  • Blogger Eat Raleigh shared the news that Hightop Burger in Raleigh’s McNeil Pointe opened this past Saturday. Look for burgers, hot dogs, wings, salads and fries, as well as kids meals. Get familiar with them here.
  • Good news, the folks over at 321 Coffee (a nonprofit coffee shop staffed by individuals with intellectual and development disabilities) is back open at the State Farmers Market! Donned with masks and gloves, they are ready to serve you! They also will be rolling out a “Cold Brew Concentrate Growler” beginning on June 5. Get familiar with 321 Coffee and their amazing mission here.
  • We first told you about this last week, but yesterday (Thursday) Raleigh Brewing Co. opened their newest taproom located at the Arboretum at Weston in Cary (2036 Park Place) and features 50+ taps. The original location is on Neil Street, just off Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. Check them out here.
  • And I love seeing some of the creativity coming out of our current environment. One example is V Pizza at 1389 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary. They have become a pizza joint/drive-in-movie spot showing movies in their parking lot very Wednesday through Saturday evenings at sunset. These are family-friendly movies…not necessarily “kid” movies, but nothing rated R. Kudos to Anthony Rapillo! Visit their Facebook page to see what they are showing…and their amazing menu!
  • A quick update for all the Cafe Carolina fans around the Triangle – the Cameron Village location will re-open in the next couple of weeks (early June) and the Cary and Chapel Hill locations at a later date in June. Stay tuned for those announcements. Visit Cafe Carolina here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The Durham Food Hall will be running full steam (well, amidst Covid 19) beginning today with the last two vendors opening today. Right now, Auctioneer Bar, Liturgy Beverage Co., Everything Bagels, Old North Meats & Provisions, Afters Dessert Bar, Napoli Pizza & Gelato are open. Lula & Sadie’s, Locals Oyster Bar and Ex Voto’s Burrito Bodega open today (Friday). Order online and get all the details here.
  • Also in Durham, Two Roosters Ice Cream shared today that the concrete floor of the Durham Golden Belt shop was poured Friday, and walls are going up Monday. They’re looking to open (in some form or fashion) in early July. They currently have two locations in Raleigh – Greystone Village and Person Street Plaza. Follow them for updates.

Closings / Cancellations

  • WRAL shared the news this week that Cameron Bar and Grill, in Raleigh’s Cameron Village and part of the Eschelon Experiences Hospitality Group, has closed permanently.
  • Raleigh Convergence shared the sad news that Trophy Tap & Table on Wilmington St. has made the “hard and heartbreaking decision” and will close that concept, but they’ll make major changes to the building and the concept…so…stay tuned.

Food Trucks 

  • Got word this week that a new lobster food truck is on the way to the Triangle – Lobster Dogs Food Truck! With trucks already in Charlotte, Winston Salem, Greensboro and Asheville (as well as South Carolina and Tennessee), the Triangle is the next obvious location. No word on an exact timeline. Keep up with them on Facebook here.
  • This isn’t exactly a food truck, but it has wheels and can be found rolling around various events throughout the Triangle. Sarah Carr D’Amato shared with the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies Facebook group that a three wheeled cousin of the popular Vespa – called Vita Mielie – is adorned with a European cafe awning and 4 taps serving up your choice of wine, bubby or beer. You’ll find the cart for hire at weddings, parties and corporate events around the Triangle. Check out this beautiful “beverage cart” here.
  • Here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.

Events

  • This weekend is your last chance to experience Drive-Thru Fair Food Days! You heard that right, this weekend (May 29-31) from 12-8 p.m. (Cash only) you can drive thru the Fairgrounds (enter off Trinity Road) and order from your car. Think Funnel Cakes; Deep Fried Oreos; Deep Fried Snickers; Fresh Squeezed Lemonade; Candy Apple (with or without nuts); Cotton Candy; Tropical Delights Smoothies (strawberry, pina colada, peach); Pineapple Cup; Dole Whip Float or Cup. Cash only! Can anyone else imagine how far traffic is going to back up? Get all the details here on their Facebook page.
  • The Jewish Food Festival pre-order and drive-thru pickup this Sunday is SOLD OUT! If you ordered, make sure you’re able to pick up your order on May 31, 11am-2pm. Orders that are not picked up within the pickup window will be donated to their Food Pantry. While the food is sold out, you can still purchase raffle tickets for prizes including an all-expenses-paid 3-night trip to Boston, a Brew Tour with Taste Carolina, a stay at The Durham Hotel, and so much more to look forward to when this pandemic is over! All proceeds from raffle ticket sales go to the Jewish Federation’s initiatives to address food insecurity in our local community. To find out more, visit their site here.
  • Ok, you have just one week to get ready for this – National Doughnut Day is Friday, June 5th! And not to alarm you, but less than a week if Krispy Kreme is your go-to doughnut spot as they have extended it to an ENTIRE WEEK – June 1-5th. All week, customers can pick up a FREE doughnut of their choice at participating Krispy Kreme locations (including the drive-thru.) No purchase necessary. But look for most doughnut places to offer some sort of freebie/deal. Thanks to Triangle on the Cheap for reminding us of this national holiday of sorts!
  • Drive Through Brewgaloo is a pop-up event to support the NC craft beer industry. Help keep NC breweries going by purchasing a 6 pack of your favorite style of beer or try a Taste of NC mix pack featuring 24 different beers for curbside pickup at Lincoln Theater in Raleigh on June 6 between 2-6pm. View their Facebook event page here.
  • The 5th Annual Raleigh International Food Festival has decided to move their event to Saturday, August 8th from noon until 10 p.m. in the 100-200 block of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. While there you will be able to try authentic international food, desserts as well as  imported beer and wine! There will also be lots of music and entertainment at this child and pet friendly event. Admission is free and parking on the street is as well. Obviously, keep up with their Facebook event page for any announcements and/or rescheduling. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • This event is in Asheville, but who wouldn’t be down for a road trip come August? So, the Buxton Hall Barbecue’s Smokeshow Festival has been rescheduled to August 23, 2020. The wood-fired-hog-centric event is set to overflow with the biggest names in BBQ along with some of the nation’s most notable chefs, all coming together under one roof. Alongside endless soul-warming ‘cue from your favorite joints from across the southeast & beyond, guests can also expect to get down to live music, nosh on some equally as show-stopping non-BBQ bites and taste test Asheville’s best local brews from Highland Brewery. Get all the details here and tickets can be purchased here.
  • The Fest in the West is back for its fifth year on Saturday, November 7 from 11 am- 5 pm at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. The event features food & beer, music, arts & crafts, a KidZone, contests and a petting zoo. A great way to spend time with 7,000 of your closest friends. Admission is free! Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to Triangle On The Cheap, here are some updates on event cancellations and rescheduling: PeakFest in Apex was rescheduled to September 19; Meet in the Street Festival in Wake Forest was rescheduled to September 5; Artsplosure in downtown Raleigh was rescheduled to October 10 and 11; and the Pimento Cheese Festival in Cary has been canceled.

Food Bank Corner

  • The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is providing free Grab-&-Go Meals for Kids & Teens Monday through Frida 11am – 1pm at the K&W Cafeteria located at 3620 Bastion Lane, Raleigh NC 27604. Children do not have to be present with you to pick up meals, and you will not be required to show ID. Food will be distributed by volunteers at curbside and social distancing will be practiced. There are also 30 other free meal sites across 15 counties! View a full list of sites here. #noonegoeshungry

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 22, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Here we go, rolling into Phase 2 tonight at 5:00 p.m. As this is a moving target, with so many variables in play, my best recommendation to know the details surrounding your favorite restaurant, like – are they open for in-house dining; what are their modified hours; what is their, possibly modified, menu; are they continuing to offer curbside pickup and/or delivery…etc. – is to simply go to their website and/or better yet, their social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. That is likely where you will find the latest and greatest.
  • My only other request is to be kind and patient. This is all new territory and extremely stressful and a lot to adjust to after two months of constant adjusting, tweaking and pivoting. No restaurant is moving into or not moving into Phase 2 without considerable thought, planning, training and preparation. Your health and the health of their employees is at the forefront of every single move they make.
  • To that end, kudos to the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association for their “Count on Me NC” restaurant promise initiative. When customers see this endorsement, they can be certain that the restaurant is taking all necessary steps to protect their employees and customers and is committed to playing a leadership role in protecting our communities. Read about it here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Mike DePersia at National Restaurant Properties shared that the former Brixx location at Cameron Village will become The Daily Fare, a family owned restaurant (Greco family) with roots in New York’s Hudson Valley. They will be serving up everything from fluffy pancakes and hot sandwiches to beef steaks and burgers! No word yet on an open date (other than Spring). Get to know them here.
  • Just around the corner on Hillsborough Street, RalToday shared the news that Nourish Raleigh (with a location in Raleigh on Capital Blvd.) is opening a new location in the former Liquid State space at 1908 Hillsborough Street, near the NC State campus. Get familiar with Nourish here.
  • Time for more good news, and something we can all drink to! Raleigh Brewing Co. shared the news this week that head brewer Scott Craddock had sanitized and tested the all the lines at their newest taproom located at the Arboretum at Weston in Cary. This location will feature 50+ taps and they are expected to open early in Phase 2! Their original location is on Neil Street, just off Hillsborough Street. Keep up with Raleigh Brewing here.
  • Up in North Raleigh, Raleigh Convergence shared that Driftwood Kitchen and Bar in Lafayette Village will re-open as Driftwood Cantina in mid- to late-June. They’ll continue to offer takeout from their Southern-inspired menu for now. The new concept includes “fresh Latin-American inspired” food and cocktails and an updated look. Keep up with them in Instagram here.
  • Over in Cary, Raleigh Convergence also shared the news that Esteamed Coffee, a coffee shop whose mission is to integrate employees with various disabilities and our community at large in such a way that the lives of all are enriched through their fellowship in a warm, welcoming environment, is coming to Academy Street in early November. They will be serving hot and cold beverages (coffee, teas, smoothies, and other cold specialty drinks), baked goods (both regular and gluten free), as well as selling art work and gift items made by individuals with disabilities in our community. To find out more, and how you can help, visit them here.
  • Speaking of beer, Bearded Bee Brewing is a microbrewery coming to downtown Wendell and set to open this summer! Their mission is to brew great beer using local ingredients, support the honeybee and local beekeepers, and create a place for the community to gather – the “hive” is what they are affectionately calling their renovated building! The brewery will have a large taproom and beer garden… a place where friends, family, and pets gather to enjoy great company and great beer! Follow their Facebook page to keep up with their progress and any announcements.
  • Every Monday in May at any Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken location, healthcare workers get a free 1/4 Chicken Combo with any 2 sides complimentary. Just show your work badge…and enjoy! Check out all the area Alpaca locations here.
  • And a little bit down east, and just in time for trips to the beach, Wilber’s Barbecue – the iconic Eastern North Carolina barbecue destination in Goldsboro, which opened in 1962 and will re-open soon – shared its opening menu here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The Durham Food Hall continues to open….slow…ly. Right now, Auctioneer Bar and Liturgy Beverage Co. are open. Here is the balance of the schedule as we know it at this point (all subject to change): Everything Bagels 5/22; Old North Meats & Provisions 5/22; Afters Dessert Bar 5/25; Napoli Pizza & Gelato 5/28; Lula & Sadie’s 5/29; Locals Oyster Bar 5/29; & Ex Voto’s Burrito Bodega 5/29. Order online and get all the details here.

Closings / Cancellations

  • This one hurts – Raleigh’s Gateway Restaurant closes their doors after 35 years due to Covid-19. My best to Thomas and Martina in their next chapter. See their announcement on their Facebook page here.
  • High school classmate Lisa Ginger Vanderberry shared the sad news (confirmed by Indy Week) that after 21 years of serving authentic Cuban and Argentinian cuisine, family-owned Oakwood Café has closed its bright red Edenton Street storefront for good.
  • Gonza Tacos y Tequila has permanently closed its Durham location on Fernway Avenue after being unable to secure favorable lease terms, but they are open to a new Durham space if the conditions are right. Their location at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park will remain open; they can still be found at Duke athletic events; their Macondo Latin Cuisine rooftop restaurant slated to open right around the corner at Durham ID; and they still have their locations in Cary, north Raleigh, Wake Forest and downtown Raleigh!
  • And down in Kinston, Mike DePersia of National Restaurant Properties shared the news that Vivian Howard’s Boiler Room Oyster Bar has closed permanently. She also shared that Chef & the Farmer won’t open this summer, but that when they do, they will carry some of the menu items from the Boiler Room.
  • Mike DePersia at National Restaurant Properties – the Jimmy John’s on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh has closed permanently.

Food Trucks 

  • Here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.

Events

  • Last week we shared the news about a ‘Brew-Thru’ of sorts associated with Brewagloo. This weekend is your chance to experience Drive-Thru Fair Food Days! You heard that right, this weekend (May 22-25) and next weekend (May 29-31) from 12-8 p.m. (Cash only) you can drive thru the Fairgrounds (enter off Trinity Road) and order from your car. Think Funnel Cakes; Deep Fried Oreos; Deep Fried Snickers; Fresh Squeezed Lemonade; Candy Apple (with or without nuts); Cotton Candy; Tropical Delights Smoothies (strawberry, pina colada, peach); Pineapple Cup; Dole Whip Float or Cup. Cash only! Can anyone else imagine how far traffic is going to back up? Get all the details here on their Facebook page.
  • Save the date to pick up your favorite Jewish foods from the South’s most beloved Jewish Food Festival! All proceeds from food and raffle ticket sales go to the Jewish Federation’s initiatives to address food insecurity in our local community. The more you buy, the more you help! This year, the Food Festival will be a pre-order and drive-thru pickup only! We hope to nosh alongside y’all in person in 2021! Make sure you’re able to pick up your order on May 31, 11am-2pm. Orders that are not picked up within the pickup window will be donated to their Food Pantry. Order by May 17 for your Jewish favorites including potato latkes, cheese blintzes, brisket on challah, Israeli couscous, spinach and feta bourekas and more. While you enter to win amazing raffle prizes including an all-expenses-paid 3-night trip to Boston, a Brew Tour with Taste Carolina, a stay at The Durham Hotel, and so much more to look forward to when this pandemic is over! All proceeds from food and raffle ticket sales go to the Jewish Federation’s initiatives to address food insecurity in our local community. The more you buy, the more you help! Plus, when you pick up your food order, you can also drop off donations of non-perishable food and hygiene products for our Food Pantry without even getting out of your car! Want to be part of the fun? Sign up for a volunteer shift! To order, visit their site here.
  • The 5th Annual Raleigh International Food Festival has decided to move their event to Saturday, August 8th from noon until 10 p.m. in the 100-200 block of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. While there you will be able to try authentic international food, desserts as well as  imported beer and wine! There will also be lots of music and entertainment at this child and pet friendly event. Admission is free and parking on the street is as well. Obviously, keep up with their Facebook event page for any announcements and/or rescheduling. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • This event is in Asheville, but who wouldn’t be down for a road trip come August? So, the Buxton Hall Barbecue’s Smokeshow Festival has been rescheduled to August 23, 2020. The wood-fired-hog-centric event is set to overflow with the biggest names in BBQ along with some of the nation’s most notable chefs, all coming together under one roof. Alongside endless soul-warming ‘cue from your favorite joints from across the southeast & beyond, guests can also expect to get down to live music, nosh on some equally as show-stopping non-BBQ bites and taste test Asheville’s best local brews from Highland Brewery. Get all the details here and tickets can be purchased here.
  • The Fest in the West is back for its fifth year on Saturday, November 7 from 11 am- 5 pm at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. The event features food & beer, music, arts & crafts, a KidZone, contests and a petting zoo. A great way to spend time with 7,000 of your closest friends. Admission is free! Get all the details here.
  • Thanks to Triangle On The Cheap, here are some updates on event cancellations and rescheduling: PeakFest in Apex was rescheduled to September 19; Meet in the Street Festival in Wake Forest was rescheduled to September 5; Artsplosure in downtown Raleigh was rescheduled to October 10 and 11; and the Pimento Cheese Festival in Cary has been canceled.

Food Bank Corner

  • This April the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina distributed a record-breaking 7.68 million lbs of food – the largest single-month distribution in its 40-year history! Thanks for the added support from donors, partner agencies, and the work that went into ensuring people got this food! Kudos all! But let’s keep the donations coming in May as the need is still great! Find out more here and donate! #noonegoeshungry

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