Friday Fun Food Facts – January 10, 2020

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • We got word this week that chef Michael Lee will venture outside of Durham for the first time opening a second location of M Sushi in Cary’s Fenton development, a 69-acre mixed-use destination opening next fall. He will join Scott Crawford’s Crawford Brothers Steakhouse, Ford Fry’s Superica and Steve Palmer’s Colletta. Visit M Sushi here and keep up with the Fenton development here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • This past Tuesday, Zambrero, Australia’s largest Mexican franchise, opened  its first location in the Southeast at One Glenwood in Raleigh (currently in soft-open mode). The restaurant’s menu features fresh ingredients, superfood options and customizable dishes, such as burritos, bowls, tacos, nachos, dos capas and quesadillas. Fueled by a mission to help end world hunger, Zambrero participates in the Plate 4 Plate initiative in partnership with Rise Against Hunger where each burrito, bowl or bottle of water purchased provides a meal to someone in need. They will also be opening a store in Durham’s University Hill. No word on the timeline for that. Get familiar with them here.
  • The folks over at Brew Coffee Bar shared yesterday that their new location in Gateway Plaza (2409 Crabtree Blvd.) is in ‘soft open’ mode which means – right now they are open for coffee service only. But be patient, food and liquor come next week! Visit them on their Facebook page to keep up with the latest!
  • Not sure what, but something is changing at Calavera on Morgan Street in Raleigh – in the meantime, they are closed. Their Facebook post stated, “We have some big things coming in the next month or so….. and that’s when we will tell you! We appreciate your patience and we can’t wait to share our next phase with you all!” So, follow them on Facebook and stay tuned.
  • The good people at ITB Insider tipped us off to the fact that Raleigh is soon to land their fourth location of First Watch. They noted that the upscale breakfast-chain is coming to the Marketplace Shopping Center on Lake Boone Trail. Raleigh already has locations on Glenwood north of the mall; Triangle Town Center on Capital; and Brier Creek). Check them out here.
  • Stepping over into Cary, I got the opportunity yesterday to pay a visit to V Pizza – the concept that is entering this market later this month – and met with owner Anthony Rapillo. V Pizza is the Jacksonville, Florida based pizza concept that is extending outside of Florida for the first time coming to Cary in the  former La Stella Pizzeria location in the Shoppes of Kildaire. They are targeting a January 21 opening (of course that is all pending health inspections). Stay tuned and dial-in to their Facebook page to keep up-to-date on any announcements.
  • Also in the Shoppes at Kildaire, we told you back in December that Szechuan Mansion Hotpot was coming to the old Patrick Jane’s Gourmet Pizza Bar spot. Well reader Matt Christ notified us that they just opened and he noted that early reviews and posts indicate that it looks amazing and authentic! Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Cary, Cinnaholic at 1209 Parkside Main Street in the Parkside Town Commons shopping center opens this morning (January 10th) at 10 a.m. Although they are open all day, if you get there between 10 and 2 today, they are selling their cinnamon rolls for just $1! They serve create-your-own cinnamon rolls and other sweet treats like made from scratch brownies, cookies, and edible cookie dough. Select from over 20 unique frosting flavors and a variety of fresh and decadent toppings for your cinnamon roll. Mix and match flavors to create a new experience every visit! I went last night for a preview and it is WELL worth a visit (and I can highly recommend the Cookie Monster!!!)! Congrats to Vishal Shah and his team! Take a peek at their yumminess here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported that Blake’s Grill opened this past Monday to long lines in the former Wimpy’s Grill space in Durham, serving a similar breakfast and lunch menu and keeping the same 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. hours. Wimpy’s closed last year after more than three decades of serving hamburgers and hot dogs on Hillsborough Road. Blake’s Grill is named for its owner, Blake Hawthorne, who is best known for serving popular hot dogs and concessions in the parking lot of the Durham Lowe’s. You can see the menu and all the details on their Facebook page here.
  • And over in Chapel Hill, the watch continues for the opening of First Watch at Chapel Hill’s East 54 in the former Egg & I location (First Watch owns Egg & I and this is part of the process as they transition those stores). Visit First Watch here.


  • None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks 

  • If you are missing the food truck rodeos, my friend the BurgeoningBaker shared with me that we are are not far from the next one. The Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo is an all-ages Sunday afternoon gathering of dozens of the Triangle’s most popular food trucks, five times each year. And the first one in 2020 is on January 25! Get more details and updates here.
  • As things get cold, here are a  couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.


  • What does it mean to have a celebrity chef in our midst? Well, for starters, how about a dinner series at Katsuji Tanabe’s High Horse restaurant beginning on Monday, January 13th where he will be bringing in Silvia Barban from Brooklyn’s LaRina Pastificio & Vino for a ticketed dinner. And if that is not enough, the menu items from that night will begin on the menu on January 14th in addition to the regular High Horse menu. Follow them on Instagram for any announcements.
  • On January 16th, the fine folks over at Sassool Cafe in Cary will team up with Steven Ashton, a holistic nutritionist from Earth to Fork Nutrition, to bring you a 5-course Mediterranean Spice of Life Dinner focused on highlighting spices that not only add great flavor, but bring tremendous health benefits. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Triangle Restaurant Week is right around the corner happening January 20-26, 2020. During TRW participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed pricing, a great opportunity to check out places you’ve never been. No reservations, tickets or passes required. Pricing for the event is $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20-$35 for a 3-course dinner. Price is for each person and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Get all the details and a listing of participating restaurants here.
  • The 8th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience will take place on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the DPAC. The event pairs delicious local restaurants, with breweries from across the nation. Unlimited food and beer samplings will be spread throughout all three floors at DPAC, plus the On Stage Experience will bring guests up onto the performing arts stage to showcase even more food, beverages and live music. Get all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Check it out! The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina has a new logo and a new look – “New Look. New Chapter. Same Food Bank.” Their new logo represents the innovative ways the Food Bank is developing programs addressing root causes of hunger, building new partnerships, and most importantly, nourishing people. Until no one goes hungry. When you volunteer, donate, or see them working in the community, we hope it reminds you of how the Food Bank is evolving in order to have a true impact on hunger, and working to create an environment where North Carolinians thrive. In 2020, get involved. Donate. Make a difference. Visit their website here to see what you can do!

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