Friday Fun Food Facts – March 3, 2023

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • We got the exciting news this week that chef Lon Bounsanga, who has been the head chef at both Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana since 2012, will leave in May to open his own restaurant, SAAP (which means delicious in Laotian) in downtown Cary later this year. Bounsanga, a native of Vientiane, Laos, will bring the Laotian dishes that he’s built a following for, including curries, satays, green papaya salad and crispy pork belly soup. The menu will allow guests to sample and share dishes. SAAP will be located on the ground floor of The Walker at 370 S. Walker Street adjacent to Cary’s newest (and spectacular I might add) park, Downtown Cary Park.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word this week that the latest concept from the Giorgios Hospitality Group, East End Bistrot, is celebrating its grand opening next Tuesday, March 7. Expect an upscale French bistrot featuring classics like Chateaubriand and Steak Diane, a strong house butcher program, an extensive local raw bar and seafood program, exquisite vegetable dishes, a deep wine cellar and classic cocktails. They are located in the East End Market development, near Dock 1053, in Raleigh (2020 Progress Court, Suite 110, Raleigh). Go ahead and get familiar with them here.
  • The News & Observer shared this week that Bobby and Tracy Outlaw, the husband-and-wife team behind one of Raleigh’s most successful bakeries, have expanded into the restaurant game, opening Premier Cakes Diner at the North Carolina Museum of History in downtown Raleigh (5 E. Edenton Street). The N&O noted that they have a breakfast and lunch menu covering pretty much everything you might want from a grill-style diner. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has their information here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, RalToday shared that Burger Village, an organic and all-natural food concept, is moving in to the former Blowfish Bar location at 510 Glenwood Ave., Ste 103. An opening date has not yet been announced, but guests can expect menu items like cauliflower tenders and organic and exotic burgers.
  • WRAL shared the news that Mellow Mushroom will open in Holly Springs North Carolina in 2024. It will be operated by the same team behind the Brier Creek location. The new Mellow Mushroom Holly Springs is located at 100 Collins Crossing Road (Suite 101) near State Route 55 and Ralph Stephens Road. Congrats to Vish Panjwani and his team! Visit Mellow here.
  • Over in Garner, Hugh Autry passed along that Bul Box is coming to 160 Shenstone Blvd. in White Oak Crossing in the spot formerly occupied by Teriyaki Madness and before that Primavera Pizza before that. This will be the sixth Triangle area location for Bul Box, with a seventh planned for Chapel Hill. Get to know them here.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared on Twitter this week that there is a new fruit tea shop opening next to Bangkok Thai in Wakefield off of Falls Of Neuse Road. It is called Mr. Dong Yaxi Tea and will be located at 13200 New Falls of Neuse Rd #133. We were unable to find an online presence and don’t have an open date.
  • Huisman also shared more North Raleigh news by informing us that the Salty Turtle (next to Town Hall Burger) is now open. They are in the former Barrel Culture location at 13100 New Falls of the Neuse Road in Wakefield. This is the first Triangle-area location of Surf City’s Salty Turtle, a well-known neighborhood brewery. Get familiar with them here.
  • And a little help if you can. As many of you know, the Triangle restaurant scene is a very tight-knit one where everyone knows everyone. And when one is in need, we all try and do our part. Such is the case with Eddie, the kitchen manager at The Pickled Onion location on Glenwood Avenue (he has been there 9 years!). Last week he suffered a stroke and is facing a long road to recovery and pretty sizeable medical bills. In the near future, The Pickled Onion will hold a fundraiser for Eddie, but in the meantime, if you can support the GoFundMe they have set up for him, it would mean a lot. Do so here, and thanks!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Thanks to a tip from Carrie Brogren, we know that Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop will open next week on March 9th in the old Pepper’s/Waffle House location (127 E. Franklin Street), so less than a week away! Have I mentioned how much I still miss Pepper’s?!? Get to know them here.
  • Also, after learning that Bul Box will open their sixth Triangle-area location in Garner, I discovered that their seventh location will be in Chapel Hill at 200 W. Franklin St. #130 where Lime & Basil used to be. No word on an open date. Check out Bul Box here.
  • Over in Durham, Glenn Gillen shared that Yonderlust Café is now open at 109 N. Gregson Street in downtown (around where Anotherthyme was many, many years ago). It is owned by Durham locals Sonya and Kit Linton. The cafe offers a high-end coffee experience with Joe Van Gogh coffee and Strong Arm Bakery products. They also plan to introduce a food menu with salads, paninis, fresh juices and smoothies in the coming weeks. Get to know them here.
  • Down in Chatham County, buddy Neha Shah, director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau shared that Hops & Berry Taproom will be opening a location in Chatham Park at MOSAIC. No word just yet on an open date. They have two other locations, one in Ohio and one in North Dakota. Check them out here.


  • Not a good week. This week we learned of three closures. Triangle Coffee House on Ninth Street in Durham (their University Hill location remains open), Deli Edison on Weaver Dairy Road in Chapel Hill and Jack Tar & The Colonel’s Daughter in downtown Durham (March 12th is their last day) have all closed or will soon be closing.

Food Trucks

  • Get out your calendar and make note of the dates for the 2023 Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeos. Here is a cheat sheet for you: March 19 | June 11 | September 3 | October 29 – and all the rodeos are from 12-4 p.m. Just over a month until the first one of the year! Giddyup! Here is the link.
  • Looking to find your favorite food truck (or stalking them and simply don’t want to have to admit it)? We understand. Find them on Street Food Finder here.


  • Rocky Top Catering’s kicked off their 5th annual Cooking for the Kids (formally Cooking for a Classic) earlier this week; the finale is on March 15th. This cooking competition brings together eight of the Triangle’s premier chefs. All proceeds benefit Overflowing Hands, a volunteer-led organization serving the most vulnerable children in our neighborhoods, fighting food insecurity and providing clothing, shelter and healthcare. This year’s participating chefs are: Preeti Waas from Cheeni; Josiah Halboh from Young Hearts Distilling; Saif Rahman from Vidrio; David Mitchell from Plates Kitchen; Jaime Adams from Catalan Tapas; Kyle Teears from Craften; Kyle Fletcher from Norse Brewing; and James R. Patterson III from McConnell Golf. Cooking for the Kids takes place at 1705 East located at 1705 E. Millbrook Road in Raleigh. See who is advancing, as well as secure tickets for the next rounds here.
  • RalToday shared that Compass Rose Brewery is opening its new kitchen on Friday, March 3, starting at 1 p.m at 3201 Northside Dr #101, Raleigh (just off Gresham Lake Road). Come to the celebration for live music, drink specials, and lots of food. Arrive early for freebies like coupons and T-shirts. Visit them here.
  • We got word from the folks over at RalToday that Raleigh Brewing is throwing a party to celebrate its 10th Anniversary on Saturday, March 4. From 1-9 p.m., there will be beer Olympics games, live music, food trucks and special beer releases, including an exclusive edition of Hell Yes Ma’am. Admission is free (but if you can kindly RSVP, I’m sure they’d appreciate it). RSVP here as well as gather all the details.
  • Locals Seafood will hold their ninth annual Winter Seafood Jubilee at Durham Central Park this Sunday, March 5th from 1 to 5 p.m. Join in on the fun with roasted and raw oysters, po’boys, beers from Glass Jug, cocktails from Durham Food Hall and so much more! No tickets required. Get all the details here.
  • Hospitality mavens Sarah Shepherd of Height House Hotel and chef Liz Grandchamp of Grandchamp Hospitality recently introduced Raleigh’s newest pop-up dining experience – Supper Club – hosted monthly at Heights House Hotel. They have three more on the schedule and tickets for those “open up” three weeks prior to each event. Mark your calendars for Supper Club March 13 (Piedmont), April 17 (Seafood) and May 22 (Italian American). After those, Supper Club at Heights House will then resume in the Fall. So get ready! Follow along here and get ready for the next one.
  • Everyone knows what April 15th is. Nope, that is April 18th this year. April 15th is the date for the 13th Annual Cuegrass Festival which is returning to Fayetteville Street and will feature a large covered area with draft beer options, plenty of seating and extra beer stations throughout the event. Get all the details here.
  • Join Catering Works and executive chef Rich Carter for a very special wine and food pairing event in celebration of Art in Bloom at the North Carolina Museum of Art. There will be two chef table seatings (one seating each night) on Friday, March 17 at 6 pm and Saturday, March 18 at 6 pm. There, executive chef Rich Carter will prepare artistic expressions in food through 6 small plate courses expertly paired with exclusive boutique style wines. Gluten free, vegan and non-alcohol options available. Get all the details and book your seat here.
  • Brewgaloo is back on Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22. For two full days, craft beer from 100+ breweries will be flowing on Fayetteville Street. The annual event attracts more than 50,000 people each year. Thanks to RalToday for the reminder to get this gem on our calendar! Get all the details here.
  • Got word from Neha Shah, director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau, that Farm to Fork is making its return in 2023 on June 4th from 4-7 p.m. at Fearrington Village. Held in the Triangle for more than 15 years, the Farm to Fork Picnic is a showcase of North Carolina chefs, artisans, and farmers paired together to create sips and nibbles of the region’s best flavors and seasonal ingredients! You can get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Between June 2021 and May 2022, inflation caused a 10.7% increase in food costs in the U.S. For people in our community, making some family’s budget untenable. Your gift today to The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina can support families whose budgets are being stretched because of the rising cost of food and living. There have also been significant increases in fuel, housing, and energy costs because of inflation. This means the average living costs for households in our country are up $460 per month! Your gift today can provide nutritious food for our neighbors in need. Donate here, and thank you! #noonegoeshungry

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