Friday Fun Food Facts – May 31, 2024

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Axios shared this week that a Richmond taco shop known for melding Asian and Mexican ingredients is expanding to Raleigh later this year. Wong’s Tacos, a brand from Richmond’s Eat Restaurant Partners will open near Crabtree Valley Mall at 4251 Parklake Ave. in the GlenLake office park. The menu features a combination of Asian and Mexican cuisines, including chorizo egg rolls, brisket boa buns, black pepper chicken fajitas and kung pao chicken tacos and features a large cocktail menu with an emphasis on margaritas. Eat Restaurant Partners has 12 brands, so possibly look for more of their concepts to land in the Triangle. In the meantime, get to know Wong’s here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Got word this week from Julie Barnes that Jalwa Indian Bistro is “coming soon” in the former St. Jacques spot in North Ridge Shopping Center in North Raleigh (6112 Falls of Neuse Rd.). No word on an open date. Might be best to follow along on Instagram here.

  • WRAL shared the news that the first Raleigh location of I Heart Mac & Cheese will hold its grand opening on Monday, June 3. The restaurant will be located at 5011 Fall of Neuse Road in the Quail Corner Shopping Center. The ribbon cutting is at 10:30 a.m. and the restaurant opens at 11 a.m. There will be raffles throughout the day, but the first 25 paying customers will get a free mac and cheese bowl every week for a year. Start getting familiar with them here.

  • European inspired coffee house Press Coffee, Cocktails & Crepes will open SOON in the 400H mixed-use tower in downtown Raleigh (400 Hillsborough Street at the corner with West Street). As with all openings, this one is fluid, but I can share I have been invited to a preview this weekend…so very, very soon! This will be their third location serving high-quality coffee and cocktail beverages, along with a rotating menu of food offerings. After revitalizing downtown Graham with its opening in 2016, Press opened a second location in downtown Durham’s American Tobacco in 2021 with immediate success. Press was named Best New Restaurant in Indy WeekDurham Magazine, and Yelp and was chosen an ideal brunch location in Durham by Southern Living MagazineGet to know them here.

  • Also in downtown Raleigh, Triangle Business Journal shared this week that two more restaurants will be opening soon. This fall, Diced, a quick-service restaurant with three Triangle locations already, is planning to add a fourth outpost at 121 Fayetteville St. in Suite 108 in the former space of Tasty 8’s. Next up, PrimoHoagies, which is also planning a new location at 121 Fayetteville Street. This will be its third in North Carolina, with the two others located in North Hills and Wilmington. Visit Diced here and PrimoHoagies here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Friend Glenn Gillen shared the latest from Preeti Waas owner of Cheeni in downtown Durham (202 Corcoran St., Suite 100). She is adding a fully-outfitted bar space to Cheeni! The Bar Beej is in soft open mode on Fridays and Saturdays and will have an official grand opening on June 21. Follow along on Instagram here.

  • Related to that, Umbrella Dry Bar, NC’s pioneering non-alcoholic bar, will be having “residencies” on Wednesday nights at The Beej. Umbrella Dry Bar has also announced other summer residency locations – including Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. at NoRa Cafe in Raleigh; and Saturdays from 6-10 p.m. at Rebus Works, also in Raleigh. Stay in touch via Instagram here.

  • Our friends over at NC Triangle Dining shared via Facebook that the Milk Shake Factory is coming to the American Tobacco Campus in Durham (359 Blackwell Street Suite #120). No word on an open date just yet. Visit them here.

  • Carrie Brogren, founder of Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies Facebook group, shared this week that CO is now open in Durham at The Streets at Southpoint. CO has seven locations including Raleigh, Charlotte, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and now Durham. The menu features bright, bold flavors from Southeast Asia – everything from from noodles to pho, sushi to banh mi. Visit them here.

  • Raleigh Magazine shared the latest details this week on the long-awaited Conniption Cocktails and Cuisine at RDU Airport, the latest extension of the Durham Distillery brand. The magazine described this latest venture as “a Zen refuge to avoid the stressful buzz typical of traveling through the airport, the stylish restaurant and lounge space isn’t your average airport bar.” Look for them to debut this fall in Terminal 2 by gate D8. Yes, please cancel my flight…Check out Durham Distillery here. Read the full article in Raleigh Magazine here.

  • This year Boxyard RTP is turning three, and you’re invited to the party this Saturday, June 1! Join them for a full day of music, markets, and more alongside your favorite Boxyard businesses. The full day of activities (balloon twisting, yoga, cupcake decorating, chalk drawing and birthday deals) runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Boxyard (900 Park Offices Dr, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709). Get all the details here.

  • Looking for a great “food cause” to get behind? Feed-Well Fridges is a community fridge nonprofit in Chatham County that works to reduce food insecurity and commercial food waste. They currently rescue edible food from grocery stores, restaurants, caterers and other businesses and redirect this food to four fridges, which are placed in 24/7 accessible spaces for people in need. Launched in August 2023 by Chatham County chef Sera Cuni (The Root Cellar Cafe and Catering), they are in great need of a refrigerated truck and hoping to raise $50k to secure one. If you can give, do so here. Thanks to Carrie Brogren for reminding me of this very worthy cause!


  • Got word this week that after 20 years Bocci Trattoria & Pizzeria in Durham has closed (May 19). The Cary location remains.

Food Trucks

  • A Place At The Table (downtown Raleigh’s pay-what-you-can cafe) will hold their third annual Pay-What-You-Can Food Truck Rodeo on Sunday June 9th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the parking lot across from A Place At The Table – 300 W. Hargett Street. Follow along on Instagram.

  • Carrie Brogren shared the news of a new food truck set to start rolling next month serving up…wait for it….waffle dogs! Meyer’s Fine Food & Good Times will hold their grand opening event on Saturday, June 22 at Saxapahaw Country Club (1113 Moore’s Chapel Cemetery Rd. in Graham). According to their Instagram page they will be serving up waffle dogs, banana waffles on sticks, loaded latkes and bologna burgers. Best to follow along on Instagram here.

  • 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.


  • The Raleigh Greek Festival returns this weekend starting today through Sunday in the Jim Graham Building at the NC State Fairgrounds (1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh). Friday 5-10 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Price for admission is $5 for attendees 13 and older. Expect traditional Greek food offerings, live music, and dancing. Get all the details here.

  • Raleigh’s largest International Food Festival is this Saturday, June 1st from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. in and around City Plaza in downtown Raleigh. Last year over 40,000 people came to the festival to enjoy music, food, desserts, beer and wine from around the world. There will be over 120 food trucks/dessert trucks from around the globe representing over 60 cultures. Admission is free. Get all the details here.

  • Also on Saturday, June 1st is the Raleigh Foodie Fare from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Raleigh Iron Works (1101 E. Whitaker Mill Rd., Raleigh). The event is free so show up hungry to this mini-food-truck rodeo featuring food, art vendors, drinks, live music, and more. Get all the details here.

  • This Saturday, June 1st, Capital Club 16 and food truck The Wandering Wolf are kicking off a week of soccer with a Champions League Final Watch Party at the restaurant (the truck will be parked outside) at 16 W. Martin Street in downtown Raleigh. The doors open at 1:30 and will wrap things up around 8. Come on by to enjoy good eats and a great match between Dortmund and Real Madrid – kickoff is at 3. Visit them on Instagram here.

  • My buddy Neha Shah, director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau, shared that the annual Farm to Fork Picnic, celebrating local food and local farms, will take place Sunday, June 2 from 4pm – 7pm, again at Fearrington VillageGet details and tickets here

  • NC F&B Podcast hosts the 4th annual Bubbles & Brisket on Saturday, June 8 from 1 to 5 p.m at Smoky Hollow in downtown Raleigh. The event welcomes 10 “pitmaster” chefs, who span from North Carolina to New York who will showcase their spin on brisket along with unique side dishes.  There will be an array of bubbles to imbibe on, from Champagne, cava, cremant, prosecco, beer, and sodas to non-alcoholic and boozy cocktails; there is something for everyone. Get tickets and all the details here.

  • Summertime Beer Fest at Clouds Brewing Tap Room is next Saturday, June 8th from 3 – 7 p.m. Clouds Brewing kicks off the season with a beer fest featuring the best in NC lagers, session IPAs, fruited beers, sours, and seltzers. Over 35 hand-picked selections from breweries across the region. Get tickets and all the details here.

  • Join us on June 9th for this year’s Roots for Reece Chef’s Picnic hosted at Haven Farm in Knightdale. The event will feature sample small plates and beverages from over 25 local food and beverage establishments. 100% of proceeds are donated to the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition to aid in the fight against the growing opiate epidemic here in NC. Get tickets and all the details here.

  • Tandem and Lavender Oaks Farm have teamed up for a Lavender & Winer Dinner on June 9th from 6-9 p.m. An elegant 4-course dinner with 4 wine pairings. Guests will dine inside the century old barn with pre-dinner appetizers & cocktails on the outdoor terrace overlooking lavender fields! With music from local artist Penny’s Bend. Learn more and book your $185 seat here.

  • Saltbox Seafood Joint’s Ricky Moore will be celebrating Juneteenth again this year with his annual “Durmnik!” What is Durmnik? Well, first of all, it is a clever combination of Durham and Picnic. Get it? More importantly it is a “picnic in a box” which is a collaboration of Ricky and some of his friends in the food industry in the area! The Durmnik Box includes: Adrian’s “A Mockery” – Hibiscus, Cherry & Sage Mocktail, Missy Lane’s Assembly Room; Toriano’s Smoked Turkey Collards, Boricua Soul; Ricky’s “Berbere” Spiced Charcoal Chicken, SALTBOX Seafood Joint; Ada’s Jollof Rice, Eke Foods; Ricky’s Trini Style “Soused” NC Shrimp, Cucumber, Corn & Pimentos, SALTBOX Seafood Joint; Mini Dosirak, Korean Lunch Box with Gimbap and Two Kimchi Varieties, Namu; Juan’s Summer Succotash Salad, Succotash Southern & Creole Kitchen; Sera’s Sweet and sour watermelon salad, The Root Cellar Café & Catering; and Rhonda’s Brown Sugar Vanilla Rum Cake with lightly sweetened strawberries, Chez Moi Bakery. Reserve your boxes by June 12th for pick up on June 19th. Order and get all the details here.
  • Tickets are on sale now for the 9th Annual Dinner in the Meadow which will take place on September 15, 2024 on a grassy knoll atMeadow Lane Farm, in bucolic Franklin County, offering beautiful pastoral views and clear, starry skies. Some of the region’s most sought-after chefs will be preparing delicious dishes using ingredients from local farms and food artisans. It is an annual fundraiser for the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 2014 to support and cultivate small farms in our region of North Carolina. Get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Picture this scenario: you have enough money to purchase food for the week, but not enough to cover your utility bills or transportation costs to work. Many of our neighbors in our own communities who face food insecurity struggle silently and have to make the difficult choice to go without meals to make ends meet. Every day at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, they hear stories from grateful children, families, and seniors about the impacts of having access to nutritious food and especially fresh produce. Your generous gift, no matter the size, has the power to nourish countless lives, ignite hope, and pave the way for a brighter future. Give today if you can.

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