Friday Fun Food Facts – March 24, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Next Monday, March 27th is the ribbon cutting (at 4 p.m.) and soft opening of Raleigh’s newest rooftop bar and lounge – Level7 atop the AC Hotel Raleigh North Hills. It features a European and Spanish influenced food and beverage menu. Check them out on Facebook here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Also next Monday (March 27th), City Barbeque’s newest (and 4th Triangle) location will open in Raleigh at 9424 Falls of Neuse Rd, and their grand opening celebration will be April 1 from 11 am – 3:30 pm. They are in the same shopping center as the new Sprouts grocery store. Check them out here.
  • The renovations at Cameron Village’s Harris Teeter will kick Starbucks out in the street – well, actually across the street according to the Triangle Business Journal. The little office building behind the McDonald’s will make way for a brand new Starbucks that will include an outdoor patio. Look for it to open late this summer.
  • And keeping the “chain” them going, the ITB Insider reported this week that permits were issued last week for a Domino’s Pizza to open on the ground floor of the Edison on Davie Street.
  • Here is something to get up early for on the weekend. We told you about this back in January, but the date has been set and it is getting closer. Your weekend brunch options just got a lot more interesting with the April 1st (no kidding) launch of weekend brunch service at Poole’s Diner. Prompted by the closing of Ashley Christensen’s Joule (being replaced by St. Roch Oyster + Bar), Poole’s brunch service will feature many of the dishes from Joule. Check them out here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, the Triangle Business Journal reported that Erik Neudecker has contracted the rights to multiple new locations for Wisconsin-based Culver’s – a quick-service, family-style restaurants that specializes in big burgers and frozen custard shakes. Neudecker will be opening his first Culver’s at 2819 Rogers Road at the corner of Heritage Center Drive, next to the new Rite Aid drug store near The Factory sports and retail complex on Main Street. We will keep an eye on it, and wait and see how many of his 10 planned stores will also land in the Triangle. Check out Culver’s here.
  • And down in Fuquay-Varina, reader Rachel Palmieri Weber gave us an update that Zeera Indian Restaurant is now officially open. They are located at 1311 East Broad Street. Check them out on Facebook here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Bull City Ciderworks is back after a year-long construction project and they are better than ever and excited to bring cider back to the Bull City! They will have their Grand Opening party tomorrow (March 25th). The fun begins at noon and will feature a dozen ciders on tap, live music, food trucks, pop-ups, games and snacks for the whole family. Located at 305 S. Roxboro Street in Durham, check out the event on Facebook here.
  • Over in Durham, reader Marguerite Applin informed me that EpaChamo Arepas Bar & Venezuelan Grill on 9th street in Durham has closed and a banner for a Mexican grill called Del Rancho Mexican Grill has already gone up. No date for their opening has been announced.
  • And finally, in Durham, certified cider expert Mattie Beason celebrates the first year anniversary of Black Twig Cider House – a cider-focused restaurant featuring the largest variety of cider in the Southeast – Saturday, April 1st from 11am to 5pm with local cider on draft, bottles and in the txotx, as well as games and food for the entire family! Get all the details on the celebration here.


  • Sad news hit Raleigh this week with the announcement that the Barbecue Lodge on Capital Blvd., an institution since 1979, had closed their doors. In true southern fashion, the sign on the door apologized for the “inconvenience.” Know lots of folks will miss them.
  • So, not sure what is going on with the Zaxby’s on Hillsborough Street. Reader Wendy Henderson saw a sign on the door that says they are permanently closed. However, the website says closed for renovations. We will keep an eye on it.
  • And in Cary, heard from several sources that the Hurricane Grill & Wings on Kildaire Farm Road in Cary is closed. The sign on the door says closed for reorganization, but the Facebook page says permanently closed. Again, we’ll keep an eye on it.

Food Trucks

  •  I never thought I’d see this. Chapel Hill is holding their first food truck rodeo – Rodeo on Rosemary. Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation in collaboration with the Downtown Partnership and the Raleigh Durham Mobile Food Association (RDUMFA) will hold this milestone on March 26 from 12pm – 5pm on the block of Rosemary Street between Henderson and North Columbia Streets. Looks like about 13 trucks so far. Get all the details here.
  • Even the Lutherans are getting into the food truck rodeo spirit! That’s right, on Sunday, April 2nd,  Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at 2723 Clark Avenue in Raleigh is hosting the West Raleigh Block Party from 4-7pm. They will have the new Battistella’s food truck, Arepa Culture and Cousins Maine Lobster along with a band and a bounce house. Check out their website here.
  • And the food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up in April. Every Thursday from April through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). The April 6th kick-off will feature live music. Get all the details and schedule here.


  • The 9th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival will be held Saturday, April 15 at The Pit beginning at 12 noon. To date, the event has raised $107,000, which has gone right back into the community to help kids and families through BackPack Buddies and helping to prevent child abuse through SAFEchild. Lawn chairs, dogs, kids are all welcome for a great line-up of five bands, local and regional beer and tons and tons of barbecue! As usual, it’s $5 at the gates. Get all the details here.
  • The inaugural Cooking for a Classic series to benefit the Lucy Daniels Center moves into the final and championship round next Monday, March 27 with the winner winning a beautifully restored 1969 Corvette Stingray. Get information and tickets to the final round here.
  • Families Moving Forward in Durham launched Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that will pair the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The chefs participating in the series are: Ricky Moore (Saltbox), Billy Cotter (Dashi), Seth Gross (Pompieri/Bull City Burger & Brewery) and John May (Piedmont). The series features a dinner every other month (beginning April 17, my birthday) featuring one of the distinguished chefs serving three or more courses. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Families Moving Forward. Get tickets and all the details on the series here.
  • Acclaimed chef Scott Crawford is launching a guest chef series in April at his restaurant, Crawford and Son. “Oakwood and Friends” will serve food from Crawford and collaborators – chefs from renowned restaurants in the Southeast. That includes Ryan Smith of Staplehouse in Atlanta, Mike Lata of The Ordinary in Charleston, S.C., John Fleer of Rhubarb in Asheville and Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta. The first dinner is Sunday, April 23, with Ryan Smith of Staplehouse. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier will host “Dames in the Kitchen” on April 6th offering a culinary tour through North Carolina by eight Dame cookbook authors and chefs. Benefiting the Interfaith Food Shuttle, it will take place at The Root Cellar in Chapel Hill from 6:30 to 9pm. Tickets can be purchased for $65 ($30 tax deductible) here.
  • I’m going to just put this right here for my buddy Tim Coynesmith. You (and Tim) will just have to click through to see what it is. Let’s just say it involves beer…and bacon…need I say more? Oh, and clear your calendar for April 8th.
  • Also on April 8th, the Bull City Homebrew Chili Challenge will take place at Bull City Homebrew on Highway 54 near the intersection with Highway 55. It takes place from noon until 4 p.m. If you’d like to enter your chili, register on their site. The event is free and kid friendly. Register your chili and get all the details here.
  • One of my favorite annual events is coming up soon – The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market present the Piedmont Farm Tour, hosted by 35 Triangle Area farms on Saturday and Sunday April 22-23 from 2-6 p.m. each day. The tour, in its 22nd year, is the oldest farm tour of it’s kind in the United States. The family-friendly (and budget-friendly) two-day event features 35 farms this year, spread across Alamance, Chatham, Orange and Person counties. Tour tickets purchased in advance are $30 per car for all farms, all weekend – good for a full carload of people. Day of tickets are $35. Or, become a CFSA member and tickets are $25. The tour is rain or shine. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. Enjoy “Grand Taste” signature experiences where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, as well as special dinners and classes. Purchase tickets and get additional information here.
  • The extremely popular craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, returns the weekend of April 21-22 all in and around downtown Raleigh. The weekend kicks off with a block party/sampler event on Friday night followed by Saturday’s big event from 2-10 p.m. featuring craft beer, food vendors and trucks, live music and more. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • On Sunday, April 30 the Taste for a Cure Gala will take place from 5-10pm at the Rickhouse in Durham, where guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The chefs are: Justin Anderson, Nana’s; Ricky Moore, Saltbox; Kaci Walker, JuJu; Regan Stachler, PatriaFood, Chicken Wire & LittleHen; BJ Patel, Viceroy; Brian Whetsel, The Federal; Amy Tornquist, Watt’s Grocery; John Knox, Vin Rouge; Rob Kinneen, The Boot; and Rhonda Jones, Chez Moi Bakery. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 pm where chefs will prepare the first course right before your eyes. Individual tickets are $225 and are available here.
  • Got word from Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21, 2017. Go ahead and mark your calendar. More details to follow here.
  • Listen up, the dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South) have been released. Go ahead and mark your calendars, more details to follow in the coming weeks/months. It will kick off on Wednesday, October 18, and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, October 21, 2017. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers. Tickets will go on sale in May. Keep up with the latest here.

Food Bank Corner 

  • Now is the time to give to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. During the month of March, there is a special “matching gift” opportunity – the Table2Table Matching Gift Challenge! All donations from March 1 through March 31 will be matched up to $50,000. For this month only, instead of your $1 providing five meals, every dollar will provide 10 meals! Make your donation today!

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