Friday Fun Food Facts – October 12, 2018

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  It is here! Next week kicks off the 9th annual TerraVita Festival over in Chapel Hill. Go. Get to something! There are lots of events for you to choose from. But hurry! Most are nearly sold out. Things will kick off Wednesday, October 17, with the East Meets West dinner (first year at The Carolina Inn) and end on Saturday, October 20 with the Fall Fête on The Green in Southern Village – which features 40 chefs and food artisans from across the state of North Carolina – representing the coast, the mountains and everything in between – as well as about two dozen beverage producers. Check out this video that give you a great look at all the events that make up TerraVita. Or visit their website here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Hurricane Michael shorted us a day to get over to the NC State Fair to sample the goodness that arrives every year. I’m certain you’ve seen some of the creations that will be featured (I want to meet the people that come up with these creations), and WRAL has a “food map” for you to study prior to arriving. And don’t forget, you can enter Gates 1 or 9 on weekdays between 11:30 and 1:30 (bring $10 cash that you get back when you leave) just to come in and sample food! Check out WRAL’s food map here. Here’s a look at some of the new menu items. And visit the official fair website here.
  • Got word from WRAL that O-Ku Sushi opens today, Friday, October 12 in The Dillon at 411 W Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh’s warehouse district. O-Ku is described as authentic Asian cuisine with a southern approach. They have additional locations in Charlotte, Charleston, Atlanta, Nashville and Washington, D.C. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also at The Dillon, Offline Raleigh noted that Heirloom Brewshop (soft) opened where you can enjoy standard pour over or espresso coffee-but you can also try more unique drinks like vacuum pot coffee, unique carbonated bevs, teas imported from Japan and Taiwan, and unique sake cocktails! There will also be a menu of bites inspired by the founders’ Laotian and Taiwanese roots. Visit their Facebook page here.
  • And just after publication last week, Lynnwood Brewing Concern, which operates a grill and taproom in North Raleigh and a brewery and bar at Dock 1053 on East Whitaker Mill Road, opened their newest restaurant called Wilson’s Eatery. They will feature locally sourced, scratch made sandwiches, flatbreads and salads and will feature “several house-made sodas & mixers” in their craft cocktails. Visit their website here.
  • Up in Wake Forest, reader Brandon Clevenger notified me that yet another location of Chipotle has opened – this one at the corner of 98 and Retail Drive next to the recently opened Freddy’s. Check out Chipotle here.
  • Over in Cary, we are getting closer to the opening of Pizza La Stella, which is going into the former Hurricane Grill and Wings spot at 1389 Kildare Farm Rd. in the Shoppes of Kildaire (i.e. Trader Joe’s). Earlier this week they held interviews for all positions at the restaurant. Stay tuned Cary! In addition to the original downtown Raleigh location, owner Rudy Theale has plans for a North Raleigh location. Check them out here.
  • Also in Cary, caught wind that the Gypsy Shiny Diner is under new ownership and is now just known as the Shiny Diner. It is located at 1550 Buck Jones Road. A new site is on the way.
  • Down in Holly Springs got word from reader Chris Creighton that a fast food seafood restaurant called Skrimp Shack (no, I didn’t spell that wrong) is coming into the former Hwy. 55 Burgers Shakes and Fries location at 7224 Alford Highway. They have locations up and down the east coast from Florida to Virginia. Look for them to open in about three months. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over in Fuquay-Varina, David McCreary informed me that Lin Hibachi Buffet has opened in the former Golden Corral location at 1420 East Broad Street. Check them out here.
  • And in Garner, we are getting word from several sources that Big Ed’s, with two locations in Raleigh, will be opening a location at 231 Timber Drive (near intersection with Hwy. 50) in the former Just Cookin’ location (Food Lion shopping center). Thanks to Hugh Autry for the heads up on this. No word on a timeline. If you live in Garner, get familiar with Big Ed’s now!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The big news out of Chapel Hill as reported in the News & Observer is that Bill Smith, chef at Crook’s Corner, and Gene Hamer, the owner, will soon retire (although Bill will still cook for special occasions). The iconic restaurant will be in the hands of chef Justin Burdett, who recently relocated from Asheville, where he was previously chef at The Admiral, and a new ownership team, which includes Gary Crunkleton of The Crunkleton and Shannon Healy of Alley Twenty Six. Looks like all is in good/great hands! Visit them here.
  • Staying in Chapel Hill, and just down from Crook’s, the Triangle Explorer reported that the Tin Cup Joe Coffee trailer has reopened next to Al’s Burger Shack in Chapel Hill. Be sure to try his signature drink, the Dr. Pepper latte and all his drinks feature coffee from Carrboro Coffee Roasters and dairy from Maple View Farm and Homeland Creamery. Check them out here.
  • And the big news out of Durham is that this past weekend the latest addition to the M Restaurant Group in Durham came to life with the opening of M Tempura. It is located in the former downtown Scratch Bakery location at 111 Orange Street. Chef Michael Lee’s restaurants other restaurant include nearby M Sushi and M Kokko. Get to know M Tempura here.
  • Also in Durham, reader Dustin Jones notified us that a bakery and café concept called Saint & Co. is moving into the space formerly occupied by The Pie Hole at the intersection of 9th and Green streets. Their menu will includes fresh baked artisan pastries and breads, salads, sandwiches, and amazing brick hearth Neapolitan style pizza. Look for them to open on October 17th, but check their social media first. You can find them on Facebook here.
  • Staying in Durham, a few weeks ago the wife and I joined Tom Meyer and his wife for drinks and appetizers at Guglhupf and noticed they had installed a new bar and expanded their dinner menu featuring lots of great “shared plates.” Thanks also to Amber Watson at Bites of Bull City for their feature on the new additions.
  • And just south of Chapel Hill over into Chatham County, Clint Winslow and Charlie Farris have opened their 4th Jersey Mike’s location in the Chatham Crossing shopping center, which is anchored by Lowe’s grocery store. Clint and Charlie also have two Chapel Hill locations and a Durham location. Drove by the other day and it was packed! My best to Clint and Charlie. Get familiar with Jersey Mike’s here.


  •  Via Twitter, Odis Newsome shared that the TLC Wings that had moved into the former Applebee’s location on Hillsborough Street back in May, has closed.
  • David McCreary reported that Cary Towne Kitchen & Bar at 2002 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary has closed its doors.
  • And Offline Raleigh reported that Raleigh Raw has shut down its location at Morgan Street Food Hall but their other location is still open and serving up juices and poke bowls.

Food Trucks

  •  Trick or Eat Food Truck Rodeo is coming to downtown Garner on Sunday, Oct 21 from 12-5pm on Main Street. Bring your family and friends and take in 15 food trucks, 3 craft breweries, street music, and local artisans. Get all the details and a full list of trucks here.
  • On Sunday, October 28, the RDU Mobile Food Association and Tabletop Media Group will host Pumpkin Palooza food truck rodeo at 214 Hunt Street in Durham. At least 8 trucks are confirmed at this point and you’ll have an opportunity to try their special pumpkin dishes and vote for your favorites! Additionally there will be crafts, art and music to enjoy as well. Visit their Facebook event page here.
  • The final two dates for 2018 are coming up for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo. Raleigh’s final episode of the year is this Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here.


  •  This Saturday, October 13th from noon until 6 p.m. is the 3rd Annual North Carolina Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival at North Raleigh’s Lafayette Village. Taste local and regional chocolates and cheeses that will make your palate scream with delight! A variety of wines will be showcased from different regions of Italy, Spain, France and the US, including some NC favorites. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • The 2nd annual Sip + Savor, featuring 30 restaurants, 30 wineries and live music, will take place at the DPAC this Sunday, October 14th from 4 – 7 p.m. The event is an exclusive opportunity to sample the Triangle’s top restaurants paired with famed wineries from across the world. There will also be live music, desert and bubbly on the DPAC stage. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • October 19th and 20th are the dates for the 5th Annual Triangle Oktoberfest held again this year at the beautiful Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. Presented by the Apex Sunrise and Cary MacGregor Rotary Clubs in collaboration with the Town of Cary, it is an authentic German festival focused on family fun, traditional Bavarian food and fare, and plenty of local and authentic German beers from Munich, all to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and other local and international charities. In addition to brats grilled up by volunteers, the event has confirmed the following food vendors so far: The Butcher’s Market, Annelore’s German Bakery, Capital Club 16, Uncle Dave’s Kettle Corn and The Nutty Bavarian. More to come. Get tickets and details here.
  • And one of my daughter’s favorite events, the Mac and Cheese Throwdown, has been rescheduled for Sunday, October 21 from 5 until 8 p.m. at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh. The current lineup is Relish, The Butcher’s Market, Oak and Dagger, Wandering Moose, Dram and Draught, US Foods, The Mac House, Southern Charred, NOFO and the chef from 214 Martin. My daughter and I will be judges again this year! All proceeds benefit The Hope Center at Pullen. Get all the details here.
  • The 6th Annual Bull City Race Fest and Food Truck Rodeo is taking place on October 21 winding through Durham as it starts and ends at Diamond View Park in the American Tobacco Campus. Choose from a half marathon, five miler or a one miler. And the true reward is not just the joy of finishing the race, but a bevy of food trucks awaiting you at the finish line. Get all the details here.
  • ACME’s 6th Annual Salt & Smoke Festival is coming up on Saturday, November 3rd at beautiful Rock Quarry Farm from 3-8 pm. This is one of the fall “can’t miss” events here in the Triangle. In just five short weeks, they’ll be smoking whole-hog BBQ, drinking beer, shucking thousands of just-out-of-the-water oysters, drinking wine, roasting clams over a fire, sipping whiskey, being wowed by a magician, tapping our feet and dancing the night away. You know, a par-tay. The kind you don’t want to miss. Get your tickets here.
  • Come celebrate with us at the 2018 Brewer’s Ball: A Celebration of Triangle’s Finest on Friday, November 16, 2018, at Oak and Dagger Public House at Seaboard Station in Raleigh from 7 to 10 p.m. (VIP Honoree and Sponsors Reception at 6:30 p.m.). The Brewer’s Ball is an evening featuring the finest in brews, cocktails, food, music, and difference makers in the community. Guests are treated to a variety of hand-crafted brews and beverages from around town, creative and delicious food pairings from the city’s top restaurants, live music, expansive live and silent auctions, and a chance to mix and mingle with the best and brightest in the Triangle, all while being a part of a great cause: helping move us closer to a cure for CF. Get tickets and all the details here.
  • And this is kind of fun. A new foodie program is launching on PBS nationally in October featuring the work of Cat Neville called tasteMAKERS. But what makes it even more special, is the initial episode will feature Left Bank Butchery in Saxapahaw. You can see the behind the scenes making of that episode here. More information on tasteMakers can be found here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  October 18 is Food Lion Hunger Relief Day at the NC State Fair! One of the best days of the year! Everyone can bring 5 cans of Food Lion brand food to the N.C. State Fair on Thursday, October 18, and exchange them at any gate for 1 free admission ticket. Since 1993, more than 4.8 million pounds of food have been donated by fairgoers to feed neighbors in need. Help us cross the 5 million pound mark this year! You can RSVP to our Facebook event here and even invite friends!

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