Friday Fun Food Facts – April 19, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This Friday, April 19th there will be a benefit event at The Rickhouse in support of the victims of the Durham gas explosion, including staff from the affected restaurants. Lots of local sponsors and raffle items. Get all the details on the event Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The folks over at Transfer Co. Food Hall announced this week that Dank Burrito will open their third location this Friday and will be serving up their signature fresh-to-death tacos and burritos starting at 10:30 a.m. Apparently loyal foodies are referred to as “Danksters” or part of the “Burrito Mafia.” Stop by Friday if you think you qualify. They have two locations in Morehead City and Beaufort plus a food truck which serves chef-driven burritos, tacos, bowls and salads. Get to know them here.
  • Also saw on Ashton Mae Smith’s weekly post that Bul Box opened this past week at Transfer Co. Food Hall. The Bul Box team has been serving Asian cuisine in the Triangle for over 20 years. Their journey began here in the Raleigh-Durham area and the adventure didn’t stop there. Today, they’re pursuing their dream of spreading Asian flavors throughout Charlotte, Atlanta, Savannah and more. Check them out here.
  • Speaking of food halls, across downtown Morgan Street Food Hall announced their newest addition, YoHo Hibachi & Sushi Burritos according to the folks over at the ITB Insider. They offer contemporary Chinese dishes and Japanese sushi, YoHo will be located at the far end of the food hall next to Sassool Select. They’ll offer signature dishes such as their Hawaiian Burrito, Hibachi Steak, and much more at their grand opening April 18th – 21st, with the first 20 customers each day receiving their meal for free. They have a location in Cary. Check them out here.
  • In more downtown Raleigh news, we learned of the good news that A Place at the Table announced that they will be expanding next door and building a full kitchen. Congrats to founder and executive director Maggie Kane for her passion and vision for bringing the pay-what-you-can restaurant to life, and now expanding it all. Kudos! If you haven’t been, check them out here.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, The Acorn, downtown’s newest craft cocktail and small plates bar, opened this past week. They are the sister project of Oak City Meatball Shoppe and Calavera Empanadas & Tequila. Check them out here.
  • Reader Sara Addison-Kristel reported that Barcelona Wine Bar, a wine and tapas restaurant inspired by the culture of Spain, has opened at The Dillon in the Warehouse District at 223 W. South Street. They have locations throughout Connecticut and in Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, Nashville, Reston Virginia and Washington DC. The Dillon location will be their first restaurant in the Raleigh market. Meet them here.
  • John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared the news that the popular coffee shop Brew is opening another location just outside of downtown Raleigh. It will be opening in summer 2019 in McNeill Pointe off of Wake Forest Rd. at 2310 Bale Street. They have locations in Raleigh at Seaboard Station, coming to Gateway Plaza and in downtown Cary at the Cary Theater. Check them out here.
  • High-school buddy and dentist extraordinaire, Dana McCall, shared the news that Mezeh is opening two locations in Raleigh North Raleigh (in the old Kamato Grill/Lucky 32 building) and Hillsborough Street (where Freshii was, next to Chipotle). Mezeh is a 19-store Chipotle-styled Middle Eastern fast casual concept out of the Washington, DC area. Go ahead and get familiar with them here.
  • Got word from owner Gregory Goldberg that he has opened Uninhibited Tapas Bar in the former Taste location on Medlin Drive (off Dixie Trail/Wade)  in Raleigh. They will be serving serving international tapas using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible with an eclectic wine list, inventive cocktails, and a growing local beer list. You can get familiar with them here.
  • In North Raleigh, reader Chuck Till informed us that the Five Guys on Creedmoor Road in Brennan Station has reopened after a lengthy remodeling. Check out Five Guys here.
  • Down in Fuquay-Varina we got word that Johnny’s Pizza is opening in the former Mattress 2.0 location next to Krispy Kreme. The NY-style pizza joint already has locations in Apex, Cary and Wake Forest. Get familiar with them here.
  • And over in Garner, Big Ed’s opened their third location (two locations in Raleigh) this week at the Timber Crossings Shopping Center at 231 Timber Drive. Get all the details here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City shared the much-anticipated news that Scott Howell’s iconic Nana’s restaurant is officially back in action with a smaller, more focused menu. Check out the new website as well here.
  • WRAL shared the news that Lime & Lemon Indian Grill on Ninth Street (former Dale’s spot) held its grand opening this week. They offer cuisines of both northern and southern India. The restaurant is located at 811 Ninth Street. Get familiar with them here.
  • Amber also shared the news this week that Toriano and Serena of Boricua Soul, described as Southern soul, Caribbean flair and Euro-African roots, have secured a brick and mortar spot at the American Tobacco Campus. Look for their arrival this summer! Check them out here.
  • WRAL reported that B.Good opened this past Thursday in their Durham location in the One City Center in downtown Durham. They provide great tasting, responsibly sourced burgers, bowls, salads, smoothies and more. This is  the chain’s fifth location in the Triangle and ninth in North Carolina. Durhamites get to know them here.
  • The folks over at Bites of Bull City also shared that there’s a pop up Mexican restaurant with Chef Miguel Torres (Lantern chef de cuisine with Andrea Reusing) at The Durham Hotel from now through May 10th. Primavera en Durham is a collaboration between Chef Miguel Torres and The Durham Hotel celebrating spring with the flavors of his childhood in Guanajuato, Mexico. Get all the details here.
  • In Chapel Hill, reader Mark Monroe let us know that chef Brandon Sharp opened Hawthorne & Wood last week in the former Raaga spot in Chapel Hill’s East 54. Sharp, grew up in Greensboro and attended UNC-Chapel Hill. He spent the next twenty years cooking in New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, and northern California, earning seven consecutive Michelin stars as executive chef of Solbar in Napa Valley from the years 2010-2016. Brandon and his family returned to Chapel Hill in the fall of 2016. Check them out here.
  • Also in Chapel Hill, got word from the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership that East Franklin Street is getting used bookstore of sorts called Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews. Epilogue is an independent bookstore and Spanish-style chocolatería that aims to foster community in the heart of Chapel Hill. It is a place for people to gather, whether to cultivate new ideas, learn old ones, or escape into the welcoming atmosphere that books, chocolate, beer, and coffee all provide. Keep up with any announcements they might make on their Facebook page here.
  • And before leaving Chapel Hill, reader Ross Hannah let us know that Don Chicken, a Mexican rotisserie with Southern inspired sides, has opened on Elliot Road in the former Monterrey location (Monterrey moved to Rams Plaza). Don Chicken is family owned and operated and also serves up some great tacos. Follow them on Instagram here.
  • Down in Hillsborough, WRAL reported that LaPlace Louisiana Cookery has closed, but will soon be replaced with a concept called James Pharmacy. LaPlace enjoyed a five-year run. The new concept will serve fresh North Carolina seafood. They noted that many of their company hallmarks will remain – the creative beverage program of well-crafted cocktails, the freshest ingredients, the popular Sunday brunches, and their famous Bloody Mary menu. Also improved outdoor seating and an expanded beer and wine selection. No word on how long the transition will take, but perhaps they will post it on the LaPlace Facebook page.
  • Over in Chatham, we told you about this last August, but the Triangle’s third location of Mi Cancun has opened in the Penguin Place development adjacent to Marco’s Pizza, House of Hops Pittsboro and The Root Cellar Café (behind Bojangles). Chatham, get familiar with Mi Cancun on their Facebook page here.


  • Tyler’s Taproom at American Tobacco Campus announced that it will close today, Friday, April 19, after a 14 year run. There is still a Tyler’s in downtown Carrboro.
  • Also in Durham, Blu Seafood & Bar on Hillsborough Road closed according to a sign on the door.
  • Got word from several sources that Saint & Co. on 9th St. has also closed. The bakery and cafe opened in October and served brick hearth Neapolitan style pizza, fresh baked pastries, breads and sandwiches.
  • The Boot Italian restaurant on University Drive closed last Friday. The Boot opened in 2014.
  • And staying in Durham, reader S.R. Begnoche Informed us that Mexican restaurant Tonali on Shannon Road also closed its doors this month.
  • Saw in Triangle Business Journal that Bison & Bull Tavern (formerly a franchise of Ohio sports bar Buffalo Wings and Rings) in Morrisville’s Grove Park closed.

Food Trucks 

  •  Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is getting ready to kick back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos – they are: June 16, September 1 and November 3! Get all the dates here.
  • And the dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo have been released – they are Sunday May 5th – 12-6pm (Cinco de mayo ); Sunday June 9th – 12-6pm; Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo ); and Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.


  • Barbecue, beer and bluegrass return to Raleigh’s warehouse district at The Pit Authentic Barbecue’s 11th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival Saturday, April 20 from noon to 6 p.m. The pig cookers will be fired up outside The Pit on Davie Street, which will be blocked off to cook and serve plenty of the The Pit’s famous barbecue. We’ll also have a selection of local and regional beers from Blowing Rock Brewing Company, Noble Cider, Mother Earth Brewing and The Unknown Brewing Company. Eight blue grass bands will also headline the day. All profits from ‘Cuegrass, including the $10 suggested entrance donation, go to improve the lives of kids in need in Wake County with proceeds going to SAFEchild, Wake County’s only child-abuse prevention agency, the Junior League of Raleigh’s BackPack Buddies program, which serves healthy weekend meals and snacks to more than 500 children at Lacy, Conn, Hunter, Beaverdam and Root elementary schools and the YMCA’s Camp High Hopes, and Cub Scout Troop 325. Get all the details here
  • Driftwood Southern Kitchen will host a Crawfish Boil on Saturday, April 20th from 12pm to 4pm in conjunction with Lafayette Village’s Seafood Festival. Crawfish plates with potatoes and sausage as well as peel-and-eat shrimp will be offered alongside local pours from Mother Earth Brewery based in Kinston, NC. With over 350 pounds of crawfish, Driftwood Southern Kitchenwill have plenty of deliciousness to go around! Crawfish plates will be offered for $15 and peel-and-eat shrimp for $20 per pound. For more information on Lafayette Village’s Seafood Festival go here.
  • Al’s Burger Shack, Mel’s Commissary & Catering and IP3 Italian Pizzeria III are teaming up once again to bring you Caffe Marrone – 6 courses of your Italian favorites and a wine pairing at the Mel’s Carrboro location at 7 p.m. on April 24. These seats will fill quickly, so be sure to get your tickets before they’re gone!
  • On May 4th, the good folks at the Root Cellar in Pittsboro will host another of their extremely popular Low Country Shrimp Boil. The $30 ticket will entitle you to all-you-can-eat Gulf shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and banana pudding. The event runs from 4-7 p.m. Get details and tickets here.
  • Cary’s 4th annual Fest in the West festival returns on Saturday, May 4th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The event features old-fashioned contests (like pie eating!), artists, beer, food trucks (10) and live bands on multiple stages. (Rain date is May 5). Get all the details here.
  • Mark your calendar for May 19th from 5 to 8 p.m. and make your way over to Pittsboro for their Farm & Art Dinner where they will celebrate Chatham’s culinary artistry, visual and performing artistry, and appreciation for small family farms. Main Street Pittsboro will welcome friends, guests and family to a table in the center of Hillsboro Street to discover, acknowledge, and honor the skills of local chefs, farmers, and artists in this fundraiser to continue the mission of revitalizing the historic downtown district. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • On Saturday, June 8th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  the Town of Cary will host the Pimento Cheese Festival where food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menu, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.
  • Taste celebrates the vibrant Durham-Chapel Hill culinary scene with a festival of food & beverage events, June 26-30, 2019. All told, the event features 5 premium culinary events. New for this year, they are offering back-to-back nights of their signature Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory – with each night featuring over 30 great local restaurants. The week also boasts a 1920s themed Speakeasy Nightclub at a secret location, a 6-Course Southern Feast Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and a Boozy Brunch at Clouds Brewing. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10 worth of food or five meals. Over half a million people in the 34 counties we serve struggle with food insecurity. You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members or coworkers. Find out how you can do it here.

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