Friday Fun Food Facts – July 19, 2019

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

Featured Restaurant News

  •  Big news out of Durham this week with the announcement that Ashley Christensen would be teaming up with Michael Olander and the folks over at MDO Holdings to open three concepts (first looks like it will be in Durham’s University Hill in the spring of 2020) centered around a fast-casual chicken sandwich, offering five different versions. The concept is yet to be named. In Cary, the eatery will be in Parkside Town Commons, which plans a mid-2020 opening. The group is currently finalizing a third location, in Raleigh. Olander and his family have been involved in Applebee’s, Happy + Hale, Rise, Lonerider Brewery and St. Roch to name a few. His family has a long history with Christensen, Olander’s mom is a good friend and was the first investor in Poole’s. Thanks to reader Beth Peloquin, the Triangle Business Journal and the News & Observer for providing information. In the meantime, you can visit what looks to be a temporary site here or visit all of Christensen’s concepts here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Speaking of Ashley Christensen and as if she doesn’t have enough going on, we are getting very close to the opening of her next concept – Poole’side Pies and you can start to taste some of the menu items as Christensen’s other concepts around town. Here is the schedule: July 25, Meatball Sub at Beasley’s; August 1, Chicken Parm Sandwich at Chuck’s; August 8, Bruschetta at Death & Taxes; and August 15, Fried Macaroni au Gratin Balls at Poole’s. Post a pic of one of these dishes on Instagram and you’ll win a chance to attend the soft opening of Poole’side! Use hashtag #pumpuptopooleside and tag @poolesidepies on Instagram. They’ll be picking five lucky winners over the next 5 weeks to attend the opening later this summer. Get details on all these concepts here.
  • And so it is opening week at Mama Crow’s, Transfer Co. Food Hall’s newest addition. The new joint features executive chef David Mitchell highlighting items found in southern gardens, you can expect to find quality ingredients in the burgers and salads crafted. You can get all the details, including their menu, on their Facebook page here.
  • Got some sad news this week from the News & Observer – that Pho Pho Pho Noodle Kitchen + Bar closed this week after four years on Glenwood South. That’s the bad news. The good news that Michael DePersia of National Restaurant Properties shared exclusively with us is that Ashlie Cade who owns The Bison Bar on Whitaker Mill Rd. and St. Jacques French Restaurant on Falls of Neuse Rd. purchased the restaurant and plans on some light renovations and remodeling, extending the bar, etc. She will open a neighborhood bar called Blowfish this fall, tentatively planning on serving breakfast tacos a few mornings and an expanded taco menu thru the lunch, dinner and late night hours throughout the week with an emphasis on the bar having reasonably priced beer, wine and mixed drinks.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh, Offline Raleigh shared that the popular deli-style sandwich and salad shop Manhattan Cafe has had an epic, under-the-radar brunch for a while, but it just got even better. They recently added beer and champagne to their Saturday brunch lineup! All you can eat pancakes and other breakfast classics? Check. Shaded patio? Check. And now, mimosas and beer? Sounds like a brunch win to us. Give them a visit Saturdays from 9a-2p(ish). Visit them here.
  • We learned this week that the Mexican concept Uncle Julio’s will have their grand opening in Raleigh on Tuesday, July 30, at its new location on Upper Level of Crabtree Valley Mall at 4325 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. Uncle Julio’s also has a location in Durham’s Streets at Southpoint. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Raleigh, reader Foster Lander provided an update that Chido Taco in McNeil Pointe is now open. It is a Mercado style fast-casual taqueria and bar and if your Spanish is a little weak, Chido is slang for cool. Get familiar with them here.
  • Over on Hillsborough Street, fellow Tweeter Social(og)ist shared the news that Kabab and Curry has moved a couple doors down into the old Bocci Trattoria & Pizzeria / Porter’s Tavern / McDaid’s Irish Restaurant & Pub place. No idea what’s happening to their old space. Check them out here.
  • Reader Steve Howell shared the news that Remington Grill Burgers and BBQ has closed at 4511 New Bern Ave, Suite 100. That is the bad news. The good news is that there is already a sign in the window for Secrets Cajun Kitchen. Check out their website for updates on when they might be opening.
  • Up in North Raleigh, reader Burke Williams let us know that Raleigh’s second location of The Lost Cajun is now open in Bent Tree Plaza on Falls of the Neuse near Stickland. The other Raleigh location is on Forest Pines Drive. Visit them here.
  • Over in Cary, the News & Observer shared the news that fast casual chain BurgerFi announced that it will open its newest location at 2001 Walnut St. in the Cary Crossroads Plaza shopping center on July 29. This will mark the company’s third Triangle location, all in Wake County, with spots in Raleigh off Wake Forest Road and in the Cary Arboretum along Interstate 40. Check them out here.
  • The summer pop-up fun continues through the summer where you can get a sneak preview of kō•än at their sister restaurant so•ca in Cameron Village! Follow them on Instagram here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The folks at Offline Durham shared that Nolia Coffee recently opened on Morning Glory Avenue near The Carrack where they are on a mission to create the quintessential family-centric space – outfitted with healthy menu items and places to play for the little humans, and with life-changing coffee for the big humans. The goal of the shop is to create a space where work, play, community engagement, and family are beautifully interwoven. Check it out here.
  • And down in Siler City, there was a ribbon cutting this week for A&I Chicken Shack, which is apparently a reopening of the former Kickin Chicken. According to the Chamber press release, A&I is a full-service restaurant that specializes in southern cooking. You can get to know them on their Facebook page here.


  • In Chapel Hill, reader Michael Pocinki shared the news that Eastgate Crossing’s Babalu has closed.

Food Trucks 

  •  Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is 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.
  • And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday August 4th – 3pm-9pm ( Evening Rodeo); Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm; and the make-up date on November 10th. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.


  • What do you get when you combine Sweet Charlie’s ice cream shop and Pour Taproom? I don’t know what you call it, but don’t forget to call me! Actually, it is Belgian National Day on Sunday, July 21 from 2-5 pm where there will be Belgian-style waffles that any dessert lover would crave, and at least four of their specialty flavors for sale. They’ll also be bringing some top-secret Belgian beers back on tap! Oh, and the kicker, Sunday is kids-eat-free day! What!?!?! Here is the Facebook event page with all the details. Thanks to the folks over at Bites of Bull City for the heads up on this glorious event.
  • The folks over at The Root Cellar Cafe (Pittsboro location) and Vino Wine Shop are teaming up for a Summer Wine Dinner on Sunday, July 28th featuring four (4) plated courses with five (5) wine pairings. Tickets are $69, which includes all fees, sales tax, and gratuity. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • On Saturday, August 3rd, the Raleigh and Cary locations of Sassool will host a birthday celebration for Cecilia “Sassool” Saleh, the restaurant’s namesake. In her honor, they will celebrate with their customers by having lots of special meal options, sampling of new retail products and plenty of dining fun! Sales for the day will be donated to Fill Your Bucket List Foundation that grants financial support to adults with cancer in order for them to create lasting memories with those they love. Get details on their event page here.
  • The Downtown Raleigh Alliance shared this week that the dates have been set for the Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week which will be held August 12-18. Go ahead and mark your calendars. Here is their website which will be updated with additional details and participating restaurants as we get closer to the date.
  • The date was released this week for the third annual Savor the Triangle Food Festival produced by Mix 101.5. This year’s event will again be held at the Kerr Scott building at the NC State Fairgrounds on Wednesday, September 18th from 6-9 p.m. Savor the Triangle Food Festival is a culinary event with the opportunity to sample many of the Triangle’s most delicious foods and drinks all in one place. Get all the details and early bird discounted tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • This is it. Your last chance. I’ve been touting this amazing event that Colleen Minton dreamed up 10 years ago and now we are at the 10th and FINAL Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival in Chapel Hill October 16-19, 2019. Yep, you read that right. This is the grand finale. There will be no more. And tickets went on sale last week. And heed my last (and final) warning – tickets will not last. If you’ve never been – GO! If you’ve been, don’t miss the last one. If you don’t know, it is a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Get tickets and details here on all the events that week.
  • On Sunday, November 3rd, more than 30 of the Triangle’s finest restaurants will be paired with world-class wines at the third annual Sip + Savor – A Wine, Food and Music Experience.  Sip + Savor will showcase 30+ culinary all-stars, sommeliers, on-stage experience with live music, VIP lounge, and more. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  • While some kids daydream about trips to the pool and neighborhood games, others are worried summer will mean months with an empty fridge. But thanks to our generous corporate sponsors, you can help twice as many kids facing hunger this summer: Every gift you give before July 31 will be doubled – up to $102,500! That means that every $10 you give will be doubled to help provide 100 meals for children and families losing access to school-provided meals this summer. Double your donation today!

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