Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Fun Food Facts - July 23, 2010

Triangle Restaurant News

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

  • They are rounding up the food trucks again in Durham - this Sunday, July 25 from 5-7:30 pm at the Durham Central Park pavilion (where the farmers market meets). The vendors include Only Burger, Daisy Cakes, Mom's Delicious Dishes, Parlez-Vous Crepe, Joe's Diner (hot dogs), Fired Flour (pizza), Indian Food on Wheels, Bulkogi Korean BBQ To Go and Locopops. Deejay Piddy Pat will play music. This is well worth the trip!

  • If you've ever wanted the feeling of eating in a cook's kitchen, well hop on over to Chapel Hill where Kitchen just opened their doors. The small restaurant has taken shape in the former home of Ba-Da Wings next to Foster's on MLK Blvd. The restaurant boasts a menu that includes duck confit ($12 or $18 depending on the portion), seared salmon ($17) and four styles of mussels (all $12). Though not your everyday cookhouse, Kitchen has a laid-back, pleasant feel. It's open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner. Visit their site here.

  • Tickets are on sale now for the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival ( on Aug. 6 and 7 at Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park. The menu features 60 varieties of beers, 40 types of bourbon and 10 styles of barbecue. Tickets to the event allow unlimited access to tastes of beer and bourbon; barbecue costs extra, except at the Friday Night Pig Pickin'. At 3 p.m. on Saturday, catch up on a bit of bourbon history with Nikki Smith of Maker's Mark Distillery or see who's up for the title of Ms. Bar-B-Q-Babe or the Triangle's Best Beer Belly.
  • With all this heat, who is thinking what I'm thinking? Yep, time for a skinny dip...That's right, The Skinny Dip frozen yogurt shop has opened its first Triangle area location beside Trader Joe's in Cary. They also will open a Quail Corners location in Raleigh soon. Check out their website here.

  • Since we're talking about the heat, and cold refreshments... Everyone's favorite ice cream spot made a big change this past week for your convenience. This past Monday, Locopops started accepting credit cards at three of their Triangle area locations: 231 S. Elliott Rd, Chapel Hill; 2600 Hillsborough Rd, Durham; 1908 Hillsborough St, Raleigh.

  • Quizno's is back at it again, but this time they have sweetened the deal. Their coupon now is any small sub, chip and a fountain drink for $2.99. Yes, you read that right. You can't pack a lunch that cheap! But hurry, the coupon expires 7/30/2010 (OK, if you've been reading this newsletter, you know they'll have a new coupon next week, but everyone loves a little urgency!)

  • The next downtown Cary Walking Food Tour is coming up on Saturday, July 31st at 1:30 p.m. The cost is $28 per person and includes tastings at 6-8 restaurants. Hurry, as space is limited. More details here.

  • On Thursday, I noticed the finishing touches being put on the new Firehouse Subs in Chapel Hill's Meadowmont Village. As I got in my car, they were carrying the chairs in. Probably just a matter of days now!
  • The Busy Bee Café in downtown Raleigh at 225 South Wilmington Street is offering weekly coffee tastings that are free and open to the public. Every Saturday at 10 a.m. featuring Counter Culture Coffee. Yummmmm!
  • McDonald's Corp., which had planned a nationwide fruit smoothie sampling event July 22-24, called off the promotion due to unprecedented demand. Nice move MickeyD's.

  • Here's a great site for coupons - especially under their Restaurant listings (a lot of BOGO offers). Visit here.
  • If you're looking for the business spot to wheel and deal, you may want to hit the Angus Barn's Wild Turkey Bar & Lounge. The long-standing watering hole of Raleigh is featured in the July issue of Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 15 top bars in which to do business.

  • The Raleigh restaurant community is coming together to aid one of its own. Hamid Mohajer, one of the owners of Mo's Diner in downtown Raleigh, has been diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer. The community is rallying around Hamid and his wife to help fight the disease and the mounting medical bills. If you feel compelled, please visit this link to learn more about some of the fundraisers that are being planned. Thanks!
  • We've told you about these sites before, but they are worth mentioning on a regular basis as you really should check them out. Twongo, Groupon and Living Social feature a great deal here in the Triangle every day (typically 50-70% off) based on the general concept that the more people that buy, the more money everyone saves. The deals have become very popular here in the Triangle and have quite a following. If you haven't visited these sites (you'll want to sign-up for the daily e-mail), you really should. There are some GREAT deals on restaurants as well as other things like spas, facials, events, etc.
Kudos for Snapfinger Catering
We typically don't like to pat ourselves on the back, but this e-mail from a client that uses our site for her catering made us grin from ear to ear, so we thought we'd share it with you. Thanks Cindy!

Dear Sean:
Everything was perfect! The ordering process is super simple! Moe's arrived on time with my order exactly as I requested. The meeting attendees appreciated having something different for lunch. Snapfinger Catering made me look like a superstar! I look forward to tomorrow's lunch delivery ;-) Thanks for taking the hassle out of catering!

Extremely pleased customer,
Cindy Stoll, Square 1 Bank

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Hungry yet? Have you placed your order for next week's meetings? What are you waiting on? Click here to be directed to one of Snapfinger Catering's 50+ restaurants and caterers!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kitchen (in Chapel Hill) is Open!

Kitchen has opened in Chapel Hill on Martin Luther King Blvd. (Historic Airport Road) in the same shopping Center as Foster's. Dick and Sue Barrows fell in love with Chapel Hill while their daughter, Leslie, was a student at UNC-CH and left the "restaurant world" in Pennsylvania to bring their talents to the Southern Part of Heaven. The concept is great food, using as many local products as possible, served in a comfortable setting where folks will want to come again and again. I think they have succeeded. They are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4:30 to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 10:30 pm; and Sunday from 4 to 8:30 pm. See their website here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Fun Food Facts - July 16

Triangle Restaurant News

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

  • One of the Triangle's most anticipated restaurants opened this week in Chapel Hill. Chef Shane Ingram of Durham's Four Square Restaurant opened [One] in Meadowmont in Chapel Hill (former B. Christophers location). Check them out here.
  • Tomorrow (July 17) is the 13th Annual Tomato Day at the Carrboro Farmers' Market. There will be tomato tastings, tomato recipes, live music and face paintings. If you've never trekked over to the Carrboro Farmer's Market, it is a real treat for the entire family and this may very well be the Saturday you want to go. Things get started at 8 a.m. and the market is located on the town commons next to Carrboro Town Hall at 301 W. Main St. Additional information is here.
  • The Cameron Village sidewalk sale is back this weekend - 10-6 today and tomorrow and 11-6 on Sunday. And while the sales may be good, I think it is just another great reason to try some of the great eating establishments at Cameron Village - Café Caturra, The Flying Biscuit Café, Uncle Fatty's, Moe's, The Village Deli and a half dozen or so more.
  • Quizno's has issued a new coupon good through July 22 for two small deli or classic subs for $5. That's a good deal! Pay attention to the fine print. (Also, in case you haven't noticed, it seems to constantly update itself with a "new" deadline)
  • It is Friday and I know you like a good deal. Well, try two entrees off of T.G.I. Friday's new Caribbean-inspired summer menu, and you'll be treated to a $10 gift card (for a limited time). More details here.
  • Listen up Philly natives. Anvil's Cheesesteaks has opened at 2893 Jones Franklin Road in Cary. Bob "Anvil" Thompson is a native of Philly and promises authenticity. I'll let you be the judge.
  • And also in Cary, Olive Tree Market at 270 Nottingham Drive is now open and offers a selection of Middle Eastern spreads, salads, bulk spices, imported cheeses and baked goods, as well as fresh lamb, goat, beef and chicken, all of which are local and halal. There are plans to expand into a deli. We'll keep an eye on it.
  • In Chapel Hill on West Franklin Street, The Courtyard has some exciting news on the way, including Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe which will open this Saturday in the old Sandwhich's location. Additionally, Crepes Veronique has opened bringing international treats to Chapel Hill. And finally, L'incontro Pizzeria is set to replace Baba Ghannouj, although no time-frame is yet available.
  • We've got a couple of special dinners to tell you about. Porter's in Raleigh is hosting a five-course N.C. beer dinner at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 21. Here's the deal: five chefs from Urban Food Group restaurant group (Porter's, Vivace and Coquette) will each be cooking a course paired with different N.C. beers. The cost is $50. Call 821-2133.
  • And if you miss that, the next night in Chapel Hill (Thursday, July 22) Chef Seth Kingsbury of Pazzo in Chapel Hill is offering a Terradora di Paolo wine dinner. It's a five-course meal for $80. Dinner starts with a prosecco reception at 6:30 p.m. For a reservation, call 929-9984.
  • Over in downtown Durham's West Village there is a bit of news/speculation going on. According to Bull City Rising (a local blog) Tosca's is moving out. And a sign posted at Cinelli's over at Main St. & Broad St. touts the restaurant's closure and relocation to the space that Tosca holds in West Village. Again, this has not been 100% confirmed, but Bull City Rising is a very reliable source. More news to follow.
  • Smithfield's Chicken 'N Bar-B-Q has announced (via Twitter) that they are opening a location in Selma, N.C. at the end of 2010. Stay tuned for more information on that.
  • In Raleigh this past Wednesday, a new all local food market opened called Bickett Market. They will be offering local seafood, meats, wine and produce. Check them out online here.
  • And finally, two bits of news from "Fast Food Nation" (if you know me, I'm not a fan), but I thought these two "nuggets" (pun intended) might be of interest. From the "I never thought I'd see this" file comes the news that Taco Bell will begin offering breakfast at all 5,600 locations sometime in 2011 or 2012. No further comments from me. And, though I'm not a fan of McDonald's, I decided to share this only because it is their drinks (which I've heard are yummy). So here it is - a coupon for $1 off their fruit smoothies or frappes. Enjoy!
New at Snapfinger CateringMatthews  House Catering
We are pleased to announce that we will be bringing on The Matthews House & Catering to the Snapfinger Catering platform. And the great news is that you won't have to wait long to start enjoying chef's incredible fares. Their menu will be up on the site by then end of July, if not earlier.

If you've ever attended an event at The Matthews House, and enjoyed some of the incredible cuisine, you'll be excited as I am that these offerings will now be available for your office and your next event.

Here are the other vendors (so far) that are joining our site this summer and we should have up on the site over the next few weeks:
The Picnic Basket Mark Day To Go Rosati's Authentic Chicago Pizza

If you have a restaurant or caterer you'd like to see on the site, please let me know (you get 500 points in our SNAP Rewards program once they join!).
Drop me an e-mail.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Fun Food Facts - July 2, 2010

Triangle Restaurant News

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

  • Ciago's on St. Mary's Street in Raleigh is now open! We told you about this a while back, but it is now official. The family-style pizza-pasta-ale house is the latest from out-of-retirement Chris Candes, former owner of Hillborough Street's Two Guys. So expect some of your Two Guys' favorites. Looking for more than pizza? They've got steaks, chops and seafood too. It is located at 522 St. Mary's Street, Raleigh.
  • According to the Downtown Raleigh Guide, Chris London's Rock'n Roll Hero Sandwiches, Hero Subs, and Tavern is coming to downtown Raleigh next month. However, no details as to location or official date are available at this time (helpful, right?). The site isn't much help either. But we'll keep you posted.
  • One of Durham's most tenured establishments (21 years) Saladelia Cafe has added yet another Durham location, this time in Hock Plaza at 2424 Erwin Rd. They opened this past Wednesday and this marks the café's fifth location, joining other spots at University Drive, the American Tobacco Campus, The Perkin Library on the Duke campus and the Smith Warehouse on South Buchanan Boulevard. Congrats to Saladelia!
  • A Raleigh institution is turning 50! Happy Birthday Angus Barn! And they are celebrating this weekend with several events: On Saturday, from 7-11 pm, a party at the Angus Barn's Pavilion with live music, a dessert buffet, cash bar and family activities. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children. But dinner guests receive free tickets to the party. And on Sunday at 4:30 pm, they will have bourbon tasting and a five-course dinner for $100 in the Angus Barn's Wild Turkey Lounge. Eddie Russell, master distiller of Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey in Kentucky, will lead the tasting. And finally, on Monday from 6-11 pm, another party for the public inside the Pavilion with live music from the band Mid-Life Crisis and a buffet featuring hors d'oeuvres and desserts. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $10 for children. Again, dinner guests receive free tickets to the party. The restaurant is at 9401 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. For reservations or more information, call 787-3535.
  • Looking for a great resource for what is going on and happening in downtown Raleigh? We'll look no further than the newly redesigned site for downtown Raleigh. It has lots of great information on restaurants, things to do and nightlife.
  • It happened. Starbucks did it. Free wi-fi in all their stores. And as great as it is, my only question is, "What took you so long?" Welcome to 2007!
  • They are doing it again. Go ahead and loosen your belt buckle a notch. Krispy Kreme is opening their latest store in Wake Forest (11721 Retail Drive - across from Chick-fil-A) on July 7th. But be sure to get there early as there are tons of giveaways. Check out more here.
  • Want to take a trip to the Italy? Well, if you can't swing that, how about a taste of Calabria (the tip of the "boot" in Italy) instead? Gravy's Chef Tony Fusco is back with another Italian Food Tour dinner Monday, July 5 at 7 pm. This time, he's taking us to the rich, bountiful region of Calabria. $30 per person for the food, $45 with the wine pairings. Call 896-8513 to make your reservations or go to their website.
  • Or if you are a foodie that is more turned on by true Thai cuisine, here's a "can't miss" event - On Tuesday, July 6th, The Duck & Dumpling Chef James Yott Boyle, who learned to cook as a teenager from his Thai mother and grandmother, will provide a taste of his heritage in a three-course meal that will blend traditional Thai cuisine with the modern. The cost is $30. An additional $15 for wine and sake pairings. Call 838-0085 or visit their site to make reservations.
  • T.G.I. Friday's recently introduced its new Caribbean-inspired Summer menu featuring fourteen new appetizer, salad, sandwich, entrée and combo dishes starting at $8.99. Check it out here. Be careful, this will cause you to drool - promise!
  • Rick's Diner has completed its move down the street to Hope Valley Square. In that shopping center, Rick's will join Pop's Backdoor and the soon-to-open, brick-and-mortar location of the popular food truck - OnlyBurger.
  • It is set! Durham's premier special event, the World Beer Festival, returns on October 9th to Durham Bulls Athletic Park! Tickets will be sold through the Durham Bulls box office, starting the middle of this month. Details will be announced on their website.
  • And unfortunately, with good news also comes some bad news. We learned this week that Durham had two restaurants close their doors. The first was Restaurant Eden, which was located at the SouthCourt Building near the intersection of Shannon and University Drive. Restaurant Eden didn't quite make it to its one-year anniversary. The second casualty is Portobello Road, in Brightleaf Square next to Dolly's at Gregson and Main.
What's Coming to Snapfinger Catering?
Well, the biggest news this week from the "what's coming" column, is that we will be adding one of the Triangle's largest caterers to our site and a HUGE favorite over in Durham, RTP and Chapel Hill - The Picnic Basket. The Picnic Basket is an eight year old institution that is owned and operated by Erik Dailey and will be a tremendous addition to the Snapfinger Catering lineup. It is likely we will have their menu up over the weekend and available for you next week. Stay tuned on that and if you haven't tried The Picnic Basket, you are in for a treat.

In other Snapfinger Catering news, The Q Shack is getting ready to add some "grill" options to their menu where they'll literally bring their grill out to your event and cook on site. Stay tuned for that.

We're still working with Rosati's on finalizing their catering menu, so you Chicagoans will have to wait just a little bit longer.

And finally, if you remember Peggy Bloodworth of Entree Vous fame - well she has closed up her location of Entree Vous at the Streets at Southpoint, but has joined forces with Mark Day Catering & Event Planning and will soon be available on the site with all of her favorites, plus all that Mark Day Catering & Event Planning has to offer - which is nothing short of amazing.

So, lots going on this summer and lots to look forward to.