Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Fun Food Facts - August 13, 2010

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

  • OK, since there isn't much good news coming out of Chapel Hill these days (i.e. football), let's start with some good news out of Chapel Hill...

  • First up, the much anticipated Five Guys famous burger joint opened up this week on the circle in Meadowmont, in the former Azure location.

  • Also in Meadowmont, Firehouse Subs opened this week right next to Café Carolina (bet they were happy about that!). This comes a few months after Firehouse closed up their downtown Chapel Hill location.

  • And so as to not be shown up, Chapel Hill's East 54, just a mile down the road, made a couple of big announcements. First, Chocolaterie Stam has opened after moving from its former Chapel Hill North location.

  • Also in Chapel Hill's East 54, Archira Thai and Sushi has opened up and will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

  • Chapel Hill's Courtyard continues to "reinvent itself" with the opening of L'incontro, a casual Italian restaurant located where Baba Ghannouj used to be. Owned by Sicilian siblings, the restaurant serves pizza, pasta and calzones.
  • The Carolina Inn over in Chapel Hill has teamed up with Eastern Carolina Organics to offer a "Farm to Fork" dinner this Saturday night featuring a complete "local" menu from produce grown in NC. The event begins with a reception at 6:30, followed by dinner at 7 pm. $49 per person (includes wine pairings with dinner). Call 919-918-2735 for reservations & more information.

  • And not far from Chapel Hill, up the road in Hillsborough, if you are looking for something to do on Saturday, The Eno River Farmer's Market is kicking things up a notch with Pepperfest where you'll find every variety of pepper -- from sweet to smoking hot -- at the market, as well as free pepper roasting and canning and cooking demos.

  • Over in Raleigh, a Raleigh restaurant legend opened up his new digs this week on a famous corner. If you've eaten at The Mandarin House, The Abacus, The Great Mall of China, The China Café and Grille and most recently, the Duck and Dumpling, then you've enjoyed David Mao's creations. Now, at the corner of Hillsborough and Oberlin, in the former Darryl's/Red, Hot & Blue location, David has opened up David's Dumpling and Noodle Bar. Early reviews are extremely positive!

  • Golden Corral's flagship restaurant on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh has been rebuilt from the ground up and will be 12,800 sq. feet in size, and have 444 seats when it re-opens today. It includes food pavilions featuring Italian, Mexican and Asian specialties, an open flame grill, traditional American cuisine and a dessert Pavilion. Strap on the feed bags!
  • Looks like a "showdown" is brewing in downtown Raleigh. We got word this week that Dickey's BBQ will be moving into the bottom of the new Progress Energy building (former Pharoah's location) which is almost directly across the street from Raleigh's legendary Cooper's Barbecue. Should be interesting!

  • Also in downtown Raleigh, I just got word that we are less than a month from seeing the newest location of Z Pizza. Steve Drotts confirmed that the opening date is just three weeks off. The new location will be on the ground level of the Bank of America building, right at Raleigh's new city plaza. He also announced that they will be serving breakfast! This will be Z Pizza's third Triangle location.

  • If you haven't heard, Hamid Mojaher, chef and co-owner of Mo's Diner in downtown Raleigh has stage IV lung cancer. His family and friends in the restaurant community are putting together a number of unique events to help raise money to offset the growing medical costs. To learn about these events, or to donate money, visit

  • Restaurant chain Saladworks has signed a franchise deal that will introduce the company's salads, soups, wraps and Fusion sandwiches to the Triangle, specifically Wake County. No location information nor timeframe is available at this time. Entrepreneur Magazine named Saladworks the nation's top salad franchise for 2009 and 2010.

  • Ever wanted to see how coffee is made? Raleigh coffee roasting company Larry's Beans has announced the next date for its popular factory tour: Sept. 25 from 11:30 to 1:30. On the tour, you'll get to check out the place where the Larry's staff roasts all the beans and also see many of the factory's eco-friendly features. Those include the bio-fuel pump out front, the awesome open-air layout of the plant and of course the Veggie Bus that runs on recycled oil. There will be snacks from Neomonde, beverages from Big Boss and live music. Sign up by e-mailing: with the # of people in group, contact name, and phone number. Don't wait because they're limiting it to the first 100 people! Visit their facebook page for more information.

  • Over at North Hills in Raleigh, just heard that The Q Shack is now offering up Locopops as an option for dessert! Que & loco - a great combination!

  • An "Open Soon" sign was spotted at Benelux Café in downtown Raleigh's City Market in the space formerly occupied by Metro Café. They'll offer everything from espresso drinks, to delicious pastries, to a wide variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads and of course, Belgian ales and largers. We don't have an open date at this point.
  • Downtown Raleigh's "Restaurant Week" is happening August 23-29 where restaurants will be offering up three-course meals for either $20 or $30 depending on the venue. Get more information here.
  • Looks like the former Camille's Sidewalk Café location in Cary is getting a new tenant. Signs in the store indicate that Tijuana Flats will be opening in the popular center next to Trader Joe's at the corner of Kildaire Farm Road and Cary Parkway. Their site confirms this, but no open date has been set (and still gives us time to let them know they've spelled "Carry" wrong on their site). This will be the 2nd Triangle location of Tijuana Flats (E. Millbrook Road in Raleigh).

  • Morrisville got big news this week from a project that has been "in the works" since 2006. The ParkWest project, at the corner of Chapel Hill Road and Cary Parkway, will break ground in a week or so. Target will anchor the location, but will be joined by the following dining options - New Japan Express, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Zoe's Kitchen, Kilwin's Chocolates and Ice Cream, Ruckus Pizza, Pasta and Spirits, and the Triangle's first Omaha Steaks store.
  • Over in Durham, Taverna Nikos has been sold and is operating under new management. Things continue "as is" for now, but at some future time the restaurant will close for renovations and a new theme. The Nikos Taverna in Morrisville continues to be owned by Bill Bakis.

  • There is also word this week that the former location of Anotherthyme (which closed in fall 2009 after nearly thirty years) will get a new tenant. No word as of yet.

  • In downtown Durham, Old Havana Sandwich Shop will be opening at 310 E Main Street this fall. And yes, these will be "real" Cuban sandwiches as the owner is Cuban, as well as his cousin, who worked as a cook in Cuba.

  • Some more exciting news out of Durham this week - West End Wine Bar will be opening a brand new pool hall at West Village! West End Billiards will be in the same building as the wine bar .

  • And finally, McDonald's is at it again with another coupon for $1 off any size or flavor, smoothie or frappe. The coupon is good through this Sunday.
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