Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Fun Food Facts - October 8, 2010

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

  • It is my wife's favorite time of the year - our annual trek to the North Carolina State Fair, which starts next week! So let's kick off this week's news with the items that have made the "much anticipated" list at this year's fair: a Twinkie Log (a frozen Twinkie dipped in chocolate with an option to add coconut shavings); the newest deep-fried option will be the cheesy mashed potato bites; and other artery cloggers include: a Krispy Kreme Burger (a hamburger patty served between sliced doughnut halves) and Joe's Big Dogs offered in ¼ pound, ½ pound and pound sizes!

  • And don't forget that Thursday, October 21 is the annual Food Lion Hunger Relief Day at the NC State Fair - where four cans of Food Lion brand food gets you in for "free" and you've helped the Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina. More info here.

  • Just when it seems all we are hearing about are the opening of more donut shops, we learn that the Dunkin' Donuts at Crabtree Valley Mall has closed. Dunkin' Donuts has been in the mall since I was knee-high to a grasshopper...bummer.

  • In a bit of unique news, Chapel Hill's iconic Crook's Corner is opening a second location - Crook's Atrium Café which will be located in the Europa Center in Chapel Hill at 100 Europa Drive. The new location will be open for breakfast and lunch.

  • The Big Food Truck Harvest at Big Boss Brewing in Raleigh has been scheduled for Thursday, October 14th from 5-10:30 pm. Food trucks Klausies Pizza, Moms Delicious Dishes, Only Burger and Valentino's are already scheduled to be there (more are sure to be announced). In addition to 14 taps and 2 casks, Big Boss will have one of the most popular seasonal brews, Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale, on hand. Pumpkin carving contests and live music will also be featured. More details here.
  • According to experts enlisted by USA Today, Char-Grill in Raleigh is the best place in North Carolina to savor that classic all-American sandwich - the burger. What began as a single location in 1959 has grown into six locations across the state.

  • Here's a weekly event that will keep your energy level up. Durham's very own Counter Culture Coffee offers free coffee tastings every Friday at 10 am. The "cupping" is immediately followed by a guided tour of the roastery and headquarters. Counter Culture Coffee Roastery and Headquarters is located at 4911 South Alston Avenue in Durham. Call 361.5282 for more information.
  • The World Beer Festival is this weekend in Durham and last I heard, there are still some tickets available (which is a huge surprise). But to find out for sure (if you think you might want to go) please visit their site here.

  • This month Chapel Hill's A Southern Season is hosting a month-long food and wine festival. For more information on all the activities and events being held, please visit their site here.

  • Here's to Raleigh's first ever Supper Club, a dinner series featuring some of downtown Raleigh's best locally-owned restaurants. Participating chefs will dish up unique three-course dinners, each paired with a glass of hand-selected wine, all for just $40 (tax and gratuity included) with proceeds benefiting the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at WakeMed. The participating restaurants are: Market Restaurant (Oct. 11); Zely & Ritz (Oct. 19) and Sushi Blues Café (Oct. 25). See menus and more details here.

  • Listen up ladies, The Wine Merchant in Raleigh (Wade Avenue near Whole Foods) is hosting a Ladies' Masquerade Ball from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28th. There will be wine tastings, a raffle, appetizers, complimentary massages and lots of stuff on sale! While costumes are not required, prizes will be awarded for most horrifying, sexiest, most original, best wine theme and best overall. Please reserve a spot by calling 828-6929.

    We've got dinners galore to tell you about, so here we go...

  • Next Wednesday (Oct. 13), Raleigh's Zely & Ritz is offering a four-course dinner featuring Fullsteam Brewery. The meal begins at 7 pm and costs $49 per person. To make a reservation, call 828-0018.

  • On Thursday, Oct. 14th at 7 pm, the Boylan Bridge Brewpub will host a cocktail and menu tasting to debut some new items. Tickets are $25 purchased in advance / $40 at the door. To get tickets in advance, click here.

  • The Inn at Celebrity Dairy near Siler City will host its monthly Sunday dinner on Oct. 17th at 1:30 pm. The dinner will feature Aurora Restaurant's chef Gwen Higgins. It will set you back $75 per person. Make reservations here or call 742-5176.

  • Just down the road in Chapel Hill, Pazzo (located in Southern Village) will have a four-course dinner on Tuesday, October 19th at 6:30 pm. The dinner will feature Vietti wines and winemaker Luca Currado. If you are interested in attending the $85 dinner, call 968-1884.

  • Also in Chapel Hill, the infamous Spanky's on Franklin Street has teamed up with Durham's Fullsteam Brewery and will be holding a beer dinner on Sunday, October 26th with five courses, each paired with one of Fullsteam's beers. The cost is $40 per person. Call 919.967.2678 or e-mail to attend.
  • If you've got a spare $145 sitting around you'll want to attend a guest-chef event being hosted at the newly renovated Herons Restaurant at The Umstead in Cary on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 6:30 pm. The guest chefs include Curtis Duffy, Avenues at The Peninsula Chicago and Claudio Aprile of Colborne Lane in Toronto. Call 447-4050 to make a reservation.

  • Durham's Rue Cler is offering a wine dinner at 7 pm on Nov. 1st featuring the wines of Eric Texier of the Rhone and Maconnais regions of France. Dinner costs $65. Check their website or call 682-8844 for more information.

  • And finally, the Angus Barn will host an extraordinary wine dinner on Nov. 12. Arthur Silvente with the Champagne House, Duval Leroy and Hank McCrorie of Napa Valley's Burly Vineyards have teamed up for an "old world meets new world" wine dinner. Chef Walter Royal and staff have expertly prepared a six-course dinner around those wines. Call 919-787-3505 to make reservations.

  • Raleigh is participating this year in Diabetes Restaurant Month which runs Oct. 12 through November 12. Restaurants 518 West, Backyard Bistro, Market Restaurant, Zest Café and Mitch's Tavern will each offer a menu item that meets standards outlined by a registered dietician and an endocrinologist. More information at this site.

  • Dress your little ones up early and take them to your local IHOP on Friday, October 29th, where they'll be serving up Scary Face Pancakes free of charge for children 12 and under (one per child).

  • Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 16th from 1-5 pm as Chapel Hill hosts the TerraVita Food & Wine event on The Green in Southern Village. The event features organically-grown wines, microbrews and edibles prepared by some of the area's top chefs. Get more information here.

  • The World Cask Ale Festival will be held Saturday, October 23rd right here in our own backyard in Durham. It will be held in the Trotter Building on Geer Street and will feature cask ales from around the state and from breweries around the country as well as some great food options from vendors around Durham. Get more information and tickets here.

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