Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Fun Food Facts - November 19, 2010

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

There have been quite a few openings here in the Triangle this month, so let's get started with a quick tour. I'll provide websites so you can spend a little more time finding out about each.

  • We'll begin up in Hillsborough where there is a new steakhouse in town! Russell's Steakhouse opened this month in the old Occoneechee Steakhouse location (after an extensive renovation) on Churton Street. Appears to be your typical "steakhouse" menu featuring 21-day-aged steaks. Visit their website here.

  • Up in Rolesville, you can enjoy a little Calabash-style seafood with the opening of Fitzgerald's Seafood Restaurant which is located at 308 South Town Circle. Visit them online here.

  • Our journey next takes us over to Apex where Fuji Asian Bistro opened in the former Ocean Stars Seafood and Oyster Bar location on Williams Street, near the US1 and Hwy. 55 exit. I was unable to locate a web address, so you're just going to have to plan a night out in Apex!

  • Wingstop, the self-named "Wing Experts" out of Texas, has recently opened their third Triangle location in Paddington Station at 1721 New Hope Church Road in Raleigh. The other two Triangle locations are in Durham on Martin Luther King Parkway and at 202 NC Highway 54 (near Fayetteville Road). Visit them online here.

  • Speaking of Durham, the Hope Valley Shopping Center continues to unveil new dining options. You'll recall this is the same location as Only Burger, Rick's and Pop's Backdoor. Well, it looks like they are going to add a yogurt shop into the mix as there is a Tutti Fruitti sign hanging in one of the windows now. That little corner of Durham is becoming a dining hot spot.

  • And back over in Raleigh, a new pizza bar called Chow has opened in the former Gianni & Gaitano's location on Creedmoor Road (near the intersection with Strickland) in the Towne North Shopping Center. Chow is owned by the same group that owns Porter's, Frazier's, Vivace and Croquette. Chow does not appear to have a website up yet, but here is a link to their sister restaurants.
  • There is a new pizza joint in town...well, sort of. WhichWich Gourmet Sandwiches is now serving up "pizzawich creations" that look delicious. Pepperoni Pizzawich, Hawaiin Pizzawich, Veggie Supreme Pizzawich and Baco-roni Pizzawich. WhichWich is located at 4025 Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh.

  • The Raleigh location of Ted's Montana Grill fell victim to the company's decision to close nine of their under-performing stores. But the good news is that you only have to travel to Durham to get your Bison fix, as the Durham store (across from the Streets at Southpoint) remains open.

  • Triangle restaurateur Giorgios Bakatsias has closed Café Giorgio in Cary (it was located at the corner of Highhouse Road and Cary Parkway) where it opened almost exactly one year ago. Apparently the location has been sold to a new owner, and Bakatsias is looking for a new location. Stay tuned on that as well as what will next occupy that location.

  • Kudos to Beyu Caffe in downtown Durham. They were recognized this week by Downtown Durham Inc. as one of the 2009-2010 Outstanding Downtown Retail businesses. Congratulations!

  • In a breath of fresh air, Ruby Tuesday's announced this week that all of their nearly 700 locations will be smoke free.

    And we can't finish off this week's information without a quick nod to everyone's favorite dining holiday... Thanksgiving. Here is some fun Thanksgiving information primarily pulled together by the staff over at the News & Observer.

  • Looking for fresh options for your Turkey Day spread? Fresh as in, it was in the field yesterday, fresh? Well, all five Triangle Area Farmers' Markets will be ready for you next Tuesday. Here are their hours on Tuesday - Carrboro from 3-6 p.m.; Durham from 2-5 p.m.; Hillsborough from 4-7 p.m.; Chapel Hill from 3-6 p.m. and Cary from 3-6 p.m. Recipes are also available at the Triangle Farmers' Markets site.
  • For those looking for the perfect wine to serve at their Thanksgiving day feast, the N&O's Andrea Weigl has put together a nice list of wine tastings at local wine shops. Check out here list here.
  • And for those looking for dining out options on Thanksgiving day, the N&O's Greg Cox has put together a great list of restaurants taking reservations for Thanksgiving. Take a peek here.

  • And we close with a deal. And it is a great deal for you coffee lovers that have in-laws that are in town. From now through this Sunday, Starbucks will be offering their holiday beverages for free, with the purchase of another holiday drink. Think Peppermint Mocha. So you can treat your in-laws to coffee, without having to spend any money on them! Bonus!
Here is wishing you and your family a very enjoyable Thanksgiving.

And speaking of the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no "Friday Fun Food Facts" next Friday. It is widely anticipated that I will be in a food coma and will be unable to pull this together! Gobble gobble!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Fun Food Facts - November 12, 2010

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

  • If shopping makes you hungry, there is good news if you find yourself at Crabtree Valley Mall. Andy's Burgers, Shakes & Fries has just opened in the old Dunderbak's location (boy, do I miss Dunderbak's!).

  • What's with all the yogurt places opening up right when it is getting cold? Anyway, FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt has opened its second Raleigh location at 2526 Hillsborough Street. The other Raleigh location is at Six Forks Station in North Raleigh.

  • Originally slated to open in September, it looks as if Streets Deli in Chapel Hill has a more firm date of December for their much-anticipated opening in East 54. Their website now posts the December "opening" date and photos on their Facebook page show significant progress. Hold on all you relocated Yankees, it won't be long before you can try out a new joint where their motto is - A real New York deli served with a Southern accent, in a New York minute!

  • If you were anywhere near Centennial Campus this past Wednesday, you probably ran into a little traffic. Well, it looks like it is going to be that way every Wednesday from 11:30 to 2 as Durham's incredibly popular (and famous) food truck Only Burger will be setting up shop weekly on Varsity Drive. If you live in Raleigh, and haven't had an Only Burger, you should make plans for an upcoming Wednesday. It is a must! Follow Only Burger on Twitter!

  • Now this is interesting. A new restaurant called Bull Street Gourmet & Market is making plans to open at Hope Valley Square in Durham. That is the same strip mall that is home to Pop's Backdoor, Only Burger and Rick's Diner - located on Shannon Road. The interesting thing is, Bull Street, while it may appear to be playing off the "Bull City" theme of Durham, is actually a concept out of Charleston, South Carolina (located on Bull Street, nonetheless).

  • Xios Authentic Greek Cuisine in Apex closed its doors this past Monday after 7 years in the business. Their website noted a variety of factors including the slowing economy and the increasing cost of food imports.

  • Sue Stock reported this morning that C&H Cafeteria on Forum Drive in Raleigh has closed. The Durham location, at 1720 Guess Road near Northgate Mall, remains open, as well as the original location in Kernersville.

  • And for all you food truck fans, it appears as if Mom's Delicious Dishes Food Truck has ceased its mobile operations. No word yet on whether they will continue the catering arm of their business.
  • If you are a veteran and missed all the restaurant specials yesterday, take heart that Golden Corral will hold their 10th Annual Military Appreciation Monday, next Monday. All active-duty and retired U.S. military personnel will get a free dinner buffet and beverage on Nov. 15.
  • T.G.I. Friday's is also continuing the celebration of our current and former military personnel (with ID) with a buy-one-get-one offer on entrees. Also, they will be given a $5 coupon for their next visit. This special runs through Sunday.

  • If you'd rather not cook, clean and make the annual effort to figure out how the electric knife works this Thanksgiving, we've got good news for you. Or should I say, the News & Observer has good news for you. Greg Cox has put together a list of restaurants that will be serving up the turkey day offerings. But get your reservations in now! He'll be updating the list all next week.

  • Or, if you just want someone else to cook the turkey and all the sides, and you bring it home, then The Q Shack at North Hills has you covered with Thanksgiving meal options that are all homemade and packaged ready to serve or to reheat as you wish. And the other cool thing is that Tom uses both free-range and local turkeys. Get your order in by November 22 and pick up by 5 pm on November 24th. More information and online ordering here.

  • In case you were following it, the winners of the Bull City Vegan Challenge were announced earlier this week. Find out all the details at their website.

  • Durham's Blu Seafood and Bar is offering their popular oysters and bubbles four-course dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 17th at 7 pm. The cost is $45 and reservations can be made by calling 919.286.9777 or by visiting their website.
  • Most of us sip wine and don't think much of it, but next Thursday (Nov. 18th) a group of women want you to do that, but they want you to do so realizing that nearly one billion people on our globe lack access to clean water. The wine tasting, which will also feature appetizers and a raffle with really cool prizes, will be held at The Vintage Bar and Lounge located at 116 N. West Street in downtown Raleigh. 100% of the proceeds will go to Wine to Water Projects, a non-profit focused on providing clean water and sanitation to countries around the world. More information about the event can be found here and more information on Water to Wine can be found here.

  • In the "Mark Your Calendar" file, make note that the dates have been set for the third annual Triangle Restaurant Week. Next year's "winter" edition will be held January 24th through the 30th. During this week tons of restaurants offer specials and really showcase their establishments. Be on the lookout for more details as they become available.
  • Listen up Red Lobster fans...Do you think Red Lobster needs a fresh look and some new menu options? If you do, you're in luck. All 700 stores will receive make-overs to reflect the look and feel of Bar Harbor, Maine. 1/3 of the stores will be remodeled by June of next year, with the remainder by 2014.
  • Speaking of makeovers, all six Triangle locations of Boston Market have recently been remodeled, both externally and internally (with a new decor that provides a warm and inviting feel) as well as with new menu items that are being tested solely in the Triangle market. Boston Market has another 364 locations outside of the Triangle.

  • We are in day two of Pizza Hut's latest promotion. It is a 10-day promotion (Nov. 11-20) where you can get two medium pizzas with up to three toppings for just $6 each. This offer is available for delivery, carryout or dine-in orders.

  • Quizno's has new coupons available for $1 off a regular sub and $2 off a large sub. The coupons are good through November 19th. Click here for the coupons.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Fun Food Facts - November 5, 2010

  • Firehouse Subs is now available for online catering orders throughout aFirehouse Subs Logoll of Raleigh, Garner, Chapel Hill and most of Durham. Visit their menu here. At Firehouse Subs, they cater to appetites, wherever they gather. Whether it's a party, an office lunch or a game-time feast - hearty subs piled high with the best meats, cheeses, and toppings around.

  • I was in Wake Forest yesterday and saw the "Grand Opening" signs outside Newmoon Café at 2101 S. Main Street, across from the Wal-Mart. Turns out this is the "reincarnation" of Joe Leli, the original founder of Babymoon Café in Morrisville. Definitely worth a visit. Visit Joe online here.

  • Sandella's Flatbread Café is having their grand opening today at noon at 2816 Erwin Road in Durham. Sandella's will be serving up soups, salads, paninis, quesadillas, grilled flatbreads, wraps, rice bowls and more! Click here (and scroll down) to get 50% off all food items.

  • Last month, The Restaurant Group of Raleigh opened Tap City, a restaurant and tavern in the former Stonewood Grill space on Falls of the Neuse Road in Raleigh across from North Ridge Country Club (between Moe's and Chick-fil-A). It has a steakhouse inspired menu with 32 beers on tap. These are the folks behind Village Draft House, Sawmill Tap Room, Falls Tap Room and Leesville Tap Room.

  • In Cary, Marilyn's Pizza, known for baking your own customized pizza in stone ovens, recently opened. They also offer calzones, salads and homemade desserts! Visit Marilyn's Pizza at 2131 Kildaire Farm Road in the Saltbox Village complex.

  • Here's a very cool new dining experience. The District at 410, the restaurant at the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, is open for lunch Thursdays and Fridays through Dec. 17. The restaurant, located at 410 Blackwell Street in Durham's American Tobacco Warehouse District, is run by student chefs, so you are likely to get an amazing meal, relatively cheap, and all in the name of education! Reservations can be made from 11:30 -1:30 pm either online or by calling 919.317.3200.

  • Last week we reported that Tommy's Deli on Ten Ten Road in Apex had closed and that something else was opening up. Well, turns out Tommy's Deli just changed ownership and will be retaining the name and the menu.

  • There's a new food truck in the Triangle. Slippin Sliders features gourmet sliders made from fresh, local ingredients served all over the Triangle via a bright blue truck. Visit their website or follow them on Twitter.

  • Rumor on the street is that the Old Havana Sandwich Shop is VERY close to opening. It will be located at 310 E. Main Street in downtown Durham. Their slogan is "putting the Cuban back in Cuban sandwiches" and the website confirms a November opening. Stay tuned!

  • Looking for fresh, local produce for your Thanksgiving? You are in luck! All 5 Triangle farmers markets will be having special markets on Tuesday, November 23rd. And all the information is on one website.

  • Who wants free coffee? Or should I say, who doesn't want free coffee!?! Well, mark your calendar for next Wednesday, November 10th as all Triangle locations of Bruegger's will be giving away free cups of coffee. Bruegger's is combining this event with an effort to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network, with monies raised locally going to Duke Children's Hospital. So, get a free cup of coffee and help a great cause. Sounds like a great idea to me!

  • Speaking of coffee. I'll take a Grande Mocha with no whip...and a Budweiser. What? Apparently Starbucks is introducing beer and wine in one test location, with potential plans to roll it out to thousands of locations. Great, that's all I need, some guy spilling his beer on my laptop...

  • Dewey's Bakery, known for their Moravian cookies and custom cakes, is in the process of opening their seasonal stores in the Triangle. The Cameron Village location (next to The Fresh Market) and the Crabtree location (near Macy's) have already opened. The Cary Towne Center location (in front of Macy's) and the Triangle Town Center location (lower level in front of Macy's) will open November 15th.

  • Another local bakery is getting some national exposure. Apex's Sweet Memories Bakery will appear on the Food Network Challenge on Sunday, November 7th at 8 p.m. where they competed in the giant wedding cake challenge. They created a six-foot-tall cake with the hopes of taking home the $10,000 purse! Tune in this Sunday to find out if they won!

  • This Sunday, you can dine on some delicious barbecue while helping a good cause. Stop by Poole's Diner between 5:30 and 8:30 this Sunday and enjoy a heaping pile of barbecue with all the sides, dessert and Fullsteam Brewery craft beer. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood. Tickets are $75 for adults; $35 for children. Tickets are limited. Phone orders can be made at 919.459.1611 or you can order tickets here.

  • If you love Chipotle Mexican Grill, listen up. They are developing an Asian restaurant concept modeled after the Chipotle concept. Now here's the catch - they will open a single Asian-inspired restaurant next year but they haven't disclosed a location. Let's all hit them up here, and let them know we want it in the Triangle. Who's with me?

  • The Stonecreek Village Shopping Center Fall Festival is this Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. There will be lots of free food and drink as well as activities for your children. Stonecreek Village is located at the corner of High House Road and Davis Drive in Cary. For more information, click here.

  • The 22nd annual RSVVP Day (Restaurants Sharing Ten Percent) in Orange County will be Tuesday, November 9th. On that day, eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or just popping in for a drink of snack will send 10% of your order to the Inter-Faith Council food programs. Click here for more information and a full list of participating restaurants.

  • Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake. Need I say more? Hit up your nearest Chick-fil-A for this holiday gem! My kids and I knocked down one of these earlier this week and all I can say is, it is so worth it!

  • Next Thursday, November 11th (Veterans Day), Chili's is paying tribute to our veterans and active military men and women by offering them a free entree (none of which are served in vacuum-sealed plastic bags, nor do they require hydration!).

  • Downtown Durham's Revolution restaurant is offering a Gruet wine tasting this Monday, November 8th at 6:30 pm. The dinner will feature four small courses for $40. Reservations can be made by calling 919.956.9999 or visiting their website here.

  • Café Helios' first beer dinner (featuring Fullsteam Brewery) has been rescheduled and it will be next Thursday, November 11th starting at 6:30 p.m. This is limited to 30 people, so get on the list early. Call 919.838.5177 to sign up for the $40 experience (plus tip and tax). More information here.

  • Durham's Blu Seafood and Bar is offering their popular oysters and bubbles four-course dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 17th at 7 pm. The cost is $45 and reservations can be made by calling 919.286.9777 or by visiting their website.

  • Alright folks, here is an amazing opportunity to try one of my favorite Triangle restaurants - Acme in downtown Carrboro. They'll be doing their Thanksgiving dinner (or supper) from noon until 8 pm. The three courses are only $27.95 per person ($12.95 per child). Think about it - would you rather cook, remember how to use the electric knife and wash a gazillion dishes? Or enjoy a true gem in the Triangle? Reservations at 919.929.2263.