Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Fun Food Facts - August 26, 2011

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
  •  Steve Hunt, who owns The Big Easy in downtown Raleigh, has opened another restaurant over in Cary in the former Marty's All-American Grill and Sunset Grill location. Look for the same Cajun- and creole-inspired dishes as the downtown restaurant. Visit them online here
  • According to the N&O's Andrea Weigl, Nikos Taverna, a Greek restaurant in Morrisville, has closed and will open in about a month as the Triangle's fourth La Rancherita. We'll keep you posted.  
  • A couple of big openings this week over in Durham. First, the much anticipated L'Uva Enoteca opened this week in the American Tobacco Campus complex (across from Tyler's) and is the creation of Jim Anile, owner of Revolution in downtown Durham. Take a peek at their Facebook page here
  • And The Food Factory at Devil's Bistro on Duke's campus opened this past Wednesday. If you were a fan of The Food Factory (which closed last month in downtown Cary and will re-open soon as a similar establishment), it is worth a drive to Durham. Very cool space/location. Check it out!  
  • Big happenings in downtown Raleigh. Over on Hargett Street the spaces formerly occupied by Two T's and Blue Bar will soon become home to a "Hawaiin café" and a British pub. Nothing else much to report at this point (they are being pretty tight-lipped about it) other than there is a lot of renovation going on, including outdoor seating space.  Look for an October/November opening.
  • Here's one I never thought I'd see in this area. Imagine a place where you can sit around eating chocolate, and enjoying a beer or glass of wine that you brought! Or as someone else described it, "a Willy Wanka Factory for adults!" That's right, it is coming in the form of Videri Chocolate Factory which will take over the former Ess Lounge in downtown Raleigh. Sounds marvelous! Should be open just in time for the holiday season - a great place to take out-of-town guests.
  • Don't think there are enough dining options on Raleigh's Glenwood South? Sit tight because the latest, Blue Mango, is under construction and on its way. It is located in the 222 condominium building and will serve up Indian cuisine from Chef Sita Khosla. Look for it to open this fall.
  • A friend asked me the other day about the opening of the Mellow Mushroom over in Cary at the corner of High House and Cary Parkway. It appears as if they now have an "end of September" opening date. Stay tuned as we continue to watch this one. 
  • With growth comes pain, I guess the old saying goes. And so it is as Raleigh's Hillsborough Street continues to "grow up" with plans announced this week that a new hotel/retail complex will sprout up across from NC State's bell tower. With that comes news that Sadlack's, a Raleigh institution, will close. No word yet on whether they will relocate. We'll keep an eye on it.
  • In an interesting turn of events, the Carino's Italian Restaurant on Fayetteville Road near The Streets at Southpoint in Durham has closed. And now the 6-year-old building is scheduled to be demolished to make way for two retail shops. Apparently building ownership changed hands and the new owners wanted the change to happen, but apparently Carino's did not. But that said, there is still a Carino's in Brier Creek in Raleigh and we are awaiting news to see if they will relocate the Durham location.
  • Over in Chapel Hill, right on the Chapel Hill/Carrboro line (Chapelboro as some refer to it) on Rosemary Street, brown paper adorns the windows of The Fuse, which has closed. Signs in the window indicate that the Standard Bar & Grill is coming soon. We'll keep an eye on it.
  • The Great Food Truck Race is on again and there are a handful of Triangle area trucks competing for "most popular" in hopes of securing the $100,000 prize. Local trucks trying to become "America's Favorite" include: Captain Poncho's Tacos, Klausie's Pizza, Pie Pushers, OnlyBurger, Blue Sky Dining, KoKyu, Valentino's, Olde North State BBQ and Slippin' Sliders. Vote daily and vote often. Voting ends September 12. 
  • Here's a fun event coming up if you are a "beer and beef" fan! Durham's Bull City Burger and Brewery is reviving the old New York beefsteak tradition with its Beefsteak Octoberfest. It will be from 4 to midnight on Saturday, Sept. 17 (strangely enough, not in October). There will be two seatings; one at 4 p.m. and another at 6:30 p.m. The restaurant will not serve burgers on this night and there will be no vegetarian options. The menu includes an assortment of beef, lamb, pork, offal and sausage provided by Farmhand Foods, which specializes in local-raised meat. The $45 ticket also gets you two beers and unlimited fries, bread, celery and radishes. Tickets cost $45 for adults and $20 for a child. Tickets are limited and only available online here. The event will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Durham.
  • Listen up Paula Deen fans, the N&O's Andrea Weigl has the skinny on her book signing in Raleigh on October 14th. Check out the details here
  • There are a couple of things you need to do to get ready for this year's TerraVITA food & wine event. First, mark your calendar. The event will be held in Chapel Hill's Southern Village on Saturday, September 24th. You can get more information here. Second, you need to purchase your tickets. Here is where you can purchase tickets. TerraVITA brings together biodynamic and organically-grown wines and microbrews with some of the very best North Carolina chefs that are committed to using locally-grown organic ingredients!  
  • The 6th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour will be held September 17-18, 2011 from 1-5 p.m. and will be the biggest Eastern Triangle Farm Tour to date. Co-sponsored by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Whole Foods Market, the tour features 25 sustainable farms located across the Eastern Triangle.  Advance tickets are $25 per carload or cycle group.  Tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday and can be used to visit all of the farms on the tour. Day-of tickets are $30 or $10 per farm. Info and tickets
  • And finally, the Angus Barn is hosting another of their complimentary wine tastings this Sunday at 3:30 pm with Certified Sommelier Henk Schuitemaker and his staff. No reservations required and wine cellar tours are available. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Fun Food Facts - August 19, 2011

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
  • One open, two to go. Downtown Raleigh's much anticipated Beasely's Chicken + Honey, the creation of Poole's Diner owner Ashley Christensen, opened this week. And there are two more establishments on the way for Christensen - Chuck's, a burger joint next door, will open in about two weeks. And that will be followed by Fox Liquor Bar - aiming to open the 2nd weekend in September. Keep up with all of Ashley's restaurants here.  
  • The Jack Astor's in Cary has closed - it did so at the end of last month. However, on their facebook page, they direct you to pay attention to the October opening of a JD's Tavern in Apex at 800 W Williams St. Apparently there will be some familiar faces from Jack Astor's. We'll keep you posted. 
  • Last week we told you about the "re-opening" of Hectors in Chapel Hill. Well, it is actually The Thrill at Hectors and the "bar side" of it opened this week. But you can't get a Greek Grilled Cheese just yet. The "kitchen side" of the Chapel Hill legend, won't open until the end of this month. Keep up with the latest on their Facebook page.   
  • Speaking of Chapel Hill legends, the rumors are circulating again about the rebirth of The Rathskeller. While it appears that there is more "activity" happening with these latest rumors, there is still a lot that has to happen in order to bring back "The Rat." We'll continue to watch it...and keep our fingers crossed!
  • And speaking of rumors, here's a good one. It was "tweeted" last week that Jimmy Stubbs, from the Pittsboro "version" of Allen & Son Barbecue, is bringing his operation to Raleigh with the planned opening of Five Points BBQ. While this hasn't been confirmed and there are conflicting stories out of Pittsboro, there is a Twitter feed (@5PointsBBQ), and there is renovation work taking place at the corner of Oberlin and Fairview. We'll continue to watch this. 
  • The original El Rodeo on Hillsborough Street (now 18 years old) is getting a new name and a new feel. With a planned opening of next Tuesday, Chile Bomba will be a "funkier" and "bolder" version of El Rodeo. The restaurant, across the street from NC State at 2400 Hillsborough Street, remains in the Ibarra family. Keep up with the latest here
  • We told you about this last week, but Joel Lane's Public House, located in Raleigh's Glenwood South behind The Diner, is now open. The chef is William Thornton, who most recently worked at Gravy. Check out their website here.   
  • According to the N&O, brothers Eddy and Galo Andrade are opening the Latin Grill in Clayton today at 876 Gulley Drive off of Highway 70. The 49-seat restaurant will serve Portuguese and Argentinian food, including grilled steaks, ribs and chicken. It will be open for lunch and dinner every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  
  • If you're looking for a new place to enjoy wings (that isn't a sports bar) we've got good news for you. East Coast Wings & Grill has opened in the Cornerstone Village Shopping Center at the corner of  Davis and High House Roads in Cary. There are plans to open three to five additional locations here in the Triangle area over the next few years. The restaurant features over 75 flavors of wings. Visit them here.
  • The Tasty Beverage Company will open its doors this Monday (Aug. 22) at 6 p.m. They are located in the Raleigh Depot district in downtown Raleigh adjacent to the Union Tavern, Tuscan Blu and Jibarra (and across from Spy). At the opening, there will be tons of vendors providing free samples and their shelves will be stocked with over 500 different beers available for purchase.
  • It is official...the latest version of Raleigh's Q Shack is now open at the food court in Crabtree Valley Mall. They opened to huge crowds this past Saturday. Congratulations to Tom Meyer and his team and partners.
  • Want to take a tour of Larry's Beans? They have scheduled another of their extremely popular tours on Saturday, September 24th. These fill up quick, so email them soon if you are interested - Let them know how many people are in your group (6 max) and your contact information. This is limited to 150 people.
  • Congratulations to Martin's Curry Rice on their one-year anniversary. To celebrate, join them this Sunday (Aug. 21) from 12 to 5 p.m. with festivities including live music, games and kids' activities.  
  • The Western Wake Farmers' Market is holding an old-fashioned pig pickin' with live music, kids' entertainment and raffle prizes on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 beginning on Sept. 1. Tickets for kids are just $5. Visit their home page for more information.   
  • Acme restaurant over in Carrboro is hosting another wine dinner this Sunday (Aug. 21). It will feature the spectacular wines of importer Rudi Weist. The cost is $58 per person and will get started at 6:30. Reservations are required by calling 919-929-2263.
  • Downtown Raleigh Restaurant week is next week! Over 30 downtown Raleigh restaurants will be offering special prix fixe menus from Aug. 22-28 offering three-course meals for either $20 or $30. And this year, for the first time, many restaurants will offer beer or wine pairings for an additional $10. To see menus and the complete list of restaurants, go here.
  • Tickets for the 2011 World Beer Festival in Durham (October 8, 2011) are now on sale to ther general public. If you want to go, better buy them now. They tend to go fast!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Fun Food Facts - August 12, 2011

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
  • Well, there is finally some great news coming out of Chapel Hill...Hector's is making a return to the hill! This rendition will be located on Rosemary Street in the same building as Bub O'Malley's (aka Bub's). We'll keep you posted once we get a firm opening date.
  • I know I talk a lot about food trucks, but this is THE EVENT not to miss if you are a food truck junkie, or if you've been meaning to try out a food truck. They will ALL be at Durham's Central Park (adjacent to Durham's Farmer's Market on Foster Street) this Sunday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This will mark the largest gathering of food trucks in the Triangle's history. Here is who is signed up to date (more to come, I'm certain): Only Burger, Pie Pushers, The Parlour, KoKyu BBQ, The Grilled Cheese Bus, Parlez-Vous Crepe, Farmhand Foods, Slippin' Sliders, Klausie's Pizza, Don's Classic Ices, Sweet n Savory, Kona Ice and Locopops
  • Speaking of food trucks, there's a new food truck in town! Hitting the streets is Chirba Chirba Dumpling which will be focused on selling Asian street fare with an emphasis on dumplings. "Chirba Chirba" literally means "Eat eat!" in Mandarin Chinese. Keep up with their locale by visiting their website here
  • MinGa, a Korean/Japanese restaurant in Chapel Hill, is now open at 116 Old Durham Road. That's the road that runs behind Hardees as you head out of Chapel Hill into Durham. You can get more information on their Facebook page here.   
  • Over in Durham, Happy China Sushi & Bar on 15-501 Business (just down from Foster's at 2505 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.) is having their grand opening on Tuesday, August 16th.  Happy China Sushi & Bar is an American Chinese bistro that serves both Chinese and Japanese dishes. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also, according to the N&O's Andrea Weigl, L'Uva Enoteca over in Durham's American Tobacco Campus (former Café Zen spot across from Tyler's), will open next week. To keep up with the latest, keep checking their Facebook page here.  
  • Qdoba is now open in Brier Creek at 8521 Brier Creek Parkway. For those that remember, that is the former Salsarita's Fresh Cantina location.  
  • With just over three years having past since the chain's last Triangle opening, Starbucks is set to open a new store at Six Forks Station in North Raleigh this October. It will be in the former Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant location.  
  • Jet's Pizza, which opened its first two Triangle locations earlier this year, is getting ready to open another location. Jet's has begun the interior construction of its newest location at 6114 Falls of Neuse Road in the North Ridge shopping center in Raleigh.
  • Brookside Market & Deli, near Raleigh's Oakwood neighborhood, opened last month at 1000 Brookside Drive near downtown Raleigh. Brookside Deli offers a variety of Mediterranean food, including hummus, falafel, baba ghanouj, and beef, chicken and lamb shawarma. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • If you live in Knightdale and are looking for a new place to get barbecue, check out the new Dickey's Barbecue Pit which opened this week at 2001 Widewaters Parkway.
  • Rick's Diner & Catering Co. in Durham is growing. Rick's, which recently relocated just down Shannon Road to the Hope Valley Square shopping center, is planning to add another 2,000 square feet to its footprint by expanding into unoccupied space next door.  
  • And over in Garner, The Fuji Japanese Steakhouse at 1571 U.S. 70 next to the Lowe's Home Improvement store is now open for business.
  • The Italian-style Casalinga restaurant that has been operating in Raleigh's Mini City shopping center since 1995 is turning back the clock. Casalinga founders Manny LoGuidice and his sister-in-law Josephine Cappiello are returning to the restaurant's management after several years' absence with most of the old recipes and a few new ones.
  • As noted in the Triangle Business Journal, Foster's in Cameron Village has closed their doors. And rumors on the street indicate that the prime location will soon be occupied by Charlotte's Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. Nope, that's not a typo - sushi and burgers. As soon as that is confirmed, we'll be sure to let you know. This would mark Cowfish's second location.
  • It appears as if Grayson's over in Durham has consolidated all of their operations into their location at the Museum of Life & Science. While I was only able to visually confirm the closing of the Shannon Road location, their website seems to confirm that the museum location is the only remaining operation.
  • We mentioned this several week's ago, but we've got some firm dates now. The Moe's in Cary at the corner of Weston Parkway and Harrison Avenue will close this Monday, (August 15) as they begin their expansion project to more than double their seating space. They plan to re-open the store on Monday, September 5th.
  • The Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, a brewery and tavern, is celebrating their one-year anniversary this Saturday. The celebration runs (officially) from 4 to 8 pm, and will involve the closing of Rigsbee Avenue to allow for the following food trucks (to date): Farmhand Foods' Sausage Wagon; Backyard BBQ Pit; Chirba Chirba Dumplings; Klausie's Pizza; The Parlour; and Cocoa Cinnamon/bike coffee. More information here.  
  • Downtown Raleigh Restaurant week is just a little more than a week away. Over 30 downtown Raleigh restaurants will be offering special prix fixe menus from Aug. 22-28 offering three-course meals for either $20 or $30. And this year, for the first time, many restaurants will offer beer or wine pairings for an additional $10. To see menus and the complete list of restaurants, go here.
  • Tickets for the 2011 World Beer Festival in Durham (October 8, 2011) are now on sale to ther general public. If you want to go, better buy them now. They tend to go fast! 
  • Tribeca Tavern is launching their new brunch menu this weekend at their Raleigh and Cary locations. The new menu is designed with an even greater influence on North Carolina farmer partners. The new menu can be seen here (pdf).    
  • For a limited time, all Triangle locations of Moe's are now offering a new menu item - Taco Stacks. They are packed with your choice of steak, beef or chicken and stacked between two crunchy corn shells and wrapped in a crisped flour tortilla. Did we mention Moe's famous queso is also involved?