Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Fun Food Facts - December 16, 2011

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
  • According to the TBJ, the Triangle is getting its first Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery in North Raleigh this spring, just down the street from like-minded Hooters. Tilted Kilt is a Celtic-themed restaurant and bar that "caters to a male demographic." And before I get into any more trouble with the wife, they do have burgers, pizza, sandwiches, wraps and salads - so I've heard. It is expected to open in March, just in time for March Madness. Not that I'll ever go, but it will be located at 4516 Falls of Neuse Road in the Falls Center shopping center, in the stand-alone building adjacent to Carolina Ale House (the building that has housed a Cooker restaurant, Taste of Thai and the Japan Inn restaurant). I don't think I'll provide a link...
  • Through his GoGoRaleigh site my buddy Dana McCall announced this week that Vesuvio's, a casual Italian restaurant, will open in North Raleigh's Peachtree Market in the space formerly occupied by Bear Rock Café (and before that, Atlanta Bread Co.).  Look or a springtime opening. In the meantime, visit their website here.
  • Videri Chocolate Factory opened this past Thursday at 327 W. Davie St., in the Depot Station across from The Pit barbecue restaurant. Videri offers up homemade chocolate bars made from organic cocoa beans, organic cocoa butter and organic sugar. Starr Sink and her husband Sam Ratto are behind the factory. It is open from noon to 10 pm Thursday through Sunday. Get more information here. Or here on their Facebook page.
  • Neomode will open its new North Raleigh Mediterranean/Lebanese eatery next week. The cafe and market will open in the Harvest Plaza shopping center at Strickland and Six Forks roads. Neomonde's other Triangle locations are on Beryl Road in Raleigh and Chapel Hill Road in Morrisville.  Visit them online here.  Or visit their Facebook page here.     
  • Today is the first full day for Alvin Cotto's latest venture - Bistro 155 in Apex (near the intersection of US 1 and Hwy. 55). Many of you know Alvin from his successful catering operation - We Cook For You (you can order from them here). Bistro 155 is located at 1402 E. William St. in the location that used to house Ocean Stars Seafood Restaurant. Congrats to Alvin and his team! Drop them a note on Facebook here.
  • We told you about this a few weeks ago, but the owners of ShabaShabu in Durham have converted that space and opened it as Fish House - a fish house and wine bar. It is located at 4020 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. directly across from Spartacus Restaurant.
  • Randy's Pizza is opening its 6th Triangle location this Saturday with a grand opening from 11 to 4. Look for free slices of pizza and soda as well as drawings for tons of cool prizes. The newest location is in the Alexander Village Plaza, at 2121 T.W. Alexander Drive, near Brier Creek. Visit them on Facebook here.  Or visit their website here.
  • The Triangle's newest food truck hits the streets today (December 16th). Baguettaboutit will launch at Golden Belt in Durham as part of Third Friday. These sausages are inserted into a freshly baked French baguettes along with your choice of 8 unique sauces. Golden Belt is located at 807 East Main Street, Durham, NC 27701. For more information, visit them online. or follow them on Twitter @baguettaboutit.
  • And speaking of food trucks, and lots of food trucks, coming up tomorrow (December 17) from noon until 6 pm is the Rock & Shop Market. It's a huge urban craft fair featuring 110 vendors selling their handmade goods, 2 bands playing, a DJ, a fashion show, and a food truck rodeo of sorts to boot. This year's event will be held at three adjacent venues in Durham - Motorco Music Hall, FullSteam Brewery, and the Trotter Building. The list of trucks slated to be there includes: Chirba Chirba; KoKyu BBQ; Parlour; Pie Pushers; Old North State BBQ; Will & Pop's; BikeCoffee; Only Burger; Klausie's Pizza; and Slippin Sliders. The trucks will be parked outside of Motorco and FullSteam. Admittance to the event costs $5. This will get you into the three venues to shop, see the bands, hear the DJ, see the fashion show, etc. Access to the food trucks is of course free. For additional information, directions, and details, go here.  
  • The Chick-fil-A at North Hills is turning 7 and they want you to celebrate with them today (December 16)! They will have a variety of activities throughout the day. Lots of activities for the kids, including appearances by Cow Santa! For all the details of the day, visit the restaurant's Facebook page or their website here. 
  • Western Wake Farmers' Market holds its pre-Christmas Market from 3-6 p.m. Dec. 22, featuring locally grown produce, meat, eggs, honey, coffee, breads, sweets, crafts and more. The market is on Morrisville Carpenter Road between Davis Drive and Highway 55 in Carpenter Village.
  • Vivace at North Hills will offer "La Vigilia," a seven-course seafood menu with optional wine pairings, at dinner during the week leading up to Christmas. It's the restaurant's observation of an Italian Christmas Eve tradition in which diners await the midnight birth of Jesus. The number of courses varies from city to city in Southern Italy. Details and reservations.
  • And finally, looking to eat out on Christmas Day? The News & Observer has you covered with this handy, dandy list. Check it out here.

And with that, I say goodbye to 2011. Hard to believe and what an amazing year it has been. But there is no rest for the weary here (not that I'm weary, but that is the saying...) as I will be reworking A LOT of menus on our site, adding new restaurants and caterers, and revamping this very blog during the holiday break. So, many, many, many thanks to all of you, and to all...a good night! See you in 2012!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Fun Food Facts - December 9, 2011

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
  • Downtown Raleigh has landed a new quick Asian restaurant for the "little pod" (one of four) located on Fayetteville Street formerly occupied by Krispy Kreme. Fire Wok will be a Chinese food option featuring hibachi-grilled dishes, sushi and teriyaki. It is expected to open in early 2012. The same family owns Vic's Ristorante Italiano in City Market and La Volta Italiano in the Progress Energy building - both in downtown Raleigh.  
  • Chocoholics unite! It was just announced this week that Videri Chocolate Factory will be swinging open their doors next Thursday, December 15th! Videri is located in the heart of downtown in the historic Depot Station, across from The Pit. Visit their Facebook page here or their website here. Look out Hershey, PA - you ain't got nothing on us! 
  • The owners of ShabaShabu have closed down the Durham location (Raleigh remains open) and will quickly convert that restaurant into The Fish House, a restaurant and wine bar serving primarily grilled fish such as swordfish, salmon, tilapia and tuna. The restaurant is located at 4020 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. No open date is set, but they are hiring, so it will be soon.  
  • Got word this week from our friends over at Carpe Durham that there will be a new coffee shop coming to the RTP area. Koinonia Coffee House will be opening soon at 2945 Miami Blvd. in RTP. Get more details here.
  • Also in Durham, my buddy Chris Duke (owner of Anna's Gourmet Goodies) shared with me that a new comfort food restaurant called Big Daddy's Grill has opened in downtown Durham at 608 N. Mangum Street (near the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau).
  • With winter upon us and things getting colder, the food truck scene in the Triangle is heating up! (Thanks again to Mary-Ann Baldwin!) The first is Sarge's Chef on Wheels brought to us by Janet & Julius West, a husband and wife chef team. They describe their cuisine as down-home cooking with an Asian/Caribbean Flair. Sign me up! Visit them here.   
  • Also coming on the food truck scene later this month will be Baguettaboutit (get it?) food truck which will feature European-style sausage sandwiches across the Triangle. Visit them here. 
  • And this isn't exactly food-truck news, but is just as sweet. There is a "new kid" in town popping up at various venues tempting your dessert palette - Whoopie Squares. Intrigued? Think large, square oreo cookie, but 100 times better. They are a handcrafted gourmet snack with fluffy filling sandwiched between two cake-like cookies. Operating out of The Cookery in Durham, find out here when you can give one a try
  • According to one of our readers, it appears as if Dogs and Something Else (yes, that is/was the name) has closed. The fast food restaurant served up Venezuelan style meals up at13200 New Falls of the Neuse Road in Raleigh.
  • And I know you are trying to think of what you can get that special person (or yourself for that matter) for the holidays. Well, the good folks over at Chapel Hill Magazine have put together a great list of cookbooks by local chefs - including Andrea Reusing, Bill Smith, Bill Neal, Mildred Council, Sara Foster and more. Check it out here. And to make it even better, a handful of these chefs will be on hand at A Southern Season in University Mall in Chapel Hill this Friday and Saturday where you can actually get a copy of their cookbook signed! Here is a link to their website and the schedule of book signings.   
  • Guglhupf Bakery, Patisserie and Cafe in Durham is holding its annual German Christmas Market from 10 am to 4 pm this Saturday (December 10th). It's a version of the Weihnachts Market so popular in German villages, where folks can get a bite to eat while they enjoy music, kids' activities and holiday shopping. Guglhupf Bakery, Patisserie and Cafe is located at 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. For information, visit them here.  
  • Here is another opportunity for you to pick up some locally made and crafted goodies for that "foodie" on your list - the St. Thomas More Christmas Holiday Shoppe. The craft show will feature over sixty artisans and crafters. The show is on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 9 am to 4 pm at 920 Carmichael St. in Chapel Hill. Admission is free.
  • So, if you haven't planned out your Saturday yet - hit the St. Thomas More Christmas Holiday Shoppe, then swing by A Southern Season (just a mile away), and then head straight down 15-501 into Durham and hit Guglhupf Bakery!
  • And finally, something to get on your calendar as well. The Western Wake Farmers' Market will hold its pre-Christmas Market from 3-6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, featuring locally grown produce, meat, eggs, honey, coffee, breads, sweets, crafts and more. The market is on Morrisville Carpenter Road  between Davis Drive and Highway 55 in Carpenter Village. Get more information here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Fun Food Facts - December 2, 2011

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
  • Bull Street Gourmet & Market, which originally opened on Bull Street in Charleston, S.C. has opened their third location, not on Bull Street, but in the Bull City. This location is on Shannon Road in Durham, in the same strip center with Pops Backdoor, Rick's Diner, Tutti Frutti and Only Burger's brick and mortar location. Visit them online here.     
  • Gonza Tacos y Tequila is now officially open. They opened this week in the former Savoy location in Greystone Village in North Raleigh. To keep up with all they have going on, visit their Facebook page here
  • We told you two weeks ago to look for a Thanksgiving week opening for Mandolin, and Sean and his team kept their word opening on November 23rd at the corner of Fairview and Oberlin in Raleigh. And contrary to popular belief, there is plenty of parking. Check out their website for details or visit their Facebook page here.
  • A new bakery opened in downtown Durham this past week at 111 W. Parrish Street. Loaf is the storefront from Ron Graff and his wife Jamie, who have set up the stand with the same name at the Durham Farmer's Market every Saturday for the past few years. Loaf's hours aren't set in stone yet, but we've heard they would be open 7am-7pm Monday-Saturday.
  • Einstein's Bros. Bagels has opened a location in Durham on Erwin Road (3000 Erwin Road to be exact) near the Lenox Baker Children's Hospital. Visit them online here
  • Last week Glenwood South got a little sweeter with the opening of Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt shop. It is located at 222 Glenwood Avenue near Glenwood's intersection with Lane. Learn more about Tutti Frutti here.  
  • Jake's Way Back Burgers has opened a second Durham location - with this one being in the food court at Northgate Mall. The other Durham location is off of Miami Blvd. next to the new WalMart and Sam's Club (near the 540 interchange). Jake's also has a location in Mebane at the Tanger Mall Outlet.
  • We told you back in September that Vin Rouge owner, Matthew Kelly, was putting together the financing to open a Spanish-inspired tapas bar and restaurant called Restaurant Mateo. Well, it looks like everything came together and he will soon be opening near Vin Rouge at 109 W. Chapel Hill Street (the former Book Exchange location) in downtown Durham. If his plans continue to come together, look for a springtime opening. We'll keep an eye on it.
  • The Diner, which opened in January, 2010, closed their doors last week to walk-in customers. Their catering operation continues (you can order catering here) as Niall Hanley looks for a new owner of that spot in the popular Glenwood South district. Also, all outstanding Diner gift cards will be honored at Hibernian Restaurant & Pub, just down the street at 311 Glenwood Avenue. In addition to Hibernian, Hanley also owns Solas Raleigh.
  • And folks over in Cary are going to have to find a new place to get their morning mocha, as we learned about two weeks ago that It's a Grind (in the Cornerstone Shopping Center at the intersection of High House and Davis) surprisingly closed their doors. However, the Raleigh location on Falls of the Neuse Road in the Quail Corners Shopping Center remains open.
  • And I don't know when this happened (it could have been a while, as I had almost forgotten they were there), but the Bear Rock Café up on Six Forks Road across from Six Forks Station is no longer operational. Bear Rock continues, however, to do well at the original location on Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh, the store in Morrisville and the newest location over in Durham.
  • Here is the latest "rumor" running around the food scene right now. So you remember Chip & Tina Smith, the chef/owners of Bonne Soiree Restaurant that closed this last May over in Chapel Hill? After closing, they moved to New York, but have been coming back down periodically and doing dinners at The Inn at Celebrity Dairy in Siler City (the last one of the year is coming up. Sign up here). Well, word on the street is that fans of Bonne Soiree have convinced them to come back to North Carolina permanently. This will be a fun story to watch in early 2012. Stay tuned.
  • One of the region's premier fine dining destinations has received its first five-star rating from the 2012 Forbes Travel Guide. Herons, the restaurant at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, received the top honor after earning four stars from Forbes in each of the past four years. Herons is one of 25 restaurants worldwide and the only one in North Carolina to receive Forbes' five-star rating for 2012. Congrats to Scott Crawford and his team.
  • A new cook-off challenge will entice barbecue fanatics today (Dec. 2) when Historic City Market and Big Ed's host City Market Pig Wars in downtown Raleigh. Four professional and non-professional teams will face off in this new First Friday event. Eating will commence at 5:30 and will be complemented by live music and support for the Easter Seals. Get more information here.  
  • Congrats to Chef Greg Lewis and his team over at Catering by Design as they were awarded the Best Caterer in the Triangle by The Knot (a wedding resource website) and their Best of Weddings Awards for 2012. If you'd like to order their catering, you can do so here.
  • And we couldn't conclude without some gift giving ideas for this season for the "foodie" on your list. First up, the News &Observer has put together a great list of gift ideas. Check it out here.
  • And if you are looking to give a cookbook as a gift (or suggest it to your loved ones as a gift to you!), be sure to check out the one by Andrea Reusing (Lantern) entitled, "Cooking in the Moment". It just made it onto the NY Times Notable Cookbooks list. As an added bonus, you can get it signed by Andrea herself at A Southern Season over in Chapel Hill on December 10th from noon until 2 pm. Here is the Southern Season Facebook page.