Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Fun Food Facts - February 17, 2012

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
  • I'm trying not to drool on my keyboard as I type this, but thanks to the good folks over at Downtown Durham, Inc. we got word this week that Lilly's Pizza (in Raleigh's Five Points area) is planning to open a second location in the old Pop's space, adjacent to Morgan Imports, in downtown Durham. If you have never ventured over to try a pie at Lilly's, you are in for a real treat. Put it on your list!
  • And if that is not enough great news for the Brightleaf shopping district, just this week the much anticipated Respite Café & Coffee Bar opened at 115 N. Duke Street. The café's faire will be sourced as much as possible from local vendors and features Carrboro Coffee Roasters coffee and a wide variety of loose-leaf teas. Stop in and pay them a visit or visit them online here.
  • The N&O reported this week that the Streets at Southpoint Mall in Durham is about to flex its dining muscle with a number of additions to its line-up. First, Chipotle Mexican Grill will move into the Mitchell's Hair Styling location in the lower level. Also, Frozia, a frozen yogurt shop, will move into space being constructed in the lower-level Sears wing. And finally, Charley's Grilled Subs (which used to have a shop on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh) will join the food court serving up made-to-order subs.
  • Also over in Durham, there is a new Mexican eatery called El Coyote just two miles from Hwy. 70 on Hwy 98 at 3801 Wake Forest Road. The initial reviews are that it is well worth the visit. Check them out on Facebook here
  • And before we "leave" Durham, an update to a post in last week's blog - Tom Meyer, the owner of The Q Shack at North Hills in Raleigh, is on the verge of introducing a new concept in the café at the Museum of Life & Science (he hasn't even announced the concept's name yet!). He is currently in a temporary location in the main building offering a light lunch fare, but will take over the café on the museum campus. Expect a diverse menu that will go well beyond barbecue. It will feature local favorites like Locopops, Neomonde and others as well as a menu that is extremely diverse. Many of the offerings will be locally sourced as well as items actually grown on site. Stay tuned, as we know anything Tom does is nothing but good!
  • Over in Raleigh, the Ballymor Irish Pub, which closed right around the first of the year over at 909 Spring Forest Road in Raleigh, has reopened as Saints and Scholars Irish Pub. It appears as if the only major change is ownership, as chef Sean Mullen, who hails from Roscommon, Ireland, remains at the helm serving up authentic Irish food. Check them out on Facebook here (they've got a coupon for a free appetizer!).  or on their regular website here
  • Good news for wing lovers in West Raleigh and Cary. Wild Wing Café will open on March 9th in the former Jack Astor's location on Walnut Street (in the BJ's shopping center). This will be the restaurant's second area location, as the first is at Brier Creek. Check them out here.  
  • Also in Cary, thanks to a tip from my friend Theresa Elek, we got word this week that Gigi's Cupcakes, located in Waverly Place, opened their doors last Friday. This marks the third Triangle-area location for Gigi's. Visit them online here
  • Got a tweet from Carole this week that Sola Coffee, an independent, locally owned coffee shop in the tradition of the European coffee bar culture, is getting set to open in North Raleigh on Lead Mine Road next to the Sawmill Tap Room. Not much on their website yet, but here it is
  • And just when you thought Guglhupf couldn't get any better, we get news this week that executive chef Dave Alworth and restaurant manager Cam Davis, will be leaving for a 'culinary fact-finding trip' to Austria in late February. They'll be in Austria for about 10 days, visiting some great wineries and exploring all things culinary. Can't wait to see what they bring back!
  • According to the N&O's Andrea Weigl, Steven Devereaux Greene has been named executive chef of An restaurant in Cary. Greene has spent the last several years working at Herons, the restaurant at The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary. Still no word on where Michael Chuong, the original executive chef at An, will end up. We'll keep an eye on that.
  • And in surprising news, after only a four-month run, the Sir Pizza in Morrisville has closed. The store was located at the intersection of Davis Drive and McCrimmon Parkway.
  • The World Beer Festival returns to downtown Raleigh's Moore Square on April 14th. Tickets for the festival go on sale Feb. 27 for All About Beer subscribers and to the general public on March 5. Get your tickets here. The festival has two four-hour sessions (noon- 4 pm and 6-10 pm) Admission to a single session is $40 in advance and $50 on the day of the event, if available. VIP tickets are $75 per session and include a World Beer Festival commemorative glass, an upscale food buffet (hot catered meal), a private hospitality area, a separate entrance, private restrooms, a gift bag, and extra special beers not available at the brewers' tables. 
  • Here's a big-time "foodie" event that just keeps getting bigger - the Urban Ministries of Durham Empty Bowls fundraiser. This year's event will be held March 8, from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Armory. The eleven restaurants participating this year will include: Guglhupf, Revolution, L'Uva, Papa Mojo's, Thrills from the Grill, Watts Grocery, Blu Seafood, Whole Foods, Toast, Saladelia Café, and Mad Hatter Café and Bakeshop. This year's event will be complemented by a 'food truck afterparty' at Fullsteam and will feature the following trucks: Pie Pushers, Will & Pops, The Parlour, Chirba Chirba, Klausie's Pizza, Only Burger, and Farmhand Foods Sausage Wagon. Trucks will be ready to serve starting at 7:30 pm and each truck is creating a special dish for the evening that will fit in a bowl.  All of the trucks are donating 10% of their proceeds that night to the event. Tickets for the Armory event are $30 for soup with a pottery bowl to take home or $15 for just soup. The afterparty at Fullsteam is free. Get all the details here.  
  • And this is pretty cool. The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) announced this week that Chris Moutos, a server at Taverna Agora Greek Restaurant & Bar, was named the 2012 Restaurant Employee of Year. It was Moutos' service outside of the restaurant that made NCRLA board members take notice. He serves as chair of the City of Raleigh Human Relations Commission, editor & account manager of The Raleigh Downtowner Magazine and is a member of the steering committee for the Youth Leadership Academy of Wake County. I'd say that guy stays pretty busy! Congrats to Chris.

1 comment:

  1. Joel Lane's has a new head chef: Carlos Burgos. The menu is the same, but he is doing a lot to revamp specials and the usual menu items.