Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Fun Food Facts - October 12, 2012

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler. 
  • How can you not begin this week’s edition without talking about the NC State Fair! And I’m proud to say that “food” is usually topic ‘numero uno’ in conversations concerning the fair - Yea Food! So this year things are easier for you with the new Food Finder at the State Fair’s website as well as a complete list of all the new foods. And to make things even better, you can visit the fair for FREE on your lunch hour. Get all the details here.   
  • I get asked all the time on the exact dates on openings of restaurants. Here’s a quick update on four of the “most anticipated openings.” In Raleigh, the Yard House opens this Sunday (Oct. 14) in the CapTrust Tower at North Hills. Last night Tobacco Road Sports Café in Chapel Hill’s East 54 held a “sneak peek” event and hinted that they would be open before the end of the month. Further down 54 over in Durham, the newest location of WhichWich is within a week of opening. And we got word that the newest Chipotle, in Morrisville’s Park West Village, will open next Tuesday, October 16th.
  • In the rumor file this week we turn to my buddy Dana McCall, creator of the blog GoGoRaleigh, who reported this week that a bird told him George Bakatsias’ restaurant group will be opening a Greek restaurant in Chapel Hill in the former Pyewacket space on W. Franklin Street in The Courtyard (which is now under new ownership). We’ll keep up with Dana and keep an eye on this one as it unfolds. 
  • See if you can Top This! That’s right, the Triangle is getting ready to experience what hopes to be the next burger chain to hit America. It looks like we are just days away from the first location of Top This! Roast Beef, Burgers and More, a joint that gives you “8 proteins” to choose from and over 50 different toppings to create your own masterpiece. The first location will be in Raleigh near the intersection of Blue Ridge Road and Lake Boone Trail in the former Artirum Garden/Blue Point Café location. The next location, which will open at the end of October/first of November, will be in the Jack Sprat location (which closed last week) on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street.
  • Got word this week that the first of three Triangle locations of Firewurst will open next month in the Shoppes of Kildaire (i.e. Trader Joe’s shopping center) over in Cary (in the former NY Bagel location). The concept features grilled sausages and hot dogs.  Look for two additional Triangle area locations to quickly follow. We’ll keep an eye on it for you. Get all the details here
  • Thanks to the keen eyes of Kim over at Triangle Localista, we now know that there is a new Indian restaurant coming into Grace Park in Morrisville called 5 Hot Chillies. No word yet on an open date, but renovation is under way. 
  • Over in Cary, this week saw the opening of Doherty's Irish Pub, which is located in the Lowes Foods shopping plaza near the intersection of Davis Drive and High House Road (1979 High House Road). It is in the former spot of Connolly's Irish Pub. Thanks to Carissa Johnson for the heads-up on this one. Get more details here  
  • As of last week, Durham has a new pizza option. Pizzeria Toro is now open in downtown Durham's Five Points area at 105 E. Chapel Hill Street. Chef-owner Gray Brooks operates the restaurant with his wife, Cara Stacy, and Jay Owens. Be sure to check them out here.  
  • There is soon to be a new seafood option over in Raleigh. We were notified this week that Ocean Reef Seafood is scheduled to open just outside the beltline at 3645 New Bern Avenue. We don’t have too many more details, but here is a link to their website.
  • I’m especially excited about this, because it is close to my abode, but Caffe Dolce, a specialty coffee kiosk located in Cole Park Plaza on 15-501 just south of Chapel Hill, is now open. I stopped by this week and it was delicious! Check them out on Facebook here.  
  • And if you subscribe, like I do, to Bill Cosby’s belief that cake makes for a perfectly suitable square meal, then you’ll be happy to learn there is a new cake “shop” in Durham called CakeMobile. Quite simply, it is cakes made from scratch to your specifications and then delivered to your door. Does life get any better? Get all the details here.
  • Speaking of Durham, they are hosting a food truck rodeo of sorts this Sunday (Oct. 14) from 6-8 pm called “Trucks from the Market.” It is a rodeo with a twist. The first difference is that this event is a fundraiser. The second twist is that it is a “ticketed” event, guaranteeing you a taste from every truck there (only 100 tickets will be sold). So for $50, you get a taste of food from all 13 trucks and 2 Carolina Brewery beers. Participating trucks include Only Burger, Pie Pushers, Triangle Raw Foods, Chick-N-Que, Mama Duke's, Sympathy for the Deli, Porchetta, KoKyu BBQ, American Meltdown, Farmhand Foods, Monuts Donuts, The Parlour and Daisy Cakes. Get all the details here.
  • And if your favorite food truck isn’t there, it is likely they are across town at Wheels Fun Park which is hosting a food truck rodeo from 11 a.m. ‘til 4 p.m. featuring: The Humble Pig, Pie Pushers, Porchetta RDU, Big City Sandwiches, The Ice Cream Parlour, Captain Ponchos Taco Truck, American Meltdown, Crossroads Kettle Corn, Fahsyrah's Lemonade, CJ's Street Food Dog Cart, Rising Dragon Sushi, Roll Dogs Express Italian Ice & Pretzels, Quick Lunch Rico Taco...and more! Get all the details here
  • Not that I catch every thing, but I couldn’t help but notice a new food truck in that line-up - Rising Dragon Sushi. Don’t know much else at this point, but I think it is about time we got sushi on wheels. Might trek on over there just to check that out.
  • It is with sadness that I inform you that a notice went out last week that The Reliable Cheese Company will close its doors next Friday, October 19th. Here is the full note on their closing
  • The area’s largest and most popular foodie event is just a few weeks away! The Terra Vita Food & Wine Event is being held over 3 days and will feature 4 different events culminating with the “headline act” being the Grand Tasting on the Green on Saturday, November 3rd from 1-4:30 p.m. Folks, you don’t want to miss these events (they are selling out!). Here is a great article in Chapel Hill Magazine that has all the details and all the links you need. 
  • Tickets for the Competition Dining Series’ Final Fire, Battle of Champions, went on sale last night, and within a matter of minutes, it sold out! That said, there are just a few tickets remaining for the “semi-final” rounds on November 15 & 16 at the Renaissance North Hills Hotel. But don’t sit on your hands (in fact, by the time you read this, those might be sold out). Check it out here.
  • Tomorrow (October 13th) is the Glenwood South Global Fare which is taking place from noon to 6 pm. It is a street festival showcasing the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Glenwood South, including an Iron Chef cooking competition. Get more information here.
  • Dock to Door Seafood and The Wine Feed are proud to host a family-friendly seafood and wine festival - Hook + Vine this Sunday (October 14th) at 4 p.m.  It is a celebration of North Carolina seafood and complementary wines. The event will feature the cooking of Mandolin, PoshNosh, Battistella's, and Sarah Cecilia Good Food Co. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The 5th Annual Pittsboro Pepper Festival is from 3-7 pm this Sunday (Oct. 14) at Briar Chapel Community Park. Eight local farms will be providing mild and hot peppers for more than 30 chefs, caterers and other food artisans who will be serving samples. Featured restaurants include 18 Seaboard, Herons and La Residence. Tickets are $30 until Saturday and $35 on the day of the event. Proceeds benefit the Abundance Foundation. To purchase tickets and for more information, go here.
  • Looks like Natty Green’s is hosting a Fall Beer Dinner on October 24th. The cost is $40 and includes dinner and tastings of five beers. The other good news is that they have a new and very talented chef who will showcase his “goods” at this event. Get more details here.
  • Fuquay-Varina Downtown is hosting their 10th annual Downtown Chili Cook-off on Saturday, October 27th. If you are interested in the cooking challenge and showing the public what kind of Chili you are famous for creating, simply enter the event by downloading the rules and entry form here. The Chili Cook-Off entry deadline is October 19th at 5 pm.  
  • During the week of October 29th through November 3rd, you are encouraged to take your taste buds on a tour around the globe, but you only have to go as far as North Hills over in Raleigh. Called Taste of North Hills, 11 restaurants will offer 3 courses at prices ranging from $15 to $30 per person. Get all the details and a complete list of restaurants here.
  • Another not-to-miss event is an event put on by the Lucy Daniels Center called Expressions. This event will be hosted by The Umstead Hotel and Spa on November 9, 2012 and will feature the Umstead’s executive chef Scott Crawford, pastry chef Daniel Benjamin, and two guest chefs. Sponsorships and individual tickets for Expressions are available now. Visit here or call 919-677-1400 to learn more.
  • And finally, if you’ve been in any retail store lately, you know it is not too early to start getting in the “holiday” mood. An event that will certainly do that is the 10th annual Gingerbread Benefit that will be held on Thursday, November 29th at The Umstead Hotel in Cary. Get your tickets and all the details here.

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