are getting down to the wire and it is time to cast your vote. And as
you can see, we’re not bashful about asking for your vote for Best Local Blog. If you have a moment, please take an opportunity to give us a nod in that category - it is very much appreciated. Voting ends soon, so vote early...and often.
- A huge tip of the hat goes out to renowned Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen (Poole’s Diner, Beasley’s, Chuck’s and Fox Liquor Bar and the soon to re-open and be renamed, Wilmoore Cafe) who has been named one of five finalists for the James Beard Foundation's award for "Best Chef in the Southeast." This is a huge honor for Christensen. I know who is getting my vote! (not that I get to vote, but...). See all her concepts here.
- A big move for Cary’s Hotpoint Deli is now complete according to the N&O’s Greg Cox. They have moved just around the corner to the former Waffle House building on Walnut Street - 1718 Walnut Street. You’ll be glad to know all your favorites survived the move. Check them out here.
- And somewhat related, Greg Cox is also reporting that Steve Jones and Sharon Rhue have opened Black Cat Café (former Hot Point Café) at 4209 Lassiter Mill Road in the North Hills development. The move from Hot Point to Black Cat reflects their transition to a menu that keeps the old favorites, but adds more vegetarian options, gluten-free options and an emphasis on local produce. Get all the details here.
- Raleigh’s Crystal Palace re-opened this past week as Capital Buffet and is now serving up a very diverse buffet that features low country, New Orleans and classic southern cuisine. In addition to the daily buffet, they will soon be adding a Sunday brunch. Get all the details here.
- We told you last week that the old Steak 'n Shake in Wake Forest was being converted into a new concept. Thanks to a tip from reader Ryan Harrison, we learned that it will become a new concept called Sports Corner. No word yet on an open date.
- Triangle Business Journal’s Amanda Jones Hoyle is reporting that two new restaurant options are opening soon in Triangle Town Center’s food court - Charley’s Steakery and Little Tokyo. No word yet on an opening date for either.
tip this week from one of my favorite sources (who has to remain
anonymous from time to time) revealed that downtown Raleigh’s Oakwood Café is for sale. Not sure what the timeline is, but if you are interested, here is the Craigslist posting.
- According to the Herald Sun, Seth Gross, owner of downtown Durham’s Bull City Burger and Brewery, is planning a second restaurant called Pompieri Pizza at 102 City Hall Plaza (that’s the old fire house next to Dos Perros). Not much going on on their website yet.
- Ownership changes are underway at Durham’s Reu Cler according to the N&O’s Andrea Weigl. It was originally founded by Chris Stinnett and John Vandergrift (who also own Pop's in Durham and started Pop's Back Door). With the news that Vandergrift is moving to Texas, they are selling Reu Cler to Vandergrift’s older brother, Nathan Vandergrift, and Wes Rountree, partners in Cave Taureau, a wine store in downtown Durham. Stinnet will move over to focus solely on Pop’s.
- The Herald-Sun's Laura Oleniacz noted this week that The Saucy Crab has opened on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard in the former location of The Fish House. Under the same ownership (Charles Tirada who also owns Sushi Blues and Shaba Shabu in Raleigh), this concept brings a west coast flair to Durham. Get more details here.
- We got word this week that Kildare’s on West Franklin Street closed just days before St. Patrick’s Day. Apparently the nearly two year construction of the new development at 140 W. Franklin Street (which opens next month) cut into too much of their foot traffic and parking. Sorry to see them go.
- We got word this week from the folks over at WRAL that popular baker Chez Moi is launching a food truck (ok, really it is a cake truck) this Saturday! Am I dreaming? Nope! It will be at Full Steam in Durham this Saturday, March 23rd beginning at 5:30 p.m. Beer and cake? I really must be dreaming. Look for rum, vodka, bourbon and tequila cakes along with some of their cakes offered as ice cream sandwiches. Get more details here.
- The first food truck rodeo at Fairview Garden Center in Raleigh is just around the corner. The first will be held on Saturday, March 30, followed by two more on April 20 and May 11. Each event will feature 4-5 food trucks. Fairview is located at 8224 Holly Springs Road in Raleigh. Get all the details here.
- Can you say Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo? Can you say four dates? Can you envision food trucks lined up the length of 3 football fields down Fayetteville Street? Mark your calendars for May 12th, June 9th, August 11th and October 13th. On those dates, they’ll start lining them up at the State Capital on Fayetteville Street (single file) and stretch out...forever! And, with electricity provided, no generators! Get all the details here.
- Do a little good and enjoy a sub - all in one day! Mark your calendar for March 27th when all Triangle locations of Jersey Mike’s will donate 100% of the day’s sales to the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research. Find a location and get all the details here.
- The folks over at Raleigh’s Q Shack and Big Boss Brewing have teamed up for an event that is no joke. On April Fools Day (April 1st) they will host a Beer Dinner featuring seven beers and a four-course dinner at Big Boss Brewing. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Get all the details here.
- You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream...and even better, free ice cream! That’s right, April 9th is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s. Mark your calendar now and plan a visit to your nearest location in Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill.
- The good people over at Guglhuph are hosting another of their extremely popular Winemaker Dinners. This one is on April 11th and features Annegret Reh-Gartner of Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt. Additional information can be found here. This will sell-out, so act now.
- Spring is in the air, which means it is getting closer to one of my favorite events of the year - the 18th Annual Piedmont Farm Tour. Get ready to load up the car with your family and/or all your friends and spend the weekend touring our local farms. Mark your calendar now for April 27th and 28th. Get all the details here.
- Hold the date for the annual Wake Tech Culinary Arts Showcase which will be held this year on April 30th from 4-7 p.m. at the Raleigh Convention Center. Get all the initial details here.
- Thanks to a tip in the Herald-Sun, we learned that Durham will have its first Louisiana seafood festival when the Bayou Festival Tour comes to town on April 20. It will be held at from noon to 8 p.m. at the CCB Plaza downtown. The festival is slated to include seafood, beer and beer samples. And it will return again, to Raleigh, on October 5th. Get all the details here.
- The annual event that celebrates locally brewed craft beer, Brewgaloo, will take place this year on April 27th on downtown Raleigh City Plaza. The event will feature local breweries and food trucks (what else could a person want?). Get all the details on their Faceook page here.
- The Morrisville Chamber of Commerce recently announced a food and arts festival that will be held along Town Hall Drive on May 18th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Called East Meets West, the event will feature Morrisville-area restaurants, music, performances and a variety of visual arts. Get it on your calendar and get all the details here.
- The 2013 version of Farm to Fork will take place on Sunday, June 9th. The annual picnic celebrates local food and local farms. Get all the details here.
- Brace yourself, there will be NO Friday Fun Food Facts next week. Happy Easter everyone! See you in April!