What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Foodie news: Big Biscuit Showdown, PepperFest among upcoming events

Posted July 14
Updated July 26

— Sunday is National Ice Cream Day! And to help you celebrate, popular food truck Two Roosters Ice Cream will open their brick-and-mortar location in North Raleigh’s Greystone Village shopping center (7713 Leadmine Road). The grand opening will be Sunday from 2-7 p.m. They are located in the same shopping center as Gonza Tacos Y Tequila and Sola Coffee.

Two Roosters Ice Cream at the N.C. State Fair

Wake County Restaurant News

Raleigh-based food truck Pho Nomenal Dumpling has opened its brick-and-mortar location, Mofu Shoppe, in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. Located at 321 S. Blount St., the restaurant features an expansive menu of fun takes on Asian street food. The name is a combination of the Mandarin Chinese words Mo (more) and Fu (fortune).

It was announced earlier this week that former AN Asian Cuisine sushi chef Hyun-Woo Kim has been named the new executive chef at popular sushi restaurant SONO in downtown Raleigh. He is joined by general manager James Yang, who joined SONO in 2016 after seven years at AN. Additionally, there has been an extensive menu update and interior redesign. Check out the latest on their website here.

Donovan’s Dish owner Jill Donovan announced the exciting news this week that they will be opening a second location of their Take Out Market. The new location will be in Raleigh’s Brier Creek at 10251 Little Brier Creek Pkwy (near Pei Wei). The Take Out Market features fresh and frozen chef prepared meals to go, hors d'oeuvres, soups, sides, sweets as well as local NC products. They are planning a mid August opening. Check out their original location in downtown Apex. (Editor's note: Order now and you can use code D2DTFG for free delivery!)

In downtown Raleigh, the News & Observer reported that Benny Capitale’s opened this past week at 121 Fayetteville St., in the former Crema coffee shop location. The Virginia-based company specializes in HUGE (28 inches!), but simple pizzas with just a few toppings available. There is also a location in Chapel Hill (Benny Cappella’s).

Somehow I missed the news that Mr. Cool Ice Cream opened in Apex in the Beaver Creek Commons shopping center (1011 Beaver Creek Commons Drive). Not much on their website at this point, but their Facebook page has plenty of pictures to entice you to come out and enjoy a scoop or two!

Reader Heather Knetsch informed us that Thai Lotus opened on July 5 at Millpond Village near the intersection of Ten Ten Road and Kildaire Farm Road. Get all the details and view their menu here.

Also in Cary, Davina Ray and her husband Craig Wishart purchased Mithai House of Indian Desserts, renovated it, and rebranded it as Mithai Indian Café. It is the Carolinas' first and only local artisanal Indian sweet manufacturer. They are located at 744-F East Chatham Street in Cary.

Down in Apex, it was announced this week that Pei Wei will open their newest location at 1107 Pine Plaza Drive in Nichols Plaza on Monday, July 31. They currently have two locations in Raleigh and one in Cary. Check them out here.

And up in Wake Forest, the new Chronic Tacos location will hold their grand opening on Saturday, July 15th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. It is located at 1000 Forestville Road.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Triangle Business Journal reported this week that joining the Target that will open on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street on July 23, will be the dining options of B.Good (the fast-casual, locally-sourced, fresh food restaurant with a location in Morrisville and two locations in Raleigh) and Pizza Press (North Carolina’s first location of the California-based, make-your-own pizza chain). No word yet on either open date.

In Durham, Hope Valley Brewing Company has rebranded itself as Hope Valley Bar & Grill. Along with that comes the hiring of general manager Justin Schilo who has plans to transform the space to become the “Cheers” of Durham.

Also in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill, Marco's Pizza will have their grand opening on Aug. 6 in the space in front of Harris Teeter where Fig & Honey used to be. From 1 to 4 p.m. they will have free pizza samples, DJ, face painting and other children's activities.


Colleague Glenn Gillen notified me that Amante Pizza on South Roxboro Street in Durham has closed.

Got word from reader Craig Zeni that the Dickey’s BBQ in Cary’s Crossroads shopping center has closed. It was confirmed by Yelp and that they are no longer listed on the site.

Food Trucks

Food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back in full gear (Durham has one this Sunday!). Get a list of participating trucks for Durham here and for Raleigh here.

Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo

The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town on July 23 from noon to 4 p.m. at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl, and the kids can have fun in the Kid's Zone that will include free face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun.


This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings.

The 16th Annual Acme Tomato Festival is almost here - July 14-16. It's Acme's yearly deep-fried, wide-eyed, rarified, and, oh yes, justified belly-flop into the outright deliciousness that is summer. Over the festival weekend, they'll go through some 700 pounds of tomatoes. And please don't think for a moment that these are any old tomatoes. No way, José. These are the Carrboro Farmers Market's finest.

Coon Rock Farm

The Rickhouse will host Durham's 3rd Annual PickleFest on Sunday, July 23 - a pickle-packed tasting event and market place showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi. Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips. Only 100 VIP tickets available for early bird entry at Noon! $15 VIP includes: (1) drink ticket, early entry and the thrilling announcement of the home pickler contest winner!! $5 General Admission Session 1 from 1 - 3pm; Session 2 from 2 - 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free.

The Second Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will take place on July 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Rickhouse in downtown Durham. This unique food competition features 12 teams of Rise chefs partnered with a local brewery or beverage company. Each team will prepare a special biscuit and donut that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage.

This is my annual shout-out/reminder to my good buddy Tim CoyneSmith - tickets are on sale now to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival being held again this year at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater on July 28 and 29. Basically it is two days of beer sippin', bourbon tastin', music listenin', and barbeque eatin'.

The Raleigh Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event will be held this year at NC State Fairgrounds in the Kerr Scott building on August 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh's historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the "People's' Choice" awards, while the judges will select the Chef of the Year and the Pastry Chef of the Year.

The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival go on sale tomorrow (July 15 at 10 a.m.). Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers.

Pittsboro's annual PepperFest will be held on September 24 at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Right now they are seeking chefs and food artisans to participate. June 20 is the application deadline.

Terra Vita

Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don't want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! Trust me. And get your tickets early! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival, scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale. It will sell out.

Food Bank Corner

Nearly 300,000 children in the Food Bank's 34 counties rely on the free and reduced-cost meals at school to get them through the day. For them, summertime doesn't mean a fun-filled vacation. For them, no school means no meals. Stop Summer Hunger is the Food Bank's annual initiative to provide additional food to feed these children and their families during this season of increased need. For example, a donation of $35 will feed a child for two months, a donation of $75 will feed a family of four for one month and a donation of $150 will feed a family of four for two months. Help reach the goal of 3.4 million meals before July 31 and ensure that children will receive the daily, nutritious meals they need to grow healthy and strong!

Sean Lennard covers the Triangle food scene on his site Triangle Food Blog.


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