Raleigh, N.C. — Ok, who is ready to expand their dining palate and try something fun, spontaneous and a little bit different? If you raised your hand, you’ll want to set any alarm you have for today, Sept. 4, at noon - That is when tickets go on sale for the next Snap Pea Underground Dinner. The next ones (two nights) will be at a secret location on Sept, 18 and 19 somewhere in Durham. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Also, trust me, tickets will sell out in a matter of hours. Here's all you need to know to get tickets and to get on their mailing list. Remember, noon today!
Wake County News
Today (Sept. 4) the newest “movie and dinner concept” Cinebistro opens in Cary’s Waverly Place. In addition to the movies, it features a chef-run kitchen offering creative American Bistro cuisine and full in-theater service. And it is available to you whether you are joining them for a movie or not.
Also in Cary, my buddy David McCreary (aka Lunchboy Says) informed me this week that Chipotle Mexican Grill is coming to Cary's Crossroads Shopping Center in the former Taqueria Del Sol spot. We’ll keep an eye on it. Thanks David!
The News & Observer was the first to report this week that Song Choe has opened Golden Pig, a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of her native Korea, in Cary at 815 W. Chatham St. We couldn’t find a website, but the initial reviews on Yelp are extremely strong!
And staying in Cary, we got word this week from Diane Pisano that East Garden Restaurant is “Coming Soon” to the same strip center on Walnut Street as the recently opened Egg & I. No word yet on an open date, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
Over in Wake Forest, Gooey's American Grille officially opened on Aug. 17 at 950 Gateway Commons Circle.
Just up the road in Rolesville, owner Vanessa Minopoli opened Bakery La Dolce Vitaz last Saturday at 112 Southtown Circle. The bakery offers a tasty assortment of pastries, muffins, croissants, danishes, black and whites and other baked goods.
Also in Rolesville, folks that once brought us Cannizzaro’s (Alex & Gina Cannizzaro), have returned to the Rolesville food scene with a concept called Pie-Zano’s located at 252 Southtown Circle. From what we are hearing, the menu is nearly identical to Cannizzaro’s).
Over in Holly Springs, the Triangle Business Journal reported that Mama Bird's Cookies & Cream, a old-fashioned mobile ice cream and cookie cart, is opening a permanent shop at 501 Raleigh St.
And finally, a big congratulations to Raleigh’s Clouds Brewing, the cool self-pour brew house (with great food too!) at 126 N. West St. in downtown Raleigh, as they celebrate their one-year anniversary with a big party on Sept.12. But they are not resting on their laurels...just the opposite. By year’s end, they should have their new brewery location (a 15 barrel brewery) open in north Raleigh. And they just announced that they have signed a letter of intent to open location number two in Brightleaf Square off Main Street in downtown Durham. I’ll drink to that! Cheers!
Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News
The Daily Tar Heel broke the news this week that the space formerly occupied by Caribou Coffee on West Franklin Street (right in front of He’s Not Here) will become the newest Moe’s Southwest Grill. They are looking to open in early November.
Help Nzinga’s Café celebrate their first anniversary by enjoying a free waffle anytime today (Sept. 4) from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. They are located in the Phoenix Crossing shopping center at at 826 Fayetteville St. Nzinga’s Cafe is in-town Durham’s newest breakfast/brunch cafe.
Got word from Jennifer Solomon that Hillsborough is getting a new meat market called Bacon's. It will be located at the corner of N. Churton and Corbin Street. We will keep an eye on it...mmmmm....bacon.
Saw on Yelp that Ponysaurus Brewing Co. is a matter of weeks away from opening their Taproom (located on the corner of Hood and Ramseur St in Durham). The space is east of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and will feature a bar and patio with a two story deck and room to host food trucks.
Got word from reader Lisabeth Lee that The Cary Cafe located in a shopping center at the corner of Harrison and Maynard has closed. Word on the street is they are looking for a new location. We will keep you posted.
Got word from John Huisman that the Sal’s Pizza in Durham (on Highway 55 near the intersection with Highway 54) is closing their doors on Sept. 11. There is still time to get by and get one more pie before Joe rides off into retirement!
And we learned that, after opening in June, 2014, Cary’s Tribute Pizza, over in MacGregor Village, has closed their doors.
The newest food truck on the scene in the Triangle comes from the folks at Rare Earth Farms. They grow the beef locally on their farm and serve that from the food truck. And I hear the fries are pretty good as well. You can find them parked behind C. Grace (407 Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh).
Also, John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) informed me about the fact that every Thursday from September through November, the Town of Knightdale is hosting "Food Truck Thursdays" with a new food truck scheduled each week. The weekly truck will be parked at Knightdale Station Park near the amphitheater each Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Plan on heading over to Durham this Sunday (Sept. 6th) for their huge food truck rodeo at Durham Central Park. This one will be from noon until 4 p.m.
For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art Sheppard's page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.
Tickets have gone on sale for one of the biggest foodie events around - the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival, which will be held in Chapel Hill Oct. 8-10. It simply can't be missed.
Tickets are on sale now for Beericana, a craft beer and music festival in Holly Springs on Sept. 12. Beericana is in its second year and all signs point to it being even better than last year. The festival will feature more than 60 breweries from across the state and beyond, more food trucks than last year with at least 20 trucks. General admission tickets are $45 and VIP tickets are $75.
Felicia Perry-Trujillo sent word over that Kim Hunter of Kimbap Cafe and Brent Hopkins of Empire Food Group are doing a pop up supper club dinner in Nash Square on Sept. 20.
It is that time of the year again for the Southern Ideal Home Show at the NC State Fairgrounds. This year it will be held Sept. 25 - 27 and it will again feature their popular Brews and Bites event each day which highlights food and drinks from local restaurants, breweries and wineries. Lots of great choices and giveaways each day.
The Carolina RailHawks will be hosting the 4th Annual RailHawks Homebrew Soktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 26. The pre-game festivities will begin at 5:30 pm at WakeMed Soccer Park and will run until 7:15 pm, followed by the RailHawks NASL match against Ottawa Fury FC. Soktoberfest is the RailHawks take on a German Oktoberfest, but with a focus on local craft and home brewers. A combination of German-themed food samples and traditional North Carolina fare, live music presented by ReverbNation, local craft beer, and homebrewed beer.
Academy Street Bistro and TOPO Distillery are partnering to host a cocktail party to benefit the Interfaith Food Shuttle on October 1st at 5:30 p.m. Attendees will enjoy four different cocktails, each with a different aged spirit from TOPO and heavy hors d'oeuvres. The cost is $20 per person. Make reservations by calling 919-377-0509.
On Sunday, Oct. 4 from 1-4 p.m., the guys behind the soon-to-open Picnic in Durham (Wyatt Dickson and Ben Adams) will be joined by Texas (and soon to be South Carolina) pit-master John Lewis on Green Button Farm for a Sunday afternoon picnic. This is an opportunity to get up close and personal with these barbecue legends! In addition to the whole hog and beef brisket, they’ll also serve up seasonal sides, alongside chilled wine & beer from Wine Authorities, Ponysaurus and Fullsteam.
You’ll want to go ahead and mark your calendar for the 2nd Annual Triangle Oktoberfest coming to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre on October 3rd and 4th. There will be some great authentic German fare as well as some amazing breweries.
The town of Holly Springs is holding their 6th Annual Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Holly Springs Farmers Market from 9 - 12:30 p.m. This is a wonderful community event, where both amateurs and professionals compete for both the judges’ approval as well as their fellow citizens with the People’s Choice award.
And if you are into eating healthier, you might want to go ahead and get this event on your calendar - the 2015 Triangle Vegfest which will be held at Moore Square and City Market in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, Oct. 17 from noon until 5 p.m.
While you’re at it, make sure you mark your calendar for Saturday, Oct. 17 (4-8 p.m.) for Knightdale's Drafts & Crafts Festival. This event will be held at the Knightdale Station Park and feature local wineries, breweries, vendors selling beer/wine related crafts/artwork, music and food trucks.
Food Bank Corner
The big day is almost upon us...The #FoodBank24 New Media Telethon. It will be held over two days, Sept. 11-12 and lots of new features are in the works. With Sept. 11 being a National Day of Service, there are tons of opportunities to volunteer and get your company involved. But do so quickly, as the Saturday morning slots are already filled! Find out how to get involved, how to contribute and all the details here.
Sean Lennard covers restaurant news on his website, Triangle Food Blog.