What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Foodie News: NC Chef Showdown coming soon

Posted August 26, 2016
Updated September 2, 2016

NC Chef Showdown

Featured Restaurant News

The Raleigh Agenda was the first to report this week that Standard Foods will (finally) re-open in mid-September with a mostly new staff – including director of operations Fred Dexheimer (the only certified master sommelier in North and South Carolina) - and chef Eric Montagne (former chef at Vivian Howard’s Boiler Room in Kinston). Congrats to John Holmes for assembling this team and the re-launch. Standard Foods is located at 205 E. Franklin Street in downtown Raleigh.

Wake County Restaurant News

Also in downtown Raleigh, the Raleigh Agenda reported that Brewerks Cafe, a new neighborhood bakery, opened this past Wednesday in the former Quality Grocery spot in Raleigh’s Oakwood neighborhood. Bill Bieterman is at the helm.

Saw on a Yelp message board that San Marcos, a concept out of Danville, Va., opened this past week on Homewood Banks Drive behind Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh. The decor looks amazing. Let’s hope the food matches – looks delicious!

The News & Observer reported this week that franchise owner Wayne Byers has signed a lease to open another Toppers Pizza location at 300 Creedmoor Road in Raleigh. Byers owns the Toppers’ location in Chapel Hill.

Over in Cary, we learned from reader Jeffrey Brown that Maru Cary/Sushi has closed and has been replaced by Szechuan Taste at 6404 Tryon Road.

Also in Cary, the News & Observer reported that Paula Higdon has brought a taste of Rhode Island to the Triangle: Del’s Frozen Lemonade. Higdon has three push carts serving these frozen treats that originated in Naples, Italy in 1840 and has been a popular treat in Rhode Island since the 1950s. Her carts will be serving at Cary's Lazy Daze this weekend.

In Morrisville, reader Rob Swaringen sent us a note that there is signage for G.58 Cuisine on the new building at the intersection of Carrington Mill Boulevard and Highway 54/Chapel Hill Road. No other information is available at this time, but back in December we were told that the activity at that site was from the folks behind 35 Chinese Restaurant that used to be on Kildaire Farm Road. We will keep an eye on it. Thanks Rob!

Up in Wake Forest, WRAL reported this week that a Panera Bread is being built in the parking lot at the Carolina Ale House facing Capital Blvd. No word yet on an open date, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

Down in Smithfield, WRAL reported this week that Sodosopa opened this past Tuesday in downtown. The menu features variations of smoked meats along with sandwiches and a wide selection of appetizers.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Word spread quickly across social media this week that the good folks behind Cocoa Cinnamon are in the process of opening their third location – this one a micro-roastery (imagine a Fullsteam model, but with coffee) at 2013 Chapel Hill Road across from Lakewood Shopping Center.


Got word from my friends over at Ninth Street Watch that Epa Chamo, a Venezuelan arepa place, has closed.

Food Trucks

For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.


You have read here before about a “pay-what-you-can” concept called A Place at the Table in the works for Raleigh near NCSU. Well, that is still alive and raising funds to become a reality. To that end, they will have a breakfast this Saturday, August 27, at Raleigh’s Relish Cafe & Bar from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at its restaurant at 5625 Creedmoor Road.

Got word from Felicia Perry-Trujillo that the 2016 North Carolina Chef Showdown, featuring some of the most creative chefs from around North Carolina, will take place on August 29. It will be held in conjunction with the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo taking place in Raleigh. The event will feature 12 savory chefs and four pastry chefs from across the state who will compete for the titles NCRLA Chef and Pastry Chef of the Year.

Tickets are on sale now through August 15 for $125.

Feed the Force is an event started by Yaniv Sharir, owner of O’Malley’s Pub and Restaurant in Raleigh, to provide free meals and thank the men and women police officers that protect our communities. The event will take place on September 4th & 5th.

Black Twig Cider House in Durham will host their inaugural TxotxFest (pronounced “choach”) on Saturday, September 10 from noon to 4 p.m. This event will bring regional and national cider producers and chefs together. It will feature tastings from the top cider houses on the east coast as well as food from chefs at Bona Fide, Durham Catering, Mateo, Oval Park Grille, PICNIC and Rise. They will also serve a whole de-boned, sausage – stuffed local pig from Firsthand Foods.

Not to be outdone by Durham, Raleigh is going to have their very own vegan cook-off between September 12 and October 1. The Oak City Vegan Challenge will feature six restaurants offering special vegan dishes that diners can cast votes for their favorites. The event is modeled after the Bull City Vegan Challenge, which has been extremely successful over in Durham.

Hibernian Hospitality Group and Ed Mitchell are proud to announce Ed Mitchell’s Brews & ‘Cue event featuring Ed’s food truck “Q On Wheels” to be held at the Raleigh Beer Garden in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, September 17 from 5 p.m. until the food runs out. The renown pitmaster’s truck will feature his highly sought after signature barbecue offering a wide array of platters and sides.

The Third Annual Triangle Oktoberfest will take place at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre on September 23 and 24. Enjoy family-friendly activities such as music from the Little German Band, dancing, traditional Bavarian food and fare, wiener dog races, “Rock-toberfest” concerts by Four Founders and West Street Band, children’s play area and prizes for German attire. Children 16 and younger are free. Friday tickets: $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. Saturday tickets: $20 in advance, or $25 at the door.

Tickets to TerraVita are now on sale. And you better jump fast, as many of these events will sell out soon. Trust me. If you aren’t familiar with TerraVita, it is arguably the premier “foodie event” in the southeast, and it will take place September 28 through October 1 right here in Chapel Hill. In a nutshell, it is a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink.

Felicia Perry-Trujillo reminded me this week about the upcoming 9th Annual Pepperfest taking place Sunday, October 2 from 2-7 p.m. at Brier Chapel in Chatham County. The event features super delicious pepper-themed dishes and beverages, live music and children’s activities. It's a great outdoor event for this time of the year.

The Root Cellar Cafe & Catering in Chapel Hill is holding its fifth annual Porkapalooza on Friday, October 14 at 6:30 p.m. The event will feature 12 small plate courses celebrating local pork, including roasted suckling pigs; beer cheese fondue with local sausages; fried green tomatoes topped with pimento cheese, beer-braised crispy pork belly and tomato jam; poutine with sweet potato fries, Seven Springs country gravy and Ashe County cheese; and bacon marshmallow s’mores. The dinner also includes Fullsteam beer pairings. Save $10 by ordering tickets by August 31.

Jennifer Noble Kelly sent me information this week about PICNIC, North Carolina’s newest whole hog barbecue joint, and its farm partner, Green Button Farm, hosting their inaugural NC Barbecue Revival at the farm this fall, October 28-30. The three-day weekend will be chock full of classes, discussions, feasts and pig pickins’.

Food Bank Corner

Hunger Action Month is your opportunity to join a movement that has a real and lasting impact on our effort to feed more North Carolinians than ever before. Whether it’s by advocating and raising awareness, making donations, or volunteering, you can find the way that’s right for you to make a difference during Hunger Action Month.

Together, we can solve hunger. Each voice counts. Every action matters. And with nearly 650,000 food insecure individuals in our 34 county service area alone, it matters more than ever before.


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