Featured Restaurant News
I had the pleasure this week to sit down with Jim Freeze who is the executive director behind a non-profit restaurant that will be opening soon in downtown Raleigh called Carroll's Kitchen. On April 27 at 6 p.m. at HQ Raleigh they will hold a Launch Party to provide more details, including where their restaurant will be located. Freeze has partnered with Vicky Ismail (who many will remember from The Cary Cafe and now Highgrove Estate) to open a nonprofit restaurant with a vision to end homelessness for women in Raleigh. Learn more about Carroll's Kitchen here and get tickets to the launch party here.
Wake County restaurant news
Back in February, the Shucker's location at 510 Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh closed to begin its transition into an event and catering space. I went to an open house this week where they unveiled the new space and all it has to offer. I will say it was quite impressive. If you are looking for an off-site space for a meeting, baby shower, reception or whatever, you'll want to check this out. Shucker's continues to operate a restaurant up in Wake Forest.
Over in Cary, the popular On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina re-opened after a fire closed it for five months. I had a chance to go last week, and the unanticipated $1 million renovation project features a more open dining room, a brand new kitchen, new menu and a new outdoor patio area. This past Wednesday saw a long line of patrons waiting to get back in.
A slight correction on the opening of Pieology on Raleigh's Hillsborough Street. The "official" open date will be Monday, April 25. But on April 23, free pizza will be offered to all those that donate to Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Pieology is located in the Stanhope Center at 3001 Hillsborough St.
Durham, Orange & Chatham county restaurant news
Got word from Amber Watson over at Bites of Bull City that the Durham version of Happy + Hale will open Monday, April 18.
Amber was also the first one to inform me that the much-anticipated Treforni Pizza has officially opened in the Hope Valley Commons shopping center in Durham.
Counter Culture Coffee has moved to downtown Durham, 812 Mallard Avenue to be exact, and they will be holding a grand opening event on Saturday, April 30 at 10 a.m. and everyone is invited! Take a tour, taste (both coffee and tasty treats provided by local chefs) and visit their pop-up store. RSVP and get all the details here.
Things continue to heat up in Hillsborough, with the latest being the announcement that Joel Bohlin will open a new restaurant this spring called Fetch Hot Dog Co.
Got word this week that Chapel Hill's Carolina Brewery has launched a new menu that is more creative and focuses more on fresh local ingredients. You'll also notice interior updates, completely recycled paper products and new staff uniforms.
International Breakfast & Burger Company, which opened in late February in the 222 Glenwood Ave. building, has already closed. Initial reports indicate a Chinese restaurant will open in that space.
Cary’s first Chatham Street Chowdown of the year will be held on Sunday, April 17, from noon to 4:30 p.m. in downtown Cary and will feature 19 trucks along with a wine and beer garden and lots of entertainment. Get all the details here.
TABLE will hold its 4th Annual Food Truck Rodeo on April 30 from 3-7 p.m. at Chapel Hill's Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Boulevard. The event is to benefit one of TABLE's program, called the Weekend Backpack Program, a year-round hunger relief program that provides food to hungry kids when school is not in session.
With the warm weather returning, it also means the return of the Food Truck Thursdays in Knightdale. Every Thursday from April through June, the town will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. near the amphitheater (rain or shine - shelters are covered).
The Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo has announced its dates for this year: May 1, June 12, Aug. 7 and Oct. 9. VIP early admission wristbands, which let you get in to buy food before the general public, are on sale now. Get all the details here.
For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard, on all things food truck related here.
With April upon us, thus begins the 4th Annual Bull City Vegan Chef Challenge taking place the entire month of April at participating restaurants (15 total) throughout Durham. Each restaurant/chef has added a plant-based (vegan) entrée to their menu - with an optional appetizer or dessert. Customers try the dish and vote on the best in several categories.
The next edition of Glenwood Faire will be held on Sunday, April 17 at Babylon Restaurant (309 N. Dawson Street) from 1 -5 p.m. For $10, you get to sample from 10 different Glenwood South restaurants and a drink.
Tickets to one of my favorite annual events, Farm to Fork, have gone on sale. The event this year will be held on the weekend of June 3 through June 5. Get all the details and tickets here.
Morrisville's annual East Meets West Festival will be held Saturday (April 16) from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Town Hall Drive again this year. This food and music festival will feature local restaurants that represent the diversity of the dining scene in Morrisville along with lots of kid activities.
Also on April 16, barbecue, beer and bluegrass return to Raleigh's warehouse district at The Pit Authentic Barbecue's 8th annual Cuegrass Festival Saturday, from noon to 6 p.m.
Heard from Jennifer Noble Kelly that on Monday, April 18 Standard Food’s Scott Crawford will team up with Foggy Ridge's Diane Flynt and Fullsteam Brewery's Sean Wilson for a unique food and beverage pairing. Guests will begin in the backyard farm with a cocktail featuring cider, beer and Crude Bitters, then be seated for a 4-course springtime dinner featuring alternate pairings of Foggy Ridge Cider and Fullsteam Brewery.
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market will host the 21st Annual Piedmont Farm Tour on Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24, from 2-6 pm on both days. This year’s tour features 38 sustainable working farms in Orange, Chatham, Alamance, and Person counties.
The 2nd Annual Shuck ‘n Cluck will take place on Thursday, April 28 at the Lynnwood Brewing Concern at 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Road from 6-10 p.m. The event will feature fresh oysters, chicken, beer, wine and live music. All proceeds benefit Rebuilding Together of the Triangle.
This is pretty cool. Want to head out to a farm and pick a little produce and then return to a restaurant to have it prepared and served up? Talk about farm to fork! Well, that’s exactly what the Fork2Farmer initiative is all about and their first event is on Thursday, April 21 with attendees first visiting Old Milbournie Farm before returning to Centro Restaurant to enjoy some of the freshly picked ingredients.
The annual Hook + Vine seafood and wine festival is scheduled for April 24 from 12 - 4 p.m. in downtown Raleigh at The Wine Feed, and co-hosted by Locals Seafood. The third annual festival will focus on pairing fresh seafood with high-quality wines found from around the world. Featured restaurants include Centro, Capital Club 16, Provenance, Plates Neighborhood Kitchen and Boiler Room Oyster Bar. Purchase tickets and get all the details here.
The folks over at Snap Pea Underground are holding two weekend’s of a Thai street food pop-up dinners at Midway Community Kitchen in Chapel Hill April 28 through May 1 and again May 5 through May 8th. Ticket prices vary and will go on sale today (April 1) at noon. These events will sell out, so act quickly.
If you are into craft beer you don't want to miss Brewgaloo next Friday and Saturday (April 22 & 23) in downtown Raleigh. In celebration of their 5th anniversary, they've added a Friday night block party in addition to the regular events on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be 85 breweries and more than 50 food trucks to enjoy. Avoid the line and order your drink tickets online.
Chef John Childers over at Midtowne Grill is hosting a beer dinner with the folks over at Compass Rose Brewery on Thursday, April 28. Tickets are $65 and it begins at 6:30 p.m.
Felicia Perry-Trujillo sent over a note to remind me that this year's edition of the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival, a four day event, will be held May 19-22.
Ok, this is a bit of a stretch to include, but it's too fun/funny not to include. It is the 2016 Doughman event being held in Durham on May 28. What is it? It is a "foodie" event that combines the elements of a triathlon with competitive eating. 4-member teams basically down a delicious treat from a Durham establishment which is then followed by a bike, run or "water activity" challenge of varying distances.
Food Bank Corner
Help "Feed the Need" in our communities! Donate at the register of your local Harris Teeter from April 1-23 or come on out for a special "Feed the Need Day" drive-through food drive on Saturday, April 23 at select stores. Get more information and store locations or you can donate online.
Sean Lennard covers food news on his blog, Triangle Food Blog.