What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Triangle Foodie News: Mesa Latin Kitchen opens Friday

Posted July 17, 2015

Mesa Latin Kitchen (Facebook)

— Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

Mami Nora is retiring and she's taking her name with her...but not the recipes, so don't expect any change. She is simply handing over the keys to her children who have been with her since the beginning. On July 25, the Raleigh location on Capital Blvd., the Durham location and the Cary location will change to Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken. The Wake Forest Road location in Raleigh, which is owned by Palma's sister, will keep the Mami Nora's name per its development agreement.

Wake County Restaurant News

A slight modification to the opening date for the Raleigh Beer Garden, located at 614 Glenwood Avenue. They will now open to the public on Tuesday, July 21 at 11:00 a.m. (it is never too early to start drinking).

Just a reminder that the newest version of Carolina Ale House will open their doors next Monday (July 20) in Garner at 400 Conservation Road in the White Oak shopping center.

Speaking of White Oak, the Triangle Business Journal provided a listing of all the other dining options that are "in the works" at the center. They are: Starbucks (opened in late June), Five Guys Burgers & Fries (also opening July 20), Longhorn Steakhouse, Raleigh-based Buffalo Brothers, Red Robin, Panera Bread and Krafty Burgers and Brews. Stay tuned on all of these.

Over in Cary, saw on Yelp that the sign has gone up for the Triangle's second location of The Egg & I. It will be located at 1104 Ledsome Lane, off of Walnut Street across from REI. It is being brought to us by Teresa Pace and Cole Harris, who also brought us the Chapel Hill location. According to their website, they are aiming for an August 31st opening. Get more information on them here.

Also in Cary, Red Hot & Blue has opened at Cary's Waverly Place. The barbecue restaurant, which had operated at the shopping center for about 18 years before closing in 2007, is back to serving dishes such as ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken.

We told you about it in March, but the Independent has confirmed that Tibetan Restaurant (yes, that is their name) has opened at 148-A E. Chatham Street in Cary.

Got a tweet from reader Scott Clark that Nashers Sandwich House will open in the space formerly occupied by Butcher Block American Grill at 10630 Durant Road in Raleigh. Nashers will focus on an all natural scratch-made menu featuring sandwiches, salads, soups, and sides. No word yet on an open date.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance announced this week that the Tutti Frutti has reopened at 222 Glenwood Avenue.

Durham, Orange and Chatham County Restaurant News

The Independent shared some news this week that is going to make a lot of people in Durham very happy. Raleigh's Happy & Hale is making its way over to Durham's Ninth Street with plans to open a space that is three times the size of the Raleigh location. Look for them to open in January, 2016 in what used to be a post office at 703 Ninth Street.

This is big news for Brightleaf Square in Durham. The Urban Food Group (who brought us Coquette, Vivace and Chow) announced this week (somewhat vaguely) that they are bringing a new concept to Durham called Lucia. I don't have any more details at this point, other than their Twitter handle. Stay tuned on this one.

The much-anticipated Café Symmetry over in Carrboro's Carr Mill Mall officially opened this past week with dinner hours. They obviously plan to open for lunch, but want to get their staff comfortable and trained first. No word yet on when they will open for lunch. The initial word on the street is very favorable.

Gregoria's Cuban Steakhouse has successfully completed its transition to Mesa Latin Kitchen and they open tonight!


This Saturday will be the last day to dine at Zinda in downtown Raleigh. Owner G. Patel announced this week that the restaurant side of the concept will close while it will remain open Thursday through Saturday as a bar and nightlife destination. Their event space will also be available throughout the week.

Bar and Brewery news

Got word from Knightdale town manager Seth Lawless that they will be getting their very own brewery come this September called Oak City Brewing. They will be located on the 700 block of First Avenue, right in front of Knightdale Station.

Blackjack Brewing Company will hold its grand opening Saturday, July 25. There will be food trucks, live music and Gouge Wrestling. The event starts at 2 p.m.

Rx Wine Lab plans to open a location and event space in the old Viewbar location on Glenwood Avenue. They teamed up for a special pop-up dinner Thursday night featuring Chef Ben Adams, formerly of the Piedmont, pitmaster Wyatt Dickson of Pig Whistle and Ryan Butler of Green Button Farm. The event helped preview cuisine from the trio's upcoming restaurant Picnic, set to open this fall.

Food Trucks

Got word from Art Sheppard (aka The Wandering Sheppard) that today, Friday, July 17, a Korean Food Truck showdown will occur between BulKogi, Hanu and Mixed Korean at Duraleigh Korean Presbyterian Church, 5408 Duraleigh Road, from 6-8 p.m.

The News & Observer is reporting that Cary is stepping up their game by expanding their Chatham Street Chowdown food truck rally in downtown Cary. The town announced there will be 24 food trucks at the next event on Sunday, July 26, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. That's up from the 15 trucks that spread out along West Chatham Street in April.

Get more food truck news from our resident food truck blogger,The Wandering Sheppard.


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 over 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.

The folks over at Lafayette Village are holding their annual Pork Out at Lafayette Village this Saturday (July 18) from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. where you can enjoy up to 20 teams' BBQ as the compete for the People's Choice award. Fun for the whole family.

Cary's Carolina RailHawks soccer team has its fourth annual pre-game Pig Pickin' Festival and BBQ Competition this Saturday (July 18) beginning at 5:30 (game kicks off at 7:15). Professional and amateur cooks will be cooking, with the amateur cooks will be competing to become the RailHawks Barbecue Champion. Pig pickin' attendees can sample the barbecue as well as try Lonerider Brewery's Captain's Ale. Tickets are $17, $12 for those under 21.

In case you didn't know, Sunday (July 19) is National Ice Cream Day (that is everyday in my house...). And the folks out at Maple View Farms are celebrating with games, live music, face painting and of course, delicious ice cream. The event starts at 12:30, with music starting at 3 p.m.

Got word from chef Jordan Keyser that he is doing pop-up dinners in Pittsboro on Thursdays at the Small B&B Café in downtown Pittsboro. Called Thingamajig Thursdays, they feature a 3-course offering for $25 or a 6-course offering for $40.

This is kind of fun and a good way to save a little "green" while trying out some new restaurants. Throughout the entire month of July, when dining at any Eschelon Experiences restaurant, keep your receipt for a 30 percent off discount when taken to one of the company's other establishments. The Eschelon line-up includes Mura, The Oxford, Zinda, Cameron Bar and Grill, Faire and Basan.

I often find myself in a pickle, but I've never been to a "pickle" event. You? Now's your chance as The Rickhouse on Foster Street in Durham will host PickleFest Durham on July 25 from noon until 3 p.m. The event is free and will bring together the areas pickle makers and enthusiasts along with restaurants, food trucks, food bloggers, farmers and canners and the N&O's Andrea Weigl (author of Pickles & Preserves).

The dates are set (October 8-10) for one of my favorite food events of the year - the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival held in Chapel Hill every year. It simply can't be missed. Tickets are set to go on sale soon! Take a look at all the initial details here.

Food Bank Corner

July is National Hot Dog Month, and Firewürst has begun its second annual #DollarsForDogs campaign, in which the locally-owned restaurant commits to donating $1 for every dog sold throughout the month to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC's Stop Summer Hunger Program. Last year, the community involvement in the campaign led to a $10,000 donation! Firewürst of course has some tricks up their sleeve for National Hot Dog Day specifically (July 23rd), so keep an eye out! Visit Firewurst this July!

Triangle Food Guy Sean Lennard covers the latest restaurant news on his site, Triangle Food Blog.


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