Category Archives: Dining and Entertainment

Media: Neomonde, 40 Years Old But Fresher than Ever

Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

Out in W. Raleigh just past NC State campus you’ll find the ever-popular Neomonde! Known as a market, deli and bakery, this long-standing Raleigh institution has been feeding the area with great Mediterranean eats and breads. In business for nearly 40 years, of course you have to expect some changes over time! As the business has grown, the Saleh family who owns and runs Neomonde has grown, resulting in the expansion of Neomonde to Morrisville and also a spin-off group of restaurants as Sassool. And recently I was invited to partake in a preview and tasting of Neomonde’s new menu and learn more about what’s in store for the restaurant and their eats!

Market at Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Market at Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining
Deli counter at Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Deli counter at Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

Inside Neomonde, the overall space seems to have been refreshed! The market area to the left seems very neat and nicely stocked while the counter order area seems a bit brighter. We’re seated in the back right corner of the dining room at Neomonde, right next to a large painting of a Lebanese village scene. We’ll find out more about this painting later! Soon enough, fellow bloggers and foodies Elliot @EatRaleigh and Heather @CandidSlice are at the table to join us for the tasting. Manager and drummer Chris Saleh welcomes us to Neomonde and offers us some vino and beer to get the meal started. He’s excited to show us what’s new at Neomonde with their expanded menu and service changes since he’s been back to manage the restaurant.

Refreshed menu at Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Refreshed menu at Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

One of the first things I notice is the menu. It certainly has been been upgraded and covers the expanded menu well but Neomonde also has a great glossary covering the types of food served here. Falafel, kafta, shwarma, tabouli, fatoush and more. While some Mediterranean food lovers may not need these descriptions, I’m pretty sure some people will appreciate the expanded definitions! Note that Neomonde has gone with a simpler pricing structure, no weighing needed at the cash register.

Babaghannoush and hummus plates at Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Babaghannoush and hummus plates at Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

Back at the table, we start off with a couple of their new plates of spreads: sun-dried tomatoes hummus, jalapeno hummus and babaghannoush! I focus mostly on the hummuses (hummi?!). The sun-dried tomato is bright and sweet with a smooth texture, perfect paired with pita bread. And the jalapeno pepper while not too spicy, had enough back-end pepper flavor to make its presence known. The babaghannoush was beautiful but eluded my searching piece of pita!

Beef man'ousheh at Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Beef man’ousheh at Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining
Spinach-feta man'ousheh at Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Spinach-feta man’ousheh at Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining
Pomegranate salad at Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Pomegranate salad at Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

We moved on to Neomonde’s flatbreads which are listed as man’ousheh. I dig into the beef man’ousheh which is ground beef, tomato and onion which is like a cheese-less pizza! Great crust and a good bite to the crust, it all feels a bit more healthy than pizza with cheese. We also dig into a spinach-feta flatbread and a unique option spiced with zaatar and veggies which looked fabulous. A beautiful pomegranate salad is also brought to the table and presents a nice contrast between the juicy red strawberries and deep greens.

Chicken, beef and kefte kebabs at Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Chicken, beef and kefta kebabs at Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining
Lentils and rice at Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Lentils and rice at Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

Next up is a platter of Neomonde kebabs ranging from chicken to beef and kefta (beef-lamb). The kabobs sport dark grill marks but still remain tender and tasty, a bit of spicing/marinade make them all wonderfully tasty. The kebabs are paired with a lentil rice dish which makes for a fantastic plate, the charred onions on top give this simple vegetarian dish tons of flavor.

Baklava plate at Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Baklava plate at Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

We finish off with a wonderful assortment of baklava, I’m pretty much full at this point in the meal but love a couple pieces of this honey-laced sweet, the subtle orange flavor just makes it even better. Some final pictures are taken of the happy Neomonde ending and we are finished! We get together for a group pic, say our goodbyes to Chris and his mother Betty, and thank them for all their hospitality and wonderful food.

Group picture, happy campers at Neomonde in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Group picture, happy campers at Neomonde in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

So it was great to get back to an old Raleigh favorite. You don’t stay around in the restaurant business 40 years without doing a lot of things right and it feels like Neomonde has been refreshed and is ready to feed the area its great, healthy eats for another 40 years!

 

Neomonde

3817 Beryl Road

Raleigh, NC 27607

919.828.1628

 

Location on Google maps

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Media: Brunching It Up at the Mystery Brewing Public House

Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough - NC Triangle Dining
Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough – NC Triangle Dining

Out in Hillsborough, you’ll find a lot of farm land, fresh air and green trees along with the Mystery Brewing Public House! Part of a recent expansion of Mystery Brewing, Mystery Brewing Public House was created by knocking down a wall and adding a dining room. A recent invite from the Public House landed in my email inbox, a chance to sample their new brunch menu which premiered in April. So who can resist brunch and beer, not me! It was time to head out to Hillsborough for an late morning visit…

Media brunch at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough - NC Triangle Dining
Media brunch at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough – NC Triangle Dining

Now while I do cover a good chunk of the Triangle in my travels for good food, Hillsborough is pretty far away from home so I don’t often visit. But I was glad to get the invite and have an excuse to explore the area again! I turn onto Nash Street which is pretty quiet except for the small row of businesses that Mystery Brewing sits in. A large gravel lot across the way makes for easy parking and I hoof it on over to Mystery Brewing Public House. The Public House sits right next to the Hillsborough BBQ Company and the Nash Street Tavern so you’ve got some options for food on this end of the street! Inside the PR and media people are seated in the small and casual dining room for the Public House. I grab a seat with my foodie friends @meghereandthere and @jacknales and we are ready to go…

At the table I scan the menu and looks like some interesting choices! Six small plates, six entrees and six brunch items along with dessert. Given the small kitchen (sans fryer) here at the Mystery Brewing Public House, the food is not going to be your usual pub food. While the menu has some Southern flair, there are some more international twists with a beef pho, banh mi, hummus and olive oil cake on the menu. For our media visit, we’re doing a 5-course brunch paired with Mystery beers!

Deviled eggs at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough - NC Triangle Dining
Deviled eggs at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough – NC Triangle Dining
Short rib tacos at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough - NC Triangle Dining
Short rib tacos at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough – NC Triangle Dining

Our first taste of the Mystery Brewing Public House is a plate of colorful deviled eggs! Topped with a bit of pepper, prosciutto and toasted grain, the deviled eggs are really fresh and amped up with a spicy kick. The toasted grains add some crunchy texture to the back-end of these eggs. Some short rib tacos are next and punched up with some chimichurri sauce and pickled onions. These tacos are nicely soft and savory with a bit of green flavor from the chimichurri, nicely done!

Pimento benedict at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough - NC Triangle Dining
Pimento benedict at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough – NC Triangle Dining
Shrimp and grit cake at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough - NC Triangle Dining
Shrimp and grit cake at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough – NC Triangle Dining

We move on to our first official brunch item, the pimento cheese benedict. The plate is wonderfully bright full of yellow and orange hues from the cheese, egg and hollandaise. The benedict is served over a biscuit which blends in well with the richness of the cheese and yolk. A very satisfying vegetarian benedict if meat is off the menu for you! And for a final savory dish, Mystery Brewing Public House’s take on shrimp and grits: pickled shrimp with a grit cake. Paired with some indulgent collards on the side and gravy, this plate had a lot of flavor and playful texture.

Beer sandwich cookie at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough - NC Triangle Dining
Beer sandwich cookie at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough – NC Triangle Dining

The brunch piece de resistance was their beer sandwich cookie paired with an Irish stout, a great finish. The cookie is made with spent beer grains and is tender and sweet, wrapped around a soft cream filling. Very nicely done. Over the course of the meal we get to chat with Erik Lars Mysers of Mystery Brewing, he’s both owner and brewmaster here. He emphasized Mystery Brewing Public House’s commitment to local ingredients and farms to source the food on their menu. I’ve also had a chance to do a Mystery Brewing beer dinner last year, they do some solid brewskis!

Beer bar at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough - NC Triangle Dining
Beer bar at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough – NC Triangle Dining

So if you’re in the area and not in the mood for fried foods or barbeque (I have heard Hillsborough BBQ Company is quite good), check out the new Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough. They are doing an eclectic take on Southern eats and are off to a good start. And yes, don’t miss that beer sandwich cookie!

 

Mystery Brewing Public House

230 S Nash Street

Hillsborough, NC 27278

919.245.1325

 

Location on Google maps

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 19, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Last week, JMR Kitchens owners Ryan and Justin Riek opened the second location of their very successful taste restaurant. Dubbed taste 2, it is located at 1912 Bernard St. just off Whittaker Mill Road. The original location is at 3048 Medlin Dr. The Rieks also own and operate more. and the oak. Check out all their restaurants and make reservations here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Unless you were under a rock this week (or the past several months), you heard there is an IKEA coming to Cary. And we all know what that means! Swedish Meatballs! Oh yea, and shopping for crazy cool, well designed Swedish furniture and accessories. But seriously, have you eaten at an IKEA? Not too shabby. But the good news is, you don’t have to wait until 2020 to get your grub on. Here are a lot of the recipes for the items served. Smaklig måltid!
  • And staying in Cary, my friend Greg McNamara at the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce brought it to my attention that the much anticipated Stellino’s Italiano, sister property of Raleigh’s Bella Monica, has opened in the Parkside Town Commons shopping center. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Also in Cary, the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that a local franchise owner for Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has signed a lease to open a new location at the Parkside Town Commons shopping center in west Cary. Check out Dickey’s here.
  • More importantly (we think) than the facelift coming to the 510 Building in downtown Raleigh (can you believe it is already 20 years old!), is the announcement this week that a new BBQ restaurant is coming to that location. Matt Kenner (think Milk Bar, The Anchor Bar, and a partner in MoFu Shoppe) is behind the concept. They will be located next to Pho Pho Pho and are looking to open this fall. We will keep an ear out for the name once it is decided. Thanks to the News & Observer for the lead on this.
  • This week the folks behind Alamo Drafthouse Cinema unveiled plans to open their  first location in North Carolina in east Raleigh’s Longview Shopping Center along New Bern Avenue. Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh, an 11-screen theater, bar and restaurant, will feature 660 seats and a beer hall with 36 local beers on tap and is expected to open before year’s end. Get more information and keep up with the latest here.
  • In nearby downtown Raleigh, Pizza LaStella’s Rudy Theale is keeping things interesting by adding a brunch service to his establishment. Rudy has partnered with Greenville’s Smash Waffles to bring an exciting new twist to his lineup according to the News & Observer. Also, look for Theale to make an announcement soon about a second location of Pizza LaStella. As well, the folks behind Smash Waffles plan to announce a brick and mortar location in Raleigh as well. Stay tuned! Check out LaStella here and Smash Waffles here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that La Madeleine French Bakery & Café is opening its first Raleigh location May 23 at 6320 Plantation Center Drive (former Mimi’s Cafe spot in Plantation Point). I guess it could be better classified as a “move” as the Cary location closed recently. It was located adjacent to Cary Town Center. The restaurant is a French-inspired bakery and cafe with classic French dishes. Check them out here.
  • Also in North Raleigh, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, pointed out that Bad Daddy’s newest location, off Falls of the Neuse Road in the same shopping center as Sprouts and City Barbecue, is opening next Wednesday, May 24th. Check them out here.
  • Everyone is familiar with Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar, right? (if you aren’t, shame on you). Anyway, they recently launched a “tiny little division” of their operation called Kitchen Table Catering where you can get family or party size portions of your favorite items of Relish and take them home with you! Oh, and while I’m talking about Relish, go ahead and mark Sunday, September 17 on your calendar for their Mac & Cheese Throwdown! Yours truly and my daughter will be judges again this year! Check out Relish and Kitchen Table here.
  • And finally, just up the street from Relish, a shout out to the folks over at Margaux’s Restaurant as they celebrate 25 years! What began as a French restaurant became so much more than that and is now self-described as a perfect fusion of a high-energy metropolis and soulful Southern hospitality. If you haven’t been, you should treat yourself to what has surely become a Raleigh institution. As part of their silver anniversary celebration, they will host a lobster fest, along with lots of other activities, on June 15th. Check them out here. Congrats and thanks to WRAL for bringing that to our attention!

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • My boys Charlie Farris and Clint Winslow, who own the two Chapel Hill locations of Jersey Mike’s, and the Falconbridge location in Duhram, announced the opening of their 4th location – this one in Hillsborough in Oakdale Village at 115 Oakdale Drive. They are holding a “friends and family” event on Monday, with a scheduled opening of Wednesday, May 24. Call before going! Congrats to Charlie and Clint! Check out the Hillsborough location here.
  • Joe Van Gogh on Broad Street will celebrate its 10-year anniversary on Thursday, June 1st from 7-10pm with music and karaoke. Joe Van Gogh’s other two Durham locations are at Duke University and the Woodcroft Shopping Center. Check out their website here.
  • And speaking of coffee, the News & Observer pointed out that Coco Bean Coffee + Tea, which opened eight months ago, doubled its size last weekend, allowing it to add more seating, tables, couches, a fireplace, even a restroom. The shop, owned by Tamara and Steve Lackey, is in East 54, a mixed-use complex off N.C. 54 with restaurants, housing, offices and retail. Check them out here.

Closings

  • Twitter friend BurgeoningBaker brought it to my attention that the TCBY location in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing has closed.

Food Trucks

  •  The food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up every Thursday through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Get all the details and schedule here.

Events

  • This weekend, starting today at noon, is the Got To Be NC Festival in Raleigh at the Fairgrounds. ‘Got To Be’ is a festival highlighting all the great things from North Carolina. Enjoy carnival games and rides, live music, food, animal and agricultural displays, antique tractors, and more. Most of the festival is free with the following exceptions: $3 admission charge for the Food and Wine Expo; and costs for rides, games and food. Get all the details here.
  • The Raleigh Food & Wine Festival is going on now (May 18-21)! The festival is a four-day event highlighting some of the most unique offerings in food and beverage, including including wine dinners and cooking classes. Get all the details and RSVP here.
  • Cary’s Fest in the West is this Saturday, May 20 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. Festival-goers can hop on an antique tractor, take a selfie with Lisa Gaither’s 3D mural, browse art and watch demonstrations from local artisans, enjoy the food truck rodeo, compete in a pie-eating contest, and visit the beer garden with five local brewers all while listening to music from 4 area bands. A KidZone will include an obstacle course inflatable bounce house, face painting, roving magician and make & take crafts. Get all the details here.
  • Learned from Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson that the Durham Blues and Brews Festival is back this Sunday, May 21st at Durham Central Park. Delicious NC craft brews, rockin’ blues, food trucks and fun! Enjoy unlimited 12 oz. pours of 20 of the finest brews that North Carolina has to offer. Advance festival tickets are $40 or $50 on site. Designated driver tickets are $20. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Black Twig Cider House, Mattie B’s Public House and the Rickhouse are bringing back Txakolifest this Sunday May 21st from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Rickhouse. Txakolifest is a celebration of Basque country’s finest white wines combined with Durham’s best food – the list of participating restaurants is impressive. Tickets are $75 ($100 VIP). Get all the details here.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them here.
  • Catering Works’ executive chef Rich Carter, winner of “Cooking for a Classic” chef competition, is sharing a secret  – he doesn’t like to fly, so he goes on FOODCATIONS around the world. And you are invited to join him! Carter and his team are preparing a six course meal with wine and cocktail accompaniments for their 2017 Global Culinary Adventure. It will be held on Thursday, June 1st at 6:30 pm at Catering Works’ new venue, The Laurelbrook. I recently got a tour of the space thanks to friend Rebecca Antonelli and it is absolutely gorgeous! Tickets are only $45 and will definitely sell out (the trip to Spain last month did). Wine + cocktail pairings are an additional $25 per person. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 919.828.5932 or online here.
  • Triangle Restaurant Week is 10 years old! The week-long event, June 5-11, features restaurants that offer three-course menu options and fixed pricing. Pricing for the event is $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20,$25, $30 or $35 for a 3-course dinner. It is a great way to check out places you haven’t been before. Get a full list of participating restaurants and all the details here.
  • Childhood friend Gordon Brown and his wife Lisa have some amazing children – and daughter Meredith is no exception. The Broughton High School junior has taken it upon herself to organize a road race, The Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5k, to raise money for the Food Shuttle’s Camden Street Learning Garden. The race is on Saturday, June 10. (Editor’s note: I’m running in it and am certain to eclipse Gordon’s time.) Read more about her efforts here in the News & Observer and register for the race here. Kudos Meredith!
  • 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! You can thank me later. 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 here. It will sell out. Trust me!

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! Click here to donate and find out more.
...[READ MORE]   Source: Triangle Food Blog

First Take: William’s Gourmet Kitchen in Durham

Williams Gourmet Kitchen in Durham - NC Triangle Dining
Williams Gourmet Kitchen in Durham – NC Triangle Dining

If you’re familiar with the RTP office area for work, you know that it’s hard to find good eats! But who wants to sit in the office cafeteria or eat at your desk? So over the past two years, I’ve been on a mission to find the best eats in the area given that I work in the hood. One restaurant that always seemed to elude my grasp is William’s Gourmet Kitchen. And while I had seen stellar online reviews for this eatery, I had never made it over until a co-worker suggested it for a lunchtime visit. And now I understand what all the hub-bub is about after a couple of lunches at William’s Gourmet Kitchen!

Counter at Williams Gourmet Kitchen in Durham - NC Triangle Dining
Counter at Williams Gourmet Kitchen in Durham – NC Triangle Dining

One of the reasons why I hadn’t been to William’s Gourmet Kitchen is its somewhat hidden location. While it sits on a prominent corner of 55/54 in S. Durham, it’s setting is somewhat sunken and out of view. Thankfully you can see the top of their building and their signage peeping out if you keep your eyes peeled. As soon as you pull into William’s busy parking lot, you can tell it’s a popular RTP lunch time spot given the dearth of parking spaces. A bit of patience might be needed to catch a good space.

Dining room at Williams Gourmet Kitchen in Durham - NC Triangle Dining
Dining room at Williams Gourmet Kitchen in Durham – NC Triangle Dining

Inside William’s Gourmet Kitchen you’ll find a bright and casual dining room along with a covered patio to the side. There’s a smattering of booths and two-tops for dine-in but I’m guessing that William’s Gourmet Kitchen does quite a bit of take-out. Two cashiers are at the ready to take your order! Menus overhead display a great selection of sandwiches, salads, burgers and small plates. A small chalkboard menu up front also offers the weekly specials, Monday to Friday. Most sandwiches are in the $7 to $11 range and you can make it a meal (drink, side) for an additional $3  to $4 depending on side. Put your order in, grab your cup and number, it’s time to wait!

Turkey and cranberry sandwich at Williams Gourmet Kitchen in Durham - NC Triangle Dining
Turkey and cranberry sandwich at Williams Gourmet Kitchen in Durham – NC Triangle Dining

While William’s Gourmet Kitchen is usually busy, their kitchen is pretty fast with my meals taking maybe 10 minutes to come out. Over the course of my two visits I’ve tried out a thick, stuffed turkey sandwich on pumpernickel with cranberry sauce, provolone and tomato. A quirky take on the classic Thanksgiving sandwich. And a fantastic honey-stung chicken sandwich! Think of a perfectly fried chicken breast, drizzled with honey, topped with LTO and a pickle all on a sweet brioche bun! William’s Gourmet Kitchen is really all about high-end sandwiches. While you won’t find kale, arugula or anything froo-froo here, they do the classics really well with fresh ingredients and in large portions.

Honey stung chicken sandwich at Williams Gourmet Kitchen in Durham - NC Triangle Dining
Honey stung chicken sandwich at Williams Gourmet Kitchen in Durham – NC Triangle Dining

Oh and don’t miss the beer-battered fries here, they are AWE-some! Service at William’s Gourmet Kitchen is efficient and a bit busy, they seem to be pretty distracted at times but get the job done. And in both my visits I was in and out in well under and hour which is a requisite for lunch. So rock on Williams Gourmet Kitchen! I now know why you’ve got all those great reviews and your food lives up to that top billing. It’s not cheap, it’s not easy to locate but if you’re willing to find Williams Gourmet Kitchen out in S. Durham, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…

 

William’s Gourmet Kitchen

2114 NC-54 Higdway

Durham, NC 27713

919.806.0690

 

William’s Gourmet Kitchen menu

Location on Google maps

The post First Take: William’s Gourmet Kitchen in Durham appeared first on NC Triangle Dining.

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 12, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • This week Coleen Speaks, owner of PoshNosh Catering, announced that she will open Whitaker & Atlantic and Hummingbird in the revitalized warehouse, Dock 1053, located in Raleigh at the corner of Whitaker Mill Road and Atlantic Avenue. Whitaker & Atlantic – a private event space – and Hummingbird – an adjacent café & bar. Both concepts are set to open early Fall 2017. Keep up with the latest on the PoshNosh Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported that House of Hops, a craft beer bar and bottle shop, and Shuckin’ Shack, an oyster bar, will anchor a new development near Mami Nora’s Rotisserie Chicken at the corner of McNeill Street and Wake Forest Road. Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar has several locations on the coast and opened in Cary in early 2016. This will be the second location for House of Hops, which has a site on Glenwood Avenue near the intersection with Duraleigh Road. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here, and House of Hops here.
  • The News & Observer reported that MOFU Shoppe, the brick-and-mortar restaurant from Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck, is getting close to opening its new City Market restaurant in downtown Raleigh. To that end, they will hold a sneak peek today (Friday, May 12) starting at 5:30 p.m. when you’ll be able to go inside the store to see the progress. Visitors are asked to bring food for a canned food drive to benefit Haven House Services, a Raleigh nonprofit that provides a variety of services to at-risk youth and their families. Check them out here. (Still miss their original truck name – Dump Pho King truck…)
  • Got word from Michayla Noonan that she saw a sign in front of the former Tribeca Tavern on Falls of the Neuse Road in North Raleigh that said there was a Chopt and a Zoe’s Kitchen coming soon. We will ask Michayla to keep an eye on it for us. Thanks Michayla!
  • And in Cary, the News & Observer reported that Tyler Watt, owner of Pharmacy Bottle & Beverage, a bottle shop and bar on East Chatham Street, has plans to open a new restaurant called Postmaster Restaurant and Bar. It is expected to open this fall at the corner of E. Cedar St. and North Walker Street. The menu is described as “modern Southern American food.” Dishes will rotate with the seasons. Keep up with their progress on their Facebook page here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • The News & Observer reported that acclaimed baker and pastry chef Phoebe Lawless is set to open her first full-service restaurant and bar, The Lakewood, around May 22 or 23. It is located in the former Davis Baking Co. building on Chapel Hill Road in the Tuscaloosa-Lakewood neighborhood. After opening that, she will open a second location of Scratch Bakery in early July. Keep up with the opening of The Lakewood here and with the second location of Scratch here.
  • Also in Durham, It was announced this week that Joe Van Gogh Coffee will open its fourth Durham coffee house this summer in the West End neighborhood. The new store will join with Local Yogurt to occupy the former Gulf station at 1114 West Chapel Hill Street. Look for them to open in mid-summer. Check out their website here.
  • Related to that, Joe Van Gogh on Broad Street will celebrate its 10-year anniversary on Thursday, June 1st from 7-10pm with music and karaoke. Joe Van Gogh’s other two Durham locations are at Duke University and the Woodcroft Shopping Center. Check out their website here.
  • The newest location of Chopt opened this week at Eastgate Crossing shopping center. Chopt combines seasonal ingredients from local purveyors with authentic flavors from around the world to create delicious salads that people crave. Check out Chopt here.

Closings

  • Received multiple reports that Champps at the Streets at Southpoint closed their doors.
  • Mendy Iler at Catering By Design (and Cary resident) was the first to let me know that it appears as if the Cary location of Guacamaya Fresh Mex (formerly Chubby’s Tacos) has closed. How does that happen? What’s wrong with you Cary folks (not you, Mendy)? It was located in Stone Creek Village. Thanks Mendy for always keeping your eyes and ears open!

Food Trucks

  • The food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up every Thursday through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered). Get all the details and schedule here.

Events

  • This Saturday, May 13, come out for a community garden party complete with wood-fired pizza, local brews, and live music, to support the Raleigh Food Corridor! Hosted by the Irregardless Cafe and supported by Crank Arm Brewery, the event supports healthy food systems and healthy neighborhoods in Raleigh. Come learn more, meet new friends, and enjoy hanging out in one of Raleigh’s most beautiful, productive gardens. More can be found about the Corridor project here. Tickets are $25 per person or $10 for Friends of the Corridor and can be purchased here.
  • The Raleigh Food & Wine Festival will take place next weekend, May 18-21. The festival is a four-day event highlighting some of the most unique offerings in food and beverage, including including wine dinners and cooking classes. Get all the details and RSVP here.
  • Cary’s Fest in the West is on for Saturday, May 20 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. Festival-goers can hop on an antique tractor, take a selfie with Lisa Gaither’s 3D mural, browse art and watch demonstrations from local artisans, enjoy the food truck rodeo, compete in a pie-eating contest, and visit the beer garden with five local brewers all while listening to music from 4 area bands. A KidZone will include an obstacle course inflatable bounce house, face painting, roving magician and make & take crafts. Get all the details here.
  • Learned from Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson that the Durham Blues and Brews Festival is back May 21st at Durham Central Park. Delicious NC craft brews, rockin’ blues, food trucks and fun! Enjoy unlimited 12 oz. pours of 20 of the finest brews that North Carolina has to offer. Advance festival tickets are $40 or $50 on site. Designated driver tickets are $20. Get all the details and tickets here.
  • Black Twig Cider House, Mattie B’s Public House and the Rickhouse are bringing back Txakolifest on Sunday May 21st from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Rickhouse. Txakolifest is a celebration of Basque country’s finest white wines combined with Durham’s best food – the list of participating restaurants is impressive. Tickets are $75 ($100 VIP). Get all the details here.
  • The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed “The Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants. For more information and to purchase tickets for any event, visit them here.
  • Childhood friend Gordon Brown and his wife Lisa have some amazing children – and daughter Meredith is no exception. The Broughton High School junior has taken it upon herself to organize a road race, The Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5k, to raise money for the Food Shuttle’s Camden Street Learning Garden. The race is on Saturday, June 10. (Editor’s note: I’m running in it and am certain to eclipse Gordon’s time.) Read more about her efforts here in the News & Observer and register for the race here. Kudos Meredith!
  • 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! You can thank me later. 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 here. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

  • Tomorrow, May 13th, is Stamp Out Hunger – the National Association of Letter Carriers largest one-day food drive in the nation! Look out for a designated donation bag delivered to you by your letter carrier, fill it with your donation, and your letter carrier will pick it up on May 13! Or forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store and “shop” their virtual food drive and maximize your donation times ten! Get those details here.
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Retake: A Restaurant Fave in Cary, Hot Point Deli!

Hot Point Deli in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Hot Point Deli in Cary – NC Triangle Dining

When it comes to sandwiches and salads, one of my long-time favorites was Hotpoint Deli out in Cary. A small, unassuming eatery, I used to frequent the place for work lunches but forgot about it over time and across job changes. But one day while I was in Cary I decided it was finally time for a return visit to Hot Point. And I’m happy to say that everything it used to do well, it still does well. Which is a perfect fit for your dining needs if you’re looking for something casual but a cut above the usual!

Counter at Hot Point Deli in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Counter at Hot Point Deli in Cary – NC Triangle Dining

Located on a busy stretch of Walnut Street, Hot Point Deli sits unassumingly in what appears to be a converted fast-food location! There IS a Waffle House right nearby, but looks can deceive and that’s certainly the case with Hot Point Deli. A small gated-in patio sits out front which is great for warm weather days and inside it’s got a comfortable and casual cafe feel that’s pretty basic. For dinner Hot Point Deli does table-side service but I believe for lunch, they do counter order.

Dining room at Hot Point Deli in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Dining room at Hot Point Deli in Cary – NC Triangle Dining

Hot Point Deli offers and array of delicious pizzas, sandwiches burritos and plates with a gourmet twist. Some of my long-time favorites are still on the menu, I would highly recommend the Thanksgiving on a Bun (Smoked turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, bacon on fresh focaccia), catfish quesadilla (crusted catfish, black bean puree, red rice, cheese) and Mexican lasagna (grilled chicken, black bean puree, red rice, pico de gallo, chipotle-ranch topped with cheese, sour cream and crushed tortilla chips).  But since this is my first visit in a while, I go with the daily special: roast pork with corn on the cob, sweet potato and a bread plate side. Most everything at Hot Point Deli is under $15 and the menu is pretty deep with options. Their beer-wine places are also VERY inexpensive with beer at under $5/pint and wine under $7/glass.

Crab cake sandwich at Hot Point Deli in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Crab cake sandwich at Hot Point Deli in Cary – NC Triangle Dining

And even on a Tuesday night, Hot Point Deli is packed with Cary couples and families looking for a good and inexpensive meal. If you’re looking for some conversation, you might want to try an off-hour or the patio, it gets pretty loud in here! Our food comes out pretty quickly, my friend’s crab cake sandwich looks great, topped with fresh greens and drizzled with a bit of dressing. My roast pork plate was dee-licious featuring smoky grilled pork along with a seared sweet potato patty and a mix of corn-bacon in cream  sauce. All the eats at Hot Point Deli hit the spot and come in generous portions.

Roasted pork special at Hot Point Deli in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Roasted pork special at Hot Point Deli in Cary – NC Triangle Dining

Even with a glass of wine, my bill is under $25 and I’m a happy camper! It’s been a while since I’ve been back, Hot Point Deli but you’re still an appealing spot for an inexpensive, high-quality meal. And while you may not be as glitzy and hot a spot to visit, people in Cary and W. Raleigh certainly do have a hidden dining gem here. So if you’re in the hood at Cary Crossroad, skip out on all those chain restaurants in the mall and make sure you support Hot Point Deli. Your stomach and wallet will be better for that smart choice!

 

Hot Point Deli

1718 Walnut Street

Cary, NC 27511

919.460.6299

 

Hot Point Deli menu

Location on Google maps

The post Retake: A Restaurant Fave in Cary, Hot Point Deli! appeared first on NC Triangle Dining.

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First Take: Mama Jee Delivers Sushi and Thai for W. Raleigh and NC State

Mama Jee in Raleigh – NC Triangle DiningHillsborough Street in Raleigh is one of the busier streets in the area but given its proximity to a college, it’s food offerings are usually somewhat mixed. You get the usual burgers, pizza, subs and Chinese food here but it’s usually a case of quantity over quality. But over the years, it’s had its fair share of decent restaurants. Good dining options include H Street Kitchen, Gonza Tacos y Tequila and now the new Mama Jee. Billed as a Thai and Sushi Bar, Mama Jee sits on the intersection of Hillsborough and Dixie Trail Road in an area rife with construction. But I decided to drop in for lunch and see what this new restaurant was bringing to the neighborhood!
Bar at Mama Jee in Raleigh – NC Triangle DiningBuilt in a brand new building, Mama Jee is pretty unassuming on the outside. I had poked my head into their windows during construction but didn’t get a good feel for the space. But as soon as you step in, wow! Super modern, clean and impressive design all around their interior, where do you start? From the lovely polished wood bar complete with leather high-top

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Friday Fun Food Facts – May 5, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
Featured Restaurant News
Got word from general manager Sean Umstead that St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar opened this past Wednesday in the former Joule spot on S. Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh. St. Roch embraces the spirit of their namesake New Orleans’ neighborhood, where chef Sunny Gerhart’s family hails. They offer the finest oysters, clams and Carolina seafood they can find, prepare it with a nod to the crescent city and serve with energy and warmth. Check them out here.
Wake County Restaurant News
The News & Observer reported that MOFU Shoppe, the brick-and-mortar restaurant from Pho Nomenal Dumpling truck, is getting close to opening its new City Market restaurant in downtown Raleigh. To that end, they will hold a sneak peek Friday, May 12, starting at 5:30 p.m. when you’ll be able to go inside the store to see the progress. Visitors are asked to bring food for a canned food drive to benefit Haven House Services, a Raleigh nonprofit that provides a variety of services to at-risk youth and their families. Check them out here. (Still miss their original truck name – Dump Pho King truck…)
Mama Jee Thai restaurant has opened just off Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street on Friendly Drive (near intersection with Dixie Trail). Mama Jee, Jeerawan Bessinger, was born in Thailand and is the chef and owner. Pay them a visit to truly taste the heart and soul of Thailand! Visit their site here.
The folks over at New Raleigh tipped us off to the fact that Dos Taquitos Xoco on Glenwood South is changing its name to simply Xoco Raleigh with Niall Hanley as the sole owner. Check them out here.
Also getting in on the Cinco de Mayo fun, Gonza Tacos y Tequila opened their

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First Take: Serena Sicilian Serving Up Italian-American Cuisine for the RTP Crowd

Front of Serena Sicilian in RTP Durham – NC Triangle DiningWhen it comes to lunch in RTP, you’ve got a handful of good, basic choices. Pizza, Southern and more, most of the choices are pretty casual and bare-bones. But sometimes I’m looking for something just a bit fancier which leaves me in a tough spot. One restaurant that ups their lunch game a bit is Serena Sicilian RTP off of S. Miami Boulevard. It’s a quirky eatery with plenty of space inside and a large outdoor patio. And if you’re looking for some classic Italian-American, a good choice for many reasons…
Dining room at Serena Sicilian in RTP Durham – NC Triangle DiningSerena Sicilian sits in a busy little plaza with several popular RTP eateries including one of my all-time faves, Randy’s Pizza RTP! So to get me to skip out on that great NY thin-slice pizza takes a lot but I’ve managed to eat at Serena Sicilian several times. Inside, the space is clean and modern with lots of interesting touches. Pendant lamps overhead, cafe seating, you’ll find a scooter in one corner of the restaurant and some classic 80’s pop streaming from the speakers overhead. It all feels a

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Media: Seasons 52 in Raleigh for a Healthy and Upscale Meal

With all the new restaurants opening up in downtown Raleigh, it’s sometimes hard for me to get outside the beltline so I was glad to get an email for the newly opened Seasons 52 over in Crabtree Valley Mall. I’m not familiar with this upscale chain of restaurants but apparently Raleigh is their first location in the state of North Carolina. A quick scan of their Yelp reviews and I can tell the restaurant is pretty solid so I set up a dinner visit to see and experience what Seasons 52 is doing for food and wine in the area!
Foyer at Seasons 52 in Raleigh – NC Triangle DiningDining room at Seasons 52 in Raleigh – NC Triangle DiningThe first challenge is finding Seasons 52 given how big Crabtree Valley Mall is. Thankfully it’s in the front strip of restaurants at the mall, having replaced a Starbucks and several other store fronts to the right of the upper mall entrance. Seasons 52 sports a lovely patio up front with planters, along with a crimson awning and umbrellas. Up front I meet restaurant manager, Camie. She walks us through Seasons 52 large space and around the private room. It’s a good

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