Category Archives: Dining and Entertainment

Maxing Out Your Movies: An Overview of Deluxe Movie Theaters & Cinemas in the Triangle

Wish my pictures were sharper but pretty much all movie theaters are dark!

In the battle for your movie dollar, the Triangle has been popping! Higher end theaters with stadium seating and upgraded food menus are upping the ante for movie-watching in the Triangle. And who can blame them given the great home theater set-ups many of us have at home? Without making the cinema experience stellar, we would ever leave our family rooms, amiright? But in the summer heat, there’s often nothing better than catching the latest flick in a deluxe movie theater with all the bells and whistles. I’ve been able to try most of the super cinemas in the area, here’s my take on what you get for your movie-watching dollar at each one!

Front of IMAX Theatre at Marbles in Raleigh- NC Triangle Dining
Front of IMAX Theatre at Marbles in Raleigh- NC Triangle Dining

First up is the classic IMAX Theatre at Marbles in Raleigh! For a while, IMAX was the only real luxe movie-watching experience in the Triangle. From the enormous screen (70′ by 52′) to the seat-shaking Dolby sound system pumping out 24,000 watts of sonic thunder, the IMAX still rocks it out for the right movies. If you’re got a great 3-D movie with top notch cinematography and sound, IMAX will blow you away. I’ve seen Inception, Gravity and Avatar at the IMAX and it truly feels as if you’re IN the movie. The stadium seating gives you an unfettered view of all the action, the only bad seats are the 3 or 4 rows up front. The seats, while comfortable, are your more typical seats with drop-down arm-rests and cup-holders.

Seating for IMAX Theatre at Marbles in Raleigh- NC Triangle Dining
Seating for IMAX Theatre at Marbles in Raleigh- NC Triangle Dining
Stellar screen and sound system for IMAX Theatre at Marbles in Raleigh- NC Triangle Dining
Stellar screen and sound system for IMAX Theatre at Marbles in Raleigh- NC Triangle Dining

Tickets for IMAX are $11 (2-D) and up which isn’t bad at all given the screen size. Concessions are reasonably priced ($3 to $7) but very basic and limited in selection (candy, popcorn, soft drinks, wine-beer). Note that you also can NOT choose your seat at IMAX Raleigh which means you’ll have to queue up early to ensure great seats for the hottest movies. What you’ll give up here at IMAX Raleigh is the comfy leather recliners and expanded food-drink menu. But still, even with all the less modern movie theater operations here at IMAX, it delivers a stellar movie-watching experience for the right movies. Choose wisely and you’ll be blown away by whats on-screen at IMAX Theatre at Marbles.

Lobby at Cinebistro Wavery Place in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Lobby at Cinebistro Wavery Place in Cary – NC Triangle Dining
Lobster roll at Cinebistro Wavery Place in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Lobster roll at Cinebistro Wavery Place in Cary – NC Triangle Dining

Next up on my super cinema list is Cinebistro at Waverly Place in Cary! Cinebistro was the first of the newer luxe movie theaters in the area, bringing together food, drink and the show all in one venue. And it’s still one of the best! With a full bar and lobby at the entrance, you know you’re in for a special experience. Billed as dinner and a movie, you show up early for your movie, order and are served in the theater for your meal. And the food here at Cinebistro is quite good, my faves include the cheesesteak sandwich and lobster sliders. Once the movie starts, you’ll have to self-serve your dishes and andy additional drinks-eats at Cinebistro.

Seating at Cinebistro Wavery Place in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Seating at Cinebistro Wavery Place in Cary – NC Triangle Dining

Seating at Cinebistro is luxurious, leather recliner seating with motorized foot-rests that allow you to kick back to enjoy the movie! While Cinebistro does not have stadium style seating, you do recline back to get a good view of the excellent raised screens. Cinebistro tickets can be purchased online through Fandango and range from $13.50 to $16. Note that after 6pm, Cinebistro is 21 and over. But I can tell you for sure that Cinebistro hits the trifecta of great food, great screens and great seating. The only major drawback is the price, you can easily drop $50 here on popcorn and food, ouch. For more details, check out my full review of Cinebistro in Cary.

The Raleigh Grande Theater – NC Triangle Dining
The Raleigh Grande Theater - NC Triangle Dining
The Raleigh Grande Theater – NC Triangle Dining

Heading up a bit further north it the Raleigh Grande! For years, the Raleigh Grande was a traditional movie theater but a renovation in 2016 brought stadium type seating and an expanded food menu. Inside, not only does the Raleigh Grande have tiered stadium style seating but also the same motorized recliners found at Cinebistro. What is nice is that the Raleigh Grande provides a more private viewing experience with walls behind each row of seats, creating some real separation.

Seating at the Raleigh Grande Theater - NC Triangle Dining
Seating at the Raleigh Grande Theater – NC Triangle Dining

For food you have you standard popcorn and soft drinks but the expanded theater menu includes sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken tenders, pizza and more! If you’re ordering hot food, they’ll give you a buzzer to bring to the theater and once it goes off, meet your server in the hallway outside your theater to get your food! The Raleigh Grande also has a decent draft beer and wines available here for your movie. I’ve tried out just a handful of items off their menu but I can tell you that they do a solid chicken tenders plate for $7 along with some truffle fries for $4.

Chicken tenders at the Raleigh Grande Theater - NC Triangle Dining
Chicken tenders at the Raleigh Grande Theater – NC Triangle Dining

And tickets at the Raleigh Grande have stayed an affordable $9.50 so you won’t break the bank here on either tickets or food. I’ve managed to catch a couple of movies here and if your focus is more on the movie than the food, you can’t go wrong at the Raleigh Grande.. While the food is more garden variety, higher end movie-theater fare, the screens and movie-watching experience more than make up for that slight miss. Plus you’ve got the Lynnwood Brewing Concern right across the street if you’re hungry!

Front of Frank Theatres Cinebowl in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Front of Frank Theatres Cinebowl in Cary – NC Triangle Dining
Concessions at Frank Theatres Cinebowl in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Concessions at Frank Theatres Cinebowl in Cary – NC Triangle Dining

Now let’s head back down to Cary and the new Frank CineBowl! This bowling alley and cinema presents another spin on the deluxe movie theatre experience. Up front and to the right you’ll find the bowling alley lit up in neon. Above the bowling alley area is an arcade with some fun games like Pop-a-Shot, skee-ball and more. And to the left, you’ve got your luxe movie theaters! Like Cinebistro, they serve food right up in the theater but like Raleigh Grande, they offer up stadium style seating with motorized leather seats. So you’ve got the best of both worlds at CineBowl & Grille.

Seating at Frank Theatres Cinebowl in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Seating at Frank Theatres Cinebowl in Cary – NC Triangle Dining
Loaded tots at Frank CineBowl in Cary - NC Triangle Dining
Loaded tots at Frank CineBowl in Cary – NC Triangle Dining

The food menu here is upgraded theater food but it’s not bad at all! I ordered up a ridiculous plate of tater tots which was a ginormous, heaping mound of crisp tots covered with two types of cheese sauce, bacon, and scallions, delicious! But I could have fed a family of four off these tots. The rest of the menu runs the gamut of wings, tacos, sandwiches, burgers and entrees, plenty good but more casual than Cinebistro. With ticket prices in the $12 to $15 range, Frank Theatres CineBowl & Grille is an excellent option if you’re looking for food AND a movie.

Front of Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill - NC Triangle Dining
Front of Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill – NC Triangle Dining

And finally, our last super theater: Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill. Located off of S. Estes Drive on the west side of University Place, Silverspot mixes things up a bit compared to the previous four super cinemas! Silverspot offers the upscale Trilogy Restaurant at the front of the cinema for a pre-show dinner or take-out box for in-theater dining. If that doesn’t float your boat, you can grab some eats at the more standard concessions area. I’ve done a media dinner at Trilogy Restaurant and it is certainly the highest-end food available if you dine in. Check out my full review here!

Concessions at Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill - NC Triangle Dining
Concessions at Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill – NC Triangle Dining

Silverspot is pretty modern and offers ticket kiosks on a wall to grab your seat if you don’t order your ticket online.  Once you get your eats, move on into the movie theater section where you’ll find yourself in a luxe seating area but different from the other options on this list. Silverspot offers plush leather seating in a stadium (tiered) setting BUT the seats are not motorized and don’t offer foot-rests. The front row does have leather ottomans available to kick up your feet but you won’t be able to do that for the back rows.

Seating at Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill - NC Triangle Dining
Seating at Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill – NC Triangle Dining

So there you go! A quick trip and overview through most of the top movie theaters in the area. What’s really interesting is that they all offer slightly different food, seating options and movie watching experiences. So choose wisely based upon your needs and interests. Some days I’m in more of a dining mood and want the food. Other times it’s all about the movie watching experience. But I’m pretty certain that one of these deluxe, blinged out movie theatres will suit you fine!

 

IMAX Theatre at Marbles

201 E Hargett Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

 

Raleigh Grande

4840 Grove Barton Road

Raleigh, NC 27613

 

Frank Theatres Cinebowl and Grill

Parkside Town Commons

1140 Parkside Main Street

Cary, NC 27519

 

Silverspot Cinema

201 S Estes Dr #100

Chapel Hill, NC 27514

 

Cinebistro, Waverly Place

525 New Waverly Place 

Cary, NC 27518

The post Maxing Out Your Movies: An Overview of Deluxe Movie Theaters & Cinemas in the Triangle appeared first on NC Triangle Dining.

...[READ MORE]   SOURCE: NC Triangle Dining

Friday Fun Food Facts – July 21, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Chapel Hill’s iconic Carolina Coffee Shop has new owners. A group of UNC alumni and friends, led by Jeff Hortman, have purchased the institution. Things will pretty much continue the same through the fall before renovations and tweaks over the winter. Thanks to Michael DePersia at DePersia & Associates for the heads up on this news. Check out Carolina Coffee Shop here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The ITB Insider reported this week that the next location of Chopt will reside in the former Tribeca Tavern building in the North Ridge Shopping Center on Fall of the Neuse Road. No word on an open date. Get familiar with Chopt here.
  • The folks over at Morgan Street Food Hall announced another tenant this week – MKG Kitchen. MKG Kitchen is from the same creators of Mekong Vietnamese Cuisine in Morrisville. Get the latest details on the Morgan Street Food Hall here.
  • In Brier Creek this week the big news was the opening of the new Harris Teeter (which has a wine and beer bar in it!)at the corner of T.W. Alexander and U.S. 70. However in that same center, it was announced that pizza chain Your Pie and breakfast joint First Watch would join Harris Teeter. No word on open dates.
  • Over on Hillsborough Street, Ashton Mae Smith noted that Pho Vietnam, already with a location on Buck Jones Road, has opened. They are located in the 2811 Building at the corner of Hillsborough Street and Dan Allen Drive. Check them out on Facebook here.
  • Congrats to Sara Coleman Fitzpatrick and the team over at The Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh as they celebrate 10 years of bringing yumminess to the Triangle. They will have a ‘neighborhood birthday party” all day on Thursday, July 27th with free mini cupcakes, t-shirt giveaways, and more (with additional specials running through the weekend). Check out the latest on their website here.
  • And over in Cary, reader Hugh Autry brought it to our attention that Cary is going to get a second Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, this one adjacent to the Craft Public House near the intersection of Tryon Road and Walnut Street. Check out Shuckin’ Shack here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Durham, got word from Michael DePersia at DePersia & Associates that Los Dos Sombreros (formerly Cinco de Mayo) located at 4818 NC Hwy 55 has been sold to Basera Indian Cuisine, a successful Indian restaurant franchise out of Plano, Texas. They should open later this month after completing renovations. We will keep you posted. Get familiar with them here.
  • Also in Durham, WRAL reported that Local Yogurt has opened in their new location at 1114 W. Chapel Hill Street, conveniently located between downtown Durham and Duke University. Check them out of Facebook here.
  • WRAL also reported that a new coffee shop in Durham called Kaffeinate will be taking over the former Respite Cafe spot at 115 N. Duke Street. No word yet on an open date. Get to know Kaffeinate here.
  • Bites of Bull City blogger Amber Watson first reported that there is a new Latin-flavored ice cream/popsicle/milkshake shop at 1918 Perry Street (near Duke) called Pincho Loco. According to WRAL, they will hold their grand opening this weekend, Friday through Sunday. Check them out here.
  • In Chapel Hill, Carolina Brewery will be celebrating their 22nd anniversary with lots of changes – following renovations to the physical space at their W. Franklin Street brewpub, they will unveil a number of menu changes. All offer a new, refreshing feel that reflect the community that surrounds them. The new menu will be unveiled on July 31. Keep up with the latest on their website here.
  • Got word from the Chatham County Convention and Visitors Bureau that Phoenix Bakery Market Cafe will hold their grand opening in their new location at 664 West Street in Pittsboro on August 19th. Bagels, pastries and cakes oh my! Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Also in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill, Marco’s Pizza will have their grand opening on July 23 in the space in front of Harris Teeter where Fig & Honey used to be. From 1 – 4pm they will have free pizza samples, DJ, face painting and other children’s activities. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • Got word from Christine Rhyne Johnson that the Marco’s location in Apex has closed.
  • In Cary, got word this week from several sources that the Train Station across from the Amtrak station in Cary has also closed.
  • Over in Durham, Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson reported that George’s Java on Ninth Street has closed.
  • And in Chapel Hill, the News & Observer reported that after more than three years on West Franklin Street, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom will serve its last slice in Chapel Hill this weekend.

Food Trucks

  •  The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town this Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. Get all the details here.

Events

  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The Rickhouse will host Durham’s 3rd Annual PickleFest on Sunday, July 23 – a pickle-packed tasting event and market place showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi. Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips. Only 100 VIP tickets available for early bird entry at Noon! $15 VIP includes: (1) drink ticket, early entry and the thrilling announcement of the home pickler contest winner!! $5 General Admission Session 1 from 1 – 3pm; Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Check out the event on Facebook here.
  • Raleigh’s newest dining concept, 41Hundred (the new concept inside the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel), is holding their grand opening celebration on Tuesday, July 25 from 5-8 p.m. Enjoy complimentary bites from the 41Hundred menu and samples from TOPO Distillery, Bombshell Beer Company and Aviator Brewing Company. Check them out here.
  • The Second Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will take place on Thursday, July 27 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features twelve teams of Rise chefs partnered with a local brewery or beverage company. Each team will prepare a special biscuit and donut that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. With biscuits, donuts and beer, you can be sure this will sell-out fast. Get your tickets here.
  • This is my annual shout-out/reminder to my good buddy Tim CoyneSmith – tickets are on sale now to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival being held again this year at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater on July 28 and 29. Basically it is two days of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, and barbeque eatin’. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Catering Works will hold their next “Foodcation” at their event space, The Laurelbrook, on Thursday, August 3rd with the “destination” being Asia! “Travel” through the Southeastern territories for their signature spin on authentic Asian street fare and onward to inspired Indochina fusion delicacies! Tickets are $45 for the seven-course meal/trip. Get all the details here.
  • Join North Carolina brewers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for their fourth annual Natural Selections event on Friday, August 18. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science among the museum’s dioramas. Sample unique creations fitting the museum’s natural science focus from more than 20 North Carolina breweries. Enjoy hands-on science of beer activities, a panel discussion, games and live music by Handsome Al and the Lookers. Vote for your favorite beer during the event and award the second annual Natural Selections People’s Choice Award to one lucky brewery. $65 VIP; $40; $25 for Friends of the Museum members. Price includes beer samples, activities, tasting guide, and collectible Natural Selections tasting glass. You must be 21 years or older to attend. Get all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival are on sale now. Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs on September 9th and will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Join host chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill on Thursday, September 14th for Festa Italiana, a Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm on the terrace with hors d’oeuvres, games of bocce and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 7:30pm in the Il Palio dining room and is followed by a live auction. Tickets are $185. Get your tickets and all the details here – including the stellar lineup of chefs.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • 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! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), 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

Media: The 41Hundred at North Hills For Delicious Local Beers and Plates

41Hundred at the Renaissance Hotel in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
41Hundred at the Renaissance Hotel in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

If you’re a fan of North Hills, you’ve probably seen and passed by the Renaissance Hotel many times. Located on the very southern end of North Hills, it hosted a nicely upscale restaurant named Flights for years. It was a fine restaurant, very upscale but more of a special occasions type spot. But time changes everything and Chef Dean Thompson has re-swizzled the culinary efforts at the Renaissance into a more relaxed and casual experience reflecting the changing tastes in Raleigh. Enter 41Hundred, part bar, part lounge and part restaurant. With an upcoming grand opening party on July 25th, you’ll get a chance to see what’s near at the 41Hundred. I had a chance to preview the menu last week and it was a very interesting culinary experience…

Bar at 41Hundred in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Bar at 41Hundred in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining
Dining room at 41Hundred in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Dining room at 41Hundred in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

When I first entered 41Hundred which sits on the first floor of the Renaissance Hotel, I didn’t recognize the place. Gone were the 25′ ceilings with fabric wall-hangings from the old Flights. In was a funky looking bar with urban mural and a lot more. I met up with Kristen from Tabletop Media Group who was hosting the event from a PR perspective and the 41Hundred team, including Chef Dean Thompson. I first ran into Chef Dean years ago when he won two of the Fire in the Triangle competitions in 2013 and 2014, so you know he’s got some talent in the kitchen. Peering around the corner, I spy a funky looking dining room with an artificial grass flooring, outdoor chairs, and patio lighting overhead. Past the main dining room is a modern nook area with a bookshelf library on display. The dining room feels very open and modern with a glass face shedding a lot of natural light into the space. This is definitely not your typical hotel restaurant and dining area!

 

We all gather round the tables set up for our media preview and Chef Dean takes us through the menu. While 41Hundred offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, we’ll be focusing on their popular shared plates today. Scanning the menu, it all looks very reasonably priced with all the plates and sandwiches running from $10 to $15.  The shareable plates cover a wide range of cuisine types, a very eclectic assortment of flavors! Note the plates pictured here are a bit bigger than normal due to the media event and need to share across a larger table. 41Hundred has also amped up their beer and liquor selection by focusing on many of the great local options we now have in-state.

Menu at 41Hundred in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Menu at 41Hundred in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining
Roasted cauliflower plate at 41Hundred in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Roasted cauliflower plate at 41Hundred in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining
Halloumi plate at 41Hundred in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Halloumi plate at 41Hundred in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

We start off with the roasted cauliflower plate which is served with baba ghannoush, pita, olives. It’s a healthy and flavorful offering and the side of harissa (hot chili sauce) adds some spicy pop. Next up is the fried halloumi (semi-hard cheese) served with figs, almonds and heirloom tomatoes, very satisfying! There’s some chewy, crispy and and crunchy happening here and the tomatoes show off a wonderfully crimson skin. If you’re a vegetarian, these are the best options for you out of the shareable plates at 41Hundred.

Tuna poke at 41Hundred in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Tuna poke at 41Hundred in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

Korean BBQ wing at 41Hundred in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Korean BBQ wing at 41Hundred in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

Next up is a lovely looking tuna poke plate! Served up with sliced avocado, wasabi aioli and plantain chips, you can keep the bite simple or add some bite by adding the jalapenos.  A plate of crispy wings show up on the table. A heaping pile of flats and drums slicked with a sweet crispy crunch, these Korean BBQ wings could be very addictive! There’s some sriracha aioli for wing dipping if you’re in the mood.

Oxtail poutine at 41Hundred in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Oxtail poutine at 41Hundred in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

Now we’re deep into the meats on the 41Hundred menu. A plate of tender steak tacos disappear quickly (missed a picture) and then the piece de resistance for me, oxtail poutine! I’ve been on a bit of a poutine kick lately. Popular up in Canada, we’re talking about fried covered in gravy and cheese curds, a real meat and potatoes type dish. 41Hundred goes with a luscious oxtail meal and deep brown gravy with chunks of that cheese curd atop. A sprinkle of chives fills out the plate and it is dee-licious! The oxtail meat is super tender and has that mouth-feel given the fat and collagen in this cut. A great use of tender meat and potatoes here, in my opinion!

Hot cheesecake at 41Hundred in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Hot cheesecake at 41Hundred in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining
Banana pudding at 41Hundred in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Banana pudding at 41Hundred in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

We finish off the media tasting with Chef Dean’s famous hot cheesecake! This closely guarded recipe was handed down to him from the previous executive chef he worked under and after one taste you’ll understand why. The hot cheesecake is light, fluffy with some lemony tang and offers a nice contrast to your typically dense, cold cheesecake. I’m normally not a fan of cheesecake due to its density and texture but this hot cheesecake is eye-opening. And a small serving of banana pudding is wonderfully put together with a drizzle of caramel syrup and toasted coconut flakes.

Phew, that’s a lot of food and I’d have to say that my highlights were the Korean BBQ wings, oxtail poutine, and hot cheesecake! And if it all sounds mouth-watering to you, stop on by for the 41Hundred’s grand opening party on 7/25. They’ll be doing complimentary tastings of their menu and offer some beer and drink samples to the public. The 41Hundred has definitely switched things up here in North Hills. No longer a formal, special events type of destination, it’s brought a more international and casual menu to the dining room which you can enjoy with a nice beer or cocktail at the bar. So if you’re a N. Raleighite, come on by and check things out. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised and your tastebuds tingled…

 

41Hundred at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

Grand Opening, July 25th

4100 Main at North Hills Street

Raleigh, NC 27609

919.278.1478

Location on Google maps

The post Media: The 41Hundred at North Hills For Delicious Local Beers and Plates appeared first on NC Triangle Dining.

...[READ MORE]   SOURCE: NC Triangle Dining

News: The Unscripted Hotel Opens Up in Durham, July 19th!

The new Unscripted Hotel Durham - NC Triangle Dining
The new Unscripted Hotel Durham – NC Triangle Dining

The NC Triangle has been on a roll with boutique hotels over the past couple of years. From the 21C Museum Hotel and Durham Hotel out in the Bull City to the Aloft Hotel in Raleigh, these hip, urban hotels usually feature some interesting retail offerings like cool restaurants, stores and more. The upcoming opening of the Unscripted Hotel out in Durham is the latest in a wave of these new stay and play destinations!

Pour Taproom at the new Unscripted Hotel Durham - NC Triangle Dining
Pour Taproom at the new Unscripted Hotel Durham – NC Triangle Dining

Located in the old Jack Tar Motel on Corcoran Street, the new Unscripted will host 74 guest rooms, five food and beverage establishments and a 3rd floor rooftop pool and lounge. On the food-beverage front, there will be a Neomonde, Jack Tar Diner (folks from Pizzeria Toro) and Pour Taproom (already open) on the street level. I’ve had a chance to visit Pour which was pretty cool! A modern beer bar with 60+ self-serve taps paid for with a magic band.

The grand opening for Unscripted Durham is coming soon, July 19th at 10am! I’ll be heading over for a media preview the day afterwards and will be updating this post with more information and pics. But very excited to see what they have done in this renovation and what sort of food they will be bringing to downtown Durham.

In celebration of the hotel’s grand opening, locals can take advantage of a special staycation package, including 10 percent off a room, free parking and late check-out (Use promo code LOCALS when booking). Now through Sept. 5, travelers can also enjoy 10 percent off room bookings, as well as two complimentary drinks at The Patio, bike rentals for two and late check-out by using the code OPENING when making a reservation.

 

Unscripted Hotel Durham

Grand Opening on July 19th at 10am

202 Corcoran Street

Durham, NC 27701

984.329.9500

Location on Google maps

 

The post News: The Unscripted Hotel Opens Up in Durham, July 19th! appeared first on NC Triangle Dining.

...[READ MORE]   SOURCE: NC Triangle Dining

Friday Fun Food Facts – July 14, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Sunday is National Ice Cream Day! And to help you celebrate, popular food truck Two Roosters Ice Cream will open their brick-and-mortar location in North Raleigh’s Greystone Village shopping center (7713 Leadmine Road). The grand opening will be Sunday from 2-7 p.m. They are located in the same shopping center as Gonza Tacos Y Tequila and Sola Coffee. Get all the details on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • Raleigh-based food truck Pho Nomenal Dumpling has opened its brick-and-mortar location, Mofu Shoppe, in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. Located at 321 S. Blount St., the restaurant features an expansive menu of fun takes on Asian street food. The name is a combination of the Mandarin Chinese words Mo (more) and Fu (fortune). Check them out here.
  • It was announced earlier this week that former AN Asian Cuisine sushi chef Hyun-Woo Kim has been named the new executive chef at popular sushi restaurant SONO in downtown Raleigh. He is joined by general manager James Yang, who joined SONO in 2016 after seven years at AN. Additionally, there has been an extensive menu update and interior redesign. Check out the latest on their website here.
  • Donovan’s Dish owner Jill Donovan announced the exciting news this week that they will be opening a second location of their Take Out Market. The new location will be in Raleigh’s Brier Creek at 10251 Little Brier Creek Pkwy (near Pei Wei). The Take Out Market features fresh and frozen chef prepared meals to go, hors d’oeuvres, soups, sides, sweets as well as local NC products. They are planning a mid August opening. Check out their original location in downtown Apex here. (Editor’s note: Order now and you can use code D2DTFG for free delivery!)
  • In downtown Raleigh, the News & Observer reported that Benny Capitale’s opened this past week at 121 Fayetteville St., in the former Crema coffee shop location. The Virginia-based company specializes in HUGE (28 inches!), but simple pizzas with just a few toppings available. There is also a location in Chapel Hill (Benny Cappella’s). Check them out here.
  • Somehow I missed the news that Mr. Cool Ice Cream opened in Apex in the Beaver Creek Commons shopping center (1011 Beaver Creek Commons Drive). Not much on their website at this point, but their Facebook page has plenty of pictures to entice you to come out and enjoy a scoop or two!
  • Also in Cary, Davina Ray and her husband Craig Wishart purchased Mithai House of Indian Desserts, renovated it, and rebranded it as Mithai Indian Café. It is the Carolinas’ first and only local artisanal Indian sweet manufacturer. They are located at 744-F East Chatham Street in Cary and can be found online here.
  • Down in Apex, it was announced this week that Pei Wei will open their newest location at 1107 Pine Plaza Drive in Nichols Plaza on Monday, July 31. They currently have two locations in Raleigh and one in Cary. Check them out here.
  • And up in Wake Forest, the new Chronic Tacos location will hold their grand opening on Saturday, July 15th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. It is located at 1000 Forestville Road. Check out their website here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Triangle Business Journal reported this week that joining the Target that will open on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street on July 23rd, will be the dining options of B.Good (the fast-casual, locally-sourced, fresh food restaurant with a location in Morrisville and 2 locations in Raleigh) and Pizza Press (North Carolina’s first location of the California-based, make-your-own pizza chain). No word yet on either open date. Check out B.Good here and Pizza Press here.
  • In Durham, Hope Valley Brewing Company has rebranded itself as Hope Valley Bar & Grill. Along with that comes the hiring of general manager Justin Schilo who has plans to transform the space to become the “Cheers” of Durham. Check them out here. Keep up with the changes here.
  • Also in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill, Marco’s Pizza will have their grand opening on July 23 in the space in front of Harris Teeter where Fig & Honey used to be. From 1 – 4 pm they will have free pizza samples, DJ, face painting and other children’s activities. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • Colleague Glenn Gillen notified me that Amante Pizza on South Roxboro Street in Durham has closed.
  • Got word from reader Craig Zeni that the Dickey’s BBQ in Cary’s Crossroads shopping center has closed. It was confirmed by Yelp and that they are no longer listed on the site.

Food Trucks

  •  The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town on Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. Get all the details here.

Events

  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The 16th Annual Acme Tomato Festival is here this weekend – July 14th – 16th. It’s Acme’s yearly deep-fried, wide-eyed, rarified, and, oh yes, justified belly-flop into the outright deliciousness that is summer. Over the festival weekend in downtown Carrboro, they’ll go through some 700 pounds of tomatoes. And please don’t think for a moment that these are any old tomatoes. No way, José. These are the Carrboro Farmers Market’s finest. Get all the details here.
  • The Rickhouse will host Durham’s 3rd Annual PickleFest on Sunday, July 23 – a pickle-packed tasting event and market place showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi. Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips. Only 100 VIP tickets available for early bird entry at Noon! $15 VIP includes: (1) drink ticket, early entry and the thrilling announcement of the home pickler contest winner!! $5 General Admission Session 1 from 1 – 3pm; Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Check out the event on Facebook here.
  • The Second Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will take place on Thursday, July 27 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features twelve teams of Rise chefs partnered with a local brewery or beverage company. Each team will prepare a special biscuit and donut that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. With biscuits, donuts and beer, you can be sure this will sell-out fast. Get your tickets here.
  • This is my annual shout-out/reminder to my good buddy Tim CoyneSmith – tickets are on sale now to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival being held again this year at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater on July 28 and 29. Basically it is two days of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, and barbeque eatin’. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • The News & Observer brought it to our attention that tickets for Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival go on sale tomorrow (July 15 – 10 a.m.). Beericana will take place again in Holly Springs will feature 70 breweries, 16 food trucks and thousands of beer lovers. Get ticket information and all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • 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! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), 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: MOFU Shoppe Serves Up an Urban Asian Dining Adventure for Raleigh

MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

It’s always exciting to see a food truck transition from its mobile roots into the more committed and secure status of a bricks and mortar establishment! It’s usually a testament to a lot of hard work, commitment and passion from the owners and its offerings. And if you’ve followed the food truck scene, you may be familiar with the Pho Nomenal Dumpling truck which won the 2015 Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network. Known for its authentic Asian eats, this team of young women were now ready to take the next big step in their culinary careers with the new MOFU Shoppe down by City Market. I had heard some buzz online but wasn’t really sure what to expect given I had never eaten at their truck. So I made some time to visit during their opening weekend and had a lovely first dinner…

Community table at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Community table at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

Heading on down to City Market, I admit I had no idea what MOFU’s exact address was (I’m usually more prepared) and criss-crossed the cobblestone streets looking for their storefront. A quick check on Facebook and voila! MOFU may officially be part of City Market but it sits a bit further south on Blount, about a half block further than I expected. Located in what used to be Triangle Glides-Segway tours, just look for the white brick face and black-white painted signage.

Dining room at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Dining room at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

Inside MOFU I’m greeted by the host and since I’m waiting for my friend grab a seat at the bar. The decor at MOFU Shoppe is fantastic and a bit more urban and gritty than what I expected. The space is large and open with an exposed ceiling 20′ overhead along with iron I-beams. On the left side they have some communal tables with patio lights overhead while the main dining room on the right includes a second floor landing for a raised dining area, very nice! At the bar there are frosted hanging lamps overhead along with a cool plate glass structure in a metal frame. What really makes the MOFU Shoppe space work is the abundance of natural light and air. The whole front face of the dining area is open to the street including some very cool arched cut-away windows above the main windows. And of course there are a couple of garage doors that look like they can be opened for additional fresh air on nice days, phew!

Cool urban space at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Cool urban space at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining
 MOFU Shoppe menu - NC Triangle Dining
MOFU Shoppe menu – NC Triangle Dining

My guest shows up and we grab a small 2-top on the side wall. Given it’s MOFU Shoppe’s opening weekend, they are offering a complimentary cocktail-drink for diners, very nice touch. I go with a sparkling rose for the meal and it’s time to dig into the menu. MOFU’s menu is small and focused with 20 items in total ranging from small and large plates, soup-salads and desserts all with an Asian-fusion twist. There’s a good mix of proteins to choose from and the menu is pretty gluten-free friendly if that’s your thing. We go with the crispy smoked pork belly, roasted chicken and 5 spice duck.

Smoked crispy pork belly at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Smoked crispy pork belly at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

There’s a bit of a wait for our food but no big deal given opening week, our crispy pork belly appetizer comes out of the kitchen first. It’s an interesting looking dish served in a shiny stainless steel bowl. Steamed jasmine rice and basil corn are layered underneath shredded chunks of pork. It reminds me of tea-smoked meats which are not uncommon in Chinese cooking. The pork is flavorful and tender with a deep richness to it. And contrasts well against the mellow corn and rice base. I enjoy a couple of bites but the rest of the dish goes to my hungry table-mate who raves about it.

5 spice duck at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
5 spice duck at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining
Malaysian roasted chicken at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Malaysian roasted chicken at MOFU Shoppe in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

My 5 Spice duck is up next, it’s a wonderful looking plate full of rich hues of magenta and greens from lima beans. Drunken cherries are plated around the duck which sit on top of a enoki mushroom patty. The duck is fork tender and there’s plenty of delicious breast meat here with a hint of the 5 spice (anise, clove, fennel, cinnamon and sichuan pepper). I also love the mushroom patty which is deep and flavorful, it would do well as a base for a vegetarian plate. Unfortunately the drunken cherries didn’t really stand out for me. I was hoping for some tangy fruit pop to work against the rich duck but it wasn’t there. The roast Malaysian chicken across the table looks great but I think I made out well with the 5 spice duck!

Service throughout the meal was excellent and well-informed, the staff is very well-trained which is impressive given MOFU Shoppe’s food truck origins. So it’s great to see that the gals from the Pho Nomenal Dumpling food truck have made the leap to bricks and mortar successfully. It’s still very early for MOFU Shoppe but color me impressed. The bar has been raised for the Triangle so all these great new restaurants that are opening up are much better prepared than I’ve seen in the past. MOFU Shoppe has done a stellar job with interesting urban decor, an Asian-influenced menu with good portion size and excellent service right out of the chute. I’m sure they’ll tweak the formula even more as the first couple of months go by so I’m expecting even better in 2017 from them! So stop on by for a visit and dinner if you’re up for something new. We’ve got a phonomenal new restaurant for downtown Raleigh, bon appetit!

 

MOFU Shoppe

321 S. Blount Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

919.301.8465

 

Location on Google maps

The post First Take: MOFU Shoppe Serves Up an Urban Asian Dining Adventure for Raleigh appeared first on NC Triangle Dining.

...[READ MORE]   SOURCE: NC Triangle Dining

Media: J. Alexander’s in Raleigh for a Modern Steakhouse Dining Experience

J. Alexander's in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
J. Alexander’s in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

Are you in the mood for a modern steakhouse and looking for something a bit different? If so, you might want to try out the new J Alexander’s in Raleigh behind Crabtree Valley Mall! I recently received an invite for a media visit to the new restaurant and had a great dinner here. While it has a menu that focuses on meats and seafood, there are a couple of twists in their repertoire. Here’s how my visit went down at the new J. Alexander’s in Raleigh!

Stylish bar at J. Alexander's in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Stylish bar at J. Alexander’s in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

First things first, if you’re looking for J. Alexander’s, finding it is not as easy as you would think. Your GPS will send you to the north side of Crabtree Valley Avenue (by Creedmoor) and you’ll see the restaurant but it’s located above you on a hilltop. Head towards the Edwards Mill Road stub off of Crabtree Valley Avenue, pass a new set of buildings on the left and J. Alexanders will be right in front of you on the left. It’s just not that obvious but stay focused, my foodie friend! Up front, you’ll find a large covered patio at J. Alexander’s along with a demure entrance enhanced by stonework and glass. A simple and quiet restaurant front but things pick up really quickly!

Modern dining room at J. Alexander's in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Modern dining room at J. Alexander’s in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

Like most steakhouses, J. Alexander’s has an upscale bar in front and we’re brought around to a booth in the main dining room. The design here is clean and organic in rustic browns and clean blacks making for a very modern space. Tables and booths have plenty of space between them making for a more subdued dining room that works well for conversation. All around the dining room, you’ll find wood paneling and rough-hewn slats overhead giving the space a very warm and welcoming feel. While comparable to Seasons 52 around the corner in terms of price and decor, I like the interior design here a bit more at J. Alexander’s.

Deviled eggs with candied bacon at J. Alexander's in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Deviled eggs with candied bacon at J. Alexander’s in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

At the table we’re perusing the menu after ordering a beer and some wine to tide us over. J. Alexander’s does offer quite a few steakhouse classics ranging from deviled eggs, crabcakes along with salmon, steak and ribs. One interesting part of the menu is a selection of sushi rolls which gives J. Alexander’s a modern surf and turf feel. While most of the entrees are in the $20 to low $30’s range befitting an upscale steakhouse, J. Alexander’s also offers a selection of salads and sandwiches in the $10 to $15 range if you’re eating lightly. We start with some delicious deviled eggs which are heaped high with filling. What makes the deviled eggs is the candied bacon strips which provide some great contrast. Definitely get these delicious deviled eggs!

Filet mignon at J. Alexander's in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Filet mignon at J. Alexander’s in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining
NY Strip and mac n cheese at J. Alexander's in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
NY Strip and mac n cheese at J. Alexander’s in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

We move on to our mains which fall under the classic beef category. My tablemate goes with a filet mignon served with mashed potatoes and roasted peppers. It’s declared the best steak of the year, J. Alexander’s serves up wet-aged certified Angus beef that’s perfectly grilled and finished with a compound butter, yum! My NY Strip is thick and bears that beautiful cross-hatching that’s so pleasing to the eyes. And the mac n cheese au gratin? Really fantastic showing off the tang from some gruyere cheese and pecorino romano, highly recommend it as a side here.

Molten chocolate cake at J. Alexander's in Raleigh - NC Triangle Dining
Molten chocolate cake at J. Alexander’s in Raleigh – NC Triangle Dining

We’re ready to fall asleep with all this food when we’re asked about dessert and, well ok, you’ve twisted my arm! We go with the classic molten chocolate cake served up with a dense vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Some serious dessert noms, the chocolate cake is gooey and huge. Even though we’re full we plow through this dessert and now, we’re ready to tap out. The staff here at J. Alexander’s is young but well-trained and are decked out in classic black befitting a higher end restaurant. I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised at my experience here. While it’s a bit on the upscale and pricier side, J. Alexander’s certainly delivers the goods in terms of decor, ambiance, food quality and portions along with service making for a strong dinner option in the Crabtree Valley Mall area! Once you’re able to find the place, it’s all downhill from there, enjoy!

 

J. Alexander’s

4600 Crabtree Valley Avenue

Raleigh, NC 27612

984.200.4493

 

Location on Google maps

The post Media: J. Alexander’s in Raleigh for a Modern Steakhouse Dining Experience appeared first on NC Triangle Dining.

...[READ MORE]   SOURCE: NC Triangle Dining

Friday Fun Food Facts – July 7, 2017

Triangle Restaurant News

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

Featured Restaurant News

  • Bartaco, located next to the entrance to Silverspot in Chapel Hill’s University Place, announced yesterday that they are now open. Bartaco combines fresh, upscale street food – tacos and “not tacos” create an unforgettable experience with a coastal vibe in a relaxed environment. The outdoor space and feel is definitely inviting. Check them out on their Facebook page here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • The good folks over at ITB Insider reported this week that the Lake Boone shopping center location of Chubby Tacos (supposed to be known as Guacamaya Fresh Mex) is expanding in what is described as an “interior expansion and alteration.” Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Last week we told you about the opening of Caribbean Spice, a Caribbean restaurant that combines traditional island dishes with newer dishes, in Raleigh at 2822 New Birch Drive. WRAL reported this week that they will hold their grand opening celebration on Saturday, July 8th. Get all the details here.
  • The new Chronic Tacos location in Wake Forest will hold their grand opening on Saturday, July 15th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. It is located at 1000 Forestville Road. Check out their website here.
  • Reader Brittany Torrence told us that Full Bloom Coffee Roasters has opened in downtown Garner. They’ll serve caffeinated beverages, breakfast, lunch, and craft brews. This is their first full week open. Check them out here.
  • Also in Garner, got word that today, July 7, the newest Famous Toastery restaurant opens in the White Oak shopping center. The address is 52 Eagle Wing Way. Learn everything about Famous Toastery on their website here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • Down in Chatham County, Bean & Barrel coffee shop in the Governors Village shopping center has changed their name to Flair Restaurant and Wine Bar. The restaurant is under new management/ownership with a focus on French-influenced American food from executive chef Robert Warren. Check out their website to get all the details.
  • Also in Chatham County, just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill, Marco’s Pizza will have their grand opening on July 23 in the space in front of Harris Teeter where Fig & Honey used to be. From 1 – 4 pm they will have free pizza samples, DJ, face painting and other children’s activities. Get all the details here.

Closings

  • Got word from reader Amy Howard that Mr. Wonderful’s Chicken & Waffles on New Bern Ave. in Raleigh has closed.
  • The Triangle Business Journal reported that the Carolina’s Best Steak & Subs shop, open in Cary’s Crossroads Plaza since 2008, is closing on July 15.
  • And it is now confirmed, Casa San Carlos in North Raleigh is closed. That is the bad news. The good news, you just have to travel to Wrightsville Beach to enjoy it again! Check them out here.

Food Trucks

  •  The News & Observer reported this week that The Farmery is moving its Airstream trailer and indoor farm from Research Triangle Park to Durham’s 326 Geer St., in the parking lot of a vacant building. It’s down the street from Motorco Music Hall and around the corner from Fullsteam Brewery. Pending inspection approvals, it is scheduled to open today, July 7. Keep up with the move on their website here.
  • The Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo returns to town on Sunday, July 23rd, from 12-4 at The Renaissance Center in historic downtown Wake Forest. Nearly 20 trucks are already signed up. A beer tent will be provided by Brooks Street Bowl and the kids have can have fun in the Kid’s Zone that will include FREE face painting sponsored by The Learning Experience, a bouncy house, road chalk, hula hoops, ball toss and bubble fun. Get all the details here.

Events

  • This summer, chef John May will partner with local purveyors to create exciting themed evenings at Piedmont. Each dinner will consist of four courses with optional beverage pairings, and chef May will welcome guest distillers, cheesemakers, and farmers to the restaurant to educate diners about their products. Upcoming dates and themes include: July 13: Sweet & Savory Cheese Dinner featuring Boxcarr Handmade Cheese; July 27: Grilled Veggies featuring Fullsteam Brewery; August 10: Lost Dishes of the Midatlantic and Punches. All menus will be $40 for four courses and an additional $15 for beverage pairings. Get all the details here.
  • The 16th Annual Acme Tomato Festival is almost here – July 14th – 16th. It’s Acme’s yearly deep-fried, wide-eyed, rarified, and, oh yes, justified belly-flop into the outright deliciousness that is summer. Over the festival weekend, in downtown Carrboro, they’ll go through some 700 pounds of tomatoes. And please don’t think for a moment that these are any old tomatoes. No way, José. These are the Carrboro Farmers Market’s finest. Get all the details here.
  • The Rickhouse will host Durham’s 3rd Annual PickleFest on Sunday, July 23 – a pickle-packed tasting event and market place showcasing North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi. Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips. Only 100 VIP tickets available for early bird entry at Noon! $15 VIP includes: (1) drink ticket, early entry and the thrilling announcement of the home pickler contest winner!! $5 General Admission Session 1 from 1 – 3pm; Session 2 from 2 – 4pm. Kids under 10 years old are free. Check out the event on Facebook here.
  • The Second Annual Big Biscuit Showdown will take place on Thursday, July 27 from 6-9pm at The Rickhouse in Downtown Durham. This unique food competition features twelve teams of Rise chefs partnered with a local brewery or beverage company. Each team will prepare a special biscuit and donut that will be paired with a local craft-made beverage. With biscuits, donuts and beer, you can be sure this will sell-out fast. Get your tickets here.
  • The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association will hold the second annual NC Chef Showdown on August 21 in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market. Participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “People’s’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year. Get all the details here.
  • Pittsboro’s annual PepperFest will be held on Sunday, September 24th this year at the Great Meadow in Briar Chapel. PepperFest is a celebration of  local food made by local chefs and food artisans featuring 40 different kinds of locally grown peppers prepared in hundreds of creative ways. Get all the details here.
  • 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! Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY! Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (@TerraVitaFest), 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: Boba Tea and Tasty Asian Street Food at Quickly in Morrisville!

Front of Quickly in Morrisville - NC Triangle Dining
Front of Quickly in Morrisville – NC Triangle Dining

If you’re a fan of boba (or bubble) tea, there aren’t a ton of options in the Triangle. You might try Grand Asia Market or mom and pop Vietnamese restaurants but there are very few places that specialize in boba tea. So I was pretty surprised to find a Quickly pop on my radar screen right here in Morrisville. Quickly is an international chain of franchised boba tea shops based out of Taiwan and with its US headquarters in California. And while I found quite a few out on the West coast, they aren’t so common on the east coast. For North Carolina, there are only two in the entire state (Charlotte and Morrisville). So yes, it was time for a trip out to visit Quickly Morrisville and enjoy some bubble tea!

Order counter at Quickly in Morrisville - NC Triangle Dining
Order counter at Quickly in Morrisville – NC Triangle Dining

Located in a large strip plaza with Randy’s Pizza, Quickly sits in an innocuous location. And unless you’re looking for it, you’d easily miss it. Inside, Quickly is pretty bare-bones with tiny tables and plastic chairs that look like they might seat a child. Ambiance is definitely NOT what Quickly is about. There’s a large board of their tapioca teas, slushies, and shaved ice offerings along with a specials board and food item board (popcorn chicken, dumplings, HK style egg puff). It’s about as basic and bare as you would imagine along with some bright green and orange colors brightening up the space.

Bubble tea from Quickly in Morrisville - NC Triangle Dining
Bubble tea from Quickly in Morrisville – NC Triangle Dining

If you’re not familiar with boba tea, it’s usually a mix of tea-milk with chewy tapioca balls (boba-bubble) on the bottom. But of course there are a bazillion variants with different fruit flavors, toppings and boba combinations. Super fun for kids, you have to drink your boba tea with a large diameter straw. I go with the panda bubble tea which comes with honey and crystal boba. It only takes five minutes for my panda boba tea which is served in a plastic cup sealed with plastic wrap. Pop your big straw in through the top and suck away! Just be careful not to drink too aggressively and choke on a boba! This tea is pretty delicious and has that fun, chewy flavor along with a bit of sweet from the honey, yum…

Popcorn chicken from Quickly in Morrisville - NC Triangle Dining
Popcorn chicken from Quickly in Morrisville – NC Triangle Dining

In subsequent visits to Quickly, I decided to explore their food menu a bit. Described as Asian street food, the choices range from popcorn chicken to rice dishes and more with prices from $3 to $9. I’ve tried the popcorn chicken which is great! A pile of perfectly browned chicken chunks with a crunchy coating. It all looks familiar, I’m pretty sure Quickly uses water chestnut flour which gives the popcorn chicken a distinctly bumpy, brown surface. And it’s all dark meat which makes for a tasty little snack along with a boba tea, good stuff.

Musubi and shumai from Quickly in Morrisville - NC Triangle Dining
Musubi and shumai from Quickly in Morrisville – NC Triangle Dining
Seating area at Quickly in Morrisville - NC Triangle Dining
Seating area at Quickly in Morrisville – NC Triangle Dining

I’ve also tried the shu-mai and musubi (spam, rice, nori wrapper) which are decent but not really my thing. But I’m glad to have taste-tested some of the other food options here. Where else in the Triangle can you find a Hawaiian treat like musubi? All I can say is that Quickly is definitely the real, Asian deal. From the boba tea to the popcorn chicken, along with the spartan decor, it all screams West coast and California to me. Which is really interesting out here in NC. But if you’re curious and have some kids, Quickly would be a fun stop for a quick drink and snack if you’re in the mood. Enjoy Quickly Morrisville for a little taste of California and Taiwan right here in the Triangle!

 

Quickly Morrisville

4141 Davis Drive

Morrisville, NC 27560

984.465.0347

 

Location on Google maps

The post First Take: Boba Tea and Tasty Asian Street Food at Quickly in Morrisville! appeared first on NC Triangle Dining.

...[READ MORE]   SOURCE: NC Triangle Dining

An Alternative to Beer at the New Bull City Ciderworks

Front of the new Bull City Ciderworks on Roxboro St in Durham - NC Triangle Dining
Front of the new Bull City Ciderworks on Roxboro St in Durham – NC Triangle Dining

With all the craft breweries popping up in the Triangle you knew that there would be other libations that would start manufacture in the state.  Liquors from TOPO, Mystic Liquer and Krupnikas for example. But how about a nice adult beverage without the grains or gluten? And that’s what you get at the new Bull City Ciderworks in Durham? Here’s how my visit went to their new location on Roxboro Street…

Bar at the new Bull City Ciderworks on Roxboro St in Durham - NC Triangle Dining
Bar at the new Bull City Ciderworks on Roxboro St in Durham – NC Triangle Dining

The popular Bull City Ciderworks started on Elizabeth Street in Durham but due to some city construction, had to find a newer and bigger home. Supported by a local Kickstarter, they’ve done really well, moving into a prime location near the DPAC. It’s a great space, at least twice the size of the original location. Inside, they’ve got an upgraded bar in and industrial space with concrete floors and some wood paneling. Large roll-up garage doors, board games and more to keep you busy, you can definitely while away an hour or two sipping on their ciders.

Large space at the new Bull City Ciderworks on Roxboro St in Durham - NC Triangle Dining
Large space at the new Bull City Ciderworks on Roxboro St in Durham – NC Triangle Dining

And they’ve got a much larger offering of ciders ranging from 4 or 5 regular ciders, 8 or so seasonals and then some guest taps. Bull City Cider Works tends to do a sweeter cider but offers a variety of cider styles to keep most everyone happy, especially those that need to stay away from glutens. They’ve also got a food truck schedule, the Kings Sandwich shop Airstream was there during my visit. Bull City Cider Works is pretty busy during our holiday visit so I guess the city likes doing something other than craft beer, too.

So if you’re ever out and about in Durham you might want to check out the new Bull City Ciderworks for an impromptu visit.  While I enjoy my beers, there are now so many craft breweries in the area, it might be interesting to switch things up with some cider.  Especially if you’re in the DPAC area for a show, so a big cheers to the new Bull City Ciderworks!  Because man (and woman) can NOT live by beer alone even if we may think so.

 

Bull City Ciderworks

305 S Roxboro Street

Durham, NC 27701

919.237.2357

 

Location on Google map

The post An Alternative to Beer at the New Bull City Ciderworks appeared first on NC Triangle Dining.

...[READ MORE]   SOURCE: NC Triangle Dining
« Older Entries