Out and About at WRAL.com

Brookside Bodega will celebrate their grand opening in Raleigh today (June 10) from 4 – 9 pm with carnival games, live music and food on its outdoor patio. They are located at 1000 Brookside Drive in the former Falafel & Co. space. The restaurant’s menu is loosely inspired by New York bodegas, or small owner-operated convenience stores, and features dishes like the New York chopped cheese sandwich, spicy Nashville chicken sandwich and Birria taco plate and guacamole. There are plenty of vegetarian options, including Buffalo cauliflower, the Portobello club, a grilled Pimento cheese sandwich and more. And true to the bodega form, they are stocked with all the essential items you need for your home – everything from a great wine selection and beer, to dairy, eggs and toilet paper. Congrats to owners Lee and Michelle Robinson, Jacob Paramo and Darrell Brown. Get to know them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

In Cary’s Fenton development, the Indigo Road Hospitality Group announced this week that they have hired Oscar Gnapi as executive chef of their new Italian concept, Colletta, which will open later this summer (July 15 is the target date). Colletta will be the third Indigo Road restaurant to open in the Triangle area, joining O-Ku and Oak Steakhouse, which are located in downtown Raleigh, and opened in 2018 and 2019. Congrats to Steve Palmer and his continued success. Start getting familiar with Coletta here.

Fenton renderings

The former Sub Conscious spot on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street is getting a new tenant next month after the Italian Kitchen was unsuccessful after one year in business. The Triangle Business Journal is reporting that Bussin Pizza is taking over the 1,400-square-foot space at 3209 Hillsborough Street where customers can expect New York-style pizza by the slice during the day with a focus on specialty pizzas and dishes in the evening. Owner Saul Castillo has experience with two other pizza places in Raleigh – Brookside Pizza and Supremo’s Pizza. Keep up with opening announcements on their Facebook page here.

The East Cafe at the North Carolina Museum of Art has redesigned their menu and offerings, which you can check out here. Also, due to renovations at the museum, SIP Coffee Bar and Cafe will be closed June 1 through Oct. 8, but most of their offerings will be available at the East Cafe during that time. And if you are planning a picnic at the museum park, you can order picnic baskets ahead of time to be picked up on Saturday and Sunday between 11 am and 4 pm Order your picnic here.

Hang in there Fuqua-Varina. Chris Creighton shared the news that the Chick-fil-A in “the quay” is closed for renovations “to update the building to become more efficient.” They will remain closed until renovations are complete later this summer. Follow their progress on Facebook here. The good news is the Chick-fil-A location at Waverly Place just re-opened yesterday. Check them out here.

And up in Wake Forest, reader Mike Burger shared a slew of good news. Here’s a quick summary of the happenings: Cravin’ Confections Dessert Bar is open at 3612 Rogers Branch Road; Poki Bowl is open at 1898-110 South Franklin St.; and Paco’s Pizza is open at 3325 Rogers Road (this is the third iteration of a pizza shop at this location…hopefully, the third time is the charm!). Thanks Mike!

Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Michael DePersia of DePersia & Associates shared with me that Parks Food Street at 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road in Durham was sold to Succotash Food Truck who plan to remodel and open a brick and mortar location in a few months. Follow their progress on their site here. Parks indicated on their website that they plan to re-open in Raleigh. Stay tuned.


None to report! Keep eating local, folks!

Food Trucks

The first Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo of 2022 is THIS Sunday, June 12! The rodeo is set up on downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street featuring a half mile of food trucks and restaurants spread out over 10 city blocks. The final one of the year will be on Sept 25. Details here.

And if you can’t make it over to Raleigh, the town of Hillsborough is having their Hillsborough Food Truck Rodeo this Sunday as well from 3-8 pm at 144 E. Margaret Lane. Pick from 15-plus food trucks during this new event in downtown Hillsborough. Options include anything from Smokiin Mac to pupusas from Mesas El Savador. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here. Thanks to Chapel Hill Magazine for alerting us to this.

The remaining Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo 2022 schedule is as follows: Sept. 4 and Oct. 30. Mark your calendars.

Looking to find your favorite food truck (or stalking them and simply don’t want to have to admit it)? We understand. Find them on Street Food Finder.


WRAL shared that the annual Pimento Cheese Festival returns to downtown Cary this Saturday, June 11th, from 11 am to 4 pm Food trucks will line Academy Street to serve their regular menus, along with new dishes featuring a southern delicacy: pimento cheese! Enjoy live music at the Downtown Park, grab a drink from local breweries, and taste some of the best pimento cheese samples from local restaurants. You can even test your skills in the pimento cheese sculpting contest. Get all the details here.

Vidrio restaurant on Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh will host a family-style Ukrainian Dinner on June 23 from 6:30 to 9 pm to benefit World Central Kitchen’s efforts to feed people displaced by the Russian war in Ukraine. One-hundred percent of the dinner’s proceeds will be donated. After watching the news coverage of the ongoing Russian incursion into Ukraine, Vidrio’s executive chef Saif Rahman was moved to turn one of the restaurant’s monthly Taste of the Mediterranean dinners into an event to support the Ukrainian people. Get all the details and reserve your spot here.

This is the final weekend of the annual Triangle Restaurant Week summer edition – it concludes this Sunday, June 12. During the event, participating restaurants within Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham and surrounding areas will offer a special 2 or 3-course prix fixe menu ($20, $25, $30, $40, $50) each day they are open. Visit their website for a list of participating restaurants and their offerings.

The NC Hops Fest will be held June 11-12 at the NC State Fairgrounds. Attendees will be able to sample from a selection of 100+ NC craft beers, ciders, and seltzers while enjoying live music, local makers, and food trucks.

After a 2-year hiatus, Dinner in the Meadow will return as attendees will be gathering in the meadow again on Sunday, Sept. 11 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm The dinner sells out each year, so you are encouraged to get your tickets early.

The 15th Annual Pepperfest returns this year on Sunday, Sept. 18 at The Plant in Pittsboro. The event is hosted outdoors with live music and pepper-themed food and drink made with locally-grown sweet, hot, and smokey NC peppers. Chefs and craft beverage makers will compete for awards. Guests can taste different dishes made from peppers grown in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Early bird prices are good through July 1, when prices increase. Get your tickets and all the details here. Thanks to Neha Shah with the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau for alerting me about this great event!

Like beer? Excellent. Visit Raleigh has established a Raleigh Beer Trail that gives you a passport to get stamped at the 30+ breweries in the Raleigh area, from Wake Forest to Raleigh to Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina. Once you’ve filled up your passport with stamps, you send it in to receive prizes. Nothing like being rewarded for drinking! But as always, please drink responsibly.

Food Bank Corner

With your support over the last year, the Food Bank distributed food to approximately 200,000 youth facing hunger in the 34 counties we serve. Unfortunately, we continue to see a devastating impact from COVID-19 for young people, who are left vulnerable to family and school changes. No child should have to worry when he or she will eat again, and no parent should have to skip a meal, so they can put food on the table for their children. Through agency distributions, targeted nutrition programs, education, and public policy work, the Food Bank is reaching young people with healthy and fun food options. Learn more here. #NoOneGoesHungry

Sean Lennard, a Raleigh native, has been around the Triangle food scene for…well, a long time, but professionally since 2002 with the Triangle Food Blog, formerly known as Friday Fun Food Facts, in 2008. You can find his blog here. And you don’t have to wait until Friday for updates as you can follow Sean throughout the week on Facebook and Twitter.