RALEIGH, N.C. — Almost exactly a year after opening their location at 3701 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh, the folks over at Gym Tacos shared the news this week that they are opening another location in downtown Raleigh’s Morgan Street Food Hall, taking over the spot formerly occupied by Wicked Taco. They made the announcement via Instagram. No word on an open date. Follow them on Instagram here for updates.

Wake County Restaurant News

Thanks to a tip from Kenan Barnes, we learned that a concept called Gen Ramen (Sushi, Tempura & Sake) will be opening in the former Bendito/Hightop Burger spot in McNeil Pointe (corner of McNeil Street and Wake Forest Road at 2330 Bale St.). We were unable to locate an online presence for them, so you will have to stay tuned. Thanks Kenan!

And a quick correction from last week, we reported that Taco Shack is opening up in the former Tijuana Flats location (1310 East Millbrook Road) in the Quail Corners Shopping Center. We were close, but not quite close enough. It is actually a concept called Burrito Shak that is bringing their second location to the Triangle. They have five locations in eastern North Carolina, as well as one in Cary (and one in Arizona!). If you are not familiar with them, do so here.
And over in Cary, got word from Hugh Autry that Benny’s Billiards and Sports Bar (932 N.E. Maynard Road) is now open for lunch seven days a week. Stop by at lunch for a bite to eat, pool or a cold brew (or all three!). Check out Benny’s, and their menu, here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

The wait is over in Chapel Hill. After a media/friends night last night (Thursday) Bombolo has begun accepting reservations for Feb. 23 and beyond. Owned by siblings Garret Fleming and Eleanor Lacy, Bomobolo is located in the former Kitchen space at 764 MLK Jr. Blvd. You will recognize the owners as the same folks that brought us Big Belly Que. They will begin with dinner service Thursday through Sunday, with Mondays and brunches coming soon. Until you can get in, buy a gift card and get 10% off with code GCBOMBOLO. Check them out here.
Also in Chapel Hill, we will see the retirement of Jeff and Cathy Bailey, owners of Great Harvest Bread Company for the past 11 years. They have handed the reins of this long standing bakery cafe over to Brandy Corbett and Amy Kelley. Congrats to the duo! Visit Great Harvest here.
And one more Chapel Hill note, we learned from a post on the Facebook page of The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro that Crumbl Cookies has opened in the Carolina Square development at 133 W. Franklin Street (Suite 150). This looks to be the eighth Triangle-area location for the concept. Visit Crumbl here.
Over in downtown Durham we learned there is a new spot to get a hot dog, thanks to a tip from the folks over at Triangle NC Foodies. Tubbs Hotdogs is posted up right next to “the bull” at East Chapel Hill and Corcoran streets, across from the Marriott and Unscripted Hotels. Their dogs and sausages are premium Boar’s Head topped with unique condiments. Follow along on Facebook here.
Out near RTP, got word from Twitter buddy BurgeoningBaker that Urban Noodle is having their grand opening celebrations this Saturday, Feb. 18. They are located in the Walmart shopping center near the intersection of N.C. Highway 54 and Interstate 540 (4104 Surles Court, Durham). They will be open all day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. as usual, but offering 30% off everything from their menu on Feb. 18! Entertainment and giveaways will be from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. See you there! Get familiar with them here.
Down in Pittsboro we got word this week that Dillingers Diner is now open for breakfast! They open at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday and are located at 987 East Street in Pittsboro. Check them out on Facebook here.
And finally, kudos to The Original Q Shack in Durham which turns 20 today (Feb. 17)! Lots of fun things planned today, including the fact that every 20th customer that comes through the ordering line will receive a free meal. Congrats to Dan Ferguson and his team! Visit them here.

Closing / Cancelations

None to report. Please keep eating local, folks. Listen, locally-owned restaurants (such a big part of why this area is so special) are still struggling – rising food costs, supply chain issues, increasing labor costs (and shortages). Please make every effort you can to support our local restaurants! When given the choice, choose local!

Food Trucks

Get out your calendar and make note of the dates for the 2023 Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeos. Here is a cheat sheet for you: March 19 | June 11 | September 3 | October 29 – and all the rodeos are from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Just over a month until the first one of the year! Giddyup! Here is the link.
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 here.


Today, Feb. 17, the Carolina Hurricanes Fan Fest will take over downtown Raleigh to celebrate the Canes’ 25 years in NC. Fayetteville Street will be packed with activities and entertainment from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Throughout the day, there will be live music on two stages, live art and drone light shows. More than 30 Triangle food trucks and 50+ vendors will line the streets, with plenty of craft beer to go around. There will even be a wing eating contest! Plan your day and get all the details here.
As if you need another reason to eat at Cape Fear Seafood Company (two locations here in the Triangle – Village District and North Raleigh, with a third on the way to Wake Forest), throughout the month of February they will donate $1 from the purchase of every Surf & Turf Chimichurri App to the Trawick Pediatric Cardiology Research Fund at Duke Children’s Hospital. The funds will be matched by CFSC’s founders for a total of $2 per appetizer sold going towards research. The fund was established to further the research for thousands of children born each year with congenital heart defects. Get more information here.
Lilly Den Farm and Postal Fish Co are pairing up to bring you their first annual Pigs & Pearls. What is that? Basically a huge oyster roast and pig pickin’! Sign me up! It will take place at The Plant on Sunday, Feb. 26 and the menu will feature whole hog, smoked chicken, steamed Virgina oysters, cornbread, collards, baked beans and filled to order Banana Rellenitos by Carlolina Cravings. Also look for local beverages, music and fun. Get all the details and tickets here.
Rocky Top Catering will hold the fifth annual Cooking for the Kids (formally Cooking for a Classic) beginning Feb. 27 with the first round and concluding with the finale on March 15. This cooking competition brings together eight of the Triangle’s premier chefs. All proceeds benefit Overflowing Hands, a volunteer-led organization serving the most vulnerable children in our neighborhoods, fighting food insecurity and providing clothing, shelter and healthcare. This year’s participating chefs are: Preeti Waas from Cheeni; Josiah Halboh from Young Hearts Distilling; Saif Rahman from Vidrio; David Mitchell from Plates Kitchen; Jaime Adams from Catalan Tapas; Kyle Teears from Craften; Kyle Fletcher from Norse Brewing; and James R. Patterson III from McConnell Golf. Cooking for the Kids takes place at 1705 East located at 1705 E. Millbrook Road in Raleigh. See chef pairings as well as tickets and all the details here.
We got word from the folks over at RalToday that Raleigh Brewing is throwing a party to celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday, March 4, from 1 to 9 p.m., there will be beer Olympics games, live music, food trucks and special beer releases, including an exclusive edition of Hell Yes Ma’am. Admission is free (but if you can kindly RSVP, I’m sure they’d appreciate it). RSVP here as well as gather all the details.
Hospitality mavens Sarah Shepherd of Height House Hotel and chef Liz Grandchamp of Grandchamp Hospitality recently introduced Raleigh’s newest pop-up dining experience – Supper Club – hosted monthly at Heights House Hotel. They have three more on the schedule and tickets for those “open up” three weeks prior to each event. Mark your calendars for Supper Club March 13 (Piedmont), April 17 (Seafood) and May 22 (Italian American). After those, Supper Club at Heights House will then resume in the Fall. So get ready! Follow along here and get ready for the next one.
Everyone knows what April 15 is. Nope, that is April 18 this year. April 15th is the date for the 13th Annual Cuegrass Festival which is returning to Fayetteville Street and will feature a large covered area with draft beer options, plenty of seating and extra beer stations throughout the event. Get all the details here.
Got word from Neha Shah, director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau, that Farm to Fork is making its return in 2023 on June 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Fearrington Village. Held in the Triangle for more than 15 years, the Farm to Fork Picnic is a showcase of North Carolina chefs, artisans, and farmers paired together to create sips and nibbles of the region’s best flavors and seasonal ingredients! You can get tickets and all the details here.

Food Bank Corner

Looking for an easy way for you and/or your office to make a huge difference in people’s lives? Host a VIRTUAL Food Drive! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… create a food drive without the heavy lifting using our Virtual Food Drive, and maximize your donation times five! For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide FIVE meals! You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members, or coworkers. It is easy! Start here. #noonegoeshungry

By Taba