Category Archives: Raleigh

Gonza Tacos y Tequila Summer Menu Preview

<i>Gonza Tacos - N. Raleigh</i>

Gonza Tacos y Tequila ~ North Raleigh Location

Gonza Tacos y Tequila is one of my favorite local restaurants so I was pretty excited when earlier this month I had the opportunity to attended a media preview of there new summer menu specials. I live in North Raleigh so I visit the Gonza location on Lead Mine Road by Sola Coffee fairly regularly. Over the past year Gonza has also opened locations in Wake Forest and downtown Durham, and has a fourth location in the works on  Hillsborough Street by NC State. The new summer specials will rotate throughout the summer months as weekly drink, appetizer or entree selections at all three locations. (note: the Hillsborough Street location is set to open in late August)

photo 1


The tasting kicked off with some new ceviche offerings including a unique roasted red pepper citrus infusion with a side of spicy popcorn. Also new is the tuna & watermelon ceviche and “four citrus” ceviche with bay scallops & cucumber. I’m a bit new to ceviche, but I enjoyed exploring these complementary flavor combinations of citrus and spice and think they make a great summer addition to the menu.

Summer Tacos

Summer Tacos

There are also three new tacos (short rib, shrimp adobado, and smoked brisket) that will appear as entree specials this summer. I loved the tasty short rib taco with creme fraiche, charred poblano, and corn salsa. The marinated smoked brisket tacos with three chile salsa and carrot & cabbage salsita is also a flavorful new addition. Sadly I am allergic to shell fish so I could not try the pan seared shrimp tacos with avocado and tomatillo salsa but they got a thumbs up from my fellow foodies lucky enough to enjoy them.

photo 2

New Summer Cocktails

Gonza already has an impressive bar setup and expansive drink menu, but they are offering some new signature drinks this summer that are well worth exploring. In explaining the new drinks, the bar manager expressed a desire to expose customers to the versatility of tequila beyond your typical margarita. New additions include the ginger tamarind made with fresh ginger, tamarind puree, tequila, triple sec, and sea salt.  Also new are the pineapple cilantro, watermelon mint, and sage melon cocktails – all of which are sure to be refreshing on a hot summer day.

photo 3

Dining Area at Gonza North Raleigh Location

For me these new summer menu items offer an opportunity to explore new flavors beyond my regular favorites at Gonza. I’m a bit of a creature of habit when it comes to ordering food, so I’m looking forward to changing things up and ordering these new items over the summer. No matter what you order I highly recommend visiting any one of their locations. I’ve been consistently impressed with the food, service, and atmosphere at all three locations and look forward to checking out there new restaurant on Hillsborough Street once its opens.

Gonza Tacos Y Tequila
Locations in Raleigh, Wake Forest, and Durham (locations & hours)
twitter: @Gonza_Tacos

1 Comment

Filed under Raleigh, Restaurant News, Restaurant Reviews

Boulted Bread in Raleigh


A few weeks ago I finally made my first visit to Boulted Bread. They are a relatively new bakery located in downtown Raleigh near the historic Boylan Heights neighborhood that offers bread and pastries made with organic, heirloom and locally sourced grains. It was opened by Fulton Forde, Sam Kirkpatrick, and Joshua Bellamy, friends who grew up in Raleigh and reconnected later in life to find they shared a passion for baking and making an impact on their community through the creation of local sustainable food systems.


The bakery is a neat space. It occupies a small renovated storefront on W. South Street that has a rolling garage door on the front that can be opened during the warmer months. There is parking along the side of the building where you will also find a few raised bed gardens and picnic tables along the side wall of the building with a great mural backdrop. The inside space is small but cozy and has a warm vibe. The glass garage door ensures the seating area is basked in morning light. There are only a few tables inside but they are a perfect spot to enjoy a morning pastry and coffee while people come and go to pick up their baked goods for the day.


Boulted offers five primary breads:  Levain, Seeded Rye, Seeded Levain, Ciabatta, and baguettes. They also offer a rotating menu of croissants and other pastry, showcasing seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. On the day I visited I tried an excellent raspberry danish that was perfectly baked with a slightly crisp exterior contrasted by a light and fluffy inside with just the right amount of raspberry. It was the perfect accompaniment to my cup of Counter Culture Coffee which you can also get at the bakery. They had a nice display of other pastries and baked goods and I look forward to going back  to try even more of their great selection.


One unique feature about Boulted Bread is that they mill all of their flour and rye in house using a custom made mill they had made using stone from a quarry in Salisbury, NC. This specialized mill is what allows them to work with heirloom varities of the southern grains in their breads. To help fund the making of the mill Boulted obtained a low interest loan from Slow Money NC, a great organization that focus resources on the local community and works to “build resilience in the local food economy by catalyzing loans to local, sustainable food and farming businesses.” Slow Money NC has also played a role in funding other great local Triangle businesses like Big Spoon Roasters, and Cocoa Cinnamon in Durham. You can learn more about Slow Money NC at


Boulted Bread is a cool place to check out and I am really impressed with their baked goods. I’d add this to the top of your list of places to visit in Raleigh if you are a fan of bakeries like me. To wet your appetite I highly recommend following Boulted Bread on instagram where they regularly share pictures of their delicious baked goods. Boulted Bread is open WednesdayFriday 7am-6pm,Saturday and Sunday 8am-5pm. They also sell their baked goods at the Western Wake Farmers’ Market each Saturday.

Boulted Bread
614 W. South Street
Raleigh, NC (map)
twitter: @BoultedBread
instagram: @BoultedBread


Filed under Bakery, Raleigh

Smashburger Raleigh Giveaway!

I’m happy to share that the news that the new Smashburger location in Raleigh’s Falls Village Shopping Center is offeringe Triangle Explorer readers a chance to win two FREE dinner entrees. To enter simply leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite burger topping or milkshake flavor. You can also enter by sharing this post on twitter using the hashtag #ExploreSmashburger. The winner will be randomly chosen next Friday January 30th at 3pm and notified via email.

Smashburger Durham 12

About Smashburger
Smashburger has a wide selection of fresh, never frozen Certified Angus Beef burgers “smashed” on a 400-degree flat grill to sear in the juicy flavor and served on toasted artisan buns. They have more than just burgers too, offering tender grilled chicken sandwiches and fresh-tossed signature salads, and handspun Häagen-Dazs shakes. They also offer a variety of irresistible sides including rosemary and garlic–seasoned Smashfries, Haystack Onions and Veggie Frites (flash-fried and seasoned carrot sticks and green beans).

To learn more about the Smashburger experience you can read my full review of their Durham location here.

Smashburger – Raleigh
6679 Falls of Neuse Road – Raleigh, NC (map)
Twitter: @SmashBurger


Filed under Giveaway, Raleigh, Restaurant News

Picture of the Week: Raleigh Tracks

Train Tracks by W. Martin Street ~ Raleigh, NC

Train Tracks by W. Martin Street ~ Raleigh, NC


Earlier this week I took a meandering run through downtown Raleigh. I like to take a small camera with me in case I come across anything new (and I always seem to stumble across a place I have never explored before). The photo I snapped above was taken just before the dead end of West Martin Street on the western side of downtown just past CAM Raleigh (map of location). There are many old warehouse buildings in this section of downtown and the area is currently receiving a lot of attention and undergoing a revitalization. It will be interesting to see how it evolves in the coming years.

1 Comment

Filed under Picture of the Week, Raleigh

Local Raleigh Bakery: Boulted Bread Share Program

boulted bread Raleigh

Boulted Bread

With a nod to the community supported agriculture (CSA) model, Boulted Bread in downtown Raleigh offers an order ahead bread pick up twice a week. Here’s how it works: They email an order form to their listserv on Monday morning and customers place orders at the beginning of the week and pick up their bread on Wednesdays and Fridays. 

  • Orders for Wednesday pick up accepted through Monday night.
  • Orders for Friday pick up accepted through Wednesday night.

To Place an Order:
For the week of May 12th – May 16th you can use this order form. If that scares you, simply email Sam (

Pick up:
You can pick up your bread at their shop614 W South Street, from 4-7pm.

Parking is available in the lot directly beside the shop, on the street, or in the lot behind the building accessible on South Saunders St.

Boulted Bread currently accepts cash and check.

Four organic bread offerings the week of May 12th – 16th

Levain ($6) – A two pound, moist, naturally leavened french country style bread made with stone milled, boulted Red Turkey wheat and Spelt. Delicate tang and heirloom wheat flavor make an excellent keeping bread

Seeded ($6) – Levain with flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds. This loaf is hearty and full of flavor.

Baguette ($3) – Our take on the classic form made with heirloom Red Turkey wheat flour and toasted corn meal to create a crisp, light, flavorful bread.

Rye ($6) – 100% NC grown heirloom Wren’s Abruzzi Rye. A dense Scandinavian style bread using rye that has been grown in NC since colonial times. A rich and meaty flavor on this bread with flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds. Traditionally stored in root cellars, it keeps for weeks wrapped tight and stored in the fridge. Perfect sliced thin with butter and smoked fish.

Boulted Bread

Boulted Bread

Boulted Bread is in the process of renovating a spot for their bakery at 614 W. South Street in downtown Raleigh. This is over by the historic Boylan Heights neighborhood. I’m keeping my ear to the ground for the official grand opening, but in the meantime you can enjoy their fresh baked breads each week through the bread share program and Saturdays at the Rebus Works Saturday Market.

Boulted Bread 
614 W. South Street – Raleigh, NC
twitter: @BoultedBread
instagram: @boultedbread



Filed under Food, Raleigh