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Weekend Picks! Oct 18-20th

Weekend Picks October 18-20th

Weekend Picks October 18-20th

As we enter the third week of October one of the areas biggest annual event has come to town. The North Carolina State Fair kicked off this past Thursday and is one of my top picks for this weekend. If rides, petting zoos, and fried foods aren’t your thing, there are many other great events going on elsewhere in the Triangle this weekend worth checking out. Here are my top picks for this weekend!

Friday October 18th

North Carolina State Fair Kickoff Weekend!
The state fair has come to town and runs through Oct. 27th. There is something for everyone from the rides, fried food, animals, and live entertainment. Fireworks cap off each night too. Check the fair website for the full event schedule.

Free Espresso Friday at Jubala Village Coffee – Raleigh
Did you know every Friday at Jubala Village Coffee in North Raleigh is “Free Espresso Friday”? Every Friday they buy 10 lbs of a “guest” espresso and give out free espresso shots until they run out. This Friday’s espresso is Counter Culture Coffee’s “La Golondrina”.

Live Music at DeMarco’s – Donnie Howard Acoustic – Raleigh
Donnie Howard returns to the DeMarco’s Restaurant and Bar this Friday night at 8pm. Enjoy great pizza and Italian dishes along with a fantastic selection of wines and craft beers while listening to great live music.

Saturday October 19th

Cooke Street Carnival – Downtown Raleigh
Cooke Street Carnival returns for a fifth year and this year they are having a block long cook-out. They will have bands and the art vendors like previous years, but this year they are focusing on food and drink with some of your favorite local food trucks, beer vendors, juices, vegan food, coffee, desserts, bread, a pickle eating contest and more.

This year they are partnering with Learning Together, a local non-profit children’s organization and inclusive daycare to help donate some supplies for the children and give the kids some fun activities at the carnival. Please bring some supplies to donate or you can donate money at the event. We will put a full list of needed supplies on our website.

Bull City Coop Tour – Durham
The Third Annual Bull City Coop Tour gives visitors an up-close peek into the living quarters of some of Durham’s feathered residents.

Maps for the self-guided tour will be available at the Durham Farmers Market and Bull City Burger and Brewery for a suggested donation of $5.00 per adult and $20.00 per carload. Kids under 12 are free. No donation amount will be turned down. Tourists will visit each location at their leisure as long as it is within the time limit, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m on Saturday October 19th, 2013.

Chickensrock – Bull City Burger & Brewery – Durham
Following the Coop Tour, be sure to swing by Bull City Burger & Brewery for more fun at their “Chickenstock Festival” from 4-8pm. It is a free, fun and funky edu-party that brings the community together to learn about urban chicken-raising and sustainable living. The event will feature live music, vendors and awards for Durham’s top-rated roosts!

Raleigh Roundup “Bourbon & Bubbles” Benefit Event
The 2013 Raleigh Roundup will be held on Saturday, October 19th at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh. Join us for this fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society. Event includes live music, plenty of food and drink, a live and silent auction, a raffle, and plenty more fun. The 2013 Raleigh Roundup will take place on Saturday, October 19 at Marbles Museum in Raleigh. Tickets are $150 (see website for details)
Event Website

Taylor’s Wine Shop BBQ Event to benefit YMCA
This Saturday (October 19th) from 11am – 2pm, you can buy a plate of our very own pitmaster, Bill Brown’s BBQ. Plates are $10 each and include slaw, potato salad and a roll. BBQ sandwiches, handmade desserts and BBQ by the pound will also be available. All proceeds will go to the Gail Cash Memorial Endowment Fund to benefit the AE Finley YMCA.
Event Website

Sunday October 20th


Pop-Up Sunday at Ornamentea – Downtown Raleigh
POP-UP Sunday is this Sunday from 12-5pm in the Ornamentea Parking Lot. The event provides local businesses, artists and the community a chance to mingle. This Sunday’s market will feature several artist vendors, local Beer, Food Trucks. Always a fun time and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

“Surveying the Terrain” at CAM Raleigh – Downtown Raleigh
Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum has a new exhibit called “Surveying the Terrain” This exhibit explores how ten contemporary artists are using maps, mapping technologies, cartography, surveying, science and politics to create artworks. The exhibition focuses on the how the artists’ relationships to the Earth, the art they create, and our relationships to each other are condensed, extended, distorted and interpreted by beauty, politics, environmental degradation, poverty, surveillance, privacy and censorship. And do not miss Family Sundae from 12-3pm this Sunday: explore the Surveying the Terrain exhibition, visit the Creation Station for hands-on activities, meet our student docents and experience CAM Raleigh’s interactive Family Sundae Ice Cream Bar (patent pending). Family Sunday is FREE thanks to the generous support of the CAM Raleigh community.

Bull City Racefest & Food Truck Rodeo – Durham
Over 5,800 runners will race in Durham’s Bull City Race Fest & Food Truck Rodeo Sunday. The family-friendly event will feature Food Truck Rodeo at the finish line by Diamond View Park. There will be live music on the course which highlights Downtown Durham, Trinity Park, Duke’s Campus, and Forest Hills. Check the race course on their website and go out and cheer on the runners – always fun to do (bring a cowbell!). Afterwards join the runners at the food truck rodeo!

Walking Dead – Watch Party at Motorco- Durham
Don’t have AMC but want to watch one of the most popular shows on tv? Afraid to watch a show about zombies alone? Then head over to the Garage Bar at Motorco in Durham and watch the show with friends while enjoying a beer or cocktail. They’ll show last week’s episode at 8pm followed by this week’s new episode at 8pm. All on the big screen!


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This Weekend’s Picks! March 29-31, 2013


Easter weekend is usually a little quiet, but there are some great things going on the Friday and Saturday in the Triangle. Here are my suggestions for things to check out the weekend. Have a tip or suggestion for next weekend? Send me an email at TriangleExplorer@gmail.com.

Friday March 29th

Durham at Duke’s Spring Arts Festival
Join the Duke University Union Visual Arts Committee to celebrate the unveiling of the new Arts Annex mural at the Spring Arts Festival. Everyone is invited to come out for the festival, an art-filled afternoon of live jazz, food trucks (Parlez-Vous Crepe, Loyo and Baguettaboutit), Dtown Market vendors, arts and crafts led by Happymess Studios, and see the new Arts Annex mural.
When: Friday 3-6pm
Where: Arts Annex (404 Gattis Street), Durham
More Info: website

Saturday March 30th

Flora & Food Truch Festival at Fairview Garden
Residents in Western Wake County now have the opportunity to experience the gourmet food truck revolution that has taken Durham, RTP and downtown Raleigh by storm. We have teamed up with several of the most popular gourmet food trucks of the Triangle to offer the first-ever “Flora and Food Trucks Series”.  The kick off event will be Saturday, March 30.  Our store hours are 9 am-6 pm.  Food Trucks will be serving up their delicacies from 11…:30 am – 2:30 pm.  Food Trucks participating in our kick-off event are: Chirba Chirba, Deli-icious, Only Burger, Porchetta, Sweet Stacey Cakes.

When: Saturday 11:30am-2:30pm
Where: 8224 Holly Springs Road, Cary
More Info: website

Designers Uptown Market
An open air market filled with handcrafted goods.The Designers Uptown Market features fine locally made arts and crafts with an outdoor big city feel.  Vendors showcase some of the finest handcrafted arts and crafts in the area: jewelry, pottery, apparel, stained glass, paper crafts.

When: Saturday 9:00am-3:00pm
Where: Lafayette Village, 8450 Honeycutt Road, Raleigh
More Info: website

Escazu Chocolate 5th Year Anniversary Sale
Celebrate Escazu Chocolates 5th year in Raleigh with their once a years sale. 10% discount on confections and 20% discount on everything else in the shop – This Saturday only!

When: Saturday 11am-10pm
Where: Escazu Chocolate, 936 North Blount Street, Raleigh
More Info: website

Bull City Burger & Brewery – “Hands on the Bull” Contest!
Attention Golden Bull Hunters! Just can’t wait to get your hand on a bull? Join Bull City Burger & Brewery Saturday and they guarantee you will be able to get your hands on a Bull. Major Bull that is. The final chance to win a free burger/veggie burger, fries and drink every week for a year begins at 8:00 AM on Saturday (7:30 AM arrival). All you have to do is keep your hand on Major Bull longer than anyone else and you’ll be the winner of Golden Bull #5.  They still have several slots open, but are limiting this contest to 30 or so people. Go by the restaurant to sign up. Check out the  link below for the Official Rules and Regulations.

When: Saturday 7:30am
Where: “Major” The Bull Statue in Downtown Durham
More Info & How to Register for Contest: website

Sunday March 31st
Happy Easter!

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Sneak Peek At The Cookery’s Front Room ~ Grand Opening Celebration September 15th!!


The Cookery ~ Durham, NC

Exciting things are happening at The Cookery in Durham! The Cookery opened a little over a year ago as a state-of-the-art rentable commercial kitchen and has already had a tremendous impact on the Triangle culinary scene.

Now the folks behind this culinary incubator have expanded beyond the kitchen and renovated the remainder of the old Food Co-op building the kitchen is located in along West Chapel Hill Street in Durham to create a unique new event space called the Front Room. The Cookery’s Front Room will be used to host a series of pop-up restaurants, specialty food events, culinary workshops and wine and beer dinners, as well as private dinners and receptions.


Front Room Grand Opening!

A fundraiser event from noon-3p.m. on Saturday September 15th, featuring live music, food trucks, and local beers and wine will serve as the unveiling of the Front Room. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Durham Crisis Response Center’s emergency shelter, which provides a safe environment for women and children fleeing violent and dangerous situations.

Food truck favorites at the benefit will include Chirba Chirba DumplingMonuts DonutsThe ParlourPie PushersSympathy for the Deli, and Triangle Raw Foods. Each is a member of The Cookery, where they share a state-of-the-art  kitchen to prepare their culinary delights. Other Triangle chefs will participate, as will special musical  guest Justin Robinson and the Mary Annettes. The Clever Vine will host a free  wine tasting local brewers Bull City Burger and Brewery, Fullsteam, Lonerider  Brewing Company and Triangle Brewing Company will offer beer  tastings. Click on the flyer above for all the details about the Grand Opening Event.

My sneak peek inside the Front Room at the Cookery!

Back in late August, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the Front Room during  the ongoing renovations as they prepared the space for the grand opening. It was awesome meeting Rochelle Johnson and Nick Hawthorne-Johnson, the husband and wife team who own and operate the Cookery and learn more about the space and their vision.

Below are a few pictures I took during my “sneak peek” of the Front Room that provide a  glimpses of the interior space during the renovation process. All signs point to this being an incredibly unique event space when all the hard work is completed and look I forward to attending culinary workshops and wedding receptions there in the future!


Interior features exposed brick walls

The Front Room is both elegant and rustic at the same time.  It captures the perfect blend of a historic space infused with a modern feel that makes for a warm and inviting event space that  retains the character and charm of old Durham. The space can accommodate events with up to 200 guests and features a 20′ foot high ceiling,  exposed brick walls, and original metal work from local metal sculptors in addition to salvaged metal and woodwork rescued from historic Durham landmarks.


The Bar Area

There Front Room will have full wet bar featuring several North Carolina beers on tap. The bar is constructed with a metal base made from repurposed metal salvaged from an old three legged water tower that use to stand high above Durham. There are plans to add a foot railing along the bottom of the bar made from old trolley ties from trolley tracks that use to run right along the street outside the Cookery back in the day.


The Bar

The bar top itself is made from old wooden shudders that once belonged to an old tobacco warehouse in Durham.  I am a big fan of wooden bar tops and love that this one is made out of re-purposed wood that came from a source so closely tied with the city’s history.


Bar-top made from old tobacco warehouse wood shutters

When I visited, Nick was working on applying additional coats of polyurethane top coat to seal the  bar top with a glossy, clear finish that brings out the character in the old wood. I think his hard work has paid off, as the bar looks awesome and I couldn’t resist taking a the close-up picture above to capture rich deep color of the wooden bar top.


View down on the main area from the mezzanine

My pictures of the main area of the Front Room don’t do it justice becayse my visit was during the hustle and bustle of the renovation. However, I wanted to include the picture above as it shows the perspective looking down on the main area of the room from the mezzanine above. I enjoyed how connected the two spaces are making it easy for guest to flow from one area to the other.


Metal Railings

As you ascend the stairs to visit the mezzanine you can’t help but admire the intricate metal work along the railings.  These functional works of art that adorn the interior were created by local metal sculptor Al Frega. Al is a large-scale metal sculptor, renowned for his ability to transform salvaged hunks of metal into beautiful pieces of art. Although it wasn’t installed yet when I visited, I was told Mr. Frega is now completing work on sculpting a beautiful metal gate that will be featured along the front entrance of the building.


Mezzanine Area overlooking room below

The spacious Mezzanine area has loads of potential to be used for different functions at events and provides an unobstructed view of both the seating area and the large retractable doors opening to the outdoor patio.  During my visit a local professional photographer was using the mezzanine area to do a photo shoot.  I’m sure the exposed brick background and beautiful metal work made for fantastic shots!


Drink railings along walls throughout the Mezzanine

Wooden drink railings will be installed along the walls throughout the mezzanine and on the outdoor patio, limiting the need for cocktail tables and freeing up space for guests to move around and mingle.


Twenty Foot High Ceilings

The exposed brick walls throughout the space remind you of the building’s long history and are highlighted by the warm lighting and plentiful natural light that spills through the many windows. The high ceilings and ample space really open up the possibilities as to how the space can be utilized. There are plans to add full audio/visual equipment setup including a 15′ retractable projection screen and projector that can be used for presentations at business meetings, seminars, and luncheons.


Lighting fixtures behind the bar

With a historic building like the one that is home to the Front Room, I think it is important that the fixtures, furniture & decor compliment the character of the historic backdrop.  I loved the attention to detail in the renovation of the Front Room space and how the choices like the metal light fixtures installed behind the bar, the reclaimed wood drink railings, and the acid etched stained concrete floors all go together so well and result in creating a modern space that retains its original character. I can’t wait to visit again once all of the renovations are completed. Don’t miss your chance too see it – Check out the Front Room at their Grand Opening event on September 15th!


Large skillet & mural featured along the Cookery Building

For more information about The Cookery and the Grand Opening of the Front Room visit their website or follow them on facebook. You can view more of my pictures from my sneak peek at the Front Room in my flickr photo album.

The Cookery
1101 West Chapel Hill Street
Durham, NC 27701 (Map)
website: http://durhamcookery.com/
twitter: @Cookery

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Filed under Businesses, Durham, Food, Food Trucks, Local Beers and Breweries, Restaurant Reviews, Wine Tasting

Bull City Burger & Brewery in Durham – A “Must Go” for Burger Lovers!

Bull City Burger & Brewery 508

If you are looking for one of the best burgers in the Triangle then you need to get yourself over to Bull City Burger and Brewery (BCBB) located at 107 Parrish Street in Downtown Durham (Map). BCBB has been open a little over a year but for some crazy reason I have only recently had the opportunity to eat there. Actually, these photos are from my visit back in April for my Birthday. I’ve been back since and have been meaning to post this review for some time but one thing lead to another and I am only now getting around to sharing my thoughts on this great place.

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BCBB serves lunch and dinner seven days a week and offers ample seating with approximately 90 seats inside in addition to 50 seats of outside patio dining. The interior has an old fashioned looking stamped tin ceiling, with warm LED lighting, and natural light spilling in from large front windows providing a great view of the sidewalk of Parrish Street. The dining area features open seating with communal style picnic tables made of reclaimed wood. Or if you prefer, you can grab a stool at the bar and order / eat your food there. I enjoyed sitting at the bar. It has a large mirror along the length of the bar wall behind the taps and glasses providing a great view dining room and steel fermenters in the brewery situated behind you while sitting at the bar.

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BCBB is not your run of the mill burger joint.  The food served there is high quality – from the burgers all the way down to the toppings.  The restaurant can be best described as “farm-to-fork,” as they work closely with local pasture raised beef farmers supplying beef with no hormones added and antibiotic-free meat. This is a HUGE plus in my book. It is important to me that not only do the burgers taste amazing, but that I know where my food is coming from and what it has and doesn’t have in it. These burgers are locally sourced and made of high quality beef. The beef is grinded daily to make their hamburgers and all-beef hotdogs.  BCBB also works with other local farmers growing produce to be used in their burger toppings, such as tomatoes, cucumbers for pickles, and lettuce.  In fact, most of the items on the menu are produced on-site including the house made buns, sauerkraut and bacon.   They do not use artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated oils.

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With all the great offerings on the menu, I have to admit I am pretty traditional when it comes to what I want on a burger. I just want quality beef, cheese and some pickles along with mustard and ketchup all situated on a fantastic bun. In addition to the traditional burgers offered, BCBB also has an extensive specialty burger menu for those looking for something extra special. Like the The Over Easy with bacon and fried egg, and the Green Monster with Gruyere Cheese, Raw Onion and Roasted Poblano Peppers.  They also serve all beef, hotdogs, chili, and a non-meat three bean burger. Their fries are equally amazing and come two different ways. You can get “dirty” fries done in peanut oil, or “duck frites” made using duck fat and fresh rosemary. Both are amazing! You can view the full menu here.

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BCBB is also a working brewery and they brew their own beer. They usually have eight beers on-tap at any given time rotating seasonally throughout the year. Beer is available by the pint, pitcher, sampler and Tower of Beer Power in the restaurant, as well as to take home in growlers and kegs. I love the idea of samplers when it comes to beer. This allows you to try three or more different beers in small four once pours for $1.35 per sample. On my visit back in April I selected four beers to sample: Bryant Bridge Gateway Golden Ale, Full Frame “Reel” Amber Ale, Parrish Street Pale Ale, and the “Stonewall” Jackson Brown Ale. I was very pleased with all of the beers I tried and think BCBB doesn’t get as much attention as they deserve regarding their well crafted brews. It is my opinion that they are some of the best beers made right here in the Triangle.

The is beer is indeed awesome, but the folks at BCBB take wine seriously too and feature a great selection of estate grown wines from around the world, which are served on-tap via the Enomantic self serve wine dispensing machine.

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So, while it has taken me a while to share my thoughts on BCBB, let me close by saying this is place is a “must go” on any foodies list. It is a double whammy offering the best in locally sourced burgers and some of the best beer made in the Triangle.  You can read more about Bull City Burger and Brewery on their website or follow them on facebook and twitter for updates to their menu and details about future events.

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Free Burgers for a Year! Anniversary Golden Bull Search at Bull City Burger & Brewery in Durham


Flight of Beer Samples ~ From left to right: Parrish Street Pale Ale, Pratt Pilsner, Bull's IPA, & Youngen Horny Barley Wine.

Bull City Burger & Brewery in Durham is celebrating its one year anniverary this month. To help them celebrate they are holding another “find the golden bull” contest like the one they did to mark their grand opening back in March 2011. The owner has hidden 5 small golden bull figures around Durham. Each day they post a clue about where they are hidden. If you find one of the golden bulls you win a free burger a week for the next year! You read the contest clues and rules here.


The Bar at Bull Coty Burger & Brewery

Sadly, I have yet to eat one of their burgers but I hear they are fantastic. They use locally sourced meat that is hormone and antibiotic free. They also brew their own beer onsite and serve up some incredible “dirty” fries. I stopped in Bull City to sample some of their beers (pictured above). You can sample 3 or more of their beers for just $1 each and full pints are only $4.22.


Seating at Bull City Burger & Brewery

Seasting consists of chairs at the bar and large community tables on the main floor where groups can sit together. You place your order at the counter and are given a number to display on your table and a server will bring you your food. Bull City Burger has been well received by the burger loving crowd and plays a strong role in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Durham. To learn more about the menu and beer offerings check out their website and facebook page. Check back here soon for a full review of their burgers as I plan to eat there early next month and get some additional photos!

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