Tag Archives: Pie Pushers

Celebrate Pi Day “π” ~ 3.14


Photo courtesy PieBird

Friday March 14th is Pi Day.  Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is approximately 3.14159.

According to wikipedia “Pi Day has been observed in many ways, including eating pie, throwing pies and discussing the significance of the number π. Some schools hold competitions as to which student can recall Pi to the highest number of decimal places.”

While I don’t condone throwing pies, and I am not aware of any local challenges to recite Pi, there are some great places to get a slice of pie on Friday. Below are a few suggestions!

Pie Bird – Raleigh
Known for their sweet and savory pies, PieBird will be serving up dessert pie slices at a special $3.14 price all day long Friday.

Sugarland Bakery – Chapel Hill & Raleigh
Will be featuring numerous pies and tarts to enjoy at both their Raleigh & Chapel Hill locations this Friday.

Yellow Dog Bread – Raleigh
In addition to their great breads, pastries, and coffee, Yellow Dog will have yummy fruit hand pies for sale this Friday.

Scratch – Durham
Scratch is “the place” to get an awesome piece of pie in Durham. They not only have exquisite pastries and pies but also serve excellent Intelligentsia coffee and espresso. Slices of pie will be $3.14 this Friday!

Pie Pushers Pizza at Cocoa Cinnamon – Durham
Not interested in a sweet pie? Stop by Cocoa Cinnamon  Friday evening 4-10pm for “Pi Night”. The Pie Pushers Pizza truck will be parked outside the shop slinging slices of gourmet pizza pie. If you still want something sweet you can always find some excellent locally made baked goods in Cocoa Cinnamon’s pastry case!
http://piepushers.com & http://www.cocoacinnamon.com


Filed under Food

Recap Of The Labor Day Weekend Food Truck Rodeo In Durham


View looking down Foster Street in Durham

The Food Truck Rodeo at Durham Central Park over Labor Day weekend  was the largest food truck rodeo in the Triangle to date. There were over 45 local trucks participating offering all kinds of culinary delights ranging from Detroit style pizza, dumplings, Korean BBQ, gourmet donuts, to raw healthy vegetarian foods! The event organizers organizers, Becky Cascio of Pie Pushers and Brian Bottger of Only Burger did an outstanding job coordinating this rodeo. Not only was the truck turnout impressive but the layout and spacing of the trucks really helped with the customer lines and crowd control making for a very enjoyable experience.


Trucks lined up along both sides of Foster St.

Trucks were lined up under the Farmer’s Market pavillion and along Foster and Hunt Street. To help limit generator noise, a large (and very quiet) industrial sized generator from Hertz was used to power all of the trucks at the rodeo which eliminating the need for individual generators which are often much noisier. I don’t make it to too many of these rodeos because I usually catch my favorite trucks on their regular visits to places like Fullsteam Brewery in Durham and Big Boss Brewery in Raleigh but I couldn’t resists seeing all of the trucks in one place.


Philly’s Cheese Steak Truck

I also wanted to check out some of the newer trucks on scene like the Philly Cheese Steak truck pictured above. They are the newest truck out of Raleigh, and regularly setup in the parking lot of Gypsy Jule on North West Street in downtown Raleigh on weekend nights. Although I didn’t get a chance to sample their food that day, they are now on the top of my list to try!


The Humble Pig

I also spotted the The Humble Pig truck. They have been around for a while now, but I’ve never seen their truck during my travels before and thought I would grab this shot of the crowd getting in the line to buy some of their well regarded locally sourced bar-b-que. I like the little pig in their logo too. So many trucks were there that day and I had so little time eat. I hope to find their truck again soon.


Gussy’s Greek

As I walked along Foster Street I came upon another truck I hadn’t seen before It was a blue truck called Gussy’s Greek. As the name implies they feature Greek fare like gyros, grilled chicken pita sandwiches, homemade hummus, falafel and Greek salads. I liked the look of the truck (upon looking over the truck I realized it was the old Slippin’ Sliders truck) and the customers I spoke to were very excited about the food the got from Gussy’s. So now I have them on my list to try soon as well!


Sympathy for the Deli

It is always good to go to these rodeos with a plan in mind. Know what trucks you want to try and get to them early. If you spend too much time meandering around, the lines will grow long before you make up your mind on what to eat. On this occasion I was determined to try one of the sandwiches from the Sympathy for the Deli truck. They are mobile deli serving sandwiches made with locally-sourced, sustainable meats, all hand-cured, roasted, and smoked in  Durham. I got in line as soon as  I arrived to beat the crowd and was rewarded with the most amazing sandwich I have ever had.


My smoked turkey sandwich from Sympathy for the Deli

The smoked turkey sandwich I purchased from Sympathy For The Deli had incredible smoked turkey meat topped with lettuce, locally grown tomatoes, onion, herb mayo, and swiss cheese. All nestled between warm toasted sourdough bread. I also had a side of their signature spicy pickled sugar snap peas that they call “Peakles”.

The sandwich was amazing! It was full of flavorful chunks of succulent smoked turkey that went great with the herb mayo and veggie toppings.  They bread was fantastic too – it was thick (but not too thick) and toasted yet had a soft center making the sandwich very easy to eat! I loved this sandwich and thought the “Peakles” were a tasty and creative side.  I can’t wait to try another sandwich from them and plan to do a more in-depth review of their truck and food offerings  soon.


Triangle Raw Foods

Just because it is a food truck doesn’t mean the food you get from it can’t be healthy. A perfect example of this is the Triangle Raw Foods truck. Matthew Daniels and Jane Howard Crutchfield, the folks behind TRF, offer raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, meatless meals. They come to the rodeo with their meals already prepared so there is no wait time which is another huge plus.

On this particular day their menu featured pad thai, green burritos, tunot nori rolls, asian marinated kale, sweet potato & apple salad, and pumpkin & chocolate tarts.  I stopped by and said hello to Matt and Jane, who are both fantastic people by the way, and picked up some of the tunot nori rolls and pumpkin tarts to take home and share with my wife. We both thoroughly enjoyed their healthy raw food creations and I look forward to trying more of their menu items in the future.


The Paws4Ever Waggin’ Wagon

Some have speculated that the food truck scene in the Triangle may have reached capacity with over 45 trucks now serving the area. However,  I think there is always room for a new idea as long as it is executed well. I found it very interesting to see a food truck dedicated to Dogs. It is called the Paws4Ever Waggin’ Wagon and serves gourmet treats four our four-legged friends. Not surprisingly, the truck was quite popular with many customers in the crowd who had their dogs along with them. I heard later through twitter that the Waggin’ Wagon was completely sold out by the end of the day!


Food trucks lined up along Hunt St.

If you missed the rodeo this time around there will be another massive Food Truck Roundup at Durham’s Central Park next month on October 28th. You can also view the rest of my pics from the latest rodeo in my flickr photo album.

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Filed under Durham, Events, Food Trucks

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

Triangle Area Pizza: Super Bowl Sunday Options!


I always enjoy eating a nice pizza while watching the Super Bowl. Despite online discussions on review sites like yelp debating the issue, there are actually some really terrific pizza offerings in the Triangle. So where do you plan to get your pie for the big game?

Some options I am considering are (in no particular order) are Klausie’s Pizza, Pie Pushers, Zpizza, and Bella Italia (all pictured below). I may need to flip a coin to decide! I’ve provided links to their websites below if you want to check out their menus and any specials they may be running Super Bowl Sunday. Feel free to post your recommendations for great pizza in the comments section below!

Klausie’s Pizza

Klausie’s Pizza is a pizza truck out of Raleigh that is open for Super Bowl Pizza pickup this Sunday! They will be doing full bakes and take-and-bakes on Sunday from their truck located on 230 Newton Rd off Six Forks Road from 3-6:30pm. Call-in your orders to 919-880-1087. To view Klausie’s Pizza Menu and keep tabs on where they will be, check out their website: http://www.klausies.com/

Pie Pushers

Pie Pushers is a pizza food truck out of Durham having a Super Bowl special offering pre-ordered Superbowl XLVI Packages. Pre-orders can be made anytime between now and Friday, February 3rd by 5pm. Then stop by MotorCo in Durham on Sunday afternoon, February 5th, to pickup your order before the kickoff of Superbowl XLVI!!

Each package is $27 and includes TWO large 16″ one-topping pizza pies AND one dozen of our spicy, dry-rubbed, baked wings! Choose your own toppings – and your side of ranch or bleu cheese. (Additional toppings are $2 per topping per pizza pie.)

Payment will be due by or before the time of pickup – at MotorCo Music Hall, 723 Rigsbee Ave in Durham. Pickup is anytime between 4p – 6:30p. If you have any questions or need to make any changes, please contact Becky with Pie Pushers: ph# 919.901.0743 or via email piepushersNC@gmail.com.

Here are links to the pre-order form as a PDF OR as a Word document. Just print, fill in, and return it to the truck in person or email it back to us before Friday night, February 3rd! For more info visit their website: http://piepushers.com/superbowl/

Bella Italia

Bella Italia is located in North Raleigh near the intersection of Falls River Avenue and Durant Road. It is a nice little local Italian Restaurant and they make a good pie that reminds me of the pizzas I use to get at local pizzareia joints up in New Jersey. For more info and to view their menue online visit their website: http://bellaitaliaraleigh.com/


Zpizza is the one chain I would recommend in the area. The reason I favor this chain is that they use organic ingredients in their pies and even have gluten free and vegan options. Their are three Zpizza location in the area. One is on Falls of Neuse in the Falls Pointe Shopping Plaza noth of I-540, the second is located in downtown Raleigh’s City Plaza, the third one is located in Stone Creek Village in Cary. For more info and menu options visit their website: http://www.zpizza.com


Filed under Food Trucks, Pizza, Restaurant Reviews