Tag Archives: Raleigh

Raleigh’s Fat Tuesday Celebration on Fayetteville Street ~ Saturday Feb. 28th!


My top pick for this weekend is the Big Easy Restaurant Group’s “Fat Tuesday on Fayetteville Street” block party, scheduled for this Saturday, February 28th. All the fun will take place on the 200 block of Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh (map).

“Our goal is to bring the downtown community together for a celebration before the traditional observance of Lent,” says Big Easy Manager Frank Ferlo. “We’re throwing a unique, New Orleans-style Mardi Gras party with live music, street performers, food trucks, games, prizes, giveaways and artisans.”

The event will take place from noon to 10 pm, is open to the public and free.

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Filed under Events

Upcoming Triangle Spring Events 2015


Below is a quick list of major annual spring events in the Triangle coming up in March, April and May. This list isn’t exhaustive, just a selection of major events that caught my eye. I’ll be adding others as I hear about them so check back each month. If you have any suggestions feel free to leave them in he comment below. I only note two large food truck rodeos but there are many other great food trucks events scheduled. Follow my friend The Wandering Sheppard to stay up to date on the latest food truck news and events. I’ll also be sharing about the upcoming annual outdoor concert series in a separate post in a few weeks. Here’s to warmer weather!

March 2015
5th – Empty Bowls 

7th – Nog Run Club St. Paddys Run Green 8k and Kilt Run 

7th – Raleigh Maker’s Market

8th – Durham Food Truck Rodeo 

8th – Bull City Food & Beer Experience

13-15th – Wizard World Comic Con Raleigh

14th – Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade

28th – Sarah P Duke Garden Spring Plant Sale

28th – Tour De Brew

28th – LoneRider Showdown

29th – Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo

March 7th – April 26th – Taste 2015 A Celebration of Food and Drink

April 2015
1st – Casks on Fools at Crank Arm Brewery

4th – Raleigh Maker’s Market

9th – Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

11th – World of Beer Festival Raleigh

12th – Carrboro Open Streets

12th – Raleigh Eurobike Show

16-19th – Shakori Hills Grass Roots Music Festival

17th -26th – Wake Forest Herbfest

18th – Counter Culture Coffee 20th Anniversary Celebration

18th – NC Cuegrass Festival at The Pit BBQ

23rd – Midtown Beach Music Kickoff

24th-26th – Art of Cool Festival

25th – Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival Cary Bond Park

25th – Brewgaloo

25th-26th – Piedmont Farm Tour

April 30th – May 3rd – Raleigh Food & Wine Festival

May 2015
2nd – Apex Peak Festival

2nd-3rd – Oakwood Garden Tour & Tea

3rd – Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo

3rd – Raleigh Maker’s Market

9th – Note in the Pocket’s Socks & Undie 5k Rundie

10th – Oaks & Spokes Festival

15th -17th – Artsplosure

15th-17th – Got To Be NC Festival

16th-17th – Hillsborough Spring Garden Tour

16th – Tour De Coup Raleigh

21st-25th – Freedom Balloon Festival

23rd – Annual Piedmont Car Show

30th – Durham Blues & Brews Festival

Have a suggestion? Feel free to leave it in the comment section below.


Filed under Events

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 http://slowmoneync.org.


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)
website: http://www.boultedbread.com/
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boultedbread
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)
Website: http://smashburger.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smashburger
Instagram http://instagram.com/Smashburger
Twitter: @SmashBurger


Filed under Giveaway, Raleigh, Restaurant News

Lucettegrace ~ Contemporary Patisserie in Downtown Raleigh


Lucettegrace – 235 South Salisbury Street – Raleigh, NC

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of Lucettegrace for the past few months and I’m happy to report the wait is now over! Chef Daniel Benjamin, the celebrated former pastry chef at the five-star Herons restaurant and Umstead Hotel in Cary has opened a contemporary patisserie in downtown Raleigh at 235 S. Salisbury Street and it is FANTASTIC!


Lucettegrace counter

The shop opened just over a month ago and I’ve already been by several times to check it out. I’ve been introduced to more wonderful pastry creations to behold and taste on each visit as the menu continues to grow. The word pastry really doesn’t really do justice to the baked goods sold at Lucettegrace. They are more like delicious edible works of art.


I also love the layout of the shop. The atmosphere is open and warm with a nice mix of old and new. The bright yellow stools lined up along the wood counter contrast well with the two toned hardwood floor and hanging lights against the exposed brick wall. Seating is plentiful with several tables in addition to the wrap around bar along the wall and the front of the shop has floor to ceiling windows making it the perfect place to sit with a coffee and croissant and watch the world go by.


Display Case

The front counter space is sleek and modern with a large glass case used to beautifully display the days offerings making is challenge to decide what to try among the field of amazing treats. So far I have tried several of the different types of croissants and eclairs. I am committed to slowly working my way through the menu of offerings. There are certain items that you can expect to find daily, while they also plan to regularly introduce new and seasonal items to keep the menu fresh and full of exciting items throughout the entire year.


Display Case

One of my favorite items is the Bourbon Pecan Pie croissant. It is so decadent and sweet. I think it is the perfect item to enjoy in the morning with coffee or later in the day after a meal as a dessert after a meal. Another popular item is the Dixie Cannonball which is filled with gravy! The shop serves organic locally roasted coffee from Larry’s Beans out of Raleigh. They offer a full menu of espresso drinks in addition to cold brew and traditional drip coffee. They also have a sipping caramel which I hear is incredible!

Bourbon Pecan Pie Croissant & Larry’s Beans Coffee

In addition to sweet treats, Lucettegrace has also just started offering a savory menu (available after 11am). I haven’t had a chance to try these new offerings but I am sure they are just as impressive as the pastries and I look forward to enjoying lunch there soon.

  • Basque Baguette: uncured ham, idiazabal cheese, pimenton butter, pepper olive jam
  • Focaccia Pizzette Chicago: butternut squash, pheta, maple bacon onion jam, pepitas, dried cherries
  • Roasted Mushroom Quiche: cremini, oyster, shiitake, brown butter, thyme, creme fraiche
  • Mixed Lettuces: griddled crouton, herbed yoghurt cheese, candied pecans, dried cranberries
  • Grilled Cheese: sour pain de mie, carolina moon, apple butter
  • Shepherd’s: Pieharissa scented lamb, local root vegetables, potato puree

You can stay up to date on all of their current offerings by visiting their menu online.

Chef Daniel Benjamin hard at work in the kitchen

I believe Lucettegrace has hit a home run right from the start in terms of the menu, atmosphere, and service. I expect this beautiful little shop to become a popular destination for triangle foodies and out of town visitors alike. So whether you are looking for a fun place for a morning coffee & pastry, a delicious new lunch spot, or a special place for dessert on date night – I encourage you to pay them a visit. By the way, they will be OPEN on New Year’s Day 11am-7pm.

235 S. Salisbury Street – Raleigh, NC
Open Monday -Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
website: http://www.lucettegrace.com/
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucettegrace
twitter: @lucettegrace
instagram: @lucettegrace


Filed under Restaurant News, Restaurant Reviews