Tag Archives: Wine

Zinburger Now Open at The Streets at Southpoint Mall in Durham!

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Earlier this month I was invited to attend a early preview of the new ZinBurger Wine & Bruger Bar at the Streets at Southpoint Mall in Durham in advance of its Grand Opening on December 10th.

The sneak peek featured samples of most of their menu items including slider sized versions of their signature burgers as well as samples of their salads, fries, deserts, and cocktails. There were several other local bloggers in attendance that evening and I was lucky enough to run into and dine with my friend and fellow travel and foodie blogger The Wandering Sheppard.

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Zinburger ~ Streets at Southpoint Mall in Durham

The Zinburger restaurant fills the space formerly occupied by the Rockfish Grill. They have updated the interior to have a casual yet modern and upbeat flare featuring rich wood and earth tones. There is also an interesting mural of cows grazing in a green pasture under a cloudy but blue sky along one wall of the dining area that provides a splash of bright color. The restaurant has 11 HD televisions located throughout the space features a nice open air patio with an outdoor fire pit with lounge seating and dining tables to enjoy during the warmer months.

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El Diablo Burger

As you can imagine  Zinburger is known for its gourmet burgers which range from $9-$15. Each is made with either Certified Angus Beef or American-style Kobe beef ground fresh twice a day right there at the restaurant. Their Signature burgers include the Zinburger with manchego cheese & zinfandel braised onions and the Kobe Burger with vermont cheddar & wild mushrooms. I enjoyed the El Diablo burger (pictured above) with its fire roasted jalapeños, pepperjack cheese, caramelized onions & chipotle mayo.

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Napa Salad

If beef isn’t your thing they have other menu offerings like a veggie or turkey burger, ahi sandwich, and five different salads ranging in price from $5-$12. My favorite was the Napa Salad which has organic greens, dried fruit, marcona almonds & goat cheese vinaigrette. Chicken and ahi can be added to any salad for an additional charge.

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Weekly Specials

One thing I always look for at restaurants is the weekly food and drink specials they offer. Zinburger has done a nice job of offering some great deals throughout the week.  Wednesdays they offer half-price bottles of wine and “Happy Thursdays” provide an all day happy hour with  $5 “Plain and Simple Burgers”, half-price sides and discounts on cocktails.

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Kentuck Smash Cocktail

Zinburger has  a full bar with cocktails, 17 beer selections including 8 on tap and a wine menu that includes 23 varieties priced from $5 to $15 a glass.   I tried some of their sangria and a drink called the “Kentuck Smash” (pictured above) made with Jim Beam Bourbon, Mint, Angostura, Lemon. The drink was quite nice and went down smooth with just the right amount of sweetness. I did notice a few local beers on tap, and hope they consider adding a few more to feature additional local brewers.

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Bar Area

In addition to the main entrees,  side selections include hand-cut fries, sweet potato fries, zucchini fries, onion rings, coleslaw, cottage cheese and double truffle fries. I had the opportunity to try the regular and truffle fries. While tasty they were fairly typical of fries I have had at similar venues. The truffle fries were my favorite. The dessert menu features old fashioned, hand-dipped shakes, floats and malts as well as banana cream and chocolate cream pies. I had samples of each with my favorite being the salted caramel shake.

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Outdoor Patio Seating

As mentioned above, there is a cool outdoor seating area complete with comfy chairs and fire pits to warm you on cool nights. I think Zinburger serves up a solid burger and is an excellent addition to the mall. They are open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 am to 10 pm and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 am to 11 pm. You can view their full menu here.

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Sola Coffee & Cafe’ Introduces New Dinner Menu!

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Sola for Dinner ~ Assorted Meats & Cheeses

If you follow me on instagram and twitter then you know I am no stranger to Sola Coffee & Café. They are one of my “go to” places for great coffee and espresso drinks in Raleigh. Yet my pictures of coffee and cool latte art only tell half of the story at Sola. Over the past year Sola has blossomed into a great café with a creative and ever growing food menu that now offers great options for the dinner crowd in addition to their already well known breakfast and lunch offerings.

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Bruschetta

Earlier this fall Sola introduced a new dinner menu featuring additional menu items diners can enjoy at their café after 5pm Mon-Sat. The new dinner menu features small plate items like meat and cheese boards with fresh fruit, nuts, olives and local honey, bruschetta, and new fresh salads and artisan pizzas. This is all in addition to their already fantastic menu of homemade soups and sandwiches that Sola continues to offer (along with their famous mini doughnuts which are always available!)

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White Garden Pizza

If you follow Sola on facebook you will often catch updates about the homemade soups they offer, like this weeks vegetarian chili! My current favorite new menu item at Sola is the White Garden Pizza (pictured above) with mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, spinach, pesto, basil and a flavorful balsamic glaze. As with all their menu items, the ingredients for the new dinner options are always fresh in addition to locally and regionally sourced whenever possible.

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Local Beers & European Wines

With the addition of new food items, Sola has also started offering a select menu of locally brewed craft beers and several great European wines. I love the local beer scene in the Triangle and am thrilled to see Sola offering brews made by some of my favorite local places like LoneRider Brewery and Big Boss Brewery. If you are more of a wine drinker they have a nice selection of whites and reds to enjoy with dinner. I’m a big fan of gruner veltliner wines out of Austria. I find the spicy fruitiness and dry finish of a gruner makes for the perfect white wine to enjoy during the colder fall months.

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Mixed Green Salad

If you have been following my blog recently you know I have been writing a bit about upcoming marathons and half marathons I am preparing for. Part of my training is about eating better and that includes eating more healthy salads. Fortunately I have found lots of great salads at Sola. I particularly enjoy their mixed green salad (shown above). It has a healthy portion of mixed greens along with cucumber, cherry tomatoes, almonds, red onion, and garbanzo beans. The homemade dressing is fantastic and is made using a secret recipe!

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Affogato

Of course, just because I am eating healthier these days doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a treat now and then. There are several sweet options to enjoy at Sola including yummy affogatos (espresso shot poured over a scoop of ice cream) or a slice of cheesecake or chocolate cake. They also now offer a gluten free apple crisp desert which I think is great. It is very yummy and I appreciate the fact they provide options for people with dietary restrictions looking for gluten free items.

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Live Music at Sola

If you are looking for a fun date night location in North Raleigh check out the Live Music scene at Sola. They typically have live music each Friday and Saturday night starting around 7:30pm. I’ve heard everything from bluegrass and Jazz to Celtic music played at sola. It is great to see the community support great local artists and I love that there is a great place to grab dinner and hear live music in North Raleigh now on the weekends. Visit their events calendar to keep up to date on the live music schedule.

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Cappuccino

Of course no matter when you visit Sola you can always enjoy a great coffee or espresso drink. My current drink of choice is the cappuccino. I always make sure I leave room for coffee after dinner! To learn more about Sola and keep up to date on their special events and new menu items visit their website and follow them on facebook.

Make sure you stop by Sola this week and pick up your free invite to their “Thank You Raleigh” celebration scheduled for this Sunday, November 17th. The invite is good for one free drink at the event – donations will be accepted to support the Friends of Guardian ad Litem Program of Wake County and the children they represent.

Sola Coffee & Cafe
7705 Lead Mine Road
Raleigh, NC 27615
919-803-8983

Website: http://solacoffee.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/solacoffee
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SolaCoffeeCafe
Twitter: @SolaCoffee

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What’s happening this week? December 3-9, 2012

There are some exciting events going on this week. With the holidays quickly approaching several of theses events are not only fun, but involve helping those in need. Below is a quick summary of events I think are worth highlighting for the week of December 3rd through the 9th. If you have event suggestions send me an email at TriangleExplorer@gmail.com and I will try to include it in my next weekly event roundup.

Sip a Wine Store Customer Appreciation Night – Wednesday December 5th 7-9pm
Join the folks at Sip…a wine store and five other local retailers as they thank their customers for their support. The Huble Pig food truck will be there selling food, Kyle Cobie will be providing music on guitar, and their will be sampling of wine and beer. Glass and bottle specials will be offered all night.

Raleigh Jingle Ball – Thursday December 6th 6:30-10:30pm
The 19th Annual Jingle Ball will take place at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh this Thursday. Attendees are in for a night of food, drinks and fun while helping to brighten the holidays for Wake County children in need.  Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for a child (newborn to age 12) valued at $20 or a $30 donation by cash or check . All toys will be donated to the Salvation Army’s Christmas Cheer Program. An invitation is NOT required to attend the Jingle Ball; anyone 21 years or older is welcome. Dress for this event is cocktail attire. Ladies, wear your cute holiday dress you have been dying to wear. Men, dress with slacks, sweaters or even your most festive holiday tie. No jeans, please!

First Friday Art Walk – Friday December 7th 6-9pm
First Friday is a free self-guided tour of downtown’s cutting edge cultural hot spots. Local art galleries, art studios, alternative art venues, and museums stay open late the first Friday of every month to welcome thousands of art-seeking enthusiasts downtown. The event runs from 6 pm-9 pm, but some venue hours may vary.  For detailed venue information, click here.

Sola “Help for the Holidays” Live Music Food Bank Benefit – Saturday December 8th 3-9pm
Come celebrate the holidays, be entertained, and help a great cause at the same time!  Sola Coffee Cafe has teamed up with Jamie Purnell and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC to bring this day of merriment to assist those in need.  Sola will be collecting canned goods and donations throughout the day.  There will be music, fun, and surprises for folks of all ages.  The musical talents of: The Jo Gore Duo, James Olin Oden, and many more will be featured!

Guglhupf Winter Market – Saturday December 8th 10am-4pm
The patio at Guglhupf comes alive on December 8th for our 4th annual Weihnachtsmarkt (Winter Market). The event, now in its fourth year, will include artists (courtesty of Outsiders Arts & Collectibles), food and live music. In addition, Lakewood Avenue Children’s School will host a book drive for Book Harvest, happymess Studio will host a craft table for children and Cassandra from Character Paints will be doing face painting! Live music provided by The Lester Fricks Band, The Bull Town Strutters and more.

On December 8th the folks at Lonerider will be having a dock release for “The Beer with No Name” & debuting their brand new tasting area! Being strong is not a choice, it’s a requirement, and giving up your name is one of the strongest things you can do. The Beer With No Name is still their holiday ale, a Belgian style Dubbel brewed with a rare Belgian yeast strain, caramelized beet sugar and festive holiday spices. Expect hints of dark fruit, sweet cinnamon-apple and a warming finish. So, why do they call this “The Beer With No Name”? And yes it used to be “Belle Starr“. More information on that coming soon….

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Food Truck Rodeo at Chatham Hill Winery Friday June 29th!

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Klausie’s Pizza Truck

If you live in Raleigh or Western Wake County and missed the recent food truck rodeo in Durham a few weeks ago you are in luck. The Chatham Hill Winery in Morrisville will be hosting a food truck event this Friday, June 29th from 4-9pm.

Featured Food Trucks
Klausie’s Pizza
American Meltdown
Baguettaboutit
Dang Good Dogs
Chirba Chirba Dumpling
Chick N Que
Old North State BBQ 

Read the event press release below for full details:

“Wine & Food Trucks?  Yes, indeed!  Chatham Hill Winery, the oldest winery in the area, has teamed up with local food trucks for the first-ever Wine & Food Truck Pairing.  The event will be held at Chatham Hill Winery on Friday, June 29th from 4:00 to 9:00 PM at 3800 Gateway Centre Blvd. in Cary/Morrisville.

From its inception, Chatham Hill Winery has been an innovator by being one of the first wineries in the country to mix old world wine tradition and new world wine bravado.  The winery’s grapes are grown offsite in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina.  As an Urban Winery, Chatham Hill’s award-winning European style wines are made right here in the Heart of the Triangle.  In another cutting edge movement, Chatham Hill Winery is blending the latest culinary craze, Food Trucks, with the Urban Winery experience.

The unique twist on this Wine & Food Truck event is that owner and winemaker, Marek Wojciechowski, will be available to make recommendations for wine and food pairings throughout the event.   After seeing the burgeoning food truck scene, Wojciechowski knew what he had to do:  “Food trucks are such an amazing idea.  Why not push the notion that wine can be enjoyed with most any foods?  We just had to figure out a way to bring our wines and food truck offerings together and to the local community.”  

There is no admission fee for the event. The food trucks will be charging their regular prices and the winery will have wine available for purchase by the glass or by the bottle.  The trucks participating are:  Klausie’s Pizza, American Meltdown, Baguettaboutit, Dang Good Dogs, Chirba Chirba Dumpling, Chick N Que and Old North State BBQ.  Music provided by DJ Trav Gales.  In their continuing support of Operation Homefront, the winery will donate a portion of the evening’s sales and encourage participants to donate as well.

About Chatham Hill Winery:

Chatham Hill Winery, established in 1999 as the 14th winery in the state, is a boutique winery hosting wine tasting, winery tours as well as private, corporate functions and team building events. Its mission is to produce distinctive, handcrafted wines of high quality from the best grapes grown in North Carolina and share information and education about wine in a friendly and non-intimidating manner.

The winery currently produces two distinctive brands of wines:

French style wines under the Chatham Hill label and the line of unique, semi-sweet fruit-infused wines under the Sweet Carolina label.  Conveniently located moments from I-40, south of the RDU Airport, Chatham Hill Winery is accessible to all areas of the Triangle.  For additional information, contact Jill Winkler or visit www.chathamhillwine.com

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Picture of the Week – Cheese Plate from Vinos Finos y Picadas

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The subject of this week’s picture is a small cheese plate I enjoyed during a recent visit to Vinos Finos y Picadas located in the new Lafayette Village Shopping Center in North Raleigh off Falls of Neuse Road. Vino’s is a South American wine cafe’ that features wines primarily from Argentina and Chile.  They also offer a nice selection of meat and cheese plates in along and other “picadas” (an Argentine plate meaning “bites”) to accompany their wines.  This particular plate was $9 and came with five different cheeses along with fresh bread and a piece of dried pear, appricot, date, and fig. I plan to go back to Vino’s soon to enjoy some of the wine “flights” that they offer during the week.

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