Two new McDonald's restaurants in the Triangle are offering special deals as part of their grand opening celebrations.
I have spent the last couple of days looking at data, and I'm thinking how bad it's been but I'm hopeful that the worst is past
I heard from several readers about the closing of Fortune Palace, a much-loved Chinese restaurant on Raleigh's Brentwood Road.
I contacted Lisa Chang, president of the Triangle Area Chinese American Society. As it happens, Chang's godsister, Bobo Liew, owned the restaurant with her husband, sister and brother-in-law. The men were the chefs and the women worked the front of the house.
Chang explained the couples who both have young children struggled to run such a large restaurant with seating for more than 200 people and take care of their families. (It was likely the only Chinese restaurant in the area that had the capacity for large events, including wedding receptions.) And so when someone offered to buy the restaurant, they accepted, Chang said. The restaurant closed abruptly in May.
"You have to try to do what's best for your kids," Chang explained.
Chang did note that the couples are considering opening another smaller restaurant.
We'll keep readers posted if that happens.
On July 29, Christensen will host a five-course meal with wine pairings featuring Martin's food: his notorious Redneck Taco (pulled pork atop a hoecake), deviled eggs, candied and smoked pork belly, frog legs, pickles and coconut cake. The dinner starts at 7 p.m. and costs $150 per person.
On July 30, Christensen will host a 6 p.m. potluck at her home for folks in the food industry. It costs $35.
For more information about the dinner and to reserve a ticket, go to www.stirthepotluck.com.
The Southern Foodways Alliance is a nonprofit based at the University of Mississippi that documents, celebrates and studies Southern food traditions.
If you think your wings recipe is a winner, today is the last day to sign up and compete in Ray Price Harley-Davidson's annual wings cook-off. To enter, go HERE.
The competition is next Saturday, July 14. If you just want to go eat wings, you can enjoy all-you-can-eat wings for a $5 donation.
The cooking starts at 9 a.m. Live music by Spaceship Days with Adam Lee Decker starts at 11 a.m. The wings will be served and judged at noon. Proceeds will be donated to Duke Children's Miracle Network. The event also will include a blood drive for Rex Blood Services.
The dealership is at 1126 S. Saunders St. For more information, call 919-832-2261 or go to rayprice-hd.com.
Looking for a free activity for the kids today, July 3?
Take them to the Lego store at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh.
Greg Cox gives 3 1/2 stars to Taste, an "American tapas" restaurant off Dixie Trail in Raleigh. Go HERE to read his review.
Here's what is in today's paper in case you missed it:
Kathleen Purvis has a shopper's guide to three international grocery stores (Indian, Hispanic and Asian) that can be overwhelming. There's a recipe for Mango Cream Pie.
I wrote a story about LoMo Market, the Triangle's first mobile farmer's market.
Dole has recalled salad in North and South Carolina. Kathleen wrote a story about it.
Suzanne Havala Hobbs' On the Table column is about how to stay hydrated in hot weather.
Linda Gassenheimer's Quick Fix column shares a recipe for Sauteed Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce and Orange Barley.
We have a Washington Post story offering five recipes for summer soups. (The beet and tomato bisque sounds intriguing.)
For pork and barbecue fans, there is a new truck on the road now and another in the works:
Porchetta RDU is a truck devoted to the Italian-style slow roasted pork sandwiches that got on the road two weeks ago. The owners are chef Nicholas Crosson and Matthew Hayden, former co-workers at Raleigh's 18 Seaboard.
Crosson explains that they make the truck's signature dish, porchetta (pronouced por-KET-a), by roasting pork that has been seasoned with sage, fennel, garlic, rosemary and red chile flakes. Their sandwiches are made with shredded and chopped pork. They also serve seasonal sausages, pork burgers and a veggie burger.
The Humble Pig is the work of husband and wife, Ross and Jessica McCarthy of Cary. Until last fall, Ross McCarthy worked in corporate sales. When he got laid off, this avid backyard barbecue cook decided to launch a truck devoted to smoked local meat. His wife, Jessica, says they plan to be on the road by July 10.
They will serve pulled pork, chicken and brisket. (The pork and chicken come from Mae Farm in Louisburg and Cozi Farm in Mebane.) They smoke the meat using a combination of apple and cherry wood. They do not pre-sauce anything. They will offer several styles of sauce: western North Carolina, eastern North Carolina, a South Carolina mustard sauce, and an Alabama white sauce for the chicken.
I got word Saturday night via Greg Cox, our restaurant critic, that Frazier's has closed.
Kevin and Stacey Jennings, owners of Urban Food Group, a local restaurant company, sent a note to Cox late Saturday night. The note from Kevin Jennings' phone read: "I'm going down to Frazier's to close it for good.We will miss that place terribly."
Frazier's was the Jennings' first restaurant in Raleigh. As a young couple, they created a dining destination on Raleigh's Hillsborough Street when there wasn't much else there for grown-ups. It was a favorite among the people who lived in the neighborhoods close to N.C. State University. The couple's flagship restaurant had faltered in recent years as the city's dining scene exploded on Glenwood South and in downtown Raleigh. Most recently, the couple had transformed Frazier's into a wine bar.
The Jennings also own Porter's Tavern, Coquette, Chow and two locations of Vivace, one in Charlotte and the other in Raleigh.
UPDATE: I got Kevin Jennings on the phone this afternoon. After 14 years, he said, business was down and they decided to put the restaurant up for sale six months ago. Jennings says the owners of Klara's, a Czech restaurant in Cary, have bought the business. (No word yet on their plans.)
Jennings explained that they plan to focus on opening locations of Vivace in Denver, Washington, D.C. and Durham. For the Durham location, they have had "initial talks" with the folks behind Diamond View III, at the Durham Bulls ballpark and American Tobacco.