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ABOUT THIS BLOG: This blog's focus is all things food in the Triangle: where to dine, where to shop, what to eat, what to cook. Food writer Andrea Weigl maintains this site.

We have a new home for the Mouthful blog

Tags: Mouthful

I just wanted to alert readers that we have a new home for the Mouthful blog.

Here is the new address: http://newsobserver.com/mouthful.

(As I've discovered, the new blog is best viewed in Safari and Chrome. The latest version of Firefox is not great with the blog.)

See you over there!

 

 

 

 

Pintful: Carolina Brewery wins top honors in State Fair beer competition

Carolina Brewery in Chapel Hill took home top honors in the N.C. State Fair beer competition, winning best of show and seven categories.

The brewer's Flagship India pale ale took home the top prize. Carolina Brewery's other winning beers included: Sky Blue Golden Ale, the No. 2 overall beer, Oktoberfest, Copperline Amber Ale, Firecracker Pale Ale and Old Familiar Barleywine.

Aviator Brewing in Fuquay-Varina and Fullsteam in Durham each took home three. Fullsteam's First Frost Persimmon Ale took No. 3 overall.

Pintful: An insider's guide to the World Beer Festival

This year’s World Beer Festival in Durham will showcase North Carolina beer more than ever.

Daniel Bradford, publisher of All About Beer Magazine, which organizes the event, recently told me one of the festival’s biggest challenges this year is finding a big enough tent for all the North Carolina craft breweries. There were so many.

Get a primer on the festival -- the new beers, the must-tastes and the list of casks -- in this week's Pintful column. Also get more information on Big Boss' Casktoberfest on Thursday. Read it here.

Upcoming food events: a world tour of cooking classes (Indian, Portugese, Ethiopian)

Here is a list of upcoming food events, farmers markets and wine tastings:

Events

Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest is back at the Boylan Bridge Brewpub in downtown Raleigh! Dust off your favorite stein and your best drinking song. $10 pitchers of any Boylan brew. 6 p.m. Oct. 2, 6 p.m. Oct. 3. Boylan Bridge Brew Pub, 201 S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh. 919-803-8927. boylanbridge.com.

Flora and Food Trucks
Local plants and local food. Fairview Greenhouses and Garden Center, Inc. has teamed up with popular Triangle food trucks to offer the "Flora and Food Trucks Series". 11:30 a.m. Oct. 5, 11:30 a.m. Oct. 19, 11:30 a.m. Nov. 9. Free. Fairview Greenhouse and Garden Center, 8224 Holly Springs Road, Raleigh. 919-851-6821. www.fairviewgardecenter.com.

6th Annual Abundance Pepper Festival
6th annual celebration of sustainable agriculture, farmers, renewable energy, and the creativity of the Piedmont’s chefs, brewers and artisans! 3 p.m. Oct. 6. $25-$35; children free. Briar Chapel, 16 Windy Knoll Circle, Chapel Hill. 919-533-5181. theabundancefoundation.org/events/6th-annual-amazing-pepper-festival.

Wenonah Hauter: “Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America”
From one of our most respected food activists, this is an insightful and essential guide for anyone who wants to reform our food system. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8. Free. Quail Ridge Books & Music, 3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh. 919-828-1588. www.quailridgebooks.com/event/wenonah-hauter-foodopoly.

Click READ MORE to see the entire list.

What's at the Market: Holly Springs Farmers Market

This week, we check in with Shelia Stanton, manager of the Holly Springs Farmers Market about what is likely to be for sale on Saturday.

Stanton’s shared this list: pumpkins, grapes, apples, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn, squash, zucchini, beef, chicken, pork, seafood, turkey and eggs. Plus, a variety of jams and jellies, cakes, pastries, breads, gluten-free breads, Mediterranean foods, pasta, popcorn, sauces, fresh salsa and homemade dog treats.

The market’s 4th annual chili cook-off will be Oct. 12. Come hungry and sample free chili from professional and amateur cooks, and then vote for your favorite. Live music will be performed by Shelby Merchant.

The market is 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays until Oct. 12. It is at 128 S. Main St., Holly Springs. Info: hsfarmersmarket.com.
 

Tickets still available for next weekend's TerraVita in Chapel Hill

TerraVita, the annual food and beverage festival held at Chapel Hill’s Southern Village green, is next weekend.

The grand tasting is 1-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 and $65 tickets are still available. There are several other dinners and events on Thursday and Friday as well. To see a full schedule, go to terravitaevent.com.

As more incentive to attend the grand tasting event, the organizers are holding an auction full of prizes for food lovers to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. One hundred percent of the auction proceeds will go to the foundation. Among the items up for bid are:

  • a tasting menu for two at Herons at Cary’s Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary;.
  • a five-course tasting menu with wine pairings for six people at Lantern restaurant in Chapel Hill.
  • a five-course tasting menu with wine pairings for four people at An Cuisines restuarant in Cary.
  • a full season subscription for Coon Rock Farm’s CSA, a visit and tour of the farm, and a tasting menu for four people at Piedmont restaurant in Durham.
  • a pizza-making session with Phoebe Lawless at Scratch in Durham with wines paired by Jay Murrie from Piedmont Wine Imports.
  • dinner for eight in your own home prepared by chef Charlie Deal, owner of Dos Perros in Durham and Jujube in Chapel Hill.

To see the entire list of auction items, go to terravitaevent.com/TerraVITA/CysticFibrosis.html
 

Competition heats up in the Triangle burger market

This is a post by N&O restaurant critic Greg Cox:

In the mood for a burger? You’ve got more - and more varied - options than ever. The nationwide gourmet burger trend, given a boost in North Carolina last year by relaxed regulations regarding the doneness of ground beef, shows no sign of letting up. 

Zinburger (8030-905 Renaissance Pkwy.; zinburgereast.com) is on target for an early November opening in the Streets at Southpoint. The small New Jersey-based chain raises the ante on the traditional burger joint with a distinctive “burger and wine bar” concept. As the whimsical wine-sipping cow logo suggests, though, Zinburger is a casual place. Not inclined to order the Ravenswood “Vintner’s Blend” zinfandel that’s the suggested pairing for your Nueske’s bacon-topped Samburger? Feel free to order a salted caramel shake instead.  

While you’re waiting for Zinburger to open, you can check out Town Hall Burger and Beer (7830-100 NC Hwy. 751; 919-973-0506; townhallburgerandbeer.com) nearby - so near, in fact, that you could walk there in a pinch. But don’t trust Google Maps on this one; the restaurant is in the new shopping center at the intersection of Hwy. 751 and Renaissance Parkway. Service is fast food style, but the burgers are anything but: a half-pound blend of chuck, brisket and rib, char-grilled to order and served on your choice of brioche bun, tandoori naan or pretzel bread. Choose from a dozen draft beers to wash it down. Enjoy your meal on the patio, if the weather cooperates.

Over in Chapel Hill, Al’s Burger Shack (516 W. Franklin St.; 919-904-7659;alsburgershack.com) raises the ante with NC pasture-raised beef. Burgers are offered in three sizes (the 3-ounce Buddy Bite, 6-ounce Junior, and 9-ounce Big Al), with topping combinations ranging from chili cheeseburger to the Paco (guacamole, tomato, jalapeño and habanero jack). On the downside for medium-rare burger fans, Al’s is a we-cook-it-medium holdout. For consolation, try J Bo’s Sweet “Burger” for dessert: Mapleview Farms vanilla custard sandwiched between locally baked amaretto almond cookies.

Send restaurant news to Greg at ggcox@bellsouth.net. Be sure to tune in to Greg's radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF.

New cooking school in Cary starts classes this week

Whisk, a new 4,000-square-foot kitchen goods store, has recently opened in Cary’s Waverly Place Shopping Center at the intersection of Tryon and Kildaire Farm roads. This week, the store launched its cooking classes in its full-size classroom designed to resemble a personal home kitchen.

Upcoming classes, which cost $19 to $69, cover such topics as simple entertaining, jam making, heart healthy vegetarian cooking, food for tailgating and football watching , knife skills, everyday French bread, raw foods and autumn crepes.

To see the complete schedule, go to whiskcarolina.com

The store is located at 316 Colonades Way, Cary, 919-322-2458.

Buy a piece of art at Margaux's, help raise money for charity

Like many restaurant owners, Steve Horowitz switches out the artwork on the walls of Margaux's Restaurant in North Raleigh every few months.

It's a mutually-beneficial arrangement for the artist and the restaurant owner. Horowitz gets free artwork for his restaurant walls and gets to keep it new and interesting. The artist get a place to have their artwork seen and potentially purchased by diners. At Margaux's, all proceeds from any sales go directly to the artist.

In his 21 years of doing this, Horowitz has never had this happen: artist Cristina Cantwell-Holub (whose painting "Mona Geisha" is shown at left) is donating all proceeds from the sale of her artwork now on display at Margaux's to charity.

All sales in September will go to St. Jude Children's Hospital, in October to Wounded Warrior Project and in November to the Salvation Army.

Margaux's is hosting an chance to meet Holub from 5:30-9 p.m. Oct. 16. The restaurant is located at 8111 Creedmoor Rd, Suite 111, Raleigh, 919-846-9846.

Info: margauxsrestaurant.com

N.C. Seafood Festival is next weekend

Want a reason to go to the coast next weekend? The N.C. Seafood Festival.

The event held for the 26 years in Morehead City is a celebration of seafood, including a flounder fling(!), music, fishing tournament, 8k road race, regatta, fireworks and more. Beyond seafood to eat, there's a cooking stage with chefs from up and down the North Carolina coast demonstrating their seafood dishes.

I'll be one of the judges for Sunday's chefs cooking competition. We're judging four cook-offs starting at 11 a.m., including one involving Chef James Clark of the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, and then a final cook-off starting at 3:30 p.m. (I'll be lucky to waddle off stage after that much food. Say hello if you see me. )

The festivities start at noon Friday, Oct. 4 and end at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6 in downtown Morehead City.

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