Browsing articles in "food trucks"
Mar 8, 2014
Kim Rivers

Port San Antonio bans spicy food truck

By RANDY ESCAMILLA

SAN ANTONIO – Port San Antonio, a public entity which has more than 12,000 employees at the former Kelly Air Force Base, has banned a spicy Korean food truck because of its name.

“We thought the name could be offensive to others,” said Port San Antonio spokesman Paco Fellici.

The food truck, Cockasian, says the controversy has only helped business and made her food truck a social media sensation.

“I am surprised. I thought it would get a little bit of cajoling, but nothing like this,” said Cockasian food truck owner Candie Yoder.

Yoder says her Korean fried chicken is extremely hot, too.

“My Korean is based more on what they would get served in Korea, so it’s spicy!”

The mobile food truck was scheduled to make its debut at Port San Antonio, however, it will now debut on Sunday, March 9 at The Point on Boerne Stage Road.Port San Antonio bans spicy food truck

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Mar 7, 2014
Kim Rivers

FOOD BLOTTER: Food truck rally, Chapala and a Taco Bell in Pullman

click to enlarge

    Local food trucks are returning to Wall Street tomorrow for the second food truck rally, and the weather can’t possibly be colder than it was in December. Look for Big Pappa’s BBQ, Bistro Box, Couple of Chefs, Jamaican Jerk Pan, Shameless Sausages and Tacos Camargo from noon to 8 pm between Main and Riverside. Lunch and dinner, done.

    click to enlarge

      The second Chapala location, downtown on Third Avenue, is now open with an order-at-the-counter format (like Chipotle or Neato Burrito). Read more about that and the expansion — including a gluten-free baking room — at Alpine Bakery Co. in this week’s Entree newsletter.

      The new Irish bar and restaurant in the former Sidebar location near the courthouse is now open — Knockaderry even serves breakfast.

      A new restaurant called Brick Wall Bar Grill is opening in tiny, artsy Palouse, Wash., within the next few weeks.

      The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile is going to be back in the area this weekend, with stops at five Walmarts.

      Students’ wishes have been granted — Pullman is finally getting a Taco Bell in the former Mongolian Grill space on Stadium Way.

      Got a fabulous lentil recipe? Submissions for the annual National Lentil Festival cookoff are now open.

      Want to try some of the new coffee from Indaba? Get a sample at the #SpoCT meetup tomorrow morning at Boots.

      Local ice cream company Brain Freeze distributes around town, but its first shop is opening this spring in Kendall Yards (right across the street from the Inlander!) and they’re now hiring.

      The Elk Public House is celebrating 15 years on Saturday with a Deschutes’ Abyss three-year vertical tasting and music from Lavoy.

      Pints Alehouse will be celebrating two years on March 14-15 by tapping a new of very limited barrel-aged beers.

      Also on March 15, Coeur d’Alene Casino is celebrating its 21st birthday with cake (and specials all month).

      We’ve got a little feature on Ramblin’ Road Craft Brewery this week, with an emphasis on some of their beer styles you won’t find at any other local brewery at this point. In the spirit of more unusual brews, Paradise Creek in Pullman just released the Half Stack Gose (pronounced goes-uh), a sour German wheat beer, and Slate Creek Brewing Co. has a new small-batch Scandinavian-inspired heather ale.

      Read previous food news here.

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      Mar 7, 2014
      Kim Rivers

      IBM puts Watson in a food truck



      IBM Food Truck

      If you’re at South by Southwest, you can visit IBM Watson’s food truck. Or suggest some ingredients for the supercomputer to analyze too.











      Ben Fischer
      Reporter- New York Business Journal

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      Would you trust a computer to make your dinner? What about diagnosing a strange illness?

      Probably not by itself. But if you pair an advanced computer with a highly trained chef of doctor, then maybe we’ve got something.

      That’s the theory IBM is hoping to show off at South by Southwest with its  new food truck, a made-in-New York partnership between the IBM Watson division and the Institute for Culinary Education.

      They call it Cognitive Cooking, and they’re blending suggestions from Twitter with Watson’s supercomputing power to scour the universe for innovative flavor combinations. Some of its early computer-generated inventions? Indian Turmeric Paella and Italian Grilled Lobster.

      Yesterday, IBM Research Vice President Mahmoud Naghshineh explained their thinking in a piece of  sponsored content(content provided by IBM) in Slate magazine.

      “There’s no better place to explore computational creativity than cooking,” wrote Naghshineh, who’s based here. “Great food can seem so mysterious. We tend to think of it as a product of art, of intuition. Yet, in fact, there’s a massive amount of chemical and neural science that helps explain why one dish is sublime and another isn’t.”

      This makes a lot of sense, considering IBM Watson’s first big commercialization effort  in health care. The stakes (steaks?) are different, but a chef is not unlike a physician. 

      Their crafts are both traditionally seen as a finely tuned art, a blend of expertise, intuition and training that’s sometimes difficult to quantify. But both also exist in a world with almost endless possibilities and data, when you think about all of the things that can possibly go wrong in the human body — or the quintillions of different combinations of ingredients that could conceivably end up in a meal.

      Ben Fischer covers local and regional business in greater New York City.


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      Mar 7, 2014
      Kim Rivers

      Turning up the heat with St. John’s Fire Food Truck

      HOUSTON — Can you handle the heat? It is Food Truck Friday, and today we are checking out St. John’s Fire. This truck lives up to its name — the chef is a Louisiana transplant who specializes in spicy southern favorites.

      “He has that whole Texas-Louisiana feel,” Felice Simmons of Urban Swank blog says of Joel St. John, the chef who started the “fire.”

      Joel is a Houston native, but New Orleans is his second city. He worked in NOLA for two decades at revered establishments such as Commander’s Palace. He eventually returned to Houston, and opened up the food truck three years ago. Unlike other food truck entrepreneurs, this guy has a few grey hairs.

      “Everybody sort of test the water with their food truck, well I did it just the opposite,” Joel explained.

      But with age comes wisdom. Ironically, Joel majored in marine biology in college, but instead of studying fish for a career, he decided to cook them. His menu highlights his Gulf Coast culinary training, with items such as the Cajun Eggroll, Shrimp Corndogs, and Tortilla Crusted Fish.

      “I remember when I first took a bite of it, I was like shut the yum up, because it was crazy!” Felice said of the Cajun Eggroll.

      The eggroll is a study in “fusion” cooking. The Asian-inspired dish is stuffed with traditional Cajun ingredients (crawfish, tasso, onions, celery, and peppers), yet it “Texas-sized” – definitely worth sharing with a friend.

      Along with the southern flavors, comes southern hospitality. Chef Joel knows many of his customers by name, and his friendly wife, Gretchen, often accompanies him to help out with the crowds.

      “Every time we come here we’re not sure if we’re coming here to see Joel or to taste the food,” Shanna Jones of Urban Swank laughed.

      Joel credits his success to having a “fire in the belly.”

      “Cooking is my passion, my fire, my reason for being around really,” he explained.

      You can catch up St. John’s Fire by following them on twitter @firetrucktx or checking their website.

      Recommended Reading

      Mar 7, 2014
      Kim Rivers

      First Food Truck Friday brings new life to Georgia Street

      INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – For the first time this year, Food Truck Friday on Georgia Street took place downtown.  Many people and trucks actually showed up. This year’s nasty winter weather made for a very slow, very tough season – it’s a sign that spring is close.

      People strolled Georgia Street and purchased food from trucks that have spent most of the winter stuck on the sidelines.

      Nick Pappas, owner of GiGi’s Cupcakes, has one of his two cupcake food trucks parked on Georgia Street.

      “Because of the cold weather, nobody has been able to get out.  This is really our first trip out this season I think,” says Pappas.

      Sunshine and milder temperatures, even with remnants of winter still plainly visible, lured people like Jeanne and Al Duran out of the house and onto Georgia Street for the first Food Truck Friday of the season.

      “We’ve been so tired of the ice and snow, we decided we’re going to go out,” Al told 24-Hour News 8.

      That kind of talk is music to the ears of Melissa Thompson, the woman in charge of giving new life to Georgia Street after going through one of the toughest, coldest and snowiest winters in decades.

      “It’s been difficult. It’s been pretty quiet. We’re really excited for the warm weather and for things to jump off in the next week or so,” says Thompson.

      So, this year, Food Truck Friday’s will be held weekly instead of monthly.  There will be other events too, like Workout Wednesdays. And starting in May, a Georgia Street Happy Hour.

      “From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Friday night, it will be in the space between the Omni and Harry and Izzy’s. We’ll partner with both of them to do the serving.  There will be jazz, a low key and networking event,” said Thompson.

      The city hopes those event give Georgia Street the identity it’s been trying to find. But on Friday, the crowd and the trucks saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

      “I mean it’s not even noon yet, it’s beautiful,” Nick Pappas said.

      The Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, NCAA Basketball Tournament Regionals, and the “Blarney Bash” on St. Patrick’s Day weekend are also adding to Georgia Street’s potential for success this year.

      Recommended Reading

      Mar 7, 2014
      Kim Rivers

      Food trucks returning to Martinez marina March 15

      MARTINEZ — After a successful one-day run last fall, food trucks return to the Martinez marina next weekend.

      Beginning March 15, Food Truck Mafia — one of the biggest players on the Bay Area’s thriving food truck scene — is bringing a weekly event to the marina from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

      With food truck market The Bend opening at the end of the month on the outskirts of downtown Walnut Creek and Off The Grid drawing crowds on Saturdays in Concord, in less than a year the mobile food trend has taken off in central Contra Costa County.

      But the Martinez marina food truck market almost didn’t happen.

      Last year, Sham Shivaie and Javid Ebrahimi planned to bring their Taste of the World Market, a collection of food trucks representing diverse cuisines, to the marina every Saturday afternoon. The inaugural event in September drew several hundred people, but the partners soon learned that Bay Area food truck behemoth Off the Grid was moving into the Willows Shopping Center in Concord, also on Saturdays. When their plans for a lunchtime food truck market in Walnut Creek fell through, Shivaie and Ebrahimi had to give up their dream of bringing mobile dining to Martinez.

      But Ebrahimi, whose family owns the Copper Skillet restaurant in downtown Martinez, remained bullish on the marina’s potential. So last fall he called Food Truck Mafia co-owner April Bibbins and sold her on the idea.

      “Food Truck Mafia’s a big name. They don’t bring little trucks, they bring the big trucks,” said Ebrahimi, who’s taking his Persian food truck to the marina. “They’re going to bring them, and the city’s going to love them, and there’s no reason it won’t be successful.”

      Food Truck Mafia puts on lunchtime and dinner “Street Eats” events in several cities, including San Leandro, Milpitas, Fremont and the Bishop Ranch office park in San Ramon.

      On March 15, visitors to the Martinez marina will be able to sample frozen custard, kebabs, Asian fusion barbecue and treats from four other food trucks. Vendors hawking clothing, handbags and other non-edibles also will be invited to participate in the weekly event, Bibbins said. There also will be entertainment and activities for children.

      Although her event will overlap with Off the Grid’s Concord market, Bibbins believes she won’t have any trouble getting trucks to come to Martinez.

      “I have a really good feeling that it is going to be great,” she said. “I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback.”

      Restaurants in downtown Martinez have been supportive of the market, said Leanne Peterson, Main Street Martinez executive director. She believes the market will attract new people to Martinez who may return to try the city’s brick-and-mortar eateries.

      “Anything that’s going to bring a lot of people to and through the downtown is a good thing,” Peterson said.

      For more information about Food Truck Mafia, go to www.thefoodtruckmafia.com.

      Lisa P. White covers Concord and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.

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      Mar 7, 2014
      Kim Rivers

      Food truck rodeo in Durham on Sunday and more food events

      Events

      Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo

      More than 40 local food trucks. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair so that YOU can enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable Durham afternoon with friends and family. KidZNotes, Durham will present a musical showcase and instrument zoo for the young folks. PitchBlak Brass Band, from Brooklyn, will play the main stage. pitchblakbrassband.com. Noon-4 p.m.. Sunday. Free to attend, pay for food if purchased. Durham Central Park, 501 Foster St., Durham. 919-450-5185. durhamcentralpark.org.

      A Toast to the Triangle

      A Toast to the Triangle has been held annually to raise funds for Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation, Inc. to support the following programs and services of Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities: Community Residential, Early Childhood Intervention, Respite Care, and non-Medicaid Day Services. The event offers an astonishing array of culinary splendor from nearly 40 of the Triangle’s finest restaurants, caterers and purveyors of fine wines and specialty beers. 5:30 p.m. March 9. $75; $60 if bought on Cyber Monday. N.C. State University McKimmon Center, 1101 Gorman St., Raleigh. 919-832-3909. tammylynncenter.org.

      Andrea Weigl signing “Pickles and Preserves”

      Come meet Andrea Weigl, Food Editor at the Raleigh News Observer, as she launches her new cookbook, Pickles And Preserves: a Savor The South cookbook! Pick up your signed copy today, and meet the author while tasting samples from the book at Quail Ridge Books. This book highlights the regional flair that southern cooks bestow on this traditional art. The fifty classic and inventive recipes will have beginners and veterans alike rolling up their sleeves. 7:30 p.m. March 12. Free. Quail Ridge Books Music, 3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh. 919-828-1588. quailridgebooks.com.

      Classes

      Cooking Class with Chef Amy

      Take lessons from the best of the best with a series of cooking classes taught by chef Amy Tornquist, owner of Sage Swift Catering, Watts Grocery Hummingbird Bakery, her operations manager Matthew Lardie. The classes will be hands-on centered around “Southern Gourmet” cooking. The schedule includes Stir Fry 101 on March 19. 10 a.m. March 19. Watts Grocery, 1116 Broad St., Durham. 919-957-7889. wattsgrocery.com.

      Homemade Pasta

      There is nothing in the world like homemade pasta! Work with Carmella from Melina’s Pasta as you create spinach and egg dough recipes, and then make a variety of interesting pastas. 6:15 p.m. March 5. $59. Whisk, Waverly Place shopping center, Cary. 919-322-2458. whiskcarolina.com.

      Indian Street Food

      Sonali has just returned from India with new recipes to share. Join the former owner of Saffron Restaurant as she takes us through another aromatic culinary journey! 6:15 p.m. March 6. $49. Whisk, Waverly Place shopping center, Cary. 919-322-2458. whiskcarolina.com.

      Kale cooking

      Kale: The versatile superfood that you never knew you loved. We have all heard of the health benefits of Kale, but how do we use it best? Join Liz as she demystifies and teaches four delicious recipes that even veggie phobes will love. It’s March! Eat Green! 11 a.m. March 8. $49. Whisk, Waverly Place shopping center, Cary. 919-322-2458. whiskcarolina.com.

      Indian Cooking

      With instructor Rani Imandi, learn about the many ways of cooking the traditional and ethnic fare of India. Cook exotic foods filled with fresh produce and herbs, delicate spices, hot curries, homemade dairy products and semi-homemade ingredients. The cuisine is not only tasty, but nutritionally balanced. The course introduces students to ingredients for making both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes, main and side dishes, and desserts. Students will learn how to make “Dosa,” “Sag Paneer,” “Chicken Curry,” “Chicken Biryani,” rice pudding and more. There are many varied flavor combinations throughout India, with dishes vastly different between the north and the south. $40 for food, paid to instructor at first class. Please note: This class takes place at the Century Center at the intersection of Weaver and Greensboro Streets in Carrboro. 6 p.m. March 11. $92 public and $83 Friends. The ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main St., Carrboro. 919-929-2787. artscenterlive.org/classes/2114a-indian-cooking-century-center/.

      Healthy Asian Style

      Send your taste buds half way around the world, as you learn some fresh, healthy and delicious Asian dishes! First, roll up your sleeves and learn how to make outrageously tasty and gorgeous spring rolls in this hands-on class, and then fire up the wok for a scrumptious fried rice dish, packed with nutrients.. You’ll leave class with some new skills under your belt and a very pleased tummy to boot! 6:15 p.m. March 12. $49. Whisk, Waverly Place shopping center, Cary. 919-322-2458. whiskcarolina.com.

      Bread Making

      Join Melody as she shares her techniques and baking skills for foolproof Traditional French Bread. This will be an informative, interactive , hands on class. Each student will be able to take home a freshly baked loaf of bread. 6:15 p.m. March 13. $49. Whisk, Waverly Place shopping center, Cary. 919-322-2458. whiskcarolina.com.

      Walking Food Tours

      Cary

      Get acquainted with Cary’s rich heritage while experiencing the flavors of the diverse downtown culinary landscape on this guided walking food tour.Journey with a small group through the heart of Cary’s downtown (often overlooked by Triangle residents), and you will quickly gain a sense of the history and culture that shaped this community. The tour allows you to casually experience first-hand the ambiance and flavor of several unique, hidden culinary gems along the way. 2 p.m. March 8, 2 p.m. April 5, 2 p.m. May 17, 2 p.m. June 21, 2 p.m. July 19, 2 p.m. Aug. 16, 2 p.m. Sept. 20. $38.99. Academy Street Bistro, 200 S. Academy St., Cary. 919-319-5674. trianglefoodtour.com

      Chapel Hill / Carrboro

      Go behind the scenes of Chapel Hill and Carrboro restaurants to experience where farm-to-table cuisine comes to life. Sample innovative and upscale southern dishes, scratch-made desserts, organic wine, local beer, and more. Known for being on the forefront of the Slow Food movement and for restaurants that have redefined Southern cooking, Chapel Hill/ Carrboro is one of the best places in the country to live and eat. 2 p.m. March 8, 2 p.m. March 15, 2 p.m. March 22, 2 p.m. March 29, 2 p.m. April 5, 2 p.m. April 12, 2 p.m. April 19. $45 – $65. Open Eye Cafe, 101 S. Greensboro St., Carrboro. 919-237-2254. tastecarolina.com.

      Durham

      Durham is all about cutting edge culture and fantastic food. Let us show you a vibrant city in the midst of its revitalization and introduce you to the restaurants, shops and people that are making Durham one of the nation’s cultural hotspots. You will discover all of Durham’s flavors on this tour! The Durham tour is scheduled for every Saturday afternoon, all year ’round. Advance registration is required. It is also available for private groups of 10 or more any day or evening of the week. 1:45 p.m. March 8, 1:45 p.m. March 15, 1:45 p.m. March 22, 1:45 p.m. March 29, 1:45 p.m. April 5, 1:45 p.m. April 12, 1:45 p.m. April 19. $50-$65. Meet at The Pinhook, 117 W. Main St., Durham. 919-237-2254. tastecarolina.com.

      Durham

      Capture the flavor of Durham. On this guided journey through the streets of downtown Durham we’ll be pausing numerous times for sample tastings and personal tales from some of the area’s most unique, hidden culinary gems. Along the way, you’ll gain some new insights of Durham’s “gritty”, “eclectic”, blue-collar, tobacco textile roots that are the foundation for this community’s now thriving leadership role in medicine, the performing arts and regional cuisine. 2:30 p.m. March 8, 2:30 p.m. March 15, 2:30 p.m. March 22, 2:30 p.m. March 29, 2:30 p.m. April 5, 2:30 p.m. April 12, 2:30 p.m. April 19. $39. Fishmonger’s Restaurant Oyster Bar, 806 W. Main St., Durham. 919-319-5674. trianglefoodtour.com.

      Hillsborough

      Historic Hillsborough boasts Southern charm, 18th and 19th century architecture, and a vibrant literary and artistic scene. It is also home to fantastic restaurants with a true farm-to-table vibe. Talk with chefs while exploring Hillsborough’s history. Enjoy the warmth and friendliness of the town and, of course, plenty of food.. handmade chocolates, locally roasted coffees, famous scones, local beer, organic wine, and a stop at one of the most esteemed restaurants in the Southeast – Panciuto! 11 a.m. March 8, 11 a.m. March 15, 11 a.m. March 22, 11 a.m. March 29, 11 a.m. April 5, 11 a.m. April 12, 11 a.m. April 19. $45. Saratoga Grill, 108 S. Churton St., Hillsborough. 919-237-2254. tastecarolina.com.

      Raleigh

      The capital of North Carolina is home to some of the most dynamic restaurants in the country. Known for effortlessly blending modern architecture with historic buildings and monuments, Raleigh showcases fine dining and eclectic eateries. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you’ll enjoy innovative ethnic and southern cuisine, scratch-made desserts, local beer, wine, and more at multiple restaurants! There’s something for everyone in Raleigh. 1:45 p.m. March 7, 1:45 p.m. March 8, 1:45 p.m. March 14, 3:30 p.m. March 15, 1:45 p.m. March 21, 4 p.m. March 22, 1:45 p.m. March 28. $50-$65. Briggs Hardware Store Building, 220 Fayetteville St., Raleigh. 919-237-2254. tastecarolina.com.

      Raleigh

      Downtown Raleigh’s District Dining via the R-LineA guided culinary journey of sight and taste that spans all 5 downtown districts to sample a cross-section of some of Raleigh’s unique local restaurant venues, blended together with some forgotten historical tidbits that leaves you full of new insights on the downtown culinary landscape. On the tour, we’ll be walking and using the R-Line circulator as we make our way through each district. It’s fun, informative and delicious. 2:30 p.m. March 8, 2:30 p.m. March 15, 2:30 p.m. March 22, 2:30 p.m. March 29, 2:30 p.m. April 5, 2:30 p.m. April 12, 2:30 p.m. April 19. $39. Videri Chocolate Factory, 327 W. Davie St., Raleigh. 919-319-5674. trianglefoodtour.com.

      Farmers Markets

      Wake Forest Farmers’ Market

      10 a.m. March 8, 10 a.m. March 15, 10 a.m. March 22, 10 a.m. March 29. OneCare Parking Lot, 150 N. White St., Wake Forest. 919-671-9269. www.wakeforestfarmersmarket.org/

      Wine Tastings

      Ladies Event at Mosaic Wine Lounge

      CLVR US Events, LLC presents Femme Fatale hosted by Vouis Luitton, an all female monthly at Mosaic Wine Lounge. 21+ only with ID, Drink Specials, NO COVER, go to clvrus.com for more info! March 6, 10 p.m. April 3. 21+ only. Mosaic Wine Lounge, 517 W. Jones St., Raleigh. 919-829-5886. clvrus.com.

      Cloer Family Vineyards Wine Tastings

      12 p.m. March 7, 11 a.m. March 8, 12 p.m. March 14, 11 a.m. March 15, 12 p.m. March 21, 11 a.m. March 22, 12 p.m. March 28, 11 a.m. March 29, 12 p.m. April 4, 11 a.m. April 5, 12 p.m. April 11, 11 a.m. April 12. $5 per person. Cloer Family Vineyards, 8624 Castleberry Road, Apex. 919-387-5760. cloerfamilyvineyards.com.

      Church Suppers

      Wake County

      Westwood Baptist Church BBQ Fundraiser

      N.C. pork barbecue, potatoes, homemade slaw, hushpuppies and dessert. Eat in or take out. Drive-through lane for takeout. Free delivery to businesses during lunch (multiple plate orders only). Call 919-469-9393 to place lunch delivery ordersevent. 5-7 p.m. $8. 11 a.m. -7 p.m. March 7. Westwood Baptist Church, 200 Westhigh St., Cary. 919-469-9393. westwoodbc.org.

      Saint Mary Magdalene Lenten Fish Fry

      Menu: breaded and fried Pacific cod, potatoes or fries, cole slaw and corn bread. $10 for adults, $6.50 for children. 5:30 p.m. March 7 and 14, and April 4. St. Mary Magdalene, 625 Magdala Place, Apex. 919-434-7333. lentfishfry.com.

      Saint Michael’s Fish Fry

      Lenten fish sandwich lunch and dinner sponosored by Knight of Columbus Council #6650. Menu: grilled or fried cod on brioche bun, steak fries, salad, dessert and drinks. Takeout orders available. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. March 7, 14, 21 and 28, and April 4 and 11. Lunch: $7 for adulta, $4 for children; Dinner: $8, adult, $4, children. St. Michael the Archangel Church, 804 High House Road, Cary. 919-468-6126 to place takeout order.

      Genesis United Method Church Barbecue Dinner

      Barbecue pork or chicken with all the fixins’. Proceeds will be used for missions and Loose Change to Loosen Chains. $10 adults, $5 children ages 5-11, free for children 4 and under. 5:30 p.m. March 15. Genesis United Methodist Church, 850 High House Road, Cary. 919-342-5783. genesis-umc.org.

      3rd Annual Chili Cookoff

      Sample more than 15 types of chili, plus cornbread, salad and dessert. Donations for entry, which will be converted to votes for your favorites in categories such as best overall, top (chili) dog, hottest pot, weirdest and best salesmanship. Donations, minimum suggested is $10 per person. 12:30 p.m. March 16. West Raleigh Presbyterian Church, 27 Horne St., Raleigh. 919-828-5468. westraleighpres.org.

      Ebenezer United Methodist Church Annual Pork BBQ

      Eat in or take out. Buffet includes barbecue, slaw, potato salad, hushpuppies, roll and drink. Desserts available. Convenient drive-through. Takeout includes barbecue, slaw, potato salad, hushpuppies, roll and dessert. Barbecue is also sold by the pound for $8. $8 per plate. 11 a.m. March 21. Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 6020 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh. 919-772-1664.

      Garner United Methodist Church kick-off for Relay for Life

      Annual barbcue chicken dinner to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Plates include half barbecue chicken, green beans, potatoes, bread and dessert. Takeout plates available, and lunch delivery available for orders of 10 or more. $8. 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. March 21. Christian Life Center at Garner United Methodist Church, 201 Methodist Drive, Garner. garnerumc.org.

      Green Level Baptist Church Barbecue Dinner

      Annual barbecue: pork and chicken, homemade potato salad, slaw, hush puppies and desserts. Pork barbecue available for $8 per pound. Drive through or eat in. $8. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. April 4. Green Level Baptist Church, 8509 Green Level Church Road, Cary. 919-303-0786 or 919-362-4310. greenlevel.com.

      Mount Pisgah Chicken ’N’ Dumplings Fundraiser

      Menu: chicken and dumplings, green beans, baked apples, fried cornbread and dessert. Eat in or take out. Proceeds fund mission and outreach programs. $8 for adults, $4 for children ages 10 and under. 4:30 p.m. April 5. Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, 1288 Mount Pisgah Church Road, Apex. 919-362-7951. mountpisgahchurch.org.

      Soapstone United Methodist Men BBQ

      Plates include choice of pork or chicken, small potatoes, corn on the cob, green beans and roll. $9/plates, $7 per pound of barbecue. 4 p.m. April 11. Soapstone United Methodist Men (BBQ), 12837 Norwood Road, Raleigh. 919-846-2212.

      Salem Baptist Church BBQ Fundraiser

      Fundraiser for student mission trips. Plates include barbecue pork or chicken with slaw, potatoes, hush puppies, tea and dessert. Eat in or take out. Lunch deliveries are available for 10 or more orders: call 919-362-7327. $8. 11 a.m. April 25. Salem Baptist Church, 1821 N. Salem St., Apex. 919-362-7327. salem-bc.org/upcoming-events.

      Macedonia United Methodist Church Chicken and BBQ Dinner

      Chicken and pulled pork barbecue with potato salad, coleslaw, hush puppies, dessert and tea. Eat in or take out. Lunch delivery available. $8. 11a.m.-7 p.m. May 3. Macedonia United Methodist Church, 2700 Jones Franklin Rd., Cary, 919-851-1551.

      Beulah Christian Baptist Church BBQ Chicken Dinner

      Barbecue chicken plate with 2 vegetables and dessert. Eat in includes tea. $8. 11 a.m.-until food runs out. May 3. Beulah Christian Baptist Church, 8225 Mitchell Mill Road, Zebulon, 919-556-7245.

      Sunrise United Methodish Church Spring BBQ

      The Men’s Ministry sponsors barbecue to support the Methodist Home for Children, and also the Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries in the state’s prisons. Menu: Eastern North Carolina style barbecue cooked onsite, boiled potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, dinner roll and homemade desserts. Dine in or carry out. $8/plate. $4/kid’s hot dog meal. 11 a.m. May 9. Sunrise United Methodist Church, 5420 Sunset Lake Road, Holly Springs. 919-303-3720. mysunrise.org.

      Cary FUMC Chicken Pickin’

      Annual chicken pickin’ to support the Bolivia Youth Mission team. Pit cooked barbecue chicken, potatoes, green beans, bread and banana pudding. Take out or eat with us. $10/plate, $40/family. 4 p.m. May 9. Cary First United Methodist Church, 117 S. Academy St., Cary. 919-467-1861. fumc-cary.org.

      Durham County

      St. Matthew Catholic Church Fish Fries

      The Knights of Columbus Council 13812 sponsors annual Lenten fish fries. Menu includes fried whiting, seafood creole over pasta, hush puppies, green beans, dessert and grilled cheese for children. $8 for adults, $4 for children ages 5-12, free for children under 5. 5-7:30 p.m. March 7 and 21. St. Matthew Catholic Church, 1001 Mason Road, Durham. 919-383-9472, ask for Tom Clifton.

      Brunswick Stew and Chicken ’n Dumplings Dinner

      Eat in or take out Brunswick stew and chicken ’n’ dumplings dinner. Call 919-383-5764 to reserve stew-by-the-quart, or order online. $8.50. 4-7 p.m. March 8. Pleasant Green United Methodist Church, 3005 Pleasant Green Road, Durham. 919-383-5764. pleasantgreen.org

      A Night In Rome Dinner and Auction

      Italian dinner and auction fundraiser. 6 p.m. March 21. Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 3011 Academy Road, Durham. 919-489-1381.

      St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church Greek Festival

      Greek food and pastries, music, folk dances, church tours, artwork, crafts, jewelry, fashions and books. Free. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. May 31 and June 1. St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 8306 N.C. 751, Durham, 919-484-1600, stbarbarachurchnc.org.

      Johnston Couunty

      Amelia Christian Church BBQ Chicken Plates, Lunch and Dinner

      Barbecue chicken plates includes a half chicken, green beans, potatoes and hushpuppies. Eat in or take out. $7. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. March 7. Amelia Christian Church, 1696 Amelia Church Road, Clayton.

      Sanders Chapel United Methodist Church Bar-B-Q Chicken Plates

      Delicious barbecue chicken plate. Dine in or take out. $7 per plate. 11 a.m. March 7. Pomona-Creech Community Building, 3929 Brogden Road, Smithfield.

      Orange County

      Annual Spring BBQ and Brunswick Stew Supper

      Pig-picking-style barbecue and homemade award-winning Brunswick stew from an original church family recipe, hush puppies, slaw, tea or coffee and homemade dessert. Dine in is all you can eat. Drive-through takeout is also available. Bulk sales of barbecue, Brunswick stew, hush puppies and slaw are subject to availability. Dine-in adult plates, $10; children under 12, $6; Takeout plates, $9. 4 p.m. March 22. Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 2016 Mount Carmel Church Road, Chapel Hill. 919-933-0768. mcbc1803.org.

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      Mar 6, 2014
      Kim Rivers

      KITCHEN CLASH: Which food truck will taste success?

      HICKORY – Tune in March 16 to find out who the latest addition at Valley Hills Mall’s food court will be.


      That’s what a new episode of “Food Court Wars,” filmed in Hickory during December, will air on Food Network.

      Two food trucks from Charlotte, The Mayobird and Wingzza, competed. The winner receives a spot in the food court rent-free for one year.

      In the show, two teams compete for more than 72 hours, creating and marketing a food court idea. The team with the most business in one day at the mall wins.

      About Wingzza

      Larry Swayne of Wingzza said the business has been around for about four years. He remembers eating wings and pizza in college while playing video games.

      “I always felt like you never had good pizza at the wing places, and the pizza places always had just a seat filler kind of wing.” said Swayne, 32. “So, we wanted to do something that was cool, where you could get high quality items in both categories.”

      Swayne said the business’ popular items are buffalo chicken pizza and sweet, tangy Mambo wings.

      “You’ve got to try to mambo if you ever see Wingzza rolling,” Swayne said.

      The competition element took Swayne on a ride, he said. He was happy and nervous.

      “Most people see me as the calm, cool, collected business guy who will never let you see him sweat,” Swayne said. “In that process, I really felt myself going up and down, so that surprised me.”

      Swayne said he was once an account manager at a marketing consulting firm. He hopes Wingzza will one day be a large fast-food franchise.

      “When you make the leap from corporate America to opening a food truck, a lot of people look at you like you’re crazy,” Swayne said.

      Swayne said there are folks who cook great food for 50 years and never make it on Food Network.

      “For me, to have this opportunity is unbelievable,” Swayne said.

      He and his wife have a son on the way. He hopes Wingzza will be a family business one day.

      About The Mayobird

      The Mayobird has served chicken salad for close to a year. Deedee Mills wants it to be the best chicken salad anyone will ever eat.

      “I feel like, even though it’s chicken salad and that’s our specialty, there’s something for everyone within that realm,” Mills said.

      Deedee Mills of The Mayobird worked for the Carolina Panthers for many years before starting her business.

      “Come to find out, there are a million ways to do chicken salad,” Mills said.

      Mills, 41, has a 5-year-old son named Cannon, who has his own item on The Mayobird’s menu named after him – the PBJ.

      “I tell him all the time, I’m going to dress him up in a chicken outfit and make him give me business,” Mills said.

      It’s hard to go to the grocery store being a single parent, but in the end, life is about balance, Mills said.

      “I think it makes me more organized or try to be more efficient,” Mills said. “I’ve become quite the multi-tasker, for sure.”

      Mills said being filmed while cooking was weird for her.

      “I’ve made chicken salad a bunch of times,” Mills said. “As I’m stirring this and I have a camera over my shoulder, I’m thinking, ‘Am I stirring this correctly? Would the culinary people approve of the way I’m stirring this?’”

      Want to go?

       » What: Enjoy a screening of the newest episode of “Food Court Wars” filmed in Hickory.

       » When: 8 p.m. March 16

       » Where: The Crossing at Hollar Mill

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      Mar 6, 2014
      Kim Rivers

      Bull City Food and Beer Experience, food truck rodeo lead our weekend best bets

      Bull City Food and Beer Experience (Image from the DPAC)

      — It’s First Friday this week in downtown Raleigh! Check Out and About’s First Friday guide so you can make plans to enjoy the art, music and specials.

      It is time for the annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience at the DPAC. Thirty Durham restaurants are participating in Sunday’s event. In addition, pair your meal with unbelievable beer from 30 premier craft and import breweries. Tickets are $75 and the event kicks off at 4 p.m.

      The Bull City is all about great food this weekend. On Sunday, head to Durham Central Park for a food truck rodeo from noon to 4 p.m. Tons of trucks participate and you can enjoy live music from PitchBlak Brass Band. 

      Also happening in Durham this weekend, The Cookery is hosting “Belly Up: Public House Night” on Saturday. From 6-11 p.m., watch the Duke/UNC basketball game on their 15-foot big screen TV and order drinks at their bar. Sympathy for the Deli food truck will be on hand and they are roasting a pig for the occasion. Iced Cupcakes will be there too! 

      In the mood for some retail therapy this weekend? A Southern Shopping Spree at the Raleigh Convention Center this Saturday will feature more than 30 local businesses. From handmade jewelry to make-up, this event has a variety of vendors. Tickets are $5.

      Bare Theatre’s critically-acclaimed “Let Them Be Heard” comes to the ArtsCenter in Carrboro this weekend. The show features live performance adaptations of documented accounts of slavery and its aftermath. Tickets start at $8. 

      Some great comedy happening this weekend. “Let’s Make a Deal” host Wayne Brady brings his stand-up act to Meymandi Hall on Sunday. Tickets start at $36.

      Event update: The Big 3 Legends game at American Tobacco Campus in Durham scheduled for Friday has been postponed to April 19 due to the threat of inclement weather. 


      Looking for comments?

      Recommended Reading

      Mar 6, 2014
      Kim Rivers

      An Asian-fusion food truck banned for ‘offensive’ name

      SAN ANTONIO — Candie Yoder’s plans to debut her Asian cuisine at Port San Antonio Thursday didn’t turn out the way she imagined.

      Officials this week blocked the owner of the CockAsian food truck from setting up shop at the 1,900-acre site because of the restaurant’s name.

      Yoder, 40, said the title is a spin on the truck’s popular Korean Fried Chicken dish but port officials didn’t see it that way.

      Yoder purchased the food truck in November and was planning to debut the truck Thursday. She said in a Facebook post that the name has “boundless meanings, none of which are sexual or a racial slur. … I would be more than happy to discuss the basis for our name with them.”

      Port San Antonio officials objected to the name after an online search, said Keith Hill, president of the San Antonio Food Truck Association, which coordinates food truck scheduling with large employers such as the port.

      “We ask SAFTA to find an optional truck because perhaps the patrons would find the name objectionable,” said Paco Felici, a spokesman for Port San Antonio. He added that pornographic images showed up in an image search for the term.

      “They apparently Googled it to find out (the restaurant’s) menu and website, and their truck page is not what came up,” Hill said, who admitted he knew the name would be controversial when Yoder opened the restaurant.

      A Google search Wednesday showed the food truck’s website as well as UrbanDictionary.com, which is known for having over-the-top and vulgar definitions for words and phrases, as the top hits on the term, followed by articles about the port’s ban.

      Needless to say, the UrbanDictionary.com definition is not Korean fried chicken.

      The port, with more than 12,000 employees in the aerospace, military, logistics and manufacturing fields, launched a partnership with the food truck association last year in which several food trucks come on site a number of times a week to provide lunch options for workers.

      Yoder, who is not Asian, said the food truck was not only a spin on its Asian-fusion menu, but also pokes fun at her.

      “When I was discussing my plans of opening an Asian food truck, I got some people asking why, or joking, because of my ethnicity,” Yoder said. She’s white.

      “So it’s not only a play on the Korean fried chicken that we serve, but also my ethnicity,” she explained.

      Yoder instead will introduce her cuisine on Sunday at the Point Park and Eats on Boerne Stage Road, she said, and offered this thought in another Facebook post: “It makes me sad that the spoken and written word are the most censored forms of art.”

      kparker@express-news.net

      Twitter: @KoltenParker

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