Have You Spotted #TheAlphabetProjectNC Murals Around Raleigh?

This weekend I did some exploring in downtown Raleigh and came across artist Morgan Cook, who was in the process of painting this “E” mural in a galaxy background. Cook, a native North Carolinian from Chapel Hill, recently returned from a stint in Los Angeles. Now firmly planted in Raleigh, he has set upon a community art project to beautify the city, which he calls #TheAlphabetProjectNC. “E” for East Cabarrus Street? Yes. This year-long project will feature all 26 letters

There’s now a Brasserie at Neuse River Brewing Co.

Neuse River Brewing Co. is one of my favorite breweries in Raleigh. I didn’t think it could get better but it did. It now has a brasserie in it, and today I tried it out for brunch. The brasserie opened fairly recently, (November), but I only now got down there. Yeah that is slower than I usually like to be about checking out a new place but better late than never, as they say. And apparently I’ve been missing out on a good thing! Enter through the big double doors with “NRBC

Wednesdays = Burger Night at Hummingbird

Wednesdays = Burger Night at Hummingbird in Raleigh. First things first though... One can’t come here & not get a cocktail. From the beginning, this place has been a favorite of mine for well-made cocktails. This cocktail is called Bobbin' for Apples. And now Hummingbird is also one of my faves for burgers too! I didn’t request any extras added, it comes this way: Bacon, cheddar, tomato, & arugula, and the fries. $14 total is worth this tastiness. Hummingbird 1053 E Whitaker

100-Yr-Old Willow Oak Tree in Nash Square to be Cut Down

This beautiful old Willow Oak in downtown’s Nash Square will be getting chopped down tomorrow. Apparently it’s diseased. I had to swing by one last time this evening to have a look. I’ve always loved how the roots spill out onto the sidewalk. Last I heard, the roots will remain until removal at a later date. There’s just one other such old tree that comes to mind, located downtown... it is in Raleigh City Market. Raleigh sure has a lot of trees, but not too many 100-year-old

Raleigh Night Market, Grassroots Baby!

Recently I sat down to chat with the co-founders of the Raleigh Night Market, Lauryn Stroud, and Sara Buxton. In partnership with City Market, they host a fabulous community event in downtown Raleigh. Raleigh Night Market is a monthly event (March-November, 2019), which brings tons of incredible local artisans to one space. (City Market). Yes, local, local, local! Pottery, jewelry, clothes, food, drinks, and so much more. There is also live local music playing throughout, a

Noodle Soup at Mekong in Morrisville, NC

One of my favorite places for Vietnamese food in the Triangle is Mekong, in Morrisville, NC. They specialize in authentic Southern Vietnamese cuisine. It is a casual & inexpensive restaurant with great food and service. On this occasion, I opted for the pho, (noodle soup), as it has been quite cold lately here in the Triangle. What else are you gonna eat? Hot soup is perfect on days like these. I got the “Combination” pho, which contains several meats: well done beef, rare be

Vita Vite in North Hills, Clink-Clink!

Vita Vite is an art gallery and a wine bar. But it is an experience too. The 2nd Vita Vite location opens today, 1pm. Hopefully you’ve caught my Insta Stories or posts on Instagram & Twitter about this a few weeks ago when I attended the preview. The actual opening date was up in the air back then and just announced very recently, but alas, the day has arrived! View of downstairs bar from the upstairs bar. I highly recommend a visit if you like great wine, delicious small pla

Sola Coffee Cafe

I really like Sola Coffee Cafe. It’s a cute neighborhood spot in the Greystone Village Shopping Center in a Raleigh. It’s always busy in there. I still haven’t found a slow time to go so maybe there isn't a slow time. Ha! Today was busy as ever. I typically see a lot of people in there who are camped out on their laptops, but I can usually find a spot to sit. Today there were no spots inside so I sat on the patio. Not my preference as it was really hot out, but I figured I wa

Healthy Brunch at Happy + Hale in North Hills

Last weekend I headed to brunch at the newest Happy + Hale location, in North Hills, Raleigh. Brunch at a healthy eats place? What? Yup, no typical Southern style greasy eats here. Firstly, this place is so beautiful. It's a fast-casual healthy eats place but it feels fancy. If you haven't been yet, I think you'll think the same after your first visit. The space is all mostly white & minimalist in decor, with lots of tall windows allowing plenty of natural light in and giving

Noodle Love at Tonbo Ramen

Last week I tried out downtown Raleigh’s Tonbo Ramen restaurant. Dang that was a great experience. Yeah, Ramen places are kinda trendy as of late, however, this place knocked it out of the park. That's a good thing because the Raleigh food scene is discerning. In the past decade I've seen a ton of places come and go. And also at the same time, the quality of places coming here have gotten better and more in line with what the locals crave. A couple of month ago, at the inaugu

MOFU Shoppe is Pho King Pho Nomenal

A stop into MOFU Shoppe, in downtown Raleigh is always an overall excellent experience. I first became aware of these ladies/business owners and their food truck a few years back when they started their food truck business. It was called “Dump Pho King Truck”. Cute hu? My friend Laura enticed me to check them out at a food truck rodeo in Durham. I’m glad I did. Since then, the food truck competed in Food Network’s reality TV show, -a food truck competition called, “The Gr

McCormick & Schmick’s at Crabtree Valley Mall

Last night I had dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s for the 1st time and it blew me away. It was an outstanding experience overall. I phrase it that because it wasn’t just the food that was so amazing. My friend and I kept commenting to each other how superb every aspect of our time there was. The restaurant is beautiful, dimly lit, with open floor seating as well as booths that feel very private. Makes for lovely ambiance. The service was impeccable. Our server Mike was perfect

Lucettegrace, the Sweet Spot

Lucettegrace is one of my faveorite dessert spots. If this isn’t the perfect hot chocolate weather then I don’t know what is. I’m so eager for this cold snap to end though. Meanwhile, I really enjoyed this drink with homemade marshmallows & chocolates drizzle. It was sooooo rich & delicious. I can’t even believe this happened but after I drank the hot chocolate and ate the macaron, I was too full to eat the hazelnut dessert. I could only eat a bite and sadly had to leave the

Whole Hog Cook-Off was a Blast

Last month (November 11), was the last charity cook-off event of the year hosted by Ray Price Harley Davidson in Raleigh. It was also a Veterans Day celebration. Did you know Ray Price was a veteran? They host 3 of these events annually and I’ve covered the previous 2 here on my blog in case you’d like to read about them too. Yet again I was thrilled to be one of their food judges and the competition was stiff as always. We tasted 14 different BBQ plates from a variety of lo

Hummingbird, Tiny, Yet Big

Recently a great little spot opened in Raleigh, called Hummingbird. It’s a cafe & bar. Just like the bird, it’s tiny, but big on what it delivers. Upon first walking in, I immediately loved the look & feel of the place. It was cozy, casual & modern. The bar itself captured my eye, a beautiful white marbletop and bright yellow bar-stools lined up along the way. The bar seats about 10-12 people at most I’d say, so when I say it’s a tiny place, it’s very tiny. In the corner of t

Sommelier’s Roast - Raleigh, NC

Last week I attended a food tasting at Sommelier's Roast in Raleigh. -A new coffee & tea shop that carries not only excellent coffee & tea, but also light faire that is, well, not ordinary. Plus, this place is different. Although it’s casual, it’s not a hipster type spot, instead it’s got more of a sophisticated feel. Add to it that it’s a family owned business, and I’m even happier to tell you about it. The Caramel Apple Cider Latte was the best I've ever tasted. And I drink

Halloween House - Oakwood Neighborhood

Pic taken in 2015 This is an annual tradition for many. Certainly for the homeowner, Mr. Jones, who adores this time of year, and puts his heart & soul into decorating the exterior of his home as well as his yard with festive, fun, & spooky Halloween decorations. Masses of people turn up from around the area for this family-friendly event. Go see the Oakwood Halloween House at: 504 Oakwood Ave., Raleigh. NC Mr. Jones & a team of volunteers start decorating a month before Hall

Carroll's Kitchen 1-yr Anniversary Party at Highgrove Estate

If you've followed me on social media for the past year, then surely you saw the posts about the then-anticipated opening of Carroll's Kitchen in downtown Raleigh. They opened, and it's been full steam ahead this entire year. Here we are now 1 year in and at yesterday's 1-yr anniversary party, it was announced that Carroll's Kitchen would be opening a 2nd location. This one will be in the soon-to-open Morgan Street Food Hall in downtown Raleigh. Best part of this in my opinio

Annelore's German Bakery in Raleigh, NC

There are only a few bakeries in the area that I'm a die-hard fan of, and Annelore's German Bakery is one of them. You can find their stand at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, NC. (See address details below). They are the vendor at the very end of the line of vendors (across from the State Farmers Market Restaurant). Eventually, they will have a storefront in downtown Cary, NC, but that is still in the works. Come to think of it, I have read about the "coming soon" Cary s

Bida Manda - Laotian Food in Downtown Raleigh

Lunch at Bida Manada was delicious! You really need not read any further... maybe just scroll through the photos but rest assured, the dining experience will be on point if you decide to go. Bida Manda is a little Laotian restaurant, started by a brother and sister duo, Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha. They wanted to bring their beloved family cuisine to downtown Raleigh in a welcoming space. Sure glad they did... Raleigh was lacking in this arena but not any longer. Bida Manda