Welcome to Friday Night Bites, your weekly roundup of local food and drink news and events. Have a tip for us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allen & Son Barbeque in Chapel Hill Has Closed
Keith Allen, founder and owner of Allen & Son Barbeque, closed his eponymous restaurant last week after forty eight years in business and a reputation as one of the top barbecue joints in the state. The News & Observer reported the news on Thursday, stating that Allen preferred to close quietly rather than make a big announcement and draw things out.
“It would have been very emotional, too much to endure,” Allen told the N&O. “You can’t hug and kiss and cry and all that stuff and still work an 8-hour day. I just want to thank my customers, without them we couldn’t have done anything.”
Trophy Brewing & Pizza Adds Detroit-Style Pizza on Mondays
Earlier this week, Trophy Brewing announced on Instagram that it added Detroit pizza to its menu, following a recent research trip to Buddy’s in Detroit, credited with creating the style after the owners baked the pizzas in blue steel pans repurposed from the city’s automotive industry. Besides its shape, Detroit-style pies are characterized by their unique layering style—toppings, cheese, then sauce—and super crispy, cheesy edges and corners. The pies will be available at Trophy Brewing & Pizza in limited quantities on Mondays, dine-in only; so far, the pies have been selling out so plan accordingly.
NCMA’s Cafe’s New Coffee Blend Supports Women
The North Carolina Museum of Art’s on-site cafe, Sip, and restaurant, Iris, has changed its custom coffee blend. NCMA will continue to work with Joe Van Gogh, who will source and roast beans from Café Femenino, which sources organic, fair-trade certified coffee exclusively from women. The move underscores NCMA’s Matrons of the Art movement, which highlights female artists and supports programming by women.
Jack Tar Offers Holiday Pies To-Go
Durham’s Jack Tar diner will offer three seasonal pies for pre-order, including a new eggnog chiffon pie with gingersnap cookie crust, an apple-cranberry harvest pie, and its signature chocolate silk pie. Can’t decide? Slices of each pie are available on the dine-in menu, too. Click here for more information or to place an order.
Sip and Shop at Big Boss Brewing Co
From 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. on December 8, Big Boss Brewing Co will host Hops & Shop, a holiday craft market featuring more than twenty Shop Local Raleigh vendors, craft beers, and food trucks such as Mr. Mongolian Food Truck. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.
A Festivus for the Rest of Us at Vecino Brewing Co.
On December 21, Vecino Brewing Co. in Carrboro will host Festivus, fashioned after the event made famous on Seinfeld. They’ll put their stamp on several of the major components—airing of grievances, feats of strength (Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and thumb wrestling), and an unadorned Festivus pole. In addition, there will be an ugly sweater contest, special house and holiday beers, and a menu of popular Seinfeld foods, including an open-faced meatloaf sandwich, fried rice, house-made pretzels, and cake in a jar. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.
Save the Date for CurEat’s 2019 Foodie Scavenger Hunt
Looking ahead to 2019, restaurant discovery app CurEat announced that it will host an Amazing Race-style foodie scavenger hunt on March 30. A select number of teams will have the opportunity to compete and fundraise, with proceeds benefitting the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Agriculture Education Program. More event updates will be released via CurEat’s newsletter (download the app, it’s free!).
BITE OF THE WEEK
I could write about any number of the dishes I had during a recent dinner at Crawford and Son—chef Scott Crawford’s cooking always delights, and the spicy fish stew, cured golden beet salad with creamy horseradish dressing, and gold-standard beef tartare were all standouts—but this week I’m giving in to my sweet side.
I can usually make room for dessert no matter how full I am (it’s a separate stomach, right?) but at Crawford and Son, I feel it’s criminal not to save room for one of pastry chef Krystle Swenson’s clever creations (fittingly, desserts are listed on the menu under “Save Room”). Since it was my brother’s birthday, we ordered multiple desserts (but you don’t need a reason).
We sampled a gorgeous layered coconut cake, plated with paw paw sherbet; posset, an English-style custard lightened with citrus, garnished with citrus segments and delightful pops of texture from tarragon tapioca pearls (really, it could double as a palate cleanser); but my favorite is the Cookies and Cream. It looks and reads like an elegant, grown-up ice cream sundae—the menu lists toasted meringue and smoked cacao nib ice cream, but there’s also a chocolate shortbread disc hiding beneath the scoop, smoked chocolate caramel, dollops of chocolate mousse alongside the toasted meringue, and a garnish of crisp chocolate wafers and a scattering of dark chocolate cookie crumbs. It might be all grown-up, but the dish eats like pure summer nostalgia, part campfire s’mores, part ice cream cone, and that, I suspect, is what kept me reaching for just one more bite, long after I had room.