Welcome to Friday Night Bites, your weekly roundup of local food and drink news and events. Have a tip for us? Email food@indyweek.com.


Morgan Street Food Hall to Open This August

A sprawling European-style food hall—basically, an upscale food court—is finally making its way to the Triangle. With more than twenty different restaurant and retail vendors, a full bar, and abundant indoor and outdoor seating,
Morgan Street Food Hall will open in Raleigh in August. There will be fried seafood at Oak City Fish & Chips (calamari, scallops, mussels, shrimp, and more), indulgent stuffed strawberries at Fancy Berries (massive chocolate-dipped strawberries stuffed and loaded with cake), and the BBQ “Sundae” at Iyla’s Southern Kitchen (see Bite of the Week below).

The Produce Box Gives $80,000 in Fruits and Veggies to YMCA Campers
Many campers who attend the Triangle’s six YMCA “Camp High Hopes” live in low-income areas with limited access to healthy, affordable food. For the fourth year in a row, The Produce Box is donating $80,000 worth of local produce to the families of these campers, sending a box of fresh produce home with all 1,240 campers every other week. “This is a priority for us and the community of members we serve,” The Produce Box founder Courtney Tellefsen says. “Our mission is not just to ‘eat good,’ but also to ‘do good.’”

Triangle Chefs to Compete in Regional NCRLA Chef Showdown Competition
After coming out on top in three regional competitions, twenty-one chefs and pastry chefs will compete in the annual North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association’s Chef Showdown, four of whom hail from the Triangle. From Durham, Thomas Card and Nicole Lourie, chef and pastry chef at Counting House at 21c Museum Hotel; from Chapel Hill, Teddy Diggs, chef at Coronato; and from Raleigh, James Patterson, chef at Sedgefield Country Club. The Showdown will take place on August 27 at Aria at Founders Hall in the Bank of America Center in Charlotte.

TripAdvisor Says Al’s Burger Shack Has the Best Burgers in the Country

According to a new list from TripAdvisor that analyzed millions of user reviews, the number-one burger in the United States is located right here in the Triangle, as was reported in Food & Wine. Al’s Burger Shack, a Franklin Street-based favorite of UNC students, was awarded the list’s primo spot for its Bobo Chili Cheeseburger, a behemoth topped with chili sauce, coleslaw, chopped onion, yellow mustard, and American cheese.


Pick a Peck of Pickled Treats at Durham’s Annual PickleFest

Pickled peach marshmallows, cucumber dill kombucha, and award-winning pickled green tomatoes are just a few of the delicacies you can try at Durham’s fourth annual PickleFest, located at The Rickhouse on July 15 from noon to four p.m. All products come from N.C.-based pickle vendors and Triangle-area restaurants. Click here to purchase tickets.

Whiskey Kitchen Supper Club Celebrates Patience
On July 17, the fifth edition of Whiskey Kitchen’s quarterly supper club will feature “four courses of cured, brined, pickled, and barrel-aged flavor celebrating the oldest, most underrated trick in the book: patience.” The menu is still under construction, but Chef Clayton Anderson’s ideas thus far include pickled quail egg on sourdough, aged beef wellington, and a dessert spotlighting preserved peaches. Buy tickets here.

Alley Twenty Six Welcomes Cocktail Writer Warren Bobrow for Dinner with

Friends Series

Every month, Durham’s craft cocktail bar and kitchen Alley Twenty Six invites a different guest to bartend their charity event series Dinner With Friends. For the July installment, they’ve landed the self-proclaimed “cocktail whisperer” Warren Bobrow—a mixologist, chef, and writer specializing in craft spirits and cannabis cocktails. The ticketed event on July 30 features a five-course food-and-cocktail tasting menu. Proceeds from the series go to chef José Andrés’s foundation, World Central Kitchen. Tickets are extremely limited; buy them here.


Iyla’s Southern Kitchen’s savory BBQ “Sundae” gives the classic ice cream-based dessert a run for its money. Creamy, smoked-cheddar mac and cheese serves as the sundae’s foundation. Then comes a generous portion of mouthwatering pulled pork, bitter collard greens, a barbecue-sauce drizzle, and, in lieu of a cherry, two thinly sliced pickles. It’s a game-changer in a world of same old, same old Southern cuisine; the sundae’s balance of flavors and textures creates a culinary experience that’s nothing short of miraculous.

This post has been updated to reflect a change in Morgan Street Food Hall’s opening date.