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. 


Local Breweries and Distilleries Offer Free Beer, Meals, and Work for Furloughed Government Employees

It is now day twenty-eight of the stupid government shutdown, and several local breweries and distilleries are stepping up to help those affected. Fullsteam Brewery is offering government employees with valid ID a free beer (limit one per day), Trophy Brewing Co. is offering a free meal at any Trophy location or State of Beer (for example, a free small pizza at Trophy Brewing and Pizza), and Durham Distillery is offering temporary contract work at $15 an hour to fulfill canning and bottling needs (email info@durhamdistillery.com for more information).

Monuts Donuts and E.K. Powe’s PoweNuts is the Tastiest School Fundraiser Ever

For the second year in a row, Durham elementary school E.K. Powe has partnered with Monuts Donuts for a PTA fundraiser called PoweNuts. This year’s limited edition PoweNuts donut, determined by a student vote, is a chocolate cake donut with chocolate icing topped with green and white sprinkles to match the school’s colors. The PoweNut is available at Monuts seven days a week and costs $2 each; donuts can also be ordered in advance by the dozen ($20) or as boxes of mini donuts ($20 for 20; $25 for 25). For every PoweNut sold in the store, Monuts will donate $1 and half of all pre-order sales to the E. K. Powe PTA. Last year, Monuts donated $1,169 to E.K. Powe. To pre-order donuts, click here and select “E.K. PoweNuts.”

E.K. Powe parent and fundraiser lead Elizabeth Johnson says that PTA fundraisers like this help cover costs such as teacher reimbursement for out-of-pocket school supply expenses, field trip fees for students in need, and programming such as SafeTouch, Orange County Rape Crisis Center’s healthy kids program, which teaches that every child deserves to feel safe at home, school, and in their community. (E. K. Powe is the only public school in Durham County to bring SafeTouch to every child at the school.)

Triangle Food Businesses Take Home Wins at the 2019 Good Food Awards

The Good Food Awards, which honors makers who have mastered their craft and committed to maintaining exceptionally high social and environmental standards, held its ninth annual ceremony in San Francisco last Friday. This year, 220 awards were given across 16 categories and were determined by a blind tasting of 2,035 entries conducted by 262 judges.

In Raleigh, Videri Chocolate Factory won for both its 70 percent Classic Dark Chocolate and Lavender Black Pepper Caramel and Escazu Artisan Chocolate won for its rosemary-lemon ganache. In Durham, Fullsteam Brewery picked up a win for its Southern Basil Farmhouse Ale. Chapel Hill’s Lady Edison’s won charcuterie awards for both is pork loin pastrami and hot soppressata (a collaboration with Greensboro’s San Giuseppe), and Chapel Hill Creamery won for its Danzinger cheese and Cedar Grove’s Boxcarr Handmade Cheese won for its Rockets’ Robiola.

CrossTies Barbecue Becomes CrossTies Bistro & Beer Garden

This week, Carrboro’s CrossTies Barbecue changed its name to CrossTies Bistro & Beer Garden and expanded its menu to include more vegan, vegetarian, and seafood offerings alongside the brisket, pulled pork, and ribs it’s known for. Look for dishes such as pimento cheese fritters with spicy beer mustard, a vegetarian po’boy with buffalo cauliflower, and marinated tofu “scallops” with risotto, as well as seafood dishes such as lobster rolls and smoked salmon. As the “beer garden” part of the name implies, the restaurant hopes to make CrossTies a warm-weather sipping destination with a selection of craft suds, wine, and cocktails.

Hungry Harvest Launches “Produce in a SNAP” Community Market

In honor of its one-year anniversary in North Carolina, Hungry Harvest, a produce delivery company with a mission to reduce food waste and fight hunger, has announced its inaugural Produce in a SNAP market in partnership with the Fresh Produce Program at Duke Outpatient Clinic, taking place on January 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The reduced-cost community market provides access to fresh, affordable produce (about 50 percent cheaper than grocery-store prices) to families and individuals with limited food access (whether due to geographic or financial limitations) and accepts SNAP/EBT for those who qualify. For more information, visit its Facebook page.

Coco Bean Vegan Market is the Triangle’s First 100 Percent Vegan Market

Chapel Hill’s Coco Bean Coffee Shop and Cafe has expanded with an all-vegan market, Coco Bean Vegan Market. The market will serve vegan baked goods and pastries as well as prepared lunch items such as grain bowls, salads, tamales, and soups. Refrigerated and frozen pre-packaged vegan and gluten-free foods, grab-and-go meals, and take-and-heat items will also be available. In addition, you’ll find locally produced vegan candles, essential oils, skin care products, and a selection of plant-based living and vegan cookbooks. Stay tuned for details on a grand opening and tasting event in the coming weeks.

DeeLuxe Chicken Expands Menu and Adds Online Delivery and Pickup

Scott Howell’s DeeLuxe Chicken, the chef-restaurateur’s four-month-old fast-casual fried chicken place, is adding burgers and grilled items to the menu as well as online ordering for delivery and pickup. Signature burgers include a vegetarian portobello burger and a spicy smokehouse burger with bacon and charred jalapeño mayo; other new items include a citrus-herb-grilled chicken breast and a Lexington-style barbecued half chicken. Of course, you can still get the fried chicken sandwiches and tenders as well as the fried seafood baskets. Visit the website for more info or to place orders (which are ready in fifteen minutes during business hours).


Pair Girl Scout Cookies with Beer at The Glass Jug

On Saturday, Durham’s The Glass Jug Beer Lab will host a beer and Girl Scout cookies pairing event. Fifteen bucks buys you a flight of four four-ounce beers and four Girl Scout cookies, including pairings such as The Glass Jug Beer Lab’s Triticum Hefeweizen with Peanut Butter Patties or Founders Brewing Co.’s Porter with Thin Mints. Flights will be available to order throughout the day from noon until close.

Sip Local Coffee at Second Annual Raleigh Roasts at the City of Raleigh Museum

On Saturday, January 26, the City of Raleigh Museum will celebrate Raleigh’s vibrant cafe culture with its second annual Raleigh Roasts event. Purchase a $5 wristband to sip local roasts from the likes of Larry’s Coffee, Counter Culture Coffee, and Slingshot Coffee Co. and sample bites from Yellow Dog Bread Co., Videri Chocolate Factory, and Carroll’s Kitchen. While you’re there, check out the museum’s current exhibits, History of Dorothea Dix Park and Al Norte Al Norte.


Did you know former Four Square sous chef Andre Macias is making some of the tastiest tacos in Durham out by the post office on Shannon Road? Tonali’s affordable cuisine is more Mesoamerican than strictly Mexican; the colorful space brings out the Mayan influences on the plate, and there’s an Aztec stew on the menu. Tonali’s fish tacos ($11.75) are so good we don’t even care that they don’t identify the fish, which is tilapia-like, battered to a thin crisp, and fried in long, tender chunks. Three of them come racked in fresh tortillas and burst with color, dressed in tangy Mexican slaw, sweet mango salpicon, and earthy chipotle aioli. (By the way, we actually did find out what the fish was, because journalism: It’s flounder.) —Brian Howe