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.


Kaiju Bowl & Bao is Officially Open
Today, the downtown Raleigh restaurant Kaiju Bowl & Bao completed its first lunch service. For now, the restaurant will only serve its menu of shareable bowls, bao, and hot or cold bowls at lunch (from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.). The bao, Chinese-style steamed buns, are listed under a mix-and-match menu (two for $9) and include classic options like pork belly and fried chicken and the vegetarian-friendly sesame-glazed tofu. Bowl choices range from ramen to bibimbap (a Korean rice dish) to poke. Kaiju is not currently taking reservations, so head there early to avoid the lunch-hour rush.

Beer from Cult Virginia Brewery Hardywood Now Available in Raleigh-Durham

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery announced last week that its sought-after beers are now available in the Triangle at places like Woody’s, Raleigh Beer Garden, and HiCraft Beer Market. Look for flagship beers like Singel, an easy-drinking Belgian-style blonde, and Pils, a classic German-style pilsner, as well as seasonal beers from its Roots Series, made with fruits and ingredients sourced from local farms, such as a Peach Tripel (now on tap at The Glass Jug).

Local Food Takes Center Stage at Festival for the Eno
The second night of the thirty-ninth annual Festival for the Eno, which raises funds and awareness to protect the Eno River basin and expand access to public parks, will take place at West Point on the Eno City Park in Durham on July 7. In addition to showcasing live music from more than seventy-five artists on five stages over the two days, the festival will feature local food from vendors such as Vimala’s Curryblossom Café, Oak City Fish & Chips, and Locopops. Tickets are on sale now and are available online, at select ticket outlets throughout the Triangle, or at the gate day of show.

Drink Craft Cocktails with Distilling the South‘s author Kathleen Purvis
Coleen Speaks, owner of cocktail bar Hummingbird, will host award-winning food writer and author Kathleen Purvis to celebrate her newest book, Distilling the South. The event will be held at Whitaker & Atlantic, Speaks’s event space, and will feature craft cocktails, seasonal sides, and desserts from Hummingbird and a Friday night fish fry with Locals Seafood. Some of North Carolina’s most prominent distillers have also been invited to participate in a panel session to be moderated by Purvis, including Durham Distillery, Broadslab Distillery, TOPO Organic Spirits, Copper Barrel Distillery, and The Brothers Vilgalys Spirits Company. Click here to purchase tickets.

For me, a truly great ice cream flavor has to hit the trifecta: something chocolate, something creamy, and something crunchy. While I typically prefer a vanilla ice cream base to better showcase the add-ins, Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream’s Dark Indulgence makes the case for going chocolate all the way. The small-batch scoop shop’s brand-new flavor showcases a dark chocolate and peanut butter ice cream base that’s folded with a peanut butter ribbon, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and dark chocolate chips. Chocolate and peanut butter lovers should especially take note of this one.