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.


Sam Jones BBQ is Coming to Raleigh

Pitmaster Sam Jones, of Sam Jones BBQ and his family’s Skylight Inn, will open a second location of his eponymous restaurant in Raleigh. The News & Observer confirmed the rumors yesterday, stating that the restaurant will be located at 502 West Lenoir Street in the former Dusty’s Garage space near Boylan Heights. Jones, a fourth-generation pitmaster and James Beard Award semi-finalist, is widely considered to be one of the best in the region when it comes to whole hog barbecue, so this is a big win for the Triangle’s burgeoning barbecue scene.

Quickly Tea House Brings Boba to Durham

Quickly Tea House, a cafe dedicated to boba (bubble tea), milk tea, and Taiwanese and Asian snacks, soft opened in Durham this week. Owner Jacqueline Zhou originally hails from California and her parents are both from Taiwan, two locales where bubble tea—a beverage consisting of tea, milk, and toppings such as chewy tapioca balls and fruit jelly—is extremely popular. When Zhou moved to Durham three years ago, she noticed there wasn’t a dedicated bubble tea cafe and has dreamt of bringing the concept to the area ever since. Quickly will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, December 1 with a buy-one-get-one special for all drinks. The most popular drinks so far have been the classic milk tea and taro milk tea, but Zhou’s personal favorite is the refreshing and light Jasmine green tea with lychee jelly.

Asali Events & Desserts Announces Plans for Cary Cafe

Asali Events & Desserts, which specializes in custom desserts and Mediterranean pastries, will open its first brick-and-mortar, Asali Desserts & Cafe, in Cary’s MacGregor Village Shopping Center in Spring 2019. Owners and N.C. State alums Hanadi Asad and Jamaal Ali have sold their pastries at local farmers markets since 2012 but have always dreamed of having their own cafe. In addition to their popular baklava, which is inspired by Ali’s mom’s recipe and is less sweet than Lebanese or Greek versions, you’ll find kenafa with ishtah, a shredded phyllo dough pastry with sweet cream filling that lends itself to seasonal variations (the blueberry is exceptional), and a new menu item, kenafa with a stretchy sweet cheese, served hot. There will also be a full coffee bar, indoor and outdoor seating, and a lounge-y area.

Fount Coffee + Kitchen Set to Fuel Up Research Triangle Park

Fount Coffee + Kitchen, a new coffee shop and gluten-free cafe, will soft open in the heart of Research Triangle Park from December 4 to December 6, with a grand opening following on Friday, December7. In addition to Counter Culture coffee, Fount will serve tea, Tribucha kombucha, and craft beer and wine. The food menu includes house-made baked goods, smoothie bowls, toasts (yes, there’s avocado toast), salads, and small plates such as stuffed mushrooms and a charcuterie and cheese plate.

Triangle Bartenders Craft Holiday Cocktails with Cheerwine Punch

To toast the season, Cheerwine—the North Carolina-made cherry cola—tapped nine N.C. mixologists to create original recipes using Cheerwine Punch, the company’s limited-edition holiday beverage that mingles the signature soft drink with pineapple juice and ginger ale. Four Triangle bartenders dreamt up signature cocktails, including Kevin Barrett of Dram & Draught, Daniel Sartain of Bar Virgile, Zack Thomas of Crawford and Son, and Shane Deruise of The Burly Bartender (scroll down to our Bite of the Week for a trio of recipes).


Triangle Wine Experience Discounted Tickets Go on Sale December 1

More than forty of the Triangle’s top restaurants and sixty winemakers will participate in the twenty-sixth annual Triangle Wine Experience from January 31 to February 2, 2019. Purchase tickets between December 1 and December 31 to receive a 10 percent discount on individual restaurant-hosted winery dinner tickets ($165 per person), and the grand gala tickets ($300), which will include dishes from some of the Southeast’s most celebrated chefs, including Ashley Christensen, Vivian Howard, Mike Lee, Cheetie Kumar, Serge Falcoz-Vigne, Billy Cotter, Beth Littlejohn, and Matt Kelly.

All proceeds from the event benefit the Frankie Lemmon School & Developmental Center, which provides inclusive classrooms and experiences for children ages three to five with and without disabilities. Last year’s events raised over two million dollars. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

“Herons: Rooted in the South Dinner” to Benefit the Southern Foodways Alliance

Herons’ executive chef Steven Devereaux Greene and pastry chef Jonathan Fisher will collaborate with two guest chefs—Kevin Johnson of Charleston’s The Grocery and David Bancroft of Acre and Bow & Arrow in Auburn, Alabama—for a special dinner on December 5 benefiting the Southern Foodways Alliance. Herons will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales to the SFA, which documents, studies and explores the diverse food cultures of the changing American South.

The five-course menu will highlight each of the chefs’ Southern heritage and will take inspiration from the harvest of the Piedmont region, including winter root vegetables from the restaurant’s own One Oak Farm. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception in The Umstead Hotel & Spa’s art gallery, followed by a seated dinner at Herons at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $150 per person (optional wine pairings are an additional $75) and can be purchased by calling the restaurant at 919-447-4050.

“Kingfisher on the Fly” Announces New Pop-Up Bar Dates

Kingfisher, the forthcoming Durham craft cocktail bar from Sean Umstead and Michelle Vanderwalker, announced new dates for its popular “Kingfisher on the Fly” pop-up series. The duo will serve their produce-driven cocktails (in Vanderwalker’s custom ceramic cups) at Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. in Charleston on December 4, during the Carolina Hurricanes All-Star Chef series in Raleigh on December 11, and at The Durham Hotel on December 19. The December 11 event will feature cocktails created with Social House vodka alongside dishes from Asheville chefs Katie Button and Meherwan Irani (purchase tickets here). The December 19 event will be a special holiday pop-up bar at The Roof at The Durham from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. (no ticket purchase necessary).


In lieu of an actual bite this week, we’re sharing a few Cheerwine Punch-inspired holiday cocktail and mocktail recipes created by Triangle bartenders.

Cheerwine Old Fashioned

By Daniel Sartain of Bar Virgile

Serves one

2 dashes Angostura bitters

2 Dashes Regan’s orange bitters (optional)

.75 oz Cheerwine syrup (see below)

2 oz Rye Whisky (I like Rittenhouse)

Orange peel, for garnish

For the Cheerwine syrup: Boil 2 cups of Cheerwine for 15 minutes as to let it reduce a bit. Add 1 cup of sugar, stir, then let cool. For larger batches, simply double the ingredients.

Pour ingredients into a rocks glass. Add ice, amount to preference. Stir for 5-7 seconds. Garnish with a swath of orange peel, squeezed over ice and wiped along the rim of the glass. 

Bourbon Cheerwine Punch

By Zack Thomas of Crawford and Son

Serves 40

1 bottle of bourbon

1 bottle of dark rum

1 bottle of brandy

6 ounces of Fernet-Branca

4 dashes of Angostura bitters

2 liters of Cheerwine Holiday Punch

Lemon peels and cardamom pods, for garnish

Pour all ingredients in to punch bowl with ice and stir to mix. Garnish with lemon peels and cardamom pods. Serve in a chilled glass, filled with ice.

Edgar Allan Snow (mocktail)

By Shane Deruise of The Burly Bartender

Serves 1

6 ounces Cheerwine Holiday Punch

½ ounces key lime juice

¼ ounces grenadine

½ tablespoon vanilla extract

Whipped cream

Fill a rocks glass or wide mouth mason jar ¾ filled with ice. Combine the key lime juice, grenadine, and vanilla extract in glass and stir to chill. Pour Cheerwine Holiday Punch over ice and top with whipped cream.

Looking for more holiday sipping inspiration? Find out where to get your holiday cheers here.