Poole’side Pies

428 S. McDowell St., Raleigh, ac-restaurants.com/poolside

Opening night at Poole’side Pies—a full moon on Friday the 13th, accompanied by the reverberating buzz of Lizzo at Red Hat—couldn’t have been more auspiciously timed. Ashley Christensen dropped the news on Instagram that day, generating a wave of excitement evident inside the swim club-themed spot—and throughout downtown Raleigh. The Neapolitan-inspired dough is cooked in a Marra Forni wood-fired oven, perfectly charred and chewy; the crust, so spongey and airy it nearly dissolves on the palate. The mushroom white pizza with caramelized onions and chimichurri explodes in a zesty, lemony mouthgasm. Expect a wait. Expect it to be worth it.

The Glass Jug Beer Lab Five Year Anniversary: A Five-Day Celebration

Sep. 17–21, Greenwood Commons Shopping Center, 5410 N.C. Hwy. 55, Suite V, Durham, glass-jug.com

To celebrate its fifth birthday, Glass Jug is hosting a series of five day-long festivities. This week’s features the release of a quintet of new brews including Festbier, an Oktoberfest-style lager with single-origin German barley, and Fourth Dimension, a barrel-aged dark American fruited sour aged in rum and apple brandy. Don’t miss Friday’s collaboration celebration with Brewery Bhavana, Bond Brothers, and more.

North Carolina Jerk Food Festival 

Sep. 21, 11:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m. West Point on the Eno, 5101 N. Roxboro St., Durham, caribsplash.org

In conjunction with CaribSplash, a local nonprofit supporting Caribbean youth development, the sixth annual NC Jamaican Jerk Food Fest returns to West Point on the Eno on Saturday. Festival-goers can try a number of authentic Caribbean dishes like curry goat or chicken, oxtail, roti, salt fish, and more. The event is free (except for food) and open to the public.

Al Bowers Hosts a Fundraiser to Benefit the Bahamas 

Sep. 22, 1–6 p.m. Al’s Burger Shack, 516 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, alsburgershack.com

Partnering with The Baxter Bar & Arcade, Beer Study, Belltree, Rumors Boutique, Al’s Burger Shack will serve a traditional Bahamian feast for $12 a plate to benefit the Bahamas on Sunday: pork ribs, fried fish with mango salsa, conch fritters, peas and rice, and spicy mac and cheese. Proceeds go to Global Giving, a disaster recovery network. 

The 12th Annual Pepper Festival Takes Over Downtown Pittsboro

Sunday, September 22, from 3–6 p.m., Main Street, Pittsboro, pepperfestnc.com

The “Amazing Pepper Pepper Festival”—North Carolina’s largest food fest—takes over downtown Pittsboro on Sunday. Presented by Abundance NC, a local group that generates community awareness about the importance of strong local economies, PepperFest is a celebration of farmers and sustainable agriculture across the state. Drawing an expected crowd of three thousand, some of the Piedmont region’s top chefs are vying for the coveted spot of Pepper Queen and King, with pepper-focused dishes featuring locally grown sweet, hot, and smoky NC peppers to be judged by a team of chefs and food and beverage connoisseurs, including the INDY’s food editor, your humble narrator. Local brewers and artisans will also be on site with libations and handcrafted goods for sale, as well as a craft zone for kids and live music from ‘70s dance party band, 8-Track Minds. PepperFest is also teaming up with the Chatham County Climate Change Advisory Committee and will have electric cars on-site to educate attendees about this up-and-coming alternative to fossil fuels. Tickets can be purchased in advance at EventBrite, ranging from $5–$100. 

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