Friends of Downtown at The Franklin

Big names and big personalities came together for the Friends of Downtown meeting at The Franklin Hotel early Thursday morning for coffee, cookies and cupcakes, as well as to hear Holden Thorp, UNC’s Chancellor, speak. Located in the Grand Terrace on the 2nd floor, sunshine filled the room with all the socializing Friends and made for a lively morning.

Le Beaujolais + Le Turk-ais

I believe it was Anonymous who once said, “Turkey Schmurkey. Bring on the Beaujolais!” Truer words were never spoken. Let’s shelve the inevitable holiday mania for just a moment before the madness begins next week.

Open Eye keeps me both caffeinated and inspired, such a powerful combination in the right hands. Props to Scott Conary and Beth Justus for creating a shop that sells a mix of my favorite products, including the dreamiest baked goods from Chapel Hill’s own Sweet Little Something that always pair perfectly with my house roasted black coffee, no sugar, no cream.

But sometimes Momma wants a different pairing. Thankfully Open Eye sells delicious beer and wine as well. In fact, Le Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived in Carrboro. Be sure to check out the Beaujolais wine tasting event at Open Eye Friday, November 18th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, the $25 admission fee includes at least five wine tastings, French cheese and sausages. This fundraiser for the Institut Francais d’Amerique (missing so many squiggles and accents, I know) should be a total blast, a great combination of real French people and real Carrboro sassiness. Sounds like a party to me. 

Pause. Clarifying side note. 

I’m not a Thanksgiving hater. In fact, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I absolutely adore the idea of a side called stuffing (aka dressing). I love the fact that no one thinks either name for this beloved dish is weird and that there are tens of thousands of ways to prepare it. So awesome! You can totally screw around with the recipe, put on your free thinkers of the world UNITE t-shirt and make a Puerto Rican inspired Mofongo stuffing, turn it into a pizza, or add Pear, Toasted Walnut and Blue Cheese. Or just add whatever leftover bits of this and that you have in the fridge, man! It’s stuffing. Whatever zany ingredient ends up in your final product, you totally meant to do that. Just tell guests you were inspired by an obscure blog you read once. That will really shut them up. 

But maybe you are one of the wise ones who has decided to avoid the brining and gratinee-ing and actually spend time enjoying your family this year by treating them to a Thanksgiving feast at a local restaurant. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the options at Carolina Crossroads and Acme. I do hope you’ll report back. And please let me know if any of you spot the elusive White Castle Stuffing on a dinner table this year.

TerraVITA: a coupon + a few good reasons to attend

Um, look, since we’re pals and everything, you’ll understand why I’m going to feel a little ill if I don’t see your pretty face at TerraVITA this Saturday. I mean, you say you love the food scene here in North Carolina and you love to talk to friends about seasonal eating. You’d love to get out more and explore the other fabulous restaurants around this great state but you just haven’t found time – it’s been a crazy summer. I get it. Things have been nuts.

You know what is even more nuts? Missing TerraVITA. It can be tough to convince your favorite friend or lover to join you for a few hours sampling delicious food, booze, and bevvies on a gorgeous fall afternoon. So, let me do the dirty work for you. Please note the following reasons you need to be at TerraVITA in Southern Village this Saturday.

  • You have a 15% off discount code to use, enter Grow2 at checkout. JACKPOT.
  • You don’t really understand what “biodynamic” means or why it matters, but you kinda wanna.
  • You freaking adore jam or jelly or pickle produced by the good hands of April McGreger (Farmer’s Daughter), and you’d love to know how this gifted woman got into the canning biz…and why it matters.
  • Open Eye is your favorite spot for a cup of coffee in the Chapelboro. You finally get to meet the globetrotting guru behind that magic – Scott Conary!
  • You keep hearing great things about restaurants like Chef & the Farmer (Kinston) and On the Square (Tarboro) but just ain’t in the mood to drive that far east for eats this year. Guess what? They’re at TerraVITA.
  • You keep hearing great things about Farmhand Foods and The Pig and want to know more about this Animal Welfare Approved stuff.

Soooo, yeeeeah. Like I said. You have a 15% off discount code to use, enter Grow2 at checkout. JACKPOT.

Sustainable Classroom at TerraVITA

Okay kids, it wasn’t too long ago that I shared a discount code with you, my favorite readers, for the best foodie event in Chapel Hill, TerraVITA, a celebration of the best in sustainable food and beverage. This year TerraVITA takes place on Saturday, September 24th, and like last year, dozens of your favorite chefs, food and beverage artisans from around the state will be on hand to chat and share samples of their favorite creations. Confirmed participants this year include Vivian Howard (Chef & the Farmer, Kinston, NC), Amy Tornquist (Watts Grocery, Durham) and yes, French Broad Chocolates in Asheville. Good thing you already bought your tickets, they are going fast!

Also wanted to make sure you tell those last minute friends of yours about the fabulous new element of TerraVITA, the Sustainable Classroom. From 9:30am – 12:20pm on the morning of the Grand Tasting on the Green, you can pay just $35 to hear four sessions of classes on a wide range of subjects–such a great way to dig a bit deeper into the concept of sustainability from pint to plate. Confirmed speakers include April McGreger (Farmer’s Daughter), Sean Lilly Wilson (Fullsteam), Maximilian Kast (Fearrington House) and Rob Bowers (Whitted Bowers Farm, one of only two certified biodynamic farms in the Southeast!). What are you waiting for? Buy your tickets to both events now for a full day of education and tastings!


Grand Tasting On The Green
Saturday, September 24, 2011
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The Village Green, Southern Village
400 Market St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Saturday, September 24, 2011 
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Lumina Theatre
Southern Village
680 Market St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
    * Session 1 – 9:30 – 10:05 a.m.
    * Session 2 – 10:15 – 10:50 a.m.
    * Session 3 – 11 – 11:35 a.m.

    * Session 4 – 11:45 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.