Jason Howard, owner of Raleigh’s Brooklyn Heights Bar (605 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, www.brooklynheightsbar.com) had no official connection to the nearby bar and restaurant, The Rockford (320 ½ Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh). A loyal patron, Howard ate lunch at The Rockford at least once a week and was among the masses who mourned the 15-year-old establishment’s closing in early April. Unlike those who called out for The Rockford’s reopening on venues like Facebook with a “Save the Rockford” group, Howard hollered in a different way. Two days after the restaurant’s close, he learned the name of former Rockford owner, Michael D’Amelio, parked in front of the space, and yelled D’Amelio’s name at a man who crossed the street. Lucky for Howard, it was D’Amelio who turned around. The two sat down and talked. And as a result, The Rockford reopened last Tuesday, June 22, under the direction of Howard and two other business partners.
Though the menu has been pared slightly (don’t worry, the beloved ABC—apple, bacon, cheddar sandwich—remains), Howard says the restaurant and bar will stay true to the original Rockford’s offerings and feel. “We want to imitate what they did, learn from it, and if at all possible, make it better,” he explains. The space is open for lunch between 11:30 am until 2:00 pm, Monday through Saturday. For dinner, hours are 5:30 pm until 10:00 pm, Sunday through Wednesday, and 5:30 pm until 10:30 pm, Thursday through Saturday. The bar opens at 5:00 pm every day.
Because the first roundup on June 6 packed the parking lot at Sam's, this one is set up for more space, and each truck is armed with more delicious food. The trucks slated to attend represent mobile food variety all throughout the Triangle. They include:
Daisy Cakes (Durham)
Mom's Delicious Dishes (Raleigh)
Parlez-Vous Crepe (Carrboro/Pittsboro)
Liberación Juice Station (Durham/Pittsboro)
Bulkogi Korean BBQ (Durham)
Kona Chameleon (Carrboro)
Indian Food on Wheels, or the Big Red Bus (Durham)
Party starts at 5 p.m., with Deejay Piddipat spinning samba, tropical, bossa nova, salsa and more till 7:30.
The women are camping out near Sen. Kay Hagan's Raleigh office, refusing to eat until the senator co-sponsors the DREAM Act. The legislation would provide a pathway to citizenship for those whose parents brought them to the United States illegally when they were younger than 15 years old.
Moved by their efforts, Zulayka Santiago of Liberación Juice Station donated two gallons of fresh-made tonic to the girls last week.
"I put a lot of love into these,” Santiago told me. "I wanted to show solidarity." She added wishes of strength and resilience.
She named one of those tonics "D.R.E.A.M.", a nourishing combination of lemon balm, nettles, lemon verbena, lemongrass, orange blossom and agave nectar. In solidarity, Santiago served the inspired juice off her brightly colored bus at the Durham Farmers Market last Saturday.
This afternoon at the site, I noticed the girls still had an almost half-full glass gallon of their namesake tonic, left to be savored between their "meals" of Gatorade and Pedialyte.
"Zulayka's juice really soothes my tummy," one of the girls said.
A bipartisan bill, The Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act offers undocumented youth meeting certain requirements a right to equal higher education and a conditional path to citizenship. It is currently backed by 39 senators, and was also backed by late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
The hunger strikers, ages 25, 23 and 22, were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents and share a struggle with 1.5 million undocumented youth with no conditional path to citizenship. For more on the strike, read Bob Geary's Indy Citizen blog post.
As one of pie wizard Phoebe Lawless' many acolytes, I've been hungrily awaiting the opening of her new shop, on Orange Street in downtown Durham. No more getting up early and driving to the Durham Farmer's Market on Saturday morning just to grab the last Shaker lemon pie!
I found Lawless behind the counter at Scratch Artisan Bakery on Thursday afternoon, looking tired but happy as she cut a slice of the above-mentioned Shaker lemon pie.
How's business, I asked?
"It's been unpredictable, but I'm not complaining," Lawless said, adding that she's been doing a lot of sales in coffee (from Counter Culture), and pie-by-the-slice. She's planning on adding sandwiches and a greater range of savory pies for lunch over the next few weeks.
The small shop and cafe has a sunny, vaguely Scandinavian look, with exposed brick walls and sculptural plastic chairs. On the day I visited, the glass pastry case featured a half dozen or so large pies, a plate of mini peach pies, and a yellow layer cake with thick swirls of chocolate frosting. The counter held platters of empanadas and savory vegetable crostatas, a basket of Lawless' infamous donutmuffins (just what they sound like; try one), a tray of delectably oozy-looking sticky rolls, plus a few odds and ends - homemade pigs in blankets, slices of roasted veggie focaccia.
What to choose?
If you can only pick one, try the blueberry crumble pie, Lawless suggests. "Blueberries are getting really great," she said.
I was sold. I walked out with a slice of blueberry crumble pie, a slice of Shaker lemon pie, a slice of lemon chess pie, a mini peach pie, two vegetable crostatas and a lamb empanada.
Let's just say I'm, uh, having a dinner party, OK?
Expect a traffic jam this Sunday on Erwin Road in Durham as six of the Triangle's food trucks hit the Sam's Quik Shop parking lot for a festival of mobile food delights, dubbed the Bull City Food Truck Fiesta. Brightly colored trucks with food-obsessed owners from Durham, Carrboro and Raleigh will park from 11:30 a.m to 3 p.m, serving up a smattering of international and local fare.
Bring friends to get the best out of all the samples. For breakfast, try a savory crepe stuffed with a fried egg from Parlez-Vous Crepe out of Carrboro and a few homemade, mini-doughnuts from Mom's Delicious Dishes out of Raleigh (she makes a mean meatloaf, too). You then might want to take a walk around the block and burn off some calories, because there will be plenty more feasting to do. Come back and snack on Durham favorites, like Korean tacos from Bulkogi Korean BBQ, OnlyBurger's never-fail juicy burgers, a selection of curries and chaat from Indian Food on Wheels, a Sam's staple, and a sweet Daisycake to go for a midnight snack.
Let us know what you try, and what your favorites were.