August can feel like a month of waiting—waiting for school to start, waiting for the weather to cool down. In Durham, we're waiting for several restaurants to open.
Coming to the revitalized downtown Durham are Charlie Deal of Jujube in Chapel Hill, who plans to open Dos Perros in Rogers Alley in early 2008, and Jim Anile, formerly of Il Palio in Chapel Hill, who hopes to open Revolution (www.revolutionrestaurant.com) in the old Baldwin's Department Store building by late November. And then there's longtime Durhamite Amy Tornquist's latest venture, Watts Grocery (1116 Broad St., www.wattsgrocery.com), which is scheduled to open its doors in September. And those are just the biggies. When is the Five Points Café (347 W. Main St., 672-2960, fivepointscafe.homestead.com) going to open? Are we really getting a Dunkin' Donuts?
While waiting, what's a Durham foodie to do? Read the Durham Foodie (durhamfoodie.blogspot.com) or Eat at Joe's (jhv.blogs.com/eatatjoes)—food blogs originating in the Bull City. Both bloggers combine their thoughts about area restaurants with their own cooking and baking experiences, which make for fun reading. Search Eat at Joe's June 2007 archives for his Chinese Restaurant Genealogy, and scroll down to last month on the Durham Foodie site to read her thoughts on refrigerator-cured coconut cake.
And if we want to meet a food blogging star, we must wait until Sept. 24, when BlogTogether (blogtogether.org), a community of bloggers in North Carolina, is bringing chef-author-blogger Michael Ruhlman (The Soul of a Chef) to the Regulator Bookshop for a reading, booksigning and dinner. This event is still in the planning stages, so stay tuned for more details.
Are there more area food bloggers out there? Keep me updated via the e-mail address below.
Chapel Hill's Carolina Brewery opened a second location in Pittsboro this week. The new spot, located at the intersection of Highway 15-501 South and Highway 64 Bypass, houses brewing operations and the restaurant, plus an outdoor patio and private dining space for parties or meetings. Carolina Brewery & Grill Pittsboro will expand its hours on Aug. 20 to include lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Unique to the Pittsboro location is The Hopshop, which sells Counter Culture Coffee, breakfast, lunch and Carolina Brewery beer to go. It's open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
And if you've been waiting to meet the North Carolina Watermelon Queen, Thursday is your chance. Her (spitting?) majesty, Stephanie McLamb of Benson, will preside over Watermelon Day at the State Farmers' Market (1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh, 733-7417, www.ncdamarkets.org) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The festivities include prizes for the largest watermelons (first place is $600), a watermelon eating contest, and free slices for all.
On Saturday, the market will host Gourd Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be arts and crafts for sale, and a variety of gourds and gourd seeds. But no Gourd Queen.