Almost half of the Chapel Hill's standing committees and advisory boards served taxpayer-funded food at events from November 2008 to November 2009, receipts show.
We wrote about the Town Council's meeting munchies expenditures in this week's Indy. Unlike the council, most of the town's other food-eating groups only order grub a few times a year.
The Library Board of Trustees spent the most with $345.67 purchased.
Even before the demise of the Durham Co-op grocery earlier this year (the space on West Chapel Hill Street slated to become an acupuncture clinic) there were rumblings about a new market to either supplement or replace it.
Durham Central Market announced today it receive a $25,000 Sprout Fund loan from Food Co-op 500. The loan program, financed by National Cooperative Bank (NCB), is designed to provide capital during the middle and late stages of co-op development. According to a press release, over the last three years, only seven co-ops nationwide have been awarded a Sprout Loan. The award was based on a review of the market's business plan and pro forma financial statements. Read the rest of the release below the fold.
After 15 years of feeding big lunchtime crowds at its popular hot and cold buffet bar and offering sit-down fine dining featuring seafood and sushi, Ninth Street institution George's Garage closed its doors last week.
A spokesman for owner Giorgios Bakatsias says the lease has expired on the building, and that Bakatsias is pursuing "new ventures." The 15,000 square foot space also housed a bakery and a market for takeout food, as well as an adjacent private party space and lounge called the G-loft.
Bakatsias welcomes feedback and input from former patrons and the public on the restaurant's Web site, www.garagerestaurant.com.
Food safety inspectors have pinpointed the problem that sickened patrons at Raleigh's Evoo restaurant last month: Anchovies used in a Caesar salad dressing. At least 17 diners fell ill at the restaurant and in a nearby home, summoning multiple emergency medical teams to the scene.
Test results by federal Food and Drug Administration (PDF, 228 KB) revealed poisonous levels of histamine, an agent resulting from the decomposition of fish muscles, which causes nausea, vomiting and allergic-like reactions very quickly after exposure. The resulting illness is called scombroid food poisoning, and is most commonly associated with anchovies and sardines, as well as tuna, bluefish and mahi mahi.
The canned anchovies came from the manufacturer, Monarch, with histamine levels of 48 to 79 parts per million (ppm). The FDA considers levels of more than 50 ppm unsafe for consumption, and individual diners can experience sensitivity to the substance even at levels below that, says Andre Pierce, Wake County's environmental health and safety director.
Monarch, a division of U.S. Foods, has issued a Class 1 (highest priority) recall of the anchovies, Pierce said.
"Today is a big sigh of relief for the restaurant," said Evoo partner Robert Duffy. "We feel like we did everything right; there's nothing we could have done to prevent this."
Regulators tested both the anchovies and some tuna that were served on April 17, and while the tuna returned some results that could have caused some sensitive diners a problem, anchovies seem the more likely culprit because all of the ill patrons had eaten salad, Pierce said.
While not every diner had the Caesar salad, the same cutting board was used to prepare the anchovies and the salad greens, so other salads may have been cross-contaminated, Pierce said.
Duffy says Evoo has discontinued using anchovies in its salad dressing, and is inviting patrons affected by the illness to dinner on the house. The restaurant was cleared by inspectors to reopen the day after the incident, and continues to maintain its A rating.
Chatham County voters just said yes to mixed drinks this week.
With 19 percent turnout, a referendum that was the only issue in a special countywide election passed 65 percent to 35 percent, according to complete but unofficial results from the Chatham County Board of Election. The change, which takes effect immediately, means that restaurants and bars in Pittsboro, Siler City and throughout the county can serve hard liquor by the drink. Previously, only beer and wine were permitted.
PACs led by local elected officials and supported by business groups including the chamber of commerce raised funds in support of the measure, arguing that the change would provide new revenue for the county and help draw more restaurants.
Wake County health officials are trying to trace the source of more than eight possible cases of food-borne illness reported April 17, which may be connected to Evoo, a Mediterranean restaurant in Raleigh’s Five Points.
“We are currently investigating some reports of sickness,” said André Pierce, director of the environmental health and safety division of the county’s environmental services department. “The investigation is ongoing and we don’t have any results yet.”
Because epidemiologists had not yet identified the bacteria, virus or other agent that may have caused the illness, Pierce declined to speculate on any commonalities between the victims, including a restaurant where they may all have eaten.
“Typically we don’t implicate a facility until we have confirmation of lab results,” Pierce said.
However, shortly before 10 p.m., the Raleigh-Wake 911 Center received an emergency call reporting that someone was ill at Evoo at 2519 Fairview Road, said Walt Fuller, the center’s deputy director in charge of operations.
One paramedic unit was dispatched at 9:50 p.m. and called for backup upon arriving at the scene, Fuller said. A second paramedic unit, a quick responder vehicle and a fire engine all responded. In all, nine rescuers attended victims at the restaurant.
The paramedic units transported an unknown number of victims to Duke Health Raleigh, Fuller said.
In a possibly related incident, a second 911 call about sick persons, which came in at about 10:15 p.m., summoned two more ambulances and a district supervisor to the 1000 block of Vance Street nearby. Two people were taken to Wake Medical Center from that address, Fuller said.
Pierce, whose department is responsible for inspecting the 1,800 licensed restaurants in Wake County, said as far as he knew Evoo remained open Monday. However, no one was answering the restaurant’s phone Monday afternoon.
Past inspection reports on file with the county show that the restaurant, owned by chef Jean Paul Fontaine, has struggled with cleanliness issues in the last two years.
The most recent report, dated March 20, noted two “critical violation risk factors”: unsanitary food contact surfaces, including dirty utensils, and improper holding temperatures for cold foods.
Statewide health regulations list 18 factors that are given highest priority in inspections, Pierce said.
“These are those items we know are more likely to contribute to food-borne illnesses,” he said.
Evoo received a score of 92.5 out of 100 possible points in last month’s inspection, despite the deductions for the two critical violations.
On Nov. 20, 2008, inspectors cited one critical violation pertaining to food storage; raw oysters were being kept over ready-to-eat items in the walk-in cooler.
Two months earlier, on Sept. 4, 2008, the restaurant was cited for the same two categories of critical violations as the March 2009 report.
Evoo received a 94.5 score in both September and November inspections.
Handcrafted pastries sit moldering in the display case as disappointed would-be customers stop at the door to Hereghty's patisserie and cafe in Raleigh's Glenwood Village Shopping Center. The owners defaulted on their rent, and the landlord changed the locks, according to a letter posted on the glass door, dated Feb. 25.
From VarmintBites, a restaurant industry blog, we learn that the chef's gone at The Mint, Raleigh's city-subsidized restaurant in the city-owned office building on Fayetteville Street; so, too, the operations manager and the pastry chef. NewRaleigh.com picked up on it -- that's where we saw it. Last month, NR was speculatin' that The Mint was maybe heading for the rocks in the current disaster downturn. Not so, the owners told the Indy.
The latest attempt to establish a locally-owned, downtown grocery has failed.
New Raleigh has the story, and a passionate discussion thread.
The Triangle’s growing farm-to-table movement may sprout two new local markets next spring. Organizers for two new potential sites in Cary and Pittsboro will hold public discussions about the possibilities over the next two weeks.
Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m., residents of the Amberly subdivision will host a meeting about establishing a farmers’ market in their neighborhood, which is on the border of Wake and Chatham counties. A survey of 300 residents resoundingly supported a new market there, organizers say.
The Western Wake Farmers' Market at Amberly meeting will take place at the Residents' Club, 1075 Residents' Club Drive in Cary. RSVP to Mia South at firstname.lastname@example.org or 380-4035.
In Pittsboro, Robert Poitras, the owner of Carolina Brewery, will host an informational meeting at his restaurant Thursday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. Poitras is pitching the idea of a Saturday morning market starting in spring 2009. Pittsboro currently has a farmers’ markets only on Thursday afternoons during the growing season, which is held at the Chatham County Fairgrounds.
Light food and refreshments will be served at the meeting. The Carolina Brewery & Grill is located at 120 Lowes Drive, in the Bellemont Station shopping center along U.S. 15-501 just north of downtown. Poitras is requesting RSVPs at email@example.com or 545-2330.