Restaurant News & Reviews

Quick Bites: Restaurant news to get you through the week

La Madeleine French Bakery & Café is opening its first Raleigh location May 23 at 6320 Plantation Center Drive
La Madeleine French Bakery & Café is opening its first Raleigh location May 23 at 6320 Plantation Center Drive

Here’s a look at restaurant news in and around the Triangle:

▪ La Madeleine French Bakery & Café is opening its first Raleigh location May 23 at 6320 Plantation Center Drive. The restaurant is a French-inspired bakery and cafe with classic French dishes (quiche Lorraine, Croque Monsieur and a Potato Galette) along with tomato basil soup and a variety salads, sandwiches and other entrees. The 8,000-square-foot cafe also has a variety of baked goods and desserts.

This will replace La Madeleine’s Cary Towne Center location, which closed May 10.

“We are relocating our Cary bakery-café to Raleigh, where we can bring la Madeleine’s famous ‘Joie de Servir’ – our pleasure in serving our guests – to even more people in the popular, regional destination of Plantation Point Shopping Center,” according to a statement from Kyle Hakim, who is the local franchisee.

The Cary restaurant opened last July in the former Mimi’s Cafe. lamadeleine.com.

Bad Daddy's
Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar is opening in North Raleigh Wednesday, May 24. It’s the second Bad Daddy’s in Raleigh, with the first in Seaboard Station. Another location is in Morrisville. Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

▪ Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar is opening in North Raleigh Wednesday, May 24. It’s the second Bad Daddy’s in Raleigh, with the first in Seaboard Station. Another location is in Morrisville.

The new restaurant is in Olive Park shopping center at 9400 Falls of Neuse Road, near the Sprouts Farmers Market. The restaurant is known for its gourmet burgers, chopped salads, sides and appetizers. In addition to traditional burger options, Bad Daddy’s has a bacon cheeseburger on steroids (with six pieces of bacon and housemade bacon mayo), magic mushroom burger (four types of mushrooms with Swiss cheese and creamy truffle aioli) and Sam I Am burger (cheese, fried egg, rosemary ham and pesto).

There are regional chef specials and a gluten-friendly menu. Craft beers from local breweries will be on tap. baddaddysburgerbar.com.

Alpaca 2
Chicken cooks over wood charcoal briquettes at Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken. The rotisserie chicken has been marinated overnight in special house seasoning. Alex Tricoli NEWS & OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

▪ Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken is opening Saturday, May 20, in its fifth location on Durham’s Ninth Street. The popular Peruvian chicken restaurant got its start in Durham and has since opened in Raleigh, Cary and Sanford.

“We’ve had a lot of people in Durham asking for another location,” said Ranbir Bakhshi, one of the owners, said in April. “We came across this location. It’s a great fit for us, for the concept and for the area.” The restaurant is at 703A Ninth St., Durham; alpacachicken.com

Coco Bean
Coco Bean Coffee + Tea, which opened eight months ago, doubled its size this weekend, allowing it to add more seating, tables, couches, a fireplace, even a restroom. COCO BEAN COFFEE + TEA

▪ Coco Bean Coffee + Tea, which opened eight months ago, doubled its size this weekend, allowing it to add more seating, tables, couches, a fireplace, even a restroom. The shop, owned by Tamara and Steve Lackey, is in East 54, a mixed-use complex off N.C. 54 with restaurants, housing, offices and retail.

The Lackeys have extensive vegan and gluten-free options and buy baked goods from local bakers, including Ninth Street Bakery and Kelley G Cupcakes. They are selling 12 flavors of vegan ice cream from Sweet Hazel’s Frozen Desserts in Hillsborough. The shop uses beans from Carrborro Coffee Roasters.

“That was the idea behind it,” said manager Joy Young. “They were always in search of a place that catered to their diet. They wanted a place for people to come and congregate.”

In addition to baked goods, such as muffins, cupcakes and cookies, the menu has a vegan and gluten-free peanut butter and jelly sandwich and vegan chili. Young said they’re frequently sampling from other local bakers.

Eventually, Young said, they hope to add a kitchen so they can produce more food on site. Coco Bean has plans to host open-mic nights, yoga and art shows.

Coco Bean donates 10 percent of its proceeds to Beautiful Together, a nonprofit that helps children in the United States and Africa who are waiting to be adopted. Everything in the shop is recyclable, compostable or reusable.

“Our motto is do good and drink coffee,” Young said.

The shop is at 1114 Environ Way cocobeancoffeeshop.com

Tailgaters 1
TailGaters Sports Bar at 2645 E. Millbrook Road in Raleigh is under new ownership, and with that comes a new menu and a facelift. TailGaters Sports Bar

▪ TailGaters Sports Bar at 2645 E. Millbrook Road in Raleigh is under new ownership, and with that comes a new menu, a facelift and what the owner hopes becomes a restaurant nearby residents will love.

“In essence, I’m returning the restaurant back to the neighborhood,” said owner Randy Soutiere, who took over the sports bar in January after spending three decades as a corporate executive in the aviation industry. He said he is the restaurant’s fourth owner in about 20 years.

He is rebranding it as TGs, but said the restaurant’s history is important. Memorabilia used as decoration remains.

Soutiere’s father was an executive chef at a university in Vermont, and Soutiere spent his childhood in the kitchen. While Soutiere – pronounced suture – never pursued a culinary career, he never stopped cooking.

After beating tonsil cancer two years ago, Soutiere decided to take stock of his life and do something he loved. He bought TailGaters and developed a menu that goes beyond traditional bar fare. Everything is freshly made; his steaks are hand cut.

He’s proud of his wings – savory (jabanero with maple syrup), sweet (hoisin sauce) or spicy (custom buffalo). The burger also is a top seller.

But his fish tacos (lightly breaded whitefish with mango salsa), white fish and Peruvian chicken also have been popular, he said. The shepherd’s pie, or the Pot De Shemoi, substitutes corn for peas. “It’s been in my family for years,” Soutiere said.

The menu also features salads, calamari tempura, sandwiches and a menu category simply titled “Comfort Food.”

The patio has been redone with landscaping and with space for Soutiere to grow his herbs. Family members have joined him in running the restaurant, including a cousin, Ed Guilmette, who is the bar manager, and his son, Josh Soutiere, who works in the kitchen.

“We started with literally nothing four months ago,” he said. “The personality of the place has uplifted the neighborhood. I want to share it.” tgraleigh.com

▪ Hickory Tavern has opened at 401 Village Walk Drive, Holly Springs. The restaurant chain’s third location is in South Park Village Center at the corner of N.C. 55 and Avent Ferry Road. The sports bar and restaurant serves a variety of sandwiches, burgers, salads, wings and entrees. Other locations are in Carrboro and Parkside Town Commons in Cary. thehickorytavern.com

▪ Chronic Tacos recently opened in Wake Forest at 1000 Forestville Road, Suite 100. The fast-casual restaurant’s menu includes customizable tacos, burritos, salads and breakfast tacos. There’s a location in Chapel Hill’s Meadowmont. chronictacos.com

▪ The sports-bar chain Champps Kitchen and Bar has closed its Durham location at the Streets at Southpoint. Champps officially closed at the mall on April 28, a spokesperson for the Streets at Southpoint confirmed. The space is vacant, and another tenant has not been signed yet, the spokesperson said. Representatives from Champps could not immediately be reached to comment.

And in coming soon news

▪ Happy + Hale, which carries salads, smoothies and fresh juice, is expanding to North Hills later this year, according to Kane Realty Corporation. It will open on the ground level of the new Park Central Apartments in the Park District at North Hills. Happy + Hale is owned by NC State graduates Matt Whitley and Tyler Helikson. Happy + Hale is in downtown Raleigh, Durham and Greenville, S.C. The Greenville store just opened this week. happyandhale.com

▪ Urban Bricks Pizza, a fast-casual pizza restaurant that got its start in San Antonio, Texas, in 2015, is expected to come to North Carolina. Charlotte resident Dan Tangeman has signed a franchise agreement to bring three restaurants to North and South Carolina, according to a news release. He hasn’t identified specific locations yet, but he is looking at Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Charlotte and Charleston, S.C., a publicist said in an email.

The restaurant – with 11 locations now – serves customizable Neapolitan pizza with a variety of 30 toppings. There also are salads, wings and gelato. Urban Bricks Pizza also offers delivery, a drive-thru and a full bar. The new locations are part of the company’s expansion plans, with 50 locations set to open in the next three years, according to the release. Tangeman is a graduate of Harvard Law and is the general counsel at BNI (Business Network International), an international franchised networking organization headquartered out of Charlotte. urbanbrickspizza.com

Zachery Eanes contributed.

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