Archives for posts with tag: foodie

B.Good serves Farm to fork food from local N.C. farmers. By Leigh Hines

B.Good, a farm-to-fork restaurant serving fast food in a casual atmosphere, is the first of its kind in Greater Raleigh and North Carolina.

The concept behind this new restaurant is simple: Real food sourced from local farms.

And by the looks of the line of customers on a Fri. evening, people have been waiting for a place just like this to open in Greater Raleigh.

B.Good at North HillsSteve Woodward, Greater Raleigh’s B.Good owner, and the first person to bring the Boston-based franchise down South, fell in love with the restaurant’s core concept of serving food sourced from local farmers.

There are 17 B.Good locations in the Northeast, and with N.C. being a top farm-producing state, Woodward felt the time was right to open B.Good in Raleigh’s North Hills.

food fresh from farms at B.Good“A lot of people only think of farm-to-fork dining in a high-end environment, and B.Good shows that you can eat real food that is good for you at all price points,” remarked Woodward. “I’m so excited to be in North Hills.”

B.Good keeps its menu simple and farm-fresh. It specializes in burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads and Kale and quinoa bowls.

all-natural farm-fresh burgers at B.Good at North Hills ; dining in Raleigh, N.C. As soon as you walk into the restaurant, a map showcases where all the food served is sourced locally.

N.C. farmers who partner with B. Good are pictured on the wall. The all-natural, local, grass-fed beef comes from Harris-Robinette in Pinetops. Milkshakes are made with ice cream sourced from Maple View Farm in Hillsborough. The sweet potatoes for the delicious sweet potato fries are from Burch Farms in Faison. The farmer, whose photo also graces the wall, is the largest sweet potato producer in the state.

Farm fresh dining in Greater Raleigh, casual, fast foodGreater Raleigh brews are also served at B. Good. Selections can be found from Big Boss Brewing Company, White Street Brewing Company and Lonerider Brewing Company.

B.Good burgers are about five ounces and are priced at $6.99. Add a side of farm-fresh fries and a handcrafted natural soft drink, tea or lemonade for an extra $3.79. A kid’s meal with a side and drink is $5.99. A kid’s meal with a side and smoothie/milkshake is $7.99. B.Good also has gluten-free options for diners.

I love this restaurant, and as a parent, it’s nice to know that your kids are being served the best possible foods straight from N.C. farms.

b-good_local-beer-selectionsB.Good serves lunch and dinner daily at Midtown Park in North Hills shopping center at 201 Park at North Hills, #100.

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

Photo by Bryan ReganBy Mary Brooks; Photo by Bryan Regan (@bryanregan on Instagram)

The World’s Largest Dinosaurs

Make your next vacation epic. Through the beginning of 2015, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences continues to go big with The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, a new exhibition about the super-sized sauropods, the most colossal animals to walk the earth. You must go big too. Start the new year off in a grand way with a trip to the exhibition, other Greater Raleigh museums and historic attractions, big-flavor dining and a cozy hotel stay.

When you’re here, explore the area’s selection of 80-plus historic attractions and see the past come alive through in-depth exhibits, costumed docents or hands-on workshops. Film buffs won’t be able to get enough of the North Carolina Museum of History’s Starring North Carolina! exhibition, featuring costumes and props from Iron Man 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Blue Velvet and more. Can’t miss: Kick-off Black History Month early by celebrating the heritage and culture of the 14th Annual African American Cultural Celebration (1/31) at the North Carolina Museum of History. This special festival boasts many outstanding presenters who include musicians, storytellers, writers, dancers, chefs and craftspeople from across our state :: All Lifelong Learner events

Basketball Season Hype and Headlights and Tailpipes

2015 brings the hype of basketball season as Greater Raleigh’s minor-league basketball team Cary Invasion takes to the court against the All-American Ballers (1/3), Neuse River BBall Club (1/10) and Stealth All Stars (1/17). Four collegiate men’s teams also host big games this month. The William Peace University Pacers play Connecticut College (1/1) and Methodist (1/21); Raleigh rivals Saint Augustine’s University Falcons and Shaw University Bears play (1/24); and the North Carolina State University Wolfpack plays Duke University (1/11) and UNC-Chapel Hill (1/14). Can’t miss: Hear the roars of engines and go through the gears at Ray Price Harley-Davidson’s New Rider Boot Camp (1/3). Learn about everything from headlights to tailpipes, how to tell a Sportster from a softail motorcycle and which bike is perfect for you :: All Adrenaline Junkie events

The Art of Entertainment

Discover the vibrant colors of classical Chinese dance, feel the joy as ethnic and folk dance fill the stage with energy and take an extraordinary journey to the lost land of the ancient Middle Kingdom at Shen Yun 2015 (1/27-28) at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Let the stunning animated backdrops captivate you and exquisite costumes transport you to another world while experiencing the new sound of an orchestra that combines East and West like no other. Can’t miss: The Garner Performing Arts Center presents Capathia Jenkins: Broadway Voices (1/31). Jenkins will perform numbers from Broadway productions that she’s been featured in such as Newsies and The Civil War and the Off-Broadway 2000 revival of Godspell :: All Creative Genius events

Culinary Excellence

Take part in the week-long celebration of culinary excellence that is 2015 Triangle Restaurant Week (1/26-2/1). Participating restaurants from across Greater Raleigh will partake by offering special three-course menu options of some of their best dishes with fixed pricing. It’s the perfect opportunity to taste a sampling of Raleigh area cuisines. Can’t miss: Beer Sunday (1/25) at Crank Arm Brewing in downtown Raleigh kicks off 2015 Triangle Restaurant Week with live music, flights, samples and more :: All Foodie events

All That Jazz

Escape the brisk winter air and relax inside with some jazz this Jan. Listen as the North Carolina Symphony pays tribute to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald with Louis and Ella, All That Jazz (1/16-17) at the Meymandi Concert Hall at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Enjoy the Jim Ferris Trio (1/10) at Irregardless Café and nightly jazz favorites at C. Grace (Tues.-Sat.). If it’s the blues that calls your name, check out Jason Damico and the New Blue at Rock Harbor Grill (1/10) in Apex. Can’t miss: Country performances at City Limits Saloon featuring Big Smo (1/2), Easton Corbin (1/3) and the Big Cahoot featuring Yarn (1/17). Also, see Southern rock classic group, The Marshall Tucker Band (1/21), at The Ritz :: All Music Maniac events

A Winter Season Centerpiece

Cap off your Greater Raleigh experience by grabbing your mittens, lacing up a pair of skates and visiting Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest (through 2/1). A centerpiece during the winter season, this premier event features a signature outdoor skating rink.

Click through to see all Greater Raleigh events in January 2015.

The Nutcracker in Raleigh NCBy Ryan Smith; Photography by Chris Walt

The holiday season in Greater Raleigh is full of family-friendly events at which you and your kids can make everlasting memories. Here are five holi-date ideas to experience with your kids this weekend:

1. Ice skate under the stars in downtown Raleigh at Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest and grab a drinking chocolate or hot cider at Bittersweet.

2. Explore and learn at The World’s Largest Dinosaurs exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

3. For an evening excursion, head to the town of Wendell for Wendell Wonderland/the Lake Myra Christmas Lights where a huge light display is synchronized with Christmas and patriotic music.

4. Nothing says it’s the holiday season like Carolina Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker. Combining the beauty of classical ballet with a little Las Vegas magic, this holiday tradition has become an annual favorite throughout the region.

5. Bigger is better when it comes to screen size. The Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre at Marbles is the largest 3D screen in the state measuring 70-feet wide and amplifying the jaw-dropping visuals of movies like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 3D and Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D.

Click here to see all events going on this weekend.

Videri chocolate confections in downtown Raleigh NCBy Leigh Hines

Raleigh’s sweet chocolate secret is out.

Raleigh residents, like me, have known that downtown Raleigh’s Videri Chocolate Factory makes some of the best chocolate in the nation. The factory carefully curates its cocoa beans throughout Central and South America using fair-trade practices. It sources only the best organic cocoa beans, cocoa butter and organic sugar.

There is nothing artificial about Videri chocolate.

You can eat each bar, rich in antioxidants, and know you’re eating chocolate with whole, organic and fair-trade ingredients.

Videri Chocolate Factory in Downtown Raleigh, NCIt’s been a sweet year for Videri.

In 2014, Videri earned the coveted Good Food Award for its first single-origin chocolate bar 90% Dark Chocolate Ecuador Camino Verde. GQ magazine included the same bar among “The 50 Best Things To Eat Right Now: Chocolate to Die For” its Nov. issue.

Videri offers guests a true bean-to-bar experience. There is a fascinating self-guided tour that takes you through the chocolate making process. The trendy Warehouse District that Videri calls home is a thriving creative hot spot, and with a coffee bar inside Videri, you won’t want to leave.

Videri chocolate mocha in downtown Raleigh NCVideri’s confections make perfect holiday gifts.

This winter, Raspberry, Orange-Buttercream, Coffee and Pear-Mint. Lemon and Lavender vegan confections will be available through Valentine’s Day. Videri is also offering its first-ever 16-piece Valentine’s box in 2015, including French Martini and other seasonal flavors ($40). Six-piece boxes of any combination of truffles are available for $16.99 and individual confections are $2.50 each.

Videri Flagship Four in Raleigh NCVideri’s popular Peppermint Bars ($9.99) are a holiday season staple for the chocolate factory as well as its Flagship Four Gift Box–featuring 50% Dark Milk, 70% Classic Dark, Sea Salt and Pink Peppercorn Bars (four bars/$19.99)–and the S’mores Pack ($21.00).

My personal favorites are Sea Salt and the 70% Classic Dark. Who am I kidding? I’ll take one of everything, please.

Visitors are welcome at Videri Chocolate in downtown Raleigh NCVideri Chocolate Factory is located at 327 W. Davie St., Sweet 100.

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

Faire, Raleigh, N.C.Barbecue–we’ve got that covered. Farm-to-table cuisine–it’s a culinary norm here. Notable chefs–yep, they call Raleigh home. New restaurants adding to the dynamic reasons the Raleigh area is one of the nation’s hottest culinary destinations–plenty of those too. And here’s a few new spots that must be tried (including a much-anticipated beer garden):

Faire

Opened Oct. 2014. A contemporary twist on traditional American seafood and steak, with locally and regionally-sourced meat, seafood and produce.

Tupelo Honey Café

Opening Dec. 1, 2014. A decidedly-spirited, independent and frequently-unscripted take on Southern comfort, farm-to-fork food.

Standard Foods

Opening Early 2015. Former The Umstead Hotel and Spa Chef Scott Crawford will soon open his much-anticipated restaurant-grocery hybrid featuring “Southern comfort food with a twist.”

Death & Taxes

Opening Early 2015. The newest addition to James Beard Award-winning Chef Ashley Christensen’s lauded restaurant empire will focus on wood-fire cooking.

Raleigh Beer Garden

Opening spring 2015. Making a run for the “operational beer tap” world-record holder, this new beer bar will offer 365 separate varieties daily.

By Ryan Smith

Coffee in Raleigh, N.C.There’s no better time than when the weather is cool to warm your hands and heart with a good cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Throughout the Raleigh area are numerous restaurants, cafés, coffee shops and artisanal chocolatiers that take pride in serving and creating unique and flavorful creations. This holiday season have an extra marshmallow or two and take a break from the holiday shopping madness.

Hot chocolate

There’s no HERSHEY’s chocolate syrup here! Two downtown artisanal chocolate shops use their award-winning bean-to-bar chocolates and, in addition to making small bites and bars, have turned them into drinkable chocolates.

Escazu Artisan Chocolates offers a hot chocolate bar featuring historically-accurate recipes from as early as 1644. Try the Xochiaya, a pre-Columbian brew with chili, jasmine flower and other spices, or the 1692 France, made with cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and chiles from India. If you aren’t feeling adventurous there’s always the Contemporary Hot Chocolate, made with their 74-percent-blended chocolate, milk and a small amount of sugar.

In downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District, Videri Chocolate Factory offers not only a sipping hot chocolate, but also a frozen hot chocolate, which is a year-round favorite. Take a few extra minutes while you’re there to tour the factory and see the chocolate-making process up close.

Coffee

If a good cup of joe is more your style, try Jubala Village Coffee in Lafayette Village where each drink is made to order using single-origin coffee from Counter Culture Coffee, a local coffee roaster.

Joule Coffee, which was recently named one of the “Top 20 Coffee Shops in America” by The Daily Meal is James Beard Award-winning chef Ashley Christensen’s newest venture serving a myriad of choices on its expansive coffee menu.

See a full list of Greater Raleigh coffeehouses here, and for a list of local eatables, including chocolatiers, click here.

By Ryan Smith

A Christmas Carol in Raleigh, N.C.Artful Holiday Traditions

Jingle all the way to Greater Raleigh to create new and artful holiday traditions for your family. Take delight in two time-honored performances at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (12/19-28) and Ira David Wood III’s A Christmas Carol (12/10-14).

You’ll be captivated and fascinated by the awe-inspiring grace, grandeur and mysterious illusions of Carolina Ballet’s production of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker. This season will be spectacular as Robert Weiss again combines the beauty of ballet with a little Las Vegas magic. You can also catch one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast,” A Christmas Carol in Raleigh. Celebrate the musical comedy’s 40th anniversary as this classic performance is sure to warm hearts of all ages. Both productions are bona fide Raleigh holiday traditions and are inspiring ways for adults and children to share in the holiday spirit.

Cap off your holiday experience by grabbing your mittens, lacing up a pair of skates and visiting Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest (through 2/1). A centerpiece during the winter season, this premier holiday event features a signature outdoor skating rink and other fun-filled festivities. Can’t miss: Other holiday favorites across Greater Raleigh like It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Play (12/4-8) and “Tis the Season” (12/12) at the Cary Arts Center, Franc D’Ambrosio – Christmas in New York (12/7) at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre and “Handel’s Messiah – Christmas Section” (12/20) at the Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex :: All Creative Genius events in December

For the Adrenaline Junkie

The fall season in Greater Raleigh means nonstop soccer on a national scale, highlighted by the return of the NCAA Men’s Soccer College Cup (12/12-14). Forty-eight collegiate teams from across the nation will fight for a spot in the final game at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. Greater Raleigh also hosts the largest annual youth sporting event in the area’s history, featuring the Boys Showcase during the CASL visitRaleigh.com National Soccer Series (12/12-14). Can’t miss: HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational Basketball Tournament (12/26-30) at Broughton High School in Raleigh, featuring many of the top-ranked high school players from across the nation :: All Adrenaline Junkie events in December

Seasonal Treats

The holidays offer many special experiences across the Raleigh area. Children will love Brunch with Santa (12/17) at the Garner Performing Arts Center or sipping on a cup of hot apple cider at Historic Oak View County Park for their Sleigh Rides and Cider (12/6) event. Parents can enjoy a night out at the 12th Annual Gingerbread Benefit (12/7) at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, showcasing more than 25 elaborate gingerbread houses donated and created by local celebrity chefs. Can’t miss: North Carolina Symphony’s Sound Bites at the Pub (12/1) at Humble Pie. Sit back and enjoy the performance as you dine on a delicious multi-course meal :: All Foodie events in December

Holidays Around the World

Area holiday celebrations are not limited to those of secular pop culture but include celebrations paying homage to cultures from across the globe. Take part in the rich traditions of the Nordic countries during the Scandinavian Christmas Fair (12/6) at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds and indulge in homemade Scandinavian foods, Nordic folk dancing, a traditional Lucia Procession and more. Listen to the pipes and drums, watch traditional Irish dance and shop from local Celtic vendors at the 8th Annual Celtic Christmas (12/14) at Tir na nOg; or, be part of the candle-lighting and other festivities for all ages in the 20th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration (12/20) at the Cary Arts Center. Can’t miss: Take a special holiday tour of the North Carolina Executive Mansion during the Governor’s Mansion Holiday Open House (12/11-14). Browse the decorations, which include N.C.-grown Christmas trees, whimsical gingerbread houses, ornate mantle displays and mixed evergreen arrangements :: All Lifelong Learner events in December

Let’s Jam!

Warm up with a cup of joe and a performance at a coffee shop. Stop in Lorraine’s Coffee House in Garner for evening shows by Connie McCoy Rogers and Mo’ Jazz (12/6), Diamond Creel (12/11) and Foscoe Philharmonic (12/20). You can also relax with live music at Sola Coffee & Cafe while listening to Cory Bishop and Friends (12/5), Rachel Joy Pletts (12/6), Lounge Doctors (12/12) and Erin Mason (12/19). Can’t miss: The national and world tours stopping in Raleigh at PNC Arena, including The Black Keys (12/5) and The Avett Brothers (12/31) :: All Music Maniac events in December

Even more December can’t misses

The Raleigh Acorn will be lowered at First Night Raleigh 2015 to ring in the New Year. While the acorn has become synonymous with First Night Raleigh, the festival is much more than the countdown to midnight. Your admission grants access to every performance and every venue throughout the day. That’s nearly 100 performances in more than three dozen locations across downtown Raleigh. What a bargain for just $10! This year’s theme is “Out of This World Fun.” Learn more

Holidays in Raleigh wouldn’t be the same without the Capitol Tree Lighting at the North Carolina State Capitol. The Capitol is beautiful by itself… but holiday trees make things just a little more beautiful. Seasonal music and hands-on fun highlight this evening presented by the North Carolina Museum of History.

Elizabeth's Home and Garden Shop in Cary, Gardens shops in Greater Raleigh Greater Raleigh’s downtown Cary is quite the charmer.

The town’s attitude of “revitalize and they will come” has certainly worked. The other day, I popped in one of the town’s coffee shops on Chatham St. for a latte and to chat with Gather’s owner and textile designer, Michelle Smith.

Gather photoSmith handpicked downtown Cary to locate her co-working space that also doubles as a coffee shop, a DIY classroom and boutique for curated, locally crafted goods.

Gather“I chose Cary because it’s a very walkable town, and I felt downtown was the perfect spot for what I wanted to bring to Greater Raleigh. I love being in the foundation for an area that will change even more in the next few years,” remarked Smith as she began planning for the 2014 holiday season. Her husband’s own Peppermint Bark, which will be featured in Martha Stewart’s Holiday Gift Guide is just one example of the local goods she has curated for her store.

Gather productsDowntown Cary can even be described as a shopping destination.

Gather CaryI spent two hours in Ashworth Village alone perusing the local boutiques, art galleries, consignment shops and eateries.

From Elizabeth’s Home and Garden Shop to Cute Buttons Gift and Paper Boutique, it’s easy to get lost in retail cuteness.

Cary_Visit Raleigh storyPaisley Boutique is a new clothing store owned and operated by former clothing buyer Lauren King, who said she decided to locate her boutique in Cary so that people could find great fashion closer to home. She opened for the first time this fall, and she carries North Carolina-based clothing and jewelry designers in addition to small, Southern brands.

Cary_PaisleyThe Purple Polka Dot on Academy St. combines fashion and design. From monograms to fancy tea towels, you will be hard-pressed to walk out empty-handed here.

Cary Purple Polka DotPut downtown Cary on your list for holiday shopping, and there are also plenty of places to enjoy lunch or dinner. The downtown Cary shops are gearing up for the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Cary will host its annual Ole Time Winter Festival on Dec. 6. The annual town Christmas parade will be held on Dec. 13.

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

530411_758287057531665_19791696_n2Are you ready to get your holiday shop on? Then check out all the seasonal arts and crafts shows Greater Raleigh has to offer. Make your list and check it twice to celebrate the magic of the season while shopping for that special something for everyone.

At this time each year, the area boasts holiday fairs aplenty! So treat yourself to a wonderful shopping getaway as you treat loved ones to heart-filled gifts this season.

a shopping spreeA Shopping SPREE!, Oct. 30-Nov. 2, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh
Celebrating its 30th year, the Junior League of Raleigh’s event has been a tradition for many in Raleigh and the surrounding communities since 1985. An annual four-day shopping fundraiser that showcases more than 160 juried regional and national exhibitors offering the latest in fashion and home decor trends, unique presents and holiday merchandise. Every shopper will receive a reusable SPREE! shopping bag to fill with fantastic finds. The Weekend Wake-Up event is Sat., Nov. 1, 8:30-10:30am, featuring gourmet coffee and complimentary beverage tumblers. And take part in Family Day on Sun., Nov. 2, 1-4pm. This fun-filled event was planned with the smallest SPREE! shoppers in mind. Special entertainment, local team mascots and a visit with Santa Claus are sure to be a hit.

856811e4_photo__2_Southeastern Seminary Craft & Bake Sale, Nov. 1, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest
At this annual event, students, student wives and staff from Southeastern Seminary utilize their talents and gifts to present unique crafts, delicious baked goods and much more! Part of the Women’s Life initiative. With more than 50 vendors. Free admission and open to the public.

st paulsSt. Paul’s Annual Arts and Crafts Festival, Nov. 1, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Cary
This one-stop shopping extravaganza features home and garden décor, wearable art, clothing and jewelry and unique handmade gifts … there’s something for everyone on your holiday list! Who knows, you might even find that perfect something for you. Fill up on great food from two popular local food trucks or the festival coffee bar and bake sale. Bid on impressive silent auction items and enter to win prizes from a raffle and 50/50 drawing.

visions 2011 067Visions of Sugarplums, Nov. 6-8, Quail Hollow Swim Club, Raleigh
Celebrating its 40th year, this locally supported show includes artists and crafters featured by invitation only. The result is high-quality, hand-crafted items at reasonable prices. Start your holiday  shopping early! Shop for truly unique gifts for everyone on your holiday list. Free admission. Special anniversary surprises.

mistletoe marketMistletoe Market, Nov. 15, Wakefield High School, Raleigh
Now in its 14th year, the Wakefield PTSA presents nearly 200 vendors offering handmade arts and crafts, gifts, jewelry, fresh-cut wreaths, garland and Christmas trees from Western N.C., a bake sale, basket raffle and food court. This community event is highly anticipated and frequented by many of the same shoppers year after year. “The 2014 Mistletoe Market has expanded to include 17 outdoor vendor booths offering everything from reclaimed wood art sculptures and furnishings, to original prints and paintings displayed by the artist, to mosaic sculptures for home and garden,” said vendor coordinator Lynn Stuchel.

christmas41-e1411656815947Mistletoe Madness Holiday Market, Nov. 15, Ballentine-Spence House, Fuquay-Varina
A holiday showcase event with a variety of unique vendors and crafters to liven up your shopping experience! Vendors include everything local, from handmade crafts to art and gifts galore; there truly is something for everyone. A concert pianist will provide live holiday and seasonal music and holiday refreshments will be served throughout the event.

Vend Raleigh’s Holiday Sip and Shop, Nov. 21, Cobblestone Hall, Raleigh
A girl’s night out! Vendors are all Vend Raleigh members (moms with businesses)–either direct sales items or handmade goods such as jewelry, skin care, purses, home décor, kitchen gadgets, personalized gifts, candles and baby items and more. The evening includes door prizes, a wine cash bar and appetizers. Grab your girlfriends, mothers and sisters and come on down to the Moore Square District in downtown Raleigh.

ncsuCrafts Center Holiday Fair & Sale, Nov. 22, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
Featuring work by the Craft Center’s own artists and craftspeople. Enjoy complimentary refreshments while shopping for unique items during this 30th annual event.

christmas carouselThe Christmas Carousel, Nov. 28-30, North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Raleigh
One of the largest collections of arts, crafts and holiday gifts with more than 250 exhibitors from across the Southeast. Going strong for 27 years and showcasing thousands of one-of-a-kind items and unique gifts including crafts, jewelry, art, pottery and holiday foods. Santa will be there and admission is good all three days! Thanksgiving weekend at the Jim Graham Building.

CDCG45th Annual Fine Designer Crafts Show, Nov. 28-30, North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Raleigh
Presented by the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild, this premier, three-day show and sale of fine craft held at the Exposition Center Thanksgiving weekend includes more than 100 contemporary craft artists from across North Carolina and the U.S. Meet the artists and find glass, clay, wood, wearable and decorative fibers, metal, leather, printmaking, photography, mixed media, one-of-a-kind furniture and precious and semi-precious jewelry.

cary academyHoliday Shoppe, Dec. 4-6, Cary Academy, Cary
Finish last-minute gift-buying at this one-of-a-kind annual shopping experience as more than 100 vendors put their wares up for sale. Back for its 12th year, this event includes artisans, hand-crafters, clothing vendors and delicious food for immediate tasting or gifts! No tax is charged on Holiday Shoppe purchases.

2013 ChristmasFair 044Scandinavian Christmas Fair, Dec. 6, North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Raleigh
Featuring Scandinavian favorites like homemade foods, unique crafts and entertainment, as well as cultural exhibits and children’s activities. Come and enjoy a traditional Scandinavian Christmas, certain to get you in the spirit. Entertainment includes folk dancing, folk music and the popular Lucia-procession. The food court will have Swedish meatballs, salmon and homemade breads. Sponsored by SWEA (Swedish Women’s Association) and VASA (Swedish-American organization). In the Gov. James E. Holshouser Building.

st nicholas7th Annual St. Nicholas European Christmas Market, Dec. 6, Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish, Cary
Decorative items, gifts and vintage collectibles from Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Slovakia, Italy, Ireland, Scandinavia and Mexico. Enjoy a hot Slavic lunch of piroghi, cabbage rolls, kielbasa and paprikash; the Little German Band; plus delicious traditional European Christmas baked goods. Preview night pre-sale and Market Stroll with St. Nicholas and popup vendors Fri. evening, Dec. 5, from 7-9pm. Come share a traditional Christmas and shop Europe right in the heart of Cary!

Holly Days, Dec. 6-7, Sanderson High School (SHS), Raleigh
A holiday shopping extravaganza with more than 150 vendors offering jewelry, crafts, holiday décor, food and commercial goods. Plus performances by SHS Vocal Ensembles.

Posada Navideña, Dec. 7, North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Raleigh
A Hispanic holiday celebration with international bands performing and booths offering health professional services as well as traditional Christmas related items. In Dorton Arena. Free admission.

Last Minute Christmas Shopping Expo, Dec. 20, North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Raleigh
In a bind and still searching for the perfect gift? Try your luck and come shop for those pesky last minute seasonal gifts at the Gov. James E. Holshouser Building on the Sat. before Christmas. Free admission.

And while you’re here, check out more than 20 Greater Raleigh shopping areas featuring big name retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Saks 5th Avenue. The Raleigh area also offers local indie boutiques, specialty stores, festively-lit shopping centers, small-town main streets, downtown areas and more. All for you in Greater Raleigh this shopping season!

Written by Kristy Stevenson. You are invited to follow her online.

Cary, North Carolina, is home to Greater Raleigh’s first T.MAC restaurant. The popular Atlanta-founded restaurant, famous for its Buffalo-style wings and extensive craft beer selection, opened for business in Cary’s Waverly Place in Oct.

Restaurants in Greater Raleigh, Craft Beer, Wings, Burgers in Raleigh The craft beer selection at T.MAC is massive to say the least. The restaurant has 100 beers on tap, with a huge selection of Greater Raleigh brews.

Craft Beers on tap in Greater Raleigh, T.MAC. sports bars in Greater RaleighThe entire back wall is lined with beer taps. I also give the restaurant praise for its organization of its beer menu. It’s easy to read, and you can easily find N.C. brews at one glance.

100 beers on tap at T.MAC, beer places in Raleigh,  Restaurants in Greater Raleigh T.MAC is essentially a family-friendly, modern-day sports bar. There are 80 TVs in the place, and no matter where you sit, you have a good view of the telly.

The restaurant has a prestigious reputation for its authentic buffalo wings and homemade sauces, such as hickory honey BBQ and fiery chili citrus. Chefs make nine sauces in house, and I even had the hickory honey BBQ sauce on a burger with bacon, which was outstanding. T.MAC also serves roasted wings and boneless wings for the calorie-conscious and the lazy eaters like me. With boneless wings there is no working hard for your food, while roasted wings have 100 fewer calories per wing than their original culinary counterparts.

T.MAC serves wings in Greater Raleigh, places to  have wings in Raleigh, NCT.MAC prides itself on fresh and natural ingredients, and serves only hormone-free chicken and beef. I attended a media preview lunch and sampled a variety of items, and also dined with my family another night, when I devoured two helpings of chips and salsa. The chips at T.MAC are certainly addicting.

places to eat in Greater Raleigh, T.MAC in Raleigh, Desserts are simple at T.MAC, but decadent with the caramel apple cake and S’mores brownie.

Young diners have a choice of several items under $4.95 that include a juice box or other beverage and Oreo cookies. Another sparkling twist is flavored Dasani water, available in eight flavors.

T.MAC is open daily, and it also offers outdoor seating that may be a little more quiet for conversation. Located in Waverly Place at 309 Colonades Way in Cary.

See you there!

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

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