From 1902–1932, the Lakewood Amusement Park was a destination for Durhamites. You could take the streetcar to the southwest side and ride the merry-go-round, ride a roller coaster, swim in the lake or dance to Joe King's Orchestra.
Now the forlorn Lakewood Shopping Center at 2000 Chapel Hill Road, it is home to a Food Lion, Dollar General and a lot of empty storefronts. However, this weekend, it will be transformed into, well, something lovely. The FARE Project is hosting its next event in the shopping center parking lot Saturday, April 19. A cooking workshop with Oscar Morales begins at 4 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. community dinner of black beans with cactus (nopales) served with rice. And from 7–9 p.m., bilingual love song karaoke. Seating is limited; email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
The FARE Project is a mixed-media installation housed in a mobile food truck that celebrates the rich culinary contributions of restaurant employees who "work in the back of the house."
Save space in your liver for the Brewgaloo local beer festival Saturday, April 26, in City Plaza in downtown Raleigh. More than 40 North Carolina craft breweries, 30 food trucks and live music will keep you afloat from 2–10 p.m. Five beer tokens are $25; lightweights can get five 3-ounce pours for $5. Info: shoplocalraleigh.org.
Decide on cider: Global and local hard cider makers bring their wares to Mattie B's Public House (1125 W. N.C. Highway 54, Durham, 919-401-8600, mattiebs.com) on Saturday, April 19, from noon to midnight for CiderFest 2014.
Cider conoisseurs may want to attend the first session, which runs from noon to 3 p.m. Ciders will be paired with small bites from Mattie B's Bar Lusconi, G2B, Pizzeria Toro, Primal, Q Shack, Six Plates and Toast. Tickets are $50. Proceeds from the session will go to the Apple Growers of NC.
The second session begins at 3 p.m. For $10 you can drink ciders and eat food from Mattie B's a la carte.
The regional cider line up is Black Mountain Ciderworks (Black Mountain), Bull City Ciderworks (Durham), Fishing Creek Cider (Whitakers), Foggy Ridge Cider (Dugspur, Va.), McRitchie Ciderworks (Thurmond), Noble Cider (Asheville) and Sourwood Brewery (Durham).
Emily Wallace, whose stories and illustrations occasionally can be seen in the pages of the INDY, will discuss her research on the cult status of Duke Mayonnaise for CHOP NC (Culinary Historians of Piedmont North Carolina), Wednesday, April 16, at 7 p.m. at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill.
Wallace is also the communications director for the UNC Center for the Study of the American South and is editor of its journal, Southern Cultures.
Freelance food writer Jill Warren Lucas wrote about the event for the INDY's food blog, noting that to many, Duke's mayo is one of the things than define Southern cooking – both in homes and some of the most savvy chef-run kitchens. Even if you grew up elsewhere using Hellman's or, bless your heart, Miracle Whip, the familiar yellow-capped jar will find its way into the refrigerator of most Southern transplants." Wallace's talk is free and open to the public.
A five-day food orgy is in store at TASTE, a celebration of the Triangle's culinary scene, April 23–27, in Durham and Chapel Hill. The festival's centerpiece is April 24 at the Grand TASTE Experience at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Throughout the festival, special brunches, tastings and buffets are scheduled. Participating eateries include The Weathervane at Southern Season, Piedmont, TOPO Distillery, Durham Spirits Company, Straw Vallley and Il Palio. Ticket prices vary per event and are available at tastetheevent.com. TASTE is a benefit for the Durham branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.