Straw Valley Cafe, an oasis of sandwiches, desserts, coffee and wine off the bustling Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, is undergoing a makeover, with new owners Chef Adam Rose from Il Palio at the Siena and sommelier and master juiceman Fred Dexheimer.
The historic property at 5420 Durham-Chapel Blvd. (near the New Hope Commons shopping center at the Durham-Orange county line) was previously a dairy farm, and then an artists' studio and residence. In addition to several stylish buildings perfect for sipping coffee with a book, Straw Valley features a sprawling patio with bamboo and sculpture.
Now the new owners are creating a juice bar and adding lunch, brunch and dinner featuring locally sourced food. In the spring, look for music on the patio.
The cafe will close Dec. 2–9 for the renovations, and then is scheduled to reopen Dec. 10.
A new watering hole in a former Amoco gas station has opened in Raleigh: The Station at Person Street: Restaurant and Bar (we think people will likely just call it The Station) debuted last week at 701 N. Person St. in the Oakwood neighborhood.
The food menu includes burgers, bahn mi, smoked salmon BLT, plus cheese and charcutierie board—and plenty of veggie options such as pickled beet and goat cheese salad and Portobello caprese sandwich. Wash it down with local and nationally known craft beers, plus wines by the glass. Hours are 11 a.m.–2 a.m. daily.
Southern Foodways Alliance founder, journalist and author John Egerton, whose Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History, is considered the seminal book on culinary traditions below the Mason-Dixon Line, died of a heart attack last week at age 78. He lived in Nashville, Tenn.
INDY freelance food writer Jill Warren Lucas spoke with local chefs about Egerton's importance in bringing Southern food to greater national prominence. Egerton could be considered one of the South's great ethnographers; his book Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.