So, did you tour urban farms last weekend in Carrboro? This weekend, you can add yang to that farming yin by cruising around the Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The self-guided circuit showcases 20 farms, including four new ones. They feature pastured beef, sheep, goats, chickens and hogs; organic vegetables and fruits; herbs, flowers, crafts; llamas, rabbits, cotton, rice and wine. The new farms are: Spain Farm, which grows shiitake mushrooms in Raleigh (Saturday only); The Vineyards at SouthPoint, a new winery in Southern Durham; High Ground Farm, which raises Java chickens (a heritage breed) in Holly Springs; and Architectural Trees, a native and exotic plant nursery on a former tobacco farm in Bahama.
Advance tickets are $25 per car or pay $30 per car at your first farm. These prices get you a button that will admit you to all the farms. If you want to tour just one or two, the cost is $10 per farm, payable at your first stop. Get your buttons and maps online at www.carolinafarmstewards.org, where you can also find detailed information and links to each farm, or at local Whole Foods Market locations. Some sites have special events planned; for example, a talk about raising chickens starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at the SEEDS Educational Garden at the Durham Farmers' Market.
Meanwhile, new restaurants continue to pop up on our culinary landscape. Tony Sustaita plans to open a third Chubby's Tacos (the first is on Ninth Street in Durham, the second on Wycliff Road in Raleigh) at the former Buford's Grill spot in Woodcroft Shopping Center on Hope Valley Road in Durham. Sustaita, who also owns four Bandido's Mexican Cafes—including one in Woodcroft—told the Woodcroft Gazette that Bandido's and Chubby's are different restaurants, despite the similar cuisine: "Customers will go to Bandido's when they want to sit back and relax and be waited on ... [and] ... go to Chubby's if they are in a hurry and just want to grab a quick bite to eat," he said.
In Pittsboro, Angelina Koulizakis-Battiste whips up Greek specialties made with local ingredients at her new restaurant, Angelina's Kitchen (23 Rectory St., 545-5505, www.angelinaskitchenonline.com). She also hosts fun events, like a recent belly dancing and baklava bake-off. Try her fresh-made tzaziki, avgolemono and spanakopita, along with frozen yogurt. She lists all of her farmer-neighbor-purveyors and blogs her daily specials on her Web site.
In Carrboro, Jessee's Café (401 E. Main St., 929-0445, www.thekindcoffee.com) opened last month in the former Padgett Station spot. Owners Chyenna and Jon Jessee moved here from California, where they ran two coffee drive-thrus. They began here as The Kind Coffee and brought their bright yellow cart to area events. Now they've moved into remodeled digs, where they roast coffee in small batches and have a full menu of coffee and espresso drinks, along with light breakfast, lunch and snacks, as well as chai, tea, beer and wine.
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Corrections (Sept. 21, 2009): The new Chubby's Tacos will be the third location for the restaurant (h/t to @ambermae). Also, Jessee's Café is owned by Chyenna and Jon Jessee.