One carefree sunny afternoon, while rocking on her front porch in Boylan Heights, Liza Zaytoun got to nibbling on a BLT.
And then the wheels in her head started turning, remembering the days when she was tied to a cubicle for eight hours with no time to sit like this. It felt good to sit on that porch, rockin' and nibblin'. The Raleigh native wanted to give that feeling to busy nine-to-fivers, letting them relish in a simple homemade lunch, even just swivelin' with a sandwich at their desk.
Through word of mouth and a blog, Zaytoun launched Porch ROCKIN' (porchrockin.com) last fall, her one-woman sandwich delivery business in downtown Raleigh. She served hand-crafted sandwiches every Wednesday—renditions of pimento cheese (jalapeño-spiked an option), "the bomb" secret recipe chicken salad and CBJs, homemade cashew butter and seasonal jam—to the downtown working set, from "awesome ladies at Progress Energy to cool people that worked out of their homes in Boylan Heights."
Just like for any neighborhood business in these parts, a loyal clientele began. Now Porch ROCKIN' sandwiches and Zaytoun's very own blue rocking chairs can be found at The Saturday Market at Rebus Works, right next to an urban neighborhood chicken coop. Chomp on a sandwich made with any of the homemade concoctions listed above surrounded by two slices of local bread by Yellow Dog Bread Company. Lunch delivery, however, is on hiatus until the fall. Zaytoun, who attended a small cooking school in Berkeley, Calif., also cooks up some fine nut butters and jams. Blueberry-blackberry should still be available; stay tuned for apple-pear, pumpkin-tangerine and cranberry-pomegranate as the seasons change.
Porch ROCKIN' gets cooking out of The Cookery, which also welcomed a new food truck last week...
Durham, eat eat! Or, in Chinese, "chirba chirba!" Chirba Chirba Dumpling (chirbachirba.com) is the Triangle's first dumpling truck. Branded with the Twitter hashtag #durhamdumplings, the truck hit the road on a trial run this week, giving away free dumplings and tweeting their location along the way.
Chela Tu teaches Chinese and spent years living in China. She explains that the name is less of a demand and more of something you tell friends after preparing a meal at home that you're excited about. A recent UNC-Chapel Hill graduate, she pooled some savings together with her school buddies and now business partners Yin Song, Ali Safavi and Nate Adams. They all have ties to Chinese culture and its cuisine. Tu is well-known for hosting dumpling-making parties.
"We know that dumplings are not an appetizer," she says. "They are the star of the meal: They are the main course, the comfort food, and people deserve that."
Tu confirmed a meat dumpling filled with pork and edamame (or mao dou, "furry beans" in Chinese) and a vegetable option with Chinese black mushrooms and cabbage. Look for the big bright yellow truck for dumplings and a complimentary Chinese lesson, and chirba chirba!
Know of a restaurant happening or food event? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.