Some of us don't have deep pockets to dig into to support our pretentious palates. (I know y'all hear me, Groupon fanatics.) Thankfully, we have weeks like these that let us delicately delve into our wallets for serious indulgence.
Lovers of Le Creuset living on la vie bohème budget can score a deal this Saturday at A Southern Season's 35th Annual Inventory Clearance Sale (southernseason.com). Chapel Hill's gourmet megastore periodically slashes prices on kitchen essentials and froufrou food items. Saturday's sale is coupled with the Cackalacky Cookout, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Chapel Hill condiment of the same name (cackalacky.com). The sweet-potato-based hot sauce secured its first wholesale contract with the store and can now be found sitting on tabletops and bar counters around the country. Other goodies at the event include Duck-Rabbit beer and live bluegrass.
Triangle Restaurant Week (blvd.tv/trw) runs June 6–12 for its fourth year. Prix fixe, three-course menus set at $15 for lunch and $20 or $30 for dinner showcase both specialties and inventive new trial menu items of local restaurants. The host, Raleigh-based media agency Blvd.TV, says it's the largest one yet, with more than 70 restaurants participating around the Triangle.
"It's an event that brings the Triangle together, when people venture crosstown to try new places," says Damon Butler, president of Blvd.TV. "And it gives the great chefs in our area a chance to have fun and branch out with nontraditional items on their menus."
At Buku in Raleigh, Chef Tony Hopkins has created a restaurant week menu to explore as a "testing ground" for what would add to an already diverse menu inspired by global street carts. He says he's creating dishes based on roadside eats from Egypt, Turkey, the Far East and the Caribbean.
Newcomers to the list include Revolution, Six Plates and Guglhupf in Durham; Tarantini, One Restaurant and Shula's 347 Grill in Chapel Hill; and Fai Thai and The Melting Pot in Raleigh. For swanky restaurant videos, visit the Blvd.TV website.
Raleigh's Big Boss Brewing Company (bigbossbrewing.com), always a purveyor of homespun bar events, is hosting The Pan American Coaster Tossing Championships on June 18, noon to 6 p.m. Only 200 people can sign up to compete for $50, $75 and $100 gift cards for craft beer at the brewery. Who actually uses coasters anyway? Just toss yours the farthest and win free beer. First place also receives "a Tiny Crown made of pride, achievement and glory." Check out the website for goofy how-to videos and to sign up.
And to impress Dad by planning ahead, help Bull City Burger and Brewery (bullcityburgerandbrewery.com) tap their first beer dinner on June 20 for Father's Day. The menu goes beyond buns and beef, with North Carolina shrimp crostino, local pork shoulder and more. Cost is $45 per person; call 919-680-2333 for reservations.