Category Archives: Durham Restaurant

New Student Restaurant Opens in Durham

Students get a taste of the working world, customers get a taste of classic American cuisine. The new District at 410 Blackwell serves up both a full lunch and a fast-paced classroom experience every Thursday and Friday, 11am-2pm, at The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham in the American Tobacco Campus.

The District is the institute’s first local student-run restaurant. A new enterprise will set up shop in the institute’s full kitchen and vibrant dining space every semester, each with its own distinct flavor. For this inaugural run, the menu features classics in the Durham vein such as the Highway 147 Spinach Salad, The Bleu Devil Chicken Breast and The Home Run grilled carrot bread, prepared and served by a class of 12 who alternate between the front and back of the house.

“Our students do it all,” says Chef Dan Taylor, an 18 year restaurant veteran and director of the institute’s Culinary Arts program. “There will be glory and glitches, but the best way to prepare for a successful career is to have the full experience.”

To Mike DePrisco, the institute’s president, the District captures the school’s can-do creativity: “We chose this area because of its dynamic creative culture, and the District is one way we’re becoming active contributors to that culture. We’re a laboratory for the next generation of creators. Consider our restaurant a sneak peek of what’s to come.”

The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, south side of the American Tobacco Campus in the Fowler Building, 410 Blackwell St., Durham will be serving every Thursday and Friday, 11am – 2pm (last seating at 1:30pm).  To make a reservation, call (919) 317-3200 or email


Watts Grocery: Mardi Gras Meal and Help for Friends

At Watts Grocery in Durham, they’re planning for Mardi Gras. Chef Amy Tornquist notes that  February 16th is Fat Tuesday.  “Watts Grocery will continue our tradition of doing it up right! We will be previewing a few items from our upcoming new menu as well as offering some New Orleans specialties.” Look for:

  • Boudin-stuffed chicken breast
  • James’ Duck Leg, Oyster, and Andouille Gumbo
  • Fried Oysters with Low Country Remoulade
  • King Cake (make sure to watch out for the “baby” inside)

Tornquist calls on folks to shop local. She says that we need to keep up the efforts to support our friends and neighbors in small businesses of all kinds around town.

“I have heard of a few friends closing or selling their businesses and there are many Durhamites still suffering mightily. I know that we are all trying to feel more hopeful about the future and there is much to look forward to. But I worry. I see signs of recovery right along with signs of continuing trouble. We as a company have seen great success this year thanks to our friends and loyal customers. But we have also faced adversity. I see my coworkers working hard and trying their best all day long. But I also see that our health insurance went up 40% as a company this year and we have had to ask more from our folks to even keep this benefit at all. And that feels miserable and truly worrisome. So continue to visit the independent shops along Broad and Ninth Street, shop downtown, and remember that money you spend on local businesses stays here in town.”

She offers a list of local businesses:
Toast (when I’m not at Watts, of course)
Vaguely Reminiscent
Vert and Vogue
Ox and Rabbit
Scratch Baking at the Durham Farmer’s Mkt
The Green Room
Craven Allen
Joe Van Gogh
and all our neighbors!!

Papa Mojo’s offers Valentine’s aphrodisiac dinner

UPDATE:  Chef Melton’s 5-course “Aphrodisiac Dinner” on Valentines Day has been canceled. The restaurant’s FB notes that “We regret disappointing those of you who had made plans to dine with us, but reservation numbers were low and it was hard to justify the effort and expense we would put into such a special menu.”

Pap Mojo’s Mel Melton has full day set for Valentine’s Day on Sunday, Feb. 14. The restaurant will offer its BAYOU BRUNCH from 11am to 3pm. The brunch will have great music from Jasme Kelly. Chef Mel Melton is offering an “APHRODISIAC DINNER” SPECIAL. The special 5-course Valentine’s Day menu includes:

– Char-grilled oysters on the half shell w/ a garlic butter sauce and Parmesan & Romano cheese
– Crawfish corn bisque w/ Tasso and cornbread crouton
– Roasted winter vegetables latticed with our signature Jezebel Vinaigrette
– Red Snapper on the half shell w/ braised asparagus, lump crab meat and hollandaise
– Cote Diane – N.Y. strip filet, pan seared & topped w/ a Creole mustard & brandy cream sauce
– Grand Marnier chocolate mousse w/ Chantilly cream.
– Almond praline Crème Brulee w/ strawberries

A split of champagne is also included w/ each meal. Reservations required – $75/couple – 5:00 pm and 7:30 pm seatings. They begin taking reservations today.

Byrd’s BBQ in Durham

News and Observer restaurant reviewer Greg Cox visits Byrd’s BBQ in Durham.

Watts Grocery holiday schedule

Watts Grocery will be open for the weekend in spite of the weather. Please walk (or drive slowly) over to see us!!!


New Year’s Eve: As usual, Watts will be open and serving our regular dinner menu on New Year’s Eve along with some yummy special items (oysters, anyone?)

New Year’s Day: the restaurant will be open for the yearly New Year’s Brunch on Jan. 1 from 11-2:30. Amy Tornquist says she’s looking forward to the braised pork belly with collards and black-eyed peas. Since it’s a Friday, the restaurant will be open regular dinner hours on Jan 1, 5:30-10 pm

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: the restaurant will be closed for these two days to open presents and cook with our families

Chubby Taco opens new location in Durham

Jody of Chubby Taco says  there’s a new Chubby in town!

The newest Chubby’s Tacos is the third location. Doors opened Wednesday at the Durham’s Woodcroft Shopping Center Chubby’s at 4711 Hope Valley Road
Durham, NC 27707. the phone number is 919-489-4636.

The original Chubby is on 9th Street in Durham. There is a Raleigh location on Lake Boone Trail.

When I went by the Raleigh Chubby’s Thursday, they said the Durham location had a great opening with booming business.