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CurEat Your City: The Raleigh Edition

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Mark all your calendars, set every alarm, and tie a string around each finger for the event of the season. On March 30th, a select number of teams will have the opportunity to compete in the first CurEat Your City Scavenger Hunt: Raleigh Edition. Think Amazing Race™ meets food. CurEat has partnered with several organizations to help you explore Raleigh’s culinary and beverage scene. All proceeds will benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Agriculture Education Program.

Raleigh Magazine, 21C Hotels, Transfer Co. Food Hall, The Assembly, S. Pellegrino and other great companies will all play a role in making this a fun, engaging afternoon. The days events will culminate with a team and public donor party at Transfer Co. Food Hall.

Teams will be limited to 4 people and a maximum of 12 teams will be participating, so spaces will be limited.  Each team must commit to raising $2,500 with some added clues provided for teams that reach higher fundraising thresholds. Grand prize will be a trip for four to Nashville, TN for 3 days and 2 nights at the award winning 21C hotel and an opportunity to enjoy the city’s sights, sounds and, of course, food.

To be the first to receive event updates and team registration, download and create an account on CurEat (iOS and Android)and check out Raleigh Magazine’s February issue.  Event announcements will be included in upcoming newsletters and clues will be popping up in places you may least expect.  Get ready to scavenge the city and party for a cause!

Bit By Bit

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Because we’re all about having fun over here, CurEat founder Steve Mangano asked 10 of our CurEaters to share their BitMojis with us and Raleigh Magazine. We had a good laugh as the BitMojis started to roll in. They’re all pretty accurate. Can you guess which BitMoji belongs to the appropriate CurEater?

These days, it seems everyone I know has one of these fun little avatars, including my 85-year-old mother.  As described by the app company that created them, BitMojis “allow you to create an expressive cartoon avatar and choose from a growing library of moods and stickers, all featuring you.”

Guess who!

CurEat Founder Steve Mangano Presents at Pecha Kucha + Choir! Choir! Choir!

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CurEat founder Steve Mangano spoke at Charleston Wine + Food’s Pecha Kucha + Choir! Choir! Choir! If you aren’t familiar with Pecha Kucha, its an event where speakers have 7 minutes to present their topic with 20 slides. Steve inspired the audience to seek and share positivity instead of leaving negative reviews that live on a review website for eternity. Watch his Pecha Kucha speech and be inspired to make a change in how you search for restaurants and bars! Hint: the CurEat App will help you make that change.

11 Instagrammable Restaurants for you to Bookmark. ASAP.

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From seasonal menus to beautiful interior, we love a restaurant that plays to all of our senses. In an age where social media is queen, we know there are plenty of folks who want to visit Instagrammable restaurants. Some leave a restaurant with interior-design inspiration. If you fall in one of these categories and love a good food and cocktails, we have two lists for you to pin.

Places That Will Make Your Instagram Pretty

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Photo via Watchman’s Seafood and Spirits

We can count on CurEater Angela Hansberger to create specific lists like her CurEat list of Instagrammable restaurants. Sometimes we want to eat at a restaurant that serves incredible food and gives us the opportunity to snap a cool photo. If you plan to travel to Atlanta, pin Angela’s “Places That Will Make Your Instagram Pretty” CurEat list. Tiny Lou’s at Hotel Clairmont and Watchman’s Seafood and Spirits are some of the Instagrammable restaurants that she recommends. We can guarantee that these places are not just a pretty spaces. If Angela likes them, we’ll like them.

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Photo via Tiny Lou’s

Restaurants With Major Interior Design Goals

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Photo via Picnic in Jackson Hole, WY

Sometimes we walk into a restaurant only to discover that the interior is just as breathtaking as the food. You’ll find restaurants like Hello, Sailor, Brewery Bhavana and Picnic on CurEater and writer Jenn Rice’s “Restaurants With Major Interior Design Goals”. We can verify that Hello, Sailor and Brewery Bhavana’s interiors will inspire you to remodel your home. The food will also leave you coming back for more.

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Photo via Hello, Sailor

Now that we’ve shown you how to find Instagrammable restaurants via CurEat, can you think of some that you’ve visited. If so, create your own CurEat lists and share them with us and your friends.

CurEat Craft Cocktails Like a Boss (or CurEater)

In Raleigh, NC, it feels like we skipped over spring and steam rolled right into summer. That being said, you’ll find us drinking fresh, craft cocktails on breezy patios or in cool (cold) bars. This spring/summer whether you’re in the mood to go out and socialize with a big group or pick up some beer for your backyard barbecue, we know exactly where and what you should be getting.

For the person who wants to hit the town…
The Punch Room
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Image via The Punch Room

Located inside the Ritz Carlton hotel in downtown Charlotte, The Punch Room is the perfect place to grab craft cocktails made by CurEater and master mixologist, Bob Peters. He is a Charlotte native and winner of the 2015 Global Bartender of the Year for the Ritz Carlton, is the head mixologist at the Punch Room. Thanks to Bob, the charlotte beverage scene is on the up and up, and all we can say is that you don’t want to miss out.

What to get?

Roman Punch: Brandy, Dark Rum, Lemon, Raspberry Syrup, a Splash of Port and Prosecco.
For the beer-loving barbecue master…  
Tasty Beverage Co.
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Image via Citizen Times

If you’re throwing a porch party or a hosting barbecue this season in Raleigh or Asheville, NC, might we suggest picking up some beverages from CurEater Johnny Belflower’s Tasty Beverage Co. Tasty Beverage Co. has locations in Raleigh and Asheville and is dedicated completely to beer. The best part? You can place an order online for pickup or delivery. Game changer.

What to get?

Jam Band Berry Ale: It’s a fruit wheat beer with blueberry, red raspberry and tart cherry flavors.
For the DIY cocktail lover…
Crude Bitters

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If you’re the type that loves to make your own cocktail, we have the ingredient that will crush your cocktail game. CurEater Craig Rudewicz’s Crude Bitters, a North Carolina-based cocktail bitters company creates handcrafted bitters and syrups that are just the thing to take your craft cocktails to the next level. The Crude Bitters website features a recipe section, and we’ve found the perfect spring, craft cocktail recipe and we’re passing it on so you can turn those 

What to make?

Ol’ Rita: with Tequila, Lime Juice, Orange Juice, Cointreau, Crude Bitter, Marriage bitters and one drop of “Tiki” bitters
For the day drinker/bruncher…
The Lakewood Restaurant
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Image via The Lakewood

CurEater Phoebe Lawless’ The Lakewood Restaurant is the place to go on the weekends for crisp, craft cocktails. You can enjoy a house cocktail at the bar or grab a table on the rooftop for bites and drinks. One of the coolest parts? The Lakewood is in a historic building that was home to Durham, NC’s Davis Baking Co. for more than 60 years! Our personal favorite is the tin ceiling! 

What to get?

Fizz:  Aperol, egg white, lemon and soda

Bookmark, Pin and Discover Restaurants and Lists

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It’s Friday and you’re scrolling through the screenshots in the album on your phone. You’re looking for the pictures of restaurants, bars and coffee shops to plan your weekend brunch, lunch and dinner excursions. In all honesty, you most likely deleted them because your phone’s storage space was running low. So, we are going to take this moment to tell you about two CurEat features that will not only change your life, but they will also decrease the amount of screenshots you have on your phone: bookmarking and pinning. (We’re always here for you.)
How to Bookmark

Did you know that you can bookmark the restaurants you want to remember for future trips, date nights or Sunday brunches? (This would be the perfect place to insert a happy dance gif.) Open your CurEat app, browse through some of your favorite CurEaters and friends, find a restaurant you want to try in the future and simply click bookmark. Yep, it’s that easy. After bookmarking your restaurant of choice, just head to your profile and click the bookmark tab. Underneath, you’ll discover restaurants you’ve bookmarked.

How to Pin

If you discover CurEat lists that have multiple restaurants you would like to try, you can pin the entire list. Think about it like Pinterest. All CurEat lists are different and you might want to reference CurEater Jenny Bonchak’s “Coffee – Austin” list and CurEater Sam Jones’ “Austin” list. Simply hit the “pin” button on each list so you’ll remember to check them out. Like the “Bookmarks” section on your profile, there is a “Pinned” section where you can find the lists you pinned!

Now that you know how to swing a little more on the CurEat ropes, we challenge you to bookmark and pin as many restaurants and lists as you can. Happy listing!

CurEater Carrie Morey: Founder of Callie’s Biscuits & Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

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“The buttermilk biscuit is the purest and most simplest form of bread perfection. All my biscuit recipes start out as a buttermilk — it’s like a blank canvas.”

Carrie Morey knows a thing or two about biscuits. After all, she is the founder of Callie’s Biscuits and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, and ships the South’s favorite bread all over the country. She also serves those biscuits at her Hot Little Biscuit grab-and-go stores in Atlanta and Charleston. Callie’s Biscuits have been highlighted by Oprah, Martha Stewart, The Today Show, and many, many more.

VIDEO: Places We Love – Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

The accolades are well earned. Carrie and her team mix each batch of Callie’s Biscuits by hand–no mixers. It’s a classic technique, one that Morey’s mother, Callie White, passed down. Callie’s Biscuits were first made famous through White’s celebrated Charleston catering business. Morey combined her passion for business with her inherited recipe and brought the biscuits to hungry fans from coast to coast–all while raising a family of her own.

VIDEO: Around Carolina–Callie’s Charleston Biscuits

The success of Callie’s Biscuits has led to a tantalizing family of products. From classics like pimento cheese and ham biscuits to cinnamon biscuits and cocoa and cream cookies, Callie’s currently offers a wide variety of gourmet treats with a distinctly Southern accent.

VIDEO: Goldbely Makes Biscuits With Callie’s Charleston Biscuits’ Carrie Morey

Follow Carrie Morey on Instagram, or find Callie’s Biscuits on Facebook or Twitter. For more of Morey’s Lowcountry expertise check out her cookbook. Finally to find out what restaurants butter her biscuits, check her out on CurEat.

Also, because we love Callie’s, we are partnering with Carrie to give away a month’s worth of biscuits! Here’s how: Create a profile on the CurEat App and follow Carrie Morey. (She has great lists of where to eat and drink in Charleston and throughout the U.S.). Then comment “complete” on our biscuits post and you’re all set.

Let These Artisan Chocolate Makers Influence Your Next Meal

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and we know for some people it means unnecessary stress. Deciding where and what to eat can seem like a time-consuming task. Well, don’t worry, because we have CurEaters, who make some of the best artisan chocolate in the country, to decide for you. And, we all trust and love chocolate makers, right? They make our life sweeter. Whether you’re looking to plan a big night out, hang at a brewery or snag some artisan chocolate for your best friends or partner, look no further. 

French Broad Chocolates // “Our Neighbors”
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Image by Thalia Villarosa for Asheville Folk

Asheville has great food options, and artisan chocolate is no exception. If you want a little chocolate pre-game or a post-meal chocolate dessert, this list is the one for you. With a variety of chocolate from truffles to chocolate covered espresso beans and artisan chocolate bars, French Broad Chocolate is a chocolate lover’s dream. This place is more than just a “little chocolate shop”; it has a chocolate lounge. Yep, you read that right. French Broad Chocolate Lounge is the perfect spot for a pick-me-up before dinner or a night-cap to round out an evening filled with great food.

Videri Chocolate Factory’s Sam Ratto // “Breweries Making Beer with our Nibs”

If a romantic dinner isn’t your cup of tea — and we get that — maybe a pint of beer is more your speed. This one is created for beer enthusiasts who also happen to love chocolate. With five breweries that use Videri Chocolate nibs in the Raleigh area, stopping by any of these places is the perfect alternative to a quiet, lavish dinner. If dark beer is your thing, stop by Crank Arm Brewing and try the Mint Chocolate Milk Stout. If you want an oatmeal stout, check out Mystery Brewing and ask for the Six Impossible Things. No matter what your favorite type of beer is, these breweries will blow you away. We simply can’t think of a better combo than beer and chocolate. Can you? We didn’t think so. 

Elaine Read of Xocolatl // “I’m Going Out”
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Image via Xocolatl

Xocolatl (pronounced choco-lah-tul) is a chocolate micro-factory in Atlanta that creates chocolate that’s free of unnecessary ingredients but packed with flavor. Co-owner Elaine Read has a list called “I’m Going Out!”, and it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. Staplehouse, an Atlanta classic, made it on her list (and 25 other CurEaters’ lists), so we’d say start there! Some other favorites include Miller Union and Kimball House. By the way, we highly recommend grabbing a bar or two of Xocolatl before dinner! 

A Southern Style Food Trip with CurEater Griffin Bufkin

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It’s often the hidden gems off of an old, country road that make our tastebuds cry tears of pure joy. Being from North Carolina, we are pretty familiar with the Southern style food, so we wanted to learn more about the fare of a different state in the Southeast. We chose Georgia, and CurEater Griffin Bufkin, Co-owner of Southern Soul BBQ on St.Simons Island, led the way.

Bufkin spreads the Southern Style Food/BBQ gospel. When it comes to food, Bufkin believes in all things regional and resourceful. “Southeast Coastal Georgia is such an abundant area with exciting things happening from Cumberland Oysters, Sapelo Clams to heirloom red peas and purple ribbon sugarcane,” said Bufkin, “Bison, quail, ducks, heritage pigs and grass-fed cattle are all part of this region and SOUEGA has definitely been experiencing a revival.”

If you are looking for a road trip to explore Southern style food, we highly recommend you plan a trip through Southeast Georgia. based on Bufkin’s “Back Roads” lists. We asked Bufkin to share one of his favorite restaurants from each list and to give us a little detail just to entice you.

Back Roads: Route 341

Sybil’s Family Restaurant in Jesup, Georgia is a one of those increasingly rare Southern style buffets that do it right. No shortcuts like frozen biscuits and #10 cans dumped into steam table pans. Everything is made from scratch  everyday. Friday night the buffet is filled with local seafood.

Back Roads: Route 17

B&J’s Steaks & Seafood in McIntosh County embodies the classic, coastal small town road side seafood joint. Neighborhood crowds eat hyper-local seafood and choice steaks on long tables with banquet chairs and no frills. The shrimp are fresh daily from the Darien River Docks.

Back Roads: Route 16

We discovered A&A Restaurant & Grocery in tiny Allentown, GA while traveling north from St.Simons to Atlanta. One mile off Highway 16 around the Dublin Exit, you’ll find this friendly roadside grocery and grill cooking up to-die-for fried chicken and some of the finest, griddled cheesburgers around. Cheap prices, too.

BACK ROADS: US-82/84
We love BBQ. We live for BBQ. If the drive calls to take US-82 or anywhere close we’ll hit up our friends up at Gary Lee’s Market. Once a small grocery with a bustling butcher counter, it’s now a full-time meat market/BBQ joint that cooks fresh-cut, smoked brisket, baby back ribs and legit BBQ pork shoulder with vinegar sauce. The 3/4 pound burgers are legendary. It’s open Thursday through Saturday.

Meet Asheville CurEater East Fork Pottery

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When we choose our CurEaters, we not only look for great chefs and bartenders, we also look for creatives and artisan craft-makers in a community. Founded by Alex Matisse and Connie Matisse in 2010, East Fork Pottery was one of our first artisan CurEaters. This month they celebrated the one-year anniversary of their brick-and-mortar, so we thought it was hight time we introduce you. *Huge thanks to Connie Matisse for taking the time to give us so much detail!*

What inspired you to create East Fork Pottery?

I moved to Madison County in 2008, after the financial crisis and my first real, big girl breakup sent me packing my bags and heading out of New York City with no plans.  I took a job doing seasonal work on a goat farm and met Alex while I was selling cheese at the Mars Hill Holiday Market in the basement of an antique store.  He’d just bought the little house and property at the end of Ras Grooms Road and had big plans to start a pottery.  I had no idea what “starting a pottery” meant, but I was in love and I didn’t care.

east fork pottery, asheville, visit asheville, north carolina pottery, pottery, matisseHow long has Alex been honing his craft/art?

Alex has been working with clay since he was six – he’s never bothered messing with any other mediums. East Fork Pottery was something that’d been developing within him for a long, long time, inspired both by his affinity for clay and for his desire to put some distance between himself and the big, tough-to-get-out-from-under shadows cast by Henri Matisse and his legacy.  Now, with Alex, John and I each bringing our own skillsets, personal histories, and interests to the mix, East Fork Pottery has become a dynamic, complicated, ever-morphing organism with a mission of bringing beautiful, lasting dinnerware to the table.

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Definitely can’t narrow this down to one! Alex and John set on this path largely because of the potter’s they trained under: Matt Jones, Mark Hewitt, and Daniel Johnston.  Now, though, we draw influence from everywhere.  Alex has his hand on the pulse of modern luxury e-commerce brands, John’s got his nose deep in finance books, and a lot of my influence comes from the fashion world, growing up in Los Angeles – a big, diverse, global city – and the fact that my own family placed high value on hospitality social justice, and community engagement.

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How does it feel knowing people are eating off East Fork pottery plates at restaurants in Asheville?

It feels amazing! Especially amazing since the restaurants that use our dinnerware are all places that we love, run by people we love.  People come into the store after eating at Cúrate or Gan Shan or Table and say, “We found you because we just couldn’t help but turn over our plates to see who made them.” I just love that.

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Speaking of restaurants, when Steve approached you about CurEat, what were your initial thoughts about CurEat?

I thought CurEat was a genius idea.  I’d actually just had a terrible experience with Yelp, trying to get them to change the East Fork Pottery listing from “Paint Your Own Pottery” to “Home Decor”, so when Steve told me about CurEat, I was grateful for a reason to never have to go on Yelp again. Social Media is such a weird, complicated space, and CurEat makes it so that you can take dining advice from people who’ve already earned your trust.

Out of all your CurEat lists, which list would you say is your favorite?

I most often point people to my “7am to 1am in Asheville” list.  We have so many great places to eat in Asheville, but most of my favorites get very little press coverage.  I love to invite people visiting Asheville to eat where the chefs eat.

How would you describe your palate?

With any meal, I’m always seeking balance: I like rich, fatty red meat cut with bright, light, high-acid red wine and a bitter green salad. Spicy foods tempered with sweetness, like in Thai and Korean cuisines (sweet meats!). And I love really well-executed, classic French and Italian country cooking. 

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Coffee or cocktail?

No offense meant to all my craft cocktail friends out there, but the only cocktails I really mess with are Negronis, Margaritas, and Martinis – classics get classic for a reason! But I’ll drink wine 9.5 out of 10 times.  I start my day with a big mug of Hu-Kwa with milk and honey, a black tea smoked over pine from imported by the Mark T Wendell Company (we sell it at eastforkpottery.com – wink, wink)

As an artist, who do you admire in the food community in Asheville or in general?

I really admire my friend Jacob Sessoms, who opened Table in 2005 and has stuck hard to his commitment to local produce and a seasonal menu before it became trendy. I just had the pleasure of meeting Jana Gravner, a winemaker in Friuli making some of the most interesting experimental wines, all aged in clay amphora.  I think everyone thinking of opening a restaurant – or any business – should eat at Gramercy Tavern and listen to everything Danny Meyer has to say about treating your customers with dignity and graciousness.  And Pete Wells, restaurant critic at the NY Times, is a genius.

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If someone had to choose one restaurant from your Asheville list, which one would you recommend?

Cucina 24.  The chef-owner, Brian Canipelli, is terrible at self-promotion (sorry, Brian. You know it’s true), but his food is just so mature and beautiful.  He’s so good at vegetales. All the pasta is made in house and is always perfectly toothsome, sauced with a considerate hand. The bulk of the produce he uses is grown by our friend and farmer, Evan Chender, who grows the most exquisite food – all sorts of lesser known herbs, almost extinct varieties of radicchio and treviso, etc.  And everything is served on East Fork.

What was your favorite meal growing up?

Most people who know me know that my mom, Terrie Coady, is never not throwing a party.  She’s an incredible cook and can make anything.  But every year on my birthday I asked for the same thing: stuffed manicotti with red sauce and a whole lotta cheese.