Chili Challenge — Saturday

This Saturday, May 30, is the 7th Annual Bull City Chili Challenge.  How have I managed to live here for six of those seven years and not hear about this event until now?

Some details:

In case you were worried, this cook-off is sanctioned by the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI).  It will take place in Durham Central Park and benefits go to the Special Olympics.  Tasting starts around noon for chili (11am for salsa), and you get a “tasting kit” (spoon and small cups for the chili) for $4.  Can you handle the heat??

Published in: on May 28, 2009 at 9:16 pm  Comments (9)  

Man v. Food filming in Durham tomorrow!

UPDATE: We just got a corrected email informing us that the original info we got was wrong: MvF will actually be filming at Backyard BBQ on THURSDAY.  Hope to see you there!

Prior to Adam Richman’s participation in the Doughman competition, he’ll be hitting up two Durham spots on Tuesday, May 19, to film for his show:  Wimpy’s (617 Hicks St) at 10:30 am – 12:30 pm ON TUESDAY MAY 19, and Backyard BBQ Pit (5122 NC Highway 55) at 5:30 – 7:30 pm ON THURSDAY MAY 21.

I don’t know that either of these places feature any sort of gluttonous eating competitions but maybe he’ll just create his own?  Either way, we’ll probably be the dorks in the Carpe Durham t-shirts trying to say hi to our moms on camera.  The filming is open to the public and everyone should stop by!

Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm  Comments (3)  

Cool John Ferguson at All People’s Grill

Cool John Ferguson will be doing two shows at All People’s Grill (6122 Guess Rd) on May 9 and May 30, both starting at 10pm.  (We will probably go to both.)  Tickets are $15.  Everything is cash only.

People often ask us what our favorite find has been in Durham.  I can never come up with a single answer, but if I was to make a short list, All People’s Grill would definitely be on it.  If you’ve never listened to us before, listen to this:  go to one of these shows for a really fun time at a really interesting Durham institution. I am always scared that this North Durham soul food restaurant/bar/blues club with elusive operating hours is gone for good after 57 years, but then it shows signs of life.  Seriously, if you haven’t been, go.  It’s sort of like The Know, but rural and with a more diverse group of people.

Published in: on May 4, 2009 at 1:00 pm  Comments (1)  

You’re getting hungry… (Party Reminder)

You’ve probably been counting down the hours for a few days now (or is that just me?), but in case you needed a reminder: Party at Pinhook on Friday!  If the trailer didn’t convince you, check out this cute blurb in the Independent.

A refresher of the details, and a few new ones:

* Friday May 1, 6-9pm, 117 W. Main St.

* The taco truck will be outside from 6-9.  He only takes cash, so bring some! Menu below.

* There will be DVDs of the Tacomentary available for a voluntary payment of whatever amount you see fit.  Any proceeds would go to cover our filmmaking costs (there really is no such thing as a zero-budget film–we tried pretty hard), and if there was any left over it would go towards the next Carpe Durham party, which we are already hatching in our heads.

Benito’s fabulous taco truck menu – Tacomentary 5/1
Pastor (spicy pork)
Asada (grilled steak)
Pollo (delicious chicken)
Lengua (tongue–it’s quite delicate really!)
Barbacoa (bbq’d beef)
Vegetarian (beans & rice)
Filling delivery vehicles:
Tacos: $2 each, or 3 for $5 ($6 with avocados and jalapenos added)
Quesadillas: $5
Tortas: $5
Published in: on April 30, 2009 at 7:40 am  Comments (10)  

The Doughman…and Man v. Food!

If you don’t know about the Doughman, it’s a “quadrathlon” for 4-person teams that includes running, biking, “aquatic activity” and, most importantly, eating.  This year, on May 23, will be the second annual event, starting at 8am at Blu Seafood (2002 Hillsborough Rd).

The event is a benefit for the Durham Inner-City Gardeners (DIG), an urban youth leadership program associated with the local SEEDS.  This year there’ll be food from Blu, Nosh, Dain’s, Daisy Cakes and Four Square featured along the way.  Sounds great, right?

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.  This year, Adam Richman from the Travel Network show Man v. Food will be stepping up to the challenge.  If you haven’t seen his show I recommend checking it out…I watch almost exclusively food-related tv shows and this is one of my favorites (I never fail to get a kick out of the animated logo of a wrestler punching a drumstick, which is even cuter in motion).  Come out and show America that Durham knows what’s UP when it comes to eating!


Check out the full press release below.


Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm  Comments (6)  

Tacomentary Trailer!

Published in: on April 23, 2009 at 2:34 pm  Comments (4)  

Tacomentary! May 1

The movie event of the season is a week and a half away!  On Friday, May 1, “Tacomentary: The Durham Taco Story” will be dropping at Pinhook (117 W. Main St) at 6pm.  Also in attendance will be the amazing Sabor Latino taco truck.


The movie is only 18 minutes long, so we’ll show it a couple times throughout the evening (between 6 and 9pm).

In case you hadn’t heard the buzz, here is the back story:

Two law students in an Entertainment Law class were told: Do any project you want.  They decided that because they had never made a movie, held a video camera, conducted an interview, or operated editing equipment, they would go ahead and make a documentary.  They also had a budget of $0 (which they went only slightly over).  With a lot of help and a lot of love for tacos, they managed to pull it off, and by the date it was due, even.  Sound impossible?  Come see for yourself!

(In the meantime, don’t expect to hear much from us before then because it’s finals time.  But come May 1 we will emerge as beautiful butterflies who are no longer in law school!)

Published in: on April 22, 2009 at 10:32 am  Comments (3)  

Full Frame Recommendations

We’re spending a lot of the weekend downtown watching a ridiculous amount of movies at Full Frame.  Though there are a couple of food options at the event itself (mainly a cafe at the Armory catered by Saladelia), if you have time between movies here are some places we’d recommend checking out.

These are within walking distance of the event:

Blue Mountain Catering (317 W. Main St)
Lunch, weekdays only.  Get the chicken and waffles.

The Federal (914 W. Main St)
Lunch, dinner, drinks.  Order from the specials menu.

El Paraiso (111 S. Alston)
Lunch, dinner.  Tacos!
This is a bit of a longer walk, but if you have time it’s a nice walk through much of downtown.  And at the end of the walk there are delicious and affordable tacos.

Toast (345 W. Main St)
Lunch, dinner, wine & beer.
Delicious and friendly, also great just for a snack of a couple of crostini.

Fishmongers (806 W. Main St)
Lunch, dinner, drinks.  Great sides and banana pudding.

Revolution (107 W. Main St)
Sunday brunch – $30.  Also a great spot for “upscale” drinks and appetizers.

If you’re driving and looking for some places in the general area, some of our faves are New Visions of Africa (“soul food”), Green Leaf Indian, Mami Nora’s (Peruvian chicken),  Costa Azul (Honduran/Mexican), taco trucks on Hillsborough Rd. (late night), Guglhupf (lunch and especially breakfast), Hog Heaven, Thompsons (“soul food”), Wimpy’s (biscuits and burgers), and, on Saturday, ~$5 Vietnamese tofu special at Banh’s.

Published in: on April 2, 2009 at 12:52 pm  Comments (21)  

Shooting the Bull!

If you have the vague (or certain) feeling that we at Carpe Durham have no idea what we’re talking about, you might enjoy hearing us embarrass ourselves on the radio.  Tomorrow (Thursday) night, RPP and I will be on the air with Kevin Davis (of Bull City Rising) and Barry Ragin (of Dependable Erection) on their radio show Shooting the Bull.  Check it out!

Shooting the Bull is 7:30 – 8 pm Thursdays, on WXDU (88.7 fm or online at

Published in: on March 25, 2009 at 11:47 am  Comments (2)  

OnlyBurger returns Wednesday!

OnlyBurger is back!  Thank God.

This email just went out from Wine Authorities.

Psst.  It’s been a long three and a half months since the OnlyBurger truck crashed and was taken out of commission.  For its return kick-off (Wednesday 4:00 – 6:30) the OnlyBurger folks have decided to join together with Wine Authorities to once again bring you the “Burger Speakeasy”.

Come in the front door at Wine Authorities, and enter the speakeasy after knocking on their kitchen door. Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone, tell EVERYONE!

The return of OnlyBurger, Durham’s burger truck from Tom Ferguson of Durham Catering and Sam Poley formerly of Restaurant Starlu, and now with a new partner!

The OnlyBurger team is ready to go with the same tasty treats you remember and a renewed energy to bring the burgery goodness to your life, one patty at a time.  They even have that GPS they were talking about…it’ll be up and running by Wednesday night at

They’re back on twitter and also have a phone for the truck.  So keep your money local and give them a ding at (919) 724-1622…and put that number in your speed dial!!

Thank you to all of our great customers.  We are proud to be your local wine shop.

Be well and drink well,

Seth Gross & Craig Heffley
Wine Authorities

Published in: on March 23, 2009 at 9:45 pm  Comments (23)