Monday, December 1, 2014

Tupelo Honey Cafe now in Raleigh! Grand Opening Today!

Today is the day Raleigh! Tupelo Honey Cafe opens their Raleigh location at 425 Oberlin Road across from Cameron Village starting at 4pm! 

By now most local NC people are very familiar with Tupelo Honey Cafe and their famous flavorful scratch-made Southern food and drink, especially those biscuits! What's unique to their Raleigh premiere is their partnership with Stone Brewing Company and they will be opening tonight with 22 of Stone's beers on draft including some unique and rare beers. Once those run out, they will feature local craft beers on draft but still feature some Stone Brewing regulars. Raleigh signature cocktails will feature TOPO Distillery of Chapel Hill, Cardinal Gin of Southern Artisan Spirits from Kings Mountain and Muddy River Rum from Belmont.

Tupelo Raleigh will have limited hours for the first two weeks.  Monday - Saturday 12/1-12/6 and 12/8-12/13 4pm - 11pm.  Sunday, 12/7 4pm - 9pm.  Sunday 12/14 9am - 2pm and 5pm - 9pm.

We appreciated being invited this weekend to their Family & Friends premiere and we were able to sample some of their delicious appetizers, entrees and dessert from their BRUNCH menu. Everything tasted amazing and we even got to take a couple biscuits home to the kids!

It's very exciting for Raleigh to have Tupelo Honey Cafe join our community and we hope people will get out and enjoy their amazing offerings. Welcome to Raleigh!! 

Craft Cocktails with Executive Chef Brian Sonoskus

The bar, known as The Pickled Okra with Stone Brewing and local beers on tap

Trying out the Tupelo Honey Rye ale by Saw Works Brewing Co.
Getting a sneak peek at the list of Stone Brewing Company's 22 beers on draft tonight!
The famous honeycomb artwork at the Cafe's entrance.
Busy kitchen!

Signature cocktails

Honey Chipotle Wings with Ranch

Biscuits and Jam
New Carolina Mountain Trout with Marinated Baby Heirloom Tomatoes

Smoked Jalapeno Fried Egg BLT with Goat Cheese Grits!
Brown Butter Pecan Pie for dessert! YUM.

Outdoor seating
Take home Tupelo Honey Cafe products

Some biscuits for the kids! Thank you Tupelo Honey!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Girl's Night Out - A list of Favorites!

Believe it or not, it's HOLIDAY time! Time to start shopping!

When making your plans with girlfriends to shop local be sure to plan some quality time together nearby to eat and drink local at some of the amazing restaurants nearby for dinner, drinks, or both!

Within walking distance to many retail small businesses, markets and shopping events,  downtown Raleigh offers a vast array of many different kinds of food from Southern Cuisine to Laotian, Mexican, Asian, Lebanese, Italian and much more!

H I T  L I S T

Beasley's Chicken & Honey
Chuck's Burgers
Oro Restaurant & Lounge
Buku Global Street Food
Oak City Meatball Shoppe
Cala Vela Empanada & Tequila Bar
Busy Bee Cafe
Sitti Authentic Lebanese
Gravy Italian-American Kitchen
Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant & Bar
Centro Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar
Gallo Pelon
Jimmy V's Osteria + Bar
Sono Japanese Sushi Restaurant & Bar
Zinda New Asian Cuisine
Mo's Diner

Joule Coffee
Morning Times

BEER & COCKTAIL DRINKS (and late night!)
The Raleigh Times Bar
Fox Liquor Bar
The Hive
Neptune's Parlor


Thursday, November 6, 2014


Last weekend was spent exploring more of Nashville's amazing food and drink offerings. This was my second time in Nashville so I had some new places I wanted to check out as well as revisiting a couple favorites.

Arriving Saturday afternoon, we headed to one of Nashville's outstanding Breweries, Tennessee Brew Works. Great indoor and outdoor space. Some tasty brews too. It was the perfect way to enjoy a Tennessee sunset on the upstairs patio. Try the Basil Ryeman, a Farmhouse Ale. Tasty and appropriately chosen since we were in town to see a show at the Ryman Auditorium!

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

Photo opps and shopping in several of the local neighborhoods.

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A return to one of my very favorite places in East Nashville is the famous Barista Parlor. Coffee and bacon egg cheese biscuit perfection. This place is a MUST if you are in Nashville.

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

While in Nashville, you have to spend a little time on the famous Broadway in downtown Nashville.  It's the honky tonk strip. Live music from every venue and all the country music you could ever want. And of course cowboy boots! We were in town to see Jason Isbell at the Ryman Auditorium.

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

We were thrilled to have dinner Sunday night at the famous Husk restaurant featuring Chef Sean Brock. Located not too far from the historic Broadway, the heart of Downtown Nashville, this restaurant redefines Southern cuisine. Heirloom ingredients grown locally (they have their own garden!), an open collaborative kitchen and a stunning location, Husk is definitely a must for a truly amazing dining experience.

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

Pinewood Social is another must visit while in Nashville. This place is everything from relaxed working coffee shop to dining with friends, to cocktail bar happy hour, it also includes a vintage bowling alley, patio and pool! The relaxed and hip style of this place is somewhere you will want to be!

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A quick stop at the famous Gruhn Guitar store! Stunning inventory relocated to 8th Avenue.

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

Another music stop at Third Man Records, Jack White's record label. Eclectic record shop and studio. Almost all of the records are recorded, printed and pressed in Nashville, TN and produced by Jack White.

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

Most importantly, when taking a trip to Nashville, bring along some good company! Always more fun to share these amazing experiences with truly great friends. Photo taken at Pub 5 in downtown Nashville.

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

Monday, November 3, 2014

RDUBATON: Instameet! Celebrating 2 Years of the RDUBaton at the NCMA

Saturday may have been cold, gray and gloomy, but for several of us, it was a great afternoon spent at the NC Museum of Art celebrating two years of the RDUBaton! We met up with the @rdubaton team to celebrate their project's second birthday with the first-ever #rdubatoninstameet. Saturday combined two of my favorite things...visiting the NC Museum of Art and meeting local people that share the same passion about community and social media. NCMA has to be one of my top places in the Raleigh area to visit. I love hanging out here and exploring, inside the buildings, the galleries, the many quiet gardens or walking the NCMA Park. Sunny or rainy, this place has many things to see and do and I always find something new every time I go. The other favorite thing is using Instagram to share as I explore Raleigh and meeting other folks from the community who share the same passion. The RDUBaton is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about the Triangle and the many great places there are to visit. I love seeing each person's personality reflected each time someone takes the Baton around for the day to their favorite local spots.

RDUBaton is a collaborative photo project to highlight life around Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary using Instagram. RDUBaton was founded by Brittany Iery (@brittanyiery) and Susannah Brinkley (@slbrinkley) in 2012 out of their shared love for the culture in the Triangle region. They were inspired by the NYC Baton, who allowed them to start their version of the Baton here in the Triangle. Recently they stepped down to pursue other projects. Two new co-captains currently lead the Baton, Laney Tipton (@lgtipton12) and Toni Chester(@tonicat).

Go to to find out more about how to sign up if you are interested in holding the baton for a day!

I've shared below a few of my Instagram shots from the meetup on Saturday, but check out the hashtag #rdubatoninstameet to see many of the fabulous shots captured on Saturday from other talented local folks!

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A photo posted by chana lynn (@raleighwhatsup) on

A photo posted by RDU Baton (@rdubaton) on

Thursday, October 9, 2014

New Toast Bar at Sola Coffee Cafe

Sola Coffee Cafe is now offering a brand new TOAST BAR in addition to their current menu offerings. Inspired by current trends from San Francisco and other West coast coffee shops and restaurants, the artisanal toast is a delicious and fresh compliment to your favorite hot or cold beverage.

Whether you lean towards a sweet treat like donuts or cupcakes or prefer a fresh baked biscuit or muffin, toast lends itself nicely to unique, creative and satisfying new options for pairing with coffee or tea. Try a sweet or savory (or spicy!) toast to compliment your breakfast, or late afternoon coffee.

Sola is exploring creative options, offering about five different varieties of toast from their new Toast Bar menu.  Challah bread with peanut butter or nutella,bananas, and cinnamon honey is one tasty option for a sweet tooth, or a fresh baguette with melted gruyere, green apple, and maple sriracha giving it a nice little kick for another. Other cheeses, spreads and seasonal produce combined with savory drizzles make for a delicious and healthy start to the day or afternoon pick me up.

goat cheese, green apple,cinnamon honey on Dakota bread
Tuesday night Sola invited several local foodies to come in and sample the new menu. We offered suggestions and our thoughts on flavorful topping options while enjoying new ingredient combinations and seasonal flavors. Personally I loved the goat cheese paired with apple and cinnamon honey on Dakota bread. Another personal favorite was Sola's own granola mix (which they sell!) on a grainy toast with almond butter and cinnamon honey (the perfect post-workout breakfast with coffee!).

Challah with peanut butter OR nutella, bananas, cinnamon honey
Personally I think the opportunity for ideas are endless and using local breads and toppings allow for creativity, while keeping the menu fresh and simple. After all, it's really about the BEST ingredients which Sola has always subscribed to for all their drink and food offerings.

The new Toast menu at Sola changes seasonally & weekly and is available before 11am and after 1:30 each day. Prices range from $2.40-$3.95.

Stop in soon, try something new and ask for TOAST.!

Mixing it up with gruyere, green apple, baguette and toppings.

Granola and Grain

Local foodies tasting new flavors.

John talks a little about keeping it fresh and local.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Beericana Rocks Holly Springs!

This past weekend we attended the newest Craft Beer & Music Festival in the area, Beericana. This first ever Holly Springs event was a little different than most beer tasting events we've attended in the past which have generally been hosted in downtown locations in both Raleigh and Durham. Beericana was held in Holly Springs at Sugg Farm Park. We google-mapped it and headed out to the event in a part of the Triangle we've never explored. Coming from North Raleigh, we took the new section of 540 which was easy and traffic-free.

Upon arriving, we were greeted with friendly volunteers everywhere with organized parking and easy access into the venue. The relatively new park provided a beautiful grassy park setting and partnered with some fabulous NC weather,  conditions were set for a great day of beer tasting!

The tents were set up for easy access and lines were at a minimum. VIP tickets allowed for guests to taste for over an hour before the general public arrived.  There was a great mix of local NC breweries as well as some well known national breweries. There was also a chance to sample and meet some of the newest breweries in the state, still in the development stages with their beers/breweries.

 Free water was everywhere, volunteers were easy to recognize and in abundance, and it was easy to access several food trucks for some great food options. Live music was provided on a stage and added to the comfortable and relaxing atmosphere of the whole event. The park was really a great location and we enjoyed talking and tasting with other beer folks.

Not only was the event a hit, but two non-profits benefited from the event, Meg's Smile Foundation and the NC Brewers' Guild.

Well done 919Beer! We hope the event will be back again next year! We appreciate how well  organized the event was and the ability to get to know some local breweries on a more personal and relaxed level.

Below are a few pictures we took from the event. Several photos are courtesy of Matt Lynn, "Brewtographer Extrordinaire"! Follow him on Instagram for more fabulous beer photos @matagonia.brew.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Raleigh Coffee Break! #NationalCoffeeDay

It happens to be #NATIONALCOFFEEDAY and since I love spending time with friends, family and clients in many of Raleigh's cozy and fabulous coffee venues, I pulled together a few random moments from the past year. Enjoy!

Sola Coffee Cafe

Morning Times

Slingshot Coffee

Sola Coffee Cafe

Morning Times

Jubala Village Coffee

Saxbys Coffee in North Hills

Jubala Village Coffee

Coquette Brasserie

Joule Coffee

Joe Van Gogh

Sola Coffee Cafe


Yellow Dog Bread Company

CAM - Creative Mornings RDU/Counter Culture Coffee

New World Cafe

Cup a Joe

Sola Coffee Cafe

Slingshot Iced Coffee

Jubala Village Coffee

Sola Coffee Cafe

Sola Coffee Cafe

BREW - Downtown Raleigh

Friday, September 19, 2014

RALEIGHWHATSUP: 3 Year Anniversary Today!

Today marks officially three  years since I sat down and posted my very first post to RaleighWhatsUp. What I find ironic is that my first post featured a concert at Red Hat Amphitheater with the band Better then Ezra. It was short and sweet but the start to something I was still trying to figure out, yet was compelled to do.

Last night we went to see Lorde at Red Hat Amphitheater. We took our teen daughters who were SO excited and happier then ever to get a chance to see one of their favorite musical artists.  Words can't express what seeing her and hearing her meant to the girls and watching them have a moment that they will remember forever is pretty darn magical (despite my guilt of having them out late on a school night!)

Raleigh has been host to SO MANY AMAZING musical performances lately it's a little unreal. Practically every week I see friends and local folks enjoying some of the coolest bands on the planet right now right here in Raleigh. We try to get to as many as we can.  I think the Red Hat venue is stunning and I like that it's not overwhelmingly large and I feel good bringing the girls there as well. The setting always seems to be admired by the musicians on the stage with their view being the city skyline and the shimmer wall.

I feel passionate about Raleigh and all the cool things that are continuing to happen to this city. I am so grateful to all the other local blogger folks that keep you updated, sharing their passion for Raleigh and the area as well. They have become great friends.

I hope to continue to provide you with more information on local events and how to support your local small businesses. I will continue to help small businesses. Whether it's a local brewery, coffee shop, boutique, restaurant or event, I feel strongly about getting people educated on how fantastic it is to shop/drink/eat local...putting your money back into our community and what it means to support these small business owners. They put their heart and souls into their businesses and not only do they want to share with you their offerings, but they also want to get to know YOU. I will say from personal experience it can make the difference in a day to be greeted when you walk into a local shop, like running into a good friend. I think that's part of why I still feel so strong about it even now, three years later.

Get out this weekend and enjoy what Raleigh has to offer! And thanks for continuing to support my efforts!