Posts made in June, 2013

RIC Date Night of the Month – June: NoFo @ The Pig

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in Date Of The Month, Restaurant | 0 comments

Each month, RIC’s Erin Gamble will feature a cool date night venue for your courting pleasure. Tweet her with your suggestions! @erin091487

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For a night out in the city of Oaks, NoFo’s creative twist on a historically southern store gives date night a brand new meaning.

In honor of Raleigh Is Cool’s very first “Date Night of the Month” feature, I thought it was fitting to find a venue that was especially perfect for a first date. Most of us could agree that a safe pick for a first date with someone is dinner – not too fancy, but not too casual. Even more of us could agree that a first date is super scary because of one major dilemma – what if you run out of things to talk about? With both of these timeless worries in the back of my mind, I asked my own beau to join me for an evening at NoFo in Five Points to see if it met the criteria.

NoFo, an eclectically southern meets cosmopolitan store and restaurant, is nestled in the heart of the Five Points neighborhood in Raleigh. When we arrived for our date, we were able to sneak a peek at some of the charming goods before the store closed. There were so many unique gifts, we immediately pointed out that we should come by again soon for “a short and entertaining shopping experience” (Read: second date just planned itself, gentlemen!).

Everywhere around us, the atmosphere gave us instant conversation starters. imagePerfect for first date jitters. Pigs were everywhere – pictures of pigs, pig art, and Piggly Wiggly photos danced around the restaurant. It was really fun trying to guess what all the pig business was about. And what kind of name is “NoFo” anyway? Not only For oldies? Nostalgic owner Found orangutan? You get the point.

As an added bonus, our friend and manager, JJ, made an appearance to give us the inside scoop of our date night adventure. We learned that NoFo originally began in Wilmington on the corner of North and Fourth streets in 1997. The Raleigh location is called NoFo at the Pig because the restaurant is actually a restored Piggly Wiggly. This would explain all of the carefully pig-themed tributes to the great southern grocery store.NOFO’s focus is on all things made in North Carolina and the South. It promotes “Love Living Local” with a wealth of carefully chosen products to eat, drink, wear, read, listen to, use and enjoy from southern food artisans, entrepreneurs, designers, farmers, craftsmen, musicians and artists.

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Our server, Mary Clare, made our evening’s experience a breeze. For our drink order, she suggested the Oak City Sour. This idea was right up my alley, so I gave it a whirl. Drinks paired with the Hot Pimento Cheese Dip were delectable. For our meal, Sammy ordered their Blue Plate special for Thursday (Yep. Throwback style) which was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans, and I ordered the pork loin.  All of it was wonderful – really, no critiques or complaints. Everything was the perfect combination of savory and refreshing. Yet another talking point!

Total cost of the meal was right around $50. Very reasonable for the traditional first date drinks, app, and main course. 

Sammy and I agree that although we were only pretending to be on a first date, NoFo was built for a fun and relaxed environment. Great service, amazing food, and an inviting atmosphere makes NoFo the triple threat in the restaurant biz.

Quality restaurant with a unique history? Perfect first date coming right up!

Planning a date night to NoFo? Let us hear what you think! Tweet us @RaleighIsCool.

 

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CowFish Video Coverage with Erin Gamble

Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Restaurant, Video | 0 comments

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What’s cooler than a Cowfish?

Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in Business, Community, Restaurant | 0 comments

By Sarah Styron

Gwen Poth, the powerhouse promoter of Cowfish totally hooked our team up with a lunch reservation at Cowfish Raleigh. From the welcoming hostess, Amber at the door to manager, Stephen greeting us, to our super cool waiter, Josh …who we appropriately nicknamed the bus driver, because he took us to school on the menu …we were treated like royalty, like family.

Blackened Ahi Tuna Nachos

Blackened Ahi Tuna Nachos

Ryan, one of the fabulous chefs brought us a custom sushi and sashimi plate and a sampling of their other to-die-for appetizers. The blackened Ahi Tuna Nachos (with famous Crab Rangoon dip) was about the best thing I’ve ever tasted, the tuna just melted in your mouth. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted such fresh ingredients in Raleigh EVER! And I’m a TOUGH seafood critic, being raised on the coast of NC with a fisherman as a Daddy. Ryan even treated us to fresh octopus that had been flown in from the islands of Hawaii; I forgot that I WASN’T indeed sitting on the beach for a moment there.

While waiting on our meal, owner Marcus Hall took us into the Cowfish bus, which was an idea that originated from their Charlotte restaurant as a convenient shuttle. You can rent the Raleigh party-style bus out for the night to come pick you up and take you to Cowfish and then home, BRILLIANT!

Not only does Marcus know the restaurant business inside and out with the goal of making everyone’s experience absolutely one-of-a-kind, he can also dish out some pretty great tunes. Jack of all trades, right? Anyone seen the “When Jesus Comes Back” video?? That’s Marcus! Sorry Chapel Hill friends, but an owner that bleeds red and white – I’m a patron for life! Go Wolfpack!

There are also plans to turn some of the outside area into a stage, so keep an eye out for that to come sometime before September. You heard that from us first, it’s like the best of both worlds. And it seems a lot of the Cowfish crew has a love for live music!

The Thundering Herd Bison Burger

The Thundering Herd Bison Burger

Our team split some burgers and fusion specialty sushi and everything was cooked/prepared perfectly. I love that Cowfish offers something for everyone, a perfect

spot for the best burger and sushi. We topped it off with a Cowfish Classic Shake, there isn’t anything they can’t do!

It only gets better with the décor and the bathrooms – I don’t even know where to start. The bathrooms have custom “Rosetta Stone” lessons for Indonesian translated to red neck. And did you know that there really is a fish species, the cowfish? Yup, you can find them in the martini-shaped, 22,000 galloon fish tank inside the restaurant. It’s like a mini aquarium garnished with cheeseburgers and soy sauce. The Cowfish Raleigh centerpiece was featured on the Animal Planet’s reality show “Tanked” that the show’s stars designed and built. Marcus mentioned being tied up for awhile by network waivers, but now it’s a must see, photo showstopper to complete your experience!

The centerpiece: aquarium filled with live cowfish

The centerpiece: aquarium filled with live cowfish

Oh and another thing that I personally enjoyed, I never opened a door. We were probably there for almost 3 hours and in and out the whole time, Cowfish staff really knows how to treat their guests. It’s the small things. I think I’m spoiled for any other restaurant in Raleigh!

Oh, and everyone wanted to know so we asked; Rick Flair lives above the Charlotte Cowfish and is a regular … that’s why there is a burgushi roll named after him, the #ricroll. We like it because Raleigh is Cool = RIC! There is not one thing we would complain about, so what are you waiting for? Burgers, sushi, bar, excellent customer service, the ultimate dining experience … see you at Cowfish Raleigh very soon!

 

Porky's Revenge

Porky’s Revenge

Fresh lump crapcakes & fried green tomatoes

Fresh lump crapcakes & fried green tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

The famous Burgushi!

The famous Burgushi!

The RIC Team in front of the Cowfish bus.

The RIC Team in front of the Cowfish bus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So Cool!

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Inside Cowfish Raleigh, complete with sushi bar

 

Fusion roll: The Neon Dion

Fusion roll: The Neon Dion

Chef's selection of fine seasonal fish.

Chef’s selection of fine seasonal fish.

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RIC Launch Party!

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in events | 0 comments

Who: YOU and a bunch of really cool people, of course!

What: An 80′s bowling competition + party! Come compete or just come and hang out.

When: June 26th from 7-10PM

Where: The Alley on Hillsborough Street

Why: To celebrate the launch of a really cool website, RaleighIsCool.com

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

1. Bowling on a team is $10/person. You will be able to warm up for an hour and the competition will start promply at 8pm. The competition will last for 2 games. After the competition, you’re welcome to join in on open bowling at no extra cost.

2. Teams are comprised of a total of 4 people. No more, no less.

3. Prizes awarded to the best 80′s dressed team, the best team name, the highest team score from the 2 games, the highest individual score, and the lowest individual score without a gutter ball.

4. Don’t want to join the competition? The Alley will have open bowling that evenining for all our guests. Just grab a “free” ticket on eventbrite so we can get a better idea of a headcount.

5. Don’t want to bowl at all? Come on out and just enjoy the party. We’ll have 80′s music pumping all night, food, drinks, and a lot of fun!

PLEASE READ VERY CAREFULLY:

1. Signing up as an individual: Please fill in your name and a team name. Each of the 4 members on your team must use the same team name for registration purposes. If you do not have a team, put “I NEED A TEAM” and we will match you with others who do not have a team.

2. Signing up as a team: Just fill out everyone’s name on the team and put your team name.

REGISTER HERE TO COME!

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The Coolest Esthetician in Raleigh!

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

By Sarah Styron

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The COOL Cat of Molly’s Wax Shop

If you want the best waxing experience in town, check out Molly’s Wax Shop, tucked away in a quaint spot above Red Dragon in Five points. Molly has worked with other spas and people for a long time, and was constantly frustrated, concerned that the best interest and needs as a busy woman were neglected. Molly wanted creative freedom and better customer service, the freedom to run the business the way she wanted to, and boy was that a great decision for Raleigh residents! If something went wrong, she could fix it … Now, Molly’s Wax Shop is celebrating their one year anniversary this month in June.

Molly’s favorite thing about her job: the relationships she gets to build. “Touching someone’s body as an esthetician takes a very particular relationship – very personal,” says Molly. As a regular, myself, since the beginning, I’ve never had a more comfortable experience anywhere else; Molly is the best at making you feel like you’re right at home. She also enjoys getting to decorate and choose her own furniture :)

Molly really enjoys working with clients and you can tell from the first second that you walk into her shop. It makes her feel

Molly Ingle, Owner/Esthetician/Skin Genius

Molly Ingle, Owner/Esthetician/Skin Genius

like she’s doing something good – turning what CAN be an awkward process into the most comfortable. Not to mention always feeling like a brand new woman! And Molly’s passion for what she does is always present.

Molly told me during our interview that one of her favorite things about Raleigh is stuff like this – what Raleigh is Cool is doing – a big sense of community. Living in Chapel Hill was more of a college crowd. She enjoys the sense of permanence, loves getting to know the town and how it’s growing, and most importantly how everyone comes together to live work play.

Molly’s shop promotes a sense of homeliness … not your average sterile spa where waxing is not the primarily focus – the focus is on YOU and your skin and I’ve never been in better hands (especially since I have the most sensitive skin in the universe)! Here you will find a specialized shop not found anywhere else and you can be comfortable. Treated like a princess with the full attention on you.

Molly rocks so much as a woman, mother, wife and business woman, that I’m not the least surprised that her way of thanking our great city for one year in business is giving back to a very worthy cause. She is giving 5% of proceeds for the month of June to InterAct of Wake County. A 10% discount off ANY service will be split between you (5%) with 5% going to InterAct, the Raleigh charity whose mission of women and children’s advocacy is close to her heart. It also promotes women’s empowerment, which is perfect for this woman in business who will tell all other women: “Keep fighting the fight!” So make sure to check it out (for all your summer needs and beyond), feel pretty and give back? – sign me up!

Handmade scrub, made in Charlotte, NC!

Handmade scrub, made in Charlotte, NC!

Butterfly mobile, yes please!

Butterfly mobile, yes please!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tons of great products!

Tons of great products!

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