Tag Archives: holly springs

Holly Springs Art Festival

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hollyspringstownlogoThe Holly Springs Arts Council celebrated the arts with the 3rd Annual Holly Springs Community Arts Festival February 4-7 held at the Holly Springs Cultural Center. This year’s celebration was center around the theme of “Winter Blues.” During the celebration the Arts Council had planned multiple activities including classes, live auction, Art Vendor show and a gala fundraising evening with a silent auction and featuring a performance from Scott Ainslie, a delta blues musician. The funds raised will support the Holly Springs Arts Council and its efforts to promote the arts in the community.

The Arts Council had planned several activities for Saturday: An Art Vendor Show, Art exhibit, and food trucks. Traveler and Belle decided this would be a nice way to spend the morning, maybe do a little shopping at the Vendor show and then enjoy fare from a food truck we had wanted to try. The Art Vendor Show featured local artists and crafters. There were clay sculptures, photography, quilts, hand dyed silks, handmade jewelry and soaps among the items on display and for sale. After strolling through the vendor show and enjoying the art on exhibit, we headed out to the food trucks.

We found that the lines had already begun to form for the three food trucks in attendance: Dusty Donuts, Olio and Aceto and Kocina. Dusty Donuts has Hot and Fresh Mini Donuts ‘dusted’ with cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or chocolate sugar. Olio and Aceto was offering several sandwiches including the Southern BLT with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese. They also had Cinnamon Sugar Zeppole, a deep-fried Italian pastry filled with custard. Kocina food truck features authentic homemade Latin and Spanish cuisine from empanadas to paella. In the past The Friends have enjoyed the fare from both Dusty Donuts and Olio and Aceto and recommend putting them on your list of food trucks to try. Since Kocina was on The Friends list to try, The Traveler headed Kocina’s way to make the selections for lunch we would take back so Bad Boy could also enjoy the experience. Belle also got Zeppole from Olio and Aceto for a sweet finish to our lunch.


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Belle and I love and support the endeavors of local artists. An Artist, artisan, artiste are persons having superior skill or ability, or who are capable of producing superior work. Based on this definition a food truck chef is an artist and this definitely describes JP Murcia of the Kocina Food truck who serving patrons at the Art Show in Holly Springs. JP was born in Columbia, South America. He lived in NYC for many years working as a Chef for NYU and other facilities in the New York area before coming to the Triangle to work for the Duke Hospital system. He worked there for seven years before becoming the Chef for IBM. He now is the owner/Chef for the Kocina Food truck.

Triangle Street Eats has wanted to sample the offerings of the Kocina Food truck for nearly a year and we were not disappointed. We selected Beef Empanadas, which are a popular snack in Colombia; basically a fried meat pie. The Kocina Empanada is a tasty treat. The meat is well seasoned – not spicy, and the crust is tender and easy to eat. We would come back for more!

The Arepa, is a delicious grilled cornmeal patties filled with sweet or savory ingredients. The Kocina arepa is filled with Ropa Vieja. Ropa Vieja literally means “old clothes” in Spanish. The name describes the shreds of meat and vegetables, which resemble colorful strips of rags. We found the flavor and texture to be excellent. It was one of the best I have tasted and definitely recommend it!

The Choripan was chorizo sausage link split and served on crusty bread. Chorizo is a variety of heavily seasoned sausage, either cured or fresh, that is common in Spanish and Mexican cuisine. It had the consistency and taste of a Kielbasa sauce, non-spicy.

The final selection was the Parmesan Roasted Corn on a stick. The corn, while hot had a great flavor, which was enhanced by the slight char and the subtle cheese.

We enjoyed the offerings of the Kocina Food Truck and will return. We want to make sure we try the Paella and see Chef JP’s spin on it. Thumbs Up to the Kocina Food Truck and we recommend following them so you can sample their food.

mary_smTill next time – The Traveler

Holly Springs Chili Cook Off

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mary_smI was excited about attending the Holly Springs Chili Cook Off on Saturday October 11, 2014. Cooking chili brings back pleasant memories of my mom having a large pot of chili ready for us when we came home from school on a cold winter day or my father having his infamous hot chili simmering the stove when I got home from work. I can still taste it: the heat that gently burned you lips and spicy taste bursting in your mouth. My expectations were high..

I sampled the various chili at the cook off. I quickly discovered there is a regional difference in the preparation of chili. The chili in the Carolinas are made with kidney beans, some with chicken, some with ground beef, some with chunks of beef and one even containing black-eyed peas. The overall flavor is mild with very little heat. Most offered some type of hot sauce to increase the spice level, but it is not the same as preparing it hot.

The winners were announced: Primrose School at Holly Grove & West Lake for the professionals…and Jabba-Q takes home BOTH the people’s choice award and the Judges #1 choice. Congratulations to the winners!

This was the last weekend for the Farmer’s Market at Holly Springs for the season and the day was sunny and nice. There was plenty of available farm produce, pumpkins for Halloween, along with various locally produced baked goods, sauces and soaps. There was live music played by Shelby Merchant, who was selling copies of his cds. I purchased a copy of Love Notes and loved it

It was a perfect day to end the season and I look forward to attending the Holly Springs Farmer’s Market next year – The Traveler.

Beericana at Holly Springs – 2014

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Beericana, a craft beer, food and music celebration was held on September 27th on the grounds of Sugg Farm Park in Holly Springs. Belle and I attended to report on the event, which was well organized, and well attended. The weather for the event couldn’t have been better – cool and dry – a perfect autumn day.

We arrived 30 minutes before general admission ticket holders were permitted to enter, but it seemed VIP ticket holders had taken advantage of a good head start. Laid out in a triangular formation with venders towards the edges, attendees had the middle portion to set up lawn chairs and base camps of friends and acquaintances. Surrounded by over 100 beer taps, provided by nearly 50 craft breweries, not to mention a wide assortment of food trucks, a full-on assault for a good time was anticipated. When we entered the gate we received a Beericanna sampling glass, and the cost of admission included unlimited sampling from all the brew venders.

Belle was the designated driver, which left me to set out to sample some of the finely crafted brews exhibited. It was up to me to take-one-for-team-TSE. Something that caught my attention was the fact that several of the exhibitors had crafted a beer bearing the style, Märzen, which is common for Oktoberfest. It is dark, rich and satisfying. Since I am not a fan of the more common IPAs, I found this style more to my liking, and sampled several from, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company and Draft Line Brewing Company. I also sampled an excellent German Pilsner they called ‘Polished Pilsner’ from Bombshell Brewing, who calls Holly Spring’s home.

s_belle_smWhile Bad Boy was graciously “taking one for the team”, I decided to do a little people watching and talking with others. We had set up our chairs near a tumble tower (oversized version of Jenga) and cornhole boards. These games were provided by 13 Degree Games for the attendees to enjoy. I watched several people try their hand at the tumble tower as their friends gave guidance and encouragement. Most ended up restacking the blocks after the tumble! While I was watching the happenings at the tumble tower, a new friend and I got to talk about Nascar, “The Chase”, and our favorite drivers.

One of the interesting things I noticed was many of the participants were wearing pretzel necklaces and I just had to know all about these necklaces. So I asked one of the ladies who had one of the more interesting necklaces. Kori explained the necklaces were worn at beer festivals so you would have a pretzel to eat between tastings to cleanse your palate. I am already looking forward to designing my pretzel necklace for next year’s Beericana (I just know it’s going to become an annual event). There was also a man wearing a very tall bright yellow and green hat that caught my eye. I asked if he would tell me about the hat and he explained he had been wearing it to beer festivals for the last ten year and it had just become a tradition for him. If that hat could talk, can you image the tales it could tell!


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After sampling finely crafted beer, Belle and I turned our attention to sampling some food. Of the food trucks attending, the only one we hadn’t sampled previously was Kokyu. Their specialty is sliders, a popular food group among beer drinkers – am I right! I choose two selections; one from their regular menu, Carolina Carnitas Sliders, and another from their event specials, Reuben’s Cuban.

The Carolina Carnitas has a vinegary pork, with avocado, cilantro and sesame. The combined savory/spicy, along with the creamy avocado, created an unexpected, yet delightful flavor. The Ruben’s Cuban had rosemary grilled pork, cheddar, and quick pickles. The thin-sliced pickles provided a taste was as good as the presentation, and a good balance to the beer I had been sampling earlier.

Bluegrass Music was also provided for everyone’s enjoyment. While we were there, the duo of Lynda Dawson & Pattie Hopkins were on stage with their acoustical instruments and haunting ballads about North Carolina.

Belle insisted we need to take “a little something home” to enjoy later. So our last stop before leaving was at the Not Just Icing for a six pack of cupcakes.

Park-it in the Market Food Truck Rodeo at Holly Springs

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Food truck rodeo events are springing up everywhere, every weekend. It is amazing how this concept has become such a phenomenon throughout the Triangle area. What seems to be just as amazing is the diversity of food that can be found at each one. Belle as usual discovered the food truck rodeo, Park-It in the Market Food Truck Rodeo, to be held at the Holly Springs Farmer’s Market. What was unique about this one was that it combined a food trucks with their Saturday Morning Farmer’s Market. The market was filled with venders selling homegrown fruits, vegetables, flowers, mushrooms, soaps, food and more for visitors. It is also interesting to note that this will be an annual event, yet another first!

At first, it seemed that the attendance was hampered by a light drizzled that lingered in the morning. As the weather improved, a crowd started to form. Since the rodeo started at 9 am, we headed straight to the food trucks to check out our choices for breakfast. Belle and the Bad Boy got in line for waffles. Having waiting for some for the opportunity to sample the waffles prepared by Belgian Waffology, the Belle and Bad Boy ordered the sweet strawberry waffles. This food truck has one of the best following in the Triangle, and it is no wonder. Golden, crispy and delicate, they provide a delectable medium for strawberries and whipped cream. The Traveler on the other hand wanted something more savory. At Big Mike’s BBQ, she found Big Mike grilling a homemade sausage for himself and asked him to fix one for her too.

While dining, Belle, The Traveler and Bad Boy shared a table with Tamara Ward, the Communications Specialist for the Town of Holly Springs, and one of her young sons. They were enjoying the ‘choco waffle,’ another one of Belgin Waffology’s specialties that infuses chocolate right into the waffle itself. We took a minute to share our thoughts on our choices. Like Belle and Bad Boy, Tamara and her son enjoyed the hearty sweetness of their waffle choices. The Traveler shared that the sausage was seasoned well, with the right amount of heat and she was enjoying her breakfast sausage biscuit. The friends also used this time to finalize plans for the rest of the day. The Traveler headed off for an appointment and would be joining Belle and Bad Boy later for lunch. We collectively had planned on enjoying breakfast, then get a modest sampling from Halal Bros, a Pakistani inspired food truck to have for lunch and to use in our next review, coming out later in the week.


 

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Belle and Bad Boy decided to take time to stroll through the market before placing orders for lunch. They took home handmade soaps, award winning baklava and cinnamon buns to have with Sunday morning coffee. After making these purchases, Belle and Bad Boy headed over to put in the orders for The Friends’ lunch at Halal Bros and Valentino’s for pale ale poppers as appetizers. These poppers definitely lived up to their reputation of being hot and flavorful.

The morning was a great way to spend a Saturday morning in a quaint town talking with people and appreciating small town life.

The Traveler, Belle and Bad Boy.