Mini crab cakes, panko-crusted spheres riddled with sweet jumbo lump crabmeat,
reaffirm the reputation for seafood that Academy Street Bistro's new chef and owner Tom Havrish earned at Lugano.

Academy Street Bistro

Academy Street Bistro’s new owner and chef, Tom Havrish, is making big changes to the menu, which he sees as an opportunity to spread his culinary wings. By Greg Cox Published by 5/4/2017. CARY When Academy Street Bistro reopened last November after a two-week closure, even regular customers might reasonably have assumed that the owner…

The “boiled series fish” is a sort of hot pot that’s considerably more palatable than its English name suggests at Szechuan Taste in Cary.

Szechuan Taste

The restaurant, open since last August in Cary’s Wellington Park shopping center, is an inviting spot with a contemporary Asian decor. You will encounter a veritable glossary of enigmatic names for dishes. By Greg Cox Review originally published 3/12/2017 If you’re a frequent patron of authentic Chinese restaurants, you’ve no doubt come across dishes whose…

The Samosas are hand-rolled pastry stuffed with potato and peas at Biryani Maxx in Cary.

Biryani Maxx

Biryani Maxx By Greg Cox Originally published March 2, 2017. The details: 590-102 E. Chatham St., Cary, 919-377-0346, biryanimaxx.com Nestled among a cluster of unassuming strip malls near the intersection of East Chatham Street and Maynard Road, Biryani Maxx is one of nearly three dozen restaurants whose globe-spanning diversity are earning the area the nickname…

Spring for the $9.25 taco platter at Esmeralda Grill, which gets you three tacos of your choice (mix and match if you like) with refried black beans (something of a signature side there), rice, and grilled onions.

Esmeralda Grill

Esmeralda Grill on East Chatham Street in Cary serves many of the items found on its food truck, such as tacos and burritos, plus other street food-inspired dishes. By Greg Cox Review originally published 2/9/2017 CARY  Late last summer, a sign appeared above the entrance to the strip mall storefront that had over the years…

The BBQ Shrimp is made up of Pamlico Sound shrimp, Durham hot sauce and garlic bread at The Durham Restaurant Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017.

2017 Best in the Triangle and Restaurant of the Year

The best restaurants in the Triangle for 2017 By Greg Cox Originally published 1/25/2017 Every year, as I look back over the previous 12 months of restaurant comings and goings in the process of putting together my annual Best Restaurants list, one or two noteworthy trends invariably stand out. These naturally have varied from year…

The Q Quesadilla is an authentic quesadilla corn masa turnover filled with mushrooms, onions and queso fresco that is a great gluten-free and vegetarian alternative served on Qspresso Food Truck.

Food truck: Qspresso

If you’ve seen ‘Chef,’ you’ll want to try Qspresso By Greg Cox Originally published 1/19/17 It’s just a guess, but I’d say most foodies in America have probably seen “Chef,” the Jon Favreau movie about a chef who started a food truck. Among people who work in the food industry, the percentage may well top…

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8 best Triangle “meals in a bowl”

In search of noodle soups and meal-in-a-bowl adventures     Captain Poncho’s Tacos 706 Market St., Chapel Hill 919-697-2237 captainponchos.com Rib-sticking rendition of posole, a spicy Mexican pork and hominy soup.   El Chapin 4600-38 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham 919-908-7975 el-chapin.com Caldo de res, a hearty Guatemalan beef soup chockablock with fresh vegetables.   El…

Roasted oysters, preserved lemon and chili butter from the menu at Death & Taxes in downtown Raleigh.

2016 Best in the Triangle and Restaurant of the Year

The best restaurants in the Triangle for 2016 All three of the Triangle’s James Beard Best Chef winners embarked on new ventures in 2015. Ashley Christensen has the Restaurant of the Year with her casual and cosmopolitan Death & Taxes. Other noteworthy new restaurants came from Scott Howell in Durham and Scott Crawford in Raleigh. By Greg…

The Sweet Soy Glazed Pork Belly and Chinese Spinach Bun from the Chirba Chirba Dumpling food truck.

Food Truck: Chirba Chirba

Chirba Chirba will make you want to ‘Eat! Eat!’ By Greg Cox Review originally ran 11/10/2016 Chirba Chirba has gone through some pretty major changes since the jaunty yellow food truck with the Buddha-like laughing Chinese dumpling logo first hit the road five years ago. The original four owners, who had become friends while at…