by Brian Clarey

by Brian Clarey

Fire in the Triad winds down this week, with the finals on Tuesday night between Chef George C. Neal of 1618 West and Chef Michael Harkenreader of Undercurrent, both in Greensboro. It will all be over by the time this issue hits the streets, but congrats go to al the chefs and everyone else who made this even so fantastic.

But now everyone in Greensboro is talking about food trucks after this weekend’s Spring garden Food Truck Fest, which drew upwards of 2,000 people who braved long lines and crazy traffic to sample the wares of more than a dozen food trucks. Strangely enough, the city’s downtown food truck pilot program has attracted just four applicants with a Thursday deadline looming. Looks like a serious disconnect from where I’m sitting.

But if you like new stuff, there’s a lot of good news for you in the Gate City this week.

A new Chipotle is opening in Greensboro in Tate Street in the spring. A new Penn Station East Coast Subs is coming to Wendover Avenue this week. Mizumi Hibachi and Sushi is now open on State Street. And Bloody Mary’s Oyster Bar is taking over the Elm Street spot that once housed Zen Sushi Bar.

More new: Natty Greene’s introduces its limited-edition American Sour Ale, available at Bestway in Greensboro, City Beverage in Winston-Salem and Brewer’s Kettle in High Point — and, naturally at Natty’s in downtown Greensboro. And Krankies in Winston-Salem has a new coffee: Guatemala la Providencia is “sweet and chocolatey with touches of cherry and peach,” according to the website.

On Thursday, the Highwoods Boulevard Fresh Market holds a Wine Gala at 5 p.m.

Friday sees the beginning of the Chocolate Extravaganza at the Proximity Hotel, with a wine dinner Friday night and a chocolate and Champagne brunch cooking class on Saturday morning. Book it at

Also on Saturday, Whole Foods in Greensboro is auctioning off a Fat Tire bike at 4 p.m., while the Whole Foods in Winston- Salem holds a beer tasting at 4:45 p.m.

And all weekend long, every Fresh Market grocery store is holding as Taste of the Fresh Market from 1-6 p.m.