by Brian Clarey

Not sure if it’s the impending candyocalypse that is Halloween or the success of Greensboro’s food-truck pilot program, but things are quiet on the Triad culinary front this week.

Downtown Greensboro will see the opening of its first genuine gourmet taco shop, Crafted, on Tuesday.

Natty Greene’s has released its seasonal beer, Red Nose Winter Ale. Look for it at your favorite watering hole or at the brewpub.

Geeksboro is either a coffee shop with a movie theater in it or a movie theater with a coffee shop in it. Either way, it’s in the works and will be opening in Greensboro next month.

CiCi’s Pizza has been voted the best pizza chain in America by people who don’t understand pizza, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

Burger King has added two seasonal dessert items — a gingerbread cookie sundae and a gingerbread shake — available this week.

Also from NRN, 2013 will be the Year of Toasted Bread. The trend should reach the Triad by 2015.

And the FDA reports that at least five people have died as a result of consumption of Monster Energy drink.

On Friday, Greensboro’s Highwoods Boulevard Fresh Market holds a cooking demo featuring NY strip steaks, grape tomatoes and brie at 4 p.m.

On Saturday, the Winston-Salem Fresh Market follows suit with a lesson in Malaysian chicken stir-fry at 1 p.m.

Also on Saturday, the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market holds an antique tractor and engine show beginning at 9 a.m. and running until 3 p.m. And the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market brings its show to the Greensboro Coliseum Pavilion.

Room for one more? Denny’s restaurants, looking to bank on the success of Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit movies, is creating a “Hobbit Hole Breakfast” menu that will feature Frodo’s Pot Roast Skillet, Gandalf’s Gobble Melt and Bilbo’s Berry Smoothie, among other items. Ad Age magazine reports that there will be trading cards as part of the deal, “further encouraging you to eat second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper at the restaurant until you’ve collected all the cards or gone bankrupt.”