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City to Install Speed Bumps on Saint Mary’s Street

speedbump Following the new trend of shunning thru-traffic, neighbors of Raleigh’s Saint Mary’s Street/Lassiter Mill Road have petitioned the City of Raleigh requesting installation of speed mitigation items. Naturally the city’s transportation engineers have elected speed bumps for the 4-mile residential street.

The street, which has carried a 35 mph speed limit since the automobile was invented, will now carry a 25 mph speed limit and will feature speed bumps placed every 300 feet along the entire 4 miles of road. As per city regulations, the speed bumps will carry signage indicating safe travel at 20 mph, however will be constructed to pop tires, ruin alignments, and scrape bottoms of cars in an effort to surprise drivers if they dare cross going faster than 15 mph.

Drivers of Raleigh’s CAT bus Route 8 have requested transfers to Durham’s bus service, citing they’d rather be around a bunch of gun-toting pre-criminals in East Durham than deal with Raleigh’s ridiculous speed bump initiative. Because they will need to wait an extra 5 minutes in emergencies, residents along the route have been advised by the Raleigh police and fire departments to by automatic electronic defibrillators for their own use.

An anonymous transportation planner said about the project,”Our goal is to remove traffic from all neighborhoods and put it on overloaded arteries. That’s what Atlanta did, and it worked really well for them. Our next target will be putting 20mph speed bumps on Glenwood and Wade Avenues, too, as they contain large residential stretches.



Big Green Egg Event Coming to Wake Forest

2014-03-27 18.37.50 Want to cook like these people in your own back yard? You can!

Komado cooking dates back over 3000 years ago in China. The egg-shaped ceramic cookers cook meats evenly without drying out the meat. Because of their design, temperatures in these cookers can be controlled quite well, allowing for low-and-slow cooking.

Tomorrow the Town and Country store in Wake Forest will be hosting a Big Green Egg demo. The event will feature free samples including pizza, stuffed mushrooms, cookies, shrimp poppers, and smoked pork butt. Expoerts will be on hand to answer questions about the different products available, and will offer a 10% discount on eggs.

The event runs from 10am-3pm.

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Cirque du Soleil Bringing “Michael Jackson The Immortal” to PNC Arena

immortal On Tuesday and Wednesday the latest Cirque du Soleil production, “Michael Jackson The IMMORTAL”, comes to PNC Arena. The production is a rock concert format, and combines the legendary Cirque du Soleil theatrics with and a big dose of dance. If the production is as good as last year’s mind-blowing Quidam, Raleigh is in for a treat.

Tickets are available thru Ticketmaster, with special pricing for groups of 12 or more. The arena club restaurant will be open each night serving a buffet.

Caution: Loud audio introduction


Finding That Great NCAA Tournament Pregame Meal

4de6440e4540c5448758a65102e802cd Visiting Raleigh for NCAA Tournament action on Sunday and looking for good food? You came to the right place. While some of Raleigh’s best options for tournament-centric eats are not open, there are still a ton of great locally-owned places.

The PNC Arena is in West Raleigh, however all of these places are within 15 minutes of the arena traffic plume. (more on that at the bottom. Depending on your route in, some places are better choices than others if timing is tight)



  • Chuck’s – Gourmet burgers by Ashley Christensen, finalist for James Beard Awards’ 2014 Best Chef in the Southeast – DT
  • Torii Noodle Bar – Great little Japanese noodle/sushi place. One of the best bargains in Raleigh. (WR, at the Crabtree Mall entrance)
  • BurgerFi – small national chain with burgers that are a step above Five Guys – (off 40 near arena and NR)


  • Raleigh Times Bar – Gritty beer bar (family friendly, though) with fantastic food. Started the downtown renaissance, and always mentioned in any short blurb bits about Raleigh in magazines – DT
  • Buku – Fantastic urban street food place, in a contemporary, NYC feeling atmosphere – DT
  • Busy Bee – Good beer hall place with sneaky-good food.
  • Sitti – Lebanese.
  • The Pit – NC BBQ place that is always written up in magazines, on DD&D
  • Humble Pie – (Brunch only on Sundays) Great tapas place – DT
  • Poole’s Diner (opens at 5:30) – Ashley Christensen’s flagship – DT
  • Gonza Tacos – (opens at 5) Best Mexican restaurant in NC. – NR
  • Mez – Southwestern in RTP – Near 40/540


  • An – One of the best Asian restaurants in NC (off 40 near arena).
  • Heron’s – (Brunch only) One of the finest restaurants in one of the finest hotels in the country (off 40 near arena).  – (off 40 near arena)

DT = Downtown
NR = North Raleigh
WR = West Raleigh
("Off 40" – these locations are found on the way to the arena from Charlottesville).

Parking Recommendations

Parking for the main lots at the arena will have traffic spilling out to Edwards Mill Road and Wade Ave/I-40 East (between the airport and the arena) causing significant delays. My recommendation is to skirt these areas and see what you can do to get to the intersection of Hillsborough St. and Youth Center Drive in Raleigh. YCD ends at the NCSU football stadium entrance, where there is ample parking with better traffic flow than the main lots. In a sense, you are approaching the complex from the South instead of from the Northwest. map it

PNC Arena Parking Fee: $20

Game Times: Tennessee-Mercer, 6:10 , Virginia/Memphis, ~8:40


Anatomy of a Meltdown (or…why my stomach is in knots today)

Last night we saw NC State display one of the biggest collapses in NCAA Tournament history. With a second-half lead of 16 points with 8:13 remaining, the Pack was in the driver’s seat. Over the next 3 minutes, though, St. Louis didn’t go away, instead trimming the lead to 10 by 5:00 remaining. From that point on, St. Louis applied the Jimmy V strategy of fouling and full court pressure, and the Pack didn’t respond well, making only 9 of 21 free throws from that point forward.

Everyone was to blame for the collapse. The players who made the best plays made some of the dumbest plays, too. However there were three main factors that explain this collapse:

  • Fatigue – The Wolfpack played 3 games in the ACC Tournament over 3 days, learned of their seed the following day, left at 5am to Dayton, had a walk-through, played a game the next day, traveled the next day, then played the next day. That’s 5 games in 8 days, and the team was both physically and mentally exhausted when they attained that 16-point lead.
  • Free Throws – The only shot you can practice? NCSU made 9 of 21 for that stretch (up to that point they were an acceptable 11-16). While free throws are where fatigue rears its ugly head, the players are still to blame for this one
  • Coaching – After the debacle where they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory at #1 Syracuse, I though this team would have worked on attacking full court pressure. It should have been deeply engrained in these players at a young age, for heaven’s sake. It was evident, though, the team had not, which leads me to the point of this article.

fullcourtpress Attacking a good full-court press involves good spacing and decisive action. The main idea is that you want to advance the ball up the center of the court with passes, if possible. Once the ball is inbounded, you send your slow big man long for a long pass. This pulls a defender away and reduces the attack to 4-on-4. The other three players form an umbrella for the ball handler. The center of the umbrella is the preferred pass, however if he is covered, there are two other options.

As the diagram shows once the ball gets to the center of that umbrella, the weakside umbrella man sprints down the middle for the pass. The other two adjust to create a new umbrella for the new ballhandler. Once the ball beats the pressure, you advance hard down the court. In order to do this, the receiver catches the ball, he quickly pivots and looks to attack. When executed correctly, there is never a back-pass option for the receiver.

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The Definitive Guide to PNC Arena Dining

Headed to the PNC Arena for NCAA Tournament action this weekend? You’ll likely find yourself hungry. Thankfully the arena has good food to reward that hard work pulling your team through!

Best Options

  • Sausage Cart – The options of three Italian-style sausages with onions and peppers stands as an option rivaling any at the state fair. (Concourse, Sections 106, 121)
  • Chicken Wrap – (The Deck, Section 111)
  • House Chips – (The Deck, Section 111)
  • French Fries – Vinegar available at condiments stand. (Section 107 concession stand in West Priority Lounge).
  • Tacos – Dos Banditos (Concourse, Section 111)
  • Mucho Nachos – Dos Banditos (Concourse, Section 111)
  • Fresh Popcorn – (Concourse, Sections 119 & 130)
  • Ice Cream – Fresh waffle cones! (Concourse, Section 115)
  • Steak & Cheese Cart – Usually has a moderate/long/slow line (Concourse, Section 121)
  • Carvery Cart (turkey, roast beef) – (Concourse, Section 121)
  • Cheap Hamburger – (Concourse, Section 129) – fast-food burger that isn’t bad. Probably a better value than the hamburgers in The Deck. The fries from this stand are not good, however.
  • There are “healthy” options, such as wraps, at the concession stand near Section 126 (Front entrance)

Options to avoid

  • Any pizza product – ugh!
  • Chicken tenders at The Deck
  • Chicken sandwiches from most concession stands
  • Nachos from any place but Dos Banditos
  • Barbecue – (especially noted for you people from Memphis). Greasy and fatty.
  • Hot Dogs – Better used as cornhole projectiles.
  • Popcorn where the popper isn’t clearly visible (can be stale)

20 Best Dining Options Near PNC Arena

Tomorrow is the day NCAA tournament action returns to Raleigh. The city will open up to fans from Charlottesville, Myrtle Beach, Memphis, Washington (DC), Boston, Knoxville, and Macon (GA). Friday’s action features four games in two sessions.

The afternoon doubleheader session begins at Noon and the evening doubleheader session begins at 6:55pm. With the afternoon session ending at approximately 5pm, this gives visitors almost two hours to find dinner, and while there aren’t many items within a walkable distance from PNC Arena, some of the best food in North Carolina can be found a short drive from the arena. Let’s explore these by distance.


  • PNC Arena Club – This facility will not be open during the NCAA Tournament events.
  • 86873184cd2d35ab4be9ed497d63dc4e Backyard Bistro – There are only two walkable options from the arena. Backyard Bistro is the good option. A former Damon’s location, the locally-owned Backyard Bistro features a terraced dining room with four giant TVs. I highly recommend the burger, as the meat is brought in from the nationally renowned Angus Barn daily. The other option is Wendy’s. The problem with Backyard Bistro is that if the restaurant is full, there really isn’t time for fans to return to their cars and drive anywhere decent.

Short Drive

Head North on Edwards Mill Road for one long block and you’ll discover Edwards Mill Village.

  • Bella Monica – One of the state’s best Italian restaurants. I highly recommend the lasagna. Some patio seating. Casual atmosphere. $$$
  • Char Grill – Raleigh’s own a walk-up-only burger joint classic. Outdoor picnic table dining. $
  • Stromboli’s – good, fairly quick casual Italian restaurant, across Edwards Mill from the strip center. $$
  • Also in this center are the Edwards Mill Bar and Grill, Rudino’s, and a quick Chinese place. These three aren’t bad, but are forgettable.

Heading West down I-40 to Harrison Avenue we find some outstanding dining options. Allow extra return time, as I-40 will offer extreme delays on the return.

  • dffb28f68f52e4bf897852306203bf10 Bella Mia – One of the best pizza restaurants in the state. Coal-burning oven style. $$$
  • BurgerFi – Small national chain with excellent burgers. Fast casual, but has a superb patio with two large TVs showing basketball. $$
  • Bonefish Grill – National chain that is extremely popular. $$$$
  • Herons – If you have a couple of hours and want a Meal of the Year kind of night, Heron’s in The Umstead hotel is one of the best restaurants in America. $$$$$
  • 2bb9104bf253198599959e509bf4135e An – one of the state’s best Asian restaurants. It is located in the shopping center next to Bass Pro Shops. However An is going to take about an hour and a half, so plan accordingly. $$$$
  • Ruth’s Chris – National steakhouse chain in the shopping center next to Bass Pro Shops. $$$$$
  • Firewurst – Local hot dog chain. Located to the right of Bass Pro Shops. $

Heading into Raleigh on Wade Avenue

  • Neomonde – Tucked behind the Waffle House on Hillsborough Street (across from Meredith) is one of the state’s best Mediterranean offerings. Fast-casual, market atmosphere. $$
  • Tripps – 80s fern bar is in the Whole Foods Shopping center. Food is fine, but completely forgettable. $$$
  • Whole Foods Market – You can always do the hot food bar at Whole Foods. Some seating is available (half outdoors). Beware, though. This is one of the chain’s most cramped stores. $$$

Moderate Drive

Lake Boone Trail/440 Area

  • Guasaca – The state’s best arepa restaurant. Fast-casual. $
  • Sushi-Thai – Good sushi, Japanese, and Thai offerings. Allow an hour. $$$
  • Village Deli – Not like a NY deli, but still quite good. Fast-casual. $
  • Buffalo Brothers – Sports bar with many TVs and a small patio. Food distributor-level food. $$

Crabtree Valley Mall

  • 5aa9d904f4b2060b3ad78672eef500c5 Torii Noodle Bar – Don’t let the traditional trappings of a mall dissuade you from Torii. As I’ve written many times here, it is one of the best bargains in Raleigh. Full-service, but casual. No TVs or outdoor dining. $$


  • Taqueria Del Sol – Crossroads is a big-box collection of stores from Anywheresville, USA. However it does feature an outpost of one of America’s top-rated restaurateurs. Taqueria del Sol is a line-out-the-door hit in Atlanta, but its location in Cary remains one of the best-kept secrets in the state. $$

* * *

For fans not returning to the evening session, I recommend heading to downtown Raleigh, one of America’s most vibrant, walkable, and safe downtowns on a Friday or Saturday night. Most of the good restaurant action in the last decade has been in downtown. There are numerous noteworthy offerings, however here are five for starters ( alphabetical order ):

  • Bida Manda – Laotian restaurant is probably my favorite downtown offering. $$$$
  • Buku – Excellent collection of street food from around the world. Korean BBQ is fantastic. $$$$
  • Humble Pie – Fantastic tapas menu, with one of the best restaurant/bar patios in the state. $$$$
  • Poole’s Diner – On Tuesday Chef Ashley Christensen was named a 2014 James Beard Award Finalist for Best Chef in the Southeast. $$$$
  • Raleigh Times Bar – The place that really started it all. Gritty urban beerhouse feel, but the food is excellent . $$$

Warning: We’ve had much cold, rainy weather, and people have cabin fever. Adjust your schedule accordingly because the restaurants in Raleigh, especially downtown, are going to be packed this weekend. Wait times well over an hour will be common on Friday and Saturday nights.

We hope that your stay in Raleigh is fantastic, regardless of how your team fares!


gogo’s Alphabetical Channel Guide Shows Where the Damned Channel Is

twclogo Tomorrow Time Warner Cable is putting their channel lineups into a blender. The result will be better groupings of channels, with automatic selection of HD channels. All channels below 100 will stay as-is.

The problem is, what do you do when you are used to going to channel 1500 to see SportsCenter? How do you find where Palladia and TLC went? Instead of searching through Time Warner’s Numeric channel guide, you can use the gogoraleigh Alphabetical Channel Guide. Simply fold it in half and keep it in a convenient place. It’s a free download, and it’s gogoraleigh’s way of thanking the readers for keeping gogo going (for 6 years now)!.

gogoraleigh’s Alphabetical TWC Channel Guide (.pdf)


Meet the Zones of North Hills

NHZones A little over a decade ago the former North Hills Mall & Plaza began a transformation unlike any the area has seen. One of the first enclosed malls in the Southeast was razed and converted into a mixed use lifestyle center. The resulting project now includes the land that formerly held an apartment complex as well as some office buildings.

In recent years North Hills has improved their wayfinding, labling the three main properties as Districts: Main, Lassiter, and Park. They also color-coded each, and hung street pole banners to identify each for visitors (are you reading, N.C. State Fair?).

Look for the signs in North Hills, and get a better flavor for each of the districts.

2014-03-03 13.42.53 2014-03-03 13.47.23 2014-03-03 13.40.58

Note: Moving forward, businesses in North Hills will now be identified at gogoraleigh by district, rather than by the former names: “North Hills”, “The Lassiter”, and “North Hills East”.


Cowfish Named a NRN “Breakout Brand”

Nation’s Restaurant News last week published a list of restaurants across the nation to watch. The 10-restaurant survey picked Cowfish as one of its next “Breakout Brands”. The Charlotte-based, 2-store chain was founded by Elizabeth City-native, NCSU-grad Marcus Hall. The burger/sushi concept’s Raleigh store is located in North Hills’ Park District.



Food Porn visits: Torii Noodle Bar

Today’s Food Porn excursion takes us to the home of Raleigh’s best dinner deal, Torii Noodle Bar . Torii sits next door to P.F. Chang’s at Crabtree, and at first blush was built to catch runoff from the neighboring restaurants’ long wait queues. In fact, Torii is more of a casual extension of the Kanki.

Torii offers multiple noodle dishes and sushi items. I am quite fond of the Wantan – Men Ramen bowl as well as the TonkoTsu pork noodle bowl. This is great cold weather food, especially the Katsu Curry (pork curry rice).

Recently, though, I discovered that the rice bowl dishes are almost exactly the same dishes that people are being served downstairs at the Kanki. The dish is a heaping portion rice, your choice of meat, and some broccoli. The rice bowl comes with a side of either Japanese soup or ginger salad, which are exactly the same dishes as those downstairs. The meat choices are Chicken, Steak, or Shrimp, but the prices are what blew me away: Chicken is $8 and the other two are $10. Yes, that dish pictured, with an appetizer salad with Kanki’s delicious ginger dressing was eight dollars . There isn’t a better deal in Raleigh, and given the recent changes for the horrible at Sarku (in the food court), there isn’t a more convenient way to get a quality serving of Japanese food for a modest price.



TTA Video Features Orange/Durham Light Rail Flyover

A video tucked away neatly at ourtransitfuture.com shows a flyover of the planned light rail system for Chapel Hill and Durham. The 14-minute video begins behind the parking decks of UNC’s hospital, and follows the route all the way to its eastern terminus near NCCU, east of downtown Durham.

What’s remarkable in the plan is the amount of elevated guideway that is planned, especially in thinly populated areas of Chapel Hill. Elevated guideways significantly increase costs because each span between stanchions must hold the weight of a train and its passengers for each direction of track supported. The elevated guideways allow the train to travel through the wetlands of east Chapel Hill and to traverse large roads, such as 15-501, where grade separation is required. The section near the Smith Center is, perhaps, the most perplexing.

There seems to also be a difference in opinion between Orange and Durham Counties regarding the mixing of modes on existing streets. Grade level crossings are avoided, at great costs, in Chapel Hill where the MLK area of Durham integrates the rail down the road’s median and with its large intersections.

As I stated in the previous post, the plan really does a nice job at connecting most of the high-traffic destinations on the line. The line includes the UNC hospitals, the Smith Center, and Friday Center. While the line does not access the older parts of UNC’s campus, passengers can freely transfer to Chapel Hill’s excellent bus service for access to the older parts of campus (same goes for Duke). In Durham, Duke is accessed via its hospital. The plan presents several redevelopment nodes in Durham County, especially the Duke Street area where the system connects to Amtrak. While some of the planned stations are not at current population centers or destinations, they are at gaps in the city which will be easily filled, unlike the layout of Charlotte’s Blue Line.


Food Porn visits: Bella Mia

Tucked in a shopping center across Harrison Avenue from SAS in Cary is the Triangle’s best pizza. Bella Mia has a refreshing pizza menu, complete with items like broccoli, fresh basil, and excellent prosciutto. The high-quality ingredients hit a delicious dough, and go into Bella Mia’s coal-fired oven to make a delicious final product.

Pictured is the Sausage, Broccoli, and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza.


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