I’m still the new girl in town in the Research Triangle area. For my Texas readers, that’s the surrounding area around Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham. Since being a resident for little over a month now, I try to invite new potential friends to meals once or twice a week. One of these new friends told me about a quarterly seminar event with a group called Triangle Food Makers that she, unfortunately, couldn’t make. I thought what a great place to meet local foodies!
So I made the drive to Raleigh, and thoroughly enjoyed the seminar portion of the evening but for reasons unknown to me, I clammed up and felt very shy. I’m not a shy person! I listened to restauranteers discuss the evening’s topic of food failures and felt more admiration for anyone who takes on the risky adventure of opening restaurants. I left without attempting to mingle. Speaking of food failures, I drove back home to Chapel Hill feeling like a failure myself.
As I was kicking myself for doing a terrible job at meeting people, I get a message from someone who was at this event and saw my paltry Twitter notes. Danae had seen my Instagram since before the event and wanted to meet me! My evening wasn’t wasted after all! After meeting her for breakfast a few days later, I found out she does social media management for MOFU Shoppe, a restaurant I’ve already had on my long list to check out! When I told my mom about this story and my list, she sighed dreamily and said it was as if our paths were meant to cross.
Even if you’re not from of the Raleigh area, you might have heard of or seen Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck if you watched Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.” They won the sixth season and recently pursued even greater things by opening a brick and mortar in downtown Raleigh called MOFU Shoppe. Their new physical space, converted from an old car dealership, is so airy and beautiful.
Danae and I met here for our third friend date for happy hour and giggled over Asian inspired dishes. We had the seafood salad, that night’s special, which consisted of mussels and tuna poached in a flavorful garlic butter. The colors of this dish were a feast for the eyes!
In fact, everything we enjoyed was photogenic and delicious. We shared the pork and chives dumplings ($9), crispy pork belly rice bowl ($9), and the fish tacos (3 for $18).
All good! My favorite bite of these three were the fish tacos. Crispy generous portions of delicate flounder with a spicy cilantro cream sauce. My mouth is salivating as I type this.
And just when we both exclaimed how full and happy we were, Sophia, one of the owners, sent us over not one but two complimentary desserts! The gluten-free Coconut Honey Rice Pudding had a crispy brûlée top and a subtly sweet pudding.
And lastly, the Vietnamese Coffee Mousse sealed the deal. I’m not only returning soon to MOFU Shoppe to try more of their menu, but the Vietnamese Coffee Mousse became a must-order for my future visits.
321 S Blount St, Raleigh, NC 27601
So back to you, friends, tell me about some great friend dates you’ve had recently. Where were you? Who were you with? What did you eat?
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