Ashley Christensen Restaurants

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Category: Poole’s Diner

Hopscotch Hours and Offerings

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Tomorrow, the Hopscotch Music Festival returns to downtown Raleigh, and we couldn’t be more pumped! As you frolic between shows, we hope you’ll stop in and visit us for concert-going sustenance. Here's the rundown of hours and offerings within the AC Restaurants universe.

Poole’s Diner

Open nightly from 5pm to midnight. Join us for a post-show macaroni au gratin at the bar, or try our latest feature, steak carpaccio with onion rings, marinated peppers and béarnaise aioli. Follow @poolesdiner to keep up with weekend offerings

Joule Coffee & Table

Open daily from 7am to 7pm. As in past years, we’re excited to feature our Hopscotch inspired cocktail menu through the weekend! We’re also offering a few selected grab-and-go food items at the coffee counter for those on the move. Think biscuit sandwiches and pimento cheese on buttermilk bread. And don't forget the matcha lemonade! Follow @joule_raleigh to keep up with weekend offerings.

Death & Taxes

Open Thursday thru Saturday from 5pm to 11pm, Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm. Make your reservation here, or just walk on in—we always reserve our kitchen counter seats for walk-ins. Follow @deathandtaxesnc to keep up with weekend offerings.

Fox Liquor Bar

On Friday, Fox turns FIVE! Come celebrate with our latest tapped cocktail, white sangria, featuring apple brandy, white wine, and ginger. We’ll also be pouring Ferrari shots from the tap, plus all the other cocktail favorites. Open daily from 5 pm to 2 am. Follow @foxliquorbar to keep up with weekend offerings.

Please note: Fox Liquor Bar will be closed on Monday, September 12th

Beasley’s Chicken & Honey

Have you feasted on our OG chicken sandwich? Grab one this Hopscotch weekend. Open Thursday and Friday from 11:30 to midnight, Saturday from 11 to midnight, and Sunday from 11 to 10pm. Follow @beasleys_raleigh to keep up with weekend offerings.

Please note: Beasley’s will be closed on Monday, September 12th

Chuck’s

Grab a caramel cheesecake milkshake in between your day parties this weekend (available while supplies last), or get a boost with our pimento cheese burger (and to help us celebrate Chuck's 5th birthday on Friday!). Open Thursday through Saturday from 11:30am to midnight; Sunday from 11:30 to 10pm. Follow @chucks_raleigh to keep up with weekend offerings.

Please note: Chuck’s will be closed on Monday, September 12th

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Baguette About It

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The sliced baguette on the menu at Poole’s may not grab as much attention as, say, macaroni au gratin, but it’s been just as much of a constant. Since Ashley took over Poole’s more than 8 years ago, baguette with butter and sea salt has been a fixture of the chalkboard. We sourced our baguettes from Tribeca Oven, a great commercial bakery in New York City. It arrived par-baked and frozen, allowing us to bake it fresh every day.

But this week, we made a switch that’s been years in the works: our pastry team, headed up by executive pastry chef Andrew Ullom, has taken over making all the baguette for Poole’s in house.

The baguette marks the last stage of launching our AC Restaurants bread program. Over the last few years, we’ve switched the sandwich bread at Joule to housemade sourdough, and put the hot chicken sandwich at Beasley’s between two slices of housemade buttermilk bread. Death & Taxes has had a bread program since it opened, with loaves like benne-rye gracing the tables.

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But we held out on Poole’s for a couple of reasons. First, making excellent baguette is very tricky. Says Andrew, “they’re completely different than pan loaves or larger hearth loaves. There is a bigger learning curve in figuring out how to shape them in the characteristic long baton shape.” Andrew and his team spent six months workshopping the baguette recipe, developing the new Poole’s version through lots of trial and error.

It wasn’t just the technical hurdle, but also cultural one. “The baguette is such a standard at Poole’s,” Andrew said, “so we wanted to make sure that we were creating something that regulars and fans of the original baguette could get behind.” And who better to test for consistency than the longtime Poole’s team? “The first version that I brought to the servers didn’t work—they were quick to point out that it was too different.”

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The winning loaf is the result of a three-day process: On day one, we feed our starters (mixture of flour, water and yeast that makes the bread rise). The next morning, we mix the dough and let it proof. After the dough is properly proofed, we slow down the fermentation overnight in the cooler to develop great flavor and texture. On the third day, we scale out the dough and shape, and play the waiting game until it's time to bake. The baguettes are baked in an oven on a baking stone, with additional steam.

The finished product has a combination of pillow-y crumbs and a crust that shatters with each bite. Says Andrew, “A good baguette should make you feel like eating the entire thing isn't much of a challenge. That's the feeling we're chasing every day.”

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The Poole’s Diner Cookbook Tour

To mark the release of Ashley's first cookbook, Poole's: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner, she's hitting the road, participating in book signings, festivals, talks, and dinners in correlation with the book release. We'll be updating this list with details as they are solidified. We'll be announcing more dates (into 2017) over the coming weeks. Hope to see you on the road!

December 10, 10 am to 2pm: Bridge Club Holiday Market, Bridge Club, Raleigh Join us at Bridge Club, AC Restaurants' private events space, for a special Holiday Market featuring some of our favorite local vendors. Chef Ashley Christensen and our executive pastry chef, Andrew Ullom, will each be giving cooking demos, and we’ll be selling signed copies of the Poole’s cookbook, as well as gift certificates to all the AC Restaurants properties. Come grab a mimosa and get your holiday shopping done! Participating vendors include: HAAND Ceramics, Peppertrain Beads, Farmer's Daughter, Videri Chocolate, o2 Fitness, and Short Stack Editions. Free to attend, RSVP here.

December 11, 2pm: Book signing with Short Stack Editions, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh Get your copy of the Poole's cookbook signed by Ashley at this meet and greet event. Free to attend.

December 14: Book dinner, The Dabney, Washington, D.C. Join us at The Dabney to celebrate the launch of “Poole’s,” the new cookbook by James Beard Foundation award winning chef Ashley Christensen of Raleigh, NC. Chef Jeremiah Langhorne will serve up a special menu inspired by Poole's, and Ashley will hang out and sign books. Tickets are $125 per person and include a copy of the book, a welcome cocktail, four-course dinner, tax and gratuity. Additional beverages are available for purchase a la carte. The evening will feature two limited seatings at 6:00 and 8:30PM. No allergies or dietary restrictions will be accommodated. All sales are final.

December 17, 2 to 3:30pm: Book signing, Page 158, Wake Forest Get your copy of the Poole's cookbook signed by Ashley at this meet and greet event. Free to attend.

December 17, 6 to 8pm: Book signing, Whisk, Cary Get your copy of the Poole's cookbook signed by Ashley at this meet and greet event. Free to attend. 

The Poole’s Cookbook Launch Party

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The Poole’s Diner cookbook is right around the corner! So we’re throwing a little party to welcome it to the world, and we’re giving you first dibs. Join us on September 21st for a launch party at Bridge Club—we’ll be serving snacks and cocktails from the book, and Ashley will be on hand to sign copies. We’ll also be joined by Andrea Weigl from the News & Observer, who will be leading a short Q & A with Ashley to discuss the book and the process behind writing it. Hope to see you there!

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Chef Chris Shepherd at Poole’s: An Invite from AC

Good morning friends!

On July 31st and August 1st, I’m thrilled to have my pal chef Chris Shepherd of Houston’s Underbelly restaurant joining us in Raleigh for a summer edition of Stir the Pot, benefiting the Southern Foodways Alliance's documentary film initiative.

Chris Shepherd

If you haven’t had the chance to taste Chris' food, trust me when I tell you that you’re in for a serious treat. I first met Chris at a food festival and was immediately taken by his infectiously warm personality (and his amazing bear hugs). Then I got to taste his food at the SFA symposium and was simply blown away. Chris incorporates the flavors of the many different cultural communities of Houston—Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican, Indian and beyond—into one beautiful style of food that’s truly unlike anything else in the South. It’s uniquely vibrant, and so inspiring and generous in spirit.

On Sunday night (7/31), he’ll be cooking a 5-course feast at Poole’s ($150; tickets here) and the menu is simply gorgeous. Some of the highlights: Korean fried chicken lettuce wraps, Northern Vietnamese whole fish, braised goat and dumplings (pictured above), and of course, Texas barbecue. We’re bringing one of the most delicious food experiences in Houston to you here in Raleigh, and by eating it, you support the documentary work of SFA? That’s right… win-win!

Then on Monday night (8/1), we’ll be returning the favor with a potluck at Bridge Club. Join us in welcoming Chris by bringing a starter, side or dessert (I’ll be making the main course to honor some of the various meals that initiated Chris’ love-affair with community cooking). The team from Raleigh’s Neptune’s Parlour will be designing a signature cocktail for the evening, and Trophy Brewing will be pouring an epic beer. As always, our gracious wine sponsor, Eliza Kraft Olander will provide a table full of delicious wines. We’ll also screen the latest SFA documentary, and Chris will be around to give bear hugs and chat. It’s going to be an awesome night. (Tickets are $35 and available here.)

We hope you’ll join us!

AC + Team AC Restaurants

(Photos: Julie Soefer)

James Beard Award 2019Outstanding Chef James Beard Award 2014Best Chef: Southeast
2019 James Beard AwardOutstanding Chef 2014 James Beard AwardBest Chef: Southeast
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Beasley's Chicken + Honey,
Fox Liquor Bar

237 S. Wilmington St, Raleigh NC, 27601

[919] 322-0127, 322-0126, 322-0128 Respectively

Bridge Club

105 W. Hargett St, Raleigh NC, 27601

Death & Taxes

105 W. Hargett St, Raleigh NC, 27601

[984] 242-0218

Poole's Diner

426 S. McDowell St, Raleigh NC, 27601

[919] 832-4477

Poole'side Pies

428 S. McDowell St, Raleigh NC, 27601

[919] 803-8660