Backyard Bistro’s Chef Joe to Participate in the 5th Annual Dinner in the Meadow

5th Annual Dinner in the Meadow

 On Sunday eve, September 9th, friends of Dinner in the Meadow will gather at NC Century Farm “Meadow Lane Farm” in Franklin County for our annual communal feast and we invite you to join us. The Dinner funds the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund, established to support and cultivate small farms in our region of North Carolina.  Founded in 2014, the Fund works to aid with the development and long-term sustainability of small farms through an annual grants program. Our annual recipient, chosen from many applicants, is awarded $5000 to use in a way that best suits their farm mission and need.

The Dinner setting sits atop a grassy knoll in the meadow of the farm. Look around, and you will enjoy pastoral views of the 1,000 acre farm as far as the eye can see.  As we gather, guests mosey around our dozens of exceptional silent auction items to place their bids, while seeing old friends, meeting new like-minded ones, and nibbling on a variety of appetizers while sipping wines and brews, provided by farms and vendors throughout our region. An annual favorite of our gathering time is the display of fresh sweet North Carolina shrimp provided by a seafood vendor donor and Dinner supporter from our coast.

The Chefs

As a dozen notable area chefs, including our own Chef Joe Lumbrazo (see the complete list of chefs), are busy putting final touches on their dinner creations… we delight in the tempting aromas. Guests dine on savory vegetarian salads and sides but if meat is your pleasure, you will also feast on locally raised pork, beef, lamb and goat dishes coming together as well, with a few sweet treats to finish off our meal.

As dinner progresses and concludes, we are entertained by annual MC Frank Stasio, host of NC Public Radio’s “The State of Things”  followed by local auctioneer friend E.B. Harris, who conducts a rather lively auction of a few of the more valuable donations. The evening is wrapped up with presentation of the annual grant award to the deserving farm recipient(s).  As the sun sets, with happy hearts and bellies, we say our good-byes to one another and hear “see you next year” as we head home down the winding country road.

Dinner in the Meadow has been a sold-out event for the past 3 years, so we encourage those who wish to join us not to tarry in getting their tax-deductible* tickets.  We also depend on and appreciate our loyal sponsors and invite you to join that growing list with varying levels of participation. Contributions can also be made by those desiring to support our efforts but are unable to attend the Dinner on our “tickets” page… with “just because” or “in honor or in memory of” someone special to you options. And we even offer holiday and special occasion gift cards throughout the year as well for our next Dinner. Event details and tickets can be found on our web page at  As the 5th Annual Dinner in the Meadow nears, check back often on the Chefs’ page  as their delicious menu comes together… always a work in progress, right up to days before we gather.  Shall we see y.o.u. in the meadow this year?

Tickets for Dinner in the Meadow

*$75 of each ticket is tax-deductible.

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Backyard Bistro Wins Wing Contest

Backyard Bistro Places First in Wing Contest

The Raleigh-based Backyard Bistro team captured first place over the July 14th weekend in the Wild Buffalo Wing Cook-Off at Tobacco Road Harley-Davidson. 

Backyard Bistro wins Wing contest
The Backyard Bistro team of award-winning chef and co-owner Joe Lumbrazo, Brad Davis and Jimmy Barres won the $500 first-place prize on Saturday at the motorcycle dealership. Backyard Bistro beat five other teams in a blind taste judging.

The prize money was donated to the Duke Children’s Miracle Network, the event’s charity. The cook-off, now it its 12th year, raised a total of $3,800. 

“It was a double win for us,” said Lumbrazo, whose team produced a Tequila Sunrise wing. “We were able to impress the judges with our wing offering and Backyard Bistro was able to then donate a significant amount of money to a worthy charity.” 

Backyard Bistro is located off Trinity Road, within walking distance of the PNC Arena and Carter-Finley Stadium. The family-owned restaurant opened in April 2009 and offers lunch and dinner, a full-service bar, private banquet room, along with custom catering and tailgating services across the Triangle, state of North Carolina and entire Southeast, with a slogan of: “We Bring The Party To You.”
Backyard Bistro is also in its eighth year as the concessionaire to Sahlen’s Stadium in Cary and will be providing all BBQ, hamburgers and subs at Kenan Stadium and The Dean E. Smith Center for University of North Carolina football and basketball games for the fourth straight year.

Article by Dave Droschak

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Grill On: Locals Learn Grilling Techniques at Backyard Bistro Classes

Chef Joe Lumbrazo teaches the famous Backyard Bistro Grilling Classes

Chef Joe Lumbrazo teaches the famous Backyard Bistro Grilling Classes

Grill On With Gas, Charcoal and Smoke!

Each year Triangle locals are lucky enough to have access to Chef Joe Lumbrazo’s grilling classes at The Backyard Bistro. The first series of classes has already taken place at the sister location at Chapel Ridge Golf Club in Pittsboro.  Classes at the Raleigh location are coming up soon in July so watch our website for upcoming registration information. Chef Joe was recently featured in an article in Cary Living magazine, written by Dave Droschak. Check out the article here: 

Cary Living Magazine Article – Grilling Classes at Backyard Bistro

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Chef Joe on WNCN TV Super Bowl Sunday

Shumuriel Ratliff, a reporter with WNCN TV interviews Chef Joe Lumbrazo, one of the owners of The Backyard Bistro,  prior to the Super Bowl!  The Backyard Bistro is the home of the Tri-Pats organization so there was a lot of preparation to be done for this year’s Super Bowl crowd.

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10 Tips For A Successful Catered Event

Are you aware that Backyard Bistro in Raleigh NC has a catering department that can handle an event of practically any size no matter if it’s outdoors or indoors?   

We do so we thought we would share ten tips to help make your next catered event a great success.    (Click here to see more catering info.)
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Hot Bowl of Soup, Please!

Brrrr.  Winter is finally here.  The temperatures in Raleigh, NC are getting lower and that means a lot more hot soup being served at the Backyard Bistro!    

There’s just nothing cozier than a warm bowl of hot steaming soup on a cold winter day.  It warms your whole body from the inside out!

Soup is a comfort food

Soups sometimes even make it onto your favorite comfort food list.     Comfort foods often make you think of your childhood and home cookin’ which simply makes you feel good.   Some of the soups on your “comfort” list might be beef stew, chicken soup, chili concarne, and tomato soup, just to name a few. 

Backyard Bistro Tomato Bisque SoupSoup has benefits!

Soup has lots of benefits beyond being a comfort food!   Not only is it warming and comforting, but we all know the theory about chicken soup and its healing powers. There’s actually some scientific proof behind that theory but soup has other benefits beyond the chicken soup story:

  • For those trying to cut calories, broth-based soups and soups made with beggies, beans and lean meat can be a great low calorie yet healthy choice at mealtime.
  • Soup is a great way to get your veggies and lean meats into your diet.
  • Soup is helpful in hydrating your body.
  • Soup is filling because of all the liquid

Temperature Soup Mondays

What’s that?   Glad you asked.   Every Monday, at the Backyard Bistro restaurant, you’ll pay whatever the temperature is outside for a cup of the soup of the day!     If the temperature outside is 35 degrees, you’ll pay just  $0.35 for a cup of the soup of the day!  (dine-in only)   That’s a super bargain in the winter!   

We invite you to stop by Backyard Bistro and check out our freshly prepared home-made soups. We’ll have a soup of the day plus a couple of favorites always on the menu including a crock of Onion Soup with gruyere and parmesan cheeses plus everyone’s favorite, New England Clam Chowder.     

You can count on us to always have something delicious to warm your bones on a cold winter day.  See our complete menu.

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The Game: Turns Strangers Into Friends

Strangers no more.

What is it about watching a game that can turn total strangers into friends in one single afternoon?   Maybe there should be a name for it but there’s certainly nothing like cheering for the same team to bring people together.  
You’ve seen it.   In the stadium seats complete strangers are high-fiving and giving each other hugs when something goes their way.     In the local bar, all of a sudden a total stranger is buying a round of drinks for people he or she just met that afternoon.    Tailgaters in the parking lot are sharing food with folks who wander by.

This thing that happens seems to combine “sports” with “camaraderie” so let’s call it “sports-raderie.”

Whatever it’s called, it happens all the time.  

At the Backyard Bistro, we have fans of several college and pro teams coming together at our place to cheer their favorite team through thick and thin.    We’re conveniently located right across the street from the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC, so lots of folks come in to enjoy good food, great drink specials, and watch the games on our big screen high-def TVs.  Oh yeah.

Proudly, we are the official home of the Chicago Bears Fan Club, the Triangle Patriots Fans, the New York Giants Fan Club, and Cary Browns Packers, Red Sox Nation, Carolina Hurricanes fans and of course NCSU Wolfpack fans!

We also sponsor two of the major NCSU football tailgates – the Alumni Association and the Varsity Club and Wolfpack Football Parents’ Association.     

We’re practically sports headquarters so if you can’t get tickets to the game, come hang out with us and meet some new friends.    

Check out our fabulous menu and specials on game-day that will keep you on schedule. 

Having a big superbowl party?  Let us cater it for you!

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7 Tailgating Tips from Backyard Bistro

Deep Into Football Season

It’s mid-November and we’re deep into football season.   Maybe you’re a seasoned tailgater or maybe this is your first season.    Either way, we want your tailgating experience to be fun, enjoyable and as stress free as possible. 
See Backyard Bistro Tailgating MenuSince we are located just across the street from Carter-Finley stadium in Raleigh NC, home of the NC State Wolfpack, we are a little biased as to who our favorite team is, but we think all you sports fans out there, no matter who your favorite team is,  can appreciate our tailgating tips.

There are, of course, the obvious common sense tips such as:  arrive early, stay late, plan ahead, do food prep ahead of time, and clean up after yourselves.   

We wanted to give you a list of tips that went beyond the obvious and we think you’ll appreciate these.

Our 7 Favorite Tailgating Tips:

  1. Laminate your checklist.    Of course you experienced tailgaters out there have a checklist you use to pack up at game-time.   Did you ever think about laminating your list?   That way you can check off items with a dry erase marker as they are packed then wipe the list clean when you are done.   Genius!
  2. Special storage bins just for items you use for tailgating.   Items for storage bins could include your cooking utensils, paper towels, table cloths, rain gear, etc.  You get the picture.   It takes the stress out of preparation year after year and game to game.
  3. Label  food and drink coolers.   If you use separate coolers for food and drink, label them so that folks looking for beverages don’t end up constantly opening up your food cooler. 
  4. Empty container for dirty dishes.   Look around at what you use in the way of utensils and dishes at your tailgate party and note how many of these will come back home dirty.   Take along a container that is big enough for you to throw these dirty dishes in and haul them back home for clean up after the game. 
  5. Bring your own cup.   There’s nothing more confusing than a sea of red Solo cups that all look alike.   Yes, you can write your name on them but what would be better is to bring your own unique, colorful, huge-if-you-like cup!    That way you don’t end up sharing a drink with someone unintentionally.   
  6. Know the rules.    It’s just smart to know what you’re allowed to do and not do in your particular parking lot.    ‘Nuf said.     
  7. Our favorite tip – Anti-Insect cupcake liner lids.   Anyone who tailgates in the south when it’s warm can appreciate this tip.  (The bees seem to love your drink as much as you do.)  Not to mention that it’s super-easy.  Cut down a cupcake liner to the size of your cup and voila!

 Backyard Bistro Tailgating 

For those of you who aren’t very big on planning and preparation, the Backyard Bistro has a way for you to enjoy tailgating too!   Did you know we have a full tailgate menu?   Take a look!  We have all sorts of tailgate packages to choose from.   You need to order at least 48 hours in advance but how convenient!  

Don’t have tickets to the game?  Stop in the Backyard Bistro and watch the game on our large tv screens that are everywhere!   We’ll bring your food right to your table.  No preparation on your part is required. After all, we are a full service sports bar!

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Backyard Bistro Chef Joe Lumbrazo at the Auction: March of Dimes Triangle Signature Chefs Auction

Catering in Raleigh NCMost people can appreciate great food that is paired with a fun event.  What if the food is spectacular, prepared by local chefs and it benefits babies all at the same time?   All of those things will come together on November 17, 2013 at the Washington Duke Inn in Durham, NC.  

Bid on a catered event by Backyard Bistro

Once again, you can bid on Chef Joe Lumbrazo, one of the owners of the Backyard Bistro restaurant in Raleigh, NC at the event.  Well, not Chef Joe himself, but you can bid on a catered event by Chef Joe and the amazing catering team at the Backyard Bistro!

Fun Catering Options

If you haven’t seen all the fun outdoor catering “toys” that the Backyard Bistro has, take a look at the amazing catering options including the Big Rig and the portable brick pizza oven. Let the bidding frenzy begin! 

Catering Raleigh NC

The Backyard Bistro can take care of all your indoor or outdoor catering needs.

Chef Joe Lumbrazo has been one of the Master Chefs participating in the March of Dimes Triangle Signature Chefs Auction for many years.  The event in nearby Durham, NC is one of more than 200 similar events held across the country to benefit the March of Dimes.

Local attendees will sample signature dishes prepared by some of the best chefs in the Triangle area.  They will then have the opportunity to bid on both silent and live auction packages, all of which will contribute to the March of Dimes’ mission of making sure that all babies are born healthy.

You’ll often find the owners and staff of the Backyard Bistro giving back to the community in the way of local charity event participation.

Chef Joe and the Backyard Bistro have participated in an Evening with Master Chefs, which benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Chef Joe has participated in this event for the past several years and is currently the coordinating chef.  

Other charity events include the MS Walk in Raleigh where Backyard Bistro provides food at a discounted rate so that more of the funds can go directly to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  

More recently, Backyard Bistro participated in the Red & White Food and Beverage Festival at the NCSU State Club, where ticket sales supported the Wine to Water charity.

Of course, you’ll generally find the Backyard Bistro restaurant packed any day of the week with sports fans of all kinds including Wolfpack and Hurricanes fans, families, concert-goers, and business professionals.  

More information:  March of Dimes Triangle Signature Chefs Auction

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Backyard Bistro’s “Big Rig” Highlighted This Summer on Epic BBQ Pits Show

RALEIGH, N.C. – In less than five years Raleigh-based Backyard Bistro has earned quite a reputation in the Triangle for its BBQ grilling and tailgating expertise, complementing its expansive catering business and popular family, sports-themed restaurant across from PNC Arena and Carter-Finley Stadium.

This summer, the rest of the nation can now get an inside glimpse of how Backyard Bistro’s grilling operation was founded and the history behind the company’s 38-foot “Big Rig” as one of four businesses across the country featured on an episode of Epic BBQ Pits on the Destination America Cable Network.
Outdoor catering Raleigh NC

Lance Wheeler, owner of Backyard Bistro grilling on the Big Rig.

“The first reaction when people see The Big Rig is ‘wow,”’ said Backyard Bistro co-owner Lance Wheeler. “Very few people have ever seen anything like it.”

“Our goal of the show was to feature over-the-top BBQs and we searched for the best and Backyard Bistro’s name kept popping up,” said Janice McDonald, the show’s field producer.

The Big Rig, equivalent to an outdoor kitchen on wheels, turns heads as it makes it way down the road or pulls into an on-site grilling location in the Triangle, state of North Carolina or across the Southeast.

The self-sufficient Big Rig displays four 3-by-5 feet grills (large enough to cook a whole 150-pound pig each), two cast-iron burners, two 35-pound fryers, a homemade hush puppy maker, six 40-pound LP gas tanks, four sinks and more than a half dozen large stainless steel storage boxes.

The Big Rig was a collaboration between Wheeler and Melvin Whitman, the owner of BQ Grills in Elm City, N.C.

“As our groups kept getting larger and larger I figured I would put something together to play with,” Wheeler said. “Melvin and I talk once every six months about new designs and ways to increase volume.”

“It’s one of the biggest, badest cookers out there,” added Whitman, who also designed Backyard Bistro’s five other grills. “It has everything but the kitchen sink.”

The Big Rig has fed as many as 8,000 hungry souls over a 2 ½-hour span with 16 buffet lines going at once.

“We believe our equipment, on-site grilling expertise, food quality and professional staff provide our customers with a truly exceptional BBQ experience,” said Joe Lumbrazo, Wheeler’s Backyard Bistro partner.

Backyard Bistro was also featured in August 2011 on an episode of TLC’s “Outrageous Kids Parties,” catering a 500-person guest list for the country carnival-themed show and catered the 75th anniversary celebration for Ducks Unlimited aboard the USS North Carolina battleship.

Backyard Bistro has been highlighted in Cary Living magazine for three straight years as the premier tailgating specialist in the Triangle.

About Backyard Bistro:
Backyard Bistro is located off Trinity Road, within walking distance of PNC Arena and Carter-Finley Stadium. The family-owned restaurant opened in April 2009 and offers Sunday brunch, lunch and dinner menus, a full-service bar, private banquet room, along with custom on-site catering, tailgating services and concessions across the Triangle, state of North Carolina and the Southeast.

About Destination America:
Formally Planet Green, Destination America is the first network to celebrate the people, places, and stories of the United States, emblazoned with the grit and tenacity, honesty and work ethic, humor and adventurousness that characterize our nation. Targeting adults 25-54, the network is available in 59.5 million homes and features original series covering such subjects as American food, mysteries, heroes and iconic landmarks.

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