• Avalara Foodmaps Elves

Engineering some team-building during Triangle Restaurant Week

By Lizzie Ryan



Avalarians, so far as I can tell—I have only been one myself for two months—are very hard workers. Here in Durham, there is a definite rhythm established to create and maintain our wide range of products. How might I, as a new Avalarian and as the first UX Designer in the Durham office, make my way onto these established teams?


Well, with FOOD. Enter Triangle Restaurant Week and three-course lunches: An entire week of fixed price three-course lunch at our fingertips. Did you know that Durham has been called the south's tastiest town?


My first adventure was with the ORL engineering team to Counting House, located inside the 21C Hotel in downtown Durham. We actually had to make a special request for a table, because so many people wanted to come and the restaurant had to set us up in a private room. The 21C Museum Hotel is a multi-venue contemporary art museum offering more than 10,500 square feet of art-filled exhibition spaces, in addition to being the home of Counting House.


HIghlights shown here were chicken and dumplings and "Funfetti," a deconstructed cheesecake. Our room was adorned with a few different temporary art exhibits, including a very destructive little woodpecker.

The next day was dedicated to the CertCapture team, and Parizade. Since Parizade is not located downtown, piling into a few kind employees' cars provided a chance to really get to know each other on the short trip just past the Duke University campus.


Being scheduled on the first day after Ramadan ended this year, there was a great enthusiasm shared by a few members of the team for indulging in a three-course lunch. The wallpaper at Parizade even inspired the foodmap team to start giving out Restaurant Wallpaper Awards.

My third outing was to Taberna Tapas with a smaller group of ORL engineers. Taberna is downtown and has limited parking as there are tons of shops and restaurants on this section of Main Street. I know this because we drove so I could get back for a meeting faster, but the parking spot we found was within view of the office…oops.



Many of our choices at Taberna were of the seafood variety. Our server informed us that the special menu included much more seafood than they typically offer, and that because of the very positive feedback they were receiving that week they were going to put more on the permanent menu. One of the very lovely side effects of restaurants having the creative outlet that is Restaurant Week is the opportunity to try new things.


We LOVE restaurant week.



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