Gentle Reader, sometimes the only answer is to order one of each. Such is the case in two recent field research missions to the fairly new Rise in Durham. (Follow them @risedurham for specials etc.) First, mad props for the name. Well done. Second, great customer service. They actually care what you think.
But with a number of strong biscuit contenders and my love for Krispy Kreme, how does Rise fare? Thanks to my able assistants, The Practical Cooks Junior, for sacrificing and helping try a boatload of things. As you can see, I am here for you, always willing to try new things.
1. Country Fried Steak Biscuit: Served with lettuce and Duke’s mayo (props for naming names), this was a good but not great entry. A note on the Facebook page later indicated that some of the portions were not cut well with an offer to make it right. Mine was one of them. Very impressive admission and customer service. I found the seasonings a little light as well, but it was very fresh.
2. Cauliflower, Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese Biscuit: The vegetarian surprise hit, this was tangy and interesting. The Jrs enjoyed it, as did I. Not a neat biscuit to eat.
3. Egg and Cheese Biscuit: This was the unanimous favorite. You could taste the biscuit more, and the scrambled egg and white cheddar were head and shoulders above the typical offering. We will go back for this one. (It was so good, I failed to shoot a picture, a rare and telling occurrence.)
4. Fried Chicken Biscuit: Good Fried, but again, not quite salty enough for my taste. Very high-quality chicken, just needed a little more oomph in comparison to others I’ve tried.
1. Glazed: A very good offering. Bigger than a Krispy Kreme, and slightly less fluffy, it has a homey quality that I could easily love. And the vanilla glaze tastes like vanilla. Nice job.
2. Sprinkled: This was a surprise hit for me. It was sprinkles with a strawberry glaze. First, it was pink-ish, which is delightful, and second, strawberry. I’m not a huge sprinkles fan, but this was a great one. A favorite of the Eldest as well.
3. Bacon Maple: Yes, I ate the whole thing. The bacon there is top-notch, and the maple glaze was obscene and delightful at the same time. I saw some glycemic stars in the sky after, but worth it.
4. Apple Fritter: This was another huge win in my book. They are BIG, and they are crunchy sweet with real fruit. You will never face a lesser apple pie with anything less than disdain after one of these. They kicked the Fair Fritter’s proverbial buns. This is not a one-person mission. Share, share alike. It took three of us more than one day to complete.
5. Crushed Oreo: This was the favorite pick of the Youngest. An excellent entry, I’m not a huge crushed Oreos fan, but the doughnut itself was quality, and with good topping adherence.
Random: The Hash Cake. Do not miss this. I will be adding one to the order as a standard upgrade. It’s shredded potatoes, onions, and cheese, and it is unicorn good.
Overall, I give Rise a big thumbs up. It can get busy, but the ticket system works fairly well, and it smells like doughnuts. Great alternative to sitting down to breakfast or brunch with the kids.
What’s your favorite doughnut flavor? And do you venture on the wild side for biscuits? Post a comment or Tweet my way.
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Coming up Friday, Creamy Corn and Roasted Pepper Soup Review (and Recipe).