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Is Rise in Southpoint worth the wait?

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New donut/biscuit shop next to Petco in Southpoint/Durham. I've made a few passes but mostly the line is out the door and/or it's way too claustrophobic in there to even attempt. Is there a good time to try?

I think it's a sign of how starved this area is for non-chain options, but they seem to be getting slammed.

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  1. I have been on two occasions, and both times there have been a wait, however, they seem to really be trying to re-evaluate their systems to speed things up. You just have to go knowing that it is not fast food, and things are prepared to order so may take a little longer. I took a couple of biscuits to work, along with some assorted donuts, and all were met with rave reviews.

    1. We went on Saturday morning to get some donuts and biscuits to bring to a meeting. We got there at about 8:15 and had to wait about 30 minutes - luckily we had built wait time into our plan. During the time we were there the line got significantly shorter for a while and then got longer again.

      1. Short answer, no. We went there 15 minutes before the closing time last weekend, and there was no wait. We got 4 donuts to go. I love donuts and I will always prefer non-chain over chain options. I enjoyed their donuts and plan to return for their donuts as well as non-donuts. Here's my take:

        I'm into head-to-head comparisons, so we got what I thought are the similar doughnuts that we'd find at DD(boston creme equiv and chocolate frosted) or KK(glazed and some filling).

        It's very easy to tell the difference between Rise's doughnuts and DD/KK donuts. I'm completely comfortable saying that. I'm willing to accept that Rise's offerings are superior based on the difference between those donuts. What I'm also thinking is that I wouldn't wait in line as long as is being reported here or elsewhere, or drive longer to get to Rise(there's a DD closer to me on Erwin Rd). That's no knock on them and has more to do with donuts being a small deal in our foodie life(compared to an excellent meal somewhere 30 mins away, for example).

        1. i have been on weekday mornings, once at 8, another time at 10, and they were not busy. less than 2 minutes to order, another 2-3 minutes to get my food (biscuits + donuts)

          you may want to try a monday. also, if things could change once january and its new year's resolutions roll around! :)

          1. I would wait up to 15 minutes for their chicken biscuit again. I wasn't blown away by the chocolate glazed doughnut I had but I'm eager to try their other choices. The honey apple fritter looks good.

            1. Ok, I tried again at about 7:50 this morning (Thursday) and it was much more manageable, I was about fourth in line. From overheard discussions among the staff, they ARE still working out kinks. There weren't a lot of pastries on display yet, but maybe I had missed an earlier-morning rush. I was after a biscuit anyway.

              I got a biscuit with ham and white cheddar. The ham comes in a thick (3/4"?) slab rather than typical thinner slices of country-style ham. It isn't...necessarily?...an issue, except it presents the problem of not being able to bite through your sandwich effectively. I ended up taking off the ham at work and eating it with a knife and fork. To be fair, the menu does specify that the ham is thick, so I won't pretend I wasn't aware in advance.

              The biscuit was delicious--less greasy than Bojangles, with crisp edges, but not TOO floury and bland like McD's. (The fact that I have to compare to fast food joints tells you how bad off the local breakfast situation is.)

              I'll probably go back at least once and try some of their sweet offerings.

              1. Try the sausage biscuit - a nice thick patty from Farmhands Foods - it was delicious!

                1. went this morning (Saturday) just before 9am, the store was busy but the wait was not more then ten minutes or so. Ordered a braised pork/collard biscuit for my husband, a bacon biscuit for my kid, and an Oreo doughnut for myself. Good reviews for all.

                  1. I can't say I've ever found a biscuit or donut to be worth the wait with plenty of suitable options around.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      bf, would you please elaborate? as in, there are plenty of suitable options near rise itself? i'd love to know of other places nearby.

                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                        Where? I've found well executed renditions of these two items to be in short supply in the Triangle.

                      2. I stopped by on Sunday around 1pm while running errands. I waited about 10 minutes to order, then another 5 to get my donuts. Definitely worth it. I had a pineapple glazed (with barely sweetened basil infused cream filling) and a peanut butter cup (again, barely sweetened cream filling, and lovely dark chocolate icing). It's a good thing I live on the other side of Chapel Hill, and mostly go to Southpoint during the evening when Rise won't be open...

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: mpjmph

                          holy cow that pineapple basil one sounds amazing.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            it was! it has pistachios on top, in case you have a nut allergy.

                            1. re: cervisiam

                              And pistachios??? Heavenly sounding. Normally I avoid the area around southpoint like the plague, but maybe I need to find an excuse to go there.

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                Yeah, it was pretty awesome. The cream filling was the best - real cream, just barely sweetened. The basil cream had a nice herbal, earthy flavor. It probably won't be their most popular flavor, but I loved it.

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  Southpoint area is less hectic than any spot in Chapel Hill ;-) as far as driving.

                                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                    Hence my choice of living walking distance to "downtown." But I guess mostly malls just give me the heebee jeebees. I'm willing to toughen up and go for that particular donut though, I have to admit.

                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                      it's not southpoint MALL proper, if that's any consolation, but it is certainly a sprawling area.

                                      anyway, take 40 to the 751 exit, then go south on 751. turn onto renaissance parkway. you can turn left at target (no stoplight, and there can be a backup of cars wanting to turn), or wait until the stoplight to turn left.

                                      if you turn at the stoplight, you will basically be facing omega sports and michaels when you enter in the shopping complex. rise will be to the left, near momoyama and moonberries (or some frozen yogurt place).

                                      1. re: cervisiam

                                        Perfect, thanks cervisiam. I know right where the Target and Michael's are, so this places it perfectly for me.

                          2. I was eager to read the responses, as I've been to Rise the past two weekends (once on a Saturday morning, once on a Sunday morning). On both occasions I waited about 15 minutes to place my order and another 10 minutes to get my food. The space is small and gets very crowded, yet there are things to look at while you wait, including a nice cookbook collection and a very nice set of framed menus paying homage to the many local chefs who trained the two owners. If you are lucky enough to get one of the five chairs at the small counter, you can peek through a slit into the kitchen. The braised pork and brussels sprouts biscuit was great--very tasty, tender pork and a nice combination of flavors. I also liked the creme brulee donut and the pineapple/pistacio basil cream filled donut. The donuts were far superior to Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts (in my book, that is not saying much) but not as satisfying as my ideal donuts, which seem to be available only at Gibson's Donuts and Howard's Donuts, both in Memphis. I would suggest going on a weekday, when they apparently are a lot less busy, and seeing if you like their food before trying them on a weekend. As you have probably figured out, Rise is essentially a take-out place: not the kind of place to meet a friend for coffee and conversation. I do hope they succeed: it seems to me that the owners are coming from a good place.

                            1. Just went to Rise on the way to dropping off a friend of Lulu's after a playdate (possibly I won't turn into Miss Haversham after all). I had to go for that pineapple glazed with the basil cream. It was everything I'd imagined and more. I loved it. I picked up a creme brulee for the friend's dad. Also one for LulusDad along with a blueberry cake donut and a pepperjack biscuit. I can't but imagine he'll be happy with all 3. These are some seriously good donuts. It was lunchtime when we were there and fairly busy, but yes, it was worth the wait.

                              Should also mention, for those of you like me who don't eat pork, that they have fake bacon for their biscuits. Nice touch.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: LulusMom

                                I like Rise's doughnuts-- like their biscuits way more-- but it's not in the same league as Monuts Donuts. Can't wait for their B&M store to open in downtown Durham.

                                1. re: bbqme

                                  Monuts Donuts is most definitely on my must try list. When are they opening a store in Durham? And (I'm asking this with great embarrassment) what is a B&M store?

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    In the UK B&M Retail Ltd. (also known as B&M Bargains, Bargain Madness and the larger B&M Homestore) is a retail chain of 296 variety stores operating in the United Kingdom since 1976 and now serving 2 million shoppers a week. You can visit B&M in Durham UK.

                                    In Durham NC USA it means brick and mortar.

                                2. re: LulusMom

                                  I've been 3 times. Their donutes are coyingly sweet save for the apple fritter if you can get one. Their biscuits are just eh. Its a biscuit ya'll but as I said before there isn't a bojangles type place in that area so it is going to do well. The fried chicken biscuit I had fell apart both the chicken and the biscuit.

                                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                    Huh, interesting. I didn't try the biscuit (got it for my husband) but I thought the pineapple glazed, basil cream filled donut was heavenly. And the cream filling didn't seem to me to have any sweetener in it at all. The flavor all seemed to come from the basil which was so interesting, I'd never have thought of doing that for a sweet.

                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                      Burgeoning, speak to me of the apple fritter please. I have been on a Triangle quest for a big, lumpy apple fritter with real chunks of apple inside, a nice crisp fried outer shell, and a good glazing. Sweet Traditions bakery in Cary used to make them, but they are long closed and nobody else took up the banner for this much-needed treat.

                                      1. re: klmonline

                                        This blogger addresses the apple fritters:

                                        http://triangleexplorer.com/

                                        1. re: meatn3

                                          Ah, thanks for that! I can see from the pic (and his description) that it is not the style I have been looking for. Pity. Probably good on its own merits however.

                                  2. Looking at their Facebook page, I can't help but notice the prices. Are they really charging $2.50-$3 for a doughnut? Are they especially large or is this like the super-expensive cupcake trend?

                                    13 Replies
                                    1. re: SheilaGirl

                                      the apple fritter is $3.00, and it is pretty substantial. the glazed yeast donuts are, i think, $1.25 for plain and $1.75 for the [videri] chocolate glazed, and can be almost 4 inches in diameter. most of the filled ones do range around the $2.50 mark.

                                      of course, we could all hope for cheaper donuts, but the quality and creativity are higher than donut chains. it's not an everyday stop (both for the waistline and the wallet!), but i have been very happy with what i have had there.

                                      1. re: cervisiam

                                        Creativity yes but quality.. no way. All of their donuts are glazed and then topped with whatever it says.. chocolate or sea salt or both. I don't think you need to both glaze and frost a donut. At any one time there maybe 3 donuts worth getting and one of those is usually bacon maple. The rest don't have any better quality issue IMHO than any chain and by quality I'm not referring to whether they make the batter and fry there vs. chains maybe getting ready made batter. I'm talking about the flavor of the donut and how well the parts compliment each other instead of overtaking them.

                                        As far as the biscuits go.. it takes 10 minutes to make a proper biscuit at home and so to me the money isn't worth it unless I'm really needing one and fast and in that case this also not the place to go for the wait.

                                        I guess what it comes down to is whether it is worth the wait is going to based on individual preference of whether they think waiting for a donut or a biscuit is worth waiting for in general.

                                        I did like their collards though.

                                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                          Were the collards part of a biscuit filling or do the sell side items too?

                                          1. re: meatn3

                                            I was trying to get them as a biscuit that was listed but mine came as a side in a container.

                                          2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                            you mentioned above, "i can't say I've ever found a biscuit or donut to be worth the wait with plenty of suitable options around." and i'd love to know what other options there are around. i'm an equal opportunity eater!

                                            1. re: cervisiam

                                              Well I drive from the South point area and I can go to Neal's, Time out, Bojangles or Sunrise. Also Weaver Street in the morning has a good biscuit and I don't have to wait for it.

                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                I love the weaver street herb biscuit.

                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                  what if you are just looking at the southpoint area? any suitable donut/biscuit options there?

                                                  1. re: cervisiam

                                                    Well no thats why I said the area around Southpoint doesn't have a biscuit place like Bojangles or a biscuitville so they are smart to have moved into that space.

                                              2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                I don't know what it is, but I can't make a proper biscuit to save my life. I've tried a few different recipes and none of them have been unqualified successes. I bake, but mostly sweets (cakes, cookies, etc.). What is your go-to biscuit?

                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                  Depends on what you like out of your biscuit. Is it a flavor thing or are you ending up with rocks more than biscuits? You should invest in the Biscuit 1 class at Southern Season. Nancy may back me up on it but at least for the money you get breakfast and you get a few good tips and recipes.

                                                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                    Well, the thing is that I don't, on the whole, care for breakfast. The occasional donut or biscuit (we do "pastry day" once a week) or a bagel with lox is about it. I'd be more likely to do biscuits as the carb at dinner sometimes. I've tried a few, and they all came out pretty tough and too crumbly. I'm not really interested in investing a lot of time in it, just thought you might have a favorite, no-fail recipe. If so, toss me an email please. I'd love it.

                                              3. re: cervisiam

                                                i bought an apple fritter this morning, it measures a good 4 x 6 inches. the maple bacon bar is probably 2.5 x 6 inches.

                                            2. Resurrecting this thread to mention that the strategies I'd developed to occasionally score some Rise goodies--going in midmorning on a weekday, or in the hour before they close (2pm)--no longer work, the place is pretty consistently packed now. On the weekends you can at least do the 'express' service from the case (donuts only) if you're willing to squeeze in, sardine-like. Just in the last month, the last few times I did make it in, I had conversations with people every time who were visiting Rise for the first time--in other words, the buzz is still spreading.

                                              Overall, the lack of accessibility is probably a good thing for me, dietarily, but I do occasionally wonder if they will expand the space, expand their hours, or open another location.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: thessalian

                                                I feel like I must be lucky (or unusually indifferent to waiting?). We've always gotten our order in pretty quickly.

                                                I've been very pleased with everything I've had there, particularly their willingness to put a really runny egg on a biscuit.

                                                1. re: thessalian

                                                  Been to Monuts Donuts? Any more (or less) crowded?

                                                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                    Post from Rise on Facebook today stated that they now have two cashiers and have added another baker so that they can make 15 doughnuts at a time rather than 10, whatever that means. So things may have improved somewhat now. I like Rise's biscuits better than the offerings at the Chapel Hill/Carrboro locations you mention below. Rise's biscuit is more tender.

                                                    I have been to Monuts 3 times now and it's been busy too but wait was < 10 minutes. Monuts has an even wider menu selection than Rise with sandwiches and bagels that you can specify toppings for (egg, bacon, cheese, etc.) so wait times could be even longer.

                                                    1. re: bbqme

                                                      Rise is now doing dinner on Thursday and Friday nights - I finally got to try it last night. The options included Chicken Pot Pie, minute steak with carmelized onions, crab cakes and a roasted cauliflower biscuit. They also had a soup and a couple of sides. The chicken pot pie was delicious - served with half a biscuit on the bottom and the other half on top, and the ham bone and potato soup was incredible. As there was no wait, I was also able to score donuts to take to work Friday morning. I highly recommend checking out the dinner options as you don't have to fight the masses like you do in the mornings, and it's really good food.

                                                      1. re: ksbee

                                                        I was at Rise this past Wednesday morning to pick up some food on the way to work. They've re-jiggered their doughnut display case and added an additional cash register which has decreased the wait time. I haven't been there for their evening dinner offerings, but they always sound good.

                                                        For those of you who are gluten-free, as is my wife, Rise offers two varieties of "Trace of Gluten" doughnuts on Wednesdays. Flavors rotate each week. Note: They are called "Trace of Gluten" because they aren't technically gluten-free due to the fact that the doughnuts are made in a facility that uses wheat and also the trace of gluten doughnuts share the same frier that their wheat-based brethren use. However, if your gluten allergy isn't severe then these GF doughnuts are a pretty damn good choice.

                                                2. I finally was able to give Rise a try.

                                                  Their donuts should not be consumed while driving - way too much yummy filling squirting from the sides with each bite!

                                                  The texture reminds me of the donuts from my childhood local bakery - not airy and light (Krispie Kream) but not a heavier cake style either. One of mine was a tad dry but I was purchasing later in the day.

                                                  Both were quite good. I don't think I'd drive from Raleigh to get them but I would stop by if I was in the area. Two donuts cost $4 and change. For as seldom as I eat a donut I'm ok with paying that for a generous and delicious option. If I ate them frequently I think I'd have a bit of sticker shock.

                                                  1. if you like your Donuts thick and floury overpriced Bagels, then by all means. Just missing some Lox and Cream Cheese …

                                                    if you prefer fluffy donuts that melt in your mouth stick to the tried and true Krispy Kreme

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Bearnaised

                                                      You are hilarious!

                                                    2. I would choose Monuts over Rise any day if they were equidistance from my house.