For the past few months now I’ve been eagerly following the progress of a new donut and biscuit shop that just recently opened in Durham. It is called “Rise” and is located in the Renaissance Village shopping center just behind Southpoint Mall. The guys behind Rise are the masterminds who introduced the Triangle to the insanely popular OnlyBurger food truck, so expectations have been high. Rise has only been open a few weeks now, but already seems to be off to a great start and regulalryl draws large crowds each morning. I stopped by during their first week open and immediately realized that I was not the only one eagerly awaiting their arrival!
Rise features a host of both donut and biscuit options that changes almost daily. You can keep up with the daily menu by following their facebook page where they post a picture of the menu each morning. The biscuit sandwich menu the day I visited included old favorites like a biscuit with eggs, bacon, and locally made peanut butter and jellies. I noted they get their peanut butter from Big Spoon Roasters peanut butter (out of Durham) which is a favorite of mine. They also had some more involved biscuits with things like southern chicken salad, country ham, creamy mac & cheese, and pork chop.
I opted for one of their more basic biscuits that simply had two nice crispy bacon strips. I also made a quick decision and bought a raspberry jelly donut and a big apple fritter. The biscuit was nice and buttery and just flaky enough without being to hard or too soft and doughy. I was thrilled to see the bacon was nice and cooked as I prefer my bacon to be on the well done side. I enjoyed my biscuit with a nice cup of locally roasted coffee. I was happy to see that Rise is using coffee from locally owned Bean Traders Coffee which operates just down the road from their location.
Of course, I couldn’t make a trip to Rise and leave without first trying a few of their awesome looking donuts. Like their biscuits the donut menu is constantly changing so they post an update each day on their facebook page. I am a little old school when it comes to donuts. I grew up eating my way through the offerings at dunkin donuts and kripsy kreme. I’ve also been to gourmet shops like Vodoo donut out in Portland so I’ve had my share of creaive donuts. I tend to shy away from donuts that are just glammed up with sugary toppings like cocoa puffs or fruit loops abd instead gravitate towards the basics like an old fashioned plain and jelly donuts. I am also a sucker for anything with apple or cinnamon so I opted for Rise’s raspberry filled donut and their honey crisp apple fritter.
I found the raspberry jelly doughnut to be extremely fresh and tastys. It perhaps could have done with a little less powdered sugar on top but it was easy enough to brush off. The raspberry jelly filling was spot on. I’m not sure if they make the jelly in house or get it locally made, but it tasted great. I also like that the donut wasn’t over stuffed with jelly which can sometimes overpower the flavor of the dough in a lesser donut. It had just the right amount of filling making it enjoyable but not messy.
I was won over by the Honey Crisp Apple Fritter as well. I enjoyed the light sugary honey glaze and how I discovered actual chunks of real apples as I pulled apart the fritter. Like the jelly donut the fact that it was soft and fresh made the fritter stand out among others I have had elsewhere in the past. I look forward to getting back to Rise soon to try some of their other donut offerings. I would very much like to try their maple bacon bar and chocoloate cake donuts! I read that they have also slowly begun to introduce some gluten free or “nearly” gluten free donut options. Check out their facebook page for more information as their menu evolves.
The crowd at Rise can grow pretty large fairly quickly in the morning rush so I think it is wise that they have employed a “take a number” system. When you first enter you grab a number and wait to be called on to place your order. When I was there the ticket dispenser was up by the counter and donut display case but I hear they have moved it next to the front door so you see it right away and know what to do as you first enter. Either way, they tend to have a lot of people working the kitchen and the counter so even with a crowd things moved along fairly quickly on my visit.
The interior is not too big and given the large crowds they regularly draw it isn’t they type of place I would plan on sitting down inside to eat. There is some limited seating along one of the walls inside and several tables outside that can be enjoyed during warmer months. In general it is more of a pick up and go type operation but perhaps the crowds will slim down in the coming months making it possible to sit down and relax inside to eat in the future.
For more information about Rise and to keep updated on their daily menu I suggest you follow them on facebook. Rise is definitely a place worth checking out. If you have been there already please let me know what you think and of course I am open to suggestions about what donut to get from them next!