Tag Archives: Only Burger

Rise in Durham – A Donut & Biscuit Lover’s Paradise!



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!


The menu & ordering at the counter

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.


Bacon Biscuit

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.

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Saturday morning crowd

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.


Raspberry Jelly Donut

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.


Honey Crisp Apple Fritter

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.


Take a number!

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.

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Seating options

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!

8200 Renaissance Parkway Suite 1003, Durham, NC (Map)
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/risebiscuitsdonuts
Twitter: @risedurham


Filed under Businesses, Coffee, Durham, Food, Restaurant Reviews

Recap Of The Labor Day Weekend Food Truck Rodeo In Durham


View looking down Foster Street in Durham

The Food Truck Rodeo at Durham Central Park over Labor Day weekend  was the largest food truck rodeo in the Triangle to date. There were over 45 local trucks participating offering all kinds of culinary delights ranging from Detroit style pizza, dumplings, Korean BBQ, gourmet donuts, to raw healthy vegetarian foods! The event organizers organizers, Becky Cascio of Pie Pushers and Brian Bottger of Only Burger did an outstanding job coordinating this rodeo. Not only was the truck turnout impressive but the layout and spacing of the trucks really helped with the customer lines and crowd control making for a very enjoyable experience.


Trucks lined up along both sides of Foster St.

Trucks were lined up under the Farmer’s Market pavillion and along Foster and Hunt Street. To help limit generator noise, a large (and very quiet) industrial sized generator from Hertz was used to power all of the trucks at the rodeo which eliminating the need for individual generators which are often much noisier. I don’t make it to too many of these rodeos because I usually catch my favorite trucks on their regular visits to places like Fullsteam Brewery in Durham and Big Boss Brewery in Raleigh but I couldn’t resists seeing all of the trucks in one place.


Philly’s Cheese Steak Truck

I also wanted to check out some of the newer trucks on scene like the Philly Cheese Steak truck pictured above. They are the newest truck out of Raleigh, and regularly setup in the parking lot of Gypsy Jule on North West Street in downtown Raleigh on weekend nights. Although I didn’t get a chance to sample their food that day, they are now on the top of my list to try!


The Humble Pig

I also spotted the The Humble Pig truck. They have been around for a while now, but I’ve never seen their truck during my travels before and thought I would grab this shot of the crowd getting in the line to buy some of their well regarded locally sourced bar-b-que. I like the little pig in their logo too. So many trucks were there that day and I had so little time eat. I hope to find their truck again soon.


Gussy’s Greek

As I walked along Foster Street I came upon another truck I hadn’t seen before It was a blue truck called Gussy’s Greek. As the name implies they feature Greek fare like gyros, grilled chicken pita sandwiches, homemade hummus, falafel and Greek salads. I liked the look of the truck (upon looking over the truck I realized it was the old Slippin’ Sliders truck) and the customers I spoke to were very excited about the food the got from Gussy’s. So now I have them on my list to try soon as well!


Sympathy for the Deli

It is always good to go to these rodeos with a plan in mind. Know what trucks you want to try and get to them early. If you spend too much time meandering around, the lines will grow long before you make up your mind on what to eat. On this occasion I was determined to try one of the sandwiches from the Sympathy for the Deli truck. They are mobile deli serving sandwiches made with locally-sourced, sustainable meats, all hand-cured, roasted, and smoked in  Durham. I got in line as soon as  I arrived to beat the crowd and was rewarded with the most amazing sandwich I have ever had.


My smoked turkey sandwich from Sympathy for the Deli

The smoked turkey sandwich I purchased from Sympathy For The Deli had incredible smoked turkey meat topped with lettuce, locally grown tomatoes, onion, herb mayo, and swiss cheese. All nestled between warm toasted sourdough bread. I also had a side of their signature spicy pickled sugar snap peas that they call “Peakles”.

The sandwich was amazing! It was full of flavorful chunks of succulent smoked turkey that went great with the herb mayo and veggie toppings.  They bread was fantastic too – it was thick (but not too thick) and toasted yet had a soft center making the sandwich very easy to eat! I loved this sandwich and thought the “Peakles” were a tasty and creative side.  I can’t wait to try another sandwich from them and plan to do a more in-depth review of their truck and food offerings  soon.


Triangle Raw Foods

Just because it is a food truck doesn’t mean the food you get from it can’t be healthy. A perfect example of this is the Triangle Raw Foods truck. Matthew Daniels and Jane Howard Crutchfield, the folks behind TRF, offer raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, meatless meals. They come to the rodeo with their meals already prepared so there is no wait time which is another huge plus.

On this particular day their menu featured pad thai, green burritos, tunot nori rolls, asian marinated kale, sweet potato & apple salad, and pumpkin & chocolate tarts.  I stopped by and said hello to Matt and Jane, who are both fantastic people by the way, and picked up some of the tunot nori rolls and pumpkin tarts to take home and share with my wife. We both thoroughly enjoyed their healthy raw food creations and I look forward to trying more of their menu items in the future.


The Paws4Ever Waggin’ Wagon

Some have speculated that the food truck scene in the Triangle may have reached capacity with over 45 trucks now serving the area. However,  I think there is always room for a new idea as long as it is executed well. I found it very interesting to see a food truck dedicated to Dogs. It is called the Paws4Ever Waggin’ Wagon and serves gourmet treats four our four-legged friends. Not surprisingly, the truck was quite popular with many customers in the crowd who had their dogs along with them. I heard later through twitter that the Waggin’ Wagon was completely sold out by the end of the day!


Food trucks lined up along Hunt St.

If you missed the rodeo this time around there will be another massive Food Truck Roundup at Durham’s Central Park next month on October 28th. You can also view the rest of my pics from the latest rodeo in my flickr photo album.

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Filed under Durham, Events, Food Trucks

Food Trucks in Raleigh for August “First Friday” & Food Truck Rodeo at North Hills Monday August 6th!


American Meltdown Food Truck

As many of you know, Raleigh’s restrictions on food trucks are a little stricter than those in Durham. As a result the food truck scene in Raleigh is often a little less active than the Bull City. However, when First Friday rolls around you can count on finding trucks in downtown Raleigh. Below is a quick list of trucks that will be out and about in Raleigh today (Friday 8/3/12) and info about a food truck rodeo going down at North Hills on Monday 8/6. As always, follow your favorite food trucks on twitter to keep tabs on where they will be each week!

Food Trucks in Raleigh Today!

Friday Afternoon
11:30am-1:30pm – News & Observer Food Truck Rodeo
Only Burger
Klausie’s Pizza
The Parlour

Friday Night
Sympathy for the Deli – Lonerider Brewery from 5-9pm
Baguettaboutit – Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) from 6-10pm
American Meltdown – Marbles Museum IMAX Theater from 5-9pm tonight

MondayAfternoon (8/6/12) – North Hills Food Truck Rodeo
North Hills mall (in parking lot behind Bruegger’s) from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 

Captrust, is hosting a food truck rodeo to benefit the the Payton Wright Foundation. 10% of all sales to be donated to the foundation, which raises money for pediatric brain cancer research.

The trucks scheduled to be there:
Klausie’s Pizza
Chirba Chirba Dumpling
Captain Ponchos Taco Truck
Gussy’s Greek Street Food
Olde North State BBQ
Big City Sandwiches
Big John’s Hot & Spicy
Kona Ice
Lumpy’s Ice Cream

More info on North Hills Food Truck Rodeo on their event facebook page here.


Filed under Food Trucks

My first Only Burger!


Last Saturday I had a craving for a great burger and felt like doing a little exploring.  That’s when I hopped on twitter and saw the tweet that Only Burger truck would be staioned in the parking lot of Sam’s Quick Shop in Durham for the afternoon.  I hopped in my car and headed on over to take advantage of this perfect opportunity to try Only Burger for the first time and check out the extensive beer selection at Sam’s that I’ve heard so much about. 


I got a single burger with a side of fries and a diet coke for just over $7.  The burer and fries were excellent.  My mouth is watering right now just thinking abut how good they were.  I really like how they toast the bun giving it that little something extra that compliments the burger oh so well.  The shoestring type fries were tasty too. They weren’t too oily or salty like they are at most fast food places.  The folks at Only Burger make everything to order so it takes a few minutes for them to complete your order, but the short wait is more than worth it! 

You can follow Only Burger on their facebook fanpage and track where they will be located each day by following them on twitter at @onlyburger.

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Filed under Businesses