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Posted by DID 3 Dec 2012 9 Comments

In the same strip as a Petco and a Sports Clips, deep in the retail hell of Southpoint mall/Target there’s a new oasis – Rise. Durham’s new doughnut/biscuit shop, Rise is the brainchild of Tom Ferguson (Durham Catering Co.). A bright small space filled with doughnut art, Rise has a couple of high top tables (no chairs) and a side bar with a handful of stools. Rise is more of a grab-and-go type place for those seeking a quick breakfast or an early afternoon sugar rush than a hang out nursing a cup of coffee for hours kind of a joint. There are however toys, books and a chalkboard for the young impatient customers.

You grab a number as you walk-in, help yourself to coffee or milk and study the menu. A surprisingly diverse selection for just doughnuts and biscuits, Rise offers several daily biscuit specials (rabbit stew biscuit, vegetarian cauliflower steak biscuit, pigs in a blanket and collard greens), a dozen biscuit toppings and a rotating list of six or so doughnuts. Biscuit toppings range from the classics (ham, sausage, bacon, egg) to the more interesting (fake bacon, local cheese of the day, dollop of the day, Farmer’s Daughter jam, Big Spoon peanut butter). The rotating list of doughnuts includes glazed, fritters, filled and topped.

It took us about 20 minutes to wait, order and get our choices in hand. But I’m guessing once Rise has been open a few weeks/months that wait-time will be slashed drastically. Having already sampled the maple bacon at the SEEDs dinner, we decided to keep our order simple. We went with a glazed doughnut, a lemon bomb (lemon curd filled doughnut topped with macadamia nuts),andĀ  a biscuit filled with Farmer’s Daughter very berry jam.

The glazed is cakier and more substantial than the Krispy Kreme variety. I didn’t pick up on the hint of orange but it was a solid, classic take on the doughnut. Our lemon bomb came without the promised macadamia nuts, which I think would have helped to cut the sweet, tartness of the lemon curd and added an interesting crunch. The biscuit was the star, warm and buttery filled with Farmer’s Daughter outstanding jam. Based on the early pieceĀ  on Durham Magazine’s site, I’m guessing Rise will continue to edit and make additions to their menu.

Rise is a great addition to South Durham and will be a welcome reward when forced to venture to the mall.

8200 Renaissance Parkway Suite 1003
Mon – Sun: 7:00 am – 2:00 pm


  • joefood said:

    was there first thing friday morning. place was jammed – lots of pressure for a new biz, even if owners are seasoned pros. staff was graceful under pressure; food was great (tried biscuits and of course maple bacon glazed). There were a few kinks in the process but all were minor glitches that surely will be worked out as they catch their breath and develop a flow. they serve bean traders coffee – just another reason to love them!


  • spaniard said:

    Worth the wait! The pan-seared beef tenderloin biscuit sandwich (with cheese and crimini mushrooms) was absolutely fantastic. The donuts and biscuits are perfectly fresh, and don’t leave you with that bloated, greasy feeling like some of the chain places. Even better are the prices – $1 for a gourmet donut and $3 for a delicious fried chicken biscuit sandwich makes Rise more reasonably priced than I’d anticipated (I mean, a Harris Teeter donut sells for almost a buck). And the glaze on the whole experience – the day after eating Rise, my 9-days-overdue pregnant wife went into labor! Behold, the power of biscuits.


  • Ralph Haygood said:

    I was there this morning for the first time, and it was excellent – a biscuit with a thick slice of flavorful ham and Vermont white cheddar, a side of creamy grits, and a couple of donuts to take home. My only regret is the location. I just happened to be down there this morning, but I rarely visit “the retail hell of Southpoint,” especially not early in the day. However, judging from the crowd this morning, Rise is going to thrive there.


  • Sant said:

    Why do they close at 2PM? I really want to try Rise but with the location and those hours it might be awhile.


  • Tooth said:

    I’m eating a chicken biscuit from Rise as I type this. Its a really good chicken biscuit and it gives me hope that, somehow, Rise might put the neighboring Chick-fil-a out of business. In fact, now that I think about it, maybe that’s why Rise chose to locate in that retail hell area…to lay waste to a single Chick-fil-a franchise! Viva la biscuits!


  • Jason said:

    My wife and I ate there for breakfast on Sunday as we live near Southpoint. It was quite busy around 10am with about 30 people ahead of us in line. The staff was very friendly, allowed us to grab some coffee while we waited (which was hot and fantastic), and it only took about 30 minutes wait time to order. The turn around time after ordering was blazing fast, and let me tell you, well worth the wait.

    My wife ordered an apple fritter and an egg and bacon biscuit which she thought were fantastic. I went a little nuts and got 3 donuts, the maple bacon bar, the pumpkin donut, and a raspberry jelly filled. The pumpkin was delicious, the maple bacon rocked with a full strip of bacon on top, but the star of the show was the raspberry filled! The jelly was substantive and tasted like fresh raspberries. Then when I thought it could not getter better, I stole a piece of my wife’s fritter, and it rivaled any fritter I have ever tasted.

    I would recommend Rise to all my friends and hope that they keep up the good work. Just be prepared to wait if you go on a weekend morning, but it will be well worth it.


  • Carol said:

    On a recent trip to Durham, I ventured to Rise to get a taste of their biscuits. They came highly recommended. I was so impressed. The outside of the biscuit was buttery and crisp while the inside was lighht and flaky. The ham buscuit was the star with a moist, thick piece of ham that filled the center. The bacon biscuit was delicious but could have used justone more slice to reach perfection! I can’t wait to try them agian on my next visit.


    CDB replies on October 16th, 2013 at 1:50 pm:

    The chicken fillet biscuit is well worth skipping a meal for. But maybe next time I’ll try the ham.


  • tarheelJ said:

    Had the Cronie this weekend and it was decadent! Cashier got my order wrong (third time this has happened) but donuts were wonderful!


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