While to me, dining out is all about the whole experience of socializing and eating, there are times when you just need to grab something quick and bring it back home or to your office. And oftentimes, there are restaurants that cater to the takeout business. And while you’re normally always better off eating in the dining room, taking your meal out often saves time and money for a diner. I’ll confess that from time to time, eating in my car or in front of the TV is my preferred dining choice and I’ve got two take-out only Southern favorites for you: the famous Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen and the Saltwater Seafood & Fry Shack!
Now out in Chapel Hill, the Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen is sort of legendary. I’d drive from time to time in the wee morning hours and see people bustling around inside, making da biscuits! They weren’t joking, naming themselves Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen. Which is a good thing because a fresh made-biscuit is the only way to go. Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen is a tiny drive-through spot and on most weekend mornings you’ll find a long line wrapped around the small building. And why? Because their chicken biscuits rock! Think of a salted crusted but substantial biscuit with a hand-breaded chicken fillet poking out. Take a bite and you get a mix of soft and crunchy textures along with the savory greasy goodness of the fried chicken. Yep, this place is sort of limited but they do one thing well, very well! And if the line gets too long, you can pop inside the small building. They’ve got a small counter area where you can grab your food to go! As a bonus you get to see all the action going down in that small grey building.
Way out in N. Raleigh off of Capital Boulevard is the seafood market, Saltwater Seafood & Fry Shack (SS&FS)! Located at the split of Capital Boulevard next to Dunkin Donuts and the Foxy Lady, the SS&FS is part of the Earp’s seafood family and is mostly (meant as a retail store. But aha, what’s that in the corner? A small counter where you can save yourself some time and order up some of their fresh fish, fried Calabash style! It’s a small basic menu with all the Southern fixin’s. Choose a type of fish (trout, flounder, whiting, croakie, shrimp, scallops) fried or broiled. Add some slaw, fries, hushpuppies or corn on the cob to fill out the meal. Hang out on the small folding chair and your food should come out piping hot in 10 minutes or so.
And yeah, the Saltwater Seafood & Fry Shack dishes out large portions of fresh seafood. I typically go with the special of flounder, scallops and shrimp. SS&FS fries up their seafood with a light coating covering tender fish. If you want to save some money, go with a bone-in special (spot, porgy, whiting) for about $6. They also do a solid job with the sides, especially the hush-puppies and potato salad. Let’s just say between the fried seafood, carbs in the fries and hushpuppies along with the buttered corn, you’re looking at a serious nap after the meal! But I like the place for its authenticity and prices. It’s cheap, good quality NC seafood and you figure it’s got to be fresh!
So there you go! Sometimes it’s ok to eat and run because at the Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen and Saltwater Seafood & Fry Shack you won’t have any choice. Order at the counter or service window and you’ll have your food to go, stat! We’re talking about down-home eats wrapped up in paper or styrofoam, who needs fine china and white tablecloths?! Bon appetit…
1305 E. Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
4 Fenton Street
Raleigh, NC 27604