Time-Out is a 24 hour a day / 365 day a year Chapel Hill institution that has been a part of the community for over 35 years. It has been visited repeatedly by sports legends, featured on Man vs. Food (as a community spotlight, not a challenge), and is widely regarded as THE go-to late night spot by UNC students and townies alike. It’s main location on Franklin St. is a new-ish spot for the establishment with its prior location being a little further down the road, but the food has remained unchanged, and the service is still excellent.
The menu is extensive and filled with Southern delights like pork BBQ, okra, mac n’ cheese, greens, delicious pies, and more. A side note on the pies: I have a buddy who while living in the area was known to pick up a slice on the way home from an evening of revelry knowing how good it would be the next morning with coffee. I don’t know why, but this really stuck with me as an amazing idea and I now do it myself. I gloss over their excellent and expansive menu, because while it’s worth mentioning, the main event for me is the chicken and cheddar biscuit.
Rectangular in shape, it’s big (4.5” by 4”), it’s hefty, it’s great. Using once rolled dough (explanation below), the flavor is buttery – but not soggy, a little crispy and light enough that you can eat the whole thing and not feel gross, but substantial enough that it serves as a meal in itself. The freshly fried, seasoned in house chicken, is done just right, and tastes just like homemade. Not too greasy, with a great crispy outside, and never overdone. The use of cheddar cheese over American elevates this biscuit sandwich beyond breakfast item and into the realm of anytime greatness, it’s no wonder Time Out is open 24 hours – I’ve had it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night snack.
For an in depth, behind the scenes look at how they get made (theres a ton of butter and a cool custom tray), check out this video from Man Vs. Food:
I could stop here, but it’s worth noting that Time Out’s long and storied past has involved expansions into Raleigh, a sports bar, and a fleet of roving biscuit-mobiles (you could just call them food trucks, but I like biscuit-mobile), and sponsoring something called The Eno Beach Shag Club with a trailer emblazoned with festive frogs, truly the sun never sets on the Time-Out empire.
The environment is always upbeat and I’ve had many magical Time-Out late night adventures, but one of note stands out. This past winter I was in line with some friends, having just come from a show at Local 506, reveling in the glow of cheap domestics, a traveling Australian man came in behind us and proceeded to ask what the fuss was about. We informed him of the biscuit, and proceeded to have an hour long conversation about individuals who don’t wear shoes to the shopping mall (bogans), controversial politicians, sports, computers, individuals who engage in questionable activities with sheep (New Zealanders – per the Aussie), bars, and Paul Hogan (a national treasure – again, per the Aussie). Basically Time-Out’s chicken cheddar biscuits facilitated a diplomatic exchange between two nations that served to strengthen international bonds, heavy stuff man.
Until next time biscuiteers,
Links to businesses mentioned:
http://timeout247.com/ – Time Out’s site
http://www.local506.com/ – Local 506
http://www.australia.com/en-us – Australia
http://www.enobeachshag.com – The Eno Beach Shag Club