Question: What should a person eat in a self-professed “Southern Boulangerie”?
Answer: Anything and everything.
I’ve yet to try an item from this enterprising little eat shop that isn’t excellent. It is possible to order truly cross cultural sandwiches such as pimento cheese on a brioche bun or a baguette spread with boiled peanut hummus, but Rise’s fusion of cuisines is less about specifics and more a matter of style. Here you will find some of the South’s favorite dishes prepared with the brio of a Cordon Bleu chef. Likewise, some traditional French bakery items are given a beguiling Dixie accent.
A country ham biscuit, for example, adds preserved lemon butter and basil to the classic southern pair. In a subtle textural role reversal, the biscuit itself is chewy, the ham light and tender, the lemon butter and basil adding a sunny Mediterranean flair. A roasted apple galette is a sophisticated, multi-sheaf pastry but with all the powerhouse fruit sweetness of Mississippi boarding house cobbler.
In a category that is neither very French nor Southern, Rise Bakeshop offers a wide array of nutritionally virtuous dishes including a wonderful warm buckwheat breakfast bowl that includes candied pecans and golden raisins and is sweetened with sorghum syrup. Sorghum also adds wicked dark potency to a fine sticky bun.
After 10:30, a roster of “Late Riser” sandwiches are available on brioche or baguette. Among these are fried chicken with house-made pickles and spicy mayo; a vegetarian beet burger topped with cheese; a “Garden of Good Eatin'” sandwich of roasted vegetables, local greens, and a schmear of sun-dried tomato spread; and a truly cross-cultural invention called “This Little Piggy.” The Piggy is made with porchetta, kimchi aioli, jicama slaw, soy vinaigrette, and cilantro on a length of chewy, crusty whole-wheat baguette.
Rise is foremost a bakery, where pastries and breadstuffs are made from scratch with expert hands. These include luxurious English muffins, brioche rolls, biscuits, and baguettes. It is possible to come here and have a simple serving of bread topped with a selection from a tremendous variety of house-made blended butters (fines herbs, roasted garlic, bacon, preserved lemon, etc.), schmears (sun-dried tomato, chow-chow, lox, etc.), and specialty spreads (truffle mushroom, pimento cheese, boiled peanut hummus…).
There is no indoor seating at Rise Bakeshop, but a small patio offers chairs and a couple of tables for al fresco dining when weather permits.