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Ren's grubbing on the breakfast of champions.
Someone once told me that when you hit rock bottom that the only place you can go is up. Considering I hadn't had an American style biscuit in over a year, my diet reached a new level of fuck it a few days ago. Yes, I fell off the wagon. To put it politely, the wagon and me rolled off a cliff on Mother's Day, caught fire in midair and crashed into a fiery explosion which then resulted in a rock slide, natural disaster and extinction of the indigenous population. In one day I had a biscuit, a cinnamon roll and pizza.

Perhaps I shouldn't feel so guilty, but I do. I suppose that's why I've become such a snob with eating out. I don't want to put just an average cinnamon roll in my mouth, I want the best. If I'm going to suffer the shame and high blood glucose levels, then damn it, it's going to be worth it.

I had been promising Ren that I'd take her to Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen for sometime. The place has quite a reputation from both Food Network shows and has been featured in a few movies. I knew it would be good, I just didn't know how good.

The two things every one says you have to get at this local's favorite is the chicken biscuit and their cinnamon roll. Considering I hadn't had a biscuit in a long, long time... I quickly came to the conclusion that this is probably the best biscuit I've ever had. Buttery, fall apart, light and fluffy deliciousness with a fried chicken breast with egg and cheese. Yes, I think I just found my death row last meal of choice. Then came the cinnamon roll with equally similar characteristics. My plan was just to take a bite.

Let me just say I make a lot of plans in my life, some work out, some don't. For a moment, my inner fatty almost demanded a second. In all my life, everywhere I've gone, everything I've done, I've never, ever tasted a cinnamon roll as good as Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen's. It is literally the world's best and is worth every bit of self hate that one can deploy upon themselves in the aftermath. This place is more than worth a drive to Chapel Hill, it's worth a drive from almost anywhere in North America.  If you're wondering if it's better than such and such place (Time Out, Bojangles, Biscuitville, etc.), the answer is yes. Yes, it is.

I broke every rule in the book that carb infested day, but it didn't break me. As Rocky once said (I think), "it's not how many cinnamon rolls you can eat, it's how many cinnamon rolls you can eat and keep moving forward, that's how winning is done."

A Regular Bull (shredded beef), smothered with sour cream and jalapenos
+habanero salsa and I substituted the beans for rice.
Chance turned 14 yesterday and with it we decided to take him out to dinner. "What would you like for your birthday dinner?", I asked after picking him up from school. "I don't know.", he responded. Getting confirmation of anything out of a teenager becomes an  extraction process similar to metaphorically waterboarding terrorists. "If I had a gun to your sisters head and you had to choose between Indian, Italian, Mexican or burgers, what would you choose?" His immediate answer was "I wouldn't.", followed by a "Mexican, I guess...".

Now the hard part comes. How to impress the lad with a superior Mexican dinner worthy of his fourteen years on this planet. Google isn't much help with "best Mexican in North Carolina" or "...Greensboro". Kiosco typically comes back as first choice, but I've gone there while going to UNCG and didn't find it all that impressive. In fact, I've tasted a lot of Mexican restaurants over the years and most of them are the same. Sure there's the go-to CarnicerĂ­a El Mercadito in Greensboro, for tacos (probably some of the best I've ever had), but I'm not going to take Champ to a Latin supermarket for his birthday.


Then I remember this place in Raleigh I've been wanting to try called the Flying Burrito. It's been featured on the Travel Channel and I've been dying to get there. The only problem is it's over an hour away in rush hour traffic. I figured what the hell, let's take a risk, try something new and see what happens. So we popped the top on the Mustang and headed out.  The weather was perfect, the sunset ideal.

Corn-Hole is one of those things that only happens in the
South.

Was it good? It was divine. You know your world is turned upside down when the white people start making better Mexican food than the Hispanics. I was a little worried knowing this restaurant was in a small shopping center, but after arriving and finding outdoor cantina tables and corn-hole in the parking lot I knew this place had a cool atmosphere. People bring their dogs who lay patiently under tables waiting for their owners to finish or mistakenly drop food. There are beers in hand and this has to be the closest thing to a Miami taco stand I've ever seen.

As for the food? Perfect. The regular burrito, a California style (ate with a fork) variety, is just plain huge. You can get them smothered and covered with cheese, jalapenos and sour cream. I chose the optional habanero hot sauce for a bit of kick. It was the best burrito I've had ever... Seriously.  The flavors are non-traditional, they're a surprise, they're amazing. As I looked over at the dog laying next to me, all I could say is "don't even think about it!" We also ordered nachos and there are also tacos, enchiladas and desserts. Burritos are $10+ once you get all the extras, but well worth it. I don't think they're making a killing here considering the size of these things.
Happy Birthday Tex.

I also need to say that our waitress was amazing. It's rare to encounter service like we did last night and to say that she made the night perfect, even leaving Chance a birthday note, is not an exaggeration. I'm going to crave the Flying Burrito in ways I didn't know that was possible. I'm somewhat glad I live about an hour away, otherwise much like the dogs, you might find me curled under a table begging for more.

When you get within about ten miles of this place, shut the GPS off and just follow the deep-fryer
exhaust till you reach Ye Ole Country Kitchen

While the kids were off in Mexico, we decided to get our grub on at a local buffet. What's more American than an all you can eat smorgasbord of deep fried foods slapped smack dab in a two-hundred year old village and outdoor theatre?  I'm betting you've never thought about eating chocolate chip pecan pie and visiting a colored school house at the same time, but it's possible in North Carolina. With the recent HB2 debacle, part of me becomes angered that such structures still exist and I contemplate if the state will ever be void of a culture that disenfranchises minorities.

I'm guessing the LGBT community might find
this ironic.

On one hand we could say these museum pieces serve to teach future generations the injustice of our pasts, but considering our current political conundrum in North Carolina, I'm starting to move towards the opinion of, burn it down. When cities were conquered in the historical past, the present was built over in their ruins. There's no place for confederate flags or reminders of a state that always was a quagmire of complacency until forced into change. We've tried it long enough, now NC needs a reboot with a reformat and new operating system.

Yet sitting in a John Deere themed interior, my white complexion gains complete access to Snow Camp's Ye Ole Country Kitchen. In what is probably, North Carolina's best buffet you'll be served deep-fried everything with a smile. Want salad with homemade dressing and croutons, check. Want amazing macaroni and cheese with real cheddar cheese melted on top, check. Want unlimited North Carolina pork BBQ or shrimp? This is the place. Renowned for the best fried chicken in North Carolina, everything here appears to be homemade with enough calories from sugar and fat to send your cardiologist into a fit of rage. In the south, if you don't die young then you can't really say you ever were a southerner. There's an inherent risk to eating at Ye Ole Country Kitchen that you may never go home again. Either you'll pass out from a carbohydrate coma or marry the waitress just to have unlimited access to the homemade pound cake. Need I mention, all of this gut busting fun is unlimited with a paid trip to the buffet? Can I get a yee haw?
The post office of doom. Your mail comes in but it never
goes out.

I've been to several of these country themed buffets. There's the Hillbilly Hideaway in Walnut Cove which was fairly decent but will set you back a cool $70-$80 for a family. There's also Snyder Farm's in Sophia and the Pioneer in Archdale. All of them serve similar southern cuisine with a bit of passive aggressiveness (as is the case in the Pioneer) that you must eat what you take. The pioneer goes a bit further and claims they will charge you more if you eat too much. Ye Ole Country Kitchen merely recommends, like your mother, that if you don't eat everything on your plate that some child in Africa will die dreaming about the democracy and freedom you're shoveling into your lips of liberty. In all honesty, while I did fear that I would be reprimanded for not eating my beans in my chili, the wait-staff had no problem with my particularities or my three desserts that I took from the buffet. Would they treat me the same if they knew the woman across from me was my Hispanic lesbian wife or that despite my outward appearance of being Caucasian that I don't understand white people at all sometimes?
"Zee village of my peoples".

So there it is. I don't care who you are, what you look like... take the risk and go to North Carolina's craziest buffet. If you can still move after dinner, tour the theater (or catch a show if it's running). We found the doors to many of the historic buildings open which are fun to explore. The buffet runs on Saturday and Sunday nights from about 4:30 to 8:00 PM. Cost is dirt cheap and they take none of that fancy modern credit card doohickeys (they do have an ATM). The food will set back your diet goals a few decades just like North Carolina government.