Time Out Chapel Hill
Address: 201 E Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
What to Order: Chicken Cheddar Biscuit ($5.99)
When to Go: Lunch Hours or Late Night (For the true Chapel Hill student experience)
For the Hungry: Order a Combo Meal
Sides to Try: Mac N’ Cheese, Collard Greens, Potato Salad
Delivery: Order through Tar Heel Takeout 24/7, for a $5.00 delivery fee
Located on the corner of Henderson and East Franklin Street, Time Out Chapel Hill is the quintessential southern food joint. Open 24/7, Time Out is the place to go if you’re craving gooey Mac N Cheese, collard greens, or one of their famous Chicken N’ Cheddar Biscuits. Traditional southern food made from scratch daily is their style, and the walls are lined with the pictures of many famous customers who once indulged in the comfort food of Time Out. This restaurant has become an icon for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It has even been featured on the Travel Channel. With over 3 million Chicken N’ Cheddar Biscuits sold, Time Out is definitely a place of novelty and a must try for the thousands of students, locals, alumni, and passerby who visit Chapel Hill every year. Time Out opened in 1978, originally located in the recently torn down University Square in front of Granville Towers. It reopened at 201 East Franklin Street (the former location of East End Oyster and Martini Bar) August 31st, 2015. The owner, Eddie Williams, has made it a significant part of the Chapel Hill community in the past three decades.
What They’re Known For:
Chicken N’ Cheddar Biscuit
The Chicken N Cheddar Biscuit is Time Out’s most popular menu item. In a video filmed by the Travel Channel starring Adam Richman, the process behind making this sandwich is revealed. It is made by taking a real split breast of chicken, frying it, then filleting it off the bone and putting it on a hand-made biscuit with a real slice of cheddar cheese. The split breast of chicken is hand breaded with an original breading recipe before being fried until it is crispy and juicy. The biscuit is made by kneading 100 percent vegetable shortening into self-rising flour, combining this with buttermilk, pouring into a mass-biscuit cutting tray, and baking for 15 minutes. Over 1400 biscuits are prepared daily.
Food For Thought
Time Out integrates traditional southern food into a university atmosphere. The history of traditional southern food is surrounded by racial power complexities originating in the days of United States slavery and continuing into the late 1900s. When Time Out opened in 1978, towards the end of the Civil Rights Era, it brought people from all demographics and backgrounds together. Time Out became a landmark in the Town of Chapel Hill, a spot for students and locals to gather and experience traditional southern comfort food in a town booming with school spirit. This combination of school pride and simple, real, southern food created an iconic restaurant with a greater significance than just a tasty Chicken N Cheddar biscuit.
History of Traditional Southern Food
Traditional Southern Food originates from times of slavery, when many former slaves cooked using the ingredients that were inexpensive and available to them. Often these ingredients were of lower quality and were ‘mushy,’ fatty, and salty when prepared. (citation) This is where the term “soul food” originated. “Soul food” was a derogatory term used to describe specifically the cooking of African Americans. While poor white southerners also cooked similar dishes, their food was often termed as “country cooking.” This difference in terminology used during this time illustrates the extreme racial divide in the days following slavery up until the late 1900s. While many used the term “soul food” and it’s connotations as a term of oppression and bigotry, African Americans used the term to form an identity in newly free territory, in the midst of a bigotry driven society. This racial power complexity has deep roots in traditional southern food. Time Out maintains traditions by cooking southern food based on these origins, and thus acknowledges the controversial history associated with the creation of ‘southern comfort food.’ Today southern food is regarded as a regional icon by many of all race and background.