Raleigh is a melting pot of regional cultures. It’s historically the gateway to eastern North Carolina, the capital of the state, and has seen an influx of
damn Yankees immigrants from the north in the past half-century. But this truth remains: Raleigh is a Southern city.
If there is one thing that defines breakfast in the south, it’s a biscuit. We Appalachians are staunch lovers of biscuits and it’s one of the many affinities I point to when debating the “Southernness” of West Virginia. This menu pays homage to the bastions of Southern food culture.
One thing that I loved about living in a small city North Carolina (shout out to Hickory and Lenoir-Rhyne University) was the lunch counters that specialized in simple delicacies rooted in southern lore. One of those is the fried bologna sandwich. Raleigh is no stranger to these dining establishments, and the recommended one I’m highlighting this week is Pam’s Farmhouse Restaurant. Patrons claim it’s even better than grandma’s (but don’t tell her that!).
A staple of such restaurants is the meat and biscuit sandwich. You’ve probably encountered a bologna biscuit sandwich like this at Tudor’s, but pan-frying the bologna takes this to the next level. These things are easy to make on the grill with a skillet but if you have a griddle surface, you can cook everything on that surface.
Two tricks I want to share to frying up bologna: 1) You need to make half-inch slices around slice, from edge to center to keep it from resembling a UFO and ruining a uniform cook. 2) USE BUTTER. Always use a pat of butter when frying bologna be it in a skillet or on a griddle.
If you have a griddle, I highly suggest frying the eggs on it as well. Over-medium is my preference, so that succulent egg yolk drips out, but cook them however you like (also, now I’m thinking about egg yolk dripping down a biscuit and feeling tinglies in my britches).
If you want to take these up a notch, throw some onions and tomatoes on the griddle and cook those to serve on the biscuits.
The official cocktail of Raleigh, this lightly fizzy, fruity cocktail is the crisp start to the gameday. This combo of cherry vodka, cranberry and lime juice and club soda can easily be made in a large vat to serve or you can flex your bartender’s muscles and make it to-order.
I hope you welcome our friends from the Old North State to Morgantown with open arms, but also make sure to show them how we tailgate at WVU. The result on the field may not go our way, but as we all know, Mountaineers don’t lose tailgates!