Breakfastime Anytime, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Breakfastime is a six-link chain of breakfast places in the North Carolina Piedmont. I decided to have breakfast at one in Winston-Salem (Hanes Mall area) to start Day 2 of my recent Ride through Hell Recovery Tour of the Piedmont. After four lunches on Day 1 I’d skipped dinner and was ready to eat. I chose Breakfastime because it offers both country ham biscuits, which I dearly love, and also so I could try a local specialty food. I’m always eager to try foods that you really can’t find anywhere outside a narrow region. I’ve written about the CrownBurger in Salt Lake, the Southern Maryland stuffed ham sandwich, and the air dried sausage in Eastern North Carolina. And Breakfastime offered that elusive specialty.

Breakfastime has a new exterior but a traditional feel. There’s a room full of booths, but the core is a long counter — here’s half of it —

that away seems full. I squeezed into a space between two guys, one of whom had ordered a steak sandwich that overflowed the bun along with two orders of grits with butter. The other had a platter with a good looking omelet, buttered toast, and some gorgeous hash browns I would have ordered but for my barbecue plans. He was a local guy who often eats at Breakfastime to fuel enough to work straight through lunch and finish work redoing bathrooms sooner.

I simply ordered a familiar country ham biscuit and the specialty. Here’s the Breakfastime version.

That’s a good-sized piece of ham, and it’s a good, rich, salty slice. And I liked the biscuit. This biscuit was of the high-butter, slightly doughy variety. It went well with the ham, and was well worth the $5.99 I paid for it. Breakfastime offers a good, solid country ham biscuit. It may not be another Oak Level Cafe country ham biscuit, but really, is there a better one in the Triad? Name it. Please.

But the specialty food. What is it? Breakfastime offers the North Carolina specialty: livermush. I mentioned livermush in this post, which offered a sure-fire strategy for predicting the winner of sports championship games. “Livermush” is a good punch line. The idea of eating something that contains the word “liver” repels most people, and the word “mush” repels everyone else. I suppose they should rebrand it, as they renamed Slimehead to Orange Roughy, Dolphin to Mahi Mahi, Toothfish to Clean Sea Bass, and — my favorite, from Down Under — Locusts to Sky Prawns.

Livermush actually tastes very good. Here’s a slice.

Note that it’s not at all greasy. And isn’t that an impressive crust? The flavor recalls country sausage, with only a background memory of a hint of liver, the same sort of whisper you get in a fine pâté de campagne. It’s not enough to bother you, just enough for added richness. The texture is a pleasing contrast between the crunch of the crust and the creaminess of the soft interior. And that beautiful slice cost a mere $1.99. Does anything cost that little?

I enjoyed my breakfast immensely. Country ham is a national treasure, a food that Nero Wolfe, no mean judge, declared makes American cuisine one of the world’s finest. Actually, so are biscuits. And the livermush was delicious. Maybe they should rename it pâté de porc brûlée. This was my first taste of livermush, but far from my last. More and more, I find that being open to new foods, like new experiences, enlivens and enriches my life. I’ve tried a loser or two, like the fried tripe at Aux Pied de Cochons in Lyon, but their lentil, beef mouth, and veal foot salad was a revelation.

Next time you get to North Carolina, give livermush a try. It’s only two bucks, and if you keep your mind as open as my mouth, you’ll enjoy it. And always be on the lookout for a country ham biscuit. Either way, Breakfastime can offer you a great breakfast.


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4 thoughts on “Breakfastime Anytime, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

    1. It’s mainly in the Piedmont and Mountains, it seems, with Shelby NC west of Charlotte as the epicenter. It’s on the menu at Eddie’s Place in Charlotte, which I’ve reviewed, and on the lunch menu at Brooks Sandwich House. I’m unaware of any restaurants in Raleigh. There are lots off places in Asheville.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Whether it’s on the menu as scrapple or livermush, I’m a fan. However, in our 40 years together, still can’t get Fred to eat it. He refers to my breakfast choice as crapple! Also, he eats country ham that I add to collards but not on a biscuit. Go figure??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Kay, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.

      My experience with Fred is a bit dated, but I found that he would d anything if he’d been drinking a little more than he should. Or a lot more. Maybe if you cut out rounds of scrapple and told him it was sausage – or pate de pork brûlée. And get really thin-cut country ham and tell him it’s prosciutto or Jason Iberia that cost you $50 a pound so he damn well better eat it.


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