Biscuits! They're majorly fortifying, intensely satisfying, fantastically portable, and transition seamlessly from sweet to savory and from breakfast to lunch to dinner to dessert. So what better to base our Taste Talks: Chicago brunch on than biscuits, and who better to supply them than Bang Bang, the Windy City's iconic café and bakery?
Can't make it to the Midwest? We're celebrating spots that are raising the bar on biscuits all throughout the U.S., from L.A.'s sassy Sqirl to the delightfully divey Commodore in Brooklyn.
Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits
Now boasting a pair of Chicago locations (the beloved original is in Logan Square) Bang Bang embraces Midwestern-style baking; adding a thick slick of sour cream to their dense and sturdy biscuits, which allows them to stand up to all manner of sandwich fillings — from avocado and queso fresco to ginger sage sausage and cheddar cheese and even smoked brisket, stippled with stone fruit bbq sauce.
There's a James Beard Award-winning chef behind the biscuits at this lowcountry SC staple; so don't miss the colorfully dubbed, top-selling Charleston Nasty; a fried chicken breast puddled with sausage gravy and melted cheddar cheese, packed between the two flaky halves of a lard, butter and shortening-based biscuit.
Stephen Tanner's seminal pseudo-dive helped spark both Williamsburg's restaurant renaissance, as well as a southern food revolution in Brooklyn; thanks in a large part to its stellar, pint-sized biscuits, delivered alongside gold standard plates of fried chicken, or served solo, with pats of whipped honey butter.
It certainly says something when you're the hippest café in LA. And the innovative breakfast items that emerge from Jessica Koslow's tiny kitchen might be even prettier than the people that line up in droves for them; think fresh herb-speckled biscuits encasing runny-centered poached eggs, or smeared with seasonal, housemade jam.
Don't let the name fool you; this quaint café has been winning hearts in Nashville for over 65 years. And with a motto like "Home is Where the Biscuits Are," it's easy to see why — in fact, you'll receive a gratis order of their scratch-made, world famous biscuits alongside every meal. But don't let that stop you from ordering them as a sampler platter; padded with fried green tomato and pimento cheese, country ham, barbecue, or bacon, sausage or steak.
A Baked Joint
This spin-off of D.C.'s baked and wired actually incorporates goodies directly into their biscuits — meaty options include sausage and cilantro and bacon and chive, while cheesy treats consist of goat cheese with rosemary or caramelized onion. Although you can certainly go for broke with a biscuit sammie; boasting a gloss of mayo and an organic fried egg.
Sweet Cheeks Q
Original "Top Chef" runner-up, Tiffany Faison, actually had to install a second, dedicated oven to fulfill outsized orders for biscuits — sky high, buttermilk-moistened behemoths — at her Boston BBQ spot.
Pine State Biscuits
Shredded, frozen butter creates ethereal, lighter-than-air layers in the biscuits at this Portland, Oregon favorite. The better to counterbalance the addition of mushroom gravy, or a bevy of hearty fillings; try the Steak Club (seared flank, heirloom tomatoes, blue cheese), the Regina (eggs over easy with braised greens and Texas Pete hot sauce) and the Wedgie; fried chicken and fried green tomatoes with an iceberg lettuce wedge.
Maple Street Biscuit Company
This single storefront in Jacksonville quickly bloomed into a Florida mini-franchise. And its no wonder that residents have been clamoring for outposts up and down the state, considering the menu comprises up to 20 biscuit sandwich options; such as The Five (fried chicken, pecan wood smoked bacon, cheddar, sausage gravy), The Garden Bird (fried chicken, fried egg, collard greens, hot sauce), and The Squawking Goat (fried chicken and fried goat cheese, teamed with housemade pepper jelly).
Serious Pie and Biscuit
Believe it or not, you'll find some of Seattle's best biscuits in a pizza parlor. And they're not a brunch-only afterthought, but part of an extensive, seven-day-a-week menu; we're talking legit buttermilk biscuits topped with everything from fried catfish and green olive tartar sauce to truffled frittatas with tomatoes and capers and even house-ground peanut butter crowned with ripe banana and honey.
"Want to eat your weight in Bang Bang's biscuits? "Buy your ticket to Taste Talks Chicago today!"