Mind Your Biscuits

I grew up in Alpharetta, Georgia.  Today it is a very affluent northern suburb of Atlanta that has grown significantly since I left.  Mom and dad still live in the same house, so we spend a lot of time up there.  I don’t recognize it anymore.  When I was there, it was a really small town with a few neighborhoods and a somewhat vibrant downtown near city hall.

There was a strip mall development downtown that housed one of the greatest restaurants to ever grace the surface of the Earth: The Soda Fountain.  It was a meat and three type of place that served an incredible breakfast.  They made great milkshakes, chili cheeseburgers, “salads”, and French Silk Pie.  They always had fried chicken as a daily special, along with a couple of other options.  I wouldn’t call it a country diner at the time, but in the lens of 2022, it would definitely be considered so.

There was a woman who worked there named Dot.  Dot lived about 40 miles north of The Soda Fountain, but drove in every morning, turning the lights on at 4:30 to start making biscuits.  Dot was old school.  VERY old school.  She was about five feet tall, weighed about 85 pounds, and smoked incessantly.  She was as sweet as could be, but you never wanted to cross her.  The Soda Fountain’s kitchen was her kitchen.

I, and most of the folks in old Alpharetta, would argue that her claim to fame was her biscuits.  She made them the old-fashioned way: with lard.  They were the cat head variety that was much bigger than a hockey puck.  They were about the size of a sporting clay.  Moist, buttery, melt in your mouth bread that stuck to the roof of your mouth if you didn’t concentrate.  They were heaven on Earth.  And a way of life for our family.  We would eat those biscuits 4-5 times a week.  They were that good.

They served them with every variety of meat that you can think of: ham, country ham, sausage, smoked sausage, pork tenderloin, bacon, red hots, streak-o-lean (extra points if you know what that is).  Add eggs and/or cheese to any of them.  Split one and slather with gravy.  Or just butter one with a little honey or jelly.  I’m drooling just writing about this…they were all delicious, and enough for a meal.  I can distinctly remember the line of businessmen, truck drivers, high school students, etc. waiting at 7AM to grab a biscuit to go.  I don’t think any variety cost more than $3 apiece, which was a steal.

I miss those biscuits.  There are some good ones out there today, but not like Dot’s biscuits.  No one uses lard anymore (which is probably a good thing), but I miss that country ham.

It makes me wonder: where are the good biscuits?  Who does them the ‘old way’?  I don’t mean Chick-fil-A or Bojangles (both of whom have GREAT biscuits) but from a country diner.  Let’s hear it…leave a comment below.  This should be fun…

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15 Comments

  1. Lindsey Hines
    04/25/2022 / 7:42 AM

    You will have to drive up to Cumming, Ga for these, but Daisy’s, The Red Barn and Mr Swiss when it was open has those biscuits you miss 🙂

  2. Poor Man
    04/25/2022 / 8:38 AM

    Stilesboro Biscuits in West Cobb is an remnant of NW Ga pre-burb lyfe

    • Robert
      04/25/2022 / 3:08 PM

      Stilesboro is a good one…

  3. Jonathan Harvey
    04/25/2022 / 8:41 AM

    You’ll pay a sight more than $3 for them, but a Gracious Plenty on Canton St in Roswell has some legit cat head biscuits.

  4. FatElvis
    04/25/2022 / 9:02 AM

    Sunrise Breakfast Kitchen in Chapel Hill, NC. Drive thru or walk up. Closes at 2.

  5. 04/25/2022 / 9:13 AM

    I thought my grandmothers buttermilk biscuits were the bomb till I discovered the holy grail of biscuit recipes.

    2 cups white lily self raising flour
    1.5 cups of heavy whipping cream

    Preheat oven to 475

    Add flour to a large mixing bowl. Slowly pour in heavy whipping cream and stir gently until just combined. Do not over mix.

    Pour biscuit dough onto a floured countertop or dough board. Gently pat or roll to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out biscuits using about a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits into skillet or on baking sheet pan, leaving about an inch between biscuits to allow them to rise and cook fully. Place in preheated oven and bake about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

    You’re welcome!

    BSR

  6. ben
    04/25/2022 / 11:00 AM

    Goober’s gas station in Sharpsburg, GA has the best breakfast biscuit sandwiches around.

  7. Trip
    04/25/2022 / 12:12 PM

    I like this post. A nice change up from all of the golf coverage lately.

    Also, the criminalization of lard needs to end. It’s far healthier than shortening or any other industrial seed or vegetable oil.

  8. 04/25/2022 / 3:16 PM

    Spiced Right Ribhouse/BBQ on Hwy 9 in Roswell.
    Brisket -Egg_ Cheese biscuit, very, very good. Most don’t think about a BBQ place for breakfast. I highly recommend trying one.

  9. Wk
    04/25/2022 / 8:24 PM

    Bob’s Dairyland on Hwy 19 in Roan Mountain Tenn

    It’s an early AM stop between the NC high country and going fishing the Watugua or South Holston.

    There is an old lady there that rolls em. I mean big ole crumbly things. You have to put five or six pieces of bacon on them to fill them up, but you could eat a plain one and it’s heavenly enough.

    Usually get a couple to-go and put packet mustard on them on the boat at lunch.

    There are local old men that have their own tables. This isn’t some joint featured in garden and gun.

  10. Michael
    04/25/2022 / 9:45 PM

    Golden Pantry biscuits. The stores make from scratch from their 1965 recipe.

  11. JPL
    04/26/2022 / 8:35 AM

    Fresh biscuits in the office might have been the best part of the pandemic.

  12. John T.
    04/26/2022 / 10:10 PM

    Jerry’s Shell station in downtown Griffin, GA. Sausage or fried chicken are best, but just the plain biscuit with melted butter (like it needs more, but, ya know, butter) and grape jelly.

  13. MSM
    04/27/2022 / 5:54 PM

    No tips on biscuits but I will say this is the content I’m here for. Make this a biscuit blog pronto.

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