photograph by Tim Robison

he biscuit stuffed with fried chicken (brined first in pickle juice, buttermilk, and Texas Pete) is a big favorite at Krankies Coffee in Winston-Salem. But it got some competition when the restaurant’s vegetarian chef came up with a meat-free redeye gravy for the house-made biscuits. “Coffee is in redeye gravy, so it seemed like a natural pairing,” says General Manager Gaby Cardall. “There’s also liquid smoke and maple syrup, for a balance of flavor.”

In other words, a biscuit can contain multitudes, which is why Biscuit Head in Asheville offers seven different homemade gravies — order them as a tasting flight of three — plus many local jams, jellies, and hot sauces.

At Neal’s Deli in Carrboro, biscuits arrive with house-cured pastrami, pimento cheese, avocado salsa, or spinach and garlic. Blue Ridge Biscuit Company and Bakery in Black Mountain fills its biscuits with everything from cured beets to a fried grits cake with spiced honey.

The Southerly Biscuit & Pie in Carolina Beach reimagined Nashville hot fried chicken as hot fried catfish and slapped that feisty fish on a biscuit. The result, the Hot ’n’ Hot Catfish Biscuit, is topped with pickles and a spicy mayo sauce. Still, a gorgeous biscuit doesn’t need much fuss.

Craig Love, chef/partner at The Southerly, has a bread-based theory that sums it up nicely: “Toast is the one-night stand of bread relationships. Bagels are the college relationship, where you dated for a few years but still flirted. But biscuits, man, biscuits are the stuff of anniversaries.” Until death do us part.

Krankies Coffee
211 East Third Street,
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

(336) 722-3016

Biscuit Head
733 Haywood Road
Asheville, NC 28806
417 Biltmore Avenue #4F
Asheville, NC 28801

Blue Ridge Biscuit Company and Bakery
601 West State Street
Black Mountain, NC 28711
(828) 357-8501

Neal’s Deli
100 East Main Street, Suite C,
Carrboro, NC 27510

(919) 967-2185

The Southerly Biscuit & Pie
1206 North Lake Park Boulevard, Unit D
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 707-0776



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Debbie Moose is a food columnist for the News & Observer in Raleigh. Her latest cookbook, Southern Holidays, is part of the Savor the South series from UNC Press.