Trailer-Made: Biscuits + Groovy
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 10.06.11
Trailers do what they can to fight the elements. Biscuits + Groovy opens early for the cool, then puts orange and yellow picnic tables under corrugated steel awnings that match the trailer’s sides. You’ll still break a sweat, working through food like this. Biscuits are a workingman’s food, even if you’re not a man and even if work means a laptop under flourescent tube lights. But under those lights, you won’t get to smell the maple-sweet aroma of a fresh batch of bacon cooking in an iron skillet.
Jon Lach started the trailer a year ago as a vegan concept with biscuits and gravy as just one of many dishes on the menu. But when more people started asking for biscuits and gravy and more people asked for non-vegan breakfast meats, the trailer adapted. The vegan options are still there, fried in their own skillets as Lach would have it, a vegan "since forever," but a vegan who's been drawn to the other team lately by the red snapper at Justine's. At Biscuits + Groovy, the dish names are hat-tips to our disco past, an era the 23-year-old Lach appreciates even if he was born more than a decade after it crested. There's the Bee Gee, the Donna Summer, the Village Biscuits. Look for more time-jumping names to join the existing biscuit repertoire of Johnny Hash and the Philly Nelson, including the Barry Hamilow, the Chili Hendrix, the I Would Do Anything for Meatloaf.
I took my B+G experience to three levels, starting with just a biscuit with butter and jam for $1, moving to the signature Biscuits + Groovy with Independence Brown Ale gravy, three biscuits and sausage for $6. And finally to the Gloria Gaynor with everything: three eggs, biscuits, bacon, sausage, cheese and jalapeños for $9.
You can taste the beer in the brown gravy, a little malt and the same bitter edge of hops that draws us to beer in the first place. Like dice in a Yahtzee travel kit, the sausage lies in twos and threes and full houses over three split biscuits. It’d all come to nothing without a decent biscuit, and these pull apart in crumbled layers, dense and doughy without going gummy. The tops sport the kind of tan that fits a trailer at the tail end of our summer in hell. Try a biscuit by itself with a grainy, oily cup of French press coffee ($1) to appreciate the texture before you dive into the deeper boats.
The deepest boat of all carries the Gloria Gaynor, and it’s as good as a small-town hash-house. Working by himself the morning I was there, Thorin Peiser scrambled the eggs to order, and they’re just right, a platform for crumbled, maple-sweet bacon, sausage and a finish of melted cheese, pickled jalapeños and chopped green onion tops. You get a choice of white or brown gravy, and while I like the Bootlegger better, the white works if you like your gravy plain and simple and thick, with black pepper to break up the blizzard of white and give it some character.
Is it worth $9? That depends. It’s enough food for lumberjack and lawnmower alike. But it’s more than quantity. I’ve driven all the way to Marble Falls for a taste of biscuits and gravy and eggs like this at Bluebonnet Cafe. Biscuits + Groovy already has better coffee. Now if we could just get some pie.
Biscuits + Groovy
5015 Duval St. next to the Peddler bike shop. 804-8285, www.iwantbiscuits.com.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday. 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)