Get your fix: biscuits and gravy
Photos by Martha Cheng
Biscuits and gravy from Soul Patrol
There are times when one needs meat, gravy and starch all in one heavy breakfast hit (after running the Honolulu Marathon, say). Here, we might naturally go for the loco moco; in the South it'd be biscuits and gravy. Recently, though, two new eateries, and one not as new, have been offering up that classic stick-to-the-ribs Southern breakfast: Kiss My Grits, Morning Glass and Soul Patrol.
Some conclusions after eating the equivalent of three bowls of sausage gravy: 1) Biscuits and gravy are heartiness defined—I could hardly finish each plate. 2) This dish does not reheat well. 3) It is not a gourmet dish. 4) Nor is it pretty. It makes a loco moco look gorgeous. It is what it is: two biscuits and an obscene amount of delicious gravy (which is essentially just milk and flour and sausage bits). It has humble roots as a working class dish in the rural South and it's probably blushing under my camera treatment.
Here they are in order of preference:
Soul Patrol (at KCC Farmers' Market)
These biscuits and gravy contain a deviation: scrambled eggs. Normally, the purist in me might complain, but these eggs are gently coaxed into perfection (no dry, rubbery eggs here) and taste amazing with the gravy, here more of a light, spiced sauce packed with large chunks of sausage. The biscuits here are the lightest and fluffiest of the three places I tried, which isn't necessarily a good thing when it comes to biscuits and gravy, but it works with this lighter gravy. They're also split in half and griddled, which prevents them from getting lost under everything else.
Totally nontraditional, but excellent.
$10 at Soul Patrol's stand at KCC Farmers' Market, pacificsoulhawaii.com
You can't even see the biscuits here, they're literally drowning in gravy. But they sturdily hold their own, their crispy edges adding to the texture of the finely crumbled sausage in gravy. This dish can get monotonous, no matter where you have it, but a bottle of hot sauce and the chopped green onions liven it up.
$5.50 at Morning Glass, 2955 Manoa Rd., morningglasscoffee.com
Kiss My Grits
Ah, subjectivity. The friend I dined with would vehemently disagree with me putting Morning Glass' biscuits and gravy over Kiss My Grits. He has way more Southern cred than I do (he's from Missouri), but this is my column, so there. The biscuits are dense, bordering on doughy, especially when they meet the gravy. It's probably the most authentic gravy of the bunch: white with a peppery bite and a judicious amount of sausage.
$7.95 at Kiss My Grits, 1035 University Avenue at Puck’s Alley, kissmygritsyall.com