Monday, June 24, 2013

The Buttered Biscuit – Bradley Beach, NJ

Believe me - I know which side my bread is buttered on. When I’m back in Jersey, it’s usually the side of a hard roll (similar to a Kaiser roll, but lighter and fluffier; often topped with poppy seeds) since they’re unheard of anywhere besides the Garden State, but on this trip, I had a date with a biscuit.

“Are we dressed up enough? They’ve got linen tablecloths,” my buddy murmured before realizing everyone was in our identical uniform of flip flops and t-shirts. The Buttered Biscuit couldn’t help that it gave off an elegant aura with light beaming from an antique chandelier and high ceilings that brought the strength of the sun inside on this rainy afternoon.

Lace curtains and wooden, dining room chairs married quaint tea cottage with elderly, eclectic aunt - you know, the 80 year old spitfire who still polished her silver whenever she had guests and scrubbed her own floors - where there was a loving wear from the life lived here and a familial scuff to the tidy surroundings that immediately placed you at ease.

Coffee clutching: If you’re out of cocaine, you could always get a quick fix with the coffee here – WHOAH NELLY!! This Jersey joe was the type that could keep you up for a few days and if I ever moved back, I'd probably have an unhealthy relationship with this mug.

Feeling Crummy: I have to admit that this was a trick we used back when I was working at the Sunset Landing in Asbury Park, but it was a trend worth following. They cut a square of crumb cake horizontally and stuck it on the flattop, slick with melted butter, and added a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. Browned cake and boulders of warmed-through crumbs were even more addictive than the coffee.

Biscuit Goats Gruff: I was considering their omelet with goat cheese, herbs de Province, bacon and tomato. But I had two dilemmas:
1. I wasn’t necessarily a big omelet fan – to me, it was like one giant egg flap.
2. Since I was in Jersey, I had to take advantage of every opportunity to eat pork roll (Taylor ham) while I was here. This salty, spam-like/bologna, breakfast meat hybrid, mostly seen in Jersey (and Philly), was sparse on the west coast, so I needed to order it whenever possible. I was tempted to get the “Jersey Benedict” with pork roll instead of Canadian bacon, but I wanted some goat cheese in the mix.

So I sez to the waitress: Could I do scrambled eggs with goat cheese, a side of pork roll and a biscuit?

And she sez: No prob.

As an admitted egg snob, I have to declare that these were some of the best scrambled eggs that I’ve ever had. I assumed they added some cream because these were decadent, and it wasn’t just the clumps of melted goat cheese. They must have taken the mixture out of the pan just as it was going from liquid to solid because these dissolved on the tongue.

They made up for the biscuit, which was a bit dense, though sides of cinnamon butter and strawberry jam smartened it up a bit. I was so in love with every other aspect that made it easy to focus on the positive – like my perfectly cooked pork roll, seared and crispy, glistening with those coveted, saturated fats and preservatives that made my heart skip a beat (literally) whenever I visited NJ.

BELT sandwich: My buddy cinched things up by ordering the BELT sandwich (BLT + fried egg) served on sourdough toast with aioli, while both of our plates were hit with some home fries that still sported their skins - browned and crackly - protecting tender, ivory insides = homerun home fries.

Other offerings: homemade corned beef hash, bruleed grapefruit, banana bread French toast

Total bill = $24.95
Total sum = Best breakfast I’ve had in a long time – the staff made up of local, beachy youth were attentive and polite, prices were reasonable, product was killer, and the overall sense of being welcomed and well-fed lasted long after the meal. Biscuit is a (bread) winner.