BerksBarrister_Fall2021 - 29

w w w . B E R K SB A R .o r g
Huevos rancheros were an inventive version
of a breakfast classic.
Sampling the biscuits and gravy on our
second visit.
By the time we were about halfway through our meal on both
visits, owner Michael O'Brien came over to check on us. That
first morning we talked about my southern grandmother, who
introduced me to real fried chicken and biscuits, the places we've
had them south of the Mason-Dixon line, and how his version
was right up there with some of the best I've ever enjoyed. Just like
O'Brien, the best of the best use boneless, skinless chicken thighs
soaked in buttermilk for over 24 hours before frying because the
dark meat has more flavor and is moister than the white chicken
O'Brien was so pleased we grasped the concept of his
restaurant that a short time later he returned with one of his
espresso brownies for us to sample. It was something I would not
have normally ordered, but the touch of coffee in the batter added
a nice depth of flavor to it. As good as those brownies were, his
pillowy soft blueberry scones covered with a thick lemon glaze are
not to be missed. I maintain that you will not find a better scone
anywhere in Berks County, which makes sense because a scone is
nothing more than a glorified biscuit.
O'Brien shared that neither he nor his spouse and co-owner,
Stacey, are Berks County natives. On faith, they opened the
restaurant on April 11, 2021, while COVID-19 was still making
life difficult for already established restaurants. Although the BBC
only seats 54 people, they served 300 each day that first weekend;
quite a feat considering the kitchen only has one 36-inch flat top.
This small restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch only,
boldly declaring the food is So good it's criminal. While there is a
lot of truth in that tagline, there's another iconic ad campaign that
came to mind during our first visit: It takes a tough man to make
a tender chicken. In the case of BBC's owner, it can be said that it
takes a tough man to make a tender biscuit. The eatery's website
tells how O'Brien and his spouse met and offers a little of his life
story, highlighting his early skirmishes with the law and addiction.
It all serves to make this giant of a man that much more likable
and proves how tough he is to rise early every day to dazzle his
Six months since opening, O'Brien reports that he makes
between 300 to 400 biscuits a day on the weekends and about 150
on a typical weekday. While BBC boasts many regulars, it was
clear people are still discovering BBC. Once they do, O'Brien's
going to need a bigger flat top.
In mid-September we took an unexpected trip to Duke
University in Durham, North Carolina where we used that
opportunity to return to Grub, one of our favorite breakfast spots
close to campus. We wanted to compare its Best Bird Biscuits to
the BBC's version. While it was good overall, the fried chicken
was white meat and Grub's biscuit was considerably smaller. It
featured a honey butter drizzle and thinly sliced bread and butter
pickles that together made Grub's version a bit too sweet. The best
element was its maple pepper bacon, but it would have been so
much better if it had some of O'Brien's Bubba Sauce on it.
Given the choice between Grub and BBC, I'd rather dodge
the double-parked cars while heading North through Reading to
get there than the deal with the crazy traffic on the Washington
Beltway heading South to I-95 to get to Grub in Durham. At
least Grub's raspberry and white chocolate scones, as well as
its blueberry ones, made the drive back to Pennsylvania a little
Ms. Denaro is with the Wyomissing
law firm of Georgeadis||Setley.
Fall 2021 | 29
Perfectly formed Eggs Benedict.
It's all about the biscuits at Bad
Biscuit Company.


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