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Biscuits and gravy

e
Endsinavowel Jan 19, 2009 12:45 PM

Anyplace in Los Angeles that serves good biscuits and gravy? I mean GOOD flaky biscuits smothered in savory sausage gravy, not an LA chef version. Ate at Nickel Diner this past week and tried theirs. Chicken and apple sausage(?WTF!) over what looked more like cornbread than biscuits. The apple made the gravy cloyingly sweet and almost inedible.

I went to college in the boonies in the South where local places made everything from scratch so I know of what I speak. Any recomendations would be appreciated, thanks.

  1. d
    Dutchvanobvious Feb 21, 2009 05:43 PM

    Sadly, unless I make them mysel, the only time I have had good biscuits with Sasuage gravy is when I head back to the NC mountains.

    I have hit on a good solution for us White Lily flour deprived folks. use your favorite biscuit recipe, and substitute regular cake flour for 1/2 the AP flour. I do the frozen grated butter as well. i think you need a mamaw's touch to do it with the fat in a softer state.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dutchvanobvious
      sbritchky Feb 21, 2009 07:05 PM

      You can also replace part of the all-purpose flour with the stuff that comes in a shaker. White Lily is available by mail-order, of course. But do try Pann's biscuits. I don't like their sausage gravy, but butter and honey do just fine.

    2. w
      Wes Feb 2, 2009 10:47 PM

      The Olympic Cafe in Sylmar is very good.

      Located near at the North split of San Fernando
      road and Truman

      WARNING. they close at at 2 PM

      1. l
        liltamby5 Jan 29, 2009 09:33 AM

        The serving spoon in Inglewood!

        1. e
          Ernie Jan 27, 2009 09:36 AM

          Gaffey Street Diner in San Pedro has fantastic biscuits and gravy

          10 Replies
          1. re: Ernie
            Will Owen Jan 27, 2009 11:40 AM

            H'mmm...San Pedro seems to be shaping up as the CFS/biscuits/gravy mecca of LA County. Note to self: go.

            1. re: Will Owen
              k
              kevin Jan 27, 2009 03:19 PM

              i also heard the old schooll italian joints are also supposed to be good?

              but alas i have no names. maybe san pedro isn't a wasteland afterall?

              there also used to be an indian falafel joint there on gaffey street that was much heralded anyone know what i'm talking about....???

              1. re: kevin
                JAB Jan 27, 2009 03:51 PM

                San Pedro Old School Italian:

                Raffaello's Ristorante
                (310) 514-0900
                400 S Pacific Ave, San Pedro, CA 90731

                1. re: JAB
                  k
                  kevin Jan 27, 2009 07:59 PM

                  hey JAB, do you remember what the name of the shack with indian-spiced falafels and also different kinds of curry is called? thanks.

                  1. re: kevin
                    JAB Jan 27, 2009 08:29 PM

                    Sorry,no.

                    1. re: kevin
                      Servorg Jan 28, 2009 02:23 AM

                      The place you are thinking of that was on Gaffey St. with the Indian spiced falafel was called the International Hamburger Hut.

                      Barbara Hansen of the LA Times had a little blurb about it in 1999 here:

                      http://articles.latimes.com/1999/nov/24/food/fo-37155

                      and then Tom Armitage of the CH "LA Hall of Fame" posted about it in 20000 here:

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4714...

                      1. re: Servorg
                        k
                        kevin Jan 29, 2009 12:14 PM

                        whom whatever happened to tom?

                        thanks for the link, is the international still open, or i am presuming already long-gone.

                        1. re: kevin
                          Servorg Jan 29, 2009 01:01 PM

                          Tom seems to have faded away (which was/is a shame) from CH. I think the Hut is long gone. I sourced this Counter Intelligence column from 1998 in which the top LA Times food writers picked their favorite dishes at restaurants from that year. One of them which is noted is Monte Alban - still a board favorite nearly 9 years later.

                          http://articles.latimes.com/1998/dec/...

                          1. re: Servorg
                            Tom Armitage Aug 27, 2009 11:15 AM

                            Actually, I'm alive and well -- and very flattered by the "Hall of Fame" compliment. My Chowhound posts did decline around the mid 1990s due to work demands. I retired in 2008 and moved to Seattle in April of that year. My wife works in Seattle, and we had maintained a weekend "commuter marriage" for seven years. I sorely miss the L.A. food scene, and will post about my nostalgia soon.

                            1. re: Tom Armitage
                              Servorg Aug 27, 2009 11:21 AM

                              Thanks for the update, Tom. Chowhounds never retire from hounding, no matter what their "employment" status may be. I don't read the NW board so didn't realize you had shifted allegiance, as it were.

            2. h
              happybaker Jan 26, 2009 07:39 PM

              As all their other breakfast items that I've tried are excellent, I'd say keep an eye on The School cafe in Pasadena. http://www.theschoolcafe.com/ It's the "training" cafe for the cooking school and their pancakes and waffles are EXCELLENT. And I'm picky. Every so often they will offer biscuits and sausage gravy as a special and as all their stuff is made from scratch I'd say it's worth checking out. Good luck!

              1. Vaya Con Carne Jan 25, 2009 07:25 PM

                Here's a recommendation on what *not* to try - the B&G at Gus's BBQ in Pasadena, which just started serving breakfast this weekend. They were the scariest B&G I've ever seen - flat, hard little hockey pucks with a brown sauce on top that had separated somewhat. No thanks.

                1. c
                  cls Jan 25, 2009 05:10 AM

                  Auntie Em's has em.
                  Two good flaky buttermilk biscuits. Pork sausage in the gravy. Served in a bowl with or without fried eggs on top.

                  -----
                  Auntie Em's Kitchen
                  4616 Eagle Rock Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: cls
                    t
                    tbrown Jan 25, 2009 07:10 AM

                    Auntie Em's is the only place I have tried biscuits and gravy in LA but I absolutely love them! My husband always gets them and I sneak some bites. I will drive there just to get their biscuits which are warm, flakey and buttery!

                    1. re: tbrown
                      sbritchky Jan 25, 2009 11:58 AM

                      Are biscuits an off-menu item? They don't list 'em on their Web site.

                      1. re: sbritchky
                        t
                        tbrown Jan 25, 2009 04:20 PM

                        They are not on the menu and might only be available on weekends.

                        1. re: sbritchky
                          c
                          cls Jan 25, 2009 05:29 PM

                          They are a chalkboard item. I have only been on the weekends but I have always seen them. They were there today however I opted for the Hungarian sausage and eggs.

                    2. Hughlipton Jan 24, 2009 02:44 PM

                      One more thought. I have not been there but the reviews on the Gaffey Street Diner in San Pedro have sounded very good.

                      1. Hughlipton Jan 24, 2009 02:42 PM

                        The first time I ever had buscuits and gravy was when I was in lw school a long long time ago and was dating a girl from Tennessee whose mother made bacon gravy and buscuits. Thought I had died and gone to heaven. The closest I have been able to find to that miracle is a bit of a driive but worth it in my opinion. Cafe 101 in Oceanside. A bit of history and great buscuits and I believe sausage gravy. If I didn't have to work tomorrow I think I would be leaving about now.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Hughlipton
                          sbritchky Jan 24, 2009 04:31 PM

                          I've been by that place a thousand times on my way back from San Diego but never stopped in. I'll try the biscuits and gravy on the next trip.

                          By the way, I couldn't find a menu link on their home page but guessed:

                          http://www.101cafe.net/cafe/menu.htm

                          and it turned out to be right. Since there's no explicit link, the prices might be off.

                          1. re: sbritchky
                            k
                            kevin Jan 24, 2009 05:45 PM

                            wow, this place sounds pretty good, and the prices seem very reasonable.

                            1. re: sbritchky
                              sbritchky Feb 20, 2009 01:49 PM

                              Sorry, Hugh, but I didn't care for the Cafe 101 biscuits. They were a bit bready and had no crust. On the outside, they were as soft as a dinner roll.

                              1. re: sbritchky
                                Hughlipton Feb 20, 2009 03:51 PM

                                How time changes and memory may fade.

                          2. BunnieBear Jan 23, 2009 06:26 PM

                            Animal's Biscuit and sausage gravy is AWESOME...and I grew up in North Carolina, so I know my biscuits... The only "LA fancy" thing is the foie gras, and it's like finding out you can have hot chocolate with marshmallows...making something great better!

                            1. j
                              jackattack Jan 23, 2009 06:13 PM

                              Nat's Early Bite on Burbank @ Hazeltine in Van Nuys.

                              1. g
                                GoodEatz Jan 23, 2009 12:18 PM

                                For sausage gravy and decent biscuits, I like Johnny Rebs (Orange, Long Beach, or Bellflower).

                                My favorite B&G is Jenny's Country Kitchen which uses country ham in their gravy. They are on Telegraph x Carmenita in Santa Fe Springs.

                                1. g
                                  GoodEatz Jan 23, 2009 12:13 PM

                                  I like Jenny's Country Kitchen in Santa Fe Springs for B&G. It's not sausage gravy - they use country ham - but it's my favorite in Los Angeles.

                                  For good sausage gravy (and biscuits) go to any Johnny Rebs location.

                                  1. t
                                    Tari Jan 19, 2009 01:21 PM

                                    Good luck on your search. I have been living in LA for almost 9 years and have yet to find some good biscuits and gravy.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Tari
                                      e
                                      Endsinavowel Jan 19, 2009 02:48 PM

                                      I hear ya, Tari, nothing soaks up the previous evening's imbibing/fillls you up better than some B&G and hot sauce. That's how I came to love them in college

                                    2. mrshankly Jan 19, 2009 01:15 PM

                                      Pann's on La Tijera and La Cienega

                                      20 Replies
                                      1. re: mrshankly
                                        Will Owen Jan 19, 2009 02:55 PM

                                        Pann's biscuits wouldn't be a serious threat to any Nashville establishment, but I think they're as good as you'll get in LA County. And their gravies - they do make several different ones, all from scratch - are very good. I happen to prefer a little color in my gravy (yes, a blasphemous view in much of the South), and the cream gravy I've had at Pann's has been just right.

                                        1. re: mrshankly
                                          j
                                          jessejames Jan 25, 2009 03:06 PM

                                          Went to Pann's for first time this morning. Biscuits maybe a little dry/dense but maybe folks like em that way. The white sausage gravy great. real star of show was the chicken friend "steak" sunny side up eggs and shredded hashbrowns with more gravy. Pretty good place. I had no problem finishing the biscuit and gravy in addition to the rest. Friend had the waffles and wings which he said were better than at cjs where we usually go. i did see some mean looking fried chicken in this spot.

                                          1. re: jessejames
                                            sbritchky Jan 26, 2009 11:14 AM

                                            Pann's biscuits are much better than average in Southern California, but they are a little dry. That's good for soaking up butter or gravy, but (sorry, Will and Jesse) I can't stand their white sausage gravy. Too many sharp off-flavors that, for some reason, remind me of the stale skin and seasonings in poor-quality hot dogs. I may have to resign myself to slathering butter and honey on those good biscuits.

                                            1. re: sbritchky
                                              Will Owen Jan 26, 2009 12:57 PM

                                              Amen to the first part - I haven't tried Auntie Em's yet, but Acceptable is the most I've come to expect in these parts, biscuit-wise, and Pann's are certainly that. You are on your own viz. the gravy; those "sharp off-flavors" that seem stale and musty to you are to me reminiscent of the country-style pork products of Tennessee and Kentucky. I recall my first muslin-bagged 2-lb. log of smoked country sausage, and how the gentle reek made me wonder if it was gonna poison us all. It didn't, it was good, and a few hundred pounds of it later I'm still addicted.

                                              So you just stick with the honey, kid, and we'll take your share of the gravy.

                                              1. re: Will Owen
                                                j
                                                jessejames Jan 26, 2009 06:07 PM

                                                heck im hungry, ill take one of each!

                                                1. re: Will Owen
                                                  sbritchky Jan 26, 2009 11:08 PM

                                                  Rebel Brother, I just wish I knew how a restaurant that doesn't understand the difference between country ham and sweet ham* produces those very good biscuits. They couldn't possibly have White Lily flour in the kitchen, could they? Why haven't I asked?? I've never seen good biscuits made from any all-purpose, unbleached, or higher-protein flour.

                                                  I also grew up on sausage gravy -- in Virginia, North Carolina, and Texas -- and this don't do it for me, for the reasons I gave. In fact, the Bob Evans chain throughout the Midwest and South has much-better gravy, IMHO, although their biscuits have begun descending into a dreaded breadiness in recent years.

                                                  Of course, I make both biscuits and sausage gravy at home, but this discussion has given me new resolve to find my kind of biscuits and gravy at some place where I can really stimulate the economy!

                                                  *Pann's advertises the latter as the former, and a waitress once gave me a disgusted you-gotta-be-kidding look when I described the lovely ham at the Loveless Cafe outside Nashville.

                                                  1. re: sbritchky
                                                    j
                                                    jessejames Jan 27, 2009 07:21 AM

                                                    you know a place where you can get ham and biscuit or sausage and biscuit sandwiches (not mcdonalds)?

                                                    1. re: sbritchky
                                                      Will Owen Jan 27, 2009 11:37 AM

                                                      Doubt that they have White Lily, but I have read that every maker of flour uses lower-protein wheat in their self-rising formula than in their AP, and my own experience with the lowly Gold Medal SR seems to bear this out.

                                                      Got no explanation as to what your taste buds were telling you about the gravy. Could be I was just so glad to taste something besides gluey starch, or the tell-tale tang of "Country Gravy Mix (just add water!)", that I had a good part of my critical faculties turned off. Or, come to think of it, perhaps the fact that the sausage, the eggs, the hash browns and the gravy were all mangled into a glorious moosh (causing dear Brenda to make a face and walk briskly away) meant that any odd flavors just kinda got lost in the shuffle. I know this messy practice had that effect on the slop they gave us in Air Force mess halls...

                                                2. re: jessejames
                                                  monku Jan 26, 2009 06:14 PM

                                                  Tell me about the chicken fried steak. I remember having it and thinking it was a ground beef patty with breading and vowed never to order it there again. Was it a round steak or a ground beef patty?

                                                  1. re: monku
                                                    j
                                                    jessejames Jan 26, 2009 07:39 PM

                                                    it was either ground beef or "tenderized" beef, but not perfectly round like burger. whatever it was it was damn good. cutting it with a fork with the rest of the stuff was a plus. it wasn't huge huge maybe 5 inches width at most but still a formidable compliment to the sunny side up eggs and shredded hashbrowns and gravy and biscuits and gravy. ive had the full on deep fried steaks that you were probably craving, which i fully enjoy - id just call this a different -- tender inside/crispy and well seasoned outside -- species, and a compliment to eggs like bacon or sausage. worst case what it is i guess i like ground beef patty with breading if it is well cooked like that one.

                                                    1. re: jessejames
                                                      monku Jan 26, 2009 07:44 PM

                                                      It's was years ago I had the CFS and it wasn't memorable from my first bite.
                                                      I asked because there have been numerous threads about Pann's being a place to go for great CFS and it always makes me wonder what they saw in it.

                                                      1. re: monku
                                                        j
                                                        jessejames Jan 26, 2009 07:49 PM

                                                        maybe give it another chance? i can see the same ingredients not adding up on another occasion. the thing i liked about panns was everything on my huge plate(s) was good and not one thing really dominated. the chicken fried steak was juicy and crispy both, and went great with the gravy eggs. taters etc. in essence, balanced hossing down of many things together... where do you like for chicken fried steak, and do you like it for breakfast?

                                                        1. re: jessejames
                                                          monku Jan 26, 2009 07:57 PM

                                                          Don't laugh, but I think one of the best CFS I've had in LA is at Claim Jumpers and I've eaten plenty of them in Texas. Believe me the first thing I'm going to think of ordering for breakfast is CFS and eggs if they got it.

                                                          Anytime I order CFS and get that ground patty thing, it reminds me of elementary school when they tried to pass it off as veal parmigiana.

                                                          1. re: monku
                                                            j
                                                            jessejames Jan 26, 2009 08:25 PM

                                                            ill give that a whirl. the one at panns was no cafeterial chow from school, not that i don't get a craving for chicken puck from time to time

                                                            1. re: jessejames
                                                              monku Jan 26, 2009 08:28 PM

                                                              Like everything else at CJ's it's as big as your head. You get 2 big CFS's.
                                                              It's OK, the waffles and wings is my go to dish at Pann's.

                                                              1. re: monku
                                                                j
                                                                jessejames Jan 26, 2009 08:31 PM

                                                                those looked good. i'll probably go for that or some other yardbird next time. better yet, that and chicken fried steak biscuits and gravy, and a shake, and back to bed!

                                                                1. re: monku
                                                                  j
                                                                  JeetJet Jan 26, 2009 10:07 PM

                                                                  Hey monku, we do eart the same. When at Pan's it is either wings and waffles for me or the whole fried chicken dinner. For me there is only one place I will order a CFS. I swear, I tried them all in LA and now that I have the one Ii was looking for I stopped looking. I get my CFS at Pacific Diner -- not hand hammered but fresh tenderized steak and hand made on site, large, tender, crispy, flavorful. The biscuits and gravy are good but I get the toast. Have you tried this one?

                                                                  Pacific Diner (Best Chicken Fried Steak and eggs in L.A.)
                                                                  3821 S. Pacific Avenue
                                                                  San Pedro, CA 90731
                                                                  310-831-5334

                                                                  1. re: JeetJet
                                                                    monku Jan 26, 2009 10:11 PM

                                                                    Never been to or heard anyone rec'd the CFS at Pacific Diner....will put it on my iPhone to do list when I'm down there.

                                                                    1. re: JeetJet
                                                                      k
                                                                      kevin Jan 27, 2009 07:15 AM

                                                                      wow, i haven't heard of this joint either. anything else good to eat on the menu there?

                                                                      1. re: kevin
                                                                        j
                                                                        JeetJet Jan 27, 2009 05:03 PM

                                                                        In addition to the CFS, i have have tried the John Wayne Special which is the same as the one at Gaffy Street Dner and Eat at Joe's. Corn tortillas topped with home style potatoes, cheese and eggs and all that toppted with a ranchera sauce -- some sausage around the sides. Pretty good. I found the pork chops (and eggs) to be on the thin side but good. There are many special breakfast dishes like the John Wayne but I have not tried them. Ever since I tried the CFS that is what I order when I make the drive from the SGV to San Pedro for breakfast. My son tried one other breakfast that is made in the "chicken fried" style but I can't recall what meat it is. My son has ordered it twice and likes it. From my table I can see many people order it. Just like the CFS it comes on-top of some gravy.

                                                  2. Servorg Jan 19, 2009 01:08 PM

                                                    Prior recent biscuit & good gravy talk here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/577627

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                      e
                                                      Endsinavowel Jan 19, 2009 02:43 PM

                                                      Thanks for the prior thread, I did a search and that did not come up. And I guess Dommy and I have dissimilar tastes when it comes to Nickel Diner's B&G. I shall have to try Pann's since they are in vicinity. Not impressed with O'Groat's or Snug Harbor's either.

                                                      The one part of that thread about adding nearly frozen butter chips to flour is so true; the flakiest layers ever.

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