HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

Biscuits and gravy for breakfast

Are there good places to get biscuits and gravy for breakfast? I heard that Craigie on Main and Tremont 647 might serve them for brunch. Has anyone tried their versions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Can't comment on those versions but the Plough and Stars in Cambridge serves them up for brunch Saturdays and Sundays and I've found them to be quite tasty.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mrsx

      Went to Plough and Stars today for Brunch. The biscuits and gravy were definitely better than Highland Kitchen's, but still not something to write home about. The biscuits were good, the gravy was very salty. I'm glad I went though, the potatoes were great (rosemary roasted?) and the server was super nice!

    2. I'm not an expert but I've always liked the version at Johnny D's (weekend brunch). Great oatmeal too.

      1. I loved the Craigie on Main version (sausage, biscuit, gravy, eggs) at a recent Sunday brunch. The biscuit had an unusual combination of crunchy exterior and very tender crumb. I would definitely order it again.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GretchenS

          I was going to bring up CoM's dish. I wouldn't order it if I was really jonsing for the sort of stuff that I remember growing up, but it was quite good. Sort of as if biscuits & gravy grew up and got all sophisticated.

        2. There simply isn't anything in town as perfect as the old sweet potato biscuits and gravy at the B-Side. I have heard unconfirmed rumors that the recipe will be revived once Lord Hobo opens in the old B-Side location. Fingers crossed!

          4 Replies
          1. re: cambridgejen

            They have them at Deep Ellum although I have not tries them.

            1. re: phatchris

              I wouldn't recommend them. The gravy is okay, but the biscuits need help. Too crunchy.

              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                Crunchiness I can deal with. Cinnamon flavor in the biscuit or egg or sauce or wherever the heck it was was my complaint. Someone should be able to do this right, at a good price.

            2. re: cambridgejen

              The chef from the B Side is now at The Independent in Union Square and serving up those Sweet Potato Biscuits with gravy for brunch.

            3. I tried the biscuits and gravy at Craigie on Main last week. It was not a traditional recipe -- brown gravy as opposed to white. The biscuits weren't melt-in-your-mouth, and they could have used more butter. They resembled rolls more than traditional biscuits. The sausages seemed very fresh, as though they were made that morning, but they lacked the spicy, salty, sweet addictive flavor of the kind of sausages you remember and crave. I ordered the eggs scrambled, and they were well executed: soft and gently cooked in the French manner.

              1. Pignone's Cafe in Stoneham has biscuits and gravy for breakfast. It's called the Montana, 2 homemade biscuits cut in half smothered with white sausage gravy and a side homefries for $7.99. They give you plenty of food and you will be stuffed. I'm getting hungry just typing this up.

                -----
                Pignone's Cafe
                319 Main St, Stoneham, MA 02180

                1 Reply
                1. re: buffet king

                  I was there this morning, their eggs benedict was excellent. Was not wowed with the homefries, kind of bland. While we were being seated, a guy at the next table was
                  being served the biscuits and gravy and it looked great!

                2. I certainly understand trying to find a certain regional specialty outside of it's region of origin, and do it myself with some frequency. But biscuits and gravy in beantown strikes me a bit like trying to find a good clam chowder in Atlanta.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    I agree that it's much easier to find a great regional classic in that region. If I had a private jet, I'd only eat Peking Duck in Beijing (the best is found in a restaurant called "Made in China"), and coq au vin in France. But given that I'm in Boston with no personal pilot, I don't want to eat steamed lobster and clam chowder every day. Thus the craving for biscuits and gravy, or for that matter, Peking duck, even if it's not the best or most authentic version in the world.

                    On the Peking Duck from Made in China, with gorgeous pictures: http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com...

                    1. re: Guilty Glutton

                      In principle I agree.

                      That said, Peking Duck is one of those dishes that has "gone international" and is available all over the world.

                      Biscuits and gravy or New England Clam Chowder not so much.

                      Heck I would give my pinky toe for some real, made from scratch West African kenke or Foo foo. Everything I've had stateside is not even a shadow of the real thing.

                      Maybe, also, I am just a little bit happy that some foods will remain associated with their original homes. That in an internet age, we still can't get everything, everywhere, any time.

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        Guess I'm gonna hafta disagree on that one. I've had excellent NE clam chowder in several different cities around the country, including the South and West Coast, and many have been excellent. Overall just as good as you can get here.
                        Now that I think about it, I've had some really lousy NECC in Mass and ME.

                    2. re: StriperGuy

                      What gets me about this phenomenon, is that it has little to do with regional availablilty of particular ingredients. The gravy can be made by anybody under the age of 5, blindfolded with one hand tied behind the back. A good biscuit, not so much. But you'd think somebody'd have figured it out, especially in a professional kitchen. Same goes for gumbo -- how hard is it to make a good roux ? A better version of both dishes can be made at home with frozen biscuits and frozen crawfish, which is sad, and perplexing.

                      1. re: Nab

                        Ironically, I was just experiencing firsthand this past weekend that the biscuits of the Plough and Stars' version are light years more fantastic than the gravy! Flaky and tender as all get out, but the gravy needed a kick in the pants!

                        FWIW, their gumbo is also quite good.

                        1. re: Nab

                          I agree; the gravy is easy, or should be anyway...many variations, and whether or not to add something like a splash of boubon to kick it up. But this is all about the biscuits I guess, and that's a tougher one. Still, a good biscuit can be made by anyone who wants to try, has access to good flour, buttermilk, butter/lard, and mainly, knows what a good biscuit is.... but maybe therein lies the problem. A lot of hackers would or could probably throw this together without having tasted a truly sublime Southern bicuit. Still and all, I'd rather have biscuits and gravy than not.....I'll make them myself.

                          So, who makes awesome biscuits around here? Plow and Stars, I'll give it a try.

                          1. re: Nab

                            It has everything to do with knowing how something is supposed to taste because you grew up making it, and you know immediately when it's right and when its not.
                            Professional chef or not, if you haven't eaten "real" biscuits and gravy, it's tough to know what you're shooting for.

                            1. re: cpingenot

                              I'm not sure I would agree that one need grow up making/eating the dish to know the dish, but I think most reasonable people would agree with you that one ought to have had some level of experience with the genuine article to be able to pull it off.

                              Perhaps I am over-generous in assuming most folks have had some experience down in the biscuit belt.

                              1. re: Nab

                                Most locals I know here in Beantown wouldn't know biscuits and gravy from a McDonald's sausage egg and cheese biscuit. Which on it's own is not a bad thing particularly if one requires a lipid-laden restorative in order to recover from a case of cocktail flu.

                                1. re: Nab

                                  I'm not arguing that you have to have grown up with it, but you definitely have to have had prolonged and/ or significant experience tasting the real thing in order to re-create it. I, personally, am not a sausage and biscuits expert, but I've seen too much of the phenomenon in bad tex-mex food in New England.

                                  1. re: cpingenot

                                    Personally, I don't think B&G requires a lifetime of study to know how to execute it, but I did find your example of Tex-Mex to be very interesting. Having spent the last three years living in Austin, I came to appreciate the cuisine that is Tex-Mex and the regional variations within and, perhaps most importantly, how bastardized and misunderstood this cuisine is in most of the rest of the country. Most folks do not realize that there's more to it than Chi-Chi's style gloppy cheez-dip and sizzling platters of fajitas.

                                    1. re: Nab

                                      I wish Chowhound had a "like" button. This is dead on. I'm from Texas and 2 things I never order in New England are Mexican food and biscuits and gravy. After growing up my friends' mothers' Mexican cooking, and my own MeMaw's biscuits and gravy, everything up here is disappointing. Similarly, I don't order clam chowder in Texas. People just don't "get" it without spending some time in the region.

                          2. Geoffrey's in Roslindale has biscuits and gravy on the brunch menu, but I've never had it. Their housemade corned beef hash is delicious and they do well with most things I've tried so it might be worth a shot!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mapgirl

                              Nice tip, mapgirl. The B&G at Geoffrey's are as good as I've had up here, which is to say it'll work when you are not in any condition to be whipping up scratch biscuits at home. Biscuits are sliced in half buttered & griddled, sausage patty in between, and then drowned in a gallon of gravy chockfull with chunky sausage and a healthy shake of pepper. It's a little bit over-the-top with the extra sausage patties and the liberal ladles of gravy, but eats just fine.

                              http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3515/4...

                            2. Highland Kitchen in Somerville serves up some tasty biscuits and gravy.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Tom Servo

                                Is it available only for Sunday brunch, or for other meals?

                              2. RE: cambridgejen
                                The chef from The B Side is now at The Independent in Union Square and I hear he's serving up those Sweet Potato Biscuits and Gravy. I have to agree they are pretty awesome and I psyched to eat his food again in the hood!

                                1. I finally got around to trying the biscuits and gravy at Tremont 647 for brunch. I'll order it again the next time I'm in the South End on a weekend. The gravy was very good -- a traditional southern white or sawmill gravy with just the right amount of black pepper. It comes with scrambled eggs and two small but moist biscuits. The bacon, which you can order on the side, is among the best I've eaten in a restaurant (and I've ordered bacon everywhere). It has a great applewood smoked flavor. My only wish is that the restaurant could offer some breakfast sausage, and cook the eggs more gently, over a lower heat. It's very easy, and typical in most restaurants, to overcook scrambled eggs.

                                  1. The biscuits and sausage gravy at the House of Blues gospel brunch (on Sundays at 11:30 am) was yummy, pretty much like you'd get in a good ol' breakfast place in the Deep South. The problem was that the rest of their buffet was a disappointment. Aside from said biscuits and gravy, the only other standout was the carved roast beef. The rest was decidedly mediocre. Fried chicken had no flavor, scrambled eggs were pre-cooked and sitting in a big serving dish, cheese grits totally bland, dull salads, etc. I'd say go and just load up on biscuits and gravy, but you'd have to eat about 20 of 'em to get your money's worth considering the $45 price tag -- which includes juice and coffee, but not booze; and, yes, it includes the music, which is the best reason to go, though the whole experience would be vastly enhanced by better chow. Oddly enough, I hear the regular lunch and dinner offerings are surprisingly good, so a brunch upgrade wouldn't be too much of a stretch.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: katzzz

                                      Not that the rest of the brunch sounded so great, but having pre-cooked scrambled eggs is usually what happens in a breakfast buffet.

                                      1. re: Joanie

                                        True. But when the House of Blues web site boasts "Made to order omelet station with fresh ingredients'' finding that the only eggs available are pre-cooked scrambled eggs is a bit of a letdown.

                                        1. re: katzzz

                                          Ah, well that certainly is false advertising.

                                    2. Poppa B's does biscuits and gravy for breakfast. And chicken and waffles.

                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                        Thanks for reviewing Scups! It's on my list to take the water taxi over for brunch or lunch this summer.

                                      2. Atwood's in Cambridge (on Cambridge St. in that weird area that isn't Inman Sq. but isn't East Cambridge yet...) has them on their new brunch/lunch/late night menu (meaning that you can get them after 10 on weekdays as well as Saturday and Sunday mornings).

                                        I haven't tried them, but my other experiences with their food suggests they are at least worth a shot.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Canadian Tuxedo

                                          I had them once. It wasn't the way my family made them when growing up, and I suspect that the people who are looking for some facsimile of what you'd get at a down home country diner would be pretty disappointed, but they were still pretty tasty.

                                        2. To add a new dimension....my grandma used to make biscuits everyday (she was from Arkansas), and would sometimes do a gravy like the one we're all talking about here. But mainly she liked to do a "tomato gravy" and serve some fried up fatback alongside, who has ever seen such a thing outside of the South? Minus the fatback this would be a healthier (somewhat, as I am sure it contained a lot of pork fat as well) version of "Biscuits and Gravy".

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: Zatan

                                            When my son was young and I was cooking my gravy/sauce on the stove, he used to want some.

                                            I would put the gravy in a bowl and give him Scali bread. It was his favorite childhood snack. BTW, we are from Boston. And yes, they was plenty of pork in my gravy. Pigs feet and a big hunk of salt pork, along with Italian sausage. Never thought of it as "sort" of biscuits and gravy, lol!

                                            -----
                                            Scali Cafe
                                            147 Pearl St, Boston, MA 02110

                                            1. re: mcel215

                                              Very interesting. That part of my family is Scotts-Irish, but they clearly called that "tomato gravy", not "sauce" as non-Italians are wont to do. I wonder if there is some Italian connection to that dish.

                                              1. re: Zatan

                                                I don't think there is a connection: Southern tomato gravy and Italian "gravy" (=tomato sauce) are 2 very different animals. Gosh, I havent had Southern tomato gravy on biscuits in years...I should make some soon. A butter roux, tomato juice and S&P will be all I'll need for the gravy, but the biscuits will be more problematic (I always screw up biscuits).

                                                1. re: marais

                                                  it is, sadly, one of the recipes I did not learn from grandma. I got her cornbread, fried chicken, blackeyed peas, and many more, but not this one, guess I was too bleary in the morning. I'll try what you said and see how it works out. My biscuits never taste as good as hers did.... and in the earlier days she would have taken bacon straight out of the smokehouse in back instead of using plain old fatback. hmmmmmm

                                                  1. re: Zatan

                                                    "bacon straight out of the smokehouse in back"...I think I had a deprived childhood.

                                                    1. re: bear

                                                      long gone, a distant childhood memory from my visits to the place down South. I dream of having something like it again....I feel deprived now.

                                                      1. re: Zatan

                                                        Me, too, and I wasn't even there!

                                                  2. re: marais

                                                    This is why mail order self-rising flour/cornmeal and pork products from the South are a very good thing! At least I can make decent sawmill gravy using real country sausage in the poke from Early's. I will somehow have to learn about making biscuits.