Restaurant Review: Boxwood Biscuit Co.
Back in 2016, restaurant publications started predicting a Big Biscuit Trend in the U.S. That is, biscuit concept joints were going to be all the rage. Biscuits on every menu! Sadly, that trend never really manifested in these parts. There were a few joints with breakfast biscuit sandwiches, but that’s about it.
Five years later, as we work our way through the end of the pandemic, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. That light looks like biscuits. They’ve been spotted in Grandview with Basic Biscuits, Kindness & Coffee, and this spring, the Boxwood Biscuit Co. settled into permanent digs on Russell Street in the Short North.
Before we dive in, it should be noted that biscuits can be kind of fussy. Unlike most baked goods, they don’t survive more than a day. A day-old slice of bread is generally pretty palatable, a day-old cookie is sometimes better that a warm one. A day-old biscuit: Inedible. So a biscuit business model has to calculate its production pretty carefully. Anything that’s baked has to be eaten. MOREOVER, biscuits are always better warm. There are truly no exceptions to this rule.
Fortunately, Boxwood seems to be cognizant of the biscuit rules.
It’s squarish biscuits are served fresh, tender and warm. In a world of biscuits that are either flaky or poofy, Boxwood’s are more on the poofy side. Fine by themselves ($2.50), but biscuits are designed for partners, and there are plenty of partnering options in the house. For starters, there are spreads ($1 each). Miso Maple Butter might sound exotic, but it delivers a homespun charm – miso can be sneaky that way, it offers just enough of its savory accent to compliment maple’s sweetness. Alternately, there’s a luxe Pimento Cheese ($2) option that is also well worth investment.
Or up the ante with some Gravy (with two biscuits, $8.50). It too comes with options. A couple of those options revisit the possibilities in miso, this time with sausage. A Pork Sausage Miso Gravy combo seems so…sensible that it’s shocking the two elements aren’t teamed more often. It’s hard to tell where one savory element starts and the other stops, but together in the creamy context of gravy, they harmonize beautifully.
There are other gravy options, including a vegan-sausage version and a Truffled Creamed Spinach one. While the spinach has its own fan club and is probably a good way to get vegetables, it loses in a deathmatch against the miso-sausage version, coming across flatter in comparison.
The biscuits serve as shells for breakfast sandwiches, too. The Franklin ($10) adds crisp, lean bacon, egg (square, like the biscuit), American cheese, onions, and enough of the sausage gravy to spill over the sides a little. It is a substantial, rib-sticking sandwich.
There’s also a house commitment to chicken. While you can order chicken with your biscuits, there are also chicken sandwiches served on a soft Martin’s Potato Roll, a bread with the sort of softness that embraces the aggressive crunch of the house fried chicken – prepared borrowing a Korean-styled frying approach. Try the Simple Jack ($10), more bird than bun, it’s finished with sauce, pickles, and fiery sriracha ranch dust that delivers a delightful stinging kick at the end.
For vegans, Boxwood has animal-free biscuits, spread, a gravy and even a sandwich in your flavor. These days, it’s open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday at 19 W. Russell St. in the Short North.
For more information, visit boxwoodbiscuitco.com.
All photos by Susan Post