Photo | facebook.com/MapleStreetBiscuits
Maple Street Biscuit Company
5054 Old Shell Road
Mobile, AL 36608
It’s been a while since I reviewed a breakfast spot. As a matter of fact, it’s been a while since I’ve had breakfast. I’ve been on a bit of a breakfast fast for a couple months. Today, however, was a special day. Katie woke this morning another year older, wiser and dare I say prettier. It was time for us to treat her.
By us, I mean 14-month-old Henry and myself. We were the only ones in the house. Katie is a lover of breakfast, a connoisseur of pancakes, biscuits and hash browns, so it was a perfect opportunity to try Maple Street Biscuit Company.
As a company, Maple Street began in Jacksonville, Florida. Since their start in November 2012, they’ve found footing in seven states, blanketing the Southeast with their community-oriented stores. Ours is making its way through its first year in the old Rester Brothers Auto Care on Old Shell Road. With a decent-sized parking lot in the back and garage doors on the front, this restaurant may have come from out of state, but it feels more like a neighborhood destination with families walking up from nearby homes for a quick biscuit before work.
One of the features of Maple Street Biscuit is fresh-squeezed orange juice ($4). They squeeze it right there on the spot, and is it ever good. Katie thought it’d be a good time to let little Henry have his first taste. She should have thought differently. That baby bit down on the cup and wouldn’t turn loose for the better part of a minute, chewing his way through pulp and liquid. I feared he would drown or, almost as bad, not save any for me. It was naturally sweet and fantastic, even though it almost cost a Lincoln.
Henry was also enjoying a side of Bluegrass Grits ($3.50). About the size of a cup of soup, these cream cheese grits were topped with grated cheddar. They would’ve been good with or without the yellow, but today they were great and served as a reminder of how much I love and have missed grits.
You don’t really think of having appetizers for breakfast. Why not? The Three-Layer Hashbrown Cake ($7) is about as close as you can get to what I’d call an appetizer. About the size of “hash browns in a ring,” this stack of potatoes was smothered in sausage gravy (mushroom is the other option) and topped with a fried egg. We ate all of it, but my criticism is I may have preferred the mushroom gravy. Also the potatoes were slightly underdone and the egg was a bit overdone. I found myself wishing I could break the yolk and let it run all over the potatoes just so I could slather it in that half bottle of Louisiana hot sauce I’d been eyeing since we walked in. Still, good enough to finish.
Katie danced around the menu and changed her order at the last second to The Farmer ($9). A serious piece of fried chicken with bacon and a thick slice of unmelted cheddar was sweetened with a generous amount of apple butter. This is what the birthday girl was looking for. It sounds a bit weird, but the apple flavor complements the cheese and I didn’t hate the sweetness with the chicken.
For yours truly, I couldn’t pass on the Squawking Goat ($9). They more or less fancy this one as their unofficial signature dish since the Food Network made mention of it. Yes, it’s another chicken in a biscuit, but hardly just that. A creamy layer of goat cheese stood up to the accompanying pepper jelly, sweet and spicy. Actually, the whole biscuit sat in a bath of the stuff. I don’t recommend you eat this with your hands. You’re better off with a knife and fork, but that isn’t a problem. There is a lot going on with this morning sandwich, and if you like over-the-top cuisine, it hits the mark solidly without being too much of a gimmick.
Drip coffee ($2.75) was the best way to supplement my missing orange juice. They had a few different roasts to choose from, including decaf. Even a choice of skim milk or half and half was a nice touch you don’t always see in a restaurant. It was good to see the coffee game was strong in a town where some coffee shops don’t even serve decaf.
Maple Street is an eclectic, fun visit and the restaurant is impeccably clean. I really like the layout of the former mechanic shop and couldn’t help but wonder if we were sitting in an old bay, perhaps the same spot where some grease monkey used to turn wrenches. There is definitely new life mixed with a little history. I also liked the way the employees ask quirky questions. “If you had to name your Thanksgiving turkey, what would it be?” When my order was ready they hollered out, “Francisco!”
Sure, you may hear grumbling about the prices. I wasn’t especially stoked about spending more than $40 on breakfast, but remember, this is not fast food. Our order came out incredibly fast, but we were there before the morning rush. I think the quality of the food can warrant that price point these days, and your average meal there would be around $12 if your eyes don’t get bigger than your stomach.
Closed Sunday, they open every other day at 7 a.m. and close at 2 p.m., staying open until 3 p.m. on Saturday. It’s definitely worth a shot. I’ll be back.
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