100 Favorite Dishes: Biscuits from the Denver Biscuit Co.
No. 90 Biscuits from the Denver Biscuit Co.
141 South Broadway
3237 East Colfax Avenue
The Southern biscuit is one of the hardest baked goods to master; they invariably come in one of two versions: perfect or just plain wrong. Working with butter and flour takes years of experience; a perfect biscuit is not something you can just whip together from a recipe. In fact, most skilled biscuit-makers barely even follow a recipe, letting the feel of the dough guide them as they knead and roll to just the right consistency. Someone in the kitchen of the Denver Biscuit Co. knows what they're doing -- perhaps from a childhood spent watching a patient grandmother cutting and baking the perfect rounds, or maybe from hours upon hours of trial and error. Whatever the case, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the biscuits from Denver Biscuit Co.; everything from the flavor to the texture and size of these beauties is perfect.
The Denver Biscuit Co., with two locations and a food truck serving up plain and adorned biscuits to homesick Southerners and Denver aficionados alike, boasts a list of biscuit sandwiches stuffed with bacon, ham, buttermilk fried chicken and other delights. You can get your biscuit smothered with pot pie filling or even made into French toast. Ours, pictured above, came with a slurry of shitake mushroom gravy, a fried egg and a slice of cheese, but really, it's all about the biscuit. You might be wise to resist the extra embellishments and eat one with nothing but butter and maybe just a smear of jam.
What makes these biscuits perfect? The alchemy of flour and butter, properly handled, creates a paradoxical light-heavy sensation. The biscuit is dense yet fluffy (but not too fluffy), flaking off in tender layers under a fork. Tapping the light-golden crust yields a slight hollow sound, while breaking through it yields a minimum of crumbs. Size is also important -- Denver Biscuit Co. makes them big, what some folks would call a cat-head biscuit. And the flavor is delicate, buttery, slightly salty and never doughy.
Three-in-one: the Atomic Cowboy, Fat Sully's, and the Denver Biscuit Co.
Owner Drew Shader credits his grandmother with the original recipe, it "went through more than a few changes to adapt to our altitude," he says. "The one thing that did not change was the real buttermilk and tons and tons of frozen un-salted butter...so between my grandma's biscuits and my favorite local diner's biscuits and grits, my love was born."
In advance of the Best of Denver 2015, we're already loading our plates with contenders for the best dishes in the city. And over the next nine months, we'll be sharing many of them with you, counting down (in no particular order) one hundred of our favorite dishes before the the Best of Denver 2015 hits the streets on March 26. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2014 countdown are linked below.
No. 100: Chile Relleno at La Fiesta
No. 99: Gurage Kitfo at Megenagna Ethiopian Restaurant
No. 98: Cochinita Pibil at Work & Class
No. 97: The Greggers Tongue Sandwich at Olive & Finch
No 96: Baum Cakes at Glaze by Sasa
No. 95: Goat hot pot from Viet's
No 94: Head cheese from Beast + Bottle
No. 93: Kettle Chips from Amerigo Delicatus
No. 92: Pork Belly Confit at Solera Restaurant and Wine Bar
No. 91: Tacos Campechanos from La Calle Taqueria