Butchertown Hall Biscuits and Brisket Gravy

Are you in Nashville for the weekend, or the week, or the foreseeable future?  Are you looking for brunch, preferably one that involves biscuits and a little creativity? Well, I have a suggestion for you. 

  
Butchertown Hall is a relatively new place in the constantly evolving area just north of downtown called Germantown. As you might gather from its name, it is rather meat-focused. They offer a wide variety of roasted and smoked meats, and house-made sausage, all of which is delicious – everything I’ve tried so far anyway. They are in a gorgeously designed space – open and light, modern and historic and industrial all wrapped up together. 

Today I’m here to talk about one thing in particular. Biscuits and gravy. Brisket gravy. Whoever heard of such a thing? I like to think I’ve become fairly knowledgeable about biscuits and gravy in recent years, but they have always been of the sausage variety. This was different. 

  
First, let’s talk about the biscuits. This dish is served with three medium-sized, flaky, buttermilk biscuits. They have a nice, slightly salty, top crust to them. They are split and covered with gravy, then topped again, making for a very nice presentation and excellent gravy-to-biscuit ratio. 

  
And then there is the gravy. Creamy, smoky, not too salty, with brisket mixed in. The whole thing is topped with even more brisket. The brisket was tender and flavorful and the entire dish worked together perfectly. 

  
One of these days I will have to devote a post to all the things I’ve learned about biscuits and gravy in recent years. Meanwhile, I advise you to head over to Butchertown Hall, grab a seat at the bar, and order you some. You won’t regret it. 

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Josephine’s – Biscuits on my Mind

It has been a while since I posted, but that does not mean I am not testing out biscuits. Check this one out. I met a gaggle of girlfriends for brunch at Josephine’s a couple of weeks ago. I did not choose the location and had no expectations that I would find biscuits. But I did!

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Josephine’s is a relatively new restaurant, nestled in the middle of the 12 South neighborhood. This was my first time there. The interior was warm and elegant, and even bright for a rainy Sunday morning in February. The company was, of course, excellent. It has been a busy winter and I had not seen many of the attendees for weeks, if not months. I missed my friends!

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This was listed as a starter on their menu – one biscuit with gravy. Isn’t the presentation wonderful? I decided that would be plenty for my meal and it was. I realized recently that I am becoming a connoisseur of sausage gravy, so my expectations were high. This version did not disappoint. The sausage was clearly homemade and liberally distributed throughout the gravy. It was smoky and spicy – right up there with the best of the best. The biscuit itself was perfect – big, fluffy, and buttery. It was also sturdy enough to carry the gravy, a little-known requirement. Every bite was the perfect proportion of gravy to biscuit. I nearly licked the plate, truth be told.

So, if you are in Nashville and looking for biscuits and gravy, Josephine’s is well worth the stop. Even if you are not looking for biscuits, it is still worth the stop. Everything that our table ordered was admired, savored, discussed, and eventually devoured.

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Apple Butter and Biscuits at Sunset Grill

Everyone knows now. If we are at a restaurant and biscuits are on the menu, then I have to order them.

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So far, there have been no complaints.

Last night, we went to Sunset Grill to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Thanks to some connections, we were able to get a table (it is Vanderbilt’s graduation weekend) and a welcome visit from the owner Randy Rayburn.

The seasonal menu had cheddar biscuits and corn muffins with sorghum apple butter. We got a couple of orders and shared them around the table before our meal, which was delicious, by the way.

So how were the biscuits?
Quite wonderful, really. Just thick enough, with a lightly crisp top, and fluffy interior. A bit of salt and cheese to flavor them.

What was persnickety about these biscuits?
The butter, interestingly enough, was the real surprise here. When the menu said apple butter, I was thinking of thick, spiced, cooked down apple butter. But this was fresh butter, lightly sweetened with sorghum, with chopped up bits of fresh Granny Smith apple in it. Brilliant. It really made the dish. I’m definitely going to have to try this one at home.

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Biscuits on The Row

Biscuits at The Row | Persnickety Biscuit

The name of the place kept popping up. “Happy Hour at The Row this week.” Special deep fried pimento cheese bacon balls from The Row at the Bourbon and Bacon festival. Facebook postings from friends celebrating at The Row. So when I had the opportunity to join a group of friends for “girls’ night out” at The Row, I gave an unqualified “YES!” Little did I know at the time that they also have biscuits. Bonus.

Biscuits at The Row | Persnickety Biscuit

I have not yet tried every permutation of biscuit offered by The Row, but I did try two different items. The first was simply their appetizer portion. I loved the way it was presented. All in a row. Pun intended, perhaps? Hot biscuits wrapped in a flour sack towel, on a cutting board, with all the fixin’s. Not only was there butter, and strawberry jam, and blackberry jam, but there was also tomato jam which turned out to be this sweet savory topping that was unique and delicious. The biscuit was warm and fluffy and satisfying.

Biscuits at The Row | Persnickety Biscuit

I passed the rest down the table, but there was still one left at the end of the night. The waitress asked if I wanted any of it wrapped up to take home and I said, with a bright, hopeful smile, “I’d like all of it!” She willingly took the board away and returned with a huge bag – all for one lone biscuit.

The Row Nashville

At the end of the evening, the manager came around and handed out cards with a free item printed on the back. Mine just happened to be for a free order of Biscuit Beignets. That was all it took. On Saturday, I informed M and the monkey (soon to be stepson) that I had a great place for us to go for brunch. Off to The Row we went!

The Row Nashville

The Biscuit Beignets were lovely. Hot, fried crescents of biscuit dough, rolled in sugar and cinnamon, and served with a ramekin of rich, sweet creme anglaise. What is creme anglaise, you ask? Well, I looked it up for you. It is a custard sauce and it was fabulous.

Biscuit Beignets at The Row | Persnickety Biscuit

Happy Hour and Biscuits at Sportsman’s Grille

I watched his plate arrive, my eyes getting wide, mouth watering. They have biscuits here? How did I not know this? Has it been so long since I looked at their menu?

Sportsman's Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit

To explain how we got to this point in my little story … I am lucky enough to belong to a long- lasting Friday night Happy Hour group. The group existed long before I invited myself to join their ranks, and I’ve been going since, oh, 2008 or so? The members come from all walks of life and parts of town.

On any given Friday, there might be anywhere from four to a dozen or so members gathered around a table, decompressing from the week. We talk about anything, from pop culture to politics to TV to sex, and any combination thereof.

The location changes every week, although there are a few spots that we tend to rotate through. One of our favorite places has been Sportsman’s Grille in Hillsboro Village at their upstairs bar. It is too smoky and for a long time you had to watch where you sat because the springs were coming through the booth seat (recently repaired). Somehow, though, this place has come to dominate the rotation. Brad, the bartender, knows us and what we like to drink, we have our favorite table in the corner, the chicken tenders are the best, and, of course, there are a lot of memories.

Sportsman's Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit

All of which makes it shocking that in all this time, all the years, all the late nights, I had never tried their Chicken Biscuits. How did I miss that? Well, the time had come. I placed the order and waited with great anticipation. The serving was huge. Three large biscuits, each with a hefty piece of fried chicken nestled within. I was intrigued to find that the biscuits had been split and grilled to warm them. An ingenious way to reheat a biscuit, making it taste fresh and toasted at the same time. As I previously noted, Sportsman’s makes great fried chicken tenders, so I already knew those would be good.

Sportsman's Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit

Mmm… It may have taken me a while, but those were worth the wait.

Biscuits in Bellevue: Dalton’s Grill

After we had spent a while debating which place to go to for a late lunch in my new part of town, he finally described it as “you know, the place I told you about that has different kinds of biscuits.” Well, why didn’t he say so before?

Dalton's Grill Steak Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit

Once we had the biscuit tie-in established, off we went to Dalton’s Grill. It was a little dark inside and definitely had the vibe of a little neighborhood joint, but the lady behind the bar was really nice. What’s more, the steak & biscuits was on special!

Dalton's Grill

They were simple but wonderful. The steak was tender and nicely seasoned. There was some sort of a sauce involved. And the biscuits were soft and fluffy but had enough body to hold their own against the steak. I also had slaw and a cucumber salad on the side that was terrific. Sweet and tangy.

All in all, a successful meal. We will be back!

Dalton's Grill

Loveless Hootenanny

Loveless Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit

I’m not sure if there is a common use of the word “hootenanny.” Here in Nashville, it probably is mostly used to describe some kind of music event. Like a picking party, but with more alcohol? Or singing? Or both?

Loveless Biscuits with all the Fixin's| Persnickety Biscuit

A few years ago, my team at work started having quarterly meetings, where everyone who works remotely comes into the office for a few hours. We talk about strategy and process and eat a meal or two together. There is no music, or singing, or alcohol, but we call it our Quarterly Hootenanny anyway. This most recent quarter, a request was made for biscuits made by yours truly. I begged off, claiming the hassles of packing and moving and no space in my kitchen to make anything right now.

One of my coworkers graciously offered to bring in Loveless biscuits, as he lives out that way. When he came into the office that morning, he was glowing. There was a large tin wrapped in a beach towel sitting on his desk. “Get one while they are hot, ” he said, since our meeting did not actually start for a couple of hours. He said that when he picked them up, they brought the container to the car with potholders. They were truly fresh from the oven.

Loveless Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit

Never one to do things halfway, he had gotten all the fixings. Butter. Three kinds of jam. Even Red-Eye Gravy. What is Red-Eye Gravy, you ask? First, it is really thin, more like an au jus than a gravy. Second, it is made with pork drippings and coffee. Yes, coffee. I had never had it before. Not exactly my favorite, I have to admit. But now I know. Here is a link to a recipe, in case you ever want to make it, because I don’t think I will.

Loveless Biscuits with Red Eye Gravy | Persnickety Biscuit

Regardless, the biscuits were warm and soft and fragrant and I had one before the meeting and one during. The jams that came with them – strawberry, blackberry, and peach – were homemade and amazing – perhaps even more noteworthy than the biscuits. My mouth is literally watering as I write this. Is that too much information? Too bad.

Loveless Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit