The first thing I do when I get to a new area or town is hop onto TripAdvisor in search of the best possible eats. On this journey, there are no baby sitters, so except for sneaking in the occasional slightly fancy lunch, we’ll be heading to family friendly, low-key eateries.
One of the top spots catching my eye here in Asheville is called Biscuit Head. “Put Some South in Your Mouth” is their tagline. They’re known for massive biscuits with proprietary toppings. OK, I’m in.
When we arrive, the line is out the door. Literally. About 5-6 groups deep just to step foot into the building. Pretty impressive, even if it is a Saturday. The special board outside stands there enticing us to try their daily specials: citrus, berry bacon and kale & basil pesto grits. Expectations rising!
We finally get inside and it’s got a pretty hip vibe. Neon chalk board menu. Tattoos are a mandatory to work or eat here on a regular basis. Old school rock ‘n’ roll is pumping through the sweet, flakey filled ambience. Expectations… rising higher.
Despite the edgy vibe and tattoo requirements, everyone here is super friendly and happy, why wouldn’t you be, they serve massive biscuits and libations. But I had not seen anything yet. Something catches my eye and draws my soul like a Siren’s song…
As I near the counter to order, I see it. A sight I have never seen before. Almost too good to be true. A sight that I did not even dare imagine could exist.
A Butter & Jam Bar! After you order the most decadent biscuit-based creations, you get to take a wild ride on the Butter & Jam bar, featuring unique flavor thrills like Sriracha Butter, Spicy Pesto Butter, Amaretto Jam, Bananas Foster Jam, Cherry Preserves and more!
Time to order. I get the Mimosa Fried Chicken Biscuit (one of their most popular). Char gets the Fried Green Tomato Biscuit (their other most popular). We get a side of fried chicken and biscuits for the girls.
When the food arrives, I can’t help but wonder… having only left St Johns, FL a few days ago, how would Biscuit Head compare to our beloved Maple Street Biscuit Company. In case you don’t know, Maple Street is iconic in Northern Florida. It consistently ranks as one of the top 3 eateries in all Jacksonville. And well deserved. Their Squawking Goat (Fried Chicken + Pepper Jelly + Fried Goat Cheese Medallion) is life changing.
Let the showdown begin. When I first see the dishes, all I can think is “how many more times can we get here before we leave Asheville.”I dive into Biscuit Head’s butter-filled, crumbly ensemble. And a strange thing happens. I begin eating, it is packed with southern flavor. I mean solid all around. However, I start thinking, maybe we will just stop here one more time. By time I am finished eating my dish, I start using my backup biscuit to experiment with their butter and jams. Then I polish off plus was left of Mom’s meal and some of the kids (hey, wasting food is a sin so a dad has to do what a dad has to do).
Yes, a fantastic eating experience and top notch. If you’re in Asheville, it’s a great stop. However, if you’re from North Florida and have consumed a Maple Street Biscuit, well then, it’s hard not to do a comparison.
Here’s the breakdown.
Biscuit Head offers phenomenal variety. Their menu is crazy eclectic plus they have daily wild specials. You can keep coming back and exploring again and again. Biscuit Head affords you the opportunity to turn biscuit-eating into a hobby. Compared to Maple Street, Biscuit Head wins, no question.
And did I mention the butter & jam bar! I mean c’mon! I feel like I should have had to pay $20 to for neon orange bracelet to gain admission into the butter & jam fest. Biscuit Head includes it free!
However, flavor fireworks aside, the heart and soul of a biscuit is the golden, flakey goodness and a perfectly fried piece of chicken. In my humble opinion, Maple Street wins on both counts. Maple Street’s biscuits are airier, more buttery and even look prettier. Their chicken is fried to perfection. Crispy brown goodness. It’s interesting to note that Biscuit Head actually fries with dark meat. Which I personally don’t mind at all versus Maple Street’s traditional white breast. It’s just that Maple Street owns the frier. Crunchier, tastier, better. Yes, I would love to see Maple Street add some of the experimental flavors and newness Biscuit Head brings. The bottom line is though, if you were trapped in a steel room life or death situation with a Biscuit Head vs Maple Street… Maple Street wins every time.
(I miss you Maple Street. And I love you.)