My favorite brunch item is probably biscuits and gravy; at least one would reach that conclusion given the frequency with which I order it. And because I like this dish so much, I’ve decided to start reviewing biscuits and gravy from various restaurants and eateries as a service to the public.
Such selfless devotion, I know…
The first entry comes from Beer Kitchen in the Westport district of Kansas City, MO. This was my first time visiting, and my sister-in-law Kara said that her foodie friends had some good things to say about Beer Kitchen’s biscuits and gravy.
So naturally I was eager to try.
The Beer Kitchen makes their food quickly, or at least it seemed to fly out of the kitchen, and so we weren’t waiting long to eat. I never quite know what to expect from a particular place’s interpretation of biscuits and gravy, and so I was intentionally trying not to form any preconceptions. I was, however, not expecting this big of a plate since the biscuits and gravy are listed in the “Starters” section.
Not that I’m complaining! Here’s a pic of what I got:
Overall Taste and Presentation
You get two full biscuits split into 4 halves. I only ended up eating three, so for the $7 it’s a substantial meal in and of itself, let alone a starter!
I generally like biscuits and gravy that have an ample supply of gravy, and Beer Kitchen doesn’t skimp on it. However, at the same time I don’t necessarily like the biscuits to be drowning in the gravy, and I thought they did a nice job of striking a good balance here.
I went with the country sausage gravy, and from the first bite it was clear that Beer Kitchen was aiming for the more savory end of the spectrum. As you can see there are lots of sausage chucks, which is always nice. It helped give the gravy a good thickness without feeling like you had to power through it. Great balance struck here as well.
With biscuits and gravy it is important that the biscuits can carry their own weight, and Beer Kitchen’s definitely do that. They had a nice golden brown crust with a bit of a crunch, but managed to stay light and flaky, which is crucial when combined with gravy as it helps it not just feel like a fork full of mush. I thought that the inside was just a little bit doughy, but not dense by any means.
One important thing about the biscuits was that they had a subtle buttery flavor along with some other seasonings, but the key there was subtlety. Too often a dish like this can fall apart if the biscuits are either too bland or too flavorful; I thought Beer Kitchen struck another nice balance with this part of the dish. I’m not sure the biscuits would be anything to write home about on their own, but as a complement to and medium for the gravy they paired well, which is probably as it should be.
As mentioned earlier, the gravy at Beer Kitchen tends towards the savory end of the spectrum. It is also quite creamy, which sometimes doesn’t work because it can make the gravy feel too thick. But in this dish it had a nice consistency.
There was – as far as I could tell- some sort of cheese worked into the gravy, possibly a sharp white cheddar or something along those lines. It gave the gravy some saltiness and a bit of a bite, although the cheese type of bite rather than a spicy sort of bite. The only thing I might compare it to would be the overall savor of a white cheddar mac and cheese (perhaps like you would get at Panera), although with more of a flavor punch. I got more notes of this as I went through the dish, and the aftertaste was essentially the creamy cheese flavor.
My one hesitation with the dish was that I wasn’t getting much sausage flavor, despite the amount of sausage chunks mingled in. I kept trying to place it, but the flavor of the cheese seemed to overpower the sausage flavor throughout the whole dish. The seasonings in the gravy gave it some kick, but I was really wanting some more bite from the sausage itself to cut through the savory flavor a little more and help the sausage have more presence in the dish, especially since it was “country sausage gravy.” The flavor wasn’t bad by any means, but I just couldn’t pick up on the sausage.
Overall this is an excellent dish and certainly worth the money. It managed to pack in a lot of sausage, a lot of biscuits and a lot of flavor and yet still be a relatively light dish; I didn’t get the lump-at-the-bottom-of-your-stomach feeling after eating three-quarters of this. It was an intriguing interpretation of biscuits and gravy, and one I would order again the next time I’m at Beer Kitchen for brunch. A great dish to start your weekend off right. If you like savory biscuits and gravy you will really enjoy this.
B+G Rating: 7.5/10
Have a favorite biscuits and gravy dish I should try? Just let me know where! And if you want, let’s meet for brunch and you can buy! 🙂