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WAKE UP AT BRADLEY BEACH’S BUTTERED BISCUIT! (Published by The B Plot, March 14, 2013)
This couple has the errr… recipe for success.
With a passion for great food, as well as each other, Liz and Dave McAllister married in 2009 and soon after launched their first eatery, the Honeysuckle Café on the oceanfront in Bradley Beach.
In 2011, the couple realized one of their dreams and opened the Buttered Biscuit on Main Street, with a comfortably snazzy French cafe-inspired atmosphere and a fairly priced menu filled with crave-worthy breakfast and lunch items. You can taste the fun they have putting a creative spin on breakfast classics like a sprinkle of Herbes de Provence in your omelette and bringing new taste sensations to town like Ho Cakes – a southern-style corn pancake topped with butter and raspberry jam.
But do not overlook lunch and the hand-breaded crispy fish sandwich with Dave’s homemade tartar sauce that Liz told me is her “favorite” or the comforting meatloaf special with garlic butter sautéed spinach, caramelized onions and gorgonzola home fries that a local told me she takes home to her husband for dinner because he “can’t get enough.”
The 36-seat storefront café is a passion for Liz, whose great-grandparents owned Jerry’s Tavern on Kingsley Avenue in Asbury Park decades ago and Dave, a Spring Lake native who has been working in the restaurant industry since he was 14 years old.
I spoke with the couple last week…
TBP: The café’s namesake biscuits are something spectacular – your customer just told me they were “addictive.”
Liz: Before we opened, I tested recipe after recipe and every technique imaginable to come up with a biscuit that we would be proud to serve. Chilling the dough versus room temperature dough, preparing the fresh butter, using a mixer or not, old fashioned techniques versus new ones – I tried everything. I make the biscuits fresh every morning – every morning – by hand because the old fashioned way is more work but the best way. Last year, I made almost 70,000 biscuits… seriously.
And Dave makes the gravy for the biscuits and gravy from scratch every couple of days because it needs a day for the spices to set.
TBP: I do not know how to describe the biscuits and gravy other than “insane” and “wow” – rich but not greasy. The recipe relies on quality ingredients for flavor rather than fat. Everyone should plan their calories accordingly and order that plate. It is a gift to your taste buds.
Dave: I use high-quality beef and pork sausage, fresh herbs and other good secret stuff. The best compliment we got one day was when a customer told us the biscuits and gravy was “the best north of the Mason-Dixon line.”
When we were planning the restaurant menu, we wanted to serve what we like to eat. Breakfast is Liz and my favorite meal of the day so every menu item is just as important as any other to us. We want to eat here too and taste-test everything over and over again to make sure your omelette is just as good today as good as it was three months ago.
For the past few weeks, we have tried ten or fifteen raspberry preserves to find the right organic one for our customers… and we found it a couple of days ago.
We do not cook with scissors – no package has been used to make anything here. I do not want run of the mill. The asparagus, baby spinach and tomatoes in our veggie omelet are fresh, not frozen. Liz makes the granola from scratch.
My favorite dish here is the Copenhagen Benedict. Fresh caper cream cheese, paper-thin red onion, smoked salmon, wilted baby spinach and poached eggs topped with our homemade hollandaise sauce. One regular customer has ordered it over 100 times.
TBP: And the classic pancakes are – at one-third of an inch thick so fluffy and spongy – a terrific vessel for the perfect warm Vermont maple syrup. Who knew lemon juice would be part of your proprietary recipe?
Liz: But people go crazy for Dave’s corned beef. It is a six-step process and takes him five hours to make. We sold probably 9,000 pounds of it last year.
Sometimes we look at each other in the kitchen and get choked up at the response to what we created. We are so thankful for our customers and the way they appreciate what we do.
Dave: We love it here and try to make each plate perfect for every customer.