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 Apr 25 - May 1, 2019 
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Restaurant Review

These Biscuits Aren’t Limp

Keep rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling dough

By
The Charlie
The Charlie is killer. Seriously, french toast and biscuit dough are a strange and wonderful combo.
Eric Williams Photography / cc

I’ve talked a bit about family heritage in my short time with Weekly Alibi, so I won’t dig too much more into it, but I did grow up with a dad who loved to make biscuits for breakfast. These weren’t Pillsbury biscuits that came out of a can and fluffed up to a crispy exterior and fluffy and flaky interior, but were more the dense, solid kind. These had layers but weren’t like most biscuits you find other places around town and were infinitely better for it. There was nary a single sleepover my friends and I hosted that didn’t have a morning start with an enormous tray of freshly baked biscuits and gravy with a side of fried apples to accompany. My love for biscuits is intrinsically tied to fond childhood memories of the amazing dedication my dad had to making the best breakfasts possible. When I noticed Stripes Biscuit Co. had yet to be reviewed by us, I decided to give them a shot, even though they were competing (rather unfairly) against a giant in my mind.

My goal when dining out is to avoid massive waves of people so I have more time to interact with staff and help ensure there’s less chance for order mishaps, giving them a fair chance to give off the best offering possible. I also don’t tell them ahead of time, so I get the same service as everyone else and avoid special treatment. That being said, I figured a breakfast and lunch place that closes at 2pm would be fairly slow by 1pm; yet when I walked in the door, it was absolutely packed. I was able to snag a table and get seated almost immediately and had an incredibly friendly server come by. After ordering what was probably a shocking amount of food for someone my size, I got the chance to look around and get a feel for the place.

What stands out the most here are the walls, with pictures of veterans lining the restaurant. The faces of hundreds of veterans from all eras of military history lookdown at you, and it underlines a certain business philosophy. See, owner Gary Hines is a firm supporter of our veterans, donating time and money to the local VA Hospital located practically next-door, with 15 percent of Stripes proceeds going to the VA. It’s rare to see a restaurant with such a clearly defined mission and it’s refreshing to see someone giving back to the community in a direct way.

Then came the food, and hoo boy, I over-ordered by a slight margin. Grabbing the chicken and waffles (crafted with freshly made biscuit dough from earlier in the day), their Charlie (French toast made with biscuit dough) and the 12-hour Pulled Pork BBQ biscuit sandwich. All this was individually priced at well below the cost I would expect for portions this size (the chicken and waffles was the most expensive item at $11.99), and I realized I had written a food check my stomach was not going to be able to cash.

I started with the chicken and waffles, because it’s earnestly one of my favorite meals in the world. The biscuit dough waffle was covered with well sized, juicy and flavorful chicken strips that had just enough crunch to give a satisfying sound when biting into them. The waffle is a lot thicker than you’d expect, but it’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination. You can taste the fact that this is fresh dough, since it’s still got a really great consistency and taste, and when drenched in homemade honey butter with maple syrup on top, it was solid comfort food.

To avoid overdoing breakfast (too quickly), I took on the pulled pork sandwich next. This was an unbelievably tall stack. The biscuit was stuffed to bursting of pork, coleslaw, fried onions and served with a hefty side of papitas. Everything in it tasted fantastic, but if I had one complaint, it’s that you may have a hard time figuring out how to tackle eating this. My best shot was with a fork and knife, which felt a little like heresy, but did the job well.

Finally, I hit the Charlie, their biscuit French toast creation. It came with those crunchy papitas, honey butter, maple syrup and a very large sausage patty. I’ll say this about the sausage, and it’s not to be a negative; though it was homemade and well seasoned, I felt it was overcooked. I openly acknowledge that there are a number of factors why it was cooked to the well done standard, including health and safety issues, so if you’re like me and prefer a less well-cooked style, be sure to mention that when ordering. It tasted fantastic, and you could tell it was seasoned right before it was made, since the flavor was still in place when I bit into it. The French toast aspect left me torn, not because it tasted bad, but it was just so unexpected. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by light, fluffy brioche French toast, but with biscuit dough this was much heavier and thicker than you’d expect. Again, it wasn’t bad, but it’s certainly a big departure from what I usually expect in a French toast.

This brings me to the main point: Stripes Biscuit Co. does traditional comfort food with a significant departure from the norm. By making fresh biscuit dough and finding new ways to integrate it into traditional dishes, they’re carving out their own distinct identity in the local foodscape. The goal of any restaurant is to find their niche and do it well, and Stripes Biscuit Co. has biscuits down to a science. It’s not about doing what everyone else is, but rather making something interesting out of something ordinary. Honestly, it’s a solid formula and well worth checking out.


5701 Gibson Blvd SE
859-4298
stripesbiscuitcoalbuquerque.com

Hours: Seven days a week, 7am-2pm
Vibe: Comfort food with friendly staff
Alibi Recommends: Chicken and waffles, The Charlie

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