Buttermilk Biscuits

By Eric Twardzik
Island Creek Oyster Bar

Boston may be better known as the birthplace of the Parker House roll, but many of our local chefs know how to make a solid buttermilk biscuit, too. Whether you prefer yours plain with a little butter or smothered in meat and breakfast gravy, here are five local spots turning out biscuits you need to try.

Highland Fried

Head to Highland Fried, the fried chicken-centric sister restaurant to Highland Kitchen, for stellar scratch-made Buttermilk Biscuits served alongside your BBQ dinner or solo with some honey butter. During the Cambridge spot’s Saturday brunch, these baked goods become the star: You can request them alone with honey butter or strawberry jam or cover them with gravy and eggs. An entire portion of the brunch menu is dedicated to biscuit breakfast sandwiches, which come stuffed with the likes of fried green tomatoes, beef brisket burnt ends, or fried chicken thigh complemented by Buffalo sauce and American cheese.

There are many reasons to visit the famed Sunday-Monday brunch at Trina’s Starlite Lounge, but the rich and flaky homemade biscuits stand near the top of our list. You can get them on a plate with breakfast gravy and eggs to nip a hangover in the bud; request a Good Ol’ Breakfast Sandy with two over-easy eggs and either bacon, sausage, or spicy tomato sauce; or order the Chicken on a Biscuit filled out with pickle-brined fried chicken, house pickles, and American cheese.

They don’t call it Island Creek Biscuit Bar, but the Buttermilk Biscuit that appears on ICOB’s menu as a “for the table” option is worth sharing. The Fenway seafood institution’s hand-folded biscuits are crumbly around the edges and just as buttery as you want them to be, making each a perfect companion to a warm bowl of Lobster Bisque or Clam Chowder (the latter of which comes topped with biscuit crumbles).

Every visitor to Tiffani Faison’s Fenway barbecue joint Sweet Cheeks Q hears the same warning: “don’t fill up on the biscuits.” But it’s a hard rule to follow, particularly when the dense-yet-fluffy biscuits arrive by the bucketful, complete with a side of honey butter that melts on contact. Here’s a better tip: Take advantage of the pastry’s pull-apart quality to eat layers throughout the meal and make a mini sandwich once that plate of brisket arrives.

Vinal Bakery

The hand-rolled biscuits at Somerville’s Vinal Bakery are only available Friday through Sunday. They’re good enough to enjoy as-is or in the form of a rotating breakfast shortcake special served with accompaniments like Greek yogurt, apple compote, and apple cider jelly. During the weekend, any of Vinal’s sandwiches can be upgraded to biscuit sandwich status: the Ham Jamboree prepared with smoked ham, brie, jam, and baby kale is a particularly worthy choice.

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