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Review: Biscuits & Buns on Banks

Scott Gold visits the Mid-City breakfast and brunch spot

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Banks Street in Mid-City has become something of a breakfast hot spot offering several new options for hungry early risers. Among them is the alliterative Biscuits & Buns on Banks, which opened last fall. Biscuits & Buns specializes in refined breakfasts and lunches a step beyond pancake house or diner fare — while keeping the prices and atmosphere friendly. Biscuits & Buns offers a warm, cozy and intimate decor perfect for breakfast — breakfast doesn't call for sleek modern styling and designer furniture. Upon entering, you'll find a long counter with a pair of small but comfortable dining areas in the rooms behind it, with walls decorated with hand-painted folk art murals. It feels like eating at a friend's house, which was surely the intention here, and the restaurant hits it spot-on. On the menu's healthier side, there's a granola yogurt parfait, oatmeal and fresh fruit smoothies and house-blended juices, which include elevated flavor combinations like watermelon, apple and cilantro, as well as kale, spinach, asparagus and orange. I passed on the idea of an asparagus beverage, but the addition of cranberries, carrots and apples was a pleasant touch. Iced coffee here is also a hit, though the house iced tea is exceptionally sweet. (If you were hoping for a boozy breakfast, you won't find it here. Banks St. Bar across the street can get you started if you need an eye- opener.) Biscuits & Buns serves traditional a la carte breakfast options, including eggs, grits, meats and sides. Too often one finds chicken with waffles, instead of chicken and waffles. Here, chicken and waffles — served with a side of creamy grits — is a wholly satisfying option. The crispy, boneless chicken makes pairing every bite with a bit of waffle and cane syrup much easier. Of course there are the namesake biscuits, both small and large. A recent meal started with complimentary mini biscuits with pecan butter, which left my party hungry for more. A generous biscuit breakfast sandwich filled with scrambled eggs and cheese did not disappoint. Entree options include Jamaican-seasoned grilled tofu, served with tomato, cucumber and cilantro in a chilled lettuce cup with jerk sauce. (Grilled chicken also is available instead of tofu.) There's also a giant portion of tender pot roast and debris jus served over one of the house biscuits, for the truly hungry. Another standout is French toast with grilled bananas and pancetta, dusted with powdered sugar. It's a dizzying variety of flavors and textures, but it works. One can even add Nutella or peanut butter to take it to the next level, but it's not necessary. Where the decor and menu satisfy, the service could stand to improve. Several orders and requests were mistaken, though the servers remedied each with a smile and a polite apology. One should also note, unsurprisingly, that if you head here at peak weekend brunch hours, you'll be in for a wait. I applaud the new breakfast offerings on Banks Street, and Biscuits & Buns stands out from the pack with its unique take on brunch. Asparagus smoothie aside, the chicken and waffles will have me headed back to Mid-City. 

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