Menu
F&W's vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes

F&W's vegetarian Thanksgiving r…

Whether you're looking fo...

Making perfect mashed potatoes

Making perfect mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes at Thanks...

Celebrating Thanksgiving W/O turkey

Celebrating Thanksgiving W/O turkey

It's time for the most an...

About that stuffing/dressing. . .

About that stuffing/dressing. . .

Despite its reputation, T...

Food52 Thanksgiving answers

Food52 Thanksgiving answers

By now, you may be famili...

Restaurant Biz bad for women

Restaurant Biz bad for women

If you're a woman, what m...

Best Mac 'n Cheese in every state

Best Mac 'n Cheese in every state

Macaroni 'n cheese has be...

11 Daily Meal cheesecake recipes

11 Daily Meal cheesecake recipes

Cheesecakes allegedly ori...

Prev Next
Restaurant lunch highlights:

Flying Biscuit Cafe

Flying Biscuit Cafe

FB experience falls flat on busy brunch day

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

FBstoreFrontThere have been a few disappointments that have unraveled this past year in Gatorland, specifically on the food front. Yes, the Gator football team has left much to be desired, but I digress. The true reason behind my woes involves perfectly good — great, in fact — brunch dining establishments closing their doors. I found a cozy, scenically-located brunch stop that never failed in Sisters, which even satisfied my breakfast-fare-picky friend, but alas it has closed once more (perhaps indicating it might reopen one day...). The Jones Eastside was another go-to brunch stop when any relative, friend, or Eastside newbie was hungry for some delicious, local eats, but this favored stop has closed to combine with its less-attractive, disappointing counterpart, Jones B-Side.

The closing of these two favorite local joints for the best meal of the day indicates all good things must come to an end — at least I'll keep reminding myself that this must be the reason. In any event, I have been on the hunt for a worthy counterpart to fill my brunch-time void. Leonardo's 706 Sunday brunch is absolutely fantastic, but a tad pricier then a casual Sunday may allow. I've heard endless chatter about Flying Biscuit located on 43rd and 16th in the Fresh Market plaza, and I finally had to give it a try. To many of your disbelief, it has taken four years in Gainesville for me to try this highly recommended all-day breakfast spot.

 

FBpatio

I think my first mistake was choosing to dine at the café on a, as of late, absolutely beautiful October Saturday. The café is located in a pretty bustling weekend spot as it was, but the wait to get a seat stayed consistent. Whether an early bird diner or a snooze-button, late brunch goer, at no time between 7 am and 4 pm was FB immune to a line of hungry patrons waiting before you. At 2 pm, we were looking at a 30-minute wait, and I have heard plenty of friends complain about long waits at a myriad of times. Is this place truly worth the hype?

 

FBmanBRUNCH

I feel the need to preface my experience with the fact that I was ravenous by the time we were finally seated, not having had a morsel of food prior to arrival. By the time we were seated, I was practically ready to eat the menu. However, I was adamant to not let this cloud my healthier eating judgment, and I opted for the omelet side of the extremely extensive menu. There did seem to be something for everyone I have to admit, with more omelet choices than my impatient stomach could handle. Alas, I settled on the southern omelet option (at top) with shrimp, crab, cheese, collard greens, onion, and I opted for no red/green peppers (note: this item is not on the online menu for some reason). I had to make sure it came with a biscuit, as that is probably one of my favorite parts of a southern-style meal, in addition to bacon and the "creamy dreamy" grits I've heard so much about. Thomas, my omelet-loving friend, selected the Piedmont Omelet with chicken sausage, turkey bacon, onions, cheese, and he added in red/green peppers, in addition to a side of "moon dusted" potatoes.

I was a little displeased to see the omelet a tad on the over-cooked side, but it was huge and I could not abstain from diving in. The best part was the gooey cheese oozing over the hearty helping of collards and large chunks of shrimp folded in. I opted out of the red/green peppers that typically come with the omelet, and I'm glad I did, as I feel they give a more southwestern feel as opposed to the down-home, southern approach I was searching for. The crab was not as present as the shrimp, but all of the flavors, including the onions, which happily only made a subtle appearance, satiated my hungry belly.

 

FBdrink

On to the sides: The bacon was cooked just to my liking, the right balance of crispy and chewy. The biscuit, while I can never turn one down, was not quite what I had hoped. I had to scrape off all of the sugar from the top of it, as I prefer a more savory over sweet approach although I'm sure it was placed as a backdrop for their apple butter. I felt the butter was a tad too sweet. Thomas' potatoes were certainly tasty, but I attribute that fully to the rosemary generously speckled across them, without which it would have been a very standard breakfast potato helping. In terms of the grits, Thomas and I agreed they were a little too creamy, creating a bowl of mush rather than the fluffier, yet still creamy grits I prefer. I have tried grits at over 10 establishments in Gainesville, and these were still in the top five at least for flavor. Also, I opted for an iced soy chai, which was quite delicious although I don't want to know how much sugar it took to create the rounded flavor.

Overall, this was a pretty standard brunch experience. I know I only had an omelet, and perhaps I should have chosen an eggs benedict dish that might have demonstrated an FB-unique flavor, so to speak. I was not displeased with my experience, but nothing stood out in my head to make me think this is the new "it" spot. The service was good, and the number of tables was many and they were crammed in to make as much room as possible, but Thomas and I agreed this was just another brunch on a beautiful day. I'm sure the lines will still be long, so my advice is to call ahead if you want to check it out!

The Pluses and Minuses of Flying Biscuit Cafe:

Flying Biscuit Cafe (+) Indicators: Something for everyone, breakfast all day, lunch options also, open 7 days a week, central location, standard prices

Flying Biscuit Cafe (-) Indicators: Not local, very run-of-the-mill, long waits.

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the Flying Biscuit Cafe.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THANKS!

 

Ordering hint: The F B is a breakfast house

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

A friend of mine once said buying lunch at a breakfast house was like drinking beer at a winery.

So I was torn with the lunch decision facing me at the Flying Biscuit Cafe on NW 16th Blvd, but I've eaten breakfast many times at lunch. Fried eggs, omelets, quiche can make for a different kind of lunch adventure.

flyingbiscuitmenuboardThere has been a lot of buzz about this new breakfast house the last few months. It could be the real estate adage of location, location, location, since the Flying Biscuit is conveniently nestled in a sea of NW neighborhoods. maybe it's the popularity of breakfast places, it works for I-HOP. Shoot, it could the Flying Biscuit Cafe is serving up some delicious food.

Long-time friend Jane Medley and I made it to the Flying Biscuit just before noon. Fortunately for us a table opened up as we walked into the cafe. The breakfast cafe was filled inside and outside with hungry customers. I'm glad we didn't have to sit at one of the many outside tables because it was getting kinda warm for lunch on their sidewalk patio.

Once inside with menu in hand it appeared that the Flying Biscuit franchise, which started in Atlanta, Georgia, had done a nice job of imparting southern charm into the decor and the menu.

I was set for some of the Biscuit's dreamy grits and a giant egg scramble when I noticed the: Fried Green Tomato BLT, with crisp turkey bacon, fried green tomatoes, lettuce, cashew-jalapeno relish, and goat cheese served on a whole wheat bun.

Fbiscuit600I opted for the FB special BLT. Bacon is a breakfast item, correct?

Jane disregarded my breakfast-at-lunch angst and ordered the: Black Bean Quesadilla with refried black beans and white cheddar cheese folded in a flour tortilla, topped with sour cream, and chipotle sauce. Jane added some salsa to round out her Mexican lunch.

The Flying Biscuit has done a good job of creating a southern style list of side items, including southern roasted moon dusted potatoes and a mac & cheese side dish they call Grilled Mac & Cheese. Other sides are collard greens, green beans, and pudge. Pudge is an old, southern family recipe for garlic and basil mashed potatoes.

I am a mac 'n cheese guy. I could eat this concoction every day. ( I cook up a mean dish of a special recipe called Upscale Mac 'n Cheese that makes me the star chef every time I cook it for friends. It's so good I can't help sharing it: .)

Meanwhile, Jane wanted to try the roasted potatoes, so we decided to share our lunches with each other -- small bites mind you -- to find out what all the Flying Biscuit buzz was all about.

I have heard that service can be sub-par during busy times at the FB. We must have caught them just right, because the staff was attentive to our needs and very helpful to our making up our lunch time minds.

When our lunch arrived, the server presented us with a lot of calories.

Jane was taking photos of our lunch as I sized up the noon time meal that filled the top our small cafe size table.

Fbiscuit1With a flair only a talented graphic designer could conjure up, Jane decided her quesadilla looked naked and painted the tortilla wedges with strips of sour cream, salsa, and chipotle goodness (photo right).

A point goes to Jane's plate for presentation.

Especially relative to my order. The BLT looked unremarkable on my plate, with a flattened mac 'n cheese concoction that appeared to have been sliced off a giant slab of mac 'n cheese.

I had high expectations about my BLT. Unfortunately my expectations were not met in that the fried green tomatoes were not freshly cooked, the bacon was not crispy, and the whole wheat bun that enveloped my sandwich was dense, not toasted and uninspiring.  The feta cheese did add a nice sharp flavor to my sandwich.

flyingbiscuitJane and I traded some of our lunches, and I got to try her black bean quesadilla. The sauces Jane added were a nice addition. Jane created a flavor bonanza with spicy black beans mixed with white, red and green sauces.

Another point to Jane for the taste of her entree.

The side items of roasted, dusted potatoes and grilled mac 'n cheese, we felt, were similar in unique presentations, but both had a flavor problems: My slice of mac 'n cheese didn't work for me. The seeming absence of any noticeable pasta in this overcooked dish was disappointing. The supposedly multiple flavors contained in Jane's roasted potatoes were not apparent.

I made a bad choice with the BLT for a lunch entree, but there were some other lunch entrees that certainly looked deserving of serious attention on a future visit.

Then again, this is a breakfast house, and I think ordering breakfast is what this place is all about.

FBtopperOCT2013

Even on a thoroughly unremarkable Thursday, the Flying Biscuit Café is busy with many of the tables full both inside and outside on the patio. Waiting on a friend while I was perusing the menu, I noticed the Biscuit had a good number of meatless entrees on their lunch menu. The one that caught my eye was the FB Devil Burger. According to the menu, The Devil Burger is:  "Spicy and hot! Veggie and grain patty topped with feta cheese, red onions, smoky jalapeno sauce, lettuce, and tomato." My thought was that any meatless veggie patty with ingredients that add some spice is worth my attention. The sandwich was good. The same old issue I have with the meatless world is how to give veggie patties a little more personality. After a good first bite of The Devil, I liked the flavors of the feta cheese and peppers combined with the crunchy of the lettuce, combined with the cool taste of the tomato. The veggie and grain patty offered very little to this tasty sandwich other than a mushy back drop for the other ingredients. I added some hot sauce from the table and--Voila!--I discovered The Devil that was mentioned on the menu. I don't know who invented the first bottle of hot-pepper-sauce-that-goes-on-everything but this meatless Monday I was praising its culinary magic.

- GLOB Master

The Pluses and Minuses of Flying Biscuit Cafe:

Flying Biscuit Cafe (+) Indicators: Breakfast all day. the black bean quesadilla is worth your consideration.

Flying Biscuit Cafe (-) Indicators: The pre-prepared food items were disappointing.

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the Flying Biscuit Cafe.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THANKS! 

Last modified onThursday, 27 July 2017 04:35

Additional Info

  • Phone Number: 373-9500
  • Address: 4150 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville, FL
  • Urban GLOB Location: NW 16th Avenue
  • Latitude: 29.6732513
  • Longitude: -82.3869666
From:

13 comments

  • sirloin steak recipe
    sirloin steak recipe Monday, 30 July 2012 12:51 Comment Link

    Glad to see an update of this blog, after so long.

  • Gator Bill
    Gator Bill Wednesday, 02 May 2012 09:51 Comment Link

    In Gator Bill’s humble opinion, the #1 meatloaf in Gator Country is the Flying Biscuits incredibly tasty Turkey Meatloaf…..hands down! It’s not only de-lish, but healthier than the normal beef version. So there!

  • Carlos Alejandro Delgado
    Carlos Alejandro Delgado Tuesday, 10 May 2011 15:04 Comment Link

    In the Millhopper area for a meal?

    Try The Flying Biscuit Cafe; breakfast "ALL Day".

    +Have personally tried and recommend the "Coca-Cola BBQ Glazed Salmon" @$12.00. Comes with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans.

back to top