Few things in the South are as cherished -- and scrutinized -- as biscuits.
Secret recipes abound, all with slight variations in choice of fat, flour, leavener and liquid. Some biscuit makers insist the dough be dropped from the spoon directly onto a cookie sheet; others call for the dough to be neatly cut out. Some enthusiasts call for soft sides; others, crunchy tops.
And once out of the oven, the fluffy foodstuff is smothered in gravy, turned into sandwiches or simply crowned with butter, honey or homemade jam.
Even for dieters, biscuits are worth the indulgence. Here are the best spots around Atlanta to eat one -- or three.
Although its pastry cases are stocked with a variety of freshly baked goodies, Highland Bakery is known for its sweet potato biscuit. Bits of tender sweet potato add to the moist delicacy of this biscuit, which is available in mini or regular size. The savory wonders also can be found at the Ebrik Coffee Room.
This prototypical Southern diner is a bit of a dive or greasy spoon, and the service staff adds to the down-home vibe. The Silver Skillet is a regular haunt for those who enjoy hot, freshly made biscuits, with their crisp veneer brushed with melted margarine.
When it comes to breakfast or biscuits, Home Grown is a perennial favorite. The restaurant's comfy chicken biscuit is served open face, with its boneless fried chicken ladled with sausage gravy. Home Grown offers a bounty of biscuits for every palate. Veggie or salmon patties, pork and turkey sausage, or chicken fried steak with buffalo sauce all find comfort between downy biscuit halves.
Chef Suzanne Vizethann's posh farmhouse once served chicken biscuits only on weekends. But a choir of customers demanded more, and now her delicious biscuits are available daily, along with a side of pimento cheese grits and house-made pickles. The restaurant churns its own butter, with buttermilk as a residual. When life gives you buttermilk, make biscuits.
The original Candler Park location was founded by rocker and restaurateur Emily Saliers more than 20 years ago. Years later, the Southeast chain's reputation, along with its 13 locations, still depends on a quality biscuit. That's especially true given the restaurant's name. And these biscuits don't disappoint, as they're big, puffy and fluffy. The biscuit stands well on its own, but it really sings when slathered with the restaurant's signature cranberry-apple butter.
The much-loved chain got its start in Hapeville nearly 70 years ago. Now headquartered in Atlanta with 1,900 national outlets, Chick-fil-A has sold the masses on the idea of chicken for breakfast. There's little debate over the spicy chicken biscuit, until you bring grape jelly into the conversation.
Hungry for more? Be sure to watch Atlanta Eats on Peachtree TV every Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m.