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Where to Go For the Biscuits and Gravy

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jul 28, 2008 2:00PM

2006_11_gravy.jpgA few weeks back a reader e-mailed Margaret asking where he could find good biscuits and gravy in town, the way he remembered it in the South. Being the boss, she forwarded over the e-mail and asked, "I'd like to know, too."

This set us to pondering. We certainly know how to whip up a good batch of biscuits and gravy from scratch. The problem with trying to find it out in town is the inevitable comparison to the recipe Mom shared with us. It's the gold standard by which we judge all others; naturally, everything else falls short.

Once upon a time, the closest we've come in town to biscuits and gravy we could genuinely appreciate came from Hilary's Urban Eatery. But they closed years ago. One would think that the soul food joints on the South and West sides would be doing brisk business with biscuits and gravy. Sadly, that isn't the case. In many of the more popular places like Army & Lou's, BJ's Market, Pearl's Place and Cathy's biscuits and gravy is served, but over whole chicken or roast dinners (the whole plate is smothered in gravy). Of course, Wishbone serves it, but it's Wishbone. Enough said.

So we did a bit of research and found a couple of places that you can try for yourselves.

  • Big Jones (5347 N. Clark, 773-275-5725) classes up their weekend biscuits and gravy, serving it up with fresh buttermilk biscuits, niman ranch applewood smoked pit ham, spicy redeye gravy, and holy trinity hash.
  • Hawkeye's Bar & Grill (1458 W. Taylor, 312-226-3951) is popular with UIC students regretting the kegger the night before. Hawkeye's serves biscuits and gravy on the weekend with either three eggs cooked your way ($6.95) or as a "Southern Benedict" (three poached eggs and sausage, $7.95).
  • Flying Saucer Café (1123 N. California, 773-342-9076) serves biscuits and gravy in both leaded (with sausage) or unleaded ("vegetarian sausage;" we assume tofu or seitan) with two eggs for $6.25.
  • Huddle House (4748 N. Kimball, 773-588-5363) was a family recommendation. Our stepfather used to take us there all the time when it was located in the space currently occupied by Hollywood Grill in Wicker Park. Having passed by it numerous times, we should have known that this diner that looks like the place where runaways go to permanently disappear would serve up some serious biscuits and gravy ($5.75). It's no frills, too. Just simple sausage gravy. Keep a close eye on your wallet or purse while you're there, though.