Friday, July 27, 2012

B-Side makes a mountain out of a mole hill

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 9:49 AM

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When I first heard about this thing called the “biscuit mountain” from the menu at B-Side, I was both excited and a little frightened. What kind of gastronomic behemoth could warrant such a name? I envisioned some kind of fairy-tale sized monstrosity, brought out on a giant platter requiring a waiter on each end to heft it onto the table. This imagined “biscuit mountain” would likely be at least two dozen buttermilk biscuits stacked, pyramid-like, a foot or two high, with thick sausage gravy streaming down the sides like volcanic lava. The eater would likely be challenged to strap on a bib and devour the concoction, perhaps with hands tied behind the back, in less than an hour in order to claim a novelty t-shirt and get their Polaroid pinned up on the restaurant’s wall-of-fame. You know, the kind of thing that Man vs. Food guy would be all over.

Well, my dreams were quickly shattered. What I got were two ordinary-sized biscuits, each with a pork sausage patty, a scoop of white gravy and an easy over egg. I’m not saying it’s tiny, but this thing is no mountain, hardly even a hill. But I suppose it appeals to those with more sensible portioning expectations. The most important question is, how did it taste? Perhaps the flavors are big enough to live up to its name? Not so much.

The biscuit mountain’s biggest problems stem from two of the four major elements, the gravy and the egg. The gravy lacks the richness needed in a good sausage gravy, a problem I’ve encountered all to often in biscuit and gravy dishes. The egg was just a little too “easy over,” so much so that the topside had a thin coat of completely raw egg white, transparent and clinging to the top of the “mountain.” I was a little nervous to even eat it.

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Luckily, the meal wasn’t a complete disappointment. I ordered the fried “beignets,” which are served up four or eight to an order, with your choice of dipping sauces. I pounded down my order of eight donut-hole-like beignets with lemon and blueberry dipping sauces in a matter of minutes. They were nothing like what you might find in NOLA’s French Quarter but they were satisfactory.

Was this just a fluke? An off day? I’d be interested in going back for B-side’s chicken and waffles but raw chicken is not a risk I’m willing to take.

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