(Update: Empire Biscuit is currently closed for renovations as of the first quarter of 2016.)
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a thick, buttery biscuit. Add to it a fried egg, a salty piece of bacon, and melted cheddar cheese and it’s three times as satisfying. Once Empire Biscuit opened their Southern biscuit shop in 2013, fans flocked to their 24-hour flaky treats. Located in downtown Manhattan in the East Village is a small, minimally-decorated space with a huge wooden door and street-facing windows advertising, “Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, & Drunk”.
If you stop in when it’s busy and are lucky enough to grab one of the dozen or so stools in the shop, consider it a gift that you can sit and enjoy your reasonably-priced biscuit at a tabletop instead of simply standing and letting crumbs and toppings bounce off your clothes as you try to stuff pure joy into your mouth. Unless you live around the corner, trying to make it home while your food is still warm is not a viable option and prolonging the indulgence further is just taste bud torture.
Using the force of my feet, I walk avenues out of my way to eat at Empire Biscuit because their sandwiches and biscuit pairings are crave worthy. Their menu changes often but there are some staples, both savory and sweet. Savory favorites of loyal patrons include the House-Made Pork Sausage Gravy Biscuit and the Fried Chicken with Ranch and Pickled Green Tomatoes. Jam Sandwiches include The Lunch Box -- Peanut Butter and Grape Jam -- and my personal favorite, The Lemony Susan -- Lemon Curd & Brown Butter.
Unfortunately, trendy restaurants that seem to pop up quickly are not without their issues. Empire has gone through a bunch of changes in the last few years: Constantly changing their hours during the week, only being open on weekends, and closing for a few days at a time. My friends, it looks like the Empire is crumbling.
Although Empire Biscuit is currently closed for renovations and other unknown reasons and was shuttered in January unexpectedly due to a buy-out between Emperors, I certainly hope they can rebuild their forces and continue churning out biscuits to the butter-loving, Empire-seeking public.