100 Favorite Dishes: No. 41, Biscuit With Crème Fraîche and Marmalade at Blacksmith
Blacksmith's simple biscuit is the ideal breakfast.
Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus® issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that seem particularly indicative of the ever-changing Houston foodscape.
Blacksmith recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, and the line of customers snaking out the door waiting to grab some grub and party with the people who've helped to make the place great was a testament to the quality of the products served at the small coffee shop.
It is, of course, best known for its coffee. In fact, when I was there recently a small coffee class of sorts was taking place on one side of the bar as baristas and a few interested parties discussed the fine points of coffee service. It was fascinating to listen to them try to identify different types of coffee from different areas based on taste and smell. It was almost like hearing master sommeliers talk about wine.
I don't go to Blacksmith for the coffee, though. I go for the biscuits.
Crispy and slightly flaky on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside.
The biscuit recipe was developed by Erin Smith, formerly of Clumsy Butcher and now easing into her new job as executive chef at the as-yet unfinished JW Marriott Hotel downtown. These biscuits are one of the most popular menu items at Blacksmith, and one of the dishes that Smith gets the most hat tips for. They're simple, yes, as biscuits are. But they're also perfection, in a way that most biscuits are not.
I think the secret is in the amount of butter used. Blacksmith's biscuits are perhaps the most buttery I've ever encountered. They aren't greasy, though, and they aren't overly light and flaky. They're like the ideal marriage of biscuit and scone, with just enough heft to make a single one a filling meal. Not that I don't always want a second, of course.
You can order a biscuit either with sausage (like a breakfast sandwich) or with a little cup of crème fraîche and marmalade. As wonderful as the sausage is, I recommend the latter option. David Buehrer, one of Blacksmith's owners, took my side in a friendly argument with a fellow customer.
"There's really nothing like crème fraîche with a biscuit," he said, noting that while the crème fraîche comes from a European distributor, the marmalade and biscuits are both made in-house.
And he's right. The cool, creamy, slightly sour crème fraîche pairs wonderfully with the warm, buttery biscuit, and the raspberry marmalade adds a touch of sweet and sour to the mix. It's a decadent breakfast (or lunch), to be sure, but some days you just want to treat yourself. Blacksmith is a great place to do that.
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The list so far: No. 42: Fried Oyster Po'Boy at Goode Company Seafood No. 43: Roasted Duck Red Curry at Morningside Thai No. 44: BBQ Pulled Wild Boar Sandwich at Sammy's Wild Game Grill No. 45: Guanciale Burger at Plonk No. 46: Parma 600 Pizza at Pizzeria Solario No. 47: CFC Deviled Eggs at Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar No. 48: The El Real Burger at El Real Tex-Mex Cafe No. 49: Custard Sandwich at Petite Sweets No. 50: Black Pepper Beer Lobster at Hai Cang Seafood Restaurant No. 51: Red Dragon Roll at Michiru Sushi No. 52: Fried Bananas Foster at Custom Confections No. 53: Bánh Canh Hue at Simply Pho No. 54: Kimchi Koagie at Koagie Hots No. 55: The Juicy Lucy Burger at Lowbrow No. 56: Eggplant Fries at Batanga No. 57: Macarons at Ganache Dessert Bar No. 58: Grilled Cheese at The Golden Grill No. 59: Baklava French Toast at Harry's Restaurant & Cafe No. 60: Patata e Funghi Pizza at Pizaro's No. 61: Old Fashioned Frito Pie at Armadillo Palace No. 62: Korean Spiced Brisket Plate at Revival Market No. 63: Bánh Mì at Les Givral's Sandwich and Cafe No. 64: Squirrel Master Burger at Cottonwood No. 65: Shorty Mac at H-Town StrEATS No. 66: Enchiladas de Mole at La Guadalupana No. 67: Bad Ass Hambur-Torta at Pistolero's No. 68: Green "Hurry Curry" at Nit Noi No. 69: Dozen Raw Oysters at Pappas Seafood No 70: Banana Split at Cloud 10 Creamery No. 71: Lazy Lane Frites at Brasserie 19 No. 72: Chicken Pot Pie at Kenny & Ziggy's No. 73: Chili Cheese Mac from Jus' Mac No. 74: Taco al Pastor at Taco Keto No. 75: 'Date With a Pig' at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop No. 76: The Heights Burger at Gratifi No. 77: Lamb Lollipops at Américas No. 78: Mortadella Sandwich at 13 Celsius No. 79: Carnissima Pizza at Coppa Osteria No. 80: The Marie Laveau Sandwich at Sandy Witch No. 81: Catfish and Grits at The Breakfast Klub No. 82: Grilled Ahi Tuna at St. John's Fire No. 83: Lobster Roll at Maine-ly Sandwiches No. 84: Greek Burger at Hubcap Grill No. 85: Pork Tamales at Irma's No. 86: Ham, Egg & Cheese Crepe at Melange Creperie No. 87: Crab Daddy Bao at Fat Bao No. 88: Sesame Soft Balls at Golden Dim Sum No. 89: Porchetta e Fagioli at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino No. 90: Uncle Daryl's Cake at The Chocolate Bar No. 91: Lobster Cake Benedict at Sorrel Urban Bistro No. 92: Homeroom at Bernie's Burger Bus No. 93: Vuelve a la Vida Soup at Connie's Seafood No. 94: Foie Gras Mac & Cheese at BRC Gastropub No. 95: Sweet Potato Gnocchi at Brooklyn Athletic Club No. 96: Chicken and Waffles at Adair Kitchen No. 97: Soft Pretzel from Mongoose Versus Cobra No. 98: Bulgogi Tacos with Kimchi at Chi'Lantro No. 99: Almond Croissant at Phoenicia No. 100: Bangkok Fries at Boheme
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