Newest DC Eatery is all the comfort and even more of the class.
There is just something magical about a great biscuit. Biscuits are fluffy little rounds of culinary contradiction. Sweet butter is contrasted by salty sharpness. Airy crumbs are somehow contained within a dense circle of dough. A delight so simple in principle, but complex enough that if attempted by any mere mortal, it can figuratively and literally fall flat. A good biscuit can be a beautiful vessel for other treats such as BBQ, jam, or sweet butter, but a great biscuit can easily stand along and blow your mind.
Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. makes a great biscuit.
Already voted “Best Biscuit in America”, Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. has been creating magic in not only their kitchen with a series of pop-up spots since 2014, but have also sold frozen biscuits for consumers to bring home and enjoy. Considered one of the star darlings to come out of Union Kitchen, a collaborative thinktank and incubator for the culinary arts, Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. has already made major waves both for their innovative start-up philosophy and commitment to good southern food that has all the flavor and none of the pretentiousness that can come with some of the more serious eateries in town. The announcement that Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. would be establishing their very own flagship store on Bladensburg Road sent salivating ripples of anticipation throughout the D.C. metro area, and with good reason. There were many out there, myself included, feverishly watching the social media accounts and driving slowly by the new location, just waiting for the chance to pull up a spot and sink my teeth into those glorious biscuits.
...on April 15th, I got my chance.
First of all, Ivy City is an absolute dream location for this restaurant. The community is thriving, hip, and in desperate need of some non-snobby, non-generic fast food. The spot Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. rejuvenated is one of those former aforementioned fast food joints – and that is GREAT news for all of us. Why? Three words: Drive-Thru Biscuits. As if their frozen biscuits weren’t convenient enough, now you can get these brilliant little breads without leaving your car?! It’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven. When I got to the parking lot, the place was bumping and I decided that the big crowd was all the excuse that I needed to test out the Drive-Thru option. I was borderline giddy when ordering my biscuit through the Drive-Thru, and I was downright delirious when I sunk my teeth into my first biscuit. (More on that in a moment.) In the interest of providing a complete review and journalistic integrity, I felt I had no choice after finishing my first treat to locate a parking spot and head on into the belly of the beast. The interior has a very retro and fun classic diner feel to it. I asked the kind young woman running the register how many people were able to be in the building at one time, and she explained that the space itself would seat 32, but that so far many people were as excited about eating in their car or taking their food to go. As she took my order, I spotted a seat just for me, and I took my second order of Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. goodies over to my own little corner of heaven.
As I mentioned, my first actual taste for the day was delivered to me via Drive-Thru. I had managed to find myself there while they were still serving breakfast, and while my heart was wanting to try the BBQ Pork more than I can possibly explain, I decided the logistics of eating that in the car would be tricky at best and at worst would result in having to get my car detailed. I ordered the Sausage, Egg & Cheese and Sweet Tea.
I sat in my car actually laughing at how absurdly delicious this simple little sandwich was. The biscuit was the perfect venue for the sweet and salty sausage, and the creamy egg and cheese. If God made anything better, he kept it for Himself. Slightly satiated, I finished sipping my tea and headed back into the large glass doors and straight to the register to place my order. I was a woman who knew what she wanted, and my goodness, I never realized just how good it would be.
“Yes, Ma’am. I’d like a Pulled Pork Biscuit, a side of Cheddar Cheese Grits, and a Vanilla Cultshake.”
As I stared at my meal, I knew that I would be pushing the boundaries of my belly to its limit, but I also knew darn well it was going to be worth every bite. The sweet and tangy Pulled Pork Biscuit was literally the stuff of dreams. The balance between the perfect biscuit and the moist, juicy, and tender pork was almost too good to be true. The grits? Well, I just like grits and I wanted them. I didn’t have any specific dedication to the notion of buying grits at Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., but my goodness am I ever glad I did. The corn grits were perfectly blended with the sweet cream butter and the sharp cheddar. Nothing fancy, just delicious. And then the milkshake...excuse me...cultshake. The thickness of this masterpiece was only overshadowed by the sweet perfection of the vanilla. I had every intention of then having one of the Hand Pies, a brilliant little deep-fried dessert made out of biscuit dough and stuffed full with apple or berry filling, but by the end of my second meal of the day, I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave with my pants still buttoned, so I decided to live to fight another day and enjoy that sweet treat later in the week.
Well, I think it’s pretty obvious. This food is serious eats without all the serious vibes. It is good, classic, comforting southern cuisine and it’s best. The location is prime, the building is beautiful, and the food is beyond compare. At the risk of sounding cheesy: Run. Don’t walk. Get there to Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. today, and bask in the beautiful contradiction of perfectly constructed southern food.