At long last, the heyday of the biscuit has arrived near downtown Lakeland.
At 7 a.m. the doors opened for the soft launch of Biscuits and Benedicts, a farm chic modern take on hearty breakfasts with a bit of coastal flair and loads of Lakeland touches.
It has taken nearly three years for the business to open. The business partners weathered challenges with permitting and contractors, a pandemic, labor shortages and long delays on kitchen equipment, so it was par for the course when last week a typical Florida storm knocked a header off their sign that read: “Opening June 24.”
Nonetheless, the former location of acclaimed restaurant Nineteen61, in the heart of Dixieland, is finally ready to serve customers up fresh buttermilk biscuits, distinctive egg dishes and a few sweet treats that tie it all together.
“There’s no place around here that’s dedicated to biscuits..and with some inspiration from the Denver Biscuit Company and using the Catapult Kitchen to test our product and recipes, we are ready to create a great customer experience,” said co-owner Troy Hambrick, who is a partner in the business with his son-in-law James Kerr.
“…with some inspiration from the Denver Biscuit Company and using the Catapult Kitchen to test our product and recipes, we are ready to create a great customer experience.”
Head chef Erik Walter brings more than 20 years of restaurant experience with him, including a long tenure as the executive chef at Harborside in Winter Haven.
Hambrick said Walter perfected his biscuit recipe with help of other locals, and that customers can expect a “little different flavor to our sausage gravy
Biscuits and Benedicts will be a local-centric eaterie. They will serve Concord Coffee java, Tea Largo beverages and Bee-Haven Honey Farm products. They also have local art inside, and soon a young local artist will be creating an outdoor mural that is being commissioned in partnership with the Lakeland CRA.
The restaurant is in the process of acquiring its alcohol license, and has plans for partnerships with local breweries and to serve bottomless mimosas on Sundays.
Typically, menu entrees range from $8.95 to $15.95, with many creative variations of biscuit sandwiches and benedicts, as the name suggests.
Hambrick said one of his favorite entrees is the Over Yonder biscuit sandwich, which includes buttermilk fried chicken, bacon and homemade honey butter covered in maple syrup.
The restaurant currently employees 37 staff, who will serve customers every day of the week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hambrick said ownership has their sites set on potentially opening a second location at the vacant former home of Homecourt by Tracy McGrady, a site located in Merchant’s Walk off of South Florida Avenue.
They envision an expanded menu and acquisition of a liquor license for a larger location down the line.