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Posts Tagged ‘Biscuits and Gravy’

Marie Callenders Biscuit Mix Review


Spoiler alert. I could give a shit about biscuits. One of my biggest fears is seeing them included with a menu item and the words “no substitutions” appear right beside that notation.

I’d rather have toast. Under any circumstances.

But you know, people come to be fed a lot around here and on occasion, they cry out for biscuits. I think I’ve made them once from scratch and they were a marked improvement over any package mixes I have tried.

Which brings me to today’s breakfast: Marie Callender’s Cheese Biscuit Mix along side “Sav-A-Lot” brand Sausage Gravy. I have no idea who either of these items found their way into my pantry. As I said, I wouldn’t normally purchase biscuit mix, and there isn’t a Sav-A-Lot anywhere near me.

Dollar store mystery, perhaps.

I’ve been in a Marie Callender’s once, and it was somewhere in Oregon, I was on a long drive and had to pee. Big endorsement, eh? I bought a pie tho, seems like it was close to some holiday and seems the chain was taking full advantage, cause as I recall, that pie was north of $25.

I got this at a dollar store or Big Lots, in either case it was a buck. Checked Amazon out of curiosity and they list the same package from $3.75 to $6.25. Wow.

Direction are to add ½ stick melted butter and a 1/3 cup of water, mix, and drop into FIVE pieces on a cookie sheet. FIVE? Who sells anything that makes a quantity of FIVE?

Baked them for the suggested time. Open oven, they are not “golden brown” after the suggested time, so I kept adding two minute periods. Quite a few of them.

Since I’ve never had these at the restaurant, I don’t know how the home version compares. Since I’ve already told you biscuits mean nothing to me, I’d put these at about #300 on my list. Pick them up and they crumble in your hand. I suppose some people like biscuits like that. Some people like them flaky. Some people prefer hockey puck style.

I guess they’d be OK to pour gravy over, which was originally my intent. The “cheese” flavor is barely noticeable. The predominant taste is flour, IMO.

No, I won’t buy them again. Can’t really suggest you buy them.

They’re made by ConAgra in Trenton, Missouri in a factory (pictured below) slated for closing this year. ConAgra is big in the fast growing heat and eat complete meal segment, as well as licensing restaurant brands. After a zillion years being headquartered in Omaha, ConAgra packed up their execs and moved HQ to Chicago this year. BTW? Trenton claims to be the world’s largest manufacturer of vienna sausages. In case you were wondering what 20170514_052037town deserved that title.

I had a mind to make biscuits and gravy. Canned gravy from Sav-A-Lot, have no idea how that got in the pantry, there isn’t a store anywhere near me. It actually looked pretty good, as did the ingredients. Lots of sausage.

But the biscuits put me off the project.

No, I won’t buy them again. Can’t really suggest you buy them.

Biscuit Ingredients: Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Niacin, Iron, Thiamin, Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Cheddar Cheese Bits [Corn Syrup, Flour (Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Corn Cereal, Cheese Powder (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Cream, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Contains Less Than 2% Annatto (Color). Lactic Acid, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Cottonseed And/Or Soybean), Natural And Artificial Flavor, Salt, Turmeric And Annatto Extracts], Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate), Sea Salt, Natural Flavor.

Marie Callenders Biscuit Mix Review

Pre baking

Marie Callenders Biscuit Mix Review

After baking

Marie Callenders Biscuit Mix Review

ConAgra Plant, Trenton MO



Marie Callenders Biscuit Mix Review

Marie Callenders Biscuit Mix Review


Portland, OR – Biscuits Cafe


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Figuring I had burned off 30 pounds or so at the gym this morning, I was in the mood for a burger breakfast, and popped into a local chain “Biscuits Cafe” (menu) to sample their offerings. If you are a regular reader you know I like a burger patty and eggs, and you also know I don’t succeed in finding that menu item so often these days. I was surprised and happy Biscuits offered it.

With less ambiance than a Greyhound Bus Station, or even an IHOP or Denny’s, Biscuits has a number of outlets in the Portland area, and a note on the menu says they are now franchising, with “ten locations in three states.” Whoop-de-dooh!

Painted on the wall is the inscription, “We don’t serve fast food, we serve fresh food as fast as we can.” (This doesn’t turn out to be precisely true).

With an estimated seating capacity of @135 (plus a few outside tables for the three days a year the temp in Portland is over 40, and it isn’t raining), this outlet was sucking wind for customers this morning, with 7 additional patrons in addition to yours truly. Of the 7, 3 were seniors dining alone, 2 were senior men dining together, and 2 were a man and woman discussing some business.

The multitude of customers were being served by two waitresses (a third came in as I was leaving), and two cooks of Hispanic heritage. (Did you happen to see Anthony Bourdain the other nite opine on “Mexican” cooks? He said put ten French cooks in a kitchen with one Mexican cook and the Mexican would grind out better French food.)

I ordered the burger patty and two eggs, over easy, with hash browns, and rye toast. It took a little longer to get than most casual dining restaurants, but luckily I remembered the wall inscription! “Freshness” was not to rule the day with this menu item, the potatoes and burger patty were fresh out of the institutional food service freezer. I do have to say this food service burger patty was a step up from most I have had lately.

The “hook” at Biscuits seems to be nearly a pound of hash browns on every plate, and over-sized toast (it was a marble rye). It is probably the intention of management that this will make you overlook the skimpy meat serving and a couple of pretty tiny eggs. In any case, the food was served the way I ordered it, and the waitresses were cordial and diligent with the coffee and water refills.

The breakfast was OK, really no different than any other place of this ilk, except for being considerably more spendy. Breakfast, coffee and tip came out north of $12, and one of my alternate choices of the morning could have been Shari’s, which is currently shoveling out chicken fried steak and eggs for $4.99. Oh, well, next time.

P.S. Wonder what they thought I should use that huge-ass steak knife on?

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Portland, Or – Screen Door Restaurant


Being as I moved here from New Orleans, quite a few people have suggested I try out the Screen Door restaurant for my much missed creole/cajun fare.

Haven’t been able to get there for dinner, but Saturday found us in the neighborhood around brunch time, and my better 2/3 embraced the idea of stopping when I told here she could imbibe in a) a gin fizz, and b) cheese grits, all at the same time. She was down for that!

The Saturday morning brunch crowd (or those waiting for it) spilled out onto the sidewalk when we arrived, and although in the past, my better 2/3rds usually would have said “oh, you don’t want to wait,” she didn’t yesterday, because I am a changed man in this (and many other ) regards, as of late. We put our name on the list, there were about a dozen parties ahead of us, and stood on the sidewalk patiently (well, for me) waiting our turn.

Eventually, we were seated by the hostess, and our waitress, Arial, took our drink orders, (gin fizz for my wife, root beer in a bottle for me) (we had coffee’d up earlier at Espresso Giuseppe. The place was chock-a-block full of southern style tschotskes and NOLA type music which we took in as we were waiting for our plates.

The wife went with fried oysters on poached eggs with bacon, hollandaise on the side, and the cheese grits. As it was after the noon hour, I seriously contemplated the hamburger (which is very highly rated among my PDX burger peers), but ultimately chose the eggs, biscuits and gravy. The wife had a second thought and ordered an additional side of bacon for my benefit. (She’s always thinking of me! ).

The food was marvelous, the oyster breakfast vanished quickly, even with at each bite, my wife saying “I’m stuffed and can’t eat anymore,” and another bite was disposed of.

My biscuits and gravy were superb, the gravy thick, peppery, and lacking the floury taste so many breakfast gravy establishments are guilty of. Big hunks of mild sausage were buried under the gravy and while the sausage attendance was aplenty, one could always use more. My over easy eggs were done to perfection, and the biscuits were light, and slighly grilled, a nice twist, and cut in squares instead of rounds.

I swore (as I am wont to do) that I could not finish all of it, but or course I did, plus the side of bacon, and a couple of spoonfuls of cheese grits, as well. I also “borrowed” a taste or two of the hollandaise, which was incredibly mild, slightly lemony, and smooth as silk.

The bill was a modest, in the $30 range, with a good 20% of the total due to the one cocktail. Who would have guessed foamy gin would be a nice addition to breakfast?

Steeled with our nutritional fortification for the day, we were ready to take on our other predesignated tasks, a couple of car test drives, before ending the day at the Expo center for the local tattoo show. I’ve been tempted to add some ink lately, perhaps a White Castle logo, but we’ll save that adventure for some other time.

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