A light drizzle fell as I slowly made my way through Jacksonville looking for the Maple Street Biscuit Company. The blue dot of the map app periodically blinked as I neared 2004 San Marco Boulevard. A black awning provided a couple of early morning commuters shelter. Water pooled on the black wooden tables that dotted the sidewalk, reflecting the grey sky. Above, a simple oval sign with a maple leaf hung from a bracket.
The coziness of the Maple Street Biscuit Company was felt as soon as I entered. Rustic wooden planks lined the right hand wall and served as a backdrop for sturdy wooden tables. A large picture of a maple tap accompanied by the restaurant’s logo lined the rear wall. An open kitchen was placed to the right, and a line of people stretched back from the cash register.
Using the most of my wait I looked over the menu. Sixteen specialty biscuits were offered in addition to the basic biscuit topped with a combination of meat, egg, and cheese. I had not traveled 160 miles for something simple, and read through the more adventurous options. Several caught my eye including the Ralpie Deluxe (flakey biscuit topped with sausage gravy with a kick and a fried egg), and the Reinhold (flakey biscuit topped with a fried chicken breast, dill pickles, and homemade honey mustard). Ultimately I ordered the Squawking Goat as the lure of a fried chicken breast topped with goat cheese and homemade pepper jelly proved too great.
Before finding a place to sit at one of the communal tables I filled a sturdy ceramic mug with maple flavored coffee. The cashier behind the counter called out band names, as orders on this particular day were flagged with the name of the concert patrons ever attended. REO Speedwagon, Justin Beiber, and Whitney Houston all were called until I heard him bellow Pearl Jam. I grabbed my breakfast, did a u-turn, and prepared my taste buds for some my first Maple Street biscuit.
Pepper jelly flecked with flakes of hotness dripped down over a golden fried chicken breast sandwiched between the halves of a plump biscuit. I thought better of going in with my hands and utilized utensils to carve off a piece. The chicken breast was well seasoned with salt, pepper, and other spices. The pepper jelly offered a pop of spice mixed with a subtle sweetness. The biscuit, as advertised, was flakey and buttery. It soaked up some of the jelly and the combination of all three was delicious.
The Maple Street Biscuit company lives up to the hype, and is worth a visit the next time you are in Jacksonville. The restaurant is open Monday – Thursday 7 am – 2 pm, and Friday – Saturday 7 am – 2 pm and 5 pm – 9 pm. The Maple Street Biscuit Company can be found online at maplestreetbiscuits.com, Facebook, and contacted by telephone at (904) 398-1004.
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