By Nancy Tannler
2045 SE Division St.
Open everyday: 11 am – 9 pm.
971.888.5933 Call for take-out
Son of a Biscuit opened last June at the corner of 21st & SE Division with a paired down menu specializing in fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits, gravy, mac and cheese, baked beans and other comfort foods that change with the season.
The Southeast Examiner spoke with manager Matt Lynch, who explained that this style of restaurant is one of several locally-owned establishments he is involved with that features a few menu items done really well.
Lynch started in the restaurant business at the age of twelve as a busboy/dishwasher in a Mexican restaurant in Arizona. He worked in the business until graduating from high school when he moved on to a real job working as a T Mobile rep.
While he was on the job in Vancouver B. C., he and a friend went to a restaurant that served Robuchon mashed potatoes. It was a life changing moment because he realized that if he could serve food this delicious to people and make a living at it, he would be on the right path for his life.
The Northwest Culinary Institute of Portland was Lynch’s next destination. He enrolled in school, but shortly into the school’s first term he had a chance encounter with Micah Camden and Katie Poppe while they were building their first Little Big Burger restaurant back in 2010. Lynch was checking out the construction site where he met them and it turned into a resumé/interview. He was hired and has been with them ever since.
Camden and Poppe have carved out a niche here in Portland with their conglomeration of restaurants that serve very specific items. There are eight Little Big Burgers, a Blue Star Donuts and Boxer Ramen. Camden was the chef and founder of Yakuza, Beast, DOC and Fat’s. He and Poppe had the idea to take the prize winning burger from the former restaurants and make it affordable. Their businesses now offer employment to over 185 people with opportunity to move up in management.
“I was specifically interested in the Son of a Biscuit restaurant though because of the type of food,” Lynch said. “I loved the standard American comfort food I was brought up eating, but like serving it with a twist.” He did research in the south, checking on places like the famous Hattie B’s Fried Chicken in Nashville and several Louisiana style chicken recipes. They came up with their own breading for the chicken then serve it plain, spicy and extra spicy. The sauce includes Asian herbs and spices giving the familiar barbecue flavor an exotic flair.
The Robuchon mashed potatoes are too labor intensive to serve at Son of a Biscuit, but the restaurant does make real mashed potatoes. Everything is made from scratch using the roasted bones and drippings, the gravy, homemade biscuits, mac and cheese, baked beans, fries and a fresh coleslaw that includes, kale, radicchio, carrots, onions with a vinaigrette dressing. “We like to keep the coleslaw simple to cut through the heat of the chicken and the richer flavors of the other food.”
For beverages, they serve lemonade and iced tea made daily. The lemonade has lime and thyme in it and the iced tea is sweetened with brown sugar and infused with tarragon. They also serve beer and cider.
The take out business is a good way to have a homemade dinner ready to go at this convenient location. Just call ahead twenty minutes before you are ready to eat so they can fry up your food fresh. An exciting addition beginning this month will be home deliveries.