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Zagat: New Local Eatery Is All Biscuits, All The Time

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A new eatery is making a name for itself by only serving a dish that some may consider just a side: biscuits. Zagat editor Kelly Dobkin filed the following report for NY1.

It's all biscuits, all the time at Empire Biscuit, a new 24-hour shop serving up scratch-made sandwiches around the clock.

"We love biscuits, and we're from the South, and in the South, the biscuit is kind of like a grab-and-go thing," says Jonathan Price of Empire Biscuit. "And this is what's ironic about the lines. It should be something that you come in and five minutes later, you're out the door with it in your hand on your way to work or wherever."

Owners Jonathan Price and Yonadav Tsuna met waiting tables in 2009 and eventually dreamed up Empire's concept.

"I found an Edna Lewis recipe. Edna Lewis was a Southern chef who worked many, many years in New York," Price said. "We do it differently than she would have done, but that was our starting point.

You start by choosing your biscuit type - country-style or all-butter - and then select from their list of suggested combos, or custom build your own with their wide selection of condiments and toppings.

"The country-style biscuit is a very traditional product," Price said. "We use leaf lard, which is the fat from around the kidneys of a pig. We get our leaf lard fresh from Flying Pigs Farm. We render it in house. It's not 100 percent leaf lard, but it's like 60/40, which we think is ideal. And actually, where we really like to use the country-style biscuit is with the jams and jellies on the sweet side. It really brings out the vibrancy of the fruit to have this little mysterious savoriness in the biscuit."

"We smoke our own ham in the backyards. We call it backyard ham and egg," Tsuna said. "We also smoke our own tasso ham using the red-eye gravy. We smoke our own lamb sometimes for lamb bacon and lamb ham as an alternate option to regular bacon and ham. We like to have fun with the food."

After tasting the pumpkin maple biscuit and the ham and egg, it's evident why this biscuit-only shop is a unique entry into New York City's single-eatery food scene.

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