For those who also listen to our Biker Chowdown Podcast on iTunes, you probably remember our tagline – “it’s not just about the food, but the adventures and people we meet along the way,” well sometimes it is all about the food. Saturday’s ride was uneventful in every other way except for the exceptional food and coffee at the Great Southern Biscuit Company in Mayo, FL. Saturday was going to be a busy day so I choose not to take my typically circuitous routes through the backroads of Florida. Less that two minutes from my front door is Hwy 27 and from there it is a straight shot for 38.2 miles to the Great Southern Biscuit Company.
If you you were in the mood to stop along the way, I guess there are some great things to see. Just past Fort White, FL is Ichetucknee Springs State Park famous for the beautiful natural springs that remain at 72 degrees winter or summer, and the lazy river filled to capacity with tourist floating down the river in tubes, floats, and every other imaginable inflatable device. As a matter of fact, this section of North Florida is known world-wide for their natural springs, cave diving, and breathtaking scenery all across the region.
I did venture one stop along the way. You can’t ride west across North Florida and not stop and admire the historic Suwannee River. “Old Folks at Home,” is the original title of the famous Stephen Foster song that we all know and love. Foster’s famous song has some very interesting history to go with it. First, Stephen Foster never visited Florida and never laid eyes on the Suwannee (Swanee, as he wrote in the original lyrics). The song was selected out of an atlas simply because it fit with the rest of his lyrics. Second, The song, written from the perspective of an African slave, became the official song of Florida in 1935, but the lyrics where expurgated in 2008 to be less offensive. As a result of the political changes Florida now has a state song, “Old Folks at Home,” with updated lyrics (approved by the Stephen Foster Memorial, at the University of Pittsburg), and a state anthem, “Florida, where the sawgrass meets the sky,” by Briton Jane Hinton, added January 11, 2008.
But, like the title says, this day’s journey was about the food. I had been trolling social media one day when I discovered an add that said, “Best Biscuits in the United States.” Well, that was one click through that got my attention. I was even more shocked to learn it was only about 30 minutes from my home. It immediately rose to the top of my Biker Chowdown list of prospects. I arrived at the large building on the corner of W. Main St., but was surprised when I walked in. The tiny biscuit company only took up a very small portion of the larger building. It was more like a small town coffee shop than it was a restaurant.
I sat for a short time and watched as other’s food came out from the kitchen. Waffles covered in fresh fruit and whipped cream. Bacon, eggs & grits, all the southern favorites, but I was hear for one thing – biscuits, biscuits, and more biscuits. I ordered a cappuccino and a single order of biscuits and gravy (with the expectation of ordering more when those were finished). The pictures just didn’t do them justice (they are bigger than they appear). After one order it was clear I wasn’t going to eat any more at that moment.
The Biscuits you ask? Are they truly the best in the U.S. – I doubt it, but they were certainly worth the ride. Soft, fluffy, and melted in your mouth. The sausage gravy was good, but the real zinger was the fresh paprika sprinkled on top. It gave the biscuits and gravy a nice kick.
I was just a little embarrassed to be filled up after a single biscuit and gravy, but what could I do? Oh, I have an idea, order a dozen fresh biscuits to take home with me. They came directly out of the oven and I almost stopped and ate another right there, but the road beckoned. It was another straight shot home (pushing the limits of rural speed zones) I was home in about 30 minutes and immediately broke out some homemade blackberry jam (compliments of Herman Hendricks), and laid some fresh blackberries on top of that.
Breakfast of biscuits and gravy followed by desert biscuits. It was a glorious morning and I already knew what was on the menu after lunch “biscuits and honey.” A few weeks earlier I had bought some honey from the local amish community and this was the perfect opportunity to check it out.
All in all the day was a great success. Of course I woke up Sunday 2 lbs heavier, but I would gladly run a couple extra miles for just one more GSBC biscuit. For all the pictures from today’s ride, visit our Facebook page – Biker Chowdown.