Biscuits with fried chicken. Biscuits with sausage gravy. Biscuits with eggs.
Even biscuits as french toast.
A biscuit. How can something made out of lard, water and flour be so tasty and versatile?
From the first step into the restaurant, the buttery smell of fresh, warm, Southern-style home-cooked biscuits fills the air. On the wall sits a glowing NASHVILLE sign to reiterate’s the company tagline “born in the South,” as if the smell could fool anyone.
The smiling face of cashier Rachel Tharnish lights up the room as she greets customers.
A couple of plates of East Nastys, a biscuit with fried chicken topped with gravy, and the Princesses, a biscuit with hot and spicy chicken, pickles and mustard, pass by. Tharnish says, “smells like grandma’s cookin’!”
Bartenders, busy making the bright orange morning mimosas and bloody marys, hand them off to customers sitting at the crowded bar area.
Another plate full of biscuits passes.
Welcome to Biscuit Love, the home of the lowly pastry.
Biscuit Love started in 2012 as a food truck traveling to local farmer’s markets on weekends.
There, the Lilly, biscuit French toast topped with lemon, blueberries and maple syrup among other creations gained popularity.
Husband and wife, Karl and Sarah Worley hoped the food truck would rise into a restaurant one day.
That dream came true when they opened Biscuit Love as a restaurant in the Gulch about a month ago.
Tharnish, the cashier, has been working at Biscuit Love since the day it opened.
“It is so great that Karl and Sarah were able to put their dreams to reality when opening the restaurant because they are both unbelievably passionate about the business and of course, biscuits,” said Tharnish.
The idea of creating a restaurant around biscuits sprung from Karl Worley’s vivd memories of Sunday brunches with his family.
“Biscuits are near and dear to my heart because I remember at every family breakfast or brunch biscuits and gravy were somehow incorporated,” said Worley.
Endless options fill the menu with each meal containing, of course, a biscuit.
Eggs, ham, grits, shrimp, potatoes.
Both Karl and Sarah’s backgrounds add to Biscuit Love’s traditional, Southern atmosphere. Karl grew up in the Southern Appalachian mountains, and Sarah although born and raised in Pennsylvania has spent half of her life here in Nashville and considers the South her home.
Karl developed his culinary skills and his love for farm-to-table restaurants from his grandfather in Bristol, Tenn.
“Not only do we care about where our food goes, we care about where our food comes from,” said Worley.
Biscuit Love gets many of its ingredients from farms across Tennessee sources such as, Bear Creek Farm and Bloomsbury Farm.
The sweet tea however, comes from The Charleston Tea Plantation located in South Carolina.
The Worley’s believe the famous saying, “Put a lemon in your sweet tea and thank God you are from the South,” is true because there is no true Southern meal without sweet tea.
Southern cookin’, check.
Everyone in the restaurant not eating seems to be smiling and not because of the adorable baby sitting in a high chair giggling and chomping on a biscuit.
The atmosphere is pleasant. The service attentive.
“I know it is cliché to say but, we love our jobs. We have become such a community over the past couple weeks and it comes from such a great influence from our bosses,” said Tharnish.
“The Worley’s are just so passionate. If we are short someone to wash dishes that day, either of them would put on an apron to get the job done themselves.”
Karl, dressed in a blue and red plaid shirt with jeans and cowboy boots, wanders around the restaurant from table to table talking to every customer.
“I was sitting with my parents having a normal conversation when he came up to our table. He asked us about our hometown of Alpharetta, Ga., and things about our family,” said Belmont University freshman, Suzanna Stapler.
Stapler went to Biscuit Love about a week after it opened and came back with great things to say, not only about the restaurant but also about the people inside.
“It is not every day that the owner of a restaurant takes their time to talk to each customer and make them feel like they are at home. There is no better way to describe the atmosphere than Southern hospitality,” said Stapler.
Random acts of kindness seem to come naturally for Worley.
“See that adorable couple over there? Send them a dessert on the house” said Worley to one of the cooks wearing a black apron with the company logo across his chest.
As a plate of biscuit-French toast topped with ripe raspberries and powdered sugar sets down on the table, the young couple look at each other curiously.
Worley watches the couple look around wondering where this delicious looking dessert came from.
“I really care about the people who get the food. I want the people who eat here to understand where we are going with our Southern ideas,” said Worley.
Southern hospitality, check.
While waiting for my Nasty Princess, a combination of the East Nasty and the Princess, three different waiters came up and asked if I needed anything and how my morning went.
They weren’t just killing time. My food came in less than 10 minutes.
On the old fashioned wooden table sat my plate filled with what to me, looked like heaven on earth.
Biscuit. Hot-chicken. Gravy.
Challenge graciously accepted.
The sausage gravy smothered the chicken, so hot the sizzling spices tingled my tongue. I felt like a fire breathing dragon until a kick of the milky and flaky biscuit cooled my senses and took the fire away.
I wanted more.
The fire breathing dragon returns, this time I’m saved by the ice-cold water. The waitress continuing to replenish my glass after each sip.
Finishing the spiciest meal of my life, Worley stops by one last time to ask how it tasted.
With an empty plate sitting in front of me I thought to myself, “wow, I will not be eating for the rest of the day.”
The meal in addition to the Southern hospitality left me happy which is the point of the Biscuit Love.
“If your customers are not happy, you cannot be happy,” said Tharnish. “We work to give the customer a great experience, not because we have to, because we want to.”
Biscuit Love nailed the traditional Southern atmosphere because as Worley said…
“Whats more Southern than a biscuit?”
Located at 316 11th Ave. S sits breakfast and lunch restaurant, Biscuit Love, open daily from 7a.m-3p.m