Disclaimer: The word “biscuit” is repeated about one million times in this article.
Brooklyn-homegrown, St. Anslem is making a name for itself in D.C. as a “different kind of steakhouse” on the same street as culture-merger Union Market.
For dinner, there’s been roaring about their Ax-handle Ribeye and other approachable steak cuts.
But, you know what’s impressive?
No matter the conversation, St. Anslem’s house biscuits served with pimento cheese pop up in the spotlight too; for brunch and for dinner.
It’s the BEST biscuit in D.C.
“People come [ to St. Anslem] just for the biscuits!”
And several diners agreed. The biscuits are damn good.
Any D.C. native knows there’s no shortage of bakeries in D.C. kneading out delicious biscuit creations.
There’s Baked & Wired, Meat and Foods has a Sunday biscuit on Florida Ave, there’s Stomping Ground and Mason Dixie Biscuit sold at Union Market.
But it doesn’t matter what kind of biscuits you’ve enjoyed before– drop biscuits, crumbly ones, ones flakier than fishmonger’s floor– St. Anslem, the steakhouse, has the best biscuits EVER.
So I planned my brunch feast accordingly:
Biscuits + Housemade Pimento Cheese.
Grilled Butcher’s Steak & Eggs.
After having two of their biscuits smeared with their housemade pimento cheese spread, I was sold.
Just the smell alone elicits the excitement of finding a couple of forgotten dollar bills in your jean pocket.
Would it be ludicrous to say, I hold the St. Anslem biscuit in higher esteem than my South Carolinian grandma’s biscuits?
Would it be outlandish to say, a purchase from Goldbely can now be justified?
Because if St. Anslem sold their biscuits to the masses, I might stock a quarter of my freezer with them.
So let me tell you more.
They come four to a plate.
Four big, stacked biscuits that look to be painted silly with gold.
As I mentioned before, there’s this dreamy pimento cheese spread too.
Pimento cheese, the wholly Southern delicacy, made with cheese, pimentos, relish, and mayonnaise.
The cheese spread can make dog shit taste good.
You can eat it like ice cream out of a bowl.
Don’t you dare avoid it, in a trade-off for butter– BUTTER!?.
Back to the biscuit.
The biscuit is cracked open.
Huffing and puffing out steam, filling your nose with a bready aroma.
A smell that hits you like a rhino on steroids; completely knocks your wig off.
Up next, a nice smear of the pimento cheese, a rinse-and-repeat that never goes stale unless you’re scared to blow a pant button.
Btw, never eat biscuits in a tight anything, speaking from experience.
You’ll look like a full-bellied bird standing on its perch.
Random, but necessary advice.
We’re arriving at the climax.
The gliding of the butter knife to and fro as the spread pushes itself into every crevice is as addictive as binge-watching a Netflix series after a bad breakup.
This is a biscuit I’d wish upon to hold all my toppings and condiments — jelly, peanut butter, bacon, chicken, slaw, anything.
And now folks, relax for uninterrupted pleasure with your mimosa.
From here, it’s smooth sailing, enjoying the breeze.
You have a texture in your mouth that is pliable, soft, and moist like a napkin for heating a soft-shell tortilla, running the gamut between cakey and bready.
There’s a touch of sweet, not like sucking on sugarcane, but like a drop of honey in green tea.
The sweet is there, but subtle.
Taking a detour.
Have you ever watched Brenee Brown’s special on Netflix, Brenee Brown: The Call to Courage?
There’s a segment where she talks about breathing, remembering, and LIVING in a moment.
She continues to tell the story of her daughter closing her eyes— just for a few seconds — to remember a moment.
When you do venture to St. Anslem and shove the bready comfort of steaming biscuit and warm, sultry pimento cheese down your gullet… remember the moment.
Appreciate Executive Chef and California-native, Marjorie Meek-Bradley; her culinary background; her stint at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia; her time spent learning pastry at Lacroix.
Then in the Thomas Keller stratosphere at Michelin-starred Bouchon.
And also under three-Michelin-star chef Jonathan Benno at Per Se.
Close your lids, and don’t take any of it for granted.
The soft crumble nor the buttery goodness that doesn’t transform into bloat and indigestion.
This is the best way to enjoy the biscuit with each bite.
Who said going out to brunch had to be a social hour anyway?
St. Anslem is a steakhouse, yes.
But if a biscuit can be a good enough reason to drive hoards of people, I would trust whatever else comes out that kitchen.
I’ll be returning to try their Rib-eye Ax Handle and a few other items on their menu.
Stay tuned for a fuller review!