Really, no one in their right mind should want to make and sell a biscuit sandwich.

They're prone to falling apart. They need to be assembled to order. They require fresh-baked goods guided by a firm but not too firm touch.

And yet chefs and diners love them.

Case in point: Stomping Ground.


A bacon, egg and cheese biscuit sandwich -- the Favorite -- at Stomping Ground in Del Ray. (Becky Krystal/The Washington Post)

Chef-partner Nicole Jones's new Del Ray restaurant puts biscuits front and center on the breakfast and lunch menu. There are eight biscuit sandwiches currently available, including the Classic (fried chicken, pimento cheese, pickles), Not So Classic (fried chicken, za’atar, honey, hot sauce, red onion, tahini), Farmer's Scramble (veggie frittata, cheddar cheese) and Avocado Smash (avocado, greens, radish, poached or baked egg).

Biscuits are also available a la carte, with butter or jelly, topped with sausage gravy and as part of a veggie hash plate.

"We're really crazy about the biscuits," Jones said.

We noticed. And we thank you.

Jones and pastry chef Heather Roth worked together to develop the biscuit recipe, which includes all-purpose and White Lily flours, butter, Crisco and buttermilk. They're patted out by hand, with the dough folded and turned like a croissant, a technique Roth developed to create layers without making the biscuits tough by overworking. Fresh batches regularly come out of the oven, Jones said -- they never sit around for more than an hour.

Jones said she had to resist the temptation to go overboard topping the biscuit sandwiches. She decided to scale back on extra garnishes in favor of the core items -- Benton's bacon, local eggs and seasonal vegetables among them.

"We want to do as little as we can to those products to make sure they shine," Jones said.

Even so, the sandwiches have a propensity to fall apart thanks to the tender biscuits and hearty fillings.

"They're really meant for knife and fork," Jones said.

Egg and cheese on a biscuit at Bayou Bakery in Arlington. (Becky Krystal/The Washington Post) Egg and cheese on a biscuit at Bayou Bakery in Arlington. (Becky Krystal/The Washington Post)

David Guas, chef-owner of Bayou Bakery, knows a thing or two about disintegrating sandwiches.

"Structurally, they have a tendency to crumble," he said of his White Lily, buttermilk and butter biscuits.

Even if diners plan on eating in his new Capitol Hill location or the Arlington original, Guas suggests they order the biscuit sandwiches to go so that they're wrapped. In fact, Bayou Bakery is considering wrapping all the sandwiches in foil or wax paper.

The wrap traps the heat and steams everything together -- in a good way, Guas said.

For breakfast, Bayou Bakery lets customers build their own sandwich with the ubiquitous Benton's bacon, turkey sausage from D.C.-based Stachowski Market, smoked ham, cheddar cheese and eggs that are baked in a pan and cut to fit the biscuits.

Guas said his favorite combinations are bacon, egg and cheese or sausage and cheese.

"I just like things to have different flavors," he said. So, for example, the sharp cheese and mild eggs both offer a counterpoint to the biscuits, which are brushed with buttermilk before baking and butter after baking.

Jason Gehring of Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. in Union Market also thinks about the interplay of flavors when he's building sandwiches to put on his pastry flour, buttermilk and butter biscuits.

If the centerpiece of the sandwich is a protein, he likes to include something tart or citrusy to balance out the richness. His adobo lamb biscuit, for example, gets a dose of salsa verde.

Like Stomping Ground, Mason Dixie sells biscuit sandwiches for both breakfast and lunch. Both also offer a fried chicken biscuit.

"It sells any time of day," Gehring said.


The Classic biscuit sandwich at Stomping Ground features fried chicken, pimento cheese and pickles. (Becky Krystal/The Washington Post)

Stomping Ground's Classic fried chicken biscuit is a take on one Jones used to buy from a gas station near her high school. It featured a chicken tender and slice of American cheese. Her upmarket version has proven particularly popular in the afternoons.

"At about 2 o'clock, we've had a run on fried chicken biscuits," Jones said. She has no idea why.

In general, though, it seems the appetite for biscuit sandwiches knows no bounds, at least from Jones's perspective. On weekends, when Stomping Ground may sell more than 500 biscuits a day, there can be a line out the door.

"It's a great problem to have," Jones said.

Gehring can't quite put a finger on why Mason Dixie seems to have hit on a winning formula with their biscuits and sandwiches.

"People get really excited," he said.

Michael Visser, owner of Flying Fish Coffee and Tea in Mount Pleasant, which holds a weekly Biscuit Wednesday, has a theory.

"You almost never meet anyone who doesn't like" biscuits, said Visser, who ran a pop-up called Biscuit Lab last fall.

"You can put almost anything on a biscuit and make it better."

Where to try biscuit sandwiches, a sampling:

Bayou Bakery, 1515 N. Courthouse Rd., Arlington, 703-243-2410; 901 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, 202-664-5307. www.bayoubakerydc.com.

Flying Fish Coffee and Tea, 3064 Mount Pleasant St. NW, 202-299-0141. (Biscuits on Wednesday mornings only.) flyingfishcoffeedc.com.

Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., 1309 Fifth St. NE (Union Market). www.masondixiebiscuits.com.

Stomping Ground, 2309 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. stompdelray.com.

Related items:

Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. shifts to Union Market

Bayou Bakery on Capitol Hill serves beignets with a side of U.S. history

How an upstart baker helped bring respect to D.C.'s bagel scene