Update: The new Mason Dixie Drive Thru opens Saturday at 9 a.m.
Original post: Are there times when the only thing that can get you out of bed in the morning is a warm and fluffy biscuit? But not so much that you want to bake or even, say, get out of your pajamas?
Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. has a solution for you.
In early April, the biscuit-maker will launch its newest endeavor: a drive-through and sit-down spot on Bladensburg Road NE in a former fast-food establishment. You won't even need to leave your car to get your fix of the best biscuits and biscuit sandwiches in the area.
“It's kind of a different take on how we can present ourselves,” chief executive Ayeshah Abuelhiga said of the Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. Drive Thru. When their landlord was looking for a new tenant, Mason Dixie jumped at the chance to bring a “cool, localized flavor” to a drive-through. The new venue will also give the company the opportunity to do a much more wide-ranging menu than at their Union Market stand, which doesn't have a full kitchen setup.
Expect morning and afternoon menus from chef Jason Gehring at the Drive Thru. Mornings will focus primarily on breakfast sandwiches, including various combinations of egg, cheese, bacon and sausage. Later in the day, the menu expands with salads and more sandwiches, among them fried chicken (classic, cordon bleu or club), pulled pork and beef and Cheddar. Mason Dixie will also be debuting fried chicken pieces, which you'll be able to buy on their own, in buckets or in boxes with such sides as collard greens, cheese grits and dirty rice.
For dessert, the Mason Dixie team has partnered with ice cream purveyor Milk Cult. The two businesses met while working together at incubator Union Kitchen, though now both will move their production to the new Mason Dixie location. (Mason Dixie has a booming business in wholesale frozen biscuits, which will continue, and likely grow, with the additional room.) Milk Cult will serve ice cream by the scoop, ice cream sandwiches and “Cultshakes,” or hand-spun milkshakes.
Despite the drive-through label, there will be plenty of indoor space for those with time to spare. The 32-seat interior will be designed to channel a 1950s roadside kitchenette, something akin to a mashup of a Howard Johnson and old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
The expansion won't stop there, however. Abuelhiga said the Drive Thru is a concept they hope to be able to replicate around the country. Closer to home, plans are in the works for a downtown cafe as well as a full-service flagship space.
Union Market-goers need not be upset yet. For now at least, Mason Dixie will continue to operate its stand at the food hall.
Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. Drive Thru, 2301 Bladensburg Rd. NE. Launching in April, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly said that Mason Dixie's upcoming location is in Ivy City. This version has been updated.