By Carey Jones
Updated August 14, 2014
The Cathead from Mississippi
© City Grocery Restaurant Group

We’re all about a good bagel sandwich, or a classic bacon-egg-cheese on a roll. We’ve had killer egg sandwiches on toast and some homemade English muffins to die for. But if there’s one single best breakfast sandwich vehicle, it’s a warm biscuit—as any number of Southerners can tell you.

Sure, you’ll find some ace biscuit bakers up north. But your odds of finding a truly excellent biscuit—golden edged and airy light—improve exponentially below the Mason-Dixon. On its own, a good biscuit is a perfect breakfast, better yet when soaking in fruit jam or thick pats of butter. Or you’ll find them smothered in rich sausage gravy. But it’s hard to see such a perfect hand-held breadstuff and not stuff it with sandwich-y fixin’s.

The filling. Egg and cheese is classic; good country ham, too. Or crisp-fried chicken (and who doesn’t love an excuse to eat fried chicken for breakfast?). Or bacon, or sausage…

The bread. Biscuits come in many forms—crusty drop biscuits, flaky buttermilk ones and a lot more. While the soft, peel-apart layers of a buttermilk biscuit make them ideal for splitting and sandwiching, any biscuit can be a great sandwich base, as long as it’s freshly made: No day-old biscuit bricks need apply.

Where to get it:

Big Bad Breakfast; Oxford, MS and Birmingham, AL: It’s hard to pinpoint a single best breakfast option from John Currence’s friendly eatery, but there’s no denying the appeal of a Cathead: a textbook-perfect house-made buttermilk biscuit with a slice of cheddar and your choice of bacon, country ham, chicken or—our favorite—sausage.

Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen; Chapel Hill, NC: Don’t expect anywhere to sit or much in terms of atmosphere at this drive-through joint: just specialists expert in their craft, baking airy-light biscuits that are at their best when sandwiching country ham or—even better—fresh-fried chicken.

Pine State Biscuits; Portland, OR: OK, we know what we said about biscuits and the South. But Pine State Biscuits is a major exception. After getting their start at the Portland farmers’ market, Pine State serves first-class biscuits in sandwiches both traditional and less so—from simple country ham to braised greens and an over-easy egg in the Regina to fried chicken, bacon and cheese topped with gravy in the Reggie, a mash-up of several biscuit breakfast favorites.