By Sam Burnham
I had heard rumors, one might even call them legends, of a restaurant on Memorial Dr. in Atlanta. The rumors were aided by social media as well as word of mouth and the temptation finally became too much to handle.
I was in Atlanta for a radio appearance anyway. The restaurant in question is just a few blocks east of Oakland Cemetery making the outing a two-for-one proposition. A bite to eat and a quiet stop at Oakland? It was a no-brainer.
So I made my way to 968 Memorial Dr. I'm not going to lie. There is some rough looking real estate along that stretch of road. Folks from outside the metro area might think twice about getting out. They possibly would not even consider it. But when you go to get a late breakfast/early lunch at 10:30 in the morning and you have a hard time finding parking, there is bound to be something good for you inside.
I found parking and then took one of the vintage lunch counter stools at the bar. That was an immediate seat as opposed to a wait for a table. There was a wait for a table at 10:30. The building looks like a quint local Atlanta eatery. The wait staff is efficient and many are well inked. an ecclectic array of stickers and pictures, etc. serve as the decor. The waitress handed me a menu which I looked at because: 1) I wanted to find the correct name for what I was on a mission to find & 2) an air of nonchalance seemed to be more polite than screaming out my request as I entered the door.
It's called the Comfy Chicken Biscuit.
It costs $10 and it's worth every penny.
It's an open-faced cat head biscuit topped with a generous portion of fried chicken breast filet strips, smothered in white gravy, and garnished with an orange slice. I don't mean some rinky-dink kitten head biscuit with a cute nickname. I'm talking about Lion-of-Atlanta-sized piece of Southern biscuity goodness. I saw someone eating one down the bar as I sat down. It looked even better than the pictures I had seen. I ordered one and then tended to social media updates as follow up after the radio appearance.
Then another man, most likely a local, came and sat beside me and ordered the same thing before tending to his social media as well. My plate arrived looking just as delicious as the one I noticed on the way in, followed shortly thereafter by my neighbor's plate. I put my phone away and took my first bite. I'm not often dumbfounded by a biscuit but this was an exception. I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed the outpouring of glory that had just occurred on the first stool at the bar but no one was sharing my amazement at that moment. I looked to my left where my neighbor was still scrolling on his phone while the steam from his gravy rose to heaven with a pleasant aroma. That's how I knew this guy was a local. I was the tourist gawking upward at the spires of the skyscrapers while he walked along the sidewalk facing forward, oblivious to their existence.
I just continued eating, savoring every bite. It had crossed my mind that someone's sweet grandmother might be chained to the stove and forced to produce locally-sourced ambrosia all day every day. The chicken was crispy and not greasy, the sausage gravy was very flavorful. As for the biscuit...there's a good reason Home grown Georgia was named by Zagat as having some of the best biscuits in Atlanta. If they have your grandmother hostage, I'm sorry. I didn't pursue my suspicion for fear of ruining a good thing.
This was my first experience with the Comfy Chicken Biscuit at Home grown Georgia, but barring divine intervention. it won't be my last.
Home grown is open Monday - Friday 7am-3pm, Saturday & Sunday 7am-2pm. They are located at 968 Memorial Dr in the Reynoldstown area of Atlanta.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire