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On the Road

Lining Up for Biscuit Love

In North Carolina, you can get cheese-stuffed biscuits without ever getting out of your car.

By Bryan Roof | June 15, 2018

When we heard about North Carolina’s cheese-stuffed biscuits, we knew we had to taste them ourselves. Staff photographer Steve Klise and I hit the road and traveled to Wilson, North Carolina, to get our hands on some of these southern specialties before returning to the test kitchen and developing a recipe of our own.

It’s 8:30 on a Thursday morning in Wilson, North Carolina, and the line of cars for the drive-through window at Flo’s Kitchen trails around the building and back out onto the street, where it stretches for several blocks. The traffic jam is a reliable morning occurrence as Flo’s regulars line up for massive cathead biscuits stuffed with local hoop cheese. Waitresses approach cars, notepads in hand, to take orders. It’s an efficient process; biscuits are churned out with such speed that many patrons get their food before they even pull up to the window to pay.

I have to dodge cars to get to the front door, but once inside I spy a stack of 5-gallon buckets of lard under the counter, a sure sign that I’m in the right place. The hustle in the air makes the place feel bigger than its tiny footprint should allow. Behind the counter, it’s controlled chaos—two focused women work the griddle and deep fryer, preparing the eggs, bacon, and fried chicken patties that they’ll tuck into split cheese biscuits. Behind them are two more employees on nonstop biscuit duty: shape, fill, bake, and repeat. Presiding over it all is the matriarch of Flo’s, Linda Brewer, who works the cash register and delivers fresh biscuits and sandwiches to her customers, all of whom, first-timers and regulars alike, are named “sweetie,” “honey,” or “sugar.”

Flo’s isn’t the only game around. Sixty miles to the east in Washington, North Carolina, you can find Alice Matthews churning out equally large—and no less cheesy—biscuits at Mom’s Grill. While the pumps at this bright yellow gas station have long since emptied, customers still swing by religiously to fuel up on biscuits.

A Tar Heel State Specialty

North Carolina Cheese Biscuits

What’s the only thing that could make a better biscuit? In some parts of North Carolina, cheese.

Read about some of our other trips around the country, in the name of recipe research:

What's your favorite regional specialty? Let us know in the comments and we might add it to our list of research destinations.