The Flying Biscuit Cafe leaves me with very mixed emotions. Obviously modeled after a side item, the biscuit, this eatery is intended to be an homage to the kind of eating seen in the rural South in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The menu is politically incorrect. They revel in the fats they serve, the starches they offer, and mixing meats, starches, and fats in irremovable ways. This is great for someone wanting to eat the way grandma used to cook and eat.
Thing is, my grandmother on my father’s side died of a series of strokes at the age of 60. Being rural and engaged in a lot of low grade hard labor, and having only country doctors, it’s entirely plausable she had undiagnosed diabetes, and that vascular complications of diabetes killed her. According to Gretchen Becker, most diabetics die of heart and blood vessel complications in the end. So, I don’t want to eat like my grandmother. I must eat better than her.
And so, when someone like me encounters a dish like Coca Cola salmon – you know, high fructose corn syrup embedded into one of the most heart healthy fishes available – and with no obvious alternatives (such as fish without a corn syrup marinade), it tends to make me angry. There is nothing intentional or malicious about this. The intent in the cafe is to mix old country favorites in ways that appeal to 21st century palates. And it succeeds. The place was crowded when I arrived at the Sandy Springs location. Speech patterns could have been taken from an MTV remake of Frank Zappa’s “Valley Girl”. The crowd was young, happy, enjoying themselves. In the end, though, I couldn’t escape the feeling that Flying Biscuit Cafe is clueless about food issues. Not mean spirited, not as if they’re not trying to please customers, but just blindly, gleefully clueless.
If you are willing to look, there are a number of items I could eat. I ended up getting a Bacon and Cheddar chicken sandwich. There are nice chunks of turkey bacon in the sandwich and plenty of cheddar cheese. I tried to order a separate salad as well but the waitress kept insisting I get a side salad. So I ended up with far fewer greens than I wanted, because the side salad is hardly enough for someone on a diet requiring 4-6 servings of vegetables a day.
The inside, to note, is bright and colored in nice pastels. Tables are covered in pretty plastic flowered tablecloths. Chairs are made of wood. Flying Biscuit Cafe is a chain, and there are several in the Atlanta area. And yes, the greens were quite tasty and the sandwich enjoyable. I’d probably have been much happier had I gone to this place for breakfast, where they seem to excel in terms of combinations and options, but I didn’t and those are the breaks.
Verdict: If you and your party are young and 100% healthy, highly recommended. Otherwise caveat emptor.
Flying Biscuit Cafe
5975 Roswell Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30328