Leave it to Willie Foster of Biscuit King’s Fun Barn in Fairhope, Alabama, to make the tomato sandwich on our cover into a why-didn’t-we-think-of-that breakfast treat.
The self-taught baker’s signature Ugly Biscuit is an all-in-one meal of sausage, bacon, egg, and cheese tucked into a football-shaped lump of dough that appeared in our 2014 roundup of the best breakfast joints in the South. But while visiting family in the Holy City earlier this week, he treated the Garden & Gun staff to an off-menu special.
“I’ve made tomato biscuits before, but they’re not on our menu,” he says. “I was looking through the magazine, and looking at those tomatoes. I had been to the farmers’ market and bought big, fresh tomatoes, so I thought I’d make some biscuits and run them over.” He found the rest of the ingredients in the refrigerator: mayonnaise, mustard, and a little bit of cheese. “Anything off the shelf works fine. I don’t have any idea what kind I used.”
We enjoyed the biscuits so much that we asked him to teach us how to make them, and he graciously obliged. To start, he cuts a round of dough and spreads it with mayonnaise and mustard before he folds it over half a slice of fresh tomato and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. He brushes each biscuit with butter, drops more cheese on top, and then bakes the whole thing for about fifteen minutes. The result is a crumbly buttermilk biscuit with a soft tomato sandwich center. It’s a happy marriage of summer staples that’s well worth a try at home. Or at the Fun Barn, if you’re lucky enough to visit Foster and his team in person. “People who know can come in and ask for a tomato biscuit,” he says. “We’ll make it.”