Every Friday through the end of 2018, the Rant will feature a dish that stands out among Lee County’s restaurant scene. We’ll usually focus on lunch, but there aren’t any rules – we just want to let you know (if you don’t already) about the many dining options we have that are owned and operated by people right here in Lee County. Today, of course, it’s not lunch. Today it’s the variety of breakfast biscuits available from downtown Jonesboro’s Landmark Breakfast Shop.
We haven’t focused much on breakfast since launching this column, but Sanford and Lee County have no shortage of great places to start your morning right. But there’s one breakfast meal – the humble biscuit sandwich – that feels in a lot of ways like lunch, especially for the person on the go. It’s fast, it’s cheap, it’s portable, and (even though it may not be as healthy as you’d like) it’s not too heavy.
A declaration: If there’s a local standard bearer in the biscuit world, it’s the Landmark Breakfast Shop. Situated on the jutting corner of Main and Trade streets in what was obviously a service station 50 some years ago, the Landmark is another one of those local institutions (they’re one of the few local places, along with fellow legends Mrs. Wengers, to make the pages of Our State Magazine in recent memory). Parking is difficult and seating is more than limited, but it’s worth it for that biscuit. And if you get it to go, you’re in and out in ten minutes. What’s not to like?
THE DISH: We’re going to let you know up front that these biscuits are a little unique. They’re not overly thick or fluffed up like you might be used to. Instead, the Landmark kind of goes in a completely different direction – and that’s where they succeed. Their deeply yellow biscuits are a little flatter and just a tad bit crispier on the outside than your garden variety offering, but they’re full of flavor and more than strong enough to hold up to their contents without overpowering them. Speaking of contents, you’ve got a laundry list of choices ranging from cheese or egg ($1.75) to bologna or fatback ($2), and even liver pudding ($2.25) or bacon, lettuce and tomato ($3.50, remind us to try that one). We recommend the country ham (pictured, $3.75) because the biscuit balances the saltiness of the ham (and you should add grape or strawberry jelly because we told you to, and if that’s not your jam, try a 75 cent side of red eye gravy for the dipping). You’ll like whatever you get, but the biscuit is the important thing.
WHAT ELSE TO TRY: If your breakfast tastes run more toward platters than hand-held fare, you can get a couple of eggs with your choice of grits, home fries, gravy, tomatoes, or toast ($3.75), and for a totally respectable upcharge, you can add a series of breakfast meats ranging from the pedestrian-but-delicious bacon or sausage, to the “huh, I never thought of that for breakfast” thick cut bologna or even a pork tenderloin. Omelets with your choice of filling range in price from $5.75 to $7, and you can get non-biscuit sandwiches on plan old toasted bread for anywhere from $2 to $3.75, but you shouldn’t get a non-biscuit sandwich when you can get a biscuit sandwich unless you have a doctor’s note or a court order or something. This is written on a tablet somewhere.
The Landmark Breakfast Shop is located at 129 W. Main St. in the downtown Jonesboro section of Sanford and can be reached at (919) 776-5313. They’re open from 5 to 11:30 a.m. from Tuesday through Saturday. Visit their very infrequently updated Facebook page here.