I’ve been trying hard to remember that restaurant south of Salem, Oregon with the big fluffy biscuits and great pancakes but just can’t put a name to it, so this will be the first installment of our quest to find the best biscuits and gravy in America.
Marlene and Glen’s Diner in Plymouth, CA is an adorable place in true diner style with a red and black tile floor, jukebox, and swivel stools at the counter. The staff is as friendly as one would expect in this (very) small town along highway 49 and the walls are accentuated with Coca Cola memorabilia and old record albums from the 50’s and 60’s. Nobody seemed to know the true story behind all the dollar bills pinned to the wall but the owner said it was her retirement fund.
The first indication of a good breakfast joint is the coffee, which was brought fast and hot – not too weak and not too strong. The gentleman who looked like he could’ve been Glen from the caricature on the Dead Fly Diner mugs said they call the gravy here “White Gold”. That made the decision simple, and from the looks of one patron’s plate, a half order would definitely suffice.
The food arrived quickly, hot and flowing over the plates. A full order of biscuits – or any whole breakfast – would most certainly last you all day here. I had a single split biscuit with gravy and one egg on the side while digging into the tasty Ortega chile omelet René ordered for us to split. Ya gotta love a place that does up hashbrowns right… nice and crispy without being burnt.
The big square biscuit was light golden in color with a slightly sweet taste of cornflower but no gritty cornmeal texture. It was more spongy than flaky but held the gravy well. A vegetarian would not be able to pick the sausage out of this smooth creamy gravy as the bits were ground up quite fine.
All around it was a good biscuit experience. Our friends assured us that the chicken fried steak was also excellent, but I couldn’t indulge that much after big steak and wonderful fresh fruit crisp they fed me the night before. I was also happy to see that dogs were welcome at the outside tables. And those who don’t want to bust a gut will be happy to hear that they will gladly downsize any breakfast to order.