Wednesday, July 27, 2016

MORSEL & Bean in Seattle! The biscuit kings of the Pacific North West!

As I prepare to depart Seattle I decided that I needed to do a review of my absolute favorite place to eat in here. I decided that the criteria to base this on was the place that I've gone to the most and never gotten sick of it once. Well, that place is easily Morsel & Bean in Ballard. They do biscuits, you see. Before I visited them that first time, I didn't really care one way or another about biscuits. But during my daily walks I passed the place and always saw it full of people so naturally I was interested. One day I decided to stroll through the door and my life was never the same. 

Morsel makes their own biscuits, biscuit sandwiches, and excellent coffee drinks. On average they will have their classic Buttermilk, Cheddar Chive and then usually a special flavor. I'm here to tell you this, it doesn't matter what you get, every single thing they offer is fantastic.

Remember Mike? He visited me in Seattle and I brought him to Morsel!
I'm going to tell you about a few of their offerings, but let's start with my absolute favorite. The "Fast Break." Bacon, egg, cheddar, and roasted tomato jam on the biscuit of your choice. I got it on a cheddar chive in this picture here. The biscuit itself is hearty and dense, yet also fluffy and flaky at times. Generous portion of egg and bacon, and then tomato jam. But if you're looking at this one, wondering why that tomato jam looks a little weird, it's because it's not tomato jam at all. It's bacon jam. Listen, if you don't know about bacon jam, at this point, you need to go spend a few minutes on Google educating yourself. Bacon jam comes in many different styles, I honestly have never had two that were the same, but I have liked them all. That being said, Morsel makes the best bacon jam I have ever tasted, hands down. 

I can't tell you what's in it besides bacon, but i can tell you it's delicious, sweet and has a nice spicy bite to it. Not only do I get it every time I visit Morsel, but most times I even get an extra side of Bacon jam to use later in the week. So believe me, while the tomato jam is good on the Fast Break, bacon jam takes it to the next level. 

Now if you're in the biscuit game already and bacon jam alone doesn't get you where you need to be, might I suggest adding some of their maple butter to the Fast Break in addition to the bacon jam. Gives it that burst of sweet maple flavor before the burn creeps in. Seriously, this is just about one of the most delicious things you will ever eat on planet Earth. 

Not sure the usual breakfast sandwich is quite what you're looking for? Perhaps try the Cheesy Biscuit. It's an open face biscuit topped with roasted garlic butter, Beechers Cheese Curds, and roasted tomato jam. Again, this is one amazing sandwich, but folks, when you're going head to head, bacon vs tomato, bacon is going to take it ten out of ten times. This sandwich is buttery garlic goodness. The melty cheese curds are creamy and burst with flavor. Pro tip, you can add crumbled bacon to this one if you're looking to roll like the FGFB crew. If a sandwich doesn't have Bacon squared, you probably aren't doing it right. 

But listen, I know there are some weird mutant freaks out there in the world who don't like bacon. It's a big crazy world and we're all different. For those of you, if you're looking to try something different on your Cheesy Biscuit, I suggest Morsels own Apple Butter. It's a sweet and savory treat that tastes like something way to fancy for me to be eating while watching Rick and Morty in my underwear on a Saturday.

While we're talking Apple Butter, one of the dudes at Morsel also introIduced me to putting it into lemonade. When he first suggested it, I recoiled as if he had suggested pouring battery acid into it. Which, a moment later made no sense whatsoever. He assured me it was incredible so I tried it and let me tell you, it's a summer drink you never thought of, but should have. The cinnamon & sugar in the apple butter makes for a nice swirl and the apple pulp you suck up through your straw gives the lemonade a whole new life.

Looking for something a little more tart? Give their Strawberry Balsamic Jam a try. I would usually get a Fast Break and then also get another biscuit with a side of this stuff. It's incredibly flavorful, in fact, most times if I don't use it all on the biscuit, I will just eat the rest. Big chunks of strawberries too. The "fixins" also include classics like Honey Butter, Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, and Herbed Goat cheese. But if you want to know my runner up behind the bacon jam, it's something I never knew existed before I hit up Morsel. FIG HONEY. It's just honey with fig chunks in it. It has also joined the ranks of one that I get an extra side of to use later in the week. Give it a try for sure!

They whip up all manner of fancy coffee drinks, hot chocolate, and Chai Lattes. As well as cold brew coffee, juices and much more. But you know what else they have? An awesome staff. The crew in their Ballard location are always friendly and incredibly nice. Even on a Saturday morning when the line is thirty people long, out the door and down the sidewalk. As someone who came to this city not knowing anyone, I found it really refreshing how friendly they were, because it's not always that way out here! The mood in the place is always upbeat and fast paced, but they never shy away from great customer service.

If you want one last indication of how much I loved this place, I hate waiting in lines and nine times out of ten if there was a line of thirty people before me, just about anywhere, I would bail on it and leave. I've waited in the line at Morsel on a Saturday morning when I thought I was going to beat the lines and go early. Guess what? Other people were way more dedicated to that plan. But I waited. Not just once, I waited in a line like that multiple times and didn't even worry about it once. And I'd do it again. It's that damn good. 

I'm giving Morsel an A+. Before them, I never knew that biscuits could be more than those powdery fake butter tasting ones that KFC deals out. It was always fun to try their flavor of the day, but even on the days when I went late and they didn't have any of those left, I was never disappointed, because the buttermilk are that damn good. Greatest Bacon Jam on Earth, and awesome staff, this place has it all. If you live in Seattle and haven't been, make the trip. If you visit Seattle and you're snapping selfies by the Fremont Troll, take a quick detour to Morsel. If you've never thought of visiting Seattle, well...Morsel is reason alone. I think that just about gets my point across.  

For more info on Morsel & Bean, check out their website!

Review by Rich Brunelle, who has written his last food review in Seattle for the time being. But that doesn't mean he doesn't still have a few Seattle reviews to send out when he gets back to the East Coast.

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