It was a banner day in that I succeeded in knocking two items off my very long lists of restaurants to try and foods to eat. The former was Bittersweet Kitchen of Media, PA, the county seat of Delaware County. The latter was the classic American breakfast of biscuits topped with sausage gravy.
I live fairly close to Media and have wanted to visit Bittersweet Kitchen, which specializes in breakfast and brunch food, for several years. The issue before Covid hit was that I worked standard weekday business hours, and the restaurant was only open for breakfast and lunch. It was a popular place, so going on a weekend would have meant dealing with crowds; something neither my wife nor I are partial to. In spite of that, we’d have probably eventually gotten around to eating there if not for the pandemic. As it was, at some point, I just stopped thinking about the place.
That changed last night when I made plans to get together for lunch today in Media with an old friend and colleague, Brenda. I went through my usual online browsing process to come up with a few restaurant options and came across Bittersweet. The light bulb went off in my head and I quickly added it to the list of possibilities. When I gave the suggestions to Brenda, she immediately jumped on Bittersweet. It turns out she also had been wanting to try them for a long time.
The place is very homey and was only about half-full throughout our meal. They’ve expanded their hours to include dinner service Wednesday through Saturday. I can see giving that a shot at some point.
My regular readers know I’m old fashioned, so you’re probably not surprised that I wasn’t thrilled when I saw that the menu needed to be scanned. With only a minor struggle, I discovered that it consisted of mostly breakfast dishes with just a few sandwich options, including a turkey-burger.
Our drinks arrived in jars; an always welcome touch.
Brenda ordered the fritter of the day; blueberry. It came topped with lemon curd; a brilliant combination. I had a taste and was very impressed. Of course, you have to accept that you’re basically eating a rich dessert for lunch if you’re going to order these.
Biscuits with sausage gravy – another dish that will never be described as ‘light’ – is arguably the quintessential American breakfast. The various sources I checked all indicate that the dish came into being during or shortly after the Revolutionary War. There was a lot of poverty in the colonies and among the troops. They were in need of something inexpensive and high in calories for breakfast to fortify workers and soldiers for the rigorous day ahead. Biscuits and sausage gravy fit the bill perfectly, as it is made from items that were both cheap and common in those days, such as pan-drippings, milk, flour and sausage.
I’ve had the dish at least a couple times, but not for many years. For the past several years, it’s increasingly popped into my mind as something I want to eat again. It finally happened today at Bittersweet Kitchen.
I could have ordered a biscuit or two and a side of sausage gravy. But they also have a dish they call the Southern Pileup that consists of a sliced biscuit topped with gravy, an over-easy egg and American cheese. I ordered it without the cheese.
It was divine.
The biscuit was not as thick or heavy as some I’ve had, but I considered that a good thing. And it had a wonderful texture. The thick gravy with bits of sausage and the egg all came together beautifully for a scrumptious blend of hearty goodness. The crispy potatoes on the side were also excellent.
While Brenda and I were both happy with what we had, we agreed that we would like to return, in her case, to try something savory; and in mine, to sample one of the menu’s sweet options; probably pancakes. The photos of those that I saw online were extremely enticing.
In the meantime, it’s back to cheesesteaks tomorrow.