Riding in Cars With Carbs
Um, Guys—Ballard Has a Drive-Thru Biscuit Shop
And what could be more American than that?
A few weeks ago, University District biscuit shop Morsel and Bean Coffee Bar, a successor to the glorious Nook, opened a new location in Ballard. Increased access to fluffy, butter-wrought baked goods is always exciting, but this one comes with a drive thru window.
Intrigue! This isn't exactly a drive-thru town, but it's nice to have options that aren't the domain of chain restaurants. Fine, technically Morsel does have multiple locations, but it's not exactly on equal footing with the Taco Bell drive-thru across the street from Morsel's new digs at 5905 15th Ave NW.
The signage isn't great, but owner Ben Libay said it's on his to-do list. Morsel serves walking customers biscuit sandwiches like the Spanish Fly, with priscuitto fried egg and manchego. Out here at the car-service window, it's just coffee and biscuits (buttermilk or cheddar chive) with the spread of your choice, which might be chocolate hazelnut butter, bacon jam, fig honey, or pickled jalapenos.
Sadly there's no microphone shaped like a clown's head (or a giant biscuit?) to take your order. I pulled straight up to the window and ordered the day's biscuit special; Libay counseled me to add the tomato jam. "It's got a bit of a kick," he told me. He was right.
I put the car in park and awaited my biscuit; Libay stuck around chatting ompanionably until he could present me with a brown paper bag containing a biscuit with an appealingly crisp-coated exterior, hot to the touch and loaded with personality, from its craggy exterior to the precision flecks of mushroom and pepper, which inserted their flavors without overwhelming the biscuit's carby charms. I ate half of it before I made it back to the office, crumbs and greasy fingers be damned.
Libay and company inherited the window when they took over the building, which used to be Blue Dog Kitchen. But he's all in on making it work. The rest of Morsel opens at 9, but the drive through is at it by 6:30am, serving those biscuits and a full espresso lineup.