Editor's note: Every week, we'll spotlight a culinary treat found around Dallas-Fort Worth — whether it's a new opening, a dish at a restaurant, or a grocery find.
Dish: Vegan tofu scramble
Location: Flying Biscuit Cafe, Richardson
Flying Biscuit Cafe is a place you want to like. It's a chain that debuted in Atlanta in 1993 that's famous for its biscuits and grits, with locations throughout Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas, where it opened a location in Richardson in November 2017.
The Richardson store is at 746 S. Central Expy., in a new center along with other restaurants and shops including Halal Guys and Tacqui.
Flying Biscuit Cafe feels comfortable, with a fun-and-funky decor that gives it a "been here forever" kind of vibe. Brightly colored floral vinyl tablecloths are stapled to the tables, and the staff is laid-back. It feels Austin-y, and vaguely in the same realm as Buzzbrews and Cafe Brazil, except it's better, if more expensive — the basic bacon and eggs breakfast with a biscuit is $9.99 — and has biscuits as its centerpiece.
Their biscuits are circular and tall, with a substantial texture, if just a little bit on the dry side. Their distinctive trademark is that they sprinkle sugar on top. They're served with a house-made cranberry-apple butter of which they are very proud.
There are a dozen egg combos: with veggies, with smoked salmon, with pasta, with biscuits and gravy. There are also omelets, plus entree type things like shrimp and grits and turkey meat loaf, and a dozen sandwiches including fish tacos and a burger.
The vegan stuff
There are two dishes identified as vegan, and while seemingly different, they're similar at heart.
The tofu scramble is a prototypical dish, served as the token vegan item at many restaurants. In fact, an entire series could be done on tofu scrambles that would last many weeks.
Flying Biscuit's was good, even if they're all vaguely the same: tofu chunks sauteed with various vegetables and such. FBC's had onion, red and green bell pepper, spinach, and mushrooms. The fresh spinach was a welcome touch.
They marinated the tofu in tamari which gave it a mildly sweet sesame oil flavor. It also had an undertone of heat, which helped make you want to keep eating it.
It came with a biscuit, which was probably not vegan, and fruit, although you can swap out for another side.
The other dish was the vegan BBQ burrito, with BBQ tofu, collard greens, and a few random mushrooms, folded inside a sun-dried tomato tortilla and topped with salsa verde.
This tofu was flavored with what was probably liquid smoke.
The collard greens were tender, yet with random chunks of the spine that give them a rustic "we cooked it here" personality. They, too, had a subtle presence of heat. Flying Biscuit also offers collards as a side dish.
The filling was juicy, similar to the tofu scramble. As a scramble, this level of moisture made sense. But inside a burrito, it was kind of a hot mess — too liquidy to be wrapped inside a tortilla.
People seem to like burritos, so having one on the menu is probably a good idea. But that filling would be better ladled over grits or maybe rice. But would that make sense contextually? Do you ever ladle BBQ anything over rice or grits?
The other not-so-great thing is that the BBQ flavor got old after a few bites. Rice or grits would help here, as well. But the salsa verde was excellent, with a bright puckery flavor that perked up the dish. They seem to do a good job on sauces.
Their mashed potatoes were dense and creamy, with garlic and basil and probably a bunch of butter.
There was also an amusing item called grilled macaroni and cheese, which was a block of macaroni and cheese browned on each side. You get two generous 4x4-inch squares to an order, and it's plenty.