Week 7: Dottie's Biscuit Barn

The new and exciting trend in the foodservice industry is food trucks. What used to be common sight among construction workers of large box-shaped vehicles selling three different kinds of sandwiches has transformed into gourmet food on demand and just around the corner. However, there being so many corners and so many truck options, the challenge of owning a food truck is assortment of competition, so, what sets one apart from another?

The secret is in the menu! You need novelty and you need a food mission, and with 50 States of Biscuits the niche we found is pretty predictable.

So, greetings from Utah, the state of industry where one specific food truck is in the business of making unbelievable biscuits. Dottie’s Biscuit Barn, found traveling around Utah farmer’s markets, is widely popular among the locals of Salt Lake City and is always rolling out the dough. With offerings such as fresh biscuits and gravy, homemade jams and jellies, and pies the menu is both simple and seasoned.

Andrew (Andy) Walter of Dottie’s Biscuit Barn, no stranger to the restaurant industry, had a simple dream that definitely came to fruition.

“I had been playing around with the idea of creating a unique food cart for several years, always gaining inspiration from visits to cities with thriving food truck scenes like Portland, OR or Boston, MA. Having worked in nearly every capacity within the restaurant industry, from dish washer to GM, I felt confident in running the operations of small cart. We settled on a biscuit focused menu because they are so simple, but when done right, so delicious. We set out to build a something that created a unique aesthetic to match the comfort food we intended to deliver.”

Dottie’s Biscuit Barn has gotten the simple southern treat down to a science by switching the menus weekly and keeping the hungry biscuit eaters happy.

Another secret to Dottie’s Biscuit Barn’s success is the only thing more southern than biscuits: happy family and friends. The very foundation of the Biscuit Barn could not be possible without the support of the community even before Dottie’s opening.

“Using materials found throughout Utah, including friend's old fences and sheds, dairy barns, and windows stored in attics,” explains Andy,  “we built a gambrel style barn on wheels. I was able to get much needed help with architectural renderings, building plans, and man-hours from my wonderful community of friends and family. After a solid spring of hard work and problem solving, Dottie's Biscuit Barn opened in June of 2013 at Salt Lake City's Downtown Farmer's Market.”

This community is arguably what makes them special; what sets them apart. That, matched with the better overall biscuit flavor of butter rather than shortening. It’s what Andy deems as an essential biscuit basic.

“I think there are two things every biscuit should have: butter and buttermilk. There are many biscuit recipes which use shortening, but they tend to deliver a more cake like texture. Shortening is also cheaper and easier to work with. Butter has such a better flavor and when shredded into a flour mixture, creates great texture and pockets of air for the biscuit to rise when baking. We also use real, cultured buttermilk rich in probiotics that we get from another vendor at the markets. They make butter, we get the buttermilk from the process. It's rich in flavor and supports our neighbors! We also use flour from local millers here in Utah.”

These perfect biscuits created by their "better butter" process are key to the biscuit mission Dottie’s Biscuit Barn allocates which is something they never cease to take seriously.

 “Butter.” Said Andy Walter when asked what makes truly amazing biscuits, “just like with pie dough, a 100% butter recipe creates texture and flavor you cannot get from other fats. It allows you to build a tall, layered, golden brown biscuit.”

With a food truck (even when it’s an impressive biscuit theme), the menu can't and shouldn't read like a novel, so everything on it has a unique, memorable name paired with knock-out flavors. Dottie’s Biscuit Barn is no stranger to this concept with fan favorites like their jams and gravies and popular southern sandwich, The Cuddle Pig.

Andy Walter gave a mouth watering description of what goes inside, “It's an open faced biscuit sandwich consisting of a spread of pimento cheese, a fried chicken cutlet, their choice of gravy, a fried egg, and topping of chow chow. It's got sweet and savory flavor balance and very filling.”

And, if you’re the customer that would choose to top it off with gravy, you’re in luck! Dottie’s Biscuit Barn has been gracious enough to supply Fifty States of Biscuits with their amazing Sausage Gravy recipe.

Sausage Gravy Recipe:

1# fresh ground, 80/20 mix pork (unseasoned)

2 grams fresh sage, finely chopped

1.25 grams rosemary, freshly chopped

2.5 grams dry thyme

2.5 grams fine, ground black pepper

1 gram ground cayenne

2.5 grams red pepper flakes

15 grams kosher salt

1.5 cups lard roux

3 qts whole milk

Begin by making lard roux, use rendered bacon fat and combine with flour. Slowly cook for 3-5 minutes until "nutty" aromas develop. Make a bunch and freeze.

Brown pork in sauce pan, break up large clumps and add all herbs and seasonings just as pork is fully cooked. Add lard roux to sauce pan and quickly pour in milk. Reduce heat to not burn or scald milk. Heat until roux reacts with milk and begins to thicken, whisk mixture to break up any clumps of roux. If too thick, cut with milk and adjust salt and pepper.

Adjust salt and pepper to taste, serve over fresh biscuits!

Makes a gallon, can always freeze leftovers.

So, if you’re interested in visiting the tasty truck and happen to be in the Salt Lake City area just visit their Facebook page for exact locations!

We are confident this southwestern treat will keep your biscuits buttered (or covered in gravy) until our next stop!

You can find them at the Downtown SLC Farmer’s Market

Salt Lake City, Utah

Look for the barn on wheels!