Our pal Carrie Bailey Morey reigns as the Biscuit Queen of Charleston. What a wonderful story she has of taking a family receipt and turning it into an empire.
She also has a great brick and mortar biscuit shop on King Street: Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit (HLB for short). There is almost always a line out the door spilling onto King Street. I highly recommend the country ham and the cheddar chive.
A couple of Sundays back, I asked my bride if she wanted me to pick up some biscuits from HLB. We had no children at home. It was only about 7:15 a.m. HLB opens at 8:00 on Sunday mornings. “Why not?” was the answer.
HLB isn’t too far from our house and at that time on a Sunday the streets are empty. I headed over to King Street. When I arrived about 7:30, I noticed there were already four people standing on the sidewalk outside of HLB. Damnit. I’m never first.
Note: you can order ahead online and pick up but standing in line is part of the fun.
I sauntered up and gave a quick good morning and asked how long the assembled soon-to-be biscuit eaters had been waiting.
The first couple announced they had been there since 7:00 a.m as they were misinformed about the opening time. They were in town from Washington, DC. They had been to a wedding the night before and described the festivities. They discussed the bride and groom, their connections to Charleston through her aunt who lives here, how they loved coming to visit, and how they were not looking forward to driving back to DC via a stop through Asheville, NC, to pick up their children who had been visiting their grandparents. Hungover loquaciousness.
The second couple had only just walked up as I was parking. They saw me arrive. They were from Raleigh, NC. He had lived in DC near the other couples’ current residence. She had a cousin who went to the College of Charleston. They were just visiting and had done a bunch of touristy things around town.
I told them I lived nearby. All four expressed their envy of the locals living here.
We were still chatting when a large, shiny, black late-model Range Rover came to its brake screeching halt in the closest parking spot. We could hear music through its shut windows blasting around the air conditioned interior. Boompcha boompcha boompcha. Driver in deep conversation on his phone. Lots of hand gestures.
After hanging up the phone, the driver, a skinny twenty-something, vaulted from the car and sprinted the ten feet to the door of HLB. Sprinted. Raced. Ran.
Wearing his LuLu Lemon shorts, his super clingy t-shirt with ironic saying, his sockless Stan Smiths, and obligatory trucker hat, he pulled, strained, and shook the door. Obviously, HLB was not yet open for business. He then turned, faced us five already in line, crossed his arms in front of his chest, and huffed and puffed.
He stood right in front of the door blocking all access.
We five in line all looked at each other for a second, and, then I spoke:
“Sir, what are you doing?”
“Uh…getting biscuits. I’m only getting three. I’ll be quick.”
He didn’t budge.
“Dude, there’s a line. These nice folks from D.C. have been here since 7. This couple from Raleigh has been here a while, too.
“Yeh, so? What are you going to do about it?”
“Well, let’s see. There are five of us and one of you. We could take you. Hell, I could take you. Get in line, kid.”
He got in line.