Looking for a new spot for brunch in Jax Beach? Look no further. Maple Street Biscuit Company recently opened at 410 North 3rd Street, the spot briefly occupied by Fionn MacCool’s.
This local concept is the second location to open on the First Coast, following the successful debut of a San Marco cafe in November of 2012. Maple Street Biscuit Company serves homemade biscuits filled with everything from fried chicken and goat cheese to eggs and collard greens. They are open Monday through Thursday from 7am to 2pm and Friday and Saturday from 7am to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm.
When you walk into Maple Street, you will notice a startling change in the interior of this former Irish pub. The interior decor is down-home Southern kitchen style, with warm colors and rough hewn wood. Long wooden tables are occupied by seemingly unrelated people. As a matter of fact, the friends I was meeting were seated next to a stranger, engaged in animated conversation. I knew I was late, but I hadn’t expected them to fill my place. I discovered later that the community table is part of the concept of this neighborhood meeting place. It’s also a good way to find out what’s good here and get suggestions for what to order on your next visit. My replacement recommended the sausage gravy. Smaller tables are available for introverts.
The menu is posted on the wall and offers a dizzying array of biscuit options. This is no decision to be lightly made. Actually, I get the feeling that nothing is “lightly made” here: for example, the “Sticky Maple” is a flaky biscuit with a fried chicken breast and pecan-wood-smoked bacon topped with maple syrup. I think Will Farrell’s persona from “Elf” would enjoy that. He would also approve of the maple flavored coffee.
Not everything on the menu is sweet, however. The owners Scott Moore and Gus Evans, local boys who created this concept describe it as “Southern comfort food with a modern twist.” For example, The Squawking Goat features a fried chicken breast topped with a goat cheese medallion and house made pepper jelly.
When you’ve made your decision, step up and order your meal from a friendly cashier. On the day of my first visit, instead of asking customers’ names they asked “What is your favorite band?” Based on the order-up cries of “Led Zepplin” and “Maroon 5,” a varied clientele enjoys this new addition to the Beaches.
When my favorite band was called (too embarrassing to share here) and I remembered “oh yeah, that’s me,” I went to collect my Squawking Goat. The biscuit was flaky and delicious, the fried chicken breast was crisp outside and moist inside, and I loved the addition of the pepper jelly that the cashier talked me into adding. Totally worth that extra 30 (45? 60?) minute run I had to add to my workout.
As if that wasn’t enough, the manager came around and offered me a free cinnamon chip pecan biscuit drenched in icing. It was so sweet and delicious, I had to share with my friend before I was tempted to devour the whole thing. We lost count of how many cups of coffee we had.
Coffee is locally roasted, delivered every week, ground fresh every morning, and all you can hold. Mugs are stacked to form ceramic walls above the four coffee carafes containing roasts called “Dark Bark” and “Maple Tap” as well as light brew and decaf selections.
The next time you are in the mood for comfort food, try Maple Street Biscuit Company. I will definitely be jogging back there soon.