Janet's World: Biscuit at the drive-through anything but routine

September 19, 2010|By Janet Gilbert

I lead a very structured life these days. Sometimes I feel like I'm the female version of the banker father on "Mary Poppins," except that I smile a lot, love my children, and generally prefer spending money to saving it.

Each day I wake up at 5:40 a.m. and turn on the coffeemaker. I exit the house at precisely 6:56 a.m. to avoid the school-bus traffic jams, arriving at my office in downtown Baltimore with plenty of time to organize my day. After working, I return home and fix the scheduled dinner and cross off one or two tasks on my home to-do list before retiring. The next day I wake up, rinse, and repeat.

Usually, I'm quite content to go about my routine without improvisation. But last Wednesday morning, I had to have a sausage biscuit.

At first, I couldn't fathom how the notion of a sausage biscuit breakfast got into my head. After all, I grew up on Long Island, where biscuits are dense clods of flavorless dough from a boxed baking mix. One would never willingly choose a biscuit on Long Island — a bagel, baguette or Kaiser roll, maybe — but no biscuits for us, unless we are anticipating being lost at sea and in need of some hard tack. And while Italian sausage — the kind you savor grilled in an authentic sausage-and-peppers gyro — could tempt most Long Islanders any time of the day or night, we rarely have a hankering for the pedestrian fast-food type.

All I could figure is that I had been exposed to McNumbing radio advertisements for quick breakfasts every morning during my commute, and the persistent, perky messages had finally taken hold. (It is probably only a matter of time before I feel compelled to refinance my home, buy a better mattress and arrange to have my air ducts cleaned.)

As I approached the designated McDiversion on my regular route that morning, I noted that there appeared to be only one person pulling ahead of me in the drive-thru lane. Perfect!

My first indication that things were not going to go as planned was when the driver opened her car door and swung her legs out to sit more comfortably while placing her order.

She proceeded to look over the breakfast menu, as if she had never before heard the advertisements. She lingered, as if this were a fine French drive-through. After a good three minutes of discussion with her carpool associates, she began ordering.

I might have become miffed, but frankly, it was just plain astounding. I have never in my life heard such a voluminous order placed at a drive-through.

She must have organized an impromptu sunrise wedding reception breakfast for 25 exceptionally particular guests! No special sauce on this steak biscuit, but add some pickles. This egg-and-bacon muffin needs extra cheese. Don't forget those five chicken biscuits with mustard on the side! Just about to get a total, she squinted at the menu screen and discovered some errors — she really wanted a Diet Coke with this value meal, and a coffee with that one. Then the bride in the back seat changed her mind about the hash browns, and the groom had to super-size his order.

Fourteen minutes had passed before the order started coming out the window. I counted — she had five trays of beverages passed into her car. Sacks of food quickly filled up the back seat. Of course she had to get back into her vehicle, buckle up and restart the motor before pulling away.

When it finally came my turn at the drive-through window, I ordered a sausage biscuit, but the attendant said they were all out — I would have to wait ten minutes for the next batch. I ordered the chicken biscuit instead. It was exceptional.

And even today, when I recall this dining experience, I'm lovin' it.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.