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  • Tara Crutchfield

Biscuits and Benedicts

Looking for homestyle cooking in charming downhome digs? You gotta risk it for the biscuit! Biscuits and Benedicts is one of Lakeland’s favorite breakfast and brunch joints, serving warm, fresh biscuits with a side of southern hospitality. Just look for the colorful wildflower mural on the side of their building, and you’re in the right place. Jenna Rice painted the floral masterpiece for the Lakeland CRA as part of a project to beautify the city. 


B&B opened on June 24, 2022. The brainchild of professional poker player James Kerr, the café remains family-owned and operated. Like many a great meal, biscuits were the basis for the idea of the restaurant, and bennies are some of Kerr’s favorite breakfast dishes. He married the two and created a unique concept in the Swan City. 



According to fellow owner and Kerr’s father-in-law, Troy Hambrick, “My son-in-law wanted to help a fellow chef create the concept. […] Unfortunately, he passed away about five months ago. So we carry on the tradition.” That chef was 20-year restaurant industry veteran Erik Walter. He created the menu, and according to Biscuits and Benedicts, “With soulful gravy and made with love biscuits, Erik poured his passion and knowledge into each and every menu item.” Kerr’s wife Joy joins him in ownership of the family business. 


Hambrick, who has 30 years of healthcare experience and a doctorate in healthcare management and leadership, operates the restaurant daily. His favorite part of this job is ensuring consistency in the kitchen and service and watching people enjoy their homestyle cooking. 


The eatery’s country atmosphere drips with charm from cute sayings on the wall like “Happiness is Homemade” and farmhouse decor. “Nothing is here like this in Lakeland,” Hambrick said. The 1920s building features a refurbished fireplace, adding to B&B’s warmth.  


A look at the menu will make any Southerner’s heart rejoice with dishes named after familiar country phrases, which Joy was responsible for brainstorming. 


A guest favorite to order at B&B is the Goodness Gracious, with buttermilk fried chicken, bacon, and cheddar cheese topped with their signature sausage gravy. If you’re hankering for something heartier, Hambrick recommends the Big for Your Britches which comes with two eggs, hash cake, biscuit, choice of gravy, and choice of Canadian bacon, sausage, or bacon. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with “Sum” Biscuit & Gravy – B&B’s piping fresh buttermilk biscuit topped with sausage or Impossible gravy. Their dining room may be quaint, but that doesn’t stop B&B from slingin’ 700-800 biscuits on weekends. Indulge in their freshly squeezed orange juice and flavored coffees. 



“Everything is made from scratch,” Hambrick said. “Biscuits are made fresh every day.” Even the pimento cheese for their Heavens to Betsy sandwich is made in-house.  “We also like to collaborate with different small businesses,” Hambrick said. The establishment serves Concord Coffee, uses Born & Bread sourdough, and Bee Haven honey. 


Asked about Biscuits and Benedicts’ future, Hambrick noted, “After we get a bit more stable and recognized in the county, we’d like to look into opening more space next door. We’re also looking into Winter Haven.” Stop by in January to check out their new menu, including brand new appetizers and brunch options like the Cattywampus burger we tried. A toothsome fig jam cuts through the richness of bacon atop a thick brisket burger with the tang of garlic aioli. It was darn good!

 

 Photography by Amy Sexson


Biscuits and Benedicts 

1212 Florida Ave S, Lakeland

(863) 937-8293

FB: Biscuits and Benedicts 

IG @biscuits.and.benedicts

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