CHICAGO (WLS) --It's not that hard to find a decent biscuit in Chicago, but a great one at a bar? The Biscuit Man is at the helm of the small kitchen at The Long Room from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day but Sunday.
The Long Room is not unlike your typical Chicago bar. But what sets it apart is the Sidecar, a small addition that houses a compact kitchen. Every morning except Sunday, you'll see Zeeshan Shah there, folding and then gently rolling out dough, cutting out large circles and then brushing each one with an egg wash and sprinkling it with kosher salt.
"I feel like I get to do smaller batches, so that helps a lot. I tend to laminate them a couple extra times to make sure they're kind of a sturdy and layered and flaky biscuit," said Zeeshan Shah, aka The Biscuit Man.
Oh they're flaky alright, but also sturdy enough to contain savory fillings. For starters, he slices them in half, then toasts them up on the griddle. A breakfast sandwich featuring ham and cheese with chives and a shmear of dijon mustard is a good start, but you could also go heavier, and have them submerged in gravy.
"It's bacon and milk gravy that we make. With some herbs and Kashmiri chili powder and gets a little chives and herb oil on top," Shah said.
He also makes his own naan, or flatbread, grilling it and then stuffing it with lamb and seasonal vegetables.
"You could call it a naanwich, but I choose not to. Braised lamb, generally shoulder sometimes leg; bunch of chilies, onions, ginger, garlic, yogurt and a salad of whatever is fresh at the time," said Shah.
He also has one of his friends - a pastry pro - bake up some ridiculously good cinnamon streusel brown sugar coffeecake. Yet another reason to overcome your apprehension about hitting a bar first thing in the morning.
"Its been kinda weird to convince people to go get coffee at their favorite bar at 7 in the morning but we're coming along," he said.
The Biscuit Man @ The Long Room
1612 W. Irving Park Rd.