Located in the Castle Street Arts & Antiques District, Rolled & Baked wants to be much more than a place to eat. It is a restaurant on a mission; on a few missions, really. To save the earth, for one: all paper products are compostable; kitchen waste all is composted at a nearby community garden. Also, to sustain the community: provender is locally sourced; customers are encouraged to come in and socialize; there’s a game room in back.
That’s all well and good, but how’s the food? It’s terrific. Memorable. Unique. Many dishes are classics, southern classics in particular, but all with a twist that make them something special. Fried chicken is sweet-tea brined (and endlessly intriguing); instead of bagels & lox, there’s biscuit & lox, with a slice of fried green tomato rather than a raw red one; bacon isn’t just bacon — it is coffee chile bacon; a bloody Mary includes sake, chile powder, and decorative biscuit & bacon.
The headliner breakfast is called Southerner. That’s a big, creamy buttermilk biscuit (or a sweet potato thyme biscuit) piled with a chicken thigh in which the bird’s savory succulence is haloed by its sweet-tea brine and a rugged cornmeal crust. Along with chicken, the fabulously messy monument includes sausage gravy, cheddar cheese, and coffee chile bacon. The Reborn Southerner is similar, but with green goddess buttermilk dressing and pickled cole slaw instead of cheese and bacon.
If none of the house-designed biscuit packages suit your fancy, you can BYOB (“Build Your Own Biscuit”) by choosing which of four biscuits you like — buttermilk, everything, parmesan, sweet potato — along with meat, cheese, and sauce of choice.
Biscuits also are the basis of some pretty daring French toasts, including one in which they’re made into a sort of bread pudding with fruit, hibiscus-ginger syrup, yogurt and pumpkin seed crunch; and a Monte Cristo version that includes Italian smoked ham and cheese along with IPA mustard maple sauce.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Cracker Barrel or IHOP (well, actually, there is), but if you are in Wilmington and seek a breakfast like nowhere else, made with invention, skill, and a sense of fun, go to Rolled & Baked for a meal to remember.