WILMINGTON — It’s been six months in the making, transforming the former City Mac store in The Forum to Vicious Biscuit. Much to the delight of the Port City’s brunch-loving fans, its official launch in Wilmington will be unveiled Monday, July 18.
Vicious Biscuit first started in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, in 2019, founded by Michael Greeley, George McLaughlin and Josh Lambert (who is no longer with the company). It is known for its piled-high inventive breakfast sandwiches, made with one of its four options of housemade biscuits: buttermilk, cheddar-jalapeño, sweet potato, and gluten-free.
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“Our secret ingredient is freshness and a whole lotta love,” chief operating officer Michael Ball told Port City Daily.
Ball began working with the company in 2020, after having formerly spent time with founder McLaughlin running McAlister Deli franchises at the turn of the 21st century.
“He invited me to help build this wonderful brand and I gladly accepted,” Ball said. “I could not turn down such an amazing opportunity to help create a brand of this caliber.”
Vicious Biscuit locations churn out 500 to 700 biscuits a day, each measuring about “the size of your fist,” Ball explained. The Southern rounds have become revered for their crispy exteriors — basted with butter while cooking — and fluffy crumb.
Popular items on the Vicious menu include The Babe — a buttermilk biscuit topped with Vicious candied bacon, smoked pulled pork, BBQ and horseradish sauces, and the company’s in-house Cowboy Candy, tequila-pickled jalapeños made with apple cider and sugar.
Hot palates will veer toward the Flame Thrower, topped with fried chicken on a jalapeño-cheddar biscuit with Frank’s Red Hot, white cheddar, spicy remoulade, candied bacon and more Cowboy Candy.
There is also the Fat Boy — buttermilk-fried chicken, homemade pimento cheese, and hot honey — and a shrimp-and-grits version which utilizes a biscuit as its base.
All locations work from the same menu, plus there are “build your own” and a la carte options. Ball said plans to begin adding more unique bites are coming down the pipeline.
“We have not started our research and development program to add new flavors just yet, but we will be doing so next year as we continue to grow.”
Vicious Biscuit opened its second location in Summerville in 2020 with plans to further expand, but Covid-19 halted build-outs. Just last month, it launched in Charlotte, with Wilmington becoming store number four.
Boone, N.C., operations are underway to open by September and thereafter Vicious Biscuit will make its way further south to Neptune Beach in Jacksonville, Fla., with the goal to open by December.
The franchise has become famous for its butter and jam bar providing fresh spreads to give even more flavor to the baked goods. Vicious Biscuit makes its butter in house and sources signature jams from Seaside Grown out of St. Helena, S.C. Flavors rotate according to season.
“A new star on the bar is our blueberry-ghost pepper jam,” Ball said of the five or six offered currently. Apple pie, strawberry, blackberry, and peach round out the others, though the latter will be replaced with peach-hibiscus-habanero soon.
More than biscuits make up the Vicious menu; there are sweet puppies — deep-fried sweet potato dough balls, doused in powdered sugar and served with white chocolate custard — waffles (a sweet potato variety as well), and beignets. Lighter fare, such as an oatmeal bowl and egg white omelet, is also on the menu.
It fresh-squeezes OJ from a Zumex machine into the glass, and specializes in Bloody Marys, mimosas and coffee drinks.
Already in its infancy, the restaurant won Best Biscuit 2021 as voted on by readers of Charleston’s Post and Courier. Ball said it’s due to flavor, sure, but also because the team brings a memorable experience to “foodie-driven comfort food,” served with Southern hospitality.
“We are bringing the excitement back to brunch,” he said.
Located at 1121-A Military Cutoff Rd., the Forum eatery comfortably seats 140 diners indoors and outdoors under a covered patio. Vicious Biscuit opens Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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