“People don’t associate sophistication and class with black-owned businesses,” says Hall-Johnson. “I’m trying to clear up some misunderstandings to show that our rich culture and history is more than poverty and strife.
“We’re having fun here!” She continued. “Our food is playful. There are stories in our art. And yes, we play the music a little louder. “
This is the second location for Sassy Biscuit; the original opened in Billings, Mont., where Hall-Johnson’s husband DeMarco Johnson was stationed while in the Marine Corps. The two met in cookery school before Johnson joined the military and Hall-Johnson graduated with a counseling degree. And then, after making cookie waffles for her three children, Hall-Johnson came up with the idea of a bruncherie restaurant. Things were going well at Billings when a friend of Hall-Johnson’s New Hampshire visited them and abandoned the idea of opening another Sassy Biscuit on the east coast.
“We knew immediately that Dover was the right place,” she says. “We found the city to be super cool and hip and still aspiring.”
Also, as she says, “We don’t want to be where you would find us. We want to attract attention and offer something unique. “
The Sassy menu is divided into four main sections: Pressed Shortcakes (baked waffle biscuits), Griddled Cakes (pancakes and biscuit French toast, Spooned Cakes (falling biscuits) and Knife and Fork Sammies (biscuit sandwiches). There are also porridge options and Stews and soups, along with a simple children’s menu. We tried the Cobbler, a calming, all-good-with-the-world platter ranging from soft waffles with warm blueberries and sweet lemon butter to sweet and savory, should you get the Sojourner Not to be missed, delicious light biscuits made like french toast, topped with strawberries and chantilly cream; it’s the second most popular item on the menu for a reason with bacon sauce and a fried egg.This hearty hearty dish is full of flavor and will cater to the heartiest eater until dinner time, the Kent ucky is the most popular chicken di sch on the menu. We like it; the fried chicken breast was moist, the house bacon added crunch, and the apple beer jam, made with brews from Loaded Question Brewing Co. of Portsmouth, NH, added a unique, slightly hoppy taste to the sandwich. But our favorite dish so far is the Johnson-style spoon cake because we love the layered brown sauce with a little kick / sass. It is served with sage sausage over rice and topped with a fried egg. A fallen cookie is served as a side dish.
“It took me eight months to develop the cookie and waffle recipes,” says Hall-Johnson. “My children are fed up with them!”
Hall-Johnson recently opened Jook – A Chicken Joint. A jook joint (or juke joint) is where, during the Jim Crow era, plantation workers and tenants met to socialize and have a good time. Located in the back room of the Sassy Biscuit dining area, Jook has a bluesy, intimate atmosphere and a good fried chicken sandwich made from scratch. 104 Washington St., Dover, NH, 603-343-5596, www.thesassybiscuit.com; $ 7- $ 11.50
Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be reached at email@example.com