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October 26, 2017 - Orange Beach, AL (OBA) - The Ruby Slipper runs a scratch kitchen and the buttermilk biscuits are a staple in many dishes from a traditional breakfast to the platform for the restaurant’s unique Benedicts.
But maybe the most interesting – and tasty – use for the biscuits is how they are recycled.
“Everything here is from scratch,” Head Chef David Bundock said. “With the recipes, there’s no frozen product, or cooking in a microwave, nothing at all. Biscuits from scratch.”
Somewhere along the line, somebody in the eight-store chain decided leftover biscuits would make an excellent breading for frying green tomatoes and cheddar grits cakes.
“You can be really creative here,” Bundock said. “They really let you go. We can create things. We take our leftover biscuits, crumble ‘em, bake ‘em off, mix in our seasonings and use it for our breading for frying. It’s really dynamic. We rebake them to dry them out and put them in a mixer, put them in a big bin, add seasonings.”
One of Ruby Slipper's signature Benedicts.
And while Ruby Slipper is famous for its breakfast and brunch with signature Benedicts and stuffed French toast creations, its seafood and burgers are winning recognition as well. Ruby Slipper placed first in a contest of customers hosted by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism.
“It’s kind of interesting we won best burger, but not surprising because we have a really good burger,” Bundock said. “I had no idea the contest was going on, and the owner emailed me and said ‘look at this.’ I
think people didn’t know but are really starting to catch on that we have a really good lunch.”
Their seafood effort, led last year by then-Chef Edwin Vega, placed second out of 40 competitors in the first round of the World Food Championships at The Wharf this past November. The Ruby Slipper team was ahead of the team from the TV show Chops, which finished third.
The showing won the restaurant an automatic bid to the 2017 championships, again at the Wharf in November.
And with the seafood at Ruby Slipper, the catch of the day can include swordfish, cobia, snapper or redfish.
But don’t overlook the breakfast fare. The Benedicts based on the large biscuits. And say you can’t decide between the Shrimp Boogaloo Benedict or the Egg Cochon. You can get one on one-half of your biscuit and the other on the other half.
“You can mix and match them,” Bundock said. “We call it the Peacemaker. It works well with the snowbirds because they can mix and match and split them.”
Both varieties sound incredibly unique. The Shrimp Boogaloo is Gulf shrimp sautéed with pork Tasso, served over fried green tomatoes topped with poached eggs and finished with a creole tomato court bouillon sauce.
Eggs Cochon entices with slow-cooked, apple-braised pork debris topped with two poached eggs and finished with hollandaise.
Ruby Slipper's Bananas Foster.
If sweet is your choice, there are several French toast options and one that rotates weekly.
“Like today’s French toast has a blackberry compote on it, with cream cheese icing on top,” Bundock said. “Our stuffed French toast is different week to week. Your classic stuffed French toast, but the middle of it would have vanilla cheesecake in it.
“We switch it out sometime with blueberries on top, or lemon curd on top, or fresh strawberries in the middle with chocolate currants on top.”
Engineers by trade, Erich and Jennifer Weishaupt opened the first Ruby Slipper in 2008 in a corner store location in New Orleans surrounded by Hurricane Katrina blight. In the first year, it earned a spot in the city’s top 100 restaurants.
Recently, Ruby Slipper was listed No. 46 on Fortune magazine’s top 100 urban businesses. Orange Beach is the rare exception from the company’s other urban settings.
Now with eight locations – one in Orange Beach, one in Pensacola, five in New Orleans and one in Baton Rouge – the Weishaupts are months away from adding a restaurant in Mobile. More Ruby Slipper restaurants are planned in the coming years.
Learn more about Ruby Slipper in our restaurant listings.