Xiao Bao Biscuit is bringing their wayward pop-up dinners home to their newly opened location on Spring and Rutledge Streets downtown. Co-owners Joey Ryan and Josh Walker open their doors tonight (Nov. 16) for a friends and family event to showcase their fall menu and drinks.
Described as pan-Asian cuisine, Xiao Bao Biscuit is the kind of place that’s for both the avid traveler well-versed in Asian cuisine as well as those who haven’t ventured past sesame chicken take-out. “There’s a little bit of everything. We have clean, delicate, and refined dishes as well as the rich, hearty Asian soul food dishes,” says co-owner Joey Ryan. “It’s a place to go two to three times a week, not per month.”
Rotating seasonally, the menu will draw selections from the 70 to 100 recipes Ryan and Walker have curated from a diverse spread of Asian cultures including housemade dumplings, chicken wings cooked with a rich fish sauce and ramen bowls. The fall menu debuts with five starters, five main dishes, and a host of sides as well as a substantial sandwich lineup for lunch. Ryan says there will be many meat-free options on the menu “without even trying to be, as many dishes are vegetarian or vegan by tradition.” You can also call 48 hours ahead and secure the restaurant’s 10 seat community table for a family-style dinner.
The restaurant’s space can seat around 50 between the dining room tables, lunch counter, and bar seating and in the spring, they hope to put eight to ten tables outside. The 30-foot bar faces the kitchen window, so diners can watch the food on its way to the table and use the visual clues to decipher unfamiliar items on the menu. “Some of the menu names are probably out of the comfort zone for some, so seeing the food as it comes out will help,” says Ryan.
In terms of the experience, when people come to XBB it’s because they want “comfort food in a relaxed, funky environment,” according to Ryan. The worn-in aesthetic was inspired by the far-reaching travels of Ryan and Walker in Latin America and Asia, respectively. The two also wanted to preserve the lived-in character of the retired gas station, described by Ryan as one of those “beautiful things that are both in disrepair and elegantly untouched.”
Next week, Xiao Bao Biscuit will be open for dinner Mon.-Wed. and Fri.-Sat. from 6 p.m. -11 p.m. Beginning Nov. 26, they’ll open for lunch at 11:30 am and stay open until 11 pm.