Georgetown, an island in Maine's Midcoast region, is a bit off the beaten path, but foodies found their way there for years. That's because Georgetown was home to Chef Michael Gagné's Robinhood Free Meetinghouse, a highly acclaimed restaurant housed in an old church. Sadly, the restaurant closed after 17 years at the tail end of 2011, but one of Chef Gagné's beloved treats may be closer than you think.
You might not expect a Maine chef to specialize in biscuits, but the biscuits that come out of Gagné's kitchen are anything but ordinary. I first tasted the Robinhood Free Meetinghouse's 72-Layer Cream Cheese Biscuits in 1999. After my first bite of these rich yet airy pastries, I regretted that I'd ordered an entree!
For many years, the restaurant was the only source for biscuit dough to go, but in 2003, Gagné, a native Mainer, established Gagné Foods and began to seek wider distribution for his famous biscuits. Imagine my glee when I discovered in 2006 that I could buy 72-Layer Cream Cheese biscuits in the frozen foods section at my local Whole Foods Market. I decided they'd make the perfect, simple-yet-delicious breakfast food on Thanksgiving morning.
But would these delicate cream cheese biscuits--literally made of 72 thin layers of laminated dough--really taste as good prepared in my own kitchen?
To my delight, the little orbs of dough, which didn't look like much in the package (although they came with a fairly hefty pricetag), puffed up and browned beautifully in my oven, and they were delicious topped with just a brush of butter and a dollop of strawberry jam. In fact, we've decided Michael Gagné's Robinhood Free Meetinghouse 72-Layer Cream Cheese Biscuits should be an annual Thanksgiving morning tradition, and we already have biscuits tucked away in the freezer for this year's Turkey Day.
I won't go so far as to say the biscuits tasted as good as they did in Maine, but then again, everything tastes better in Maine.