This post originally appeared in an edition of The Move, a place for Eater’s editors to reveal their recommendations and pro dining tips — sometimes thoughtful, sometimes weird, but always someone’s go-to move. Subscribe now.
We all know it’s good manners to never show up to a party empty-handed. Often, that results in people bringing a bottle of wine or a six-pack, which is all well and good. It usually gets drunk, or stashed away in the host’s fridge for the next occasion (though sometimes this results in me begging people to drink six-month-old Bud Light because I will never). But sometimes, one yearns for creativity when it comes to the party contribution. And I can’t stop thinking about the best one I’ve ever seen — showing up to a party with a 24-pack of Popeyes biscuits. Please, everyone do this.
The party in question was not a dinner party or a fancy affair. It was the kind of party with chips and pretzels, a fridge full of beer and hard seltzer, and a few people playing video games in the background. There were vague plans for pizza to be ordered later. But then, someone arrived with a gift. The aroma of fake-butter-that-tastes-better-than-butter-could-ever-taste filled the room, and we all became aware of a few orange boxes on the coffee table. There were shrieks. There were moans. The biscuits were still warm enough that steam came out of them when you pried them open.
First, this is a move because it gets you noticed. No one cares if you show up with yet another case of White Claw. But it’s also a move because biscuits are the perfect middle ground between “snack” and “meal” for a party that centers on neither. A fast-food biscuit is heftier than a tortilla chip, but doesn’t require the commitment of a piece of fried chicken or a portion of a six-foot-long sub. It fortifies and sustains at the point in a party when it’s important to ensure everyone’s stomachs are a little full. Also, did I mention the fake butter? Why does it taste so good?
Even if you’re the host, setting out biscuits as part of the snack spread is a welcome addition to chips and dip for basically no lift. I’ve tried to be the person who goes all out for a party spread, baking my own crackers and cheese twists or creating a picture-perfect charcuterie plate, and I’ve come to realize that at a certain point I start to stress myself out and become unable to actually enjoy the party I’m hosting. Biscuits feel like a special surprise, but also let me focus on the one or two things I actually want to make, rather than four or five I feel like I should make.
If anything, let this be a call to get creative with what’s on your party platter, or what you decide to show up with. It doesn’t need to be cheese and crackers, salsa and chips, or pigs in a blanket. Artfully pile a plate of tater tots. Order a dozen samosas and chop them into your own samosa chaat. Serve your Popeyes biscuits with chile crisp and chutneys. Bring what you actually want to eat, not just what you think will be easy. The pretzels and $10 bottle of wine will always be there if you need them.