Biscuits With an Egyptian Flair

Appears in the September 2023 issue.

By Peter Gianopulos

Biscuits at Tasty Biscuit

Hasnaa Soliman loves people. Loves talking to people. Loves cooking for people. And, above all, loves baking biscuits for people. It’s why she runs three Tasty Biscuit locations in the western suburbs, the newest of which opened this spring at 1112 East Ogden Avenue in Naperville.

Every time she bakes a biscuit she thinks of her mom. In Soliman’s native Egypt, the act of baking bread, every single day, was a way to express love. So when she immigrated to the United States decades ago, she started baking breads to honor her mother. But since she loves people—all people—she wanted to cook for her neighbors, too.

She began taking note of what Americans ate—and what kinds of bread made them hum with pleasure. When she realized that everyone loves a good biscuit, she started working on a recipe. Real butter, real heavy cream, quality flour. People absolutely loved them. “We make them fresh every day,” Soliman says. “We only use fresh ingredients.”

She kept baking: She sandwiched planks of fried chicken and scrambled eggs into her biscuits. And people loved those, too. Then she added huge breakfast skillets, making sure to throw in a few free biscuits with each order. Her customers raved, so she kept going: Waffles and waffle sandwiches made with real vanilla. French toast. Beignets.

And then a new idea: Soliman sneaked Egyptian influences into her menu: a smear of Lotus cookie butter spread, beloved in Egypt, onto her crepes. A sprinkle of high-quality feta onto her Mediterranean take on avocado toast. She marinated her steaks in a secret recipe that combines imported vinegar and North African spices. And people couldn’t get enough of all of those offerings, either.

Which is why Soliman’s Tasty Biscuit locations are more than just restaurants—they’re edible love letters to all the things that Soliman loves. Egypt. America. Old World ingredients. New World portions. Biscuits and breads. Sweets and meats. Her family. And your family, too.


Photo: Andres J. DeLeon #Dinerphotos