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A weekday morning usually finds Dodge, 32, awake at 6 a.m., shaping and proofing the day’s loaves of bread. After baking the bread, she takes an hourlong walk with Fergus, her hound-pit mix pup. By 9:30 a.m., she’s planning and shopping for her private chef clients, or preparing a small-batch pastry order, or getting ready for a pop-up market.
For over a year, Atlanta got to eat Sarah Dodge’s exceptional biscuits, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and bread at 8Arm, the celebrated morning-to-late-night restaurant on Ponce de Leon. Dodge left 8Arm in November for a variety of reasons—including the fact that the tragic death of her friend, ex-boyfriend, and mentor of sorts, Angus Brown, made working at his restaurant difficult. “It was time to go,” she says. “When I left I was like: There’s a little bit of sunshine outside and it’s time to see that and get some sleep and just maybe cry for a little while and really accept that some things had happened.”
4. The biscuit at 8 ARM. Yeah, that’s right, a biscuit made the list, but how wonderful that a simple bread item is enough to wow me. Pastry chef Sarah Dodge has made something so homey and craveable in her simple, flaky buttermilk biscuit, and there is no better breakfast indulgence than this crumbly, warm biscuit served either plain or as a sandwich made with pimento cheese and thick cut bacon. I grab one at least once a week.
Dodge’s biscuits are butter and buttermilk based. What makes them noteworthy is her light touch. Biscuits are notoriously fussy and quickly turn tough when overhandled, but Dodge’s are delicate yet sturdy enough to serve as the base for 8ARM’s daily biscuit sandwiches, which are filled with items like pimento cheese, a perfectly round fried egg with lacey edges, and thick slices of bacon.