Kekoa Chin-Hidano, owner of Morsel, is carrying on the biscuit tradition in the spot formerly inhabited by the incredibly popular biscuit-making Nook in the U-District. He'd been a barista at Nook for three months when the owner decided to call it quits and entrust the space to him. He hired chef Domingo Ramos, who came up with a new biscuit recipe plus a menu of sandwiches like the Spanish Fly, with prosciutto, Manchego cheese, fried egg, arugula, and aioli. I had a Cheesy Biscuit, a fluffy pastry baked with garlic, butter, Beecher's cheese, and house-made tomato jam: It was basically the ultimate garlic bread. Kekoa's cappuccino was similarly excellent—simple and high quality—made with Velton's Mexico Nayarita coffee and milk from Twin Brook Creamery.
Kekoa, a former PC repairman, developed a fascination with coffee and spent a year training himself as a barista before opening Morsel. He claims his favorite thing to eat at Morsel depends only on how hungry he is, but he puts Domingo's pickled jalapeños and bacon jam on everything. Kekoa said he wanted his photo for Chow Bio to include every object inside Morsel. After a moment of thought, he added, "Especially the grinders! I love my coffee grinders." When asked why he chose the name "Morsel" over other tiny adorable food names, such as "Niblet," he said he felt Morsel best conveys the homey atmosphere of the place. Kekoa and Domingo are considering extending Morsel's business hours, and they've done a few experimental catering jobs. "We made 400 frittatas last weekend!" Kekoa said.