Sunday, April 19, 2015

LOUD noises.

The Mill Northeast
1851 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

UPDATE: Joe has provided us with a detailed review of his experience. See below.

***Hey, so we discovered this new thing called twitter. You should check it out, I think it is going to be pretty big soon. When you are there you can get up-to-the second updates on all things Twin Cities Breakfast, @tcbreakfastclub.***

Last week as we were dipping our toes back into the breakfast club water, we kept it small. Four people. We picked a place well in advance, no muss no fuss, show up for bottomless mimosas and some schmancy French food. Done. Since that was so successful, clearly the next step was to double the size of the club. We don't do baby steps here. Zero to sixty.

Here's the problem with a group of eight. EVERYONE IN THE TWIN CITIES LOVES BRUNCH/BREAKFAST. If you are meeting your seven friends for breakfast at 10:30, on a Sunday, you better be prepared for a wait if your chosen restaurant doesn't take reservations. I am terrible at waiting for a table. I hate being stuck in no mans land in the vestibule, jealously ogling every plate that come out of the kitchen. I feel guilty about sending, "Finish your food, pay your bill and leave" mental daggers to all of the people who were smart enough to arrive before you. In a perfect world, we'd all get the Copacabana treatment in Goodfellas. Kudos to the Mill for having tiny warm muffins for the sad patrons waiting for their table. A tiny warm muffin is almost as good as getting your own special table at the front of the restaurant.

Our locale was chosen because it is close to the best hair salon in the upper midwest and Rachael and I had appointments at nine to get prettied up. I suggested everyone meet at 10:30 at the Mill. Aren't I a nice person for picking the place and time? Avoiding all the discussion and confusion about where to go? Or am I a devious super genius who knew we wouldn't be done with our haircuts until 10:45 so by the time we got there we might already have a table ready for us because my club compatriots are nothing if not prompt? I've heard it both ways. No matter, the angels sang, seas parted, and Rachael and I strolled past two groups waiting for a table and sat right down to a solid brunch at the Mill NE.

There is really only one issue I have with the Mill. And that is the volume level. So, so loud. With a group of 8 I felt like I only ate brunch with four people. My friends at the end of the table were essentially out of ear shot. This is not a problem specific to the Mill though, and I feel bad faulting them for it. It's the new normal. Maybe one day someone will open a restaurant with walls made entirely of that recording studio acoustic material. Until then we must trudge on, yelling to our table-mates.

The food at the Mill is solid, but not perfect. I'd recommend checking it out at least once, but I don't say drop everything and make this your destination every weekend. Grades below.

Amadeus. The Buddy with Italian sausage, fries instead of roasted chevre potatoes, and about 52% of the mimosa pitcher. There are some things for which american cheese is made. An egg sandwich is one of those things. Skip those fancy cheeses with my egg and muffin, just give me that melty yellow square of salty deliciousness. Tubular sausage is a sub-optimal format for a sandwich however. Especially when it is cut lengthwise and then tetrised onto the bun. A patty would have been preferable. The fries were cooked perfectly. Solid B.

Rachael. Cubano central, mimosa and Bellini. The meat was very good, bread not so much. Rachael wants her Cubano to get the panini treatment. Kind of a gut bomb, but that is exactly what a Cubano should be. Fries not as good as Le Town Talk. A-/B+.

Sarah. Cubano central. The meat was quite good, but the spicy mustard was overpowering. Nice atmosphere (Sarah apparently is fine not hearing her tablemates, I am somewhat unsurprised). B.

Perley. Ecuadorian baked eggs, mimosa, bloody Mary, and coffee (props for having three different drinks in the same meal!). The bloody was totally weak sauce, no backbone. Eggs had good flavors, but not mind blowing. Good coffee. C+.

Brian (NEW MEMBER!). Ecuadorian baked eggs, bloody Mary, coffee, and a beer (another three beverage meal). "I like beans with breakfast so this was right in my wheel house. Also, there was Cholula on the table. Points for that. The bake was a little saucy and, dare I say, a little too cheesy. The potatoes with chèvre were tasty, but a bit incongruous with the meal. Waitress did a good job splitting up the bill. I'll say B+. I've had better bloody Marys but the pickle was tasty and pretty spicy."

Maria (NEW MEMBER!). The buddy and fruit. Basically just English muffin with American cheese and an egg. Like a Mcmuffin but fancy. Fruit was amazing. Actually worth the five dollars. The mimosa was good. Perfect combination of orange juice and champagne. B.

Cathy (NEW (KIND OF) MEMBER!). Blue gill tacos. Perfectly cooked with just the right amount of cornmeal. Salsa with mango was a nice touch. Would have liked the corn tortillas to be steamed more. Fries were a bit on the soggy side. Enjoyed the complimentary strawberry chocolate mini-muffins while waiting and the drink option. Bloody Mary was a little watery, but spicy pickle garnish was a plus. Tried some of Joe's biscones and did not like the chevre potatoes. Was kind of gummy and potatoes not really crispy. B+.

Joe (NEW MEMBER!). Biscones with gravy and a side of sausage. Loved the eggs, biscones and gravy. Not a fan of the potatoes. No grade provided on account of having to leave on a jet plane.

"Pro: mini-muffins at the hostess stand. Perfect for the few minutes we had to wait to be seated, and still warm!

Pro: while waiting for a table the hostess got drinks for our party.

Con: would have liked a bit more information about the beer selections. I could have asked the waitress, but it was loud enough and busy enough that it would have taken too long and been a pain, so I just drank water instead.

Pro: biscones - just a little sweet, and not overly large. I love biscuits and gravy but never get them (or make them) because it's just too much food. This was a perfect size. The mushroom gravy really complemented the biscones, despite the waitress's surprise at my choice.

Con: chevre potatoes - these were disappointing. A bit too cheesy, and not crispy enough.

Pro: side of Italian sausage - cooked just right.

The prices were fine for a restaurant sourcing locally, and with plenty of good options on the menu, I'll definitely be back, probably to try the quiche, French toast, hash, wild rice pancakes and/or the meatloaf sandwich.

I usually grade restaurants based on expectations, with a C-grade meaning it met but didn't exceed them. The Mill Northeast gets a solid B+, with the potential for higher on the next visit."



PPC said...

The chèvre potatoes had fine flavor but the texture was really much less than ideal. Soggy would be a good description. No crispiness at all.

Amadeus said...

Totally agree PPC. That's why I opted for the fries instead of the potatoes. I knew I wasn't a fan.