Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie (for Mikey)

The other day I went to tastespotting's website, and noticed something odd. There were about 10 different pictures with this same peanut butter pie recipe. I thought to myself; hmm, that's odd. I've never seen several pictures of the same recipe on this website. So, I clicked on one of the pictures, and that's when I realized what it was all about. Recently, a woman, Jennie, who blogs about food suffered a devastating loss. Her husband of 16 years past away from a sudden heart-attack. She asked in her blog that everyone tell their family, spouse, children, etc that you love them. And, for those who asked; to please make this pie in honor of her late husband. It was a touching tribute and a beautifully written letter that I found myself wanting to create this pie in honor of her husband. I hope you make this pie, too. And, when you do; be sure to tell your family that you love them. Enjoy.

8 oz chocolate cookies (I used chocolate graham crackers)
1 stick plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c chopped peanuts
1 c heavy cream
8 oz cream cheese
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 c confectioner's sugar
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (I omitted this step)

I used 2 packages of chocolate graham crackers, and added them to my food processor. Pulse on high till the crackers are a fine crumb. Add in your butter and pulse until combined. Pour into your pie dish, and press into the dish. Place in fridge.

Next, take your chocolate and melt in a double boiler. I just melted it in my saucepan directly on the stove. I just made sure to watch it so that it didn't burn. Chop your peanuts. Take your pie dish out of the fridge, and pour the chocolate on top of it. Spread evenly across the crust. Sprinkle your chopped peanuts on top of the chocolate. Place back in fridge

Take your heavy cream and pour in your standing mixture. Mix on medium speed until it forms stiff peaks. Pour into a small bowl, and place in the fridge.

Clean out your mixing bowl. Place back on your standing mixture, and add your cream cheese and peanut butter. Mix until light and fluffy. Add your powdered sugar, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, lemon juice (optional) and beat on medium speed until ingredients are combined.

Next, stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture into your creamy mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour the filling onto your pie crust. Sprinkle some peanuts and chocolate chips on top if you so desire. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. If you don't refrigerate for 4 hours or more; your pie will come out looking like this:

Still good, but messy! Enjoy!

(click here for printable recipe)

Iron Chef Chocolate: Sweet Rolls filled w/ Chocolate

For Iron Chef Chocolate; I tried three different recipes. First, I tried this Savory Chocolate Truffle. And, while it was really easy to make; it did not taste good. I thought it was too bitter, and it was difficult to scoop out the "dough" to make into little truffle balls. Next, I made these sweet rolls filled with chocolate. Boy, was I proud of these rolls when they came out of the oven. They looked so pretty and yummy. That I raced over to see my sister (prior to going to a party) just so she could try them. Plus, I wanted her to take the rolls to her friends so that I wouldn't eat them all. Because, if these stayed in my kitchen they would be gone by the next day. The third recipe that I tried were these Chocolate Gougere with Gorgonzola and Walnuts. Ugh. They were awful. I had to spit it out, and threw them all away. So, the consensus was that I should make the sweet rolls, but fill them with more chocolate. I ended up using nutella and semi-sweet chocolate to fill each roll.
The dough was quite easy to make, and doesn't take long at all. Just a couple hours. And, it's so much fun to fill the dough with chocolate. Plus, your house smells yummy while the dough is baking. And, your mouth will water once you get ready to bite into these delicious rolls. I ended up in 3rd with these rolls, which isn't too bad if I do say so myself. Enjoy. You won't regret it.

5 cups of all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. dry yeast (I used fast-rise yeast and 1 1/2 packages which makes 1 tbsp)
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs yolks
3 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2 cups of warm milk (I used 1% milk)
lemon zest from 1 lemon, 2-3 drops of lemon (I omitted this step)
3 Tbs. Butter (unsalted), melted
1/2 cup of powdered (confectioners’) sugar
Chocolate but varieties are endless-jam, nutella, cheese (I used nutella and semi-sweet chocolate chips)

First, take your instant yeast, sugar, 3 cups of flour and pour into a mixer. Next, take your measuring glass and pour in your milk. I microwaved my milk for about 1.5 minutes so that the milk has a temperature of about 100-105 degrees. Yes, I use a thermometer to make sure the milk is the right temperature. If it's too hot you could kill the yeast. If it's too cold then the yeast may not do anything thus the dough won't rise. Once the milk is the right temperature; attach your mixer (with a dough hook) to the stand and turn it to about medium-low speed; pour in the milk and add your 3 egg yolks. Let the mixture mix and gradually add in another 1-2 cups of flour. Also, at this stage add in your salt. I recently read somewhere that if you add in your salt directly to the yeast it could inhibit the yeast. So, I've started to wait to add the salt until after I've mixed it with the liquid. You need the dough to be sticky, but not too sticky that you can't roll it out onto your counter. I think I really did use the 5 cups of flour that the recipe calls for. Once the dough has been mixed to the right consistently (it starts pulling away from the bowl) turn it out onto a floured surface. I knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Place the dough into a large bowl that has been lightly oiled. Place plastic wrap on it and put it in a warm oven (around 80 degrees). Wait about an hour. Then, remove the bowl from the oven. And, turn out your dough. Knead for another 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a ball and place back into your bowl. Place into the oven and let it rise for an additional 20-30 minutes.

Once the dough has risen, remove from the oven. Next, roll out your dough. Use about a 2 inch cookie cutter; and cut into the dough. Take about a tablespoon of your choice of chocolate and place it in the middle of the dough. Roll up your dough and form it into a ball. This part can get kind of messy.

Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or a silpat). Continue this until you are out of dough. It makes around 15-20 rolls. Place the cookie sheet into your warm oven (80 degrees) and let rise an additional 20 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter into a bowl. Brush the melted butter onto your rolls. Once the oven is ready; put in your rolls. Let bake for about 15-30 minutes. I think mine baked for about 15-20 minutes. Or bake until the rolls have a nice golden color. Remove from oven, and brush again with your melted butter. You don't have to do that, but I did. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you so desire.
It's best to eat these rolls the same day; but they were okay the next. Enjoy!

(click here for printable version)

Sesame Encrusted Baked Chicken

I'm always looking for new chicken recipes. And, the healthier the better. Afterall, I'm still trying to maintain the weight I lost earlier this year. And, like I've mentioned before, Gina's Skinny Taste website has a lot of really good and healthy recipes. I really like sesame oil and panko, and this recipe calls for both. I even added a dollup of sriracha to it. I thought the recipe was pretty good. I'm not sure if this will be a regular on my weekly rotation, but I will definitely make it again. Enjoy!

18 oz chicken tenderloins (I used a chicken breast)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
6 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp course salt
4 tbsp panko
olive oil spray (I used my Misto)

First, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Next, take your chicken and sprinkle it with some salt and pepper. If you've ever made chicken parmesan it's quite similar. Find a bowl in your cupboard, and add the sesame oil and soy sauce to it. Find a medium sized plate and add the panko, sesame seeds, and the 1/2 tsp coarse salt to it. When you are ready to start baking; immerse the chicken in the oil mixture first. {At this point; I actually let the chicken soak in the marinade for about a half hour.} Then, immerse the chicken into the panko mixture. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Then, lightly spray the chicken with oil. Bake for about 8 to 12 minutes. Then turn the chicken over and bake for another 4-6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thru and the crust is a nice golden color. Enjoy!

(click here for printable recipe)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Irish Nachos

This is why my belly has been growing steadily since starting to work at Martin 7 years ago. There’s an Irish restaurant right next to my office called Sine (pronounced Shi-nay). And since it’s right next to my office I find myself there quite often, either for lunch or to enjoy an after work Guinness. One of my favorite appetizers to order there, and one I try not to order every time I go there, is the Irish Nachos. Now, there’s nothing Irish about these nachos. Just like there is nothing healthy about them. They are called Irish just because they use potatoes instead of tortilla chips as the main vehicle for all the delicious bacon, cheese and ranch dressing. Did I mention there’s nothing healthy about these? But delicious, yes. So, I tried to recreate the recipe at home with pretty good success.

5 strips of Bacon
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
4 Russet potatoes, cut into cubes
Shredded sharp cheddar
Garlic salt
½ cup Sour cream
2 Tbsps Milk
1 Tbsp ranch dressing mix
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I started with the bacon, slicing it into batons and frying it up. Set it aside on a paper towel. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon grease, but save it for frying the potatoes later. Next I tossed in the thinly sliced jalapeno and just warmed it up and softened it up. You could also use pickled jalapenos if you prefer. Put these aside as well.

Next pour the reserved bacon grease back in the pan and fry your potatoes. If you forgot to save it, just use olive oil, no problem. I had to do them in two batches to fit in the pan. Season them generously with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Don’t be stingy here since potatoes tend to suck up the seasoning. After the potatoes get a little crust on them, transfer them to a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes until they are cooked through.

While the potatoes are cooking, mix the sour cream, milk and ranch dressing mix. I actually forgot the sour cream when I made this but it’s what I had intended to do. Instead I had to use Ranch dressing and thin it out with milk. It worked but the dressing at Sine is a little milder and has a lighter texture than actual Ranch, so I think the sour cream idea is a better bet.

Once the potatoes are cooked, it’s time to assemble the nachos! Put the potato cubes in a bowl and drizzle a good amount of the ranch sour cream over them. It’s key to put the ranch on second so it incorporates all the way through. Next put on the jalapenos, as few or as many as you like, and the bacon as well. Top with cheese and then zap it in the microwave for about 60 seconds or until the cheese is melted. It’s probably better to do this in the oven, but my dishes aren’t oven safe. If yours are, go for it with my best wishes.

Garnish with the green onions and serve! It’s not really Irish, and they aren’t exactly nachos either. But sinfully good? Yes. Creamy, crunchy, comforting? Yes. Yes. Yes. 

(click here for printable version)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Iron Chef Chocolate Recap

We’ve had a lot of great Iron Chef ingredients in the past. Bacon. Wine. Coffee. But our most recent battle was the ultimate in deliciousness: Iron Chef Chocolate. We’ve been talking about using chocolate as our secret ingredient for a while now, but never did it for some reason. I’m definitely glad we did though! I think it was more of a challenge than people expected (except for those of us who chose desserts). But all of the competitors rose to the occasion and we had a lot of tasty dishes to choose from.

Ok, enough preamble. I know you want to hear about the dishes so let’s go.

We had a few appetizers, starting with Jen’s Salted Chocolate Crostini. She took a simple approach, using high quality ingredients and letting them shine. Toasted baguette topped with a drizzle of olive oil and delicious melted chocolate. What really made this dish though was the salt. Chocolate and salt go so well together and the flavors really popped.

Our next app was the ultimate Iron Chef Chocolate winner: Greta’s Brie Crostini with Chocolate Wine Sauce. She topped them with some thinly sliced almonds. It was a creative combination of flavors and textures that really worked. In fact, we liked it so much that she had to set a few aside for her family to ensure that we didn’t eat them all. Congratulations on the win, Greta!

Then we had Lee’s appetizer, which was pretty clearly cheating. She made a bacon, chocolate lollipop. Let me say that again slowly. Bacon. Chocolate. Lollipop. I mean, if that’s not cheating I don’t know what is. It was delicious! Of course it was. Oh, and the white stuff is white chocolate, not bacon grease. Important distinction.

Next we got into the mains and sides. Kim was the only side dish and she made a Chili-Cocoa Mashed Acorn Squash. And ok, it wasn’t the prettiest dish. But when you looked past its appearance, it really did taste good. The sweet acorn squash was a great, unexpected complement to the chocolate.

Cara made a delicious Cocoa-Crusted Pork Tenderloin. This cut of meat can be difficult to cook fully and not dry out, but Cara’s was nice and juicy thanks to a broth she made. The cocoa flavor really stood out but wasn’t overpowering. And the presentation looked very nice against her white plate.

Shu’s Hamburgers with Chocolate BBQ Sauce were a big hit. She had all the toppings and even made fried onions for some crunch. The BBQ sauce was really tasty, not too sweet and there was just a hint of chocolate. It went well with the burger and I bet would taste great as a steak sauce as well.

Emily’s Sweet Rolls filled with Chocolate inspired a lot of debate. She was originally supposed to make an appetizer but then decided these were more like a side. But once we tasted them we felt they were more like a dessert—a donut actually. The bread was fresh and soft, with slightly warm melty chocolate inside. Whatever category they fit into, they were definitely wonderful. And messy!

We saved Morgan’s drink, the Choc Razz Sorbet, for later in the night since she felt it was too sweet to start the meal. She used whipped chocolate vodka and raspberry liquor plus club soda and a cherry on top! It was really tasty although some of the girls felt like it was a little strong. I finished mine and was still standing. Just sayin’.

Fondue was a fun, interactive choice for dessert and Kristy added some Indian spices to hers for an extra kick. Once she got her fondue pot heating issues out of the way (the ceiling fan was blowing out the flame) Kristy let us dig in. We dipped strawberries, bananas, pound cake and marshmallows and all were great pairs for the chocolate (especially the strawberries, in my opinion).

By the time we got to the last dessert, my Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake, we were all stuffed. I should have named the dish Chocolate Overload Cheesecake because it had a chocolate crust, chocolate filling, chocolate ganache and chocolate curls on top! Nevertheless we all made a little room, and the cheesecake ended up coming in second.

After stuffing ourselves we evidently were on a sugar high since we decided to play a game of Taboo that got pretty contentious. I guess that’s what happens when you get a bunch of competitive ladies together and feed them chocolate. Can’t wait for the next Iron Chef coming sometime this fall. In the meantime, any suggestions for our next “secret” ingredient?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sweet & Spicy Baked Jalapeno Poppers

One of my recent work trips found me in Portland, OR staying at the Hotel Monaco. As often happens when we are out shooting a commercial, there were a lot of long days and late nights where we’d come home starving, but too tired to do more than stumble into the hotel restaurant. In this case, that restaurant was Red Star Tavern. And on the occasion in question, the main kitchen was closed but the bar menu was still in play. So we ordered just about every appetizer on the menu, including the Jalapeno Poppers. That’s not something that I would normally order, but after tasting it, I proceeded to change my stance. It wasn’t fried like normal poppers, and the outside of the bacon was nice and sweet, which paired so well with the spicy jalapeno and creamy stuffing. I decided that it was something I wanted to recreate for myself.

This recipe is dead simple. Just five ingredients. And while I do think I’m going to keep working on the stuffing to make it as flavorful as possible, as is, it’s a great appetizer and was devoured at a recent BBQ at my house.

10 Jalapenos
20 strips Bacon
8oz Cream cheese
Brown sugar

Start by taking your cream cheese out of the fridge and letting it soften. This will take a little time, so plan ahead. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and put your jalapenos on a baking sheet. Roast them for ten minutes and let them cool until you can safely (and comfortably) handle them. Cut them in half down the middle. You can cut off the tops if you want, but I actually think it adds a nice visual element to leave it. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and membranes. The seeds can be a pain to get out so sometimes I rinse the jalapenos in water to wash them away. If you do that just make sure that you dry them off with a paper towel.

Set these aside and mince up some cilantro. Use as much or as little as you like, and mix it in with your softened cream cheese. Then use your spoon to fill the jalapeno halves with the cream cheese mixture. Wrap a strip of bacon tightly around the jalapeno and fasten it with a toothpick.

Use your hand to rub the outside of the bacon with brown sugar. The first time I did this I just sprinkled the brown sugar on top, which was a bad idea. You want to try not to get much brown sugar on the cookie sheet because it will burn quickly and then smoke. So that’s why I rub the brown sugar on before putting the whole thing on the cookie sheet. Cook for about 20 minutes and serve. Make sure you take the toothpicks out, or warn your guests to remove them. Don’t want to have any toothpick-related injuries at your party!

Looking back at the Red Star menu, it looks like they put sausage in their filling. I don’t know, that seems like overkill to me, but maybe that’s a good thing. 

(click here for printable recipe)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

When you think summer time, you can’t help but think of grilling and the plentiful array of meat, veggie, and seafood recipes that comes with the territory. But when summer brings days over 100 degrees, standing next to a hot grill sounds less than appealing. Today was one such day.
When I found this recipe rated as one of Cooking Light’s reader favorites, it suggested preparing it by broiling it. I was going to tweak it by grilling it, but (as noted above), man, is it hot outside! And then when our AC decided to go kaput, there’s no way I’m turning on my oven. But the recipe must go on, right? I ended up cooking it on the stove top, pairing it with some boiled potatoes and steamed veggies.

Ingredients: (Serves 2) 
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. ground red pepper 
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
cooking spray
3 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cider vinegar

Combine garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, paprika and red pepper in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly, and then toss in chicken thighs, one at a time, thoroughly coating each one. Coat your skillet with cooking spray and set to a medium heat. Add coated chicken to the skillet, cooking 5-6 minutes on each side (until mostly cooked through).

Combine honey and vinegar, and brush mixture onto top of chicken before flipping chicken again. Cook for one minute, searing in flavors, while coating remaining honey vinegar mix on the reverse side. Flip chicken one last time, searing the other side, cooking for one more minute.

I still want to try this on the grill, but I am so happy I stumbled across this recipe. This is going to be one of our standards from here on out.
Happy cooking!

(Click here for printable recipe)

Triple Berry Pie

Something about topping a pie with a lattice crust makes any baking creation more impressive than it actually is, don’t you think? I tend to top a lot of my pies this way, and then I get to bask in the glory of the “You made that?” and “Wow, I had no idea you were such a brilliant cook” comments when I show up with fresh pie in hand. (Well, perhaps that second comment isn’t said aloud, but I bet it’s what folks are thinking. I’m sure of it.)

I’ve had the chance to make a number of pies this summer for one occasion or another, and this past weekend, I figured I’d stray away from my classic apple pie for something more summery. Served with a scoop of ice-cream, this new recipe was a definite success.

Ingredients: 1 lb. strawberries (cut), 1 lb. blackberries, 1 lb. blueberries, Pillsbury pre-made pie crusts – found in your grocery’s refrigerator section in packages of 2, 1 cup granulated sugar, 3 tbsp. cornstarch, 2 tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca, 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions: Unroll one pie crust into base of pie pan. After washing berries and cutting strawberries, toss in a large bowl with sugar, cornstarch, tapioca, and salt. Mix well. Dump in pie crust. Slice remaining pie crust into 1 inch thick strips. Just like you were weaving a basket or showing off your skills in an elementary school art class, weave top crust in an under-over pattern, pinching edges together. For a more detailed how-to for a lattice top, click here.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then 45 more minutes at 375 degrees. Let the pie cool, letting the juices thicken, before serving.

Conversation point of this recipe: Do you know the difference between a pie and a cobbler? There was a lot of talk about what this was when it came out of the oven. Arguments were made that the lattice pattern made it a pie, while others thought that didn’t make sense. The true answer here is that a pie has crust on the top and bottom. A cobbler only has crust or breading on the top.

Happy cooking!


(click here for printable recipe)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cucumber Bread

I've had more success this summer growing cucumbers and red hot chili peppers than I have tomatoes. So far, my cucumber plant has produced 3 cucumbers. Since I had 2 cucumbers sitting in my fridge; I've been contemplating what to do with these vegetables. You see, I'm not the biggest cucumber fan. I'm not even sure why I'm growing them other than because of this recipe, maybe. I think I decided to plant cucumbers because I've had more success growing them than zucchini, yellow squash, etc. So, why not. I recently came across this recipe from Apron of Grace for cucumber bread. And, I thought to myself how perfect. I can use my cucumbers that are just hanging out in my fridge for bread! This recipe is super easy to make. Other than the buttermilk, I had all the ingredients. You'd be surprised how good cucumbers can make a bread. It tastes similar to banana bread but it's made with cucumbers instead of bananas. I highly, highly recommend this recipe. The bread is super moist and very good. Plus, it's a great way to use up 2 cucumbers just hanging out in your fridge. Enjoy!

¾ cup Lard or Shortening
1 ½ cups Sugar
2 Eggs
1 ½ cups whole, shredded Cucumber
½ teaspoon Salt
2 cups All-Purpose/Unbleached Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Couple dashes of Nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Set out your eggs and bring to room temperature. You don't have to do this but it's always a good idea.
First, take your 2 cucumbers and peel them. Next, shred your cucumbers on a hand-grater (or whatever kitchen gadget you so desire). I wasn't sure if I should de-seed the cucumbers. But, I just decided to grate them whole. I noticed that the cucumbers were very watery. So, I covered them in paper towels to help dry them. Gather your dry ingredients and place in a bowl. Set aside. Take your sugar and shortening and place in your standing mixer. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in your eggs and mix till combined. Now, add in your dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk and the vanilla. Mix well. This is the point when I decided nutmeg would be a good addition. So, just sprinkle some nutmeg into the bowl if you so desire. Mix. Take a loaf pan and grease it.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake in your oven for at least 45 minutes. I'm not sure if it's because my cucumbers were very watery, but my loaf took about 55 minutes to bake. So, just keep an eye on yours. Remove from oven and let the loaf cool in the pan. Then remove the loaf from the pan and place on a cooling rack. Cut yourself a slice, and enjoy!

(click here for printable recipe)

Watermelon Mojito

I know, I know. This is the 3rd Mojito recipe that I've posted. But, come on; you can never have too many mojito recipes. For me, this has been the summer of the watermelon. Okay, last summer was also that way. But, this summer I've been experimenting more with watermelon. This past Thursday, I had a rough day at work and decided to make a mojito when I got home. Lately, I've been making my strawberry mojitos, but this time I decided to do it a little differently. I had some cut up watermelon in my fridge and decided to try a watermelon mojito. Plus, I didn't have to wait for it to thaw like I would with my strawberries. Boy, what a different taste. I don't really know how to describe it, but the watermelon and mint gave it a nice flavor. I will definitely be making this drink again soon! I hope you like it. Enjoy.

1/4 cup cubed watermelon
Couple sprigs of mint
2 tbsp (or more) simple syrup
1 jigger (or more) of light rum
1 tbsp lime (optional)
sparkling water or club soda

To make the watermelon mojito; take your watermelon, mint, and simple syrup and put in your favorite glass. Muddle these ingredients. Next, add your rum then your ice. Top with sparkling water (or club soda) and add a splash of lime juice. I didn't use lime juice in mine, but feel free to add it to yours. Enjoy!

(click here for printable recipe)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Restaurant Review: Millie's Diner

The other day my sister, my cousin (who was visiting from Tampa), and I decided to go to Millie’s for lunch. We chose Millie’s because it’s down to earth, the food is really good, and though the cost for lunch is on the higher-end it’s definitely worth it. Plus, we had never taken our cousin to Millie’s. Millie’s is located close to Church Hill on Main Street. It’s a tiny restaurant that has a ton of charm. When you walk in you’re basically in the kitchen, the dining room, and the bar all in one. That’s right folks; the chef cooks the food in this tiny, tiny area by the front entrance next to the bar. Millie’s is big on waiting to seat you until your entire party has arrived. Fortunately, we were seated right away. And, as is the case in quite a few Richmond restaurants; the menu is on a chalk board above the bar.
The booths have little jukeboxes located on each table. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to work.
But, it’s fun to click the buttons and see what songs you could have played. I’m sure it would keep a 5 year old highly entertained. Millie’s does not take reservations…ever. The wait-staff is very knowledgeable of the food and also very attentive. They serve brunch (on the weekends), lunch, and dinner. Their menu ranges anywhere from omelets, to breakfast burritos, to hamburgers, to steak tartare to seared scallops. I’ve actually never been to Millie’s for dinner. So, I can’t offer an opinion on that but I’ve been to brunch/lunch and it’s always been excellent.

On this particular occasion, I ordered the BLT (minus the “T”)
and my cousin and sister split the Castro’s Mess.
My sister and cousin each splurged on a mimosa while I stuck with a good ol’ diet coke. I thought their mimosa’s were pretty pricy at $8 a pop.
Boy, was I glad I stuck with my diet coke at a measly $2. Perhaps the reason the mimosa’s are on the high-end is the orange juice tastes like it was freshly-squeezed? I tried the mimosa, and I agreed that it was really quite good. However, I don’t think it’s worth $8. Our entrees came out in relatively good time. My bacon and lettuce sandwich was excellent. The bread was toasted perfectly, and the bacon was nice and crisp (just the way I like it).
All of their sandwiches are served with fried new potatoes and a dash of sriracha. I think the new potatoes are okay. But, I’m not real big on that style of potatoes. The Castro's Mess was a big glop of Cuban pork, 3 scrambled eggs, black beans, tomatoes, tortilla strips, and cheddar cheese. Oh, and diced onion was thrown in as well. At a whopping $12 it’s best to split this dish. Plus, it is a lot of food. My sister and cousin really liked it a lot and were quite content they decided to share. All in all it was a satisfying meal. My only complaint about Millie’s is their prices are a bit on the high-end for lunch. But, at least the food and service are up to par!

Pros: Tasty food
Cons: Pricey

My rating: 4 ½ sporks out of 5
Location: 2603 E. Main Street
Cuisine: Diner
Pricing: $$$