Wednesday, March 4

Baker Miller: Milled With Love

Lincoln Square's Baker Miller is a self-proclaimed grain-centric sweet and savory bake house. The first in Chicago and run by husband/wife team Dave and Megan Miller. They mill all of their grains used in the bake house and also sell their own artisan flour and grains. Baker Miller has been getting a lot of buzz lately, and for good reason! I stopped by with the BF for Sunday brunch and the line was nearly out the door, despite the treacherous weather outside.

Baker Miller Chicago
Sunday Morning Crowd
At Baker Miller, you order at the counter and grab a seat. There's a seasonal brunch menu served all day and the bakery menu changes daily depending on the types of breads and pastries they decide to make. Once they're gone, they're gone! The day we stopped by we tried the sourdough cinnamon roll topped with raw sugar icing. The dough was heartier than your standard cinnamon roll.

Sourdough Cinnamon Roll
It's not hard to polish this thing off
We also purchased a half loaf of their sourdough bread which we brought home. However, we could have easily eaten the loaf there, especially with the help of the homemade spreads bar and our tableside toaster. I loved the assortment of jams including a raspberry mint and black tea variety, as well as butters including one made with Half Acre stout. The spreads are constantly changing so you're sure to find a new favorite. 

Spreads Bar
Tableside Toaster
For brunch the BF ordered the plowman's breakfast with daily sourdough bread, black pepper bacon sausage, dressed arugula, and a soft boiled egg. I'm pretty sure he ordered this just for the bread which he adorned with a variety of homemade butters. 

Plowman's Breakfast
I went with the grits topped with slow roasted giardiniera beef, pickled red cabbage, herb oil, and soft boiled egg. Holy moly was this delicious. First of all the portion was ginormous--I kept digging and digging and somehow there was an endless flow of house-milled grits. I love the tender and spicy beef with the pickled cabbage that added a nice neon pink pop of color. I'd definitely recommend this dish if you're a grits fan.

You can also reserve your meal or one of their seasonal homemade pies online 24 hours in advance or by phone. There's also an online store for buying flours, grits, oats, and popcorn. Additionally, you can find Baker Miller goods at a variety of local stores and soon, all Chicago-area Whole Foods stores.

I'm giving Baker Miller 4.5 ghosts out of 5 for their unique concept, fantastic and fresh food, and the love they put into every homemade item from breads and grits, to butters and jams.

Baker Miller
4610 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
Baker Miller on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 2

DoorDash: Your Cold Weather BFF

Picture this. It's a frigid evening with below zero temps and high speed winds. You're kicking yourself for not going to the grocery store. What are you going to do for dinner? That's where DoorDash steps in.

DoorDash is one of the latest restaurant delivery services to come to Chicago. Founded in 2013 by a group of Facebook, Square, and eBay vets, DoorDash brings restaurant delivery to areas that were previously unserved. One of its differentiating features is its advanced technology that gives customers real-time updates and predictions of food arrival times.

After entering your address on the DoorDash website or mobile app, you select from a wide variety of restaurants that deliver to your location. I thought I'd test out DoorDash with an order from Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Avondale. Not only was I pumped Honey Butter was one of the restaurant options, I was also able to select the time I wanted my delivery. After placing my order, I received a confirmation email with a link for me to track my order. I could see when the order was received by the restaurant, when it was picked up by the DoorDash driver, and when it was en route to my place. The only issue I ran into was the restaurant apparently did not receive my order. However, my driver called me ASAP to let me know there was a delay and that he placed the order, which was much appreciated. When all was said and done, my order was only 20 minutes late.

I had never tried Honey Butter Fried Chicken and I loved the fact that I didn't have to go and wait in line to get it! With the freezing temps outside, I had some serious doubt that my order would arrive hot, let alone crispy. I was pleasantly surprised to find my order piping hot, crispy and 100% correct. The heavy duty insulated bag my driver had with him clearly did the trick.

Of course I tried the honey butter fried chicken, along with the pimento mac 'n cheese, and the kale and cabbage slaw. I also tried the chocolate toffee cookie because I clearly didn't have enough food.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken
The chicken was well-seasoned, boneless, and amazing with the signature honey butter slathered on top. I also loved the corn bread hexagons that were slightly sweet and not the least bit dry.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken
The pimento mac 'n cheese was quite possibly the best thing about my order. It was ridiculously rich and zesty! I loved the crispy breadcrumbs on top too. To balance things out, I also tried Honey Butter's take on coleslaw, the kale and cabbage salad. The veggies were dressed in a Greek yogurt cumin dressing and topped with dried pomegranate seeds. I loved the creaminess and thought the cumin was a unique touch.

Kale and Cabbage Salad & Pimento Mac 'n Cheese
The Spread!
Overall, I enjoyed the convenience of getting delivery not only from a restaurant that does not typically deliver, but also a restaurant I had meaning to check out. I liked the fact that I could place an order in advance and track my order in real time. I didn't love that I didn't find out my order hadn't gone through until my driver went to pick it up. Another downside is that DoorDash does not offer every menu item from each restaurant. For example, Honey Butter Fried Chicken has a variety of daily specials including mains, sides, and sweets, which are not available for delivery. Despite these drawbacks, DoorDash is a great option if you're hibernating in Chiberia and are craving something outside your typical delivery options.

Note: my DoorDash order was complimentary; however, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

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