I have always thought that a restaurant that serves breakfast all day would be a goldmine. Yes, I know that IHOP, Denny’s and the like serve breakfast all day. But I am thinking a restaurant with a bar and a vibe that says I want to hang out here versus a diner. One that acknowledges that the three most important meals of the day are breakfast, lunch and happy hour. I know, I know that sound like brunch. It is, and that is just what I dreamed. A place where I can get brunch any day of the week. Even at four o’clock in the afternoon. Charleston now has just that; it is called Millers All Day.
Breakfast for Lunch
I was invited to give them a try recently. Here is my report. But first, I did not make a grammatical error; there is no apostrophe before the “s” in Millers. This is not a person’s name (first or last), and it is not possessive of “All Day.” It describes the job of people who mill grains.
Location, Location, Location
Millers All Day is located on lower King Street, just one storefront from Broad St. Therefore it is super easy to find. I parked at a meter on Broad St. because there is no formal parking lot; open spaces with meters on King are few and far between, and the nearby parking garage is much more expensive than a parking meter.
When you dine at a restaurant that serves breakfast all day they better have great coffee. That includes specialty coffees like this latte. It must taste great. Looking great, as this one does, is merely a bonus. As a specialty coffee, it also needs to be served in the proper vessel. Taste: check. Appearance: check. Vessel: check. ‘No kidding around… This is the best latte I have ever tasted. I was immediately hit with a caramelized flavor in the foam as I took my first sip. The espresso was hot, and the perfect ratio to milk. Here, the coffee and the dairy share top billing, because they need to balance each other. The foam is a supporting character, albeit an important one. And finally, the cup is large and broad with the perfect surface area. This latte has it down in spades.
The Cornmeal Pancakes
When I was a kid, my dad would make cornmeal pancakes. Mostly cornmeal with enough flour to hold it together. They were thin and had super crispy edges. They were the best and left me with a fond memory of my dad. So when I saw the “Short Stack” ($11) of cornmeal pancakes served with hickory syrup, I had to order it. The syrup is new to me, and it is delicious. It is not as sweet as real maple syrup so you get more pancake flavor and less sugar sweet. The cakes were fluffy, light and cakey (in the best way). They turned out to be very different than my dad’s version but just as delicious.
BACON, BA… CON!
Pancakes or breakfast, in any form or fashion, must include bacon. I love bacon. So I ordered it as a side ($4). It arrived and was just two strips. I felt cheated. That is until I took my first bite. This bacon is over the top. It is thick cut, intensely smoked, and cooked to perfection. I can’t believe I am saying this but, two strips was more than enough. The amount of flavor and richness in each of those two strips is intense. It is worth every penny, dollar, whatever!
My lunch companion ordered the B.L.T. Salad ($12) which includes shrimp, bacon, warm greens, tomato, sunflower seed, and a sherry vinaigrette. I did not taste it, but she had had it before and ordered it often. I think that says all that needs to be said.
My lunch companion also ordered the Homefries ($3) with a brown gravy bbq-esque dipping sauce. She said I “had” to try them. I said ok but was going to taste just a bite and then leave the rest for her given that my main meal was already a starch. But how does one turn down perfectly fried chunks of potato with a dipping sauce that demands you keep eating. OMG, I could not stop myself. Guilt ensued, but it was worth it.
Millers All Day is definitely on my radar, and I plan to revisit soon. There are many other items that I need to try. Then there is Happy Hour every day from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm (that is when they close); a take-out bakery with muffins, scones and pies and lastly a retail area with tchotchkes, clothing, Geechie Boy and other food products as well as the perfect surcee the next time you need a hostess gift.
Millers is guided by co-owners Greg Johnsman of Geechie Boy Mills’ fame, and Nathan Thurston, a celebrated chef specializing in all flavors Southern. Millers All Day is located at 120 King St.
from 7am – 8pm. Phone: 843.501.7342
That is all for now.