grits, Baker Miller Bakery and Millhouse
  • Mike Sula
  • Grits, Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse

Had I made it there in time, Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse’s grits might have made my list of the tasty things I ate in 2014. Built on a foundation of the shop’s house-ground cornmeal, which is fine and smooth, with just the right amount of grit to remind you you’re not eating baby food, they’re improved by roasted mushrooms that take on a chewy texture and an intensity of flavor that approaches jerky. The addition of pickled onions, a gooey soft-boiled egg, sage butter, and a shower of fluffy Parmesan make this humble gruel positively luxurious. Like the oxtail polenta at Cellar Door Provisions last year, you need something like this to survive the winter.

I don’t care, however, for Baker Miller’s oatmeal; it’s so fine it can’t handle the deluge of cream they pour over it. That’s what feels like baby food. But while I was skeptical about the toast, it really is pretty special—dense, brown, and sour, incorporating things like juniper and blue cheese, or pistachio. It requires a good three cycles in the toaster before it’s ready for the black pepper-sage butter, the spicy maple butter, the raspberry-Riesling jelly, or the blueberry-mint.

The grits, though. The grits haunt me because I’ve been derelict in my duty. If you hadn’t tried them, I’m sorry to report that preparation is already gone, replaced, as I see from the restaurant’s Facebook page, by grits 2.0, with cheese, giardiniera, pulled beef, cabbage slaw, and herb oil. I’m betting these grits have just as fair a shot at making my list in 2015.

Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse, 4610 N. Western,