A few weekends ago I mentioned to my friend Lauren (of Presidents and Assholes) that I am trying to hit up a new brunch spot once a week and she was anxious for a chance to participate. Lauren is always in the know as to what is hip and happening in the Northeast Minneapolis area so I asked her for suggestions.
We settled on Stanley’s, they have a dog-friendly patio and it was supposed to be a gorgeous day. While Gus (aka Goo/Mr. Magoo, Goose – the list goes on and on- my miniature poodle) and I were on our way to Stanley’s Lauren called to inform me that there was an event going on and we would have to go somewhere else. Luckily my girl Lauren is a quick thinker and already had a solution.
After a quick call to confirm Gus was allowed, we redirected to The Mill. Lauren’s go-to spot in her neighborhood. I had never heard of this place and it was in a part of town I never really go to. Lauren assured me that this place was great, the only reason she had recommended it first is that she seems to always go there and was wanting to switch it up a bit.
When we pulled up to The Mill their tiny parking lot was packed. Not surprising at 11am on a gorgeous Saturday morning. After driving around for a few minutes, we managed to find a spot just big enough for us on the street. As we walked up it looked like there were a few patio tables open so we were feeling optimistic. Lauren walked up to the host stand as I hovered outside the door with Goo. We kept trying to catch a staff member’s eye and have someone, anyone, come greet us.
A line was beginning to form behind us at the host stand, about 3-4 groups deep by the time a young lady decided to wander over. She walked up and down the line without acknowledging anyone. Finally, she greeted the group ahead of us and got them a spot inside, she informed them that there was no available seating on the patio. When she came back she spoke with the group behind us. They asked for a patio spot and she informed them that there wasn’t anything available but they could sit inside if they liked.
Lauren and I exchanged stunned glances, what had we done to get skipped. We checked to make sure we were in line. We were. I think people around us felt awkward about it too because soon the hostess asked us if we were there before the group behind us. When we confirmed that we had arrived first she asked if we wanted to sit inside. Lauren and I exchanged glances and looked at Gus in my arms, then at the hostess. We explained that Gus would be joining us, then asked how long we might be waiting for a patio spot. She looked frantic but said she would find out for us. The hostess returned after a moment to inform us that it would be about a ten-minute wait. Both Lauren and I broke into smiles relieved that we could get a spot so quickly. We assured the hostess that we wouldn’t mind waiting and thanked her and in no time at all the hostess returned to us. Our table was ready and waiting.
We had a great spot along the edge of the patio, which I was very grateful for. It was Gussy boy’s first patio adventure, I was glad we weren’t in the center of the hustle and bustle. Our server had her hands full, she said a quick hello and let us know that she would be back to help us in a minute. She finished delivering plates and cleared off a table to keep the line of anxious brunchers moving. Within moments our server was back to deliver a water dish for Gus and take our drink orders. Lauren had the brilliant idea of ordering a pitcher of mimosas, much more cost-efficient than ordering them individually.
Soon we had our glasses filled and were ready to order some food. Everything on the menu looked good. Eggs Benedict is usually my go-to but I have been trying to expand my horizons (plus the wilted spinach deterred me a bit). Lauren ordered the Eggs Benedict and I went with the Beef Hash. I asked if they had any side items that I could order for Gus like an egg or something, I knew it was a long shot but he didn’t get breakfast in anticipation of Stanley’s pet-friendly menu. She apologized as she informed me that wasn’t something they do.
After a very short wait, our food was out and we were documenting. I love going out to new places with my family and friends (especially my college friends) they know the routine and wait to dig in until I have taken photos from every possible angle. Sometimes they even join in and send me a few of their own shots.
The food was good, very hearty and filling. As we were enjoying our heaping plates I glanced a chalkboard over Lauren’s shoulder listing the drink specials. Allllll the way down at the bottom something very special caught my eye. Jell-O Shots. Not just any Jell-O shots, Scooby Snack Jell-O Shots, yes, please. I’ve said it time and time again, Lauren is my onboard friend. She is always game for having fun and humoring me and my ideas. When our server came back I quickly ordered two Scooby Snacks.
When our snacks came out they couldn’t have been more perfect. A neon green blob with the cutest little spoon you’ve ever seen. The Jell-O shots were delicious and such a fun and unique way to wrap up our first patio adventure of the year.
If I had to summarize my visit to the Mill I would say great wait staff and good food all with a relaxed neighborhood feel. The patio was clean and inviting and the restaurant featured some fun and unique items you don’t see on every brunch adventure.