In a perfect world I would be able to subsist entirely on a diet of cheeseburgers, tacos, and donuts every day of my life. Unfortunately, this would be in direct opposition with my plans to, you know, continue living past 45 years old. With that in mind, I try to remain fairly health conscious whenever possible. Old Mill Bakery has been a staple in our home for some time now due to their ability to provide exceptional whole-grain breads and rolls. Sure, you expect to pay more for a loaf of stone-ground honey whole wheat from Old Mill than you would for a bag of Wonder Bread from Wal-Mart, but the quality and nutritional benefits in the former always outweigh the price of the latter. I am fond of Old Mill bread for its density, earthy-whole grain flavor, and soft, chewy texture. The whole grain breads come in a variety of tantalizing flavors including raisin, cinnamon and walnut, sesame and sunflower seed, or cranberry with orange zest. If you are not in the mood for a hearty whole grain bread, Old Mill is churning out a large variety of savory and sweet breads to fit any palette. Many breads are on a rotating list of daily specials. I won’t bore you with a lengthy discussion of each, but one you will not want to miss is the tomato, Italian herb, and mozzarella cheese available on Thursdays. It’s a purchase that will likely last less than two days in your breadbox, I promise.
Somehow, I had never made it to Old Mill for breakfast until recently. But after hearing they made honorable breakfast sandwiches and other tasty breakfast morsels, I could not resist the call o’ the carbohydrate for long. As I walked through their doors soon shortly after opening, I was immediately greeted by the wafting aroma of freshly baked bread. A couple young bakers stood in full view, kneading and cutting dough for the days loaves, and a worker behind the counter toted large trays carrying many of the day’s goods for the display case. There are few better ways to begin a morning.
The regular breakfast menu at Old Mill is not extensive, comprised mostly of a handful of sandwich options, bagels, cinnamon rolls, and scones. First, I opted for a breakfast sandwich. The breakfast sandwiches essentially include three basic ingredients: meat, cheese, and egg. These are not the pre-fabricated, unnaturally shaped “egg patties” with processed cheese, and rubbery bacon you might expect from an Egg McNasty combo meal…Old Mill is using quality ingredients, with each sandwich made to order. You have your choice of ciabatta roll or bagel with which to hold all your sandwich stuffings. I went with the ciabatta, filled with ham, bacon, cheddar, and fried egg (obviously, I was not particularly self-conscious about my BMI on this morning). Overall, I was pleased...simple and tasty, but it’s pretty hard to screw up bacon, cheese, and egg. The egg was well-cooked and managed to retain enough soft yolk to add the creamy, richness one looks for in any decently prepared egg dish. I enjoyed the double-porcine punch of the bacon and ham, but I suppose a more restrained eater could get by with a single pork product. The ham was particularly nice, as it had a lovely caramelized sear from its time spent on a hot flattop. I do feel that that the sandwich was a little light on fillings, and could have easily packed in a bit more pig, egg, and cheese for the price. Still, it was a good way to start the day.
I could not pass up the hot, sugary cinnamon rolls being pulled out of the oven just as I walked through the door. What sane human being can resist that kind of temptation? Since all concerns for my waistline were checked at the door, I was thoroughly glad for my choice to partake. These had all the necessary components for a honorable cinnamon roll: a generous layer of translucent sugar glaze, enveloping the entire surface of the roll, multiple alternating layers of cinnamon-sugar filling, and (most importantly) a verging-on-undercooked, doughy, soft center…the area most concentrated with cinnamon, sugar, and sweet glaze. It was completely decadent and delightful…at least I had the self-control to stop at just one.
Future breakfast visits will definitely find me sampling their selection of mini-scones. But for now, I’m pleased to say I enjoy a little indulgence at Old Mill equally as much as a slice of whole wheat toast with honey and jam. Good to know that Old Mill has a place in my heart no matter which direction I feel I’m tipping the scale at any particular moment.
12111 W. Markham