Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse

Restaurants, Bakeries Lincoln Square
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
1/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsOwners Dave and Megan Miller at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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2/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsAssorted breads at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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3/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsPoached egg, prosciutto, dandelion greens, and chévre toast at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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4/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsDave Miller mills flour at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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5/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsBaker Miller bakery & millhouse
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6/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsClassic apple pie at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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7/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsIced coffee at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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8/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsNova lox salmon with housemade chévre on toast at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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9/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsArtist Jill Johnson Reid decorates Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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10/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsWhole wheat chocolate chip cookies at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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Photograph: Martha WilliamsBaker Miller bakery & millhouse
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12/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsBaker Miller bakery & millhouse
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13/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsOld-Fashioned oats at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse
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14/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsOatmeal with figs at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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15/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsPopovers at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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16/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsMandarin orange marmalade at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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17/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsAssorted breads at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
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18/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsChicken grain bowl at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
19/19
Photograph: Martha WilliamsApple hand pie at Baker Miller bakery & millhouse.

Restaurant review by Amy Cavanaugh

I've eaten many bowls of oatmeal in my life, starting with the Oatmeal Swirlers I was obsessed with when I was six until today, when it’s one of my go-to breakfasts (except now with significantly less sugar and much less fun). But I've never had a bowl of oatmeal quite like the one at Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse, where the oats are cooked until they still have some bite. They’re served with a moat of milk and twin dollops of cultured cream and jam (on my visit, cherry), then sprinkled with raw sugar and pecans. Tangy from the cream and sweet from the jam, with perfectly cooked oats, this oatmeal is a revelation.

But it’s not quite surprising, given how the oats are rolled right in the shop, and the pair behind the new venture, Dave and Megan Miller (formerly of Bang Bang Pie Shop), who are changing the idea of what a bakery is. They’re milling all of their own heritage grains on site and if you walk past the butter and jam toast bar, you’ll see mills, a mill/sifter and a flaker, which are used to prepare all the grains. These range from oats, found in the oatmeal, to the whole wheat pastry flour used in the chocolate chip cookies.

There are numerous benefits to using these housemade grains. First off, they’re better for you than plain white flour. Second, they actually taste like they’re supposed to. Take the grits, which are easily the best in the city. Made with three types of corn—yellow, red and blue—the grits are a mix of fine and coarsely ground kernels. Baker Miller is serving them with preserved tomato, pickled kale, a soft boiled egg and a hefty dose of pepper. While the kale didn’t really taste pickled or add much to the dish, the grits themselves are the perfect texture—creamy with some al dente bits—and they taste like corn, unlike most grits around, so it’s clear the milling process is working.

The variety of grains is best highlighted in the range of pies. The apple cranberry crumble is made with a vegetarian crust, which uses coconut oil instead of lard; the pumpkin has a graham crust made with whole wheat flour with bran and wheat germ; and the butterscotch crust is made with crushed oat cookies. And in each, the crust is as much a part of the pie’s success as the filling. The smooth pumpkin filling is stewed with bay leaves and the whipped cream includes vanilla bean. The butterscotch is made with whiskey, housemade condensed milk and smoked sugar, and it’s ideal with the oat crust. But my favorite was the apple cranberry, for the tart cranberries that cut through the sweetness.

I made two visits to Baker Miller, once for brunch on a Saturday and once early on a weekday before work, and both times it was rocking with moms and babies, neighborhood couples and people grabbing pies to go. There are a handful of tables, plus some counters, and a little patio (I guess we’ll see you next spring?), so there’s not a ton of room to sit and have a leisurely meal. But many of Baker Miller’s pastries are ideal to grab on the way to the train in the morning or to take home, although they sell out fast. On my first visit around 12pm, they were all gone, so I went earlier the next time (around 9am) to snag them.

Of the pastries, the savory handpie is my favorite. Made with whole wheat pastry crust and stuffed with caramelized onion and Havarti, it tastes like a much-improved Pop Tart stuffed with a cheesy and slightly sweet filling. The sugar plum muffins are nice and moist, and the sourdough cinnamon rolls are selling out quickly—and for good reason, as they’re meltingly soft inside with icing that has just the right amount of sweetness. The chocolate chip cookie was slightly grainy, and I’d love to have the sweetness of the pecan oat cookies (which are gluten-free) dialed down.

But on the whole, Baker Miller’s treats aren’t too sweet, which perfectly aligns with my palate, but anyone looking for sugary baked goods isn’t going to find them here. What they will find is a thoughtfully produced lineup of baked goods and other dishes. Because this is a millhouse too, you can buy bags of flour, oats or grits to take home. Although, replicating Baker Miller’s success with the grains all depends on your prowess as a home cook. I make grits and oatmeal on the regular, but I’m willing to just put myself in Baker Miller’s hands the next time I have a craving.

By: Amy Cavanaugh

Posted:

Venue name: Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse
Contact:
Address: 4610 N Western Ave
Chicago
60625
Opening hours: Tues-Fri 7:30am-2:30pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm Closed Mon
Transport: El stop: Brown to Western. Bus: 11, 49, 81.
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
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LiveReviews|4
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tastemaker

This is easiestly one of my top 5 favorite brunch places in the city. I will do whatever it takes to make the trek to Lincoln Square sans car (bike, train, walk, fly) to get here, order a nitro iced coffee, a freshly squeezed OJ, a ploughman's plate (chicken sausage, perfectly cooked egg, bread soldiers, and a salad with tomato jam and butter), a sweet treat of any kind to take home and treat someone I dearly love (those cinnamon rolls are monstrous), then sit at a table with a really powerful toaster that pops my toast out real high (which is incredible fun), and enjoy every moment of it so hard. Its a perfect non-pretentious crowd and atmosphere, with giant bags of milled flour and grains sitting in the back of the restaurant, adorable little wooden booths, and what looks like an incredibly promising back patio. 


The owners are the same as those that own Bang Bang Pie Company, so the biscuits that are now making up either side of their two new breakfast sandwiches are TO DIE FOR. They got rid of the butter and jam bar, but the small tub of butter or jam that comes with a biscuit or a ploughman's plate is still as delicious as ever. This morning my dear friend ordered a biscuit with an apple compote jam with chunks of cinnamon coated apples that drenched my biscuit slice to perfection. The bread that is milled at this bakery is unbleached and made from scratch and you can taste it. The jam thumbprint cookies are a perfect combination of salty and sweet.  I clearly have ADD just talking about everything I love about this place.  

moderatorStaff Writer

For my birthday this year a kind coworker brought in the s'mores pie from Baker Miller and it was easily one of the best gifts I received. Like everything from this sweet little outpost, you can taste the care that went into making it. The toasters at every table in the restaurant coupled with the butter and jam bar are a cute touch and make for near endless opportunities to mix and match flavor combinations.