Monday, May 11, 2009

A second opinion on The Mill.

If you care to go back about 7 pages, you will find my original review of The Mill. Here is a belated comment on that post which just came in today: Anonymous said... Ok, so we went to The Mill and were completely thrilled! There was a small wait (less than 5 minutes) when we arrived but that wasn't annoying at all. Our waitress was quick to take our drink orders and told us about the specials. Seeing as it was Saturday night, the special was Surf and Turf, but I was there strictly for the seafood. The calamari appetizer was delivered hot and fresh, and was a perfect consistency...not too mushy and not too tough. The only surprise was when I dipped the first piece into the sauce that came with it and completely expected to taste cocktail sauce. However, what I got was Marinara! Still yummy, but definitely one of those crazy "tongue surprises"! Considering how crowded the restaurant was, the 14 minutes it took to get our food didn't seem very long. (That was from the time of initial order, not after the appetizer arrived.) My husband and I both got the fried oysters, french fries, and side salads. While I knew my limits and only ordered the 1/2 pound serving, he briefly considered the 1 pound. After he saw how much food he got, he was so glad he went with the smaller size! The oysters and the fries were fixed to perfection! I very much liked the cocktail sauce but didn't try to tartar sauce. Hubby said that it was good (but didn't rave about it). The hushpuppies seemed small compared to those at other seafood restaurants, but at least they weren't overcooked as seems to happen too often regardless of the caliber of the eatery. (Am I just too picky?) I was glad to see that our drinks were refilled often and quickly, which is another true sign of how much attention the staff is paying to the customers. The decor is DEFINITELY better than the previous owner's tastes, so much so that you can hardly believe it's the same place inside! The idea of covering the tables in a layer of "brown package paper" is a brilliant idea that we haven't seen since we were stationed in New Jersey. The staff seems to work well together as everyone was bustling around but was able to stay out of each others' ways, and I didn't see one table sit empty or in need of being bussed at any time. The owner did stop by our table twice to see how things were and if we were pleased. I have to say that after reading your review, I think I was actually LOOKING for an attitude or any sign of snottiness. However, I didn't see anything. While we were waiting to pay after our meal, I did see the owner bring a fresh plate of food out to a customer who was not pleased with the first one. The customer was pleasant, and the owner didn't seem disgruntled or peeved at the temporary disapproval. The only thing that was less than expected about the entire visit was that the waitress forgot to bring our salads before the meal. However, once she sat down the plates and noticed we were missing "a side" each, she quickly consulted her order pad and corrected the mistake. It made the meal seem a little "lopsided" for the order I like to eat in, but it was really not a big deal. A big plus was that the balsamic vinagrette dressing I ordered must have been homemade! I've never tasted anything quite like it and it was thicker than the common vinagrette! All in all, I went in a little more skeptical than I would usually have when approaching a new restaurant, but I left happy and full! (And, just in case anyone wonders...the only "common factor" as far as the wait staff of Steffens and that at The Mill was the presence of the owner. Hubby and I both wondered if they "shared" waitresses, but it doesn't appear that they do!) To answer your question about where I hail from, I'm a Southern girl. However, I married a Navy man, so I've had the wonderful benefit of living in many different places and experiencing lots of different cuisines. Some things are just done better in the North, and some are done better in the South....and seafood is one that belongs to the South!In closing, while we both have offered different reviews, and obviously had different experiences, one thing remains the's better now as The Mill than it was as St. Marys Seafood, even if you don't eat anything! May 11, 2009 8:09 PM Jay Moreno said... Oaky, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you are not actually the owner pretending to be a bona fide customer (the recipient of one of my bad reviews has pulled that stunt before).But were you reared in the south near the sea coast or the gulf? Trust me - folks hereabouts and in my hometowmn of Savannah, and Charleston to name a few, prefer our fried seafood battered with a mix of plain flour and fine ground white corn meal, not just wheat flour. As I said in my review, the shrimp and oysters I had were perfectly fried. My service was also good. Where your hushpuppies were described as not overcooked, mine were more raw than cooked. Moreover,they were utterly bland. Southerners reared on the ocen eat hushpuppies with onions in them. The slaw absolutely sucked. A good cole slaw is absolutely essential to the enjoyment of a good seafood dinner for most coastal reared southerners. The tarter sauce sucked, and the attempt at cocktail sauce needed easily twice as much horseraddish as what it had. Saying it was better than St. Marys Seafood is faint praise indeed. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I still say they will do much better if they fix the problems I encountered as I suggested.P.S.,Calamari is an Italian dish: it is always served with marinara sauce. If you are used to having it served with cocktail sauce, the folks who served it to you did not have a clue. May 11, 2009 8:36 PM


Jay Moreno said...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Run of The Mill":

I've had Calamari served with marinara before, but I've also had it served with a ginger/sesame sauce...kind of like teriyaki, but not quite. Just hard to describe. Either way it's always been good. I think the only reason that I had a surprise this time (with it not being cocktail sauce) was because we had just remarked about the coctail sauce squeeze bottles on the table. Perhaps that was the slip in my own mind?... As for the hushpuppies, these weren't raw or doughy, but I too prefer mine with some onions and more "zing" to them. Yes, I'm an ocean gal!
And no, I'm definitely NOT the owner! I don't have the level of patience to put up with people eating food in a place I own with the lack of manners that some people have! It's tricky enough raising three teenage boys and a little girl to eat politely and appropriately in public without having to endure the varied upbringings of others. (Again, I'm picky, and rather set in my ways sometimes!)
An owner really pretended to be a customer??? That's pretty sad! If you're going to open an establishment to the public, then you need to be ready for criticism as well as praise. You just can't please everyone all the time, and that owner would be better off learning that from the start, and trying to take any criticism as a learning opportunity as well!
Thanks again for sharing your point of view...I'll keep my eye out for more of your restaurant reviews as this area continues to grow! (And I agree, The Mill could definitely give Langs a run for their money!)

Anonymous said...

I must admit I was a little skeptical also after reading your review Jay. But I went with some people who just had to try it. I shared your commits but ended up inside with them anyways.

You are absolutely correct about the tarter sauce, coleslaw and breading. The shrimp were HUGE. I would go as fair as to say they may have been prongs. Again its difficult to enjoy seafood without good tarter sauce and good coleslaw.

Everyone in our party agreed. But overall it was a good experience. I think I will go back to shrimp on Saturdays at Aunt B's. My girlfriend said if Aunt B's added whiting on Saturdays with the shrimp she would'nt be able to feed all the people.

Jay Moreno said...

Yeah, I love whiting too, but, you know, I've really come to like the Alaskan pollock served at Aunt B's on Mondays and Fridays. The breading is perfect and it is almost always fried just right - nice and crispy crust but flaky fish. And I'll say it again: their home made tarter sauce is THE best I've ever had anywhere. I'm not surpised that you concurred weith my analysis of the coleslaw, breading, and tarter sauce. Are you from around here originally?

I enjoyed some of Aunt B's great shrimp on Mother's day. When I got there about 2:15, it was busy, but my waitress told me that earlier, people were in line from the register, out the door, and back down the sidewalk to the middle exit door.

Oh, and Sunday, co-owner Janie Highsmith cooked up some "pineapple casserole" to go with the ham. That really hit the spot. It was chunks of pinapple with grated cheddar and bread crumb topping, baked en casserole. Man, it was great with that baked ham.
The collard greens were really good, too.

Anonymous said...

No, but I always looked forward to spending the summers here. I fell in love with my grandmothers cooking. I will try the Alaskan pollock. BUT I love whitings....

Jay Moreno said...

Close enough :-)!