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Miss Millie's - Down Home Delicious

Miss Millie's sounds like a place where you would find delicious homemade biscuits, macaroni and cheese and fried chicken. It is. But you'll also find inspired vegetarian entrees and unique brunch items. In a cozy space on 24th street just above Castro, Miss Millie's serves up American classics with Southern and Southwestern touches. Likewise the service combines all-American friendliness with Southern hospitality.

The country-fried chicken is a real pleaser. Three pieces of chicken come with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled white corn. A home-style gravy is drizzled over the chicken and potatoes. The chicken is very juicy and flavorful -- not always the case with fried chicken -- and the crust is perfectly light. So too is the crust light on the Frito Misto, a selection of fried calamari and artichokes served with a spicy ketchup and remoulade. The portions are large, so if you want to leave room for dessert, think about sharing one appetizer for your table.

Miss Millie's was once a vegetarian restaurant and Vegetables in Puff Pastry ($11.50) is an outstanding example of their understanding of vegetarian cuisine. Filled with roasted crimini mushrooms, leeks, garlic, artichokes, black olives and dotted with goat cheese, all the flavors and textures are fresh and savory. The pastry is crispy and light, though bursting at the seams. On the side is a flavorful sauté of chard with onions. Nothing here is bland or superfluous.

The prices at brunch are on the high side compared to dinner, averaging over $10 per entree, though again, servings are huge. There is a shared plate charge and even so, it may be worth choosing a starter and sharing an entree unless you are truly starving. The Cobb salad for example comes in such a huge bowl, we saw two people struggle to finish it.

You won't really need a side of bacon when indulging in the chock-full-of-crab Dungeness Crab Hash ($13.75), which is a mélange of roasted potatoes, Cipollini onions, spinach, a trio of peppers and peas, topped with poached eggs, a mellow pepper sauce, creme fraiche and sourdough toast. Another unique offering are the Roasted Poblano Peppers ($9.95), which come filled with chorizo, potatoes, Manchego and Jack cheese, onions and jalapenos, served on tomatillo salsa with Spanish scrambled eggs, cilantro, scallions and chili sauce topped with chipotle crema. Even the vegetarian entrees are super hearty, such as the current brunch special of summer vegetables and egg scramble, a scramble with fresh white corn, roasted mushrooms, toybox tomatoes, peas, feta cheese and a bread crumb salsa served with roasted potatoes and sourdough toast.

Whether you're there for brunch or dinner, don't miss out on something sweet. All the desserts and the baked goods are outstanding. A dense, cinnamony bread pudding or cool, creamy banana cream pie will satisfy any sweet tooth. At brunch, Millie's Own Cinnamon Roll ($4.25) may be the best version you've ever tried, with a crisp pastry crust encasing a doughy cinnamon-swirled center. For the traditionalist or the culinary adventurer, Miss Millie's fits the bill.

Miss Millie's
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday 6 - 9:30 pm Friday - Saturday 6 - 10 pm
Brunch: Saturday - Sunday 9 am - 2 pm
American Cuisine
Noe Valley