Waffle House. A restaurant chain at the end of every off-ramp of America’s highway system. I’ve pasted them millions of times and never thought to stop in and eat. Either searching for a local diner and heading towards a McDonalds.
There are times you just want a simple Sunday breakfast: waffles, eggs, hashbrowns, bacon. And in Tarboro on a Sunday, that is not an option. Even on a weekday where I live the breakfast places aren’t numerous and the quality not great.
We wanted a Sunday-type breakfast and didn’t want to make the drive to Rocky Mount to the Highway Diner, which by the way is one of the best diners out there and is always worth the drive. We ate at our local Waffle House.
And it was good. For real. Honestly, I was really surprised by this. And the prices were reasonable. The wait staff were friendly and nice. The place was bright and clean. Fun music coming out of the juke box.
Loved getting a booth right by the grill to see all of the action. And it was hopping.
I went over the deep end and got the hashbrowns “all the way.” That meant the hashbrowns were covered in sautéed onions/mushrooms, tomatoes, ham, cheese, jalapeños, and chili. While it may look like a plate of sick, it didn’t taste that way. It was really, really, really good. (And there was no unpleasant aftereffects may I add.) I felt very manly eating it like I was a long haul trucker.
And of course, I had to have a waffle since it is called the Waffle House after all. I enjoyed that, too.
I ate so much at breakfast that I didn’t eat the rest of the day I was so full.
Lesson learned… order a smaller order of hashbrowns or just get a waffle.
Quality over quantity. That’s a foreign concept to many of the restaurants where I reside in eastern North Carolina. The mantra of cheap and plentiful rules when it comes to dining. Where most meals are disappointing. At least for me. I crave fresh and interesting combinations. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my fried foods. Just once in a while.
Choosing a restaurant on a Friday or Saturday night can be cumbersome. And frankly we often just end up cooking at home those nights because there is minimal choice unless you want chain restaurants or “home-cooking.” And we usually make the thirty minute drive to Greenville for any ethnic food such as Indian or Thai.
This is where Milton & Miles
enters the picture. It is located in the Imperial Centre in Rocky Mount. The Imperial Centre is a cultural hub for Nash county housing museums and performing arts venues as well as this small cafe. In another life, it was a tabacco processing plant and the bones are still there giving it a modern industrial feel.
I didn’t know Milton & Miles existed until I recently when I had a business meeting there in the morning. So glad my friend Ken suggested we meet there. I’m glad I found it. It serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday and dinner on Thursdays and Fridays. I came back with my guys for a Friday night dinner.
For Milton & Miles, they serve small plates or bites. To me, the dishes were perfect in portion allowing diners to get a handful of dishes to share. All of us felt comfortably full at the end of the meal. The quality of ingredients was high. Presentation was pleasing to the eye. The prices were reasonable ($4-$9 per dish.)
So what did we have?
Biscuits with Strawberry Jam & Maple View Butter. It was a lovely way to start the meal.
Turkey with Cucumber & Cranberries. Light and refreshing.
Beef Braised in Red Wine with Roasted Veg. The classic beef dish done right.
Pulled Pork with Sweet Korean Pickles. Wonderful combination of an eastern North Carolina staple of pulled pork with Korean condiments.
Liege Waffle with Vanilla Cream, Honey Almonds, & Maple Syrup. The Liege Waffle is a house speciality and is devine.
Two Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate Espresso Glaze. A classic with a twist.
I like the fact that the owner Brian is there interacting with patrons and sharing his passion for the coffee, wine, and/or food. He shared with me that his meats are locally sourced from Blazing Cattle Company
, a well-respected butchery in Tarboro known for their quality meats.
What a refreshing place! I have to say it was one of the most relaxed meals I’ve had living in eastern North Carolina. While we were there, there was a group of professional women enjoying wine and different small plates while sitting on comfortable chairs and a couch. It is a place to have leisurely meal while enjoying the company of whoever you are with. That’s golden to me. Dining should be an experience. One to be enjoyed not rushed.
We’re going back. We want to support small, local restaurants which are focusing on quality over quantity. This restaurant would not be out of place in any larger city.
And I suggest you pay Milton & Miles a visit. Support local.
Milton & Miles
270 Gay Street
Rocky Mount, NC 27804