George Motz wrote the following after visiting Miller’s Bar in Dearborn, Michigan. “The first time I visited Miller’s it was in the middle of a torrential springtime downpour. It was 11:15am on a Wednesday, the bar was packed and everyone was eating hamburgers.”
That in itself should speak volumes about the burgers at Millers. Quite often familiarity breeds contempt. A place can be great at first and without ever doing anything can fall out of favour. What seemed so unbelievable at the outset becomes the same ole, same ole. Clearly this is not the case at Miller’s.
Miller’s is an All Star when it comes to bars. Voted one of the best in the US by Esquire and one of the 20 Burgers you Must Eat Before You Die by Alan Richman of GQ. Quite simply, it’s a legend. (It’s often on a list of America’s best burgers.) Then there’s the little idiosyncrasies that just add to the charm. There are, for instance, no printed menus. The offerings are so few that the staff knows them off the top of their heads. Just ask your server and they can recite the entire docket in about 20 seconds. (Alternatively you can check on line).
More interestingly though, they are on the honour system. No tabs keeping track of what you ate or drank. Just tell them what you had and they'll tell ya what you owe. They trust you.
From the outside it's not much to look at. A decent sized red building with a big white Miller's on the side. It looks more like a warehouse than a bar. There is plenty of parking out back which is nice. All said, it's very unassuming.
Inside was rather nice. I'm not sure if it's freshly renovated given the 1970's lounge feel to it but it was clean, neat and tidy. There's lots of seating in booths and tables or belly up to the bar like we did. At one end of the bar is a small kitchen and flat top where the magic happens. Miller’s serves upwards of 1,200 burgers a day. So many that their butcher starts at 4am getting the patties made. I'm told the same lady has been cooking up burgers for nearly 30 years. So you know you’re in good hands.
So how were those burgers?? Well.........
The fries and onion rings are from frozen. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that. Good frozen food is good food. The rings were fine. Not great but certainly good enough to satisfy a ring craving. On the other hand I didn't care at all for the fries. I didn't find them overly potato tasting and as you can see by how blonde they are not nearly well done enough for me. I'm not much of a shoe string cut guy either. I like them to be beefier so all in all, huge fail on the fries. That said, I would order them again and ask for well done before condemning them all together.
Is it the best burger in America?? Well, maybe. This is a fabulous, fabulous burger. Instantly in my top 2 in the US. It's a 7oz burger which makes a little bigger than most patties of this ilk. The bun, while staying true and using a Wonderbread style, is able to hold up to the juiciness of the patty and the addition of Velveeta for the cheese just nicely pulled the whole thing together. It melts so well and added a creaminess to it. The whole package had an unctuousness (a trick word meaning greasy in a good way) that left me with a euphoric feeling when I was done. Just incredible.
So there you have it burger meisters. Sometimes you can believe the hype.
You can find Miller's Bar at 23700 Michigan Ave. Dearborn, Mi.
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You can also find them on the web.
Well that's all for now. See ya next time in the food court.