Having already sampled much of the dinner menu one evening at the new Miller’s Guild in downtown Seattle, I was curious what brunch would bring, particularly from the massive Infierno, with its special menu that lists items by animal and sourcing.
What I especially like about Miller’s Guild is that brunch is served daily. Note, though, that while you can have brunch as early as 8am, the Infierno menu doesn’t fire up until 11am, which is when you can get into meatier dishes like the Wagyu burger, bavette steak, a half-chicken, and a pork bratwurst. Before 11am, the “regular” brunch menu (which, like the Infierno menu, is always subject to change) might include items like the daily quiche, “eggs as you want them,” a few salads, and salmon tartare.
Like last time, I was in a “hot seat” at the counter in front of the Infierno, which is the perfect place to catch a culinary show. Fonte coffee was my first request. Coffee in hand, I had to have a house-made jelly doughnut to with it while mulling over the rest of the menu. The servers had talked up the doughnut, and its massive size and startling magenta color (from the lemon-hibiscus glaze) immediately impressed me. Fun flavors, and I loved the big burst of jam inside, but the doughnut was a little bready and dry. This type will appeal to those who prefer cake doughnuts over yeast doughnuts.
Next would be a Nicoise-like grilled tuna salad, with generous slices of gorgeously red tuna atop the pile. Beneath the tuna were greens, sliced olives, roasted potatoes, cucumbers, pearl onions, cauliflower, kale, and tomatoes—many of the vegetables pickled. Aside from some tomatoes being like vinegar bombs and the potatoes being over-salted, this was a delicious dish, with harissa dressing perfect to pull it all together.
Ready to sample the magic of the Infierno, I ordered the shredded brisket sandwich. Between slices of grilled bread: cilantro slaw offering crunch and a refreshing herbal counterpoint against the big flavor of beef, and harissa aioli adding its complexity. But again the dish tasted just a little too salty for me, the source being the brisket. Accompanying the sandwich was a big pile of hand-cut French fries. They come with ketchup, but you can also order a side of motoraioli (see my previous piece on Miller’s Guild) for boost the extravagance with deliciously fatty flavor.
The saltiness of the savory dishes may have driven my quest for more bitter coffee and something sweet for dessert. With the doughnut as one sweet bookend, my brunch story ends with whiskey date cake with black walnuts, vanilla bean poached rhubarb, and soft whipped Chantilly cream. I’ve described this in more detail elsewhere, though note that this is the non-brunch version of whiskey cake. In the starter section of the brunch menu, you might find whiskey cake with apple, bacon, yam, maple syrup, and chili—which sounds like a wonderful way to either start or end a meal at Miller’s Guild.