Keto sounds like a nightmare to me.
“But Greg, you get to eat all that cheese and protein! I thought you’d love keto!”
Easy on the exclamation points there, bud.
I’m already on a diet where I can eat all the meat and cheese I want. I can also eat all the carbohydrates I want, including refined sugar and mountains of white bread. The diet is called: I’m not going to live forever, so I might as well enjoy my time while it lasts-osis.
This is the point when owner Jason McCormack from The Miller Grill starts sending me frantic Facebook messages asking why I’m trying to tank his new keto menu. I’m not. Promise.
Keto is not something I want to do, but I do lots of stuff sane people would never do, like pounding off-brand Corn Nuts in bed while watching every Marvel movie ever made, so who am I to judge?
McCormack knows his customers and he knows many of them are striving to lose weight on the keto diet, so he created an entire keto-friendly menu: one of the first in the metro area and certainly the first in Yukon.
The truth is, keto-friendly food is just food. It may be extremely low-carb food, but it’s not like I can’t just supplement by housing a baked potato on my own later.
The real draw of The Miller Grill’s keto menu is that you’ve got people who know how to cook making food that isn’t bland and basic. Keto people eat a lot of eggs and bacon. That can get boring after a while, believe it or not.
Which isn’t to say you’ll be deprived of either on this menu, but there’s a lot more to it.
I started off with El Pollo Loco ($10.99) which is a lovely blackened chicken breast covered in pepperjack cheese, bacon and a blackened fried egg.
Chicken breast isn’t usually my jam, but blackened spice is and The Miller Grill treats both extremely well here. The chicken had a steak-y texture, firm and juicy, and the blackened spice really livened everything up. The egg yolk on top mixes with the housemade chipotle ranch to become a pretty decadent sauce.
This is a dish with literal layers, but the flavor is also more complex than a lot of keto fare. If you’re ready to fall off your diet because of taste bud boredom, this dish is the remedy.
I think the big seller will be Buttery Shrimp ($12.99) for a couple of reasons. One: It’s really delicious. Two: Not everybody is comfortable cooking shrimp at home, so having a restaurant handle it makes it much more appealing.
What you’re getting is a bowl of green beans sauteed in butter, garlic, onion and bacon and topped with buttery grilled shrimp. The textures are a huge seller here: the snap of the green beans, the soft give of the onions and the pop of perfectly cooked shrimp together are a symphony of great flavors and mouthfeels.
As a side I got freshly fried pork rinds. Good god, those were tasty. McCormack said he’s working on making pork rind nachos and I. Am. Here. For. It.
I tried both a bacon-stuffed and sausage-stuffed avocado ($7.99) and I think I preferred the one with sausage. Bacon’s flavor is so singular, it kind of overwhelms the milder avocado. Both meats are buffeted by melted cheese, holding them inside the creamy, ripe avocados. On top are eggs and, once again, I recommend getting them over medium for set whites and creamy yolks. If egg yolk and avocado seems like overkill, well, welcome to the keto diet. It all comes over a bed of mixed greens, which adds a much-needed crunch to the dish.
Will I be ordering off the keto menu at The Miller Grill? Maybe. But it’s going to be awfully hard to resist the chicken-fried steak, Indian taco, giant cheeseburgers, chicken strips and...you know what, I probably won’t be ordering off the keto menu.
But if I’m eating with someone doing keto, I know Miller Grill is where I’ll take them so we can both get what we want.