For those of us who enjoy going out to restaurants we form certain habits. One of those is returning to our favorite places multiple times. Then, sometimes we discover a new restaurant we like and we sort of forget our old haunt.
I often frequented Mill Creek Pub in Battle Ground, but for whatever reason, haven’t been back for a year or so. I decided to return to the pub and am glad I did. I found it’s still one of our favorite places for comfort food like pot roast, macaroni and cheese, roast chicken and meatloaf.
The pub has large servings, unpretentious plating, wonderful service and one of the most attentive and involved owners in the county.
Russell Brent is the kind of guy who makes you feel you are in his home when you are dining there, despite the fact that you are surrounded by 100 other guests.
In fact, on this visit, he went to several tables presenting what he called “a future appetizer” for a few of us to try. A large ramekin of roasted cauliflower with large chunks of blue cheese, and crisply cooked bacon got us started, but was so ample that we passed over the spinach-and-artichoke or jalapeno-cheese dips, Mill Creek Nachos, steamer clams and chicken tenders on their appetizer list.
We headed straight down memory lane for Grandma’s Sunday Pot Roast ($18 for large, $12 for small) and an old favorite, a huge bowl of Parmesan Prawn Pasta.
The pot roast serving was ginormous — two 3-inch thick rounds weighing in at around three-quarters of a pound. No kidding. It was tender, very flavorful, and bathed in a rich brown gravy. The pan-roasted veggies served with it were al dente, crisp, and snuggled up against a large serving of buttery, fluffy, mashed potatoes. Grandma, move over, you’ve been replaced.
The large Parmesan Crusted Prawns ($20) were gently nestled atop a very large portion of linguine and bathed in a garlic cream sauce with chopped tomatoes and red onion. The bowl was crowned with two tender-crisp slices of ciabatta, the spongelike bread sopping with a rich garlic butter. I could not finish, and I am a big eater.
Other entrees, priced from $12 to $29, include Columbia River steelhead, grilled ribeye, Alaskan cod fish and chips, Achiote Roasted Half Chicken, clam linguine, chicken Parmesan and Signature Meatloaf. And then there is the pub’s Classic Mac-N-Cheese: cavatappi pasta in a creamy sauce of mozzarella, provolone, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.
The creme brulee is creamy, served in a large ramekin, topped with a crusty, caramelized sugar. The Pub Zookie is a huge chocolate chip cookie. In fact, it’s freshly baked to order in a cast iron pan and comes adorned with a giant scoop of ice cream. For heaven’s sake, share this. Do not order it for one person!
The pub is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch with a wide variety of choices (burgers, sandwiches, soups, and salads) on each of the menus. Happy hour plates go for $3 to $7. The full-service bar features a wide selection of local beers, and a complete array of cocktails.
The pub’s Sunday brunch build-your-own Bloody Mary (a measly $6) offers a chance to have a drink with enough side ingredients to make a meal. If you are hankering for excellent dishes that bring back memories of Mom’s cooked-with-love Sunday dinners, you must try the pub. You might even want to take Grandma along.