Windowless Miller’s Bar looks like a total dive from the street, but when you enter, it’s bright, cheery and surprisingly quiet. Most of the clientele are eating slow dinners and nursing short beers, rather than racing through highballs and playing video poker. The menu has many options, but everyone eating here will be having the Ground Round with Cheese, aka a cheeseburger. It’s a beautiful burger that comes on wax paper. No plates! Utensils are scarce.
The bar has been here since 1941 and the decor remains original. It’s one of the prettiest old bars we’ve had the pleasure of stopping into. It’s the kind of place that has a bittersweet attitude about its fame. Most of the crowd will be regulars, but they anticipate a few burger hunting food tourists every night. Just go with the flow and don’t ask for anything that they don’t have.
The burger itself is seven ounces of meat with a thin layer of cheese and raw onions and slices of pickle on the side. Swiss and American are the only two cheese options. We prefer the meltier domestic model. For condiments, it’s just the red and yellow bottles on the table. This burger’s charm comes from its simplicity. It’s just a thick, juicy, perfectly-cooked patty. The burgers are reason enough to draw crowds from all corners of the Detroit metro-area for an occasional fix. If you were lucky enough to have Miller’s as your local bar, you’d probably eat Ground Round for too many dinners.
The pale, thin fries and onion rings have solid fast-food charm, but boast fresher oil and the fries pack stronger potato flavor.
The beer selection was pretty standard, so we had a Miller High Life in celebration of the bar’s name.
After you’ve eaten and drunk your fill, just tell the bartender what you’ve had. Miller’s takes pride in using the honor system, trusting customers to accurately report their intake. So, fair warning: Do not t drink to the point of forgetfulness, and make sure to have enough cash on hand. Credit cards are not accepted.