The town of Winthrop seems to be one of those places that is chock full of little-known restaurants, perhaps because the community sits on a peninsula just north of Boston with no highways nearby and literally only two ways to get there, both of which happen to be Route 145. And while one little eatery called Millie's Kitchen resides on one of the "busiest" roads in town (it's all relative, of course), it isn't its storefront that makes it so hidden--it's what's behind the dining spot that makes it a true gem (and the food happens to be excellent as well).
Millie's Kitchen is a tiny spot located on Shirley Street, a few blocks south of the Shirley Street Business District and heading toward Point Shirley and Deer Island. From the outside, the place looks a lot like a sub shop, perhaps because it is one in a way, though with a lot more options than your typical sub shop (more on this in a minute). The interior consists of two high tables, two regular tables, a counter, a blackboard menu, and that's about it. If you peek into the back kitchen area, however, and the back door happens to be open, you'll see the ocean, and although it looks like private property, if you exit Millie's, take a left, walk past a house and down a driveway to the left, you'll find yourself in a parking lot, and in the distance you'll see an outdoor dining area with a handful of tables. Here you will encounter sea breezes, the smell of diesel, ship horns, and a jawdropping view of the Boston skyline, with perhaps the best part of the patio being that it cannot be seen from the road, making it feel nearly completely private.
Being that Millie's is basically a sub shop, you'll find a number of familiar items here, such as steak and cheese subs, burgers, pizza, and the like, but perhaps because it backs up to the water, a number of seafood dishes are also offered--along with a few Spanish items and several Italian dishes. Some of the highlights at Millie's include a nearly-perfect Caesar salad with plenty of croutons and parmesan cheese; heavily-battered fried calamari with a spicy red sauce on the site; garlic bread that is heavy on the garlic and doused in butter; terrific versions of clam chowder and lobster chowder; savory yuca fries that are crunchy throughout; a downright cheap lobster roll that overflows with meat and has just the right amount of celery mixed in; fish and chips with mild-tasting fish and nicely-browned fries; and a heaping eggplant parmigiana with a decent tomato sauce and plenty of mozzarella cheese. Millie's Kitchen does not serve liquor, but diners are definitely welcome to bring their own on the patio out back.
The Boston's Hidden Restaurants site is filled with unusual eateries, and Millie's is no exception; what looks like an ordinary sub shop is made special by its nearly completely unknown patio out back, and the food here is much better than what your average neighborhood takeout place serves up. Add to this the fact that even the media does not know about it (good luck finding a review on the place) and you have yourself the ultimate hidden gem in Millie's Kitchen.
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