Brandie's Grille opens in Blowing Rock
For Brandie Miller, running a restaurant that specializes in home-style food and friendly service is something of a family tradition.
"I was waiting tables at Dee's Diner on old 421 in Boone with my mother when I was just 14 years old," Miller said. "We'd wait for the school bus at Dee's and got off the bus at Dee's. Dee Greene had the restaurant, and her husband, Conley Greene, ran the produce company. They were like family to us."
Miller is betting that that sort of family atmosphere, good food and friendly service will attract customers to her newest restaurant, Brandie's Grille, located on Valley Blvd. (U.S. 321) in Blowing Rock, between Sledgehammer Charlie's and Outback Steakhouse. Brandie's opened this week and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
After learning the basics of the restaurant business by working at Dee's Diner and the Mountaineer Restaurant in Boone, Miller purchased the Mountaineer from its previous owner and changed the name to Brandie's Country Cafe. The restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch, was tremendously successful due to its low prices and combination of blue plate "meat and three" specials and diner fare, such as hamburgers and grilled sandwiches.
Brandie's Country Cafe closed a year ago this month, due to a fire that damaged both the restaurant and the adjoining BP convenience store in the Perkinsville area of Boone.
"After the fire, I didn't know what to do," Miller said. "I honestly thought about moving somewhere else and starting a different kind of business."
Fortunately, a friend of Miller's persuaded her to take a look at a vacant business in Blowing Rock. The building had been home to a Chinese restaurant, biscuit house and other businesses, but had been vacant for about half a year.
"I thought it was a wonderful building, but I knew it would take some work to get it to where I wanted it to be," Miller said.
Miller has spent the best part of the last three months remodeling the building and putting together a menu and staff. Two of her employees, Shelby and Leslie, have moved with her from her Boone restaurant.
"Shelby is amazing," Miller said. "She gets to know her customers, what their diets are like, and she really works at getting a relationship going with them."
Business hours at Brandie's Grill are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, with the bar area open from 8 p.m. until closing time. Miller hopes to have live entertainment in the near future, but for now is concentrating on getting the restaurant running smoothly.
Items on Brandie's breakfast menu (served daily until 11 a.m.) include popular standbys, such as eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, home fries, pancakes, country-fried steak and grits. Other items include a wide variety of omelets and breakfast burritos, country eggs Benedict, French toast, a breakfast skillet and huevos rancheros.
The backwoods breakfast pie is a blend of sausage, potatoes, onions, peppers and cheese, baked into an egg pie and served with fresh fruit.
Breakfast prices range from $3.95 for the early bird special (2 eggs, bread and coffee) to $6.95 for the skillet deluxe. There are also a variety of breakfast sandwiches ranging from $1.59 (egg biscuit) to $4.29 (country ham or pork tenderloin on toast or bun).
The lunch menu includes daily blue plate specials, salads (house, Caesar, chef, tuna, chicken), soups, baked potatoes, burgers, sandwiches, barbecue pork, burritos and bratwurst.
Appetizers include corn nuggets, fried green beans, wings, nachos, cheese triangles, stuffed spicy peppers, and chili and cheese fries. Potato options include the chili cheese potato, pot roast potato, the loaded baker, and a baked sweet potato served with butter, cinnamon and sugar.
The dinner menu includes meat and veggie specials, dinner-sized servings of the lunch salads, and all of the lunch sandwiches and burgers.
Lunch and dinner items range from $2.99 for a cup of soup to $7.95 for some of the larger sandwich items.
Specialty items at Brandie's Grille include the Ol' Timer (livermush grilled crisp on a bun with homemade slaw and mustard), Grilled Sunshine (your choice of two cheeses or pimento cheese with a slice of tomato on grilled sour dough bread), and Wild Cat Flounder (freshly breaded flounder filet fried to a golden crisp on a dusted bun with homemade slaw and tartar sauce).
Desserts include Brandie's pie of the day, chocolate cake, cheesecake and carrot cake ($3.99).
Brandie's Grille also serves beer, wine and all ABC permit beverages.
For more information, call Brandie's Grill at (828) 295-7434.