Milner It's on the way to Steamboat during the commute from Hayden. It's only 10 minutes away from Steamboat when there are lines out the door at all the restaurants on Sunday morning, and it's the cheapest breakfast you'll find for what you get in the valley.
On July 31, the Olde Milner Roadhouse served breakfast for the first time. Two days later, I was there.
The decision to start serving breakfast is part of the management's strategy to breathe new life into the restaurant.
It opens at 6 a.m. and serves until 10 a.m. Coffee comes free with any breakfast, which brought our breakfast bill to a figure lower than anything I'd seen since the days of "corner cafne egg and toast" breakfasts many states from here.
My companion ate eggs benedict and I had hearty Midwestern portions of ham and cheese in my omelet. The whole thing came with two cups of coffee and two bowls of fruit for $10.
The Roadhouse has been open for two years, but never for breakfast. Three weeks ago, Linda Nashlenas, longtime manager at Boomerang's restaurant in Steamboat, joined the Roadhouse staff with the breakfast idea.
We ate on a Friday morning. The restaurant was empty and quiet, save for the sound of CNN on the overheard television. The Roadhouse atmosphere feels European small-town Italian.
The first night we stepped through the doors, pulling off the highway spontaneously, I expected to walk into a much rougher place. A dark, smoky bar atmosphere perhaps, where I would have to switch to a touch girl swagger and order a beer without looking at anyone.
Linda's smile and the Mediterranean feel surprised me and won me over immediately. That night, I ate outside on the plant-filled patio and left my ring on the table. It isn't actually a piece of jewelry, but a broken ring of metal from my fishing rod.
When I walked in for breakfast weeks later, Linda recognized me immediately and reached into the cash register for my ring.
"I never thought anyone would think to save something so small," I said.
"Small things are important," she said, smiling.
Our waiter Friday morning was Linda's husband. As the photo manager at Wal-Mart, he had never waited tables before.
The owner, Bill Doyne, is absent for the time being. He went to Alaska to help a friend who owns a fishing lodge.
His wife and co-owner, Lisa Doyne, said the breakfast addition is doing well. Monday through Friday, commuters stop on their way from Hayden and Craig, and on weekends, the crowds come from Steamboat.
The menu is simple and everything costs around $4. The staff is friendly, but most of the tables sit empty in the morning. I have to assume that is only because no one knows what they are missing.