They hear it a lot at Paint Creek Cider Mill.
"I didn't know you served food here!"
Well-known for their fall fare of cider and donuts, Paint Creek Mill is under new ownership and making some changes: they are expanding their menu and staying open year-round.
Check out that photo on the wall
Owner Ed Granchi has a long history with Rochester and with food. The Rochester High School graduate managed both Mind Body & Spirits and Rochester Mills Beer Co. before purchasing Paint Creek Cider Mill.
"It was a no-brainer when a local landmark came up to own and operate," Granchi said. "I have 15 years experience in the restaurant business but this was a great opportunity to have something of my own —and best of all, a place I used to enjoy as a child."
Take a closer look at that photograph on the wall at Paint Creek. It shows a family standing in front of the Mill circa 1980. There's a dad, sister, grandpa and mom holding a little guy. That little guy is Granchi!
A few tweaks
Two things to know: Granchi loves barbecue and riding his motorcycle.
Both of these loves are reflected in the new Paint Creek Mill menu.
First there is the Apple Cider BBQ sauce, one of Granchi's own creations. I had it with a pulled pork sandwich and I understand why customers ask if they can buy the sauce by the quart.
"I was fooling around with ways to incorporate apples into the menu," Granchi said of the sauce. "It's got a nice apple cider tang to it."
The menu also includes hot dogs served four different ways — plain, coney, sauerkraut and chili cheese — and three types of wraps: BBQ, chicken Caesar and buffalo chicken.
The buffalo chicken wrap also got high marks from our lunch party.
A menu item growing in popularity, especially in the evening, is the Paint Creek Mill pizza. It comes in one size with eight slices.
"I tweaked the sauce and we get a lot of regulars ordering it," Granchi said.
His favorite is the Hawaiian Five Oh, with thick cuts of ham and fresh pineapple.
Chili, fries and chicken tenders are also on the menu.
This spring Granchi is looking to add roadside BBQ to Paint Creek Cider Mill with a smoker he designed and built himself.
"I ride myself and I know how awesome it is to take a break for some good BBQ," Granchi said. "This parking lot and location is perfect for it. We'll keep the sides simple but done right, made from scratch."
No one messes with the donut
While Granchi is having fun making his own menu and tweaking existing items, there is one thing he will never change.
"There would be a lynch mob after me if I did anything to the donuts!" Granchi said of the house favorite. (Writer's Note: They have a fantastic crispiness to them.)
But that doesn't mean that Granchi isn't willing to add on to their greatness.
"I'm working on a new signature donut with pink cherry cheesecake frosting," Granchi said, giving Patch the inside scoop. "It may resemble something from The Simpsons. It might be named The Homer."
The cider is also on the list of untouchables, but Granchi has another beverage in mind to add.
"I'd love to make my own soda, hand craft it here and serve it on draft."
All the tweaks, additions and improvements are no surprise to employee Erin Nicole, who worked with Granchi before at Mind, Body & Spirits. "That's Ed. He does his razzle-dazzle and makes it his own."
Paint Creek Mill is located at 4480 Orion Road. Their winter hours are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 248-656-3400 with questions.