If I say the word “English Muffin” what comes to mind? For me, it’s a small white and orange cardboard tray swaddled in plastic wrap, holding a half-dozen browned doughy discs! And in all honesty, I didn’t quite understand how English muffins were truly made. So I admit that I was curious when I heard about Michael’s English Muffins in Raleigh. Opened at the end of January, Michael’s is doing artisanal English Muffins and supplies their baked treats to higher end Triangle restaurants like Royale, Hummingbird and the Counting House in Durham. Some of their pictures on social media got my attention so it was time to take a trip up north to get my muffins on!
Located conveniently in N. Raleigh, Michael’s English Muffin is set in a small storefront behind the hustle and bustle of Capital Boulevard (behind Take 5 Oil Change). The plaza looks newer and inside, Michael’s English Muffins has a quick-serve cafe style set up with an order counter to the left, communal dining bar running down the middle and a couple of small 4-tops against the right-hand wall. A chalkboard menu over the service area lists off the items on their short menu of muffin tops (muffins with a spread) along with a handful of sandwiches. A refrigerated case with drinks and some racks of chips round out the rest of the menu for Michael’s English Muffins, very simple!
I immediately spy a lady tending to a griddle of puffy, browned muffins to the side. They look vaguely similar to what you might find at Teeters but WAY puffier, fluffier, taller and bigger. For my mid-day snack I order up a basic muffin top with honey butter along with their sausage, egg and American cheese sandwich! The muffins on the griddle are just finishing up, so a 10 minute wait for my order seems worthwhile to get it hot and fresh.
About 15 minutes later, my meal is brought to the table. I bite into the bare muffin with honey-butter to get a feel for things. Michael’s English Muffins are certainly different than what I’ve eaten before. The bottom is super-crispy and crunchy while the insides are tender with a leavened texture. The muffin is thick without being too dense and there’s some elasticity and chew to it all. Like the muffins you get at the grocery store, the bottoms are dotted with specks of farina which prevents the bottoms from sticking.
Next up is my sausage, egg and cheese sandwich which comes to the table wrapped in white paper. It’s a very nicely constructed sandwich with a thick scrambled egg patty, perfectly melted cheese and flavorful sausage. Imagine a sausage-egg muffin on steroids and you’ll understand what they’re serving at Michael’s. Overall a great morning starter, I’ll have to try the bacon sandwich next! What can I say but I’m excited to have Michael’s English Muffins right here in Raleigh. While the store-front takes a bit of work to find (only one entrance off of Spring Forest Road), these are really gourmet English Muffins which are rare in the area. If you’re not willing to make the drive, you can try them out at some other local restaurants! So hip, hip, hooray Michael’s! You make a mean English Muffin and I’ll be back soon…