Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Mike’s Deli

spotlightAhh, the olde-timey soda fountain. A place where you, the captain of the state-champion high school football team, can take your girl, the head-cheerleader and young 4H leader, and give her your pin as an official sign that you two crazy kids are going steady. At this point, Norman Rockwell will come in and paint you two as you share a milkshake with two straws. It’s so heartwarming and all-American that you’d have to be made of cold steel not to appreciate it.

 

spotlight

Mike’s Deli (Photo: News-Press)

 

Ahh, the olde-timey soda fountain. A place where you, the captain of the state-champion high school football team, can take your girl, the head-cheerleader and young 4H leader, and give her your pin as an official sign that you two crazy kids are going steady. At this point, Norman Rockwell will come in and paint you two as you share a milkshake with two straws. It’s so heartwarming and all-American that you’d have to be made of cold steel not to appreciate it.

While Mike’s Deli (located within the Lazy Sunday ice creamery) is not quite the cheesy slice of Americana that many soda fountains aspire to be, it remains a solid place to get deli food and malts and is quickly becoming a hangout spot for the vast numbers of transient youth in the Northern Virginia area. While I normally do not approve of anything young people do, as youth is wasted on the young, I can safely say that the kids are making a smart decision by patronizing this delicious place. The surprisingly-large selection of sandwiches and ice cream, combined with the random assortment of jar candy for sale, makes Mike’s Deli’s selection seem infinitely larger than their tiny interior is capable of holding.

Breakfast is served all day, so if you’re hoping that they don’t serve breakfast at any point during the day, then you’re out of luck. Sure, it may be some greasy diner food best suited for people suffering from a severe saturated fat deficiency, but it’s still delicious and filling. A big corned beef hash platter with two eggs and toast will never steer you wrong. I was hesitant to try the “Belly Buster”, a submarine sandwich with ham, bacon, sausage, cheese and an egg, but after being assured that my belly would not literally burst, I took a bite, which probably had a few hundred calories. While the Belly Buster may be good for people who have never eaten and don’t know when they might eat again, people who are less hungry than that should look at something else.

Describing the sandwiches as food items is almost insulting. These are Jersey roadblocks that happen to be edible, although sometimes they are only large instead of gigantic. The Brooklyn Bridge, built with corned beef, pastrami with sauerkraut (although I usually order it without sauerkraut, as I don’t support it unless it’s referred to as “liberty cabbage”) is a giant meaty wonder, although a tad dry. For vegetarians, Mike’s Deli has a surprisingly-large selection of meatless substitutes that are also pretty good, although hardly good enough to fool you into thinking you’re eating juicy meat. However, some more seitan (a wheat-based meat substitute that tastes really good when) couldn’t hurt.

Need to wash down that gigantic sandwich you just ate? Then get a malt (you could get a milkshake, but malts are always better than milkshakes.) These thick, creamy, whip-cream-topped friends will solve any problem you have ever or will ever have. Watching your weight for some bizarre reason? Then get a Diet Dr. Brown’s soda, as they are delicious and I rarely see them anywhere around here. Need to burn off those tasty calories? Then plant yourself in front of the Simpsons pinball machine or the old multi-game arcade machine near the door. Mike’s Deli may lack the super-polished interior and Buddy Holly blasting from the jukebox, but it’s got the heart and soul of an olde-timey soda fountain and the food to back it up, so take what’s-her-name after the big game and get something delicious.

 

Mike’s Deli

112 N. West St., Falls Church

mikesdeliatlazysundae.com

703-532-5299

Hours:

Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Saturday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.