Cozy Mikie's is big on portions, calories

September 17, 1998|By Kirsten Scharnberg | Kirsten Scharnberg,SUN STAFF

Mikie's is the kind of place where you go for the other food but stay for the desserts.

It's a local hangout where the waitresses know the regulars by name, the tablecloths have red and white checks and the meatloaf is from a recipe by Uncle Bruce.

In their advertisements, the owners, a father and son, say of their Glen Burnie diner: "You'll like everything" and boast of "the best desserts in the whole wide world."

Service is fast and friendly, portions are large and worth the price, and the food is down-home, deep-fat-fried good.

We were there to clog our arteries, plain and simple. So we sampled the cheeseburgers, french fries, onion rings, mashed potatoes and gravy, crab cakes and more desserts than should be legal.

The cheeseburgers are huge, with lots of cheese (unless you order the "Little Mikie" burger, a 1-ounce beef patty on a miniature hamburger bun that costs 69 cents, or 10 for $6).

The fries were good and there were more of them than could be eaten. The onion rings were greasy but delicious. Gravy was groovy, but one picky eater thought the mashed potatoes tasted funny (maybe because they are real, not from a box).

The crab cake sandwich got a thumbs down, far too salty with far too little crab meat, and the Maryland crab soup was scant on the crab as well.

Basically, though, Mikie's serves the best kind of American fare. It tastes great but makes you feel guilty for skipping your morning workout. Especially once you start on the desserts.

Mikie's has about a dozen desserts, made fresh daily by its pastry chef. The eclairs are wonderful, the apple pie isn't as good as grandma's but close, and the cheesecakes got raves. Ice cream, milkshakes and root beer floats also are offered.

We waited about three minutes for a table, and one of the cooks shouted apologetically from the kitchen: "This better be good for how long you've had to wait." Apparently, he has never waited 25 minutes for a table during the lunch hour in downtown Baltimore. The friendly waitress called us "hon" and consistently checked on us even though the restaurant was packed.

The ambience is homey, but the place is having a bit of an identity crisis. On the one hand, it is trying to be an inviting place with Norman Rockwell works on the wall. On the other, it looks a bit like a sterile, fast-food restaurant with its hanging-over-the-counter menu and bright, white lights.

But Mikie's -- which is owned by Michael Wagner of Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie and his son Scott -- is worth a trip. It has everything from ham steak to seafood, lasagna to fresh tomatoes stuffed with shrimp salad. Not to mention a full breakfast menu.

The lunch bill for three came to $43.19, not bad considering we ate an obscene amount of food and brought eclairs back to the office.

Mikie's

Where: 1201 N. Crain Highway, Glen Burnie, 410-760-1099

Hours: Breakfast, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lunch and dinner, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Prices: Side orders, $1.25-$3.75; entrees, $2.65-$11.95

Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express

Rating ***

Ratings: * culinary wasteland

**** culinary heaven

Pub Date: 9/17/98

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