For some people, the mere mention of "Mr Mikes" brings back memories of mediocre food and a crappy salad bar. Yes, Mr Mikes was the laughing stock of chain restaurants in the GVRD. How times have changed. First, all the old locations of Mr Mikes are practically gone. Second, there are now 4 new locations of Mr Mikes in the lower mainland. This may be a shock to many people since Mr Mikes was essentially left for dead as it was squeezed out by newer and better options to eat. Much like Moxie's and Joey's, Mr Mikes has revamped their image, decor and menu. On the recommendation of JH and ES, I pay Mr Mikes a visit for the first time in over 20 years (gasp)!
We head out to the Surrey location of Mr Mikes, which used to be the old location of Canadian Tire (insert joke here). Upon entering the restaurant, I quickly knew we weren't in Kansas anymore (Wizard of Oz reference). Mr Mikes has grown up (or gotten younger)! The staff is definitely more hip and younger than before. Moreover, the decor is modern, along the lines of the Moxie's, Joeys, Catcus Club et al. We were seated promptly in the lounge/bar area since the actual restaurant-side is only open for dinner.
Since Mr Mikes called itself a steakhouse, I went ahead and ordered the Mikes Classic Combo which included a 7 oz Sirloin Steak with Mushrooms, Baked Potato and a bowl of Clam Chowder to start. I have to say this is the biggest bowl of clam chowder I've ever had in a restaurant. It was the size of a wonton noodle bowl and it was nearly FULL! This is easily 3 times larger than anywhere else. Of course quantity isn't the most important thing, if it tastes bad, I don't care how much they give me. Well, the chowder was actually not bad. It had plenty of clam flavour and there were an ample amount of clams, potatoes and celery. The clam chowder was also very creamy; however, it was a tad salty and had no other distinguishing flavour (herbs).
I asked for the steak to be medium-rare; but more on the rare side. To my surprise, it was cooked perfectly (I'm still haunted by the old Mr Mikes). It was topped by a generous amount of mushrooms. The amount of mushrooms here would be enough for 3 Earl's dishes. A decent sized baked potato and 2 large onion rings completed the dish. Although the steak tasted great, it was not really all that tender. I'm not sure what grade of beef they use, I couldn't find that information from the menu or website. The baked potato was really good though. It was fluffy inside and topped with sour cream and real bacon bits. The onion rings are the breaded variety and were very good (according to JH).
Looking at the Mikeburger, it looked almost the same it was 20+ years ago! The large beef patty nestled in a garlic French loaf. It was smothered in Mike's Sauce (insert your own joke here), which is essentially a variation of Thousand Islands dressing. According to the 2 people who had the burger, the French loaf was soft and the beef patty was moist and juicy. The fries were pretty good; yet it was not any better than other fries I've had at chain restaurants. JH had the Grilled Chicken and Red Pepper Quesadilla. It looked very good, with plenty of big chunks of chicken in a crispy quesadilla. JH said it was very good and I believe her. The other dishes at our table included Chicken Tenders, Roast Beef Dip and Hot Wings. They all looked a bit generic, where you would not be able to differentiate them from any other chain restaurant.
So how does the newly made over Mr Mikes do in this re-visit? Well, Mr Mikes looks a whole lot better, with a nicer decor and trendier demeanor. However, most of the food is not distinctive. There are some highlights; but it doesn't set itself apart from anyone else. Moreover, with the steak that I tried, it won't send any fear into places like The Keg. Yet, the prices and portions at Mr Mikes are better than it's competitors. This is probably what will set Mr Mikes apart from places like The Keg, Cactus Club and Joey's. It's possible that Mr Mikes does not intend to compete directly with these places. Rather, it could fill the gap in between Red Robin and Earl's. I'm curious to see what will be the ultimate result of this relaunch of an old name.
- Decent prices, decent portions
- Decor is pleasant
- Service is good
- It's a steakhouse, but steak is tough?
- Food is quite generic
8140 120th Street
11:00am - 11:00pm (Sun - Wed)
11:00am - 12:00am (Thu - Sat)