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Mike's Cafe, Sandwich Shop with Breakfast and Korean Items near Ballston Metro


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Must give a shout-out to one of my favorite sandwich shops around. Generously-sized hand-carved sandwiches on fresh bread at very reasonable prices. Sounds very simple, but I'm always surprised about how few places successfully implement this concept. This is one of them. Last weekend: Roast Turkey sandwich piled with lots of veggies for $5.75 and my personal version of the Turkey Melt (hand-carved turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, sprouts, swiss cheese and honey mustard on a wheat sub roll) for $6.75. One of the best values around, IMHO.

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Must give a shout-out to one of my favorite sandwich shops around. Generously-sized hand-carved sandwiches on fresh bread at very reasonable prices. Sounds very simple, but I'm always surprised about how few places successfully implement this concept. This is one of them. Last weekend: Roast Turkey sandwich piled with lots of veggies for $5.75 and my personal version of the Turkey Melt (hand-carved turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, sprouts, swiss cheese and honey mustard on a wheat sub roll) for $6.75. One of the best values around, IMHO.

Mike's doesn't seem to have a website. Does he offer a vegetarian sandwich? I really like the hummus sandwich at Jetties packed with carrots, avocado, hummus, cucumbers, muenster, and tomatoes.

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I am also a big fan of Mike's Cafe. I always get their roast turkey sandwich. They slice it right off a real turkey! Plus you can put cranberry sauce on the sandwich. It's like having Thanksgiving leftovers whenever you want. The staff is really friendly too. The only thing I wish they would do is improve their ventilation. When you leave the place, your clothes smell like food due to the cheesesteak sandwiches they fry up.

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Mike's doesn't seem to have a website. Does he offer a vegetarian sandwich? I really like the hummus sandwich at Jetties packed with carrots, avocado, hummus, cucumbers, muenster, and tomatoes.

Mike's menu lists some vegetarian options (veggie, hummus veggie, veggie melt), but I haven't tried any of those.

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Hubby and I got beef bimbibap at Mike's last weekend with kimchi and a fried egg.  They have a really nice selection of drinks, including Teas Teas.  I thought it had a nice little variety of veggie, sweet potato noodle (this was really good, I wasnt' expecting these noodles to be as good as they were), rice and salad.  It came with two sauces.  For me it made that lunch, and the leftovers I added some leaf spinach too and made a salad for another lunch.  Matt and I would go here more if we were home for lunch more often.  It was very reasonable and tasty.  

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We went yesterday for lunch during the snow.  I got a chicken teriyaki bulgogi bowl.  I was having doubts that it would be as good as the bulgogi, but it was definitely very tasty.  I saw a whole freshly roasted turkey breast on the cutting board, next time the choice between bulgogi and sandwich will be even more difficult.

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2 hours ago, ktmoomau said:

We went yesterday for lunch during the snow.  I got a chicken teriyaki bulgogi bowl.  I was having doubts that it would be as good as the bulgogi, but it was definitely very tasty.  I saw a whole freshly roasted turkey breast on the cutting board, next time the choice between bulgogi and sandwich will be even more difficult.

Mike's Cafe now has a website - it looks like their Twitter account still isn't up, but they do have a Facebook page.

Does anyone know if there is a Korean influence, either as owners or in the kitchen? If so, then I just became as interested in the Bulgogi as I am in the hand-carved meats.

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On the weekend, when I went a few weekends ago there was a nice what I would assume to be a Korean woman working there- and they seemed to not be quite as humming along, and they might not roast as much, etc, they were busy making breakfast sandwiches for a steady stream of bros. They made our bowls back in the kitchen.  When I went yesterday, that woman and another woman (who looked to be of Asian influence) were working in a separate little section and were making the bowls.  Now, I am sure you could find better in Annandale for instance, they definitely prepare it for the lunch crowd.  (The picture behind the words location on their website is a pretty accurate picture of what you get- a scoop of rice, a pud of noodles, some very generic steamed veggies, iceberg salad and choice of meat option. They have three little cups of sauces you can take. I should have taken pictures yesterday, sorry.)  The rice was also better on a weekday- I think it is just that they do a pretty brisk weekday lunch and weekend is more breakfast sandwich type of crowd.  But it is a great carry-out item packed nicely, with a nice assortment for lunch- a little veggie, a little meat, a little carb.  I thought the meat was pretty tasty, especially with the sauces.  I think it's a pretty big portion, I haven't been able to finish one yet.  If they stayed open later, we would probably eat here very frequently because it isn't that expensive and is tasty- not over the top delicious, but definitely a very good kind of steady in a way option.  And I like their selection of drinks and chips.

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I was a regular here for lunch years ago.  My go-to sandwich was the turkey breast (fresh!) on multi-grain with lettuce, tomato, mayo, sprouts and cranberry sauce.  I don't have proof but I felt the place was run by Koreans.  I vaguely remember the place being associated with Philips Cafe in DC but I also have no proof.

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I got a steak and cheese at Mike's on Saturday with mushrooms, onions, peppers, to which I added banana peppers, lettuce, tomato and some Italian dressing (I know not very traditional, but oh well).  Not the steak and cheese of your life, but the steak and cheese you might imagine from a deli- it was the first time I had a sandwich here and- it was a big portion, freshly made with fresh mushrooms, onions and peppers (I saw them chop them right then and there) and the bread was good, the meat, cheese, ratio was good and service here is so friendly.  So maybe a little bit better than your average deli, definitely better than Subway.

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