Guess which Washington DC metro area restaurant is #2 in the hearts of DCites? Well since you’re reading this post, you might have guessed. According to Urbanspoon users, it’s Mike’s American Grill in Springfield, VA. Part of the Great American Restaurant group, Mike’s is part of a series of DC-based restaurants offering a great atmosphere, well prepared food, and reasonable prices – striking a great balance at these. So on a Friday night with nothing to do, Val and I called up our friend Matt – who lives in Springfield – and head to Mike’s.
Mike’s has a call ahead seating, which means they’ll add your name to their wait list when you call and tell you an approximate wait time. As an aside, I find this a nice feature as opposed to most DC restaurants that take reservations a month or more in advance. While there are some occasions where I know where I want to eat that far in advance, it sorta takes the fun and spontaneity out of it. Anyway, the estimated wait was 75 minutes, and after driving from Silver Spring to Springfield and Matt explaining how he busted his oven door – an unrelated but hilarious story – we headed over to Mike’s.
After waiting for 5 minutes or so in the huge waiting area / bar, we were seated at a booth in one of the many downstairs dining rooms. The atmosphere was lively, with lots of fun casual talk filling the air. The decor of the Mike’s is American nostalgia, with a few burning gas lamps here and there for flair. I ordered a beer, while Val tried a spiked lemonaid (from the menu of custom Mike’s drinks), and Matt has his usual – gin up with a twist. Our waiter was friendly and took good care of us throughout the evening. After listening to the specials, we ordered. I started with a chop salad followed by pork chops. I haven’t historically ordered a lot of chops. but was looking for something different. I also thought it was a good opportunity to see if Mike’s knew how to properly cook meat, as overcooked pork is not good at all. I was somewhat reassured by the blurb on the menu explaining doneness, which suggested if you wanted your steak well done, you should order chicken. Sounded like Mike’s and me were on the same page. Val ordered a spicy shrimp starter followed by a full rack of ribs and fries. Lastly, Matt ordered a ceasar salad followed by prime rib.
After enjoying the warm dinner rolls delivered shortly after our drinks, the starters arrive. Portion sizes were very large. Everything was very good. My salad was nice and cool, which I like in a chop salad. I tried one of Val’s shrimp – very tasty, with a bit of a kick and some nice sauce to go along. Our meals were equally as good – and large. I received two pork chops, cooked well – medium I mean. You see, when the waiter asked how I wanted my chops cooked, I told him well done, meaning correctly, ala whatever the chef recommends. After some confused conversation back and forth, we agreed on medium. Anyway, very tasty. Val and Matt also enjoyed their meal. Stuffed and satisfied, we chatted for a bit longer, before heading back to Matt’s for some soaking in the hot tub. An excellent was to end the evening…
Mike’s may not be the groundbreaking restaurant I’ve been to in DC, maybe not even my #2 (at least not for the food alone), the combination of great atmosphere and reasonable prices making it a wining combination, and somewhere I could afford to go over and over.
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