Anyone familiar with the west-end of Halifax knows that the area isn’t really known for its culinary delights (Look Ho Ho and Cosy’s Snack Bar have their merits, I’m sure, but I’m not a regular patron; sorry). But right around the corner, up on Young Street (which I guess is technically considered the north end), there are a few gems: Italian Market, Hamachi Kita, Little Europe, Tarek’s…) And, before cries of “snob” begin, I’ll have you know that I’m down with diners, and my food does not need to be fancy.
I remembered Michael’s Bar & Grill from back in the day (my parents used to take me and my bro there for a bite when we were younger), and decided that, because of Kevin’s affinity for all club sandwiches, he would probably like it there.
Michael’s has undergone some major changes since the days of its nautical-inspired decor (does anyone else remember this?!): the dining room is still massive, but the decor simple, understated, relaxed. I understand they’re also a popular music venue these days (at least, according to the listings pages of The Coast and my Facebook feed). Their menu, however, doesn’t appear to have really changed too much, and I think that’s probably a good thing. They generally seem to stick with the basic pub fare, and they do it well. Portions are generous, food is fresh, and prices are reasonable. I’m down with all that.
We went for lunch a few weeks ago, on a day that we’d been running around like weirdos doing renovation-related stuff, and had worked up quite an appetite. Time was of the essence, as well, so we were relieved to see that the restaurant was quiet when we arrived.
I ordered the Michael’s burger, a 6 oz. patty of seasoned ground beef topped with cheese, crispy bacon strips, lettuce tomato, pickle(s!), onion and their own signature house sauce on a kaiser bun, served with a side of their frigging fabulous sweet potato fries!
Now, if you share my love of all things sweet potato, you’ve really got to try these: I’m sure they’re not hand-cut or anything, but they’re perfectly crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and tossed in cinnamon sugar (I know it sounds really weird, but I swear to God, it’s amazing). Plus, they’re served with an unusual curried dipping sauce, which creates a pleasant contrast to the sweetness of the fries themselves. While the burger was moist and flavourful, I would have traded half of it for more of the fries…
Kevin decided to go with the Classic Club (surprise, surprise!): roasted turkey, lettuce, tomato, bacon and cheese on white bread; $10). He also opted for the sweet potato fries, and seemed to enjoy them just as much as I did, as he quickly polished off his own and decided to “help” me with mine. What a guy, huh?!
We were both sated and smiling as we toddled out of Michael’s, and Kevin has been asking to go back ever since. That, my friends, is high praise, indeed. I suspect their club sandwich may be put on regular rotation for a while!