Recent Posts

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Greenville (NC) Eats: Mike's Deli

Deli's have it hard. With so many around every town, it takes a lot to stand apart from the competition. Some have better cuts of meat, some make crazy twists to their specialties, others throw a little bit of overseas flair into the mix. Mike's Deli attempts to do the latter, adding some Mediterranean and Lebanese in the menu along with a collage of New York deli classics.

Located just across from ECU in an old fixture all by its lonesome on 10th St, Mike's Deli is one of those places you might notice driving by but never really care to enter unless dragged in by some local amigos. The menu consists of a lot of deli favorites like the Reuben along with some interesting Mediterranean picks like falafel. Not really feeling in a ham sandwich sort of mood, I decided to take a boat overseas and try out the falafel sandwich along with some grape leaves.

I love falafel. It's the perfect vegetarian choice for anyone looking for a sandwich. I've had big, beautiful falafel sandwiches in the past, consisting of hot, delicious rounds of the fried chick pea/fava bean ball crammed into a pita with lettuce, tomato, and a huge glop of tahini sauce. Unfortunately, Mike's Deli didn't quite hit the mark. The tahini sauce was too thick, creating more of a paste rather than sauce. The falafel itself was not immensely flavorful, bordering on bland at times. The huge mound of chopped lettuce and cold pita didn't help either, making for an uninspired sandwich overall.

The grape leaves were only more disappointing. I'm willing to bet that they were store bought, unless they like to brine these missiles. Almost too salty to choke down, I barely worked my way through half the order. My partner in crime for the meal also fell prey to the salty monster in the back, giving up on his minestrone soup even after attempting to water it down. Overall, not the most pleasant experience in recent memory.

No Reservations, The Shakedown on Mike's Deli
Atmosphere: Casual diner fare.
Cost: Average, $5-8
Deli Rank: Meh.
Deli Rank Compared to others in Greenville: Still meh.

The Final Verdict

A lot of people swear by Mike's; considering the courteous owner who runs the front and the variety of deli choices, I can see why. The Mediterranean and Lebanese fare, however, won't be going anywhere near me in the future. Just forget about it! As far as the deli part of Mike's is concerned though, their selection of sandwiches is probably fitting enough for any stomach around lunch time. There's nothing that makes Mike shine like a New York deli; there's no special sauce, memorable sandwich, or sexy cut of meat that will make your mouth drool just thinking about it. If you want a stacked sandwich for an okay price though, Mike's is an alright (just barely alright) place to go in an area where options are a bit limited on the deli front.

Mike's Deli on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

i am not sure you have been fair in your comments , i have been there many times during my schooling at ecu , i really loved the place , friendly ,casual atmosphere . and i think they have a good variety of sandwiches ,loved the reuben , godfather ,steak and cheese, i even tried their med platter, i had a good time in greenville and have good memories going to the deli with my friends

Bach Pham said...

Thanks for you comments! I think for sandwiches, it is okay, as I wrote at the end of the piece, and I agree it is a nice place with really friendly people, but as far as food goes the review is what I personally experienced at Mike's the times I've visited. Greenville is a bit limited in deli's, so if anyone wants a reuben, Mike's probably is one of the better places to go, but as far as the food is in general, Mike's, for me, is not a place I frequent.

Post a Comment