Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Mike’s Famous Ham Place | Freshly Carved Ham | Detroit
Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom
Classic Detroit Ham House
Mike’s dozen-seat lunch counter feels like it’s from another era. A husband and wife team run it. They refill customers’ coffee cups every moment of rest. The streamlined menu lists four items. Everything except for the coffee (we assume) has freshly carved ham in it. Forget hamburgers and blue plate specials. Here you will eat ham: with bread, eggs, or in soup. Forget fancy, grainy mustard, too. In this place, the bright yellow kind rules.
In breakfast ham and eggs, the ham comes in thick slices that span a dinner plate. They cook eggs just the way you order them. Over-medium creates a grand combo of half-set yolks and salty ham. With a dash of Frank’s Red Hot sprinkled on top, you have an exemplary North American breakfast.
For lunch, have a ham sandwich. Divine pink meat fills a soft poppy-seeded roll. This glorious heap of ham on a roll can — and should — be had with cheese. The cheese is thin compared to the ham. It provides just a smidgen of relief from the salty attack of rump. A stack of pickle chips dresses it up.
Carved Here Since 1974
Any way you get ham, Mike carves it from fairly lean house ham with dark roasted skin and ruby flesh. It carries some spice notes, but nothing too distracting. It mostly tastes like sweet, salty pork. Mike has been serving his freshly carved ham here since 1974.
Do spoon into Mike’s split pea soup. It’s chowder-thick and rich with nuggets of ham. Even if you somehow avoid getting ham in your spoon, the flavor of resonates in every spoonful. You can count on Mike to overfill the bowl so that soup inevitably spills down the sides. Considering the portion size and the heartiness of the soup, you easily could make a meal of a single bowl.
Ham For a Party
Mike’s sells whole hams to take home. But you’ll need a bus load of friends to eat it with. Each ham is enormous.
No Credit Cards, No Nonsense
Like many Roadfood places in Detroit, Mike’s is cash-only with a no-nonsense attitude. When we told Mike that we were on our way to Toronto, he generously insisted we take extra food along. He warned us that all there is to eat in Canada is Wendy’s and Tim Horton’s.
Directions & Hours
- Monday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Thursday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Friday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Saturday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed
|Meals Served||Breakfast, Lunch|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|