FAIRHAVEN – Lobster that comes with a cup of chowder. Big Italian eats for short money. Some of the most affordable surf and turf around. When it comes to stretching your dining dollar, you’re going to like Mike’s. Located in Fairhaven, Mike’s Restaurant is a local institution that’s been serving top quality fare at low prices since the mid-seventies.

“We are a staple in Fairhaven. We’re very well known around, especially for our chowder, and lobster rolls, and prime rib,” explained owner Lyn Metivier. “We are considered by some an Italian restaurant, but we are very much an eclectic mix of an Americana style family restaurant.”

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Set in a roadside location, this casual nook is the perfect gathering spot for family and friends.

“When you walk in the door, Mike’s in an old building, so you’re going to see the barn board, and the dark walls, and the high booths. I guess you would just say it’s almost like a townie home restaurant,” Lyn said. “If you grew up in Fairhaven, you know Mike’s. You came here with your family.”

You can usually find Lyn running from the bar to the dining room, and back to the kitchen, to make sure everybody is happy. She goes so far as to show first time lobster eaters how to tackle any crustacean situation.

There’s nothing like a little turf to go with that surf. At Mike’s, they’ve got you covered whether you want something simple, like their tender marinated steak tips, or Mike’s famous Prime Rib. Available every night of the week, this cut of beef is great on its own, but even better as a sandwich, served open faced on a sub roll.

Open Face Prime Rib Sandwich at Mike's Restaurant (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Open Face Prime Rib Sandwich at Mike’s Restaurant (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“It’s just soaked in the bread, so people cut into that and it’s that juicy prime rib, with that salty Au Jus, and the bread on the bottom that gets a little soggy,” Lyn described. “It’s a favorite. ”

Pizzas start at around seven bucks, but for a little extra, you can feast on some of Mike’s specialty pies. The New England Clam Boil is loaded up with chopped clams, linguica, sausage and onions, and if you’re looking for the great taste of a burger in pizza form, order the Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza.

Cheeseburger Pizza at Mike's Restaurant (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Cheeseburger Pizza at Mike’s Restaurant (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“It literally has ketchup and mustard instead of sauce,” Lyn explained. “We put American cheese on the bottom, and then we add ground beef, then we top it with our mild cheddar pizza cheese, and then on top of that we add the pickles, onions, and bacon. People are very surprised at how much it tastes like a burger.”

While Mike’s doesn’t consider itself an Italian restaurant, they sure do know how to execute the classics, like fresh seafood tossed in a garlicky scampi sauce, and plate tipping portions of chicken parm served over pasta. For the completely indecisive, there’s the so-called Italian Pu Pu Platter.

Italian Pu Pu Platter at Mike's Restaurant (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Italian Pu Pu Platter at Mike’s Restaurant (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“Our Italian Pu-Pu platter consists of a full lasagna, four meatballs, two Italian sausages, cheese ravioli, and pasta with meat sauce, served with our garlic bread,” Lyn listed. “It’s overwhelming like a pu pu platter at a Chinese restaurant.”

Since they’re located just minutes from the shore, the seafood at Mike’s is always fresh, whether you’re ripping apart King Crab Legs, or dunking your bread into the Portuguese style broth that the littlenecks come in. But for seafood that’s truly a steal, order the lobster roll. The overloaded sandwich comes chock full of sweet meat and is always served with a side of creamy clam chowder, much to the delight of customers.

Lobster Roll at Mike's Restaurant (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Lobster Roll at Mike’s Restaurant (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

While the pace Lyn moves at may seem exhausting to some, she finds serving dinner to families at prices they can afford is the ultimate adrenaline rush.

“What’s better than that? Than feeding people and making them happy? As difficult as it is sometimes, and as exhausted as I am, and the long days, and the no holidays, and the weekends, this industry gets in you because of your customers and because of your staff. I absolutely love it.”

You can find Mike’s Restaurant at 390 Huttleston Avenue in Fairhaven, and online at mikesfairhaven.com.

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.


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