Can you name a few famous Micky’s? There have been many famous Micky’s that come to mind, including Micky Mouse from our childhood, Micky Mantle from the sports world, and Micky Rourke the actor, just to name a few. Oops, we forgot about Micky D’s! Well, did you know that Houston has our own famous Micky (and we are not referring to Micky Leland, which it goes without saying was a legend)? Give up? COME ON! Don’t let our approach throw you off; we have a food blog, so we have to be talking about Mikki's Soul Food Café. This place is THE REAL DEAL HOLYFIELD in the world of soul food. This family owned and operated business has been serving Houston for almost 12 years, and in their words is a place, "Where you can taste the love."
It was like walking into our grandmother's kitchen and requesting all our favorites and then some. Served cafeteria style, they have Oxtails (one of the most popular dishes on the menu), Baked Chicken, Beef Steak, Gumbo, Turkey Wings, Smothered Pork Chops, Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas, Candied Yams, and Cornbread Dressing (these are just a few of the options from the Entree selections and sides portion of the menu). Ready for a dessert meltdown?!?! Dessert meltdown in three…two…one…Italian Cream Cake, Banana Pudding, Sweet Potato Pie - enough we are starting to lose it! But wait there's more- Mikki's also offers daily specials and a Sunday Chicken and Waffle Brunch Special. We really wished we had come with a few more people, so we could have tried a few more dishes that night. Since that was not the case, we decided to have:
Oxtails - Out of this world! Besides the fact that they were very tender, I loved that they were seasoned to the bone. I also loved that the gravy was the ideal consistency for oxtails.
Candied Yams - I loved them. I like my yams a little on the over-cooked side, meaning mushier and less firm, so these were perfect. They were sweet, but not so much so that my teeth were aching from all the sugar.
Mac N Cheese - I was not blown away by their Mac N’ Cheese. They were just okay for me. After two or three bites I was done eating them. This dish was a little dry and bland for me.
Smothered Pork Chops - Let's put the pork chop aside for a moment and focus on the gravy. Oh my goodness, what sinful pleasure! The gravy used in this recipe really made the dish. Growing up, gravy was used in almost every chicken, pork chop, or beef dish and it was amazingly simple: meat droppings, onion, bell pepper, flour, and water. Based on the taste, Mikki's took a similar approach. The pork chops themselves were a bit on the dry side, but they were still good and had great flavor.
Candied Yams - I think Swanky Girl summed it up with her review; they were cooked perfectly. These reminded me of home so much that I enjoyed them (from home) the very next day; they give you a ton of food for the price. I like a mix of partially whole yams and the more "mushed" yams. The brown sugar created the perfect caramelized yumminess.
Cabbage - I am a huge fan of cabbage and in order for cabbage to be great, it has to be cooked with some type of pork. Bacon will do, but if you really want to take it to the next level, throw in a few smoked ham hocks. The cabbage had the salty (yet sweet) flavor that I enjoy but they were a bit on the soft side. I prefer my cabbage to be a bit more firm. This could have been due to the cafeteria style setup as they are very easy to overcook.
In honor of our new LOVE for Mikki's Café, we would like to present an "Ode to Mikki's Café". Oh hell - in regular folk’s terms, let's just call it a remix of the 80’s classic Oh Mickey by Toni Basil (Urban Swank style of course):
Oh Mikki, you're so fine,
You're so fine, at your place we dine, Hey Mikki! Hey Mikki!!...
Oh, Mikki what a pity you don't understand
We’d eat there every day, if the scale would be our fan
Oh, Mickki the foods so pretty, can't you understand
It's guys like you Mikki,
Oh, what'cha do Mikki, do Mikki,
Please give us more Mikki
We know its no "Ode to a Nightingale", but we are not John Keats either. In all seriousness, we really loved it and think you will too! Should we eat it every day? - no! The same goes for French, Italian, Mexican, and most of our other favorites. It all goes back to balance and moderation...DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!
Many of you ask us for soul food recommendations all the time and we say come to our homes. Since that is not the best option; we will start giving you regular soul food, and okay, southern food recommendations from all over Texas and the rest of the nation. Mikki's Cafe is located at 10500 West Bellfort Street, Houston, TX 77031. They are open Monday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m and Sunday 11 a.m - 7:30 p.m.
~ Urban Swank