Sunday, May 19, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
Mike Hay serves up a "Crusher" sandwich Thursday at Mike & Mimi's. The sandwich features chicken strips, fried mozzarella strips and french fries -- all in the sandwich.
July 24, 2012
MONMOUTH -- As compliments go regarding their new restaurant, Mike and Mimi Hay said the best are seeing familiar faces.
The couple opened the doors of Mike & Mimi's (sounds like Jimmy's) off Highway 99W on July 6.
"That was a Friday and by that next Monday we had repeat customers," Mimi said. "It's starting to seem like everyday, we're getting at least one person who's been here the day before ... and that's really promising."
The eatery serves Italian fare -- lasagna and pastas -- featuring homemade sauces, fresh-baked desserts and meatball and other hearty sandwiches.
Customers can dine in or get their meal to go; Mike said because the former Burrito Track property had a drive-through window and it's right off the highway, "it would have been dumb not to do it."
The couple is from Portland, where Mike has been a plumber for the past decade. He said as construction jobs dried up, the two sought other opportunities.
A family member from Monmouth alerted them to the old Burrito Track site going up for sale this spring "and we said, `why not?'" Mike said.
Both have worked in restaurants before, but this is their first time running their own.
Mimi handles most of the baking, which includes cheesecake and double-chocolate chip and marshmallow cookies. Sauces and meatballs are made daily from scratch. Mike said they're cooking in small batches to keep things fresh.
"Except for some of what we fry, we're trying to do a lot of this to order," Mike said.
One of the menu's signature items is the Crusher, a specimen on a fresh-baked hoagie roll featuring chicken strips, French fries and fried mozzarella sticks on garlic aioli.
The name was inspired by a 1960s-era professional wrestler named Krusher Kowalski; Mike is a wrestling fan, Mimi, "not so much."
"There's a football camp happening at (Western Oregon University) and after practice, the players have been coming in and throwing down on sandwiches," Mike said. "We're getting some old ladies eating them, too."
Mike and Mimi said the transition from big city to small town has been an adjustment, but a good one, especially with the reception they've received.
"Somebody had asked me for our meatball recipe -- I thought that was pretty cool," Mike said. He quickly added with a laugh, "I didn't give it to him."
Give it a Try
What: Mike & Mimi's.
Where: 189 Pacific Ave. S. (Highway 99W), Monmouth.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
For more information: 503-837-1986 or visit http://www.Facebook.com/MikeandMimis.