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Mike’s at the Crossroads

It’s hardly news to the carnivorous-set that Mike’s at the Crossroads is probably the best place to dive into a nice half-pounder in the North Bay. Count me among the converted, having recently refreshed my tastebuds with a classic Mike burger ($6.50). Maybe its the tomato relish, the soft buns, the pristine lettuce or the Harris Ranch chuck ground locally. Maybe it’s just the lowbrow, DGAF-vibe that sticks a spatula in the eye of Wine Country foodie pomposity. Whichever way you grill it, it works.

What’s got fans atwitter, however, are the fries. For years, Mike steadfastly refused to make ’em. He had eleven reasons, in fact, why there was no changing his mind.

With a recent change in ownership, however, fries have made a debut on the menu. Mind you, they’re only around on Fridays at this point, but you can now get them hot, greasy and delish. Me? I’m still a fan of the dijon potato salad, thank you. But don’t let me keep you from getting your knickers twisted about it, though.

Need more reasons to check out Mikes? If you’re still a virgin, start with the classic. No substitutions, no changes. Even though he’s no longer an owner, Mike’s rules live on (as does the Jets schwag): All burgers get cheese (in fact, they’ll charge you a nickel to take it off); all burgers are cooked medium rare (a warm pink center).

Looking for more excitement in your life? Check out the KRUSH burger with sauteed mushrooms, onions and garlic in a Zinfandel glaze; a Western hickory burger, blue cheese burger (the Nauvoo), Stinky Breath Burger (guaranteed to keep people outta your face all afternoon) and the newish chili burger. Your call. I like to keep things simple.

Whether Mike’s is the (self-proclaimed ) best burger west of the Pecos is still up for some debate. It’s a mean burger, for sure. With fries? Even meaner. But just how mean? Show up in a Patriots jersey and order a white zinfandel at the bar and you’ll find out.

Mike’s at the Crossroads, 7665 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati, (707) 665-9999

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