Mike’s at the Crossroads | Cotati

Sonoma's Most Famously Infamous Burger Joint

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 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.
If you’re still a Mike’s virgin, start with the classic. But leave your inner-Sally at home. On this menu, there are 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.
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


3 thoughts on “Mike’s at the Crossroads | Cotati

  1. I feel for the folks that don’t like Mikes. I never have had poor service there, or for that matter, a bad burger. I can live without the fries, but give me a Hot 98 or a Krush any day. I eat there at least three times a month, and have been doing so ever since Mike’s at the Yard closed. Laura, known as The Goddess of the Grill, had a way with ground beef. Diego, and the other cooks at The Crossroads do a fine job. I’m looking forward to being there this Saturday.

  2. Mike’s at the Crossroads just doesn’t have it any more. I gave the place another try after a bad night a few months back and if anything, found it’s gotten even worse. Inattentive service borders on the rude. The burgers still came nearly raw, red in the middle with the texture of uncooked fat. The salads still taste like they’re made from library paste. The crowd was smaller than last time, but if anything they are louder, in a full-of-themselves, “look at me, I’m cool” kind of way.
    No, thanks. It’s Burger City for me. Just ignore the Wal-Mart neighborhood, and enjoy their burgers.

  3. Posted By: Starla (01/10/2008 8:50:14 PM)
    Comment: Mike’s used to be the best!!! When Mike stopped flipping burgers, the food and the service went downhill. Now that he’s gone, I’m afraid it’s only gotten worse. I wonder if In n Out will let me trade in my Mike’s shirt for one of theirs.
    Posted By: J (28/08/2008 2:36:10 PM)
    Comment: Carmens.. great burger/buns,horrendously slow service. Redwood cafe in Cotati has a decent Burger,real cheese, crispy bacon, toasted buns.. mikes = fake cheese,lousy buns and crappy service
    Posted By: COLLEEN (27/08/2008 8:12:07 AM)
    Posted By: zolo (26/08/2008 2:46:30 PM)
    Comment: I revisited Mikes a couple months ago while i was trying out other burger establishments in our county. I cam back to see if it was still the best burger. I’m sad to say no, it isn’t anymore. Willowbrook Ale House in Petaluma has a great burger as does the Bear Republic (rocket burger). Burger City is good as always too! I got the classic mike burger & it seemed more tasteless than the last time i went. The table i sat at was sticky as well. I won’t be going back for a while or never.
    Posted By: microknot (25/08/2008 11:54:17 AM)
    Comment: Carmen’s burger bar between Dwntwn SR and Rincon Valley is pretty dang good, and they serve beer and I believe have a full bar. Also the pub in Windsor ( I forget the name…Pattersons?) has a pretty good burger. My wife had the southwest burger and it was HUGE and tasty.
    Posted By: Michelle (23/08/2008 11:20:08 PM)
    Comment: I knew that not serving FRIES with a BURGER was weird!! Just not right people, not right!
    Posted By: Its Real (22/08/2008 8:35:25 PM)
    Comment: Hey, the REAL reason why Mike’s didn’t serve fries (when it was actually run by Mike) was because HE SAVED MONEY ON HIS FIRE INSURANCE FROM NOT HAVING A DEEP FRYER. As for the report of ants on the counter in a prior comment: TRUE on a recent visit.
    Posted By: FunFoodie (22/08/2008 1:30:00 PM)
    Comment: I agree with Forward about the burgers at Burger City, they are great and generally pretty fast. They also have really good fries and onion rings. Thanks to all of those who responded regarding Healdsburger, I will have to give them a try soon. I am a burger junkie 🙂
    Posted By: Forward (22/08/2008 1:17:05 PM)
    Comment: Posted By: Disappointed (08/08/2008 3:33:45 AM) Comment: Sadly, Mike disappointed on a recent August evening. Yes, they tell us the burgers are always done to medium. This one seemed like it was barely warmed, not quite enough to dispel the fatty texture of uncooked ground beef; and the patty lacked enough flavor-imparting char. The lettuce had a bitter taste that didn’t complement the meat. But the worst failure was the service. Not until I noted several others being served, who had entered and been seated well after our party, did I ask the server if our orders had gone astray. She replied that “we just figured out” that they had a problem with getting the orders to the cooks and that several orders had been lost for a while. A good server would have realized that something had gone astray when her customers were being served out-of-sequence (heck…they’re BURGERS, and different ones don’t take different amounts of time to prepare), and should have come to those whose orders were delayed to tell us…but no, all she could say was, “It’s not my fault.” Mike’s legendary “no fries” policy has been breached a bit under the new ownership on Fridays. On other days the burgers include a choice of a macaroni or potato salad, or a bag of chips. I figured I could get chips anyplace, and so did my dining companion, so we got the salads, one of each. If the macaroni and potato salads we were served are typical, I’d say that fries should be served seven days a week; they were THAT tasteless. Maybe that’s so the burger tastes better in comparison? Burger City in Rohnert Park may not have the funky ambiance and the rough ‘n ready crowd that frequents Mike’s, but I’ve never had an order go astray there. The basic Mike’s Burger is bigger than the standard one at Burger City, but it’s more expensive, too. And I think Burger City’s tastes better. It seemed to me that Mike’s is riding along on its reputation. Oh, yes…we wanted to sit at the counter where we could watch the cooks. But there were ANTS crawling around on the counter. We gave up after smashing several dozen of them, and the server didn’t seem to care, just wiped them up, after which more of them crawled out from someplace under the napkin dispenser.
    Posted By: MsSteak (22/08/2008 9:32:01 AM)
    Comment: The very first time I ate at Mike’s I was disappointed to find they had no fries. I trudged on … reluctantly accepting the macaroni salad. I am sure I grunted and groaned thru the oredering process. I proceeded to dive into a GREAT burger! (garlic and blue i think. rare.) I positioned my slab of red directly over said salad. After I had polished the burger off, I ate the macaroni which was now covered in a myriad of drippings. YUM! Since that time I never complained about the lack of fries. Let’s think outside “THE BOX” here peeps … 8D
    Posted By: eat_gator (22/08/2008 8:41:33 AM)
    Comment: Michelle and Amber, Public Forum? or is it a place just to hear [read in this case] yourself. Blogging has become, “Road Rage” with a key board!
    Posted By: eat_gator (22/08/2008 8:41:23 AM)
    Comment: Michelle and Amber, Public Forum? or is it a place just to hear [read in this case] yourself. Blogging has become, “Road Rage” with a key board!
    Posted By: Michelle (21/08/2008 11:05:06 PM)
    Comment: I guess after MY OPINION of no fries on Mike’s menu, I should’ve added.. DGAF what anyone thinks, it’s MY OPINION!
    Posted By: Michelle (21/08/2008 11:02:14 PM)
    Comment: ahhhh…. cute; Amber the Mike’s employee..you go girl! Make sure you aren’t able to take any critism from anybody else though, otherwise you may be in trouble Good Lord girl get a grip it’s a PUBLIC forumn not high school..”like sooo lame, man” :o)
    Posted By: TubaBob (21/08/2008 4:32:44 PM)
    Comment: Mike’s is the best. I think. Now, I must go to Healdsburg and check out the Healdsburger. I couldn’t believe the slice of GOOD onion on my Mike’s burger. A little bigger around than the beef patty and SWEET! I can’t imagine fries being able to add anything to a Mike’s burger. I go there for the burger, not the fries or the macaroni salad or the potato salad. Too bad they didn’t keep Mike’s At The Yard open. Health inspectors. What do they know.
    Posted By: Amber (21/08/2008 4:04:15 PM)
    Comment: SO LAME!!!!! Mike’s is legendary for NOT having fries… I don’t like it much that a new owner comes in and decides to change what MADE Mike’s famous… and part of that is having NO FRIES!! I agree with all 11 of his reasons to not serve them, Grease Stinks!! Burgers are DELIGHTFUL.. with a nice side of scrumptious Dijon potato salad!!
    Posted By: Michelle (21/08/2008 11:39:08 AM)
    Comment: I am sooo glad you said Mike’s doesn’t have fries (except on frydays) cuz.. now I’m not going!! Sorry, but burgers and fries are like…Meat & Potatoes…DUHHH they go together – not potato salad..UGHH. Off topic, anyone else but me going to Stark’s for that Bourbon & Beef gig?? It’s put on by Traverso’s & the Stark’s.
    Posted By: jon (21/08/2008 11:29:28 AM)
    Comment: Mike’s is good. Have to get to Healdsburger and new Western Boot. A palce out in Bodega Bay – The Dog House -I think has good,big burgers and all the fries you want at no extra charge.
    Posted By: oh yea! (21/08/2008 10:33:19 AM)
    Comment: New owners at the Healsburger…just reopened a few weeks. Not frozen pattys like the reference Mark made to some review back in March. New owners now. Worth rechecking Bite Club.
    Posted By: Yummy burger (21/08/2008 10:28:08 AM)
    Comment: Well Mark, the reason it was empty..was because it becuz’ some homeless guy caught it on fire! They just reopened…it’s been packed every time I’ve been in there. Worth the drive to Healdsburg. Only problem…only open until like 7:00. Should stay open later on the weekends. Yumilicious…and ALWAYS have fresh homemade fries. not just on fryday.
    Posted By: KenR (21/08/2008 9:58:58 AM)
    Comment: Great burgers at Mikes, the quality is excellent… Until Mike’s is a national franchise if you’re in SF or SFO (airport) check out Burger Joint (burgerjointsf.com) too.
    Posted By: cowgirl (21/08/2008 8:49:02 AM)
    Comment: For those who find themselves in Healdsburg wishing they were in RP (closer to Mike’s) I urge you to give diVine a try. They are known for great pizza, but there’s also a variety of great burgers on the menu too & fries are not an issue. Prices are very reasonable and you can find your favorite brew on tap as well.
    Posted By: JT (21/08/2008 8:37:24 AM)
    Comment: Mikes is ok…But the Best Burger in SoCo is Sequoia Burger on Hwy 116 in Sebtown..hands down..and they have good cajun fries
    Posted By: Nauvoo (21/08/2008 6:49:09 AM)
    Comment: Wouldn’t it be lovely to have REAL Nauvoo Blue Cheese???
    Posted By: Mark (20/08/2008 9:37:39 PM)
    Comment: Hey FunFoodie here’s the link to the story about “Healdsburger” http://biteclub.pressdemocrat.com/default.asp?item=1864296 Every time I drive by that place is empty. Shoulda stayed an old school A&W lol. Anyway I’m SO glad Mike’s started serving fries! I used to hate it when people would act all snooty about how it was “good he didn’t”…Let the people choose! Matter of fact, if I was going to take out I would get a burger at Mikes and then go directly to Cotati Freeze for some fries. It was my guilty pleasure 😉
    Posted By: None Ya (20/08/2008 8:52:55 PM)
    Comment: Tracey – I remember Rocco’s! They had the best, greasy in-your-face burgers I’d ever had! Sure miss that little hole in the wall….
    Posted By: Perry (20/08/2008 5:09:00 PM)
    Comment: DGAF? _Ooh-la-la Heather..spank me and call me Sally! No fries with a burger was not a good business decision. The updated menu change is welcomed by yours truly.
    Posted By: notthepublisher (20/08/2008 1:01:24 PM)
    Comment: DGAF? Heather, behave yourself….
    Posted By: http:// (20/08/2008 12:51:37 PM)
    Comment: wikd_homecook, I went to school with Mike and at our reunion I heard that he will be travelling.
    Posted By: FunFoodie (20/08/2008 12:14:13 PM)
    Comment: Has anyone one else tried the Healdsburger in Healdsburger? The poor new owers had barely opened when they had a fire but I see they are up and running again. As a local, I wish them the best of luck! We need a casual burger place that is reasonable enough to take the whole family.
    Posted By: Tracey (20/08/2008 11:31:59 AM)
    Comment: If you’re gonna have fries have them everyday or not at all. I can’t imagine the line on fridays! Does anyone out there remember Rocco’s in Freestone? Now that was a burger second to none!!!
    Posted By: wikd_homecook (20/08/2008 10:55:54 AM)
    Comment: Mike’s has always been one of the best burger joints ever, better than Flippers without a doubt, Fri fries sounds great wouldn’t have cared if they never showed up there at all but since they got’em now, ok will check it out, my bigger question Heather is what the heck happened to Mike?
    Posted By: Yummy burger (20/08/2008 10:30:32 AM)
    Comment: Try the new Healdsburger in Healdsburg. By far…the best, hand made in front of you burger around. You won’t be disappointed!
    Posted By: eat_gator (20/08/2008 10:24:21 AM)
    Comment: yep, the burger is great . . yep, they have beer . . .and now fries, but another good thing about mikes is the girls that work there. OK I’M JONES EN now, I’m off to RP for a KRUSH and a moonlight!!!! damm it’s not friday
    Posted By: Renie (20/08/2008 10:01:40 AM)
    Comment: Heather, Dearest – What does “DGAF” mean? Thx! Renie
    Response: Roughly translated, it means that you don’t really need worry about what anyone else thinks about you. Let’s just say its my motto when people get all goobed out about my posts.
    Posted By: Kay (20/08/2008 9:57:33 AM)
    Comment: I’m a Flipper’s gal myself.
    Posted By: MsSteak (20/08/2008 9:29:01 AM)
    Comment: Friday AKA Fryday. I get it! Hargh Hargh Hargh Good burgers …
    Posted By: Jay (20/08/2008 9:25:52 AM)
    Comment: granted, the meat they use taste good.. But the cheese they use is NASTY ! Doesn’t matter what kind you pick, it’s all the lowest/cheapest grade you can get. C’mon new owners, buck up and give us real cheese. Same with their buns, blah… But hey, the meat is good.
    Posted By: Vince (20/08/2008 9:02:04 AM)
    Comment: Mike’s has the best burger in SoCo hands down. Plus, they serve BEER there. I like their salad with a vinaigrette, but I’ll definitely be checking out the fries. What I’d really like are some good onion rings though.

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