Probably one of my first hot dogs and absolutely my first order of (real) cheddar fries were both enjoyed at Michael’s Red Hots (1879 2nd St., Highland Park). Before I even knew there was any other dog to compare it to other than those cooked at home, I was in love with Michael’s for three reasons. Hot dogs, video games and Mike’s Bites.
Yes, Michael’s has some of the best cheddar fries on the North Shore, BUT have you even tried the Mike’s Bites? I’m confident when I say that even many Michael’s regulars have no idea what they’re missing. Extra large Idaho potatoes sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices – let’s say similar to home fries. Then they’re fried until golden and crispy on the outside but still piping hot and soft inside. Some of the best “bites” are the extra crispy scraps that fall to the bottom – edible gold I say.
The taters are artfully layered with real Wisconsin cheddar sauce and Parmesan cheese in a standard paper hot dog container – just likes their fries you say?…You’re in for a treat unlike any other. The bites are piping hot as the cheddar slowly covers every starchy morsel. The mixture of creamy mild cheddar and the sharp kick of the Parmesan play off each other just right. Every chew is a little different. The potatoes are cut in all sorts of shapes making for so much crunchy surface area.
A generous dip of ketchup will provide a great contrast of tangy vinegar tomato to the rich and creamy cheese sauce. While hot dogs and burgers are undoubtedly the stars of the show at Michael’s in downtown HP, the Mike’s Bites are a close runner up to being front and center of the main stage of potato stardom.
Tell ’em Hungry Hungry Hinden sent ya.
I’m hungry. Let’s eat!