Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mimi's Cafe (North Lake)

After a morning of Christmas shopping at Northlake Mall (why do they call it Northlake when it's actually SOUTH of the lake??), my wife and I decided to give Mimi's Cafe a try. Neither of us had been there before, but we'd heard good things. So we hopped in the car, drove across the street, and made our way inside.

Mimi's is new, and it shows. There really isn't much wear and tear to be seen. The carpet is still new, the tables aren't scarred, and the booth seats aren't cracked (one of my pet peeves). We were quickly taken to a booth in a back room. The room had some French flair, and the ceiling was designed to look like brick. So, I'm guessing that the room was supposed to be in a quasi New Orleans style -- but don't quote me on that.

The menu was huge. So many items to try to understand, it was a little overwhelming. After a long time thinking about it, I decided to go with a Chicken Parmesan Ciabatta and a cup of French Onion Soup. While my wife decided on a Sweet and Sour Chicken Wrap and a cup of Chicken Gumbo.

Up to this point our server was awesome. She was friendly, helpful, and seemed like a top notch waitress -- until she forgot my soup. After my wife's gumbo was dropped off, she disappeared before I could even ask about my soup. About 4 minutes later, she apologized and said that she'd get my soup. About 5 minutes later, after my wife's gumbo was long gone, my soup arrived.

The French Onion soup was good, but not great. Melted cheese on top with a slice of soggy baguette under the cheese -- that's delicious! But in all honestly, it was just like every other good French Onion soup that most restaurants serve.

About 10 minutes after I finished my soup, our entrees arrived. Now it's about 45 minutes into our meal, and we just received our entrees. Needless to say, I was getting a little cranky.

My sandwich was quite good. The chicken was nice and crispy on the outside but the tomato sauce that topped it was lacking flavor. The ciabatta bread was good, and the fries were top-notch.

However, it's my wife's selection which gave us pause. The Sweet and Sour Chicken Wrap is a new menu item and described as "Roasted chicken cooked in ginger sweet and sour sauce, shredded cabbage, carrots, jasmine rice, green onions and won ton crisps with baby spring greens tossed in balsamic dressing." Sounds good right?

Here's the thing, it tasted like .... wait for it....... FISH!

FISH?? Yeah, really fishy fish.

They must have put in too much fish sauce, or cooked the chicken on the same grill that cooks fish, because the fish smell and flavor were overpowering. Needless to say, my wife didn't finish her wrap. But she ate half of my sandwich instead. (I think she stole some fries too!)

Long after we were done eating our waitress appeared and took our plates. Fortunately, she asked about my wife's uneaten wrap, and once she heard our response, she summoned the manager. He apologized for the fishy wrap, and handed us a total of two coupons. One for a free appetizer, and one for a free dessert. And though nobody told us about it, the wrap was removed from the final bill (as it should have been.)

Here's the thing that really annoys me about this meal it was VERY inconsistent. The service was sometimes good, and sometimes bad. The food ranged from horrible (the afore mentioned wrap) to really good (the chicken gumbo). I'm really having a hard time trying to score this one.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 3/5
Service: 2/5
Total: 8/15

Price: $$ (even minus the one entree, this lunch was easily over $10 per person)
Kid Friendly: Yes, kids menus and high chairs abound.

Conclusion: Inconsistent food and service made this a mixed bag. Even with coupons for free items, I don't see a reason to return. I'll just stay across the street and eat at Firebirds.

Restaurant Info:
Mimi's Cafe
10224 Perimeter Parkway
Charlotte, NC


  1. I've been to Mimi's twice...both times the food was just average and the service stunk. I won't go back.

  2. Went once for breakfast and won't return. The portions were huge, but the food was average and service stunk.

  3. Totally agree. We've been twice as it is close to us, but the food is bland (at best) and the service has been poor. Not going back, even with coupons. I've been to other Mimi's and they were good, in food and service, so it must have something to do with this one.