Labor Day has come and gone, and it marks the unofficial transition from summer into fall. The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and restaurants are touting fall flavors like their apple pie this and pumpkin spice that. Falls Church diners, though, are fortunate to have a restaurant right in their back yard that keeps that summer spirit alive and well all year round.
Lazy Sundae has all the charms of a seasonal ice cream shop. From the handwritten and drawing-decorated ice cream menu to the dime-store candy jars, the colorful kid-sized table to the full-sized arcade games, there is hardly a place in this eatery one can rest the eyes that won’t elicit a smile. Cones, sundaes, milkshakes and more, all crafted with homemade ice cream, can satisfy any creamy dessert craving – but as Mom always said, first comes the meal. Enter Mike’s Deli.
Mike’s Deli is a more recent add-on to the long-running Lazy Sundae legacy, established only four years ago, and it calls upon another dining tradition with its own unique charms: the New York deli.
This full-service deli has all the sandwich classics: bacon-loaded BLTs, cheese- and veggie-smothered cheesesteaks, and of course, the almighty Reuben. Housed between two slices of rye bread is a sprinkling of sauerkraut for a nice crunch, a layer of melted Swiss cheese, a tangy drizzle of Russian dressing, and of course a heaping helping of grilled corned beef. The corned beef, made at the deli, is wonderfully tender and nicely salty. That in-house attention to detail carries over into the house-roasted turkey and homemade soups the deli serves up.
While about two dozen sandwich creations make up the menu, diners are invited to build their own bread-bound meal, and can’t go wrong with the long list of ingredients the deli has on hand. While the delicious deli meats are certainly a draw, even non meat-eaters can make a satisfying sandwich all the way down to vegan mayonnaise.
All sandwiches are served with potato chips and a pickle spear, but salty thin-cut French fries can be subbed in for chips for $1.50 more. Most house-made sandwich platters cost about $7. The same goes for their half-pound burgers. Even those with hearty appetites who wish to take full advantage of the build-your-own-sandwich option would be hard-pressed to make a sandwich that costs more than $10.
The costs dip even lower when considering the breakfast options (late risers and all-day egg cravers will be pleased to know that these breakfast dishes are served morning, noon, and night). A bagel smeared with cream cheese only costs $1.75. An egg and cheese sandwich only sets diners back $2.50. Even the Belly Buster, which combines all the favorite breakfast meats – ham, bacon, and sausage – with cheese and egg on a toasted sub roll, is only $6.
The prices alone aren’t so spectacular. Sandwiches have long been the go-to lunch of bargain-seekers. But when considering the quality ingredients that go into making the Mike’s Deli sandwiches – homemade meats, well-spiced pepperoni and salami, fresh vegetables – those prices become much more remarkable. And with prices so low, it’s hard to resist tacking on an extra chocolate cone for dessert and reliving the sun-soaked days of summer, even if the weather won’t cooperate.
Mike’s Deli at Lazy Sundae is located at 112 N. West St., Falls Church. For more information, call 703-532-5299 or visit mikesdeliatlazysundae.com. Restaurant hours are Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.