Parking in free lot across the street after 5:30. Accepts BankAmericard and American Express. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Michel's suggests that families with small children come before 8 p.m., especially on weekends. It is less crowded then. Wheelchairs easily accommodated.
Michel's, with its stucco and wood beam facade and dark wood paneled interior walls, starched white nappery and menu in French, does not look like the kind of place to take children for Wednesday evening meal. But there on the back page of the menu was a category called "Pour Les Enfants" where, for $2.75 per selection, children under 12 could choose le coq au vin, le boeuf bourguignon or the more mundane chopped steak.
We started with half a bottle of chablis at $2.75 while we read the menu. There was a dinner special of turbot waleska, soup or juice, vegetable, salad, creme de menthe parfait, coffee or tea, for $5.50. The special is different every night.
The other entrees, priced between $4.75 and $7.25, came with salad and vegetable. There were many selections in the fish, veal and chicken categories and a few steaks. Most were around $5.25.
Before we ordered, the waitress came by with hot French bread and several slices of garlic bread.
Michel's has two kinds of onion soup - a plain cup for 75 cents or baked onion soup for $1.75. My husband ordered the baked soup, which came in a large bread and a delicious filled-with-onions broth. It was a large serving and everyone got to taste it.
The salads were disappointing - large, but consisting of iceberg lettuce with house dressing that was not very interesting. My husband ordered rib eye steak Helder, ($5.25) which was a medium-sized steak topped with bernaise sauce and a dollop of ratatouile. The ratatouile was so good I was sorry I didn't order a side dish of it, at only 50 cents. I had baked stuffed red snapper, $5.25, which came with cole siaw, baked potato and broccoli - more than one really wants to eat.
The children's portions were quite large. Our daughter could not finish the spaghetti. The chopped steak was a healthy size, well-prepared and came with a light mushroom sauce that was delicious.
Only the children were tempted by dessert. These were priced between 75 cents and $1.25 so we didn't feel we had to monitor their choices too closely. For 85 cents, our son had a hot butterscotch sundae that was one small scoop of ice cream - a perfect size after a big dinner. Our daughter, though, ordered the winner of the evening. May is the time for strawberry shortcake and the one at Michel's, priced at 95 cents, was a wonderful concoction of light cake, ice cream, whipped cream and tons of berries. It wasn't big, but it was perfect.
The bill, including the wine, a cup of coffee and tax, came to $23.04. The service was pleasant and efficient and unrushed.