Sunday, July 22, 2007

3 Times Cafe - Deli and Teriyaki Grill

A new restaurant has moved into the tiny strip mall in Okemos (where Michelangelos was, across from Bennigans, next to the Mongolian BBQ).

3 Times Cafe is a nice mix that may have a chance in that difficult location: The Korean owners serve American style soups, salads, smoothies and deli sandwiches, as well as their own teriyaki platters - all with a simple, subtle and homemade richness. Of course, the teriyaki - grilled beef or chicken cooked in a homemade soy and sweet sauce - is what to go for. The portions are good and the price is about $6, and it comes with a salad. For about a dollar more you can get a version with vegetables.

The salad is fresh and with just the right amount of dressing. The teriyaki is more subtle than some, but you get bottles of teriyaki sauce and sriracha hot sauce to doctor it at will. It's served over the plain short grain Korean/Japanese style rice -- sticky and pearly, and noteworthy in itself. The beef comes with optional grilled onions and peppers (take them, they're good!) but we preferred the chicken, which didn't come with anything else, but was really good. Add a little hot sauce if you like Korean spicey chicken dishes.

We also sampled their chicken vegetable soup, an American style vegetable soup with Korean richness. It was also very hot (temperature, not spice) and we both burned our tongues because we couldn't stop eating it.

The smoothies are so rich, I have to assume they have fat in them. Of course, I tried the pina colada smoothie, and with the coconut milk in it, it certainly WAS fatty. IMHO, it could have used more pineapple. My friend had the mango, which she said was very rich and very good.

3 Times Cafe, 2090 Grand River Ave., Okemos, (517) 349-3122.

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