Hannah: Sometimes the place you want to go isn’t open, so you have to go somewheres else.
Edward: Sometimes that place you go turns out to be pretty good.
That is SERENDIPITY.
Hannah: But when is the last time we went somewhere without researching and reading reviews and checking out the menu in advance, etc.? We should do this a little more often!
Edward: True! We actually went to a place without obsessively poring over the menu!
Hannah: That used to be how everyone did.
Edward: Living dangerously!
OK. Nick & Jimmy’s.
Edward: Apparently the guys behind Yanni’s.
They have a new New Mexican place, too.
Edward: We like Yanni’s right?
Hannah: Yes. Weirdly, I was just talking about Yanni’s TODAY and saying how I liked it!
Hannah: They just opened a place in that old Garduños up Montgomery.
(“Just” = sometime before today.)
Edward: Really? Maybe we should check that out sometime.
Hannah: But first, we will check out Nick & Jimmy’s again!
Hannah: The only thing wrong is the length of the name! (Too tiring to type.)
Edward: It should just be Nimmy’s.
Edward: Or NickJmsy
Edward: NJ’s Family FUN-itorium
Hannah: So, we went to Nimmy’s with no expectations. In fact, as we got to the door, you were all, ominously, “Last chance….”
Edward: Yeah, because of the sports banners outside the door — not a good sign. I thought maybe they had retooled into a sports bar.
Hannah: But no! Though, they did have MNF on in the bar, it’s completely separate from the dining room.
Edward: It’s also a little odd to me because they moved into what used to be the original restaurant — can’t remember the name of it — so it has that certain ill-fitting quality from the outside, you know what I mean?
Like when a Thai restaurant sets up inside an old Taco Bell?
Hannah: Yeah, but I think this place fit its insides.
Let’s get to the food!
Or, rather, start with the service!
Edward: I found the service extremely competent.
Hannah: I was a little impatient as the server read through the specials because she wasn’t telling me anything I couldn’t read for myself. I mean, she just basically read the descriptions.
Edward: Yeah, I thought maybe there were some happy hour specials and she was trying to run out the clock! It’s one thing when the specials aren’t printed on the menu, but when they are, we need only to have the list pointed out to us.
Hannah: However, that initial glitch I now put down to attempting to be thorough since she knew it was our first time in.
Edward: Right, that was her first question.
Hannah: And found the rest of her service was excellent.
Edward: It was good. Attentive, but not overbearing. Even when the restaurant started to fill up a bit.
Hannah: Right amount of checking on us, right amount of friendly without being overfamiliar.
Edward: The menu is interesting…it’s not Greek, and it’s not New Mexican, but it’s got a little of both, plus some Italian and American (Steakhouse). I guess “Mediterranean” leaning Greek.
Hannah: I also REALLY liked how she asked if we wanted to split the entree onto two separate plates (with own sides) or share with an empty plate, and then respected our request. That’s kind of rare.
Edward: Yeah, I like that they’re actually prepared for guests who want to share, instead of (like many restaurants) acting like the concept is completely alien and terrifying to them.
Hannah: I found the menu too large, but if they can execute all of it well, then I guess that’s fine.
Edward: I do find that kind of a red flag, though, when the menu is too long.
Hannah: Yes. However, I like how they put some Greek specialties on there, and suspect they are excellent (if the amuse of spanakopita and the soup were any indication). Also, they won some diners choice for their rellenos — which did look really really good.
Edward: That spanakopita was terrific! Flaky crust, not too much, and a very flavorful filling.
Hannah: Yes, the amuse bouche was a slice of spanakopita, and there was some breads w/herbed oil as well.
The breads, meh, yes, good, normal.
The spanakopita, delicious.
Edward: They were fine, I thought. The flatbread was good — a little spicy!
Hannah: Next the appetizer: fried
Hannah: Advertised with a horseradish cocktail sauce. A giant pile of squid comes, but no sauce to be seen….?
Edward: But then the waitress pointed out that it was UNDER the
Calamari Squid verdict: I like to order calamari squid in restaurants because I feel like it’s a good indication of understanding…understanding how that ingredient behaves, how frying affects it, and when it’s done properly, it’s absolutely the opposite of rubber bands.
This one = A-. I feel like it was too much breading and the
calamari squid was too small, but it was perfectly cooked and tender.
Hannah: Or, B+ because not enough sauce! Though she did offer to bring more and we declined.
Edward: But I agree with what I’m guessing is the reason the chef puts the sauce under the
calamari squid, which (I believe) is that you get what is deemed the right amount of sauce.
So you don’t just dunk the
calamari squid in a big tub of sauce and drown the flavor
Hannah: But we love horseradishy cocktail sauce!! I needed more sauce.
Edward: THIS IS TRUE
I WANTED TO DROWN THE FLAVOR
Hannah: IN THAT OTHER FLAVOR
Edward: And yet I’m grateful I was not permitted to!
Hannah: Also around that time: the soup.
Edward: With the entree (Surf & Turf, which was a 12 oz ribeye with a skewer of coconut shrimp, potatoes, and veggies) we chose the soup…
Hannah: Avgolemono, a traditional greek soup of chicken and rice, flavored with lemon and thickened with egg.
Edward: I hadn’t tried this kind of soup before so I was curious.
Hannah: I have, but have not cared for it. So I was not curious, and was surprised when you selected it rather than a salad, which was what I thought was happening.
But I tasted it when it came and
I thought it had a nice light texture, but was still very rich — I guess from the egg — and balanced out by the lemony tanginess.
Hannah: Yes, and not too much rice, and some pieces of chicken. A very simple and flavorful soup!
Edward: Rich but fresh!
Hannah: Creamy but not gummy!
As for the rest, we had requested to swap the mashed potatoes for some “Greek seasoned” roasted potatoes (which meant lemony, but I knew that) and they were delicious!
Of course, our plate actually came with mashed, but–
Edward: I guess Greek food is just really lemony, but I like it! I think it balances out the saltiness and richness.
Edward: So I don’t feel logy even when eating a big steak dinner.
Hannah: Oh, but what I was saying was that immediately our server brought the correct potatoes, on the house!
Edward: Ah yes. A service oversight, but one that was quickly remedied!
Oh — since we only ordered one entree this time out, I wanted to mention a couple of other dishes that looked good to mine eyes. I was intrigued by a special they had that was called something like “Steak & Suds” — a flatiron steak with veg and potato, with your choice of one of three beers!
Hannah: The aforementioned chiles rellenos looked good.
Edward: Yes, we’re going to get that next time I predict.
Hannah: The steak we had was correctly cooked and flavorful.
Edward: There was also an acorn squash that looked interesting — it comes stuffed with sole and flounder I think?
Hannah: Which is a challenge in this town for some reason.
Sorry, you’re still writing about the food we DIDN’T eat.
Edward: And another steak dish, but with green chile macaroni…
Hannah: I am writing about the food we did eat…hint hint!
Edward: OK BACK TO THE FOOD WE DONE ACTUALLY ET
Hannah: What did you think of the steak?
Edward: We asked for medium rare steak…
GOT MEDIUM RARE STEAK
Hannah: And what did you think of the coconut shrimp skewer?
Edward: Perfectly cooked
Hannah: SHRIMP PERFECTLY COOKED
Not enough gingery sauce. Dang it all, we likes sauce!
Edward: No, not enough sauce all around.
The veg was pretty good, too.
Everything was competently cooked. That sounds like faint praise, but it’s not easy to get a decently cooked steak (or shrimp, or
calamari squid) in this town.
Hannah: That sauce for the shrimp was delicious. The veg medley was great, not all watery, still retaining distinct flavors.
Edward: Wasn’t chewy, but wasn’t soggy.
Hannah: Oh, and the adult beverages! I had an “Irish Rose” which was Jameson and grenadine and lime w/a cherry. Lovely.
Edward: I had a “Vesper Martini,” which was Bombay gin, vodka, and Lillet.
Hannah: We eschewed dessert this time..but maybe next time!
Edward: Well, I think for a place we didn’t plan to go to, didn’t prepare for at all, and weren’t even sure if we actually wanted to go to, Nick & Jimmy’s was a very pleasant surprise.
Hannah: Agreed, I actually feel like we really ate pretty well. But then I started to doubt myself and that maybe we’re just staidly charmed by basic competence??
Edward: Forget it Hannah…it’s Burque Town.
Yes, we ate well, will return to Nimmy’s.
Edward: NICKAJIMBO FTW