Everyone has told me about Niko’s for years and I just never did go. Even when restaurants have been around for a while, not everyone has the opportunity to try them for some reason or another.
Gathering a bunch of ladies together for a luncheon to catch up, a few suggested Niko’s. I like to try something new, and since I had never been there, I thought it would be fun to try it out. I am always so behind all my friends anyway – I just now upgraded my phone to a 4G - whatever that means.
Oh, some of my friends have their iPhones… but I think I am doing pretty good just to have a cell phone!
Finding Niko’s was easy. It is located on Cowart Street at 14th Street near the Choo-Choo. I met my friends for an early lunch about 11:30 and it was not too crowded at all. I found parking right out in front.
The two gals that are usually the “late ones” were already there waiting on me with their lemon water. We hugged and started gabbing right away as the server tried to catch us pausing so he could ask me what I would like to drink. I tried not to look annoyed, I know he was there to make our meal pleasant, but I also had to finish my sentence with my friends before I forgot what I was going to say.
I felt kind of sorry for our server having to put up with a bunch of gray-haired ladies who was catching up, (actually, some of them were blue-haired but I’d get in trouble if I named names). Our other friends arrived shortly and we all began catching up, it was good to be with old friends. Niko’s was the perfect spot! The tables were not crowded together so we were able to dish the dirt pretty well without having to keep our voices too low.
After what seemed 30 minutes of talking, the server came to ask if we were ready to order. I spouted off what I wanted as my gals just started grabbing their menus and scurrying to find what it was they would order. They were impressed that I already knew what I wanted – seeing how this was my first time at Niko’s.
I am a cheater. I went online to view the menu before I came. I asked for the roasted beet salad. I have never liked beets – but this whole writing about my dining experiences is about me trying new things. I remember the first time someone told me to try watermelon on my salad. I just couldn’t imagine the flavor – but it was one of the best things! So, I try to be open to what it is I order. The server fumbled a bit asking me where it was I saw the beet salad. It wasn’t on their menu.
My plan back-fired. I told him I saw it online and he informed me that their menu changes and unfortunately the online menu was not up to date. I told him that I would just have a house salad. At least he had the Chicken Piccata on the menu that I had planned to have.
Most of the ladies had been to Niko’s before so they had no trouble ordering either. One of them had the grouper sandwich for $8.50 – she said it was crispy and DELISH! And that the tomatoes even had that "acidic" ring to them of being VERY fresh. It looked good. The other ladies were being good to “just order salads”. That was probably good for them because they did the most talking.
The specialty salads were loaded and ranged from about $7 to $12. Just the house salad that I had was pretty loaded, with sugared pecans and gorgonzola cheese. The Chicken Piccata that I ordered came on top of a pureed polenta that looked a little like whipped potatoes. I had never had them like that, but they were good! I didn’t have a problem with the texture – which polenta was never a favorite because of the texture when it was sliced. It was a totally different experience to eat it this way. I think I preferred it to whipped potatoes, too.
My meal had bright green, fresh spinach on the side that was not overcooked. It was perfect. My favorite part was probably the capers on top of the chicken – they went perfect with all of the other flavors. My salad, my meal and a bottle of sparkling water came to $16.93, which I thought was a great price for all that – especially with how enjoyable the atmosphere was for me to enjoy my friends. I did not get a picture this time because I did not want my friends to know what I was doing – you know how old ladies can’t keep a secret.
I loved Niko’s and I was surprised that my meal was less than I thought it would be. I like the fact, too, that Niko’s offers fresh, local food. If you haven’t been to Niko’s even if it has been around forever – you need to go. It may be your new favorite old place!