Nicks Deli – Service And A Smile

Monday, September 23, 2013 - by Willie Mae
Nick's Deli at 5149 Hixson Pike
Nick's Deli at 5149 Hixson Pike

While I was driving around in Hixson this weekend I saw Nick’s Deli on Hixson Pike and I noticed that parking was overflowing. I knew it must be a good place! It looked like it had once been a little shop or drug store and it still had one aisle of shelving where they displayed their chips that you can choose with your sandwich.

I went up to the counter and asked the boy how long they had been there and he said he thought about 10 years. I spied a man going back and forth through the kitchen opening and up behind the counter making sure everything was running smoothly. I assumed that was ‘Nick’.

I looked a menu over and decided on the Twisted Rueben for $6.39. I had never tasted pastrami before. I like salami but I didn’t like corned beef, so I wasn’t sure what pastrami would taste more like, but was willing to give it a try. The boy behind the counter said, “Chips and a drink?” in an assuming tone so I automatically said yes, but I really wanted the artichoke salad instead of chips. Then he asked me if I would want a pickle. I asked if the sandwich with chips came with a pickle and he said, “Yes, but we don’t want to waste it and some people never eat the pickle.”

Well I know that I have been one of those people if the pickle looked flat, so before I made that commitment I asked, “Are your pickles flimsy?” He assured me they were crunchy, so I said I would like a pickle.

I picked out my chips and chose ‘Stacy’s pita simply naked’ chips. I always go for the interesting names. I sat down at a table and shortly, the owner Nick hollered out my number for me to get my plate. The Rueben sandwich was hot with melted Swiss and sauerkraut on pumpernickel bread. I also had never tried pumpernickel bread. While I jotted down my notes, I was afraid that my sandwich would get cold or that the kraut would make the bread soggy, but the sandwich was hot enough to wait and the pumpernickel bread was the perfect bread to hold the kraut. My sandwich was wonderful!

I tasted a bit of the meat first, to see if I like pastrami. At first I thought it was too red for me, but I ate another bite and decided I liked it. The flavor of the mustard, kraut and Swiss blended so well on the pumpernickel. I don’t know what the ‘twist’ was but I sure liked it.

I noticed that Nick would bob back and forth from the kitchen to welcome everyone who came into the deli. He called them by name. I could tell he was from the New York area, but he didn’t smile much - his mind was busy.

With trying new flavors and liking them, I wondered if I was becoming a ‘foodie’ like my granddaughter, but I think to be a foodie you have to know the lingo and I don’t. I just say whatever pops out of my mouth.

There were all sorts of people coming in, golfers, teenage girls, businessmen, housewives and even people my age! It seemed that everybody loved Nick’s. I kept observing this special little place as I ate my sandwich. I am glad I chose the naked chips because it let the flavor of the sandwich be the star.

The counter also had a display case of Boars Head deli meats that I guess they sold aside from sandwiches. I was getting full on just one half of the sandwich and I thought about the boy not wanting people to waste food. I couldn’t take the rest with me because I had somewhere to be afterward. I did my best not to waste my sandwich and, when the boy walked by my table to bring someone something, I let him see me eating my pickle (which was not flimsy or flat, I liked the pickles).

I attempted a few bites of the other half of the sandwich, but I just couldn’t eat it all. When I put my napkin on my plate I looked to see if I needed to take my plate somewhere or if they took care of that. Just then Nick looked at me and asked, “Did ya handle that alright?” I told him I did my best and that it was very good. He let out the most dazzling smile with his perfect teeth! That made my day. He needs to smile more often, he has a pretty smile.

I asked what I needed to do with my plate and he said to leave it and they would take care of it. When I watched him running things the whole time, I could tell he was from the generation that took care of the customer. What a nice man.

It always pleases me to give out a Willie Mae “whee-e-e doggie!” Nick’s Deli sure deserves one! If you haven’t tried this place, you need to …and tell them Willie Mae sent you.

Hours:

Monday-Friday

10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Saturday

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

The Twisted Rueben
The Twisted Rueben

Wizard Needs Food Badly: Lunch On The Porch At Public House

It was a lovely, warm weekday and I was out and about downtown, dipping in and out of a few eclectic, local stores. Walking down Market Street, I noticed the porch at Public House, packed with people enjoying the sun and a late lunch. I decided to stop by. With a pale wooden floor and white napkins already set in place at the tables, the vibe inside the restaurant was classy. ... (click for more)

Taste Of Ooltewah And Harrison Rescheduled To May 15

Taste of Ooltewah and Harrison, originally scheduled for  May 1 , has been rescheduled for  Sunday, May 15,  due to heavy thunderstorms in the weather forecast.  All tickets for the  May 1st  date will be honored. If you cannot make it to the rescheduled date, please contact Miranda at  district9edfund@gmail.com . The second ... (click for more)

Armed Forces Parade Has Best Participation In Its 67-Year History

Bill Norton of the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council and chairman of the Armed Forces Day Parade on Thursday declared that General Robert B Neller, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, "..doesn't allow it to rain when he's having an event" ---and he was right. Under sunny skies, the parade was the largest in number of participating organizations in the 67-year history of the ... (click for more)

2 Men Arrested In April 24 Stabbing At Rossville Boulevard Bar

Two men have been arrested in a stabbing at a Rossville Boulevard bar on April 24. Both suspects in the case were identified and warrants were taken out for their arrest. Tyree Moore, 37, was arrested on  April 28 and Anthony Griggs, 35, was located in Catoosa County on Friday. Griggs was awaiting extradition to the Hamilton County Jail.   They were both ... (click for more)

The History Of Avondale Recreation Center

I grew up in Avondale from third grade until I was married and two children. East Chattanooga had a center since before I was born. The only time I was gone was when I, along with six buddies, joined the USMC.   The families in Avondale, a working class neighborhood, wanted a community center closer to home so the Avondale Civic League took on the task. They raised the money ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Bad Ideas Never Work

When the Chattanooga City Council gave Kevin Muhammad, who is purportedly the “leader” of the Nation of Islam’s “Chattanooga chapter” or whatever it is, “the right” to speak for 20 anguished minutes on Monday night, everybody who heard about it could have told our city leaders it was “stinkin’ thinkin’.” My goodness, did you think he was going to read a sweet passage from the ... (click for more)