Where Has Nick’s Place Been Hiding All These Years? Answer: In a Midtown Loading Dock
There’s something about eating lunch in a building’s loading dock that is just so fun… so awesome… so… well, Midtown Lunch’ish. The most famous two examples of this are Pick-a-Pita (which was in a loading dock, before moving to 8th Ave. btw. 39+40th) and El Sabroso, which is still serving up delicious and cheap latin food out of a counter in a loading dock on 37th btw. 7+8th.
So, when Luncher Christina told me about Nick’s Place “tucked away in a freight entrance” on 39th btw. 7+8th, I naturally had to check it out.
I can’t believe out of all the times I’ve walked down 39th Street I’ve never noticed this place! It’s borderline embarrassing. Nick’s Place has actually been around *forever*, so I’m sure many of you have partaken in all the joys it has to offer. Unlike El Sabroso, it actually has a small seating area for at least 15 people. And most of the menu is made fresh to order in a small kitchen.
They have sandwiches (tuna, egg salad, famous (?) turkey, and chicken breast), salads, and specials for $9.25. Christina recommended the Greek salad, but I couldn’t resist their “Quesadilla Wrap” which the lady behind the counter said was their most popular item.
Kind of like a smallish burrito, without the beans, it was tasty enough- although it was a little too crunchy for me on the outside (they put it on the grill after if it’s all wrapped up). Probably better to think of it as a super fat version of a standard bar quesadilla, with grilled chicken and American cheese, than any sort of burrito- so if that sounds appealing, you’ll totally like this thing. But for the size, it’s a tad bit pricey for $9.25.
We also tried the tacos (two chicken, one steak for $7 or $7.50, I can’t remember) which were not really Tex-Mex, but instead lived somewhere between authentic Mexican tacos, and mom’s taco night. For example, the tacos come topped with shredded American cheese (no thanks), but were served on tasty corn tortillas (goooood). The chicken was simmered pulled chicken, and the steak was nicely cooked medium rare slices of skirt steak. I’m all for tacos topped with guacamole, and they were perfectly delicious if you like that kind of taco. But if you’re into the style of roasted meats you get from a taco shop like Las Poblanitas (on 38th btw. 8+9th), topped simply with onions and cilantro or pico de gallo, you might be disappointed with Nick’s Mexican/American hybrid.
All in all the lunch wasn’t really good enough (or cheap enough) to drag me away from Las Poblanitas, and if this place was in a regular brick and mortar store front I probably would just shrug it off as another boring and generic Midtown deli. But there’s something about Nick’s that is really inviting. Whether it’s the incredibly friendly staff, the fact that everything is made to order, or more likely the fact that it’s been serving up this food for years from a hidden, freight hallway location! In other words, I will definitely be back to try their burgers or the spinach pie… and next time will most definitely take Christina’s suggestion about the Greek Salad.
Have you been? What do you recommend?
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- I love eating in tiny, hidden Midtown gems!
- I like eating just regular deli style food, but prefer it to be from a small mom and pop place like this- than one of the generic Midtown chains
- I like my “Mexican” food to be light on flavor, and heavy on the American cheese!
- They give you guacamole on the tacos!
- Maybe the Mexican food isn’t what Zach was looking for, but some of their other stuff is delicious!
- $9.25 is a bit too much for a generic deli lunch special
- Their “Mexican” food isn’t really authentic… for that Las Poblanitas is much better
Nick’s Place, 550 7th Ave (although entrance is on 39th just West of 7th Avenue), 212-221-3294