Possibly the most hipster, millennial, late-2000s, whatever spin on an old school diner—but the food is good, the service is good, and given the target audience, the prices are OK.
Unless you plan far ahead, Nickel & Diner is one of those brunch places that you really only have a chance to get into until after 1 or 2PM. Fortunately, unlike a lot of brunch hotspots, they do take reservations.
Brunch runs for a LONG time on weekends, so there’s really no rush to get here. And if you have three to four people (maybe even five to six) you should fit just fine in one of the big plush booths. If there’s just a pair of you, I’d suggest saddling up at the bar as that’s just my style in general.
The menu includes all of the basics with the usual twists you’d expect today (i.e. kale, a poached egg here and there, avocado available on the side of everything, etc.).
I ordered the kale cashew grain bowl (without the poached egg—I hate the texture and taste of poached eggs), which was fine for a Saturday afternoon well into the lunch hours of the day. Strangely, I found myself reaching for the salt, almost mimicking when Tom Colicchio scolds Top Chef contestants, “IT NEEDS SALT.”
Oh, and you’re probably wondering about the fries. Talk about burying the lede, right? We got an order of fries on the side (of course), and they definitely hit the spot. They were crispy but soft, warm, straight out of the fryer but didn’t taste oily. However, I had the strangest realization that they tasted like…curly fries, but they were straight shoestring-style fries! I asked my friends, and they kinda got it, kinda didn’t. But I swear the seasoning on the fries tasted just like the curly fries you’d get at an AMC movie theater. That’s not a complaint tho—I love curly fries, and I loved these fries. I’d get them again.
But BY FAR the best thing we ordered—and what will truly bring me back—were the lemon ricotta pancakes. They came with butter and syrup on the side, but I didn’t even need them. These pancakes were SO fluffy (but not the crazy Instagram-style fluff) with just the perfect hint of lemon. They’re so dangerously good that if you sold them in a package to-go I’d just snack on them all day. A+
Also I want to head back for whatever this cold brew milkshake business is about.