Seminole Heights is the new hipster capitol of Tampa. Every other week a new craft brewery or farm fresh organic restaurant pops up somewhere around the area. And nothing says farm-to-table better than fried food from Nick’s Gyros and Subs.
Nick’s Gyros on Hillsborough and 34th, notable for its triangular, house-like building, serves up a wide range of delights til the wee hours every night. In spite of their labeling as a Greek restaurant, with menu items like a pound of chicken gizzards to a shrimp basket to a children’s meal consisting of french fries and mozzarella sticks, they really do it all.
My most recent sampling of their cuisine (yes, I’ve been more than once) consisted of a gyro and fries, some of their hush puppies, and an order of wings. The gyro had everything in the right place and was filling; the meat was maybe a bit dry, but everything was generally on par. Their fries are the true standout of their offerings – crisp, soft, and greasy all at once, they toss a tiny school-lunch paper basket in a small bag and then cram that sack full of ‘em. These fries taste like your best memories of a roller rink concession stand. Their hush puppies, on the other hand, leave quite a bit to be desired.
The wings are their defining item in my eyes – just “good enough”. Yes, they are fried chicken wings, coated in a spicy buffalo-style sauce. They are served steaming hot, crisp, wing tips intact, big, and plentiful for what you pay (20 and some fries for 13 bucks). They are by no means exceptional, though, and the sauce is just passable. Better than the worst, but not the majority.
Alright, so maybe Nick’s isn’t a new, sexy offering to the area. And maybe their restaurant, boasting “full line seafood”, isn’t exactly farm-to-table. Or fresh. Or even very good. But that isn’t going to stop me from eventually going back for another heaping helping of fried garbage. I can’t help it; I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff. It’s cheap, open late, and the food from Nick’s is like food from a crappy corner bodego in New York – just barely good enough, and too convenient to resist.