Food Review: Nick’s Old Fashion Hamburger House

As promised, I’m delivering a long-awaited food review.  And of course it has to do with this blog’s namesake, cheeseburgers! Enjoy.

My dinner buddy Chris and I ate at Nick’s Old Fashion Hamburger House located in Welcome, NC back in July.  Being a floating teller with BB&T, I get to go to lots of new places and discover new restaurants.  When I worked at the BB&T office in Welcome, I recognized Nick’s as a place I’d seen on my Google Local.  I was anxious to try it because I read a few good reviews on the place.  Let me tell you, this place did not disappoint!

Usually I would blog about the decor, service and food but I feel like changing the food review format up a bit.  I’ll touch on all of these things but the entry won’t be broken down into categories.

Nick’s is a small restaurant located in a shopping center on Old Highway 52.  The restaurant does not offer a lot of seating, so Chris and I had to eat in the car because the place was packed when we got there around 7:00 pm.  The decor inside is simple.  There are old-timey photos on the wall of local people and places.  It makes the restaurant feel homey and comfortable.

The service is great, but a little slow.  The cashier took our order promptly and efficiently, but we did have to wait about 20 minutes for the food.  That wasn’t a problem for me because the restaurant was very busy and everything is cooked to order.  If you go around a busy time, expect to wait.  Otherwise, the place is very friendly and welcoming.

Now on to the best part: the food!

Chris and I both ordered cheeseburgers and we shared a basket of fries.  Our to go order was packaged very nicely in a cute little box.  I thought this was a nice touch.

Our nicely packaged to go order

Our nicely packaged to go order

Inside the box

Inside the box

Chris ordered a cheeseburger on a pretzel bun.

Pretzel Burger

Pretzel Burger

He said that this burger was juicy and that the toppings were fresh and crisp.  This is so important for a burger.  If you have wilted lettuce or mushy tomatoes, it really takes away from the taste.  This wasn’t the case at Nick’s.  The veggies tasted great and completed the burger.  Chris also commented that the pretzel bun was nice and soft and had a wonderful flavor.  He really enjoyed the burger overall.

I’m a plain Jane type of person and like my burgers with very little toppings.  I ordered a cheeseburger with pickles and mayo only.

Cheeseburger

Cheeseburger

Here you can see underneath the bun.  The cheese is all melted, which is awesome.  Also, the amount of pickles and mayo on the burger was very much to my liking.  I love pickles and I really love mayo, so I was happy to see that Nick’s didn’t skimp on these toppings.  The pickles were crisp and had a wonderful flavor.  The burger was cheesy and tasted delightful.  The bun had a nice toasted texture as well.

Underneath the bun

Underneath the bun

One thing Chris and I really liked about Nick’s is that they hand-form their patties and cook them on a hot flat top grill.  No two burgers look the same and they’re not perfectly formed either.  The burgers have an excellent fresh taste.  If you’re looking for a great handmade cheeseburger, head on over to Nick’s.

The fries were also very good.  They were nice and crispy and hot.  They were not over or under cooked, and they weren’t greasy.  Nick’s also serves sweet potato fries if you’re looking for an alternative option to the regular crinkle fry.

Overall Nick’s is a great local restaurant with some really tasty burgers.  They also serve ice cream and milkshakes, but I didn’t try any dessert offerings on this trip.  I recommend Nick’s to my fellow burger lovers.  This is seriously a great place to grab a burger and some fries and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.  If you’re in the Welcome/Lexington area, stop by Nick’s.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Nick’s Old Fashion Hamburger House is located at 6999 Old US Highway 52 in Welcome, NC.  For more information and to view their menu, please visit their website at http://www.nicksoldfashionhamburgers.com/.

Food Review: Village Tavern

This past Sunday, Chris and I went to Village Tavern in Winston-Salem, NC for Brunch.  Village Tavern is what I would consider to be a nicer restaurant, perhaps on the same scale as a Longhorn or Outback Steakhouse.  It is a bit pricey, but the food is worth it in my opinion.

A note about the format of my reviews: I find it easier to break my reviews down into a series of categories.  If there is a category you would like me to add, or one you feel is unnecessary, please let me know in the comments.  I also score/rate the categories and provide a final score at the bottom of the entry.

Decor (Interior/Exterior)

The decor of Village Tavern is interesting.  In my opinion, the inside doesn’t match the outside.  When you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by a hostess behind a large host station.  The vestibule isn’t roomy, which makes waiting uncomfortable.  There are a few chairs to sit in, but they are awkwardly placed.  This place gets crowded fast, so I definitely recommend going early so you don’t have to wait in the crowded front entrance, or outside on the sidewalk, which is barely wide enough to accommodate two people in passing.  The sidewalk issue is mostly due to large holly bushes which could be cut to allow more room for walking.

The decor scheme inside the restaurant is particularly strange.  The building reminds me of a ski chalet on the outside, and a “down home” restaurant on the inside.  There are paintings of fruit bowls and the curtains are checked, which adds to the country feel inside the restaurant.  The kitchen is visible from the dining room and is a beautiful, open space in which you can see the food being prepared.  This high-end look really doesn’t go well with the rest of the decor.  I would expect to see the high-end look throughout the restaurant instead of the unconventional mix of country kitchen and upper class winter home.

One thing I can say about the exterior is that it does have nice landscaping.  There are some beautiful plants that look like cabbages that I absolutely love.  I’m curious as to what these plants are.  If you know, please tell me!

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Rating: C

Service

On this visit to Village Tavern, I would rate the service as okay at best.  Although our waitress was friendly and got our order correct, she didn’t come by our table often.  She also came to the table quite some time after we had been seated.  We ordered our drinks and meals at the same time, but it took a long time for the drinks to arrive, and they were brought to us by another waitress.  I’m happy that I sipped my drink because refills were offered after we were more than halfway through eating.  The waitress could have been more attentive.

Rating: B-

Food

Chris is a huge Eggs Benedict buff, so every time we go to a restaurant that offers a Benedict dish, he has to try it out.  Village Tavern offers a few types of Eggs Benedict, so Chris is in his element.  On this visit, he ordered the Crab Cake Benedict.  The menu describes this dish as: Two toasted English muffin halves with our Maryland-style crab cakes, poached eggs and topped with Hollandaise sauce……$12.95. Benedicts are served with Tavern hash brown potatoes, fresh fruit and a fresh-baked apple walnut muffin with whipped honey butter.

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Chris commented that the crab cake element of this dish was good, but not exceptional.  The eggs were room temperature, leading him to believe that they were finished before the rest of the dish and were sitting out while the plate was assembled.  The temperature of the eggs distracted him from enjoying the meal.  He did really like the apple walnut muffin and thought it complemented the brunch nicely; however, the honey butter was missing.  The fruit was also fresh and tasty.  Chris also said he would have liked more Hollandaise sauce.

Last time we visited Village Tavern, Chris ordered the Steak Benedict (One 5 oz. filet served on a toasted English muffin half, topped with a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce…$13.95).  He said the steak was full of flavor, unlike the crab cakes on this dish.  He would recommend the Steak Benedict over the Crab Cake Benedict.

Rating: B-
(Chris would give the Steak Benedict an A)

Since I’m a cheeseburger lover (hence the name of the blog), I ordered the Cheeseburger (Mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, tomato, sliced pickles, diced onion and your choice of Cheddar, Mozzarella, Swiss or Pepper Jack….$9.50).  The menu states: We use fresh premium lean ground chuck in our Burgers, artisan sesame or whole wheat bun and your choice of classic French fries with sea salt, sweet potato fries, potato salad, pasta salad or coleslaw.

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I chose cheddar cheese and ordered my burger without onions and lettuce.  I picked the fries with sea salt as the side.  Overall, my burger was excellent.  The meat was juicy and cooked perfectly (well-done, without being burned).  There was a sufficient amount of cheese and the pickles were crunchy.  The mayonnaise and mustard were also applied in amounts intended to complement the burger.  I usually smother my cheeseburgers with mayo and mustard, but I didn’t need to ask for more condiments since what was already on the burger was perfect.  The fries were also very tasty.  They were fried to perfection and not covered in salt.  The only thing I didn’t enjoy about the burger was the tomato.  It was a little too soft for my taste.

Rating: A

I recommend trying Village Tavern if you’re looking for a Sunday Brunch with a lot of variety.  Our bill came to $26.47, which isn’t a bad price for the quality of the food.  Although, for $2.35 for a Coke, I do wish that I had more refills.

Overall Rating: B-

You can visit The Village Tavern’s website at http://www.villagetavern.com/