UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
My brother and I ran into Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches by accident on Mother’s Day. We almost went to Bratwa but it was too fucking crowded (too full--my complaints against Bratwa are now that it is too expensive and the service is bad. The curried goat is still off the hook, just watch for bones), and were on our way to the Soul Spot but were on the wrong side of the street. We were just going to get a menu from Nicky’s, but it smelled good and was little and charming, and we ended up getting sandwiches instead. Again, my brother tipped me off to the chicken on rice instead of the sandwich as the way to go with the delivery. Yes, for me to take the chicken instead of pork means that it has to be good.

The thing to know about them is that they close early--9:00 pm. Sometimes they also run out of chicken. I don’t think this is bad thing. This speaks of fresh ingredients to me, that they buy regularly instead of stockpiling huge piles of meat.

I always get the same thing: grilled chicken on rice and a fresh lemonade with lime. Total today was $9.25. Delivery guy was at my house in 10 minutes.

They’ve just raised their prices a little (it was $8.25 last time I ordered a couple of weeks ago), but from what I’ve heard, rising gas and food prices are affecting everyone. They even included a menu with my order with the new prices of my food circled. It’s all good, Nicky. I still love you. The new menu also says they are no longer closed on Mondays. I’d call and check before you take the menu’s word for it.


He spilled a little lemonade--normally he doesn’t spill a drop, and they forgot the straw, but Nicky’s makes the best lemonade in the neighborhood. Really. When you’re in there, you watch them mix it up from their pitchers of fresh juices (gah, that sounds nasty, like it's made out of Nicky juice!) and water. Fantastic. Look at how refreshing that shit is. You can't tell, can you? Just the right amount of lime to make it complex, not too sweet to be cloying, not too intense so it’s actually a thirst-quenching beverage, with a little note of sourness. They don't put too much ice in it, either. It's all I can do to not chug it, but to sip instead along with my meal. No seeds, but some pips.

Chicken on deck! Make way for the bird!

The chicken on rice has all the right colors on it. This is what take-out should look like. You eat with your eyes first. Even your busted up hurt pirate eye that you can’t see out of so good right now (shut up, whining one-eyed diva, no one cares!). I love the pickled carrots, and usually ask for extra, but forgot today. Today I also forgot to ask for it “spicy,” which means three slices of jalapeno. (Oh, weak East Coast palates!) I’m not exactly sure what the sauce is, but it tastes of fish sauce and rice vinegar. Sometimes I dip, sometimes I pour it over everything. Whatever my fancy is. The rice is plain white, and there are cucumbers under the carrots. Earlier in the summer the tomatoes were better, tasted like they had either come out of someone’s garden or they were buying vine-ripened.

The chicken is moist, flavorful, tender, and delicious. Charbroiled, but I don’t think they marinate it. You really need the sauce to get the full flavor, but the chicken does impart something to the rice on its own--they baste it with some goodness. Yes, there are some “mystery bites” every once in a while in the chicken, and I don’t like kibbles and bits. But overall, fantastic. If I’m running on empty, this is exactly enough food to fill me up.

So even though it cost me a dollar more and the lemonade was spilled a little and I had to take the lid off the cup, it’s still my standby. Nicky, I love you. What did I ever do without you?

Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches
311 Atlantic Avenue
btwn Smith & Hoyt Streets

Brooklyn, NY
T: 718.855.8838

POSTSCRIPT. Sorry if all my photos are a bit out of focus. Remember, they just did this to me on Friday.

*Editor's Note: For a banh mi face-off between Nicky's and Hanco's in Boerum Hill read here. Also, please join us for UM's Banh Mi Crawl in Sunset Park, Brooklyn on Sat. 8/9. Details here.
Tags:

Comments

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published