It's quaint, and if it wasn't for his newest restaurant in Myriad Gardens, you might've never heard of Nic's Grill on Penn & 12th. Everyday around 11am, a line starts to grow around the tiny building located just around the corner from the Plaza District. As patrons wait outside, they are greeted by a few friendly feral cats and the aroma of grilled onion burgers. The guests patiently wait in line for their admittance which welcomes 1 in per 1 out. Generally there is a newbie in line who is getting the instructions on how to order, accompanied by accolades of Nic's being the 'best burger in the state.'
I won't get into the debate about the best burger in the state. Between Meers, Patty Wagon, S&B, and Nics, I don't think I can decipher which one is king of that title. However, I can say that Nic's burger is a heavy-hitter in that debate with a burger that will stick to your ribs well into dinner time.
The venue is compact to say the least. Including the kitchen, the entire space doesn't exceed 500 square feet. While the burger is incredible, the endearing atmosphere is part of the experience, as is the two-man team behind the counter. As hungry customers walk-in, Justin 'Nic' Nicholas greets them with a smile and two questions, "Burger? Cheese and everything?" My recommendation is to keep it simple and say, 'Yes.' In a moments notice, you'll be handed a basket with a half pound onion burger covered in cheese, tomatoes, pickles, and a jalapeno. If you're not the burger type, they also run other daily specials you would expect from a fry-grill. In what must be only the skills of a savant, Nic keeps a running tally of what everyone in the establishment has ordered while constantly turning over patties and carrying on conversation with ease.
While it's not officially in the Plaza, Nic's Grill is an excellent burger joint and a neighbor we happily frequent. We're glad to have other small businesses in the neighborhood and confidently suggest you grab a burger at Nic's soon. Oh, and as a friendly reminder - take cash. Cheers, Nic!