Friday, May 1, 2009

Big Nick's

Everyone's talking about burgers these days like they're a delicacy. But before there were Wagyu and "Black Label" burgers, before Old Homestead started selling burgers for $81 and people decided it made sense to stand in long lines at Shake Shack, there was Big Nick's on the Upper West Side.

From Sumo burgers to Grecian burgers, pizza burgers to Hawaiian burgers, Nick's got the beef. And they've been "serving Westsiders" since 1962. (Westsiders, writes Nick, are "compulsive noshers, weekend partyfolk, mellow-groovy happyfolk, dedicated loners, lovers after the afterglow.")

"Twice the size, not twice the price," the burgers are thick and juicy and, as New York put it, "The interior of Big Nick's resembles the inside of a 1960s RV: cramped, wood-paneled and smelling of grease. And the 28-page menu looks like what you'd find if you pulled that RV into a highway pit stop in Middle America."

A Middle-American pit stop seems like the right atmosphere in which to consume a burger anyway. As Big Nick's puts it on their website, "Old is the idea of burgers, we keep them in their proper perspective!"


EV Grieve said...

I have to be honest... As I read this, I was dreading getting to the part where you reported, "Sadly, Big Nick's is closing..."


Thanks for posting this...Reminds me that I haven't been there in ages. Need to appreciate these gems while we can.

Anonymous said...

Big Nicks is great. Their menu is awesome. A few things are hit or miss but the burgers are pretty spot on.

Open 24/7 so you can always count on em when you're hungry!


Anonymous said...

yeah, when this came up in my reader on vanishing new york I got freaked that they were closing!

Jeremiah Moss said...

no worries! generally, if something is vanishing, i will put a big, all caps "VANISHING" at the top. though i may not be as consistent with that as i should. sorry to freak you out.

Anonymous said...

The deep fryer as you enter is close enough to spit grease on your right hand and all the sodas taste strangely of cardboard. But I love it.

joy said...

Good grief. I, too, thought it was going away. I was worried, since I've gone years of riding by it on the busride home. And, I finally stopped in earlier this year.


Anonymous said...

Love Nick's! Quintessential New York!
Thank you for the story!

Anonymous said...

The best place for the munchies at 2 am - I've taken co-workers and clients there whenever I'm back home.
They always walk out stunned - I tell them its the recycled grease :)

The Cheese Eating Bird said...

We moved to Massachusetts from the UWS about 10 years ago but on my most recent visit I made sure to take my 8 year old son to Big Nick's. Glad now that I did.

UbuWeb said...

Every day, you break our hearts. :(