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Restaurants & Bars

Nick's in Pacifica---report

Anne | Nov 26, 200701:02 PM     2

I recently hijacked this thread: [BROKEN LINK REMOVED] and promised to report back about our experience(s) at Nick's. DH and I were staying at the nearby Holiday Inn Express, as were his senior parents (non-'hounds), over the long Thanksgiving weekend. We wanted someplace where we could all find a satisfying meal. Well, Nick's proved to be a winner. We actually ended up having THREE meals there---2 dinners and a lunch.
Our first dinner there was Wednesday night. We had a terrific waiter (I'm guessing he'd been employed there for some time)---service was friendly but very professional. MIL and my husband both chose one of the night's specials: sole stuffed with crab & shrimp with a wine sauce. MIL thought it had too much garlic (remember, NOT a 'hound!), but DH thought it was great. I had a taste and thought it was very good. Cooked perfectly, with a nice balance of flavors. FIL had the spaghetti with meat sauce. He said it was OK, but that could mean anything. Sorry I can't report further on that. I had a cup of their clam chowder and the "famous" crab sandwich. My meal was DELICIOUS! The clam chowder was very flavorful---spiced more like Manhattan style, yet creamy New-England style. What I liked best was that is wasn't TOO creamy---I dislike soups that taste of cream and little else. This had a nice balance of flavors.
The crab sandwich is wonderful. Very simple---LOTS of crab mixed with a bit of mayonaise, heaped on thick slices of grilled bread. There were a couple of slices of tomato on the sandwich, too, but they were flavorless and I took them off. Don't know if the sandwich would have been better if the tomatoes were in season. I loved the sandwich, but could only eat half of it---it's pretty big.
Of course, there was the garlic bread. The garlic bread! If I had to choose just one food I would have to eat for the rest of my life, it just might be Nick's garlic bread! EVERYONE at our table enjoyed it---and we easily polished off a second (generous) basket of it.
Two days later we returned for lunch. DH and I split a crab sandwich and a bowl of the chowder. Perfectly filling for the two of us (well, of course we had some more garlic bread, too!). FIL got the cheeseburger. It looked big & juicy and was again called "OK"----whatever that means (*sigh*). MIL had the BLT and remarked on how flavorful the bacon was, and that it was perfectly cooked. We had good service at our lunch, but not as enjoyable as the service we had had two days earlier.
Saturday night we had dinner there again. FIL had a bowl of clam chowder and the garden salad with shrimp. He said it was "OK".
MIL had a cup of the chowder and a spinach salad. That looked fresh with chopped bacon and hard-boiled eggs. She seemed to enjoy it, but it was too large for her to finish.
I got a cup of the clam chowder and an appetizer---the crab cakes. The crab cakes were VERY good. Lots of crab, nicely seasoned, and lightly fried. The sauce that came on the side was creamy, but not especially flavorful. But the crab cakes were delicious without it. The plate came with a large lettuce leaf and a thick slice of tasty, RIPE tomato. The tomato really went well with the crab!
DH ordered the pasta dish with the shellfish in marinara. Sorry I don't remember what they called it on the menu, but it was offered with either a wine sauce or the marinara. It was a huge plate of fettucini covered in mussels, cracked crab, and shrimp in a well-spiced red sauce. DH LOVED it. The fish was perfectly cooked, as was the pasta, and the sauce was great with it.
Service this night was efficient, but not as entertaining as our first night.
Of course, we ate another TWO baskets of the garlic bread. Did I mention it was GREAT garlic bread?
The view is lovely. The decor is (VERY) dated, and the food certainly is not cutting-edge. But everything we had was fresh, flavorful, and perfectly cooked. Prices were reasonable---neither too high nor too low for what you got, in my opinion. We will definately return next year.

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