Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill on Pan American Frontage Road

Legendary American chef, author and television personality Julia Child was often exasperated with what she perceived as American’s propensity for culinary laziness, once commenting that “the trend in the U.S.A. was toward speed and the elimination of work.” “Americans,” she noted, equated as “gourmet” such “horrible glop” as “TV dinners, frozen vegetables, canned mushrooms, fish sticks, Jell-O salads, marshmallows and spray-can whipped cream.

One of several capacious dining rooms. Several Christmas parties were going on in other dining rooms.

Julia Child obviously didn’t know Dave Hurayt, a good friend and fellow gastronome who’s shared some wonderful recipes with me. While Dave may not have spent two years and nearly 300 pounds of flour attempting to bake the perfect loaf of French bread as Julia Child once did, he experiments painstakingly with the recipes he creates, laboring assiduously until those recipes achieve his high standards of perfection. Perfection can sometimes be painful as he found out while experimenting with a recipe utilizing burnt bourbon. Much like a mad scientist adding a catalytic chemical to a burning beaker, the results were dramatic. He blew the glass right out of his new KitchenAid oven.

Another view of the dining room

When a true kitchen warrior and gourmet such as Dave eschews his culinary domain and eats at one restaurant for seven out of nine consecutive weeks, that restaurant has got to be special. A restaurant capable of besotting his sophisticated palate has got to offer extraordinary quality and quality. Like me, Dave is not a monogamous gastronome when it comes to restaurants. When he does go out to eat, he typically will visit a variety of restaurants, not a select few like the truly culinarily lazy Americans to which Julia Child referred.

Complimentary Bread

The restaurant which captured Dave’s heart and taste buds is Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill on restaurant row off the Pan American Highway on the west side of I-25. Nick & Jimmy’s has been wowing dining patrons since it launched in September, 2009. One of the high wow factors is the restaurant’s redesign which might more appropriately be called a metamorphosis because Nick & Jimmy’s occupies what was once Johnny Carino’s, a middling quality Italian chain.

Pan Seared Scallops

The estimate as to what the transmogrification cost ranges from one-million to two-million dollars, either amount impressive. The restaurant is an oasis of elegance in a restaurant row landscape dominated by chains. The walls are festooned in muted earth tone colors that seem to beckon hungry diners. Overhead, large wooden beams painted brown seem to signify strength and solidity. As you walk in, you have the option of dining in a sprawling dining room in which tables are in fairly close proximity to one another or in a more casual room in which a well-provisioned bar holds prominence. The two rooms are separated by smoked glass accented half walls.

A semi-exhibition kitchen is partially obfuscated from diners by the smoked glass accents. It’s a nice touch that gives you a hint of the bustling activity at a busy kitchen without being too distracting. As luxurious as the setting is, not all the improvements are readily apparent. One thing diners can’t see, but which is most definitely a hallmark of the restaurant is the 1400-degree broiler reputed to sear in all the juices and flavor.

Dolmades Avgolomono

The menu is inventive and eclectic, offering a smattering of steak and seafood entrees as well as Greek, Italian and American inspired cuisine. You’ll also see more than just a perfunctory tribute to the Land of Enchantment’s red and green chile, starting with posole which is often the “soup” of the day. Almost all the entrees on the lunch menu are also available for dinner. It’s a very diverse menu which includes steak, chops and chicken entrees the likes of which every great steakhouse offers, but few prepare exceptionally well.

Most entrees are served with your choice of soup or salad, seasonal vegetables and one of the following: oven-roasted potatoes, rice pilaf, old-fashioned mashed potatoes or au gratin potatoes. Unlike some of their peers in the upscale casual market, Nick & Jimmy’s have a price point to which more patrons will relate and no a la carte offerings. Portions are generous so you shouldn’t walk out hungry.

Super Server Rachael Prepares Flaming Saganaki

As you peruse the menu, a basket of bread will be brought to your table and your attendant will prepare a dish of olive oil and seasonings in which to immerse the bread (which just happens to be some of the very best bread in town). The bread is courtesy of Fano’s Bakery, a local institution. It encapsulates all that is wonderful about the staff of life–a hard-crust surrounding a soft, yeasty bread. Also served in the bread basket are small wedges of the restaurant’s pizza bread which are infiltrated with Parmesan cheese and chili flakes.

More than half of Nick & Jimmy’s appetizer options are succulent selections from the sea: shrimp cocktail, crab cake, Parmesan prawns, baked crab and artichoke heart dip, sesame seared Ahi tuna, fried calamari, shrimp scampi and pan-seared scallops (raved about by Dave). The sole landlubbers are hummus served with toasted pita wedges, jumbo steamed artichoke, chicken quesadilla, dolmades avgolemono and Saganaki, flaming Kasseri cheese, also served with toasted pita wedges.

Seafood Soup

17 December 2021: The Saganaki is almost as much fun to see prepared tableside as it is to eat it. Alit courtesy of a common lighter, the flames ascend toward the heavens, leaving blue and orange plume trails in their aromatic wake. Your well-trained attendant (ask for Rachael) turns the cheese over with but a steak knife, manipulating the flames so they lick the cheese, imparting high heat through and through and with an evenness that ensures every bit of the cheese is flame-kissed.  When the flames are extinguished, your server will squeeze a half-lime onto the cheese, lending a tartness that blends beautifully with the cheese’s sharpness.

In Greece, Kasseri cheese is made from sheep’s milk while its American counterpart is made with cow’s milk. Nick & Jimmy’s Kasseri is made from an amalgam of goat milk and cow’s milk. Its flavor is of medium sharpness with a salty prominence. It’s not meant to be spread on the pita wedges so much as it’s intended to be placed atop the pita, akin to a crown of cheesy deliciousness.  Despite having been set alight, it’s not especially scalding upon your tongue.

Calmari (Photo Courtesy of Sarita)

30 October 2010: Dolmades (grape leaves rolled around rice, ground beef and herbs) Avgolomono (an egg and lemon sauce) is another great Greek starter. If you’ve ever lamented the fact that most dolmades in the Duke City come from a can, you’ll appreciate these housemade gems which, also unlike at most other Albuquerque restaurants, are served warm. The herbaceous aroma and flavor of the ground beef and rice combination coupled with the tangy richness of the Avgolomono sauce make these (five to an order) stubby cigar-shaped beauties some of the very best in the city.  Nick & Jimmy’s also offers a vegetarian version of dolmades which are reputedly just as good as the one carnivores crave.

16 May 2015: Finding scallops on an appetizer menu is as rare as a “good hair day” for Kelly Osbourne. In fact, Nick and Jimmy’s might be the only restaurant in the metropolitan area to do so. Best of all, an order of pan-seared scallops won’t break the bank…and we’re not talking the smallish bay scallops here. This appetizer features three large scallops served over a single grilled tomato and topped with bay shrimp in a lemon-caper butter sauce. Usually “fruity” sauces, especially tart-tangy sauces detract from the natural sweet brininess of scallops, but not so at Nick and Jimmy’s where the lemon-caper butter sauce is so rich, so delicious and so complementary of the scallops that you’ll sop up any remaining sauce with bread.

Spicy Beef Short Ribs with Roasted Potatoes and a Vegetable Medley
Spicy Beef Short Ribs with Roasted Potatoes and a Vegetable Medley

The soup of the day rotates frequently and as noted previously, is served complementary with many of the restaurant’s entrees. Separately, soup is available for five dollars a bowl. Alternatively, the menu offers five salads: Caprese Salad, Iceberg Wedge, Dinner Salad, Greek Salad and a Caesar Salad with your choice of dressing: Bleu cheese, Ranch, Greek, Caesar, Thousand Island or Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Legendary French chef and restauranteur Auguste Escoffier once said “Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.” Not all soups warrant such lavish praise, but some soups seem to have been the inspiration for Escoffier’s sage words. Nick & Jimmy’s Beef Barley Soup is one of these.

Gyros with potatoes au gratin
Gyro Sandwich with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce, served with pita bread

14 November 2009: The beef and barley soup is rich, hearty and tasty, replete with a thick, savory beef stock ameliorated by a generous amount of tender beef. It is served piping hot with steam wafting upwards to tease and tantalize your olfactory senses. This soup exemplifies all that people equate with the comforting and nurturance of a truly good soup. It is a soup Nick & Jimmy’s should consider for the daily menu–or at least as a seasonal offering available in cold weather.

30 October 2010: Another soul-warming soup, one which might make you long for a cold day, is the seafood soup, showcasing calamari, squid, crab, fish and shrimp in a heavily-seasoned broth with potatoes. Heavily seasoned in this case doesn’t mean the seafood flavor is obfuscated in any way. Especially delightful are the calamari ringlets which are chewy and delicious. This is wholly unlike most chowder-like seafood soups which are thick and seem to beckon for oyster crackers. The only things this soup cries out for are a large spoon and a second helping.

Greek Style Roasted Chicken with Rice Pilaf and a Vegetable Medley
Greek Style Roasted Chicken with Rice Pilaf and a Vegetable Medley

16 May 2015: Menus at New Mexican restaurants don’t usually offer soups unless they involve green or red chile and more often than not, they’re more along the lines of a stew than they are a soup. At Nick and Jimmy’s, the soup-of-the-day might also include posole, a Land of Enchantment standard. Though this rendition is more akin to hominy than to true posole, it does include a generous amount of cubed pork and a chile sauce that livens things up quite a bit.

The lunch and dinner menus both include eight Italian inspired pasta dishes as well as four wood-oven fired pizzas. For lunch you can also order a hamburger with green chile, a traditional gyro sandwich or a chicken gyro sandwich, all served with French fries and a house salad served with your choice of dressing. The lunch menu lists five items on the steaks, chops and chicken section, a number which doubles on the dinner menu. You might be surprised to find such upscale meat entrees as oven braised lamb shank and spiced, braised short ribs on the lunch menu. Don’t hesitate to order either.

Beef Tenderloin Tip Rigatoni (Photo Courtesy of Sarita)

14 November 2009: The spiced, braised short ribs come six to an order. Braised slowly and marinated for hours, they are fall-off-the-bone tender and taste like very good, very expensive Irish pot roast seasoned very well though the “spiced” adjective doesn’t appear to equate to piquant. Coupled with roasted potatoes, this entree reminded me very much of the wonderful comfort meals we’ve had in Irish restaurants.

16 May 2015: New Mexicans have been known to incorporate red and green chile into virtually every savory entree. Intrepid cooks will even add a smidgeon or more to various dessert dishes. It makes good sense then that green chile be part and parcel of an American comfort food standard. Nick and Jimmy’s green chile meatloaf is an amalgam of two great tasting items that taste even better together. A thick slab of dense, moist meatloaf punctuated with a discernibly piquant green chile and slathered with a peppery red gravy goes very well with mashed potatoes in which a well has been dug out for even more gravy. These are real mashed potatoes, not out-of-a-box. During our inaugural visit to Nick and Jimmy’s in 2009, my sole complaint was about the uninspired vegetable medley. How things have changed! The vegetable medley is reminiscent of the French preparation style for vegetables. Carrots, pea pods, zucchini and red peppers all are redolent with sweet freshness. All vegetables should taste this good!

Green Chile Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Vegetable Medley

14 November 2009: Another entree at which Nick & Jimmy’s excels is the roasted spring chicken which is slow-roasted with fresh herbs, prominent among which are garlic and oregano. The chicken is comprised of a breast, leg, thigh and wing, all moist and thoroughly delicious. Easily large enough to share, you probably will want this chicken all to yourself. An excellent complement to the chicken is the buttery and rich rice pilaf, each grain of which is imbued with flavor.

16 May 2015: A half dozen pizzas fired on the restaurant’s wood oven are a popular draw. if the Athenian Pizza (spinach, roasted garlic and feta) is any indication, Nick and Jimmy’s could compete with the city’s pizzerias. This thin-crusted beauty is generously endowed with ingredients: enough roasted garlic cloves to ward off a werewolf or two, enough feta to wreck your breath for a day and a nice blanket of spinach over a crusty canvas lightly slathered with tomato sauce. It’s not always the case that a pizza will taste even better cold than it does warm, but this one does. Thankfully we took half the pizza home and enjoyed it for breakfast the following day.

Athenian Pizza

30 October 2010: If Greek entrees are what appeal most to you from the menu, but you also want a sandwich, Nick & Jimmy’s offers a gyro sandwich with tomatoes, onion, tzatziki sauce and an amalgam of beef and lamb nestled in a thick, warm pita. Though a good sandwich, this one isn’t overstuffed with beef and lamb the way I enjoy my gyros. Thankfully it is very moist and very well-seasoned, a perfect foil for the thicker than usual tzatziki sauce.

30 October 2010: Dave Hurayt often extols the excellence of Nick & Jimmy’s pasta dishes. No longer exclusively the domain of Italian restaurants, pasta dishes are often better prepared in fine-dining eclectic establishments than they are in their more well-practiced Italian brethren. That’s certainly the case with the Beef Tenderloin Tip Rigatoni, a swimming pool-sized bowl brimming with rigatoni in a cayenne cream sauce with wild mushrooms and red peppers studded with beef tenderloin. The cayenne cream sauce is redolent with a peppery piquancy that New Mexicans will love. The pasta is perfectly prepared at a shade beyond al dente while the beef tenderloin, at medium-rare, is tender and succulent, a real treat.

Chicken Fried Steak

10 April 2019:  My friend Bruce “Sr. Plata” Silver can certainly relate to a comment made by former Arkansas governor turned conservative television host Mike Huckabee: “God help us if I had a minibar stocked with cheesecake and chicken-fried steak.” Since such a minibar wouldn’t be feasible, Sr. Plata and I have made it our quest to find the best chicken fried steak in the Albuquerque metropolitan area. After staggering contentedly out of Nick & Jimmy’s, our bellies protruding like expectant mother bears in their third trimester, we agreed that taken into totality, we had just enjoyed the very best chicken fried steak meal we’ve had since he conceived the Chicken Fried Steak Trail. In totality, of course, means not just the chicken fried steak, but all the sides and the coffee, too. Every aspect of this meal was superb—and not just because we’re getting tired of the seemingly de rigueur eggs and papas other restaurants serve. At Nick and Jimmy’s, the chicken fried steak is served with your choice of soup or salad, roasted Mediterranean vegetables and one of the following: oven roasted potatoes, rice pilaf, au gratin, or old fashioned mashed potatoes.

Nick & Jimmy’s cinnamon spiced coffee is a delightful accompaniment to a chicken fried steak meal, imparting cozy, warm notes without adding the cloying quality of artificial sweeteners. Sr. Plata started his meal with a salad replete with blue cheese dressing and lots of luscious crumbles while my choice was the classic, silky, satisfying avgolemono soup with its rich-savory combination of lemon, eggs and chicken. Our accommodating server allowed us to have both the oven-roasted potatoes and au gratin, both of which are better than any papas we’ve had. The oven-roasted potatoes are seasoned magnificently with lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, pepper and other flavor-imparting additives. The au gratin potatoes were creamy, cheesy and buttery with a crispy top layer that seals in other flavors.

Avgolemono Chicken Soup

It took only one bite to discern this was no ordinary chicken fried steak. This one is special: a thick slab of pounded steak breaded in panko breadcrumbs seasoned with traditional Greek spices as well as Lawry’s seasoned salt and garlic. Those spices tempered the grittiness of the panko while imparting flavor notes we had not previously experienced in Sr. Plata’s favorite dish. The accompanying gravy is a rich, delicious complement to the wonderfully seasoned, absolutely delicious chicken fried steak…and you can have your choice of rich brown or cream gravy (both meatless). As might be expected, the price point for our meal was a bit higher than we typically pay at diners listed on Sr. Plata’s trail, but you get what you pay for…and you get a lot at Nick & Jimmy’s, all of it superb.

Annamarie Kapnasis, the stunning restaurant manager, visited us twice and each time caught us with our mouths full. After she waited to make sure projectile food particles weren’t coming her way, she happily shared her thoughts about Nick & Jimmy’s chicken fried steak. Understandably, she’s very proud of it and it’s easy to see why.  This one is in rarefied “best of the city” air along with the chicken fried steak at (much missed) The Kitchen by 135 Degrees.  

Bone-In Pork Chop

17 December 2021:  Comedian Rodney Dangerfield used to lament “I was so ugly my parents had to hang a pork chop around my neck to get the dog to play with me.”  Many of us react like Pavlov’s dogs when a beautifully presented pork chop is placed in front of us.  Unlike Rodney’s dog, however, most of us don’t want to wear it around our necks.  We want to dig in and make quick work out of it.  There are few meats as satisfying as a pork chop prepared exceptionally well.  On Nick & Jimmy’s Steak, Lamb & Chops menu, you’ll find one of the very best pork chops in the Albuquerque area.  At Nick & Jimmy’s, all steaks are hand-cut in-house from the “finest aged prime beef” and are served with your choice of starch, house vegetable and soup or salad.  You can even have an enchilada (cheese, chicken or beef) with your steak, lamb or chop for a pittance more.  

The fourteen-ounce bone-in pork chop is marinated with extra virgin olive oil and Greek spices.  If your preferred degree of doneness is well-done, it’ll take a 20-minute cook time, but that wait is well worth it.  This bone-in pork chop is a thing of beauty with grill mark striations seared onto the meat like shallow canyons pocked with Greek spices. It’s a moist and tender pork chop that cuts easily, each forkful rewarding you with the deeply satisfying porcine deliciousness of a great pork chop.  My Kim ordered hers medium-well and that’s precisely what was delivered to her.   Distinctly satisfying were the asparagus spears grilled in olive oil, each with bitter and assertive undertones.

Italian Sausage Penne Pasta

17 December 2021:  Perusing Nick & Jimmy’s diverse and varied menu, you might wonder if the figure of speech “Jack of all trades, master of none” is applicable.  After all, the menu includes a smattering of so many different items from diverse cuisines: Greek, New Mexican, Italian, Pizza, Seafood, Chops and more.   You might suspect Nick & Jimmy’s is a restaurant which babbles in many culinary cultures, but doesn’t have the focus to develop expertise in one.  Our experiences have been contrary to that train of thought.  It seems Nick & Jimmy’s does virtually everything well as we have yet to uncover any real flaws.

Among the many items Nick & Jimmy’s does well is pasta dishes.  Among my favorites is the Italian sausage penne pasta in a creamy Parmesan sauce.  The penne is perfectly al dente, each tube slathered with the richness of a Parmesan sauce.  Cherry tomatoes and spicy Italian sausage provide contrasting flavor profiles to the dish, the tomatoes with their acidity and the sausage with its fennel-kissed and pepper flake heat.  My Kim likened the heat to something the devil would concoct, but most flame-eating New Mexicans should have no trouble with the sausage’s piquancy.  Make sure to save some of your bread as a palate cleanser in between bites of this sumptuous pasta dish.

Coconut Cream Pie

17 December 2021: The dessert menu includes such seemingly de rigueur standards as creme brulee and bread pudding. It also showcases a pineapple upsidedown cake, not a very common dessert offering in New Mexico restaurants. This is wholly unlike other pineapple upsidedown cakes I’ve ever seen as it’s not sliced from a large sheet cake. These are individually portioned cakes sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar and surrounded by rich whipped cream. The cake is moist and thoroughly delicious, not too sweet as some of its ilk are apt to be.

30 October 2010: Another Greek-inspired dessert favorite is the Baklava Sundae, a sundae glass in which two mounds of Blue Bunny’s vanilla ice cream are topped with a triangle of moist and rich baklava replete with sweet honey. The baklava sweetens the ice cream all the more, forming a decadent marriage sure to appease the most discerning of dessert aficionados.

A Unique Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

16 May 2015: Not even Gilligan’s crew enjoyed coconut cream pie as good as prepared at Nick and Jimmy’s. From its frothy whipped cream top sprinkled with shreds of toasted coconut to its flaky Graham cracker crust, this thick pie served cold is an absolute delight. Texturally, it’s thicker than most puddings though not quite as thick as a cheesecake. It’s the type of dessert for which you’d risk your svelte figure.

Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill is owned by Albuquerque’s dynamic partnership duo of Nick Kapnison and Jimmy Daskalos, restaurant impresarios with a small empire of restaurants throughout the Duke City. A hallmark of their restaurants is great service. You can’t do better than Rachael, one of the best servers in town. Ask for her.

Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill
5021 S Pan American Freeway, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
LATEST VISIT: 17 December 2021
1st VISIT: 14 November 2009
COST: $$ – $$$
BEST BET: Pineapple Upsidedown Cake, Spicy Beef Short Ribs, Greek Style Roasted Chicken, Saganaki, Gyros Sandwich, Baklava Sundae, Dolmades Avgolomono, Beef Tenderloin Tip Ravioli, Seafood Soup, Coconut Cream Pie, Athenian Pizza, Green Chile Meatloaf, Chicken Fried Steak, Bone-In Pork Chop, Hot Sausage Pasta

29 thoughts on “Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

  1. Another disappointing dining loss: On e.g. KOAT-News tonight, the Closing of Nick & Jimmy’s restaurant was announced.

    1. Gracias, Roberto

      There’s a touching announcement on Nick & Jimmy’s Facebook page that explains the details. Nick & Jimmy’s will be missed as will longtime owner Nick Kapnison. He has definitely earned retirement.

      As an Air Force retiree, I’m so grateful for all Nick and Jimmy did for veterans. They were exemplars of community involvement and altruism.

  2. Yesterday I understood one way you know what a great restaurant is. As you’re walking out the door, full from the meal you just consumed, you say, “Next time we come here I think I’ll try …” I think I may have even read Gil use that phrase in some of his reviews.

    That’s exactly what happened to huz and me after visiting Nick & Jimmys for the first time. It was possibly the best meal I’ve had in Albuquerque ever, and we’ve had some great meals here (going on four years). I went with the filet medallions, starting with Avgolemono soup. Always one of my favorites, they did the soup justice. My beef was perfectly cooked and tender. I was going to order some spanakopita for an appetizer but they brought us some gratis. That was a nice surprise. My husband is a hamburger head and ordered their steak burger. He was in heaven. He doesn’t drink alcohol so I had the luxury of a martini and some chardonnay. It was their “happy hour” alcohol but wasn’t the downgraded swill that you often get in those circumstances. Both drinks were delicious. Finally after all of that, when the bill came, we were shocked; in a good way! The prices are incredibly reasonable for fine dining.

    The service was impeccable. I know that phrase gets thrown around but I can support it specifically. The huz doesn’t come out to eat much with me because he has an incredible sensitivity to High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) which is difficult or not impossible to avoid. Sometimes getting ingredient information at restaurants is also difficult or not impossible! Our waitress heard our concern early on and checked every item he planned on putting in his mouth. She went above and beyond, talking to the chef and reading labels. Not only that, she was pleasant about it. She was pleasant and professional about everything.

    I’m still dreaming about the meal I had yesterday and what I’m going to have the next time I go there. And the time after that. And the time after that. 🙂

  3. It’s kind of hard to add much more to what Gil already said, but in totality if what you get, this was a Great Chicken Fried Steak dinner! Yes, it was priced a bit high but did you see the pic of the plate and add one delicious salad to it? Unbelievable! I love Panko and on the steak, exquisite! Sampling the potatoes was great to do, as gratin was best. The small amount of cinnamon added to the coffee was excellent. One suggestion, they need more wait people. Our server took our order and brought our food then the check. Not once did she check up on us and between Gil and I, we need at least 3 cups of coffee each. Except for the lack of attentiveness, a great place to eat. It was my 1st time there…

    1. Yo Sr. Plata….over the years where I may have not commented but have supped here, I’d ask ya not to be discouraged returning by the service which I’ve felt to be apporpiate if not more over time…i.e. things happen, people may get sick, need to get their taxes done…which I should be doing right now!!! LOL
      Nice to read of your giving them a Thumbs Up RE the CFS, per your expertise! Indeed that is erstwhile in that N&J try to offer a variety of (ethnic) dishes that may appeal especially it being a place to host multigenerational/ethnic Familia Gatherings to please so many palates!!!! Not an easy task for sure…for sure!!! succeding elsewhere around town!

  4. My sister and I had lunch today, We both started with salad, blue cheese crumbles and dressing, mixed greens, cucumbers and tomatoes. Very fresh and the dressing was good. She ordered the grilled Tilapia, it came with Au Gratin Potatoes and Peppers. I had the Flat Iron Steak, cooked correctly, tender, juicy and flavorful. It came with two of their award winning Chile Relleno’s and Pinto Beans. The Relleno’s were cooked perfectly and the beans were very good. Topped it off with Key Lime pie and Banana Cream pie. Excellent service, by Gabriel. They are quite busy at lunch so go early or late for a good table. Been there twice and will go again. Looking forward to taking my daughter as she loves Relleno’s. Of the three restaurants owned by Nick and Jimmy this is the best. Really good prices for the experience.

  5. Had lunch today with my sister and niece. We ordered domaldes for an appetier and like the picture Gil took it came with five. I told the waiter the menu said six and he said no it comes with five so I suggested they change the menu. He brought the missing one. We had dinner salads, they we large and received extra blue cheese dressing. For entrees we had the filet of sole with orzo and it was moist and flavorful. The jumbo fried shrimp which were quite moist and tender, with beer battered fries that were crisp and fried perfectly. The NY strip with two chili rellenos and pinto beans. The steak was cooked as ordered trimmed well, med rare, tender and tasty. The beans were sad, the rellenos we covered with a creamy serrano sauce that was nice but hot chili hot with one of the rellenos fried black lacking cheese yet served hidden by the sauce and had to be cut with a knife. When brought to the waiters attention he said they are dropped at the same time and was confused as to why one was clearly over fried. He brought another one with the serrano sauce. We noticed some of the menu items are the same as Mykonos and El Patrons like the sole and the rellenos. Service was good and attentive, we will continue to patronize Mykonos and El Patron but doubtful about N&J’s. We passed on dessert.

  6. Hmmm…not too many places go to the trouble (which you pay for…LOL) of serving up a steamed Artichoke. Given the healthy size of N&J’s and couple it with an appetizer order of Spanakopita, and I had just the right size of a delicious (albeit probably nutritionally unbalanced) “meal” for my appetite…Opa!

  7. Aha…had to try the Meat Loaf…ya in a restaurant offering several items of Greek fare. While I cursed finding that I left some Grape Jelly on my counter, the gravy was fine, albeit I chose to have it ‘on the side’. Quite a thick slab and a bit more condensed, as noted, than from my youth, but was a fine dinner nicely accompanied by smashed/unlumpy potatoes, of which you have a choice, and a nice medley of veggies, as also noted. Certainly their use of ‘Premium’ green chile was readily evident in this fusion.
    – Oh Oh…note the above pic of the basket of breads and Spanakopita all of which are served with spiced olive oil. The Spanakopita is superb as an amuse-bouche. Pulling a piece off the “bun” and munching it (with the old fashioned “salad included”) reminded me of the delightful chewiness of a Polish Rye.
    – I choose to dine in the nicely sedate setting off of the bar instead of the larger dining room off the private party room. My Wait Gal’s service was prompt and attentive. While some might take their extensive menu, let alone one that reaches across Italian, Greek, and New Mexican fare, as a bad omen, I take it to suggest the chef might have her/his “stuff” together…is competent. Besides, it becomes a problem solver if you are wanting to gather with several Folk per variegated/finicky hankerings to satisfy!
    – While I wasn’t impressed when it first opened a few years ago, I will put this on my list of try-agains (especially since I haven’t seen the name of one of the owners in the news of late). Don’t be put off by it being located by neighboring ‘chains’ nor the appearance of a full lot out front.

  8. The steak and enchilada plate (with green) never disappoints. I’ve had it several times at both lunch and dinner occasions, and it’s always been great. The plated side dish of beans is a bit too saucy for my taste, but that’s a minor point.

    In general, my dining companions who have ordered steak have had good experiences, as have those who have ordered some of the Greek vegetarian offerings. A companion’s experience with an add-on of lobster tails was excellent.

    However, another companion’s experience with the butterflied fried shrimp was definitely sub-par. The shrimp were overfried, and a copious amount of lemon juice was applied to them in the kitchen, so by the time the plate reached the table, the breading was thoroughly soggy with lemon while the shrimp themselves were tough; they tasted of lemony grease, rather than of fresh shrimp. This is unfortunate, because their seafood is shipped in fresh every day, and the poor preparation seems a waste of good seafood.

    Desserts were good, not the best in town, but certainly as good as most restaurants offer.

    My biggest concern with N&J’s is the uneven quality of the service. Either the waiters are inexperienced or they’ve never been trained to “serve”; obvious needs like missing silverware or empty beverage glasses go unnoticed even after requests from diners, or the waitstaff is more interested in gossiping with each other than in watching their tables. If you get one of the experienced waiters, you’re in for a treat. If you get one of those who are just putting in time on a timecard, be prepared to coach them through the process! 🙂

  9. Not that impressed with my dinner at Nick and Jimmy’s. Beware of the Greek roasted potatoes- very salty. Manager said that that’s the way the are prepared. Too bad for the customers. Dinner prices are a bit expensive. Probably won’t return to eat there.
    Posted by Nutritionist.

  10. Adam is entitled to prefer his steak however he wants, and the restaurant should try to please him. They are taking his money. I agree that Nick and Jimmy’s is not always a customer focused restaurant. Their menu is very long but not every choice is good. Yanni’s is far preferable to me and has a free parking lot in back, but I don’t know if they always have beef steak on the menu – it is more of a Greek restaurant. They do Lamb very well at Yanni’s. Nick and Jimmy’s tries too hard to emulate the neighbor restaurants on chain restaurant row. I have experienced poor service and bad food there, and doubt that I will go back. If I wanted the chain restaurant experience, I would patronize chain restaurants more.

  11. ok fine I’ll keep posting comments sorry I don’t use punctuation and what not just remember to take a deep breath before you read my comments cause its just one big run on sentence. so is yannis better then nick and jimmys they’ve been around longer than nick and jimmys I here they are good scared to try after nick and jimmy exprience and I am not a good parralell parker think i spelled it right…..ok now breathe

  12. Adam,
    I was just giving you a hard time. I generally find if I’m wanting A1 sauce, the steak isn’t very good….no need to stop posting comments.

  13. Adam,

    Please keep writing comments! They are enjoyed and appreciated.

    PS- Your writing style is unique. It reminds me of Suzie Queue’s. Are you related?

  14. well you no what nate d i thought i would try nick and jimmys the steak was on there menu it was a new york strip and they did ask what kind of sauce i wanted there baked goat cheese appetizer was good cant get that at sizzler or golden corral the food wasnt the point of my comment the crappy service and crappy management was the point of my comment but all you see is some one wanting a steak with A1 sauce like i am some kind of hill billy i really wanted good service for the price the service shouldnt be village inn standards where servers dont give a crap think i am done now wont leave anymore comments

  15. Adam,
    While your experience doesn’t sound great…I might point out that if you want medium well steaks with A1 sauce…you might want to try Sizzler or Golden Corral.

  16. Don’t play it safe and get the steak because if you get the 1 pound New york strip and order it medium well apperantlly it takes a long time to cook your waiting for it while other patrons around you are receiving there steaks and don’t expect any A1 sauce they only have 1 bottle. Our whole dinning exprience started out great and ended miserabley once the steak came out the only thing hot on the plate was the steak all the rest of the food was cold they made all the other food before the steak was even close to being done. The managers job was to go get the recipet and prove that me the customer was wrong on when I ordered the steak. and then when I was walking out the stupid manager said “The least I can do is offer you some butter mints and stuck the bowl of FREE MINTS IN MY FACE. THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME AND THE LAST TIME I GO TO JIMMYS THANK YOU DAVID (waiter) AND THANK YOU MANGER/ HOSTESS FROM OFFER OF FREE MINTS IDIOT

  17. I would like to amend my previous comment in that my opinion about N&J has improved after I found that they do not close for a mid-day break just when I get hungry (like about every other place in ABQ), and their lunch menu has very reasonable prices. Sure, their Midterranean stuff is as expensive as ever, but it’s not the whole story.

  18. After reading Gil’s enticing review, I decided to take my wife and mother to Nick & Jimmy’s for lunch. It was a good decision. We thought it was a little pricey, but we liked the food and ambience and our server was both prompt and helpful.

    The Green Chile Chicken Lasagna was quite good, though the serving was on the small side and it was quite “mushroomy.” I agree with Gil that the gyro sandwich was good, but not great. I am not a fan of their tzatziki, but the meat was flavorful and pita was warm and fresh.

    The star of the lunch, however, was the Green Chile Meatloaf. All three of us thought it bordered on spectacular. It was moist and full of delicious, if unidentifiable, flavors. It was ordered without gravy, which turned out to be a good decision as the complex flavors could be best appreciated. After tasting the meatloaf, I may find it hard to try anything else (except the baklava sundae).

    We all enjoyed our first Nick & Jimmy’s meal, and we will no doubt return; but we also agreed that at this point, Yanni’s remains our favorite Albuquerque Mediterranean restauant.

  19. I was very apprehensive about dining here after reading some of the reviews. A friend chose to have her birthday dinner here so we went. There were certainly a couple of negatives, mostly the size (numer of items) and cheesy “plastic” cover on the menu but all in all it was a very nice experience.

    The service was terrific. Our waitress could not have done anything more than she did to make our visit special. From the moment we sat down, fresh, warm bread arrived. Wine and cocktails followed. Great suggestions to guide our ordering and finally the food. While I personally believe their menu is too large to do it all well, everything we had was terrific. No complaints at all. We tried to sample as many different ethnic options to see if they’d fail on some front. As surprising as it may be, they didn’t. The Greek, Mexican, pasta, fish, meats and desserts were all great.

    So I have to say, since I was not looking forward to our visit, EVERYTHING was great. How special it was to go with low expectations and a sense that we would be disappointed with our visit and walk away happy to admit we were completely wrong!!

    Give a try, I think they are trying very hard and it is working! We certainly visit again.

  20. N&J may be the only place in #abq where the kitchen matches the pretentse. It’s like Artichoke cafe’s quality, but with a decently wide menu for various tastes. And the prices are not that ridiculous really, I mean quality costs money naturally. If you can’t afford it, go there once a year. I really like having N&J as an option.

  21. A group from work chose this place for a luncheon today. I ordered the Baked Greek Chicken. This had to be one of the dryest – most tasteless chicken entrees I have ever eaten. Definitely overpriced as a lunch special at $10.95.

    Unfortunately first impressions for me are the ones that last. I can’t see myself recommending or coming back to this restaurant until enough time passes that I have forgotton why I don’t dine there more often.

    Next time I have a craving for Greek chicken – I will stick with the excellent dish served at the Monte Carlo steak house.

  22. Husband and I dined there last night, what a nice meal! He had the rib eye and was not disappointed. I had a taste and it was well flavored from the grill, and the rice pilaf was tasty as well. I had the lamb shank which was delicious, and we had creme brulee and coconut cream pie. This goes on our date night rotation now.

  23. If I didn’t have a gift voucher for most of the cost of my meal I would have been really disappointed. Toughest prawns I have ever encountered. Like leather. Couscous swimming in butter, white sauce not very tasty. Not at all impressed. Too bad, I like the menu. If I ever go back I will play it safe and get a steak.

  24. Well, we camp out there frequently at this point. Their menu of house specials rotates often enough that every week there is something different offered. It is quiet, comfortable, and the food ranges from good to exceptional. We have never had a bad experience there. I wish I could say that for other places.

    Thankfully, every restaurant we’ve visited has had something special to offer, and in most cases we can appreciate the uniqueness. Unfortunately, I have to think back at Cappo’s hideaway, where we were the only lunch patrons, and the food tasted like chef boyardee heated in a microwave. I remember (now years ago) being honored that they turned on the scratchy loud speaker with a local readio station just for us.

    Anyway, that beef barley soup (they you featured here) was a warm and welcome sensation given the cloudy and cold, bleak day of last Saturday, when we ate there.

    Good review. We agree completely. Thanks.

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