Nick’s Family Restaurant

Today is Martin Luther King Day. Ivo has been talking about “Arthur Luther King” for days, with Marek being a good older brother and correcting him that it’s “Martha Luther King.” My kids are debating American civil rights issues at 2yo and 5yo, so I’m going to take the win and not fret the details.

I’ve been out of town for a few days. I’m still a relatively new father, so things like this are just now starting to happen. I love it.

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But I was out of town long enough to allow a little surface rust on the disk rotors for the FR-S. That’s sad, but easily remedied with a little hotrodding.

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Lovely day today, but a little bit overcast. Nothing like the weather up north. But more about that later.

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This morning we visited Nick’s Family Restaurant. They have a web site at http://www.nicksfamilyrestaurant.net/, but it looks like they started it up and never finished it. The “About Us” link is especially funny; I had to read to the end to figure out that it’s boilerplate, and there is no “Anytown.” Nick’s is at 5701 Central Ave. in St. Pete, not too far from the excellent Freefall Theatre Company.

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It’s me and the boys. They’re dressed rather snazzily, as if dad went on some sort of business trip and all they got was lousy t-shirts.

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We also have our Favorite Guest Reviewer, Mom!

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Marek says, dad, can I have a puppy? I says, got any kisses for me? So here we go, looks like a puppy is in the future.

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Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom says, hey, I never get any good pictures of me and the boys. So here you go, Mom, a great picture of you and your boys. Happy Birthday Baby. (It’s not actually her birthday)

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Here’s Nick’s breakfast menu. I have to point out that the “omelette of the day” today is “ham and cheese.” Which does not make me think that there’s a daily committee meeting to decide what will draw in the adventurous breakfast crowd.

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Marek had the hot chocolate, as is the tradition with him these days.

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This shot has no real breakfast insight, it’s just a cute snap of Marek and me. It’s nice to be away from home, because it makes otherwise ornery kids happy to be around me.

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Same for this shot, not really breakfasty, just cute. While we’re waiting, I took note of a few things about Nick’s. It’s 0900 on Monday morning. It’s not crowded, but they did start to get some business while we were there. Yet it was deafeningly quiet, like a memorial service or a museum. Everyone was whispering. Except us, of course. And also, there was an odd, subtle scent to the room. Not so much bad-food as like musty-old-house.

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Coffee for everyone, cheers! Or … skol!

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Here’s a souvenir I brought home for the boys. Hogskolen i Oslo is the college in Oslo where I’m doing a little teaching.

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Marek had to teach me how to use it.

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And then he got creative.

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Grocery store syrup. We’ve had worse grocery store brands in restaurants, I reckon.

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And here’s breakfast. French toast, eggs, grits for Mom. Pancakes for Ivo.

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Ivo makes an immediate strike. He’s like a cobra for pancakes.

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Marek jumps on Mom’s bacon. And then pauses for a moment and considers the poetry of the moment. Then he began quoting Wordsworth.

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Marek’s own bacon and eggs came, and then he had his own bacon and Mom’s too. That’s a lot of bacon for one little boy. But then again, boy can eat some bacon, can’t he?

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I had the corned beef omelet, which was a little out of band for me. Home fries, which were pretty bland.

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Mom enjoyed the grits. The boys weren’t interested.

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Marek demonstrated that he can handle a knife. That’s an important skill when you’re growing up Florida.

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Here’s Ivo’s patented Breakfast Karate Strike. Say “Hayyyyah!”

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When breakfast was sacrificed on the pyre of our appetites, the boys paid the bill. $23 for three full breakfasts, one of which split up with the boys, obviously.

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We got change, and that was nice. Not the cheapest ever, but we did get a lot of food.

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We left a few bucks and a Norwegian Krone as a tip.

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On our way out we stopped to wash up. The sink really tells the story of how we felt about Nick’s. As if it started out strong, but then they never really put much effort into keeping it up.

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This door on the way to the restrooms is more of the same. Removing the exit sign was more effort than taping up the second sign.

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At the end of the morning, Nick’s food was OK. The bacon was nicely done, the pancakes were good. The coffee ran really dry for quite a while. The price was average. The dining room had a slight but odd odor which, combined with things like the sink and exit sign make me think that no real effort has been put into upkeep for a long time. But the thing that did me in was that we were the only friendly people in the room. We’ll give Nick’s Family Restaurant a Tampa Bay Breakfasts Two and a Half Pancake rating.

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Nick's Family on Urbanspoon

Nick’s is in the same neighborhood as this enormous wig market. I’m not surprised that there’s a market for wigs, just at the size of the store.

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After breakfast we took the boys to the Dali Museum for the first time. Marek’s been with his cousins Simone and Sandor, but this is our first time since they moved to the new location.

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We might have to put the Dali on the Breakfast schedule this year.

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After Ivo almost got us kicked out of the museum, we went outside to sit on the bench and think about what we’ve done.

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For lunch, Marek had an Angry Birds drink. It didn’t taste like it looked.

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