Nick & Tom’s Restaurant doesn’t exactly scream “chili joint.” A brief perusal of the menu does nothing to disabuse that notion either. Sure, they serve it but it’s clearly not a focus. And yet Nick & Tom’s was a “must-stop” on our chili tour. What piqued our interest was the surname that belongs to Nick & Tom — Lambrinides. A name steeped in Cincinnati chili tradition. A relative of theirs, Nicholas Lambrinides, started a little chili parlor that might ring some bells — Skyline Chili. With that in mind, the chili crew trekked out to Bridgetown to see if chili really is a family tradition. Nick & Tom’s is a large, rambling restaurant featuring everything from steaks and chops to sandwiches, chili, and everything in between. We settled in at the bar and ordered up our usual chili selections. Read on to see if chili is in the genes at Nick & Tom’s:Overall Rating:
I deviated from my normal bowl of plain and went with a 2 way chili at Nick & Tom’s on Bridgetown. More like a neighborhood eatery than chili parlor, Nick & Tom’s has a full menu and chili is more of an after-thought. I would suggest other menu items before the chili at Nick & Tom’s. The flavor was somewhat mild comparatively, but the chili was a little on the watery side that day.
The food was pretty good. The portions were of good size. The prices were slightly elevated. The staff was friendly. A little bit of a geographical challenge for a regular lunch stop, but if you’re in the area, it’s worth a visit.
First things first — I loved the fact that I could get a *cup* of chili in lieu of a full bowl. And was glad I did once I saw the MASSIVE cheese coneys that were set in front of me. The cup of chili was tasty — fairly bold in flavor and meaty in texture. Not too shabby. I swear I say this every week lately, but these were hands-down the biggest of the tour. Cheese coneys at Nick & Tom’s are served one way — two of them, open-faced, on a giant plate. These coneys aren’t some “size-of-your-pinky-finger” dogs in small buns. These contain 1/4-lb. hot dogs in full size buns, smothered in chili and cheese. Bring your appetite and a fork.
Nick and Toms was pretty good. Cool atmosphere and chili in a place you probably wouldn’t go looking for it. Price and portions were average.
I tried to order my usual 4 way with Beans and a cheese coney, loaded, but they don’t do things like that around Nick and Tom’s. Instead of having regular kidney beans, they’ll throw a layer of black bean soup down on top of the chili, which wouldn’t be fair to the other contestants and the consistency of our report. So I opted for a 4 way, with onions, and they also had some jalapeno’s on it, pickled, not fresh. Also, when I ordered they normal accompanying coney, I was told by the kind lady “Our coneys aren’t typical, it’s more of an open faced coney, you sure you want it?” I declined, thinking that it also wouldn’t be fair to the other parlors by switching it up, and after seeing Andrew’s I realized I made the right decision. One coney is more than enough for a meal.
– Cheese: Bagged, not fresh, and a lot of it. Wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great either.
– Chili: meaty. Didn’t pool up at the bottom of the noodles, but really didn’t have a ton of flavor either. No real bite, and the hot sauce was needed to bring it up a bit.
– Noodles: very good, not over done and good ratio to chili.
– Oyster Crackers: came in a small bowl, unbagged so I couldn’t tell the brand on them. But they were large, puffy, and quite good!
– Hot Sauce: I was presented with a small bottle of Tabasco.
– Service: OK. Not overbearing, not underwhelming, just OK.
Overall I’m going to give Nick and Tom’s a 5. I certainly wouldn’t take an out of towner here for a sampling, and I was pretty disappointed with the cheese and the lack of chili bite.