Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nicky's Thai Kitchen

Last Wednesday, the IT consultants suggested that we try Nicky's Thai Kitchen for lunch.  Their office is in the Clark Building by PNC, so it's very easy for them to get up to the North Side and back for lunch.  I picked two of them up at their building and the four of us were at Nicky's in 5 minutes.

Nicky's opens at 11:30 am.  We got there at 11:25 and were waiting outside with 2 other groups.  It must be a good feeling to open the doors to your restaurant and have 3 tables waiting to come in.  The IT guys tell me it gets very busy at lunch.  There's no obvious business area to pull from -- it could be people from Allegheny Center or the North Shore, I suppose, but there were also a lot of young people, too.  Maybe they walked a few blocks over from CCAC.

Nicky's is in a row house on Western Avenue, so you feel like you're walking in for lunch (or dinner) at someone's house and sitting in their dining room.  There's about 12 tables in the dining area, but the guys told me that during warm weather they have outdoor seating of about 12 more tables.

The menu has the full array of standard Thai cuisine -- pad thai, curries, noodle dishes, and the like -- but I wasn't in the mood for something heavy and spicy.  I chose a mango curry with pork as my protein.  One of the other guys ordered a jalapeno chicken dish with peanuts, which was an exercise in language barriers between he and our Thai server.  The server didn't understand "jalapeno", so he pointed to it on the menu.  He nodded approvingly and said, "Jah-lop-e-no" chicken.  With a quizzical look on his face, Brian said "Jalapeno?" and the server said "Jah-lop-e-no".  It was like a rejected sketch from Saturday Night Live.

Here's the Mango Curry with Pork:

The flavors in the curry were fantastic and the mango slices were a nice treat to go with the generous pork portions.  The dish came with some white rice, which I periodically mixed in to the curry to thicken it up.  My only semi-complaint with the pork was that it was a touch chewy and a little overcooked.  But overall it was fantastic.  The highlight of the whole meal was this little blossom stuffed with cream cheese and crab served on the side.  I think they have a whole appetizer portion of those things (Crab Rangoons) that I might get next time.  And check out the artistry on that carrot, too!

The only other complaint, nothing that Nicky's could control, was the fact that 2 women went to lunch and one brought their infant.  The baby would periodically let out huge shrieks and squeals that really took away from the experience.

I will absolutely be taking DB~ back to Nicky's, as she is a big pad thai fan.  I just hope there aren't any screaming kids this time.


  1. I love mango.

    I also love curry, buuuut.....

    The photo of that dish looks like, ummm, something that happens AFTER one would eat a lunch of mango curry. *shudder*

  2. Yeah, I agree...visually not great, but it was fantastic.

  3. I think the live view of the dish isn’t as bad as the picture makes it look but yeah… I see what you mean.

    I’ve been to Nicky’s about a half dozen times since my firm has moved to the north side and it never disappoints. The portions are huge. You could easily save half for later if you were so inclined though I would challenge a normal sized person to stop at half. It’s that good.

    Every time I order the jalapeno peanut, spicy jalapeno, or the spicy peanut dish, I have communications problems with the waiter/waitress and I don’t always get exactly what I order but I never complain because what they bring to the table is great. My recommendation when ordering one of these dishes is to use the “point at the menu” method of ordering. On this occasion, instead of jalapeno peanut, I got the spicy jalapeno dish – not a peanut in sight. I think every time I had to clarify the dish with the waiter, he must have assumed that I wanted extra jalapenos on the dish because there had to be at least five or six whole jalapeno (pronounced Jah-lop-e-no at Nicky’s) peppers cut up on the plate. This didn’t bother me though as I normally order a spice level of 11 on a 10 point scale.