In the spring we reported that the former Shellie’s Miniature Mania location at 732 Laurel Street had a sign announcing that Nick the Greek, a Bay Area “Souvlaki and Gyro House” would be opening soon. The casual eatery had its grand opening at the beginning of August, and so far seems to be fairly popular among San Carlans. Although not as falafel-saturated as ten years ago, San Carlos does have three other Greek/Mediterranean places with similar food, including Santorini right across the street. It will be interesting to see if their business is affected or if the market expands.
The first thing one notices when walking into Nick the Greek is its airy, open, vibe. It has a large accordion-style glass door that can open up the entire restaurant to the street, with tables coming out to the sidewalk. The interior has very clean and simple decor with a few of the walls covered with greek food words (and toward the back, greek word etymologies for English words). One orders at the counter with a menu in three overhead screens.
The menu is fairly simple, but with enough variety to mix and match. The menu is divided into Gyros/Pitas, Bowls (which include a base of lettuce, rice, and other veggies), Salads, Souvlaki plates, side dishes, and desserts. For most of these, you can choose your protein — lamb/beef gyro meat, pork, chicken, falafel, or vegetables.
After ordering, service was fairly quick. We had both the Gyro and the Gyro bowl — both selection were very solid. The Gyro is a beef/lamb meat wrapped in a pita and includes all of the traditional ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, tzatziki, and (although not as common in the U.S.) french fries. The bowl included all of that plus rice, lettuce, and cucumbers and feta cheese.
In hindsight, I would have asked for more tzatziki sauce on the side, as that is one of my personal favorite condiments. A side dish of hummus was very solid and included a generous amount of toasted pita bread.
We’ll have to come back to try the falafel (which has true competition in Mediterranean Delite and Falafelle in Belmont) as well as the salads and maybe even the baklava. Welcome to Laurel Street, Nick!