American chicken chunks at Nick & Jimmy's on Monroe Street in West Toledo.
Nick and Jimmy's Bar and Grill in West Toledo is a local institution: a restaurant you go to for a beer and above-average bar food. It is well represented with a large menu of lunch and dinner favorites, and it also is open for breakfast.
The restaurant bar was established in 1979 and houses a friendly atmosphere full of regular customers and a competent, no-nonsense wait staff, which is a real bonus because the place packs 'em in, especially on the weekend.
During a recent dinner visit, some friends and I enjoyed a 9-inch chicken, bacon, and ranch pizza ($8.99), the American chicken chunks ($10.99), and a chicken and chorizo quesadilla ($8.99).
The pizza truly seemed homemade, with a fresh and delicious crust that would be good with any topping. The ranch-based sauce offered a tang that went well with the smoky chicken and bacon flavors. Next time, we'd also like to try the more creative options such as taco and Ruben-styled pizzas.
Most every pub in the Toledo area has its take on boneless-style chicken wings, and Nick & Jimmy's is no different. The base option, the Straight Up, is $7.99, and you can upgrade by selecting from their house sauces and adding other ingredients.
The American version includes bacon, mushrooms, onions, and mozzarella cheese, and I paired it with the honey barbecue sauce. Like a lot of "bar food," nothing about this meal suggests healthy eating, but it is irresistible. Every forkful produced rich and robust flavors and is highly recommended for area wing connoisseurs.
The quesadilla is on the appetizer menu. It was served with fresh salsa, sour cream, and lettuce, and the abundant chorizo certainly added some welcomed spice to the super-sized meal. Definitely worth getting again.
The pulled pork potato skins ($8.99) were enough for four but that didn't stop the three of us from devouring them. The potatoes are halved in an unexpected way and offer a deep pocket for the smoked pork, barbecue sauce, Mexican cheese, and green onions.
Maybe it was just naivete on our part, but we didn't know Nick & Jimmy's was open for breakfast. Apparently, you can even get kegs and eggs there seven days a week. We didn't take them up on that option, but we did enjoy our bargain-priced breakfast selections.
A small order of french toast was good, but nothing special. The Texas-toast style is hearty, but it would have been better with some cinnamon or vanilla to make it taste different than what you would whip up in your own kitchen. At $2.75 it's hard to complain. A side of hash browns was salty and had a good mixture of crunchy and soft shreds of potato ($1.25).
The breakfast pizza ($8.95) -- large enough for two or three patrons -- was too tantalizing not to try. On the same delicious crust as the dinner pizza, it was topped with sausage gravy, eggs, ham, sausage, bacon, and all covered in mozzarella cheese. The flavors, simple on their own, made it seem like sampling several breakfast items at once with each bite.
The breakfast burrito ($4.95) also was enormous and densely packed with green chilies, chorizo sausage, potatoes, scrambled eggs and cheese, and came with sour cream and salsa. It too proved too much to consume in one sitting, but I certainly tried.
And it is a bar after all, so we shouldn't forget to mention that Nick & Jimmy's has an immense beer menu, including some that are locally brewed. Also, it is a favorite spot for many local entertainers.
NICK & JIMMY'S BAR & GRILL
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Address: 4956 Monroe St.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday; 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday; 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday.
Wheelchair access: Yes.
Average Price: $$
Credit Cards: AE, Dis, MC, V.
Web site: nickandjimmys.com
Contact Bill of Fare at firstname.lastname@example.org.