After far too many weeks of questionable fish, I had to take Hans somewhere he could get something other than cod. I was mildly serious about the threats of divorce. While he was hoping for walleye, there was a nearby options tempting him with “lake perch” that would do the trick. This Friday, we headed out to the Nice Place Café:
From the Metromix site: Nice Place Café serves up traditional American comfort foods in a relaxed tavern atmosphere. Burgers and wings are popular with regular customers, and the café changes its specials daily, offering everything from roast beef to chicken paprikash. A full bar is also available, with new specialty cocktails on the menu from time to time.
The Nice Place Café is located across the street from St. Sava’s on the corner of Broadview and Ridgewood Roads. Looking like a ginormous house on a random corner, there’s no question – it’s a bar, and kind of a dive. But PIP Dad kept telling us on how their food options were all legit. So when Hans and PIP Bro wanted a better fish fry than the previous week offered, we stepped outside the churches and into this local watering hole.
Since the Nice Place Café did have an extensive menu, I took a shot ordering the mussels from their appetizer menu along with a side salad.
The good news: the side salad was HUGE. The bad news: the mussels were disappointing. I know I’m a mussels snob, but these were incredibly fishy. And yes that’s about the amount of garlic that I consume in one year on top of the finished dish. I knew I couldn’t expect much from this bar with this option, but I was hoping for just a bit more than what I got. However, my brother ended up eating about half of them, so they were tolerable.
As for the boys, they both ordered the Perch special with pierogies (for a cost of $11.95):
A close up on the fish:
Served with a side of bread and coleslaw:
Here’s what we thought on the fish fry dinner from Nice Place Café:
The fish: When the plates were sat down in front of them, Hans eyes lit up like a boy’s on Christmas morning. After his first bite, he said “this is the best fish I’ve had all season.” The batter looked crispy and flaky, the fish looked moist and the boys looked happy.
The pierogies: These were some of the largest pierogies I have ever seen! While each plate came with two, the size made them comparable to three or four at any other location. As Hans cut into his, I saw what had to be all potato filling, so I was interested to hear what he though about the flavoring. He then made another cut allowing cheese to flow out of the pierogi. He said the cheese definitely helped, but that the potato portion tasted pretty good. Another solid pierogi has been found in Parma, Ohio!
The bread: Hans noted the bread was the least impressive part of the meal. The toasting of the bread was a nice touch compared to previous rolls. He took a few bites, but didn’t finish it.
The coleslaw: As they both hate this side dish, I got the coleslaw. I enjoyed their offering: well dressed with a mayo base, it wasn’t watery and had a nice creaminess to it. The chef wasn’t shy with the pepper, which made for a few spicy bites. I think coleslaw fans would be happy to eat more than one container.
LONG STORY SHORT: Yeah, we cheated a bit by going to a restaurant/bar instead of staying true to the church offerings of the area. However, it was a good decision and we were introduced to a fun local hangout we always overlooked in the past. I’m used to Hans clearing his plate, but when my brother eats everything in front of him, I know he just highly enjoyed his meal. Nice Place Café – your food is great, and I hope to meet some more of your friends very soon.
Next week: the final fish fry of our 2011 Lenten journey! We head to the Southern side of town to the German Central Club. As always, if you’re interested in joining us, let me know!