Category Archives: Food

Nick’s Family Restaurant Review

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie

My next Tasting Experience review takes me to Nick’s Family Restaurant in Downtown Vero!  This is one of those places that I like to call a local’s place.  It’s somewhat hard to find and parking is not the best, but it’s so worth seeking out.  It has the feel of a place like the TV show called Cheers, and it feels like everyone knows your name since you will most likely bump into your neighbor while you are there.  The building they occupy dates back to the 1920’s and it got its start as a jewelry store called J.C. DuBose.  Mr. DuBose also used it for the practice of optometry.  Through the years it has seen many different restaurants including Sand Bar & Package Tavern, Bobby’s Café, Pepin’s Pub, Pickles Deli Café, and lastly before becoming Nick’s it was the Palm Tree Inn.  Nick and his wife, Meggin have owned and operated Nick’s Family Restaurant for the last 16 years, the most of any previous restaurant tenant.  The word “family” in the name best describes who is working here more than the atmosphere.  Nick and his mom run the kitchen with help from his niece on busy nights, and you can find Meggin working the dining room and waiting tables.  What are they doing differently than the previous tenants did that has kept the doors open this long?  Keep reading to find out!

I’m sure most of you have passed by this place 100 times and did not even realize it was there.  As you head west on Hwy 60 there is a sign and an entrance, but no parking available.  To park and use the back entrance, turn left off of 14th Ave right before Blue Agave into the ally, and a few businesses down is where Nick’s entrance is located.  They have a few designated parking spots, but in the evening when most businesses close, there are quite a few other spots available.  The rear entrance from the ally feels like you are going into the employee entrance, but it takes you into a long hallway right into the dining room.  The dining room has a large bar that has 10 seats and on the opposite wall are tables and chairs.  They do have a few high-top tables at the front entrance if you prefer.

 

Now let’s jump right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat!

Garlic Knots ½ Order – ($3.95) – I haven’t met a garlic knot that I don’t like yet, and these are no exception.  Perfectly baked till golden brown on the outside, soft and fluffy inside.  They are served with a side of house-made marinara is the perfect appetizer to start your meal.

Sausage Parmesan Sandwich – ($7.95) –  OMG that looks so good!  Made with a toasted sub bun, they use a mild Italian sausage and place it inside the bread with their marinara sauce and top it with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.  The sausage was ground very fine and had the consistency of a meatball in a casing.  The marinara was the same as served with the garlic knots, and as you can see from the picture above, they don’t skimp on the cheese.  It was amazing!

Bacon Swissburger – ($8.95) – A classic cheeseburger with bacon and sautéed onions & mushrooms is always an excellent choice.  The burger was cooked to a perfect medium and was very juicy, the bacon was nice and crisp and added a subtle smokiness, and the bun was soft and very fresh.  French Fries were served alongside.

Chicken Wings (10 pc) – ($9.95) – Wings are one of my all-time favorite foods on the planet, and Nick’s multiple Award-Winning wings are some of the best that Vero has to offer.  The jumbo wings are fried then tossed in the sauce of your choice.  The wings are crispy on the outside and moist and tender inside.  With 11 different sauce options, they have something to please everyone. 

Cannoli – ($2.95) – We were getting pretty full from all the food they served us, but we still wanted something sweet to round out our meal.  The cannoli made sense due to the size, and there is always room for dessert, right?  The cannoli shell was fried till golden brown, stuffed with their house-made filling, then dusted with powdered sugar.  The super smooth filling had the perfect amount of sweetness and small chocolate chips added a slight texture to the filling.  It was really good!

In Conclusion:

I only just discovered Nick’s less than 6 months ago and I’m glad I did.  I was so impressed with their wings that we decided to do a Vero Beach Foodie wing eating contest at the end of January with their hottest sauce called Italian Pain.  It was a raving success and we plan to do another one later this year, but with a much hotter sauce.  This is a place that both my wife and I continue to suggest as a dinner option since they have items that we both like, so this place comes up often as our go-to place.  If you have not been here before, then might I suggest you give them a try and see for yourself, I know you won’t be disappointed!

Have you tried Nick’s Family Restaurant?  What has your experience been with them?  Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts, or feel free to email me at thefoodguy@verovine.com with your questions or comments.

Nick’s Family Restaurant Website  |  Nick’s Family Restaurant Facebook Page

Address1453 20th St, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone(772) 567-2311

Hours of Operation:  Monday & Tuesday, 10am – 3pm, Wednesday – Friday, 10am – 9pm

Patty’s Cakes of Vero Beach – Business Review

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie

I first discovered Patty’s Cakes when I came across one of her creations on Facebook and I felt compelled to reach out to her for more information about the amazing cakes I saw on her page.  We scheduled a time to get together for a tasting and the cakes below are what she made for us to try.  When we arrived at her home, she had a simple, yet elegant setting waiting for us at her dining room table along with champagne for the tasting.  Everything looked wonderful so I could not wait to dive right in and see what flavors she made for us to try.

From the age of 10 years old, Patty started baking in the kitchen with her mother and it quickly became a passion.  One of her favorite things to make were cream puffs.  She got so good at making them her neighbors started to request orders for them and she was happy to oblige.  Her mother started to notice how many ingredients came up missing from her panty and how messy the kitchen became, so she decided that Patty could start purchasing her own ingredients and cleaning the kitchen too.  While the professional training that Patty has had over the years has given her knowledge, her mother has been her greatest influence, providing both experience and the support needed to start her own business, which she also helped give a name to, and Patty’s Cakes was born.

In Conclusion:

Cakes have become so much more than just a simple sweet treat for parties and celebrations.  They have become a representation of what is important to us in our lives, and Patty does a wonderful job of creating that for your special occasion.  We were provided with five amazing cakes to try for the tasting and we loved each one of them.  They were all very moist and were quite delicious with tons of flavor.  With all of her cakes being made from scratch, you have many options to choose from when you sit down with her to create your perfect cake.  If you are looking for that one of a kind cake for your special occasion, then I suggest you give her a call, I know you won’t be disappointed!

Patty’s Cakes of Vero Beach Website  |  Facebook Page

Give her a call to set up an appointment:  (772) 643-7061

It’s the Little Things at Varietals and More

We recently attended a true luxury event right here in Vero Beach called the Vero Beach Food, Wine, and Music hosted by Fe Domenech. You might have heard about Andre Bocelli’s son, Matteo Bocelli’s appearance, he performed and created a magical moment in time. You can view part of the performance here on YouTube. It was located in Riverside Park for some of the best weather we have seen all year. It was a 4-day event of lavish food, fine wines, and the most AMAZING music.

Another one of the superstars of this event, of course, was Varietals and More. Meet Rob Wayne owner of this local wine shop, purveyor of worldly cheeses, fancy delectables and an expert of wine and food.

 “I believe there is a wine for every moment.” – Rob Wayne

It is amazing how much he can tell you about every glass. We told him to keep it short but he can go on and on and on. We look forward to future tastings and a good start for us is joining the wine club. Stay tuned as we plan to continue posts like this and report on our findings. We had the luxury of meeting Rob and conducted an impromptu tasting at the event and here is what Rob had to say…

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Simonet

What you have in your glass is a French sparkling wine aged in the barrel from France. It is 100% Chardonnay hence the name Blanc de Blanc. It is made in a traditional French champagne style meaning the wine is aged separately in the barrel then it is re-fermented in the bottle of for a classic bubble on the good.


Janeil

Les Hauts de Janeil. The Janel is a Grenache Sauvignon from the south of France in the long. Languedoc-Roussillon the region it is a style of wine that would be very reminiscence to a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio and it is a very crisp clean style of wine a very citrusy zesty racy wonderful for a porch poolside barbecue also wonderful for a seafood salad and a grilled chicken dishes it’s a wonderful life.

Tasting note EYE : Pale yellow robe with golden glints. NOSE : Complex nose marrying notes of flowers, truffles, brioche and oak… MOUTH : The mouth is well-balanced with lots of volume but also a hint of acidity on the finish, giving the wine length.


Alanera

The Alanera Rosso is from the Veneto region. It is a wine that is made in a classic Amarone style. Another principal grape being Corvina which is semi-dried before pressing then fermented, then aged in the barrel for up to 18 months and then bottled. It gives you real rich fruit flavor, like a dried plum, a little bit of the reason and it is just a wonderful wine. Pairs with wild game, hard cheeses, and meats.



Little Things

All right so we’re four glasses in! The Little Things is aged 12 months in Barrel.  A Cabernet out of South Australia and is a rich, fruity, like dark cherry and dark blackberry, the aromas. You have very soft tannins and structure. Great for wonderful grilled meats at a barbecue. I would pair this without a doubt with a beautiful ribeye steak with some grilled mushrooms and sautéed onions. 

You can purchase these and other fine wines at… be sure to introduce yourself to Rob and ask about the wine club. It’s the latest craze in Vero.

 

Varietals and More

www.varietalsandmore.com

(772) 217-2780
 
54 Royal Palm Pointe
Vero Beach, Fl 32960
 
Monday – Thursday 10am – 7pm 
Friday 10am – 8pm
Saturday 10am – 6pm
Closed Sunday