Tag Archives: hamburger

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

Bluewater Beach Grill – Restaurant Review 2017

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

If you are a regular reader of mine, you may remember that I was just at the Bluewater Beach Grill about 3 months ago.  At the time, they did mention that they would be coming out with a new menu in the upcoming months and that they would like me to come back and give it a try.  I got that opportunity to visit them again last week and try out the new menu.

The atmosphere hasn’t changed since my last review other than their new sign and logo.  The most notable change was to the menu.  All the items that I reviewed previously are now gone except for the Poke bowls.  The new menu, while limited from what they offered previously, has some really tasting sounding items on it.  Prices have also dropped on their sandwiches making it more affordable too.  I think part of this change was to cater to the beach and surfer crowd that frequents this area, making it affordable for them to stop in and grab a quick bite to eat before hitting the waves.

As you drive by on A1A, you may miss this place since the front of the restaurant faces north and is not that visible as you pass by.  There is limited parking on the street in front of the building, but ample parking in Jetty Park if you arrive early.  There are other restaurants and bars in the area so as the evening progresses, the lots tend to fill up quickly.  As we walked up to the entrance, there were lots of tables outside, and plenty of seating inside if you prefer the A/C.  There was a mix of hi and low top tables, a few booths, and a long bar with lots of stools to choose from.  It had that rustic laid-back beach vibe and was very comfortable. 


Now Let’s jump right in and see what the new menu has to offer!

Signature Smashed – ($7.00) – Smashed burgers seem to be very popular right now.  This one is made with a ground beef patty, American cheese, charred onions, their secret sauce, and horseradish pickles on a brioche bun.  Loaded fries were served alongside (ala carte). The burger itself was perfectly cooked and was seasoned nicely.  The secret sauce reminded me of a thousand islands or a Frisco type of sauce and was very good.  The French fries were fantastic and a table favorite!

Cheeseburger – ($6.00) – Nothing beats a classic cheeseburger!  This one is made very much like the signature smash burger, only the onions are not charred.  It’s made with a beef patty, American cheese, their secret sauce, and available upon request you can add hydro lettuce, onion, and tomato served on a brioche bun. Loaded fries were served alongside (ala carte).  The burger was cooked perfectly and the seasoning was on point.  The brioche bun was very fresh and quite tasty.

Chicken Burger – ($7.00) – Up next for my tasting pleasure is their new Chicken Burger!  It’s made with a white meat chicken breast that has been lightly breaded and deep-fried to a light golden brown.  It’s served on a buttered brioche bun with hydro lettuce, herbed mayonnaise, and crisp kosher pickles.  Loaded tator tots were served alongside (ala carte).  I cut it in half and the first thing I noticed was how juicy the chicken breast was.  It was oozing juice as I lightly squeezed it.  The manager said they brine the chicken to make sure it stays moist while frying it.  This reminded me of a popular chain restaurant’s chicken sandwich but was much fresher and more flavorful.

Hamachi Poke Bowl – ($19.00) – Poke bowls are somewhat new to me other than the previous review that I did here, so I was anxious to try their new varieties.  It’s made with a mix of brown and white rice, sweet onions, tobiko, carrots, radish, pickled veggies, avocado, sesame seeds, nori, crispy shallots and topped with a spicy Amarilla sauce and a seaweed salad.  The portion was quite large and everything was very fresh.  Flavors were a bit subtle for my taste, but overall, it was quite good.

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl – ($16.00) – They previously had an Ahi Poke bowl which I tried on the previous review, so I was anxious to try the new one and make my comparison.  This one is made with white rice, sweet onion, green onions, pickled ginger, cucumbers, avocado, carrots, tobiko, nori, rice seasoning, Eel and Togarashi sauce, and finished with their house Poke sauce.  While I liked the presentation of the previous version better, this one had a lot more flavor.  Everything was fresh and quite tasty with lots of bold flavors and different textures.  I’m definitely a fan of the newly updated dish!

Donuts – ($4.00) – Our last course of the evening were these little beauties!  They were small bite-sized donuts made with a spice cake batter.  They were deep fried and placed in the bag while still warm and tossed with the cinnamon and sugar mixture to coat.  They had a slight crunch to them and were not as rich as I hoped they would be, but they were still quite tasty.

In Conclusion:

With menu changes this drastic, you take the risk of alienating your existing customer base that you have already established by removing their favorite dishes, all while wanting to attract that new customer that has never dined with you before, so it can be a delicate balancing act.  The new menu should appeal to young and old, and every budget by offering a range of prices that most everyone can afford.  While I’m sad to see some of the previous menu items go, the new ones are quite tasty and should please most anyone that dines with them.

Have you tried Bluewater Beach Grill?  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.

Atmosphere – 5 Forks

Service – 5 Forks

Food – 4 Forks

Rating Scale Legend:

1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent

Bluewater Beach Grill Website  |  Menu  |  Facebook Page

Address2025 Seaway Dr, Fort Pierce, FL 34949

Phone(772) 466-0023

Open Daily from 11:00 am till 10:00 pm  |  Happy Hour Everyday from 4:00 pm till 7:00 pm