Friday, July 06, 2007

Adventures in dining, Tampa style

In spite of having lived in the Tampa Bay area for over 20 years now, there are still bars and restaurants I've passed hundreds of times that I've always wanted to visit but have just never gotten around to actually doing so. That list got a little shorter today when I stopped for lunch at Nicko's diner.
It's one of those classic "railroad car"-style diners covered in stainless steel. Between that and the fact that they serve breakfast very late (I was able to get an excellent Greek omelet and hash browns after 12:00 noon), I liked the place immediately. The service was very quick and efficient, with plenty of attention in the way of coffee refills which is always a huge plus. Further enhancing the experience was getting to sit at the same booth where
Elvis Presley dined after a show at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory back in 1956. I'm not the world's biggest Elvis fan so I had no idea until I sat down and saw the commemorative plaque, but it was still cool.
What wasn't so cool was once again, being revealed as the schlimazel I truly am. I learned from watching Laverne & Shirley as a child that a
schlemiel is someone who spills their soup in a diner and a schlimazel is someone who has soup spilled on them in a diner (the fact that I'm able to retain life lessons learned from Yiddish speaking Italian-American sitcom characters but couldn't tell you the value of X with a full pad of paper, a sharp pencil and a scientific calculator will give you a little clue about my level of intelligence). Only in my case, today, it was ketchup that somehow wound up being spilled on me (see the photo of my shirt). I still don't know if the people eating at the booth behind me were startled by a hornet or what happened exactly. This is the kind of thing that happens fairly regularly to me but probably never, ever happened to Elvis, even though we both sat in the same booth. But my waitress graciously comped part of my bill and the food was excellent, so overall, I would recommend Nicko's highly to anyone. Just be careful when they're passing the condiments, unless you happen to be The King of Rock and Roll.

(Cross posted at Sticks Of Fire)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

diners like nicko's were built on site and they are not from railroad cars. check wiki...:)