Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nick and Nate's

Nick and Nate’s is my favorite restaurant. I enjoy different kinds of restaurants for different occasions, company, and moods; but, Nick and Nate’s is my all-around anytime favorite. In North Carolina anyway. In ’94, when Brent and I honeymooned here, we were wandering around on Main deciding where to have supper. We decided on Andretti’s, which was a very casual zero-atmosphere Eyetalian place. (Eyetalian because that is how it is pronounced up here.) Mr. Andretti himself could be seen in the open window to the kitchen throwing his truly wonderful pizza dough with a cigarette held between his lips. That’s still allowed up here. But, even if a few ashes fell into it, it did not matter. We were so hooked on Andretti’s pizza that for several years, we couldn’t wait to return to it.

One year, we went with mouths watering for Andretti’s…and it was not there! We were in shock over our disappointment, but hungry enough that we went into see what had attempted to take it’s place. The waiter welcomed us and explained that Andretti’s sold his restaurant to Nick and Nate’s which is like the one on Main in Waynesville. Well, we were unaware of any Nick and Nate’s in Waynesville; and, how could this have happened to us while were in Florida and so unaware of changes taking place up here between summers?

But, the menu was enticing and I could already see they were doing something about the atmosphere problem by hanging old junk everywhere. It’s sort of like Cracker Barrel style, but sloppier and more eclectic with some local flare. I felt unloyal to poor old Andretti who much be somewhere with just a cigarette and no pizza dough. But, despite my feelings of guilt I developed a new passion that evening for Nick and Nate’s.

They have specialty pizzas with names like The Nantahala which is a miracle with spinach, pesto, feta; which, sounds Greek but is slightly different from The Mediterranean though. There’s The Barnyard for the meat cravers and a delicious Farmhouse for veggie lovers. The wings are great. The onion rings are perfect. They serve interesting local beer. And their homemade ranch dressing makes you actually crave a salad and, then, not wanting to give up the last bit, start dipping pizza crust in it. They also have a lunch buffet: a good way to get a fix for less money and time. I wish I could work there; the waiters seem to be so happy to see you and proud of what they bring to your table. (Plus, the Waynesville location has this really cute waiter who looks kin to The Rock.)

We’ve enjoyed both locations depending on where other activities take us for the day and have shared it with lots of family and friends who generally agree with our enthusiasm. (Uncle Fred did not like the pasta and they did not give free bread with it; so, don’t order spaghetti.) One of the most romantic things Brent has ever given me is a Nick and Nate’s shirt from one of our Thanksgiving Sylva trips. Once, after driving north all day from home, at a gas station just before getting to the house to unload, Curtis said, “Let’s don’t unpack. Let’s just go straight to Nick and Nate’s.” He’d been craving it all day and just couldn’t wait anymore. He did not have to ask twice; but, once again, were stricken that our place on Main was closed! So, in desperation the next day we drove the short distance to Waynesville. A waiter filled us in on the demise of the Sylva restaurant. It seems that there was a disagreement between the landlord and restaurant owner that required a fight..a real one in the street and calling the police…that caused them to close and rebuild a new one near the hospital. I am really looking forward to it and have been for two summers already. They are supposed to open on August 15th. I’ll miss the old one which is now replaced by an Ironstone Grill Steakhouse that was ok, but just did not do it for me.


  1. You better go on opening day, or I will not believe that this is the tops in your book... We went to The Cove this weekend, and I must say, I missed those wings from N&N's!

  2. Amy, you keep me rolling girl! I LOVE the Andretti man with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth. This is great!

  3. Dear Amy, It just so happens that I stumbled across your blog while googleing Nick and Nate's. I often do so just to see what is out there and where it takes me. I have to say that your blog is one of the most passionate and heartfelt post that I have ever found over the years of doing so. Your description of Nick and Nate's is exactly what I hoped to find. For it embodies what I set out to create,,, something that I would be proud enough of to put my sons names on the door.
    Contrary to the rumors that seem to abound.. The opening date has not been set yet. But I assure you, there will be an invitation to you and your family to be there when the doors first open. If you will email me at .. I will make sure that you will be one of the first to know when that day is. I would also like to provide you with another t-shirt as long as your husband won't get jealous..LOL

    ... Patrick

  4. Wonder if Patrick knows how big the family is. That's really cool. I should definately be invited since I'm up front in the best pic. Guess we'll have to make a weekend trip for the opening!! I would love to have the first Nantahala Pizza! Jill:)