Nicky’s branches out.

I was surprised to note the opening of a second Banh Mi parlor in the Boerum Hill area – when I moved in, we barely dared dream about such luxury, after all.  Now we have a branch of Nicky’s, the original of which still exists on 2nd Street and Avenue A in the East Village (and the antecedent of which was on this side of the river in Sunset Park).

How does it compare to Hanco’s?  Well, Hanco’s is pretty good, but I’ll give Nicky’s the slight edge.  Something about the ground pork (perhaps the sweetness?) in their classic sandwich ($4) appealed to my roommate and I more last night, and Nicky’s is a bit bigger and more pleasant a place to wait or eat in, despite its semi-underground location (between Hoyt and Smith on Atlantic Avenue, in a downstairs storefront).  The sandwich was done quicker than Hanco’s, too.

For those who don’t want a mini-hero, Nicky’s also offers a couple basic noodle dishes and salads – the noodles are your basic rice vermicelli with either pork slices or chicken on top ($6.50).  These are presumably the same iterations that would top your sandwich, though the pork I had last night would have been a bit bony to put in the loaf (otherwise, though, the pork was quite excellent).  A bit odd that a de-constructed sandwich (pickled carrots and peppers appear on the side) would cost more than its assembled cousin, but I’ll chalk that up to the increased preparation effort, or something.

I can only think that Nicky’s hopes to capture some of the dining business from the hotel that’s going in on the corner of Smith and Atlantic, as well as avoid Smith Street’s high rents (there certainly are enough empty storefronts to attest to the difficulty of turning a profit on that strip).  I just hope there’s enough market for two Banh Mi parlors in my hood.

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