Whisk Review: Nick’s Patio
1710 N. Ironwood Dr.
South Bend, IN 46635
Open 24 Hours
I have passed by Nick’s Patio numerous times in the past few years, traveling to and from other places in South Bend. I had never thought to stop in before—the name does little, in my opinion, to attract customers. The restaurant, however, does advertise 24-hour service, so my wife suggested we give it a try. We arrived a little after 11 p.m. so we could see what their late evening service was, and to see if it is suitable for a late-night meal or as a study spot for the occasional all-nighter.
Atmosphere & Service: Not surprisingly, the restaurant was mostly empty of patrons, which meant immediate seating for us. Perhaps during popular meal times one might encounter a short wait, but I don’t expect that Nick’s Patio is ever busy enough that customers completely fill its moderately-sized dining space. The interior was pleasantly-decorated, though very unassuming in appearance—I would say it’s meant to feel “neutral,” so nothing looks tacky or hard on the eyes. A TV played quietly in a corner. We were seated in a booth and our server, who was polite and accommodating, attended us regularly. It did not take long for our appetizer to be brought out, and our entrees arrived soon after.
Food & Prices: The food selection was surprising—I wasn’t sure what to expect at first (the name Nick’s Patio doesn’t immediately suggest what’s on the menu), but I hadn’t expected the wide selection that was available. As I had supposed, the traditional American dishes that one can commonly expect from a diner-like restaurant were there (“comfort food”), especially breakfast items like omelettes, pancakes, french toast and waffles. On their website, where you can view their full menu, they describe this sort of fare as “reminiscent of Mom’s home cooking.” But in addition to that were options that I see less often in these kind of restaurants: skillets, croissant sandwiches, pitas, stir fry, seafood, pasta, salads and quesadillas.
From a vegetarian perspective, there were few options without meat. For example, both of their soups of the day, our server informed us, were likely made with a non-vegetarian broth. There was, however, enough variety among the vegetarian choices that I was satisfied with the selection I had to choose from. We eventually ordered golden fried pickles from the list of appetizers, a vegetarian skillet and a veggie pita.The pickles were delicious, and both entrees were excellent and decently-portioned. We left the restaurant full and with plenty of leftovers. The items were on the pricey side—the appetizers were in the $5-6 range, while the pita was about $7 and the skillet $9 (their online menu’s prices are not up-to-date). Still, the amount of food one got for the price was appropriate; there were plenty of fried pickles to split between the two of us.
Overall: Though it may be visually unimpressive, Nick’s Patio does not lack for tasty food—I wouldn’t recommend this location for a date or a fancy dinner. But it makes for a great place to go with friends if you have a hankering for something savory and filling, or if you need a place that is open late at night or early in the morning.