For more than a decade, I’ve been going to a diner near the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 44th Street in Manhattan called Red Flame. Because of the names of two of the guys who work there, I have always thought of it as “Nick and Nick’s,” which has led to confusion when I’ve asked friends to meet me there. I forget that “Nick” isn’t written anywhere on the sign.
Recently, director Whit Stillman asked an interviewer to meet him outside the Harvard Club, but then took the interviewer to lunch down the block, at Nick and Nick’s. Why? The Cobb salad is cheaper there.
My favorite Nick and Nick’s entree, which I had again last night, is the egg salad club deluxe. “Deluxe” because it comes with fries. It’s simple to make, but oh, so, good:
Hard-boil eggs (put 8 raw eggs in a pot, cover them with water so the water goes an inch above the tops of the eggs, and put the cover on the pot; turn the heat on high, and turn it off as soon as the water boils; let the eggs sit with the cover on for 15 minutes; rinse them in cold water and take off the shells). Let the shelled, hard-boiled eggs sit in the refrigerator long enough to get cold (several hours). Dice the chilled eggs.
Toast several pieces of white bread ever so slightly. Coat one side of each slice very thinly with mayonnaise. Make the sandwiches with toast, lettuce, tomato, diced eggs, and bacon. Slice diagonally; hold each half together with a decorative toothpick, if desired.
Other people have posted some great recipes for fries online; feel free to try my deep-fried parsnip recipe (with potatoes instead of parsnips). When you make this for dinner (or lunch), consider it a little tribute to the best diner in Manhattan.