After years of appearances at special events and farmer's markets, Nicky's Quickie Greek and Middle East style food is now in Eagle to stay.
The original restaurant is at 151 Main St. in Minturn, where it's been since it opened in 2010. Now Stephen Porter is starting a second location in Eagle at the intersection of Grand Avenue (U.S. Highway 6) and Fourth Street.
The Eagle location is based out of a food truck for the time being. Porter plans to move into the nearby building by late spring or early summer. The food truck started selling the restaurant's signature Greek gyros a few weeks ago, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. The Minturn restaurant hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
"Once we get settled in the restaurant we'll add new things to the menu," Porter said.
The Minturn menu includes a fish gyro, soup and latkes, among other things, in addition to the core menu that is offered at the food truck in Eagle. The core menu includes Nicky's Quickie, which is sauteed gyro meat (lamb) with Greek spices on grilled pita bread with tzatziki sauce, grilled red onions, mixed greens, roma tomatoes, feta cheese and Kalamata olive for $7.99. Nicky's Crispie is fried fava- and garbonzo-bean falafel on a pita with rosemary tahini vinaigrette, sliced cucumber, marinated artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olive for $7.99. "Veggie" and "Eggie" gyros are available as well, as are "half" servings for $4.99. Salad versions of the sandwiches go for $6.49 for a half and $9.75 for a full serving.
"When we move into the building we'll offer daily specials and combo meals for $6.99, too," Porter said. "We'll compete with the fast-food restaurants - we won't be quite as fast, but we have better quality and value."
Porter is dedicated to serving a healthy, well-rounded menu. Nicky's cooks only with pure extra virgin olive oil and only fries food in pure grape seed oil.
"We cater to meat-eaters, vegetarian, vegan and a number of religious diets," he said, echoing his website, www.nickysquickie.com.
The website also notes that Nicky's Quickie does not contain pork, nuts, shellfish products or trans-fats.
"We take care of allergy diets and have dishes specialized for vegans," Porter said. "We don't just throw everything together."
Porter is also proud to say his service uses many organic products.
"I always liked Greek and Middle Eastern food - it's so fresh and healthy," he said. "I first tried Greek food when I was about 7 years old at a market. After that, I've always sought out the gyro guys."
Nicky's is also supportive of first responders. A sign on the food truck advertises that a $1 discount is given to all police, military, forest service and EMT personnel as long as they are in uniform or present ID.
With advance notice, Nicky's will cater for large groups from its menu.
"And when we get into the building, we'll offer dine-in, take-out and delivery," Porter said.
So who is "Nicky"?
"Nicky is a family member who is no longer with us," Porter said.
He went on to say he likes making people happy through his food.
"I've had a lot of hard days doing this," he said. "I put all my money back into this business. I've subsisted on Ramen noodles at times to be able to buy the extra virgin olive oil. If I didn't have people saying, 'This was so good,' I would've quit this a long time ago."