948 Broad St., Weymouth
Hours: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day
Credit cards: Discover, MasterCard, Visa, American Express
If you’re in search of some eggs Benedict, look for the sign with the picture of an egg that says Nikos. At this cozy breakfast place on Broad Street in Weymouth, the traditional brunch favorite of an English muffin topped with poached eggs, Canadian bacon, and Hollandaise sauce is served 11 ways.
There are versions with corned beef hash, sausage patties, and even one with a crab cake. Nick Papachristos, the restaurant’s owner and namesake, said the most popular is the traditional ($7).
The dish comes with home fries that are just slightly crispy on the outside and soft inside, and seasoned well. The Hollandaise is rich and velvety. But poached eggs aren’t offered after 1:30 p.m., so on one afternoon the dish came with the eggs over-easy. They were cooked well, but I missed the more tender poached eggs.
On another visit, a friend ordered the Atlantic Benedict ($8), which swaps out the English muffin for hearty toasted rye and the Hollandaise for a low-fat sauce, and adds smoked salmon. This time it had the poached eggs, perfectly cooked and runny. The smoked salmon added flavor and a creamy texture, while the low-fat Hollandaise was still smooth and rich.
There’s plenty more on the menu besides eggs Benedict. The Mikey special ($8) has three eggs cooked any style, corned beef hash, a grilled bagel, and two slices of French toast. The hash could have been a little crisper, but it was good, perfect for the diner craving something salty and a little greasy. The bagel was simply all right to my native New Yorker tastes, but cooking it on the griddle elevated it and gave it a nice buttery crust.
Instead of having the standard French toast with the Mikey, I asked to substitute the homemade banana bread French toast, which the waitress happily accommodated. It cost $1.50 more; the banana bread French toast also comes as an entree ($7). It was phenomenal — sweet, moist, a bit eggy, with banana flavor mingling with the syrup.
An order of potato cakes ($3), on the other hand, was disappointingly bland. I had expected something like a latke, but these thick rounds, which come with sour cream and slices of tomatoes and red onion, just didn’t taste like much of anything.
The lumberjack omelet ($7) was an entree for the really hungry diner, a huge portion filled with potatoes, bacon, onions, ham, sausage, and cheddar, with sides of home fries and buttery toast. It was wonderfully savory and hearty, and leftovers became my breakfast the next day.
On the sweet side, there are the blueberry-stuffed pancakes ($6). The name is a puzzle since they don’t appear stuffed with anything. They look like ordinary blueberry pancakes and taste standard too, light and fluffy and sweet.
There are also raisin, blueberry, and corn muffins ($1.49 each) available, with the option of having them grilled. The blueberry and corn muffins are soft and sweet, but the raisin is dense and dry.
Nikos also serves lunch. The pressed Cubano panini ($8) has grilled chicken, ham, bacon, Swiss, and mustard, and comes with fries or potato chips. I thought substituting chicken breast for the usual pork might make the sandwich dry, but I was pleased to be proven wrong. The meat was juicy and flavorful, and while it’s not a proper Cuban, it’s a great sandwich.
Almost as good is the Tuscan chicken panini ($8), which also comes with fries or chips. The pesto and mozzarella meld and become a kind of creamy sauce for the grilled chicken, and the onions and balsamic vinaigrette dressing add a mild bite, a nice contrast to the richness.
Nikos is popular with locals, and weekends mean brief waits. On a Sunday afternoon my party waited only 10 minutes, and the friendly hostess checked in with us twice to assure us we were not forgotten and would be seated soon. Service was prompt but unrushed that day; on a prior visit it was attentive but slightly rushed.
The 48-seat dining space is clean, warm, and welcoming. Papachristos said it has undergone significant renovations over the years. The building was once a convenience store before becoming a restaurant, and Papachristos took over it in 1986. “I like the food business,” he said.
That feeling could run in the family — his son Nick is a co-owner of the acclaimed restaurant Trade, on the Greenway in downtown Boston.
The elder Papachristos is a native of Greece, but said that cuisine is not a focus of the menu. He offers the many varieties of eggs Benedict to give customers plenty of choices, and said the dish is easily adaptable.
Most of the restaurant’s recipes are his, though the cooking these days is left to other chefs. He observes the dining room, ensuring things run smoothly. “I used to do most of the cooking here,” he said. “I’m semiretired now.”