Niko Niko's is open in Market Square Park, with less than impressive results
At 82 degrees and cloudy, for a while it seemed like the ideal day for the second Niko Niko's to open in Market Square Park (the ceremonial opening of the actual new park almost a month ago, didn't include Niko Niko's debut).
And we weren't the only ones to think so Monday, arriving at the newly made-over park to a moderate line and virtually all of the numerous tables occupied.
Disappointment No. 1: The kiosk menu has all the gyro sandwiches and Greek salads that fans love, but we were heartbroken at the absence of Niko Niko's famous fries. Pita chips are just not the same.
Disappointment No. 2: Apparently the stand wasn't ready for the rush, as only one member of the party got a buzzer to tell us when our order was ready — the rest had their names taken down and were told to hover near the order window to get their food. After waiting 35 minutes (ages in crucial work-lunch minutes) one person gave up, asked for their money back and headed across the street to Les Givrals Kahve.
Disappointment No. 3: As soon as everyone finally had their orders and was ready to eat, those harmless-seeming gray clouds let loose a monsoon. This is the part where it's good to note that the awning at Market Square Park is not actually solid, and won't actually prevent you from getting soaked. This is how the rest of us ended up at Les Givrals.
We can't blame Niko Niko's for the rain, and we hate to tar them based on opening day drama. Once we got our food, we had no complaints — the gyro was stuffed with meat and their mild tzatziki sauce, the salads were fresh and flavorful. In any case, a Market Square Park that's a bit too popular and too crowded is a lovely change.
So go. But wait a couple weeks or go at an off-peak time, don't get excited for fries, and make sure you check the weather first.