If you stopped by Nick & Sam’s Grill any night of the week, you’d have no idea there was a recession going on. The place is packed, especially right after work, with young professionals drinking and mingling at the bar or dining on the covered patio. It’s no surprise, really, because the restaurant serves fairly simple but well-executed dishes at price points that anyone can swallow (most entrées are less than $20). Take, for example, the brisket burger. Brisket is mixed right into the ground beef to form a patty so fat and flavorful that you won’t care about the extra calories. French fries are an option as a side, and you must order them, because they are extra crispy—likely fried twice, as they should be, to get that just-right crunch—striking the right balance between fat and thin. Another hit was the salmon “salad,” which was essentially a generous slab of fish, impeccably prepared medium rare, and a side of greens, mandarin oranges, and kalamata olives tossed in a light vinaigrette. A dish that didn’t work, however, was the grown-up grilled cheese, which touted ham and pear. I could taste neither. The only dessert made at the Grill—the others are brought in from big brother Nick & Sam’s—is an ethereal, light-as-air chocolate peanut butter cheesecake worth every diet-busting calorie.

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