Another trip, another batch of stories about food and random photos.
This time, it’s Reno. I hadn’t been to town in 8 years, which means I hadn’t seen Robin’s new house. The new house she bought 7 years ago. Shame on me.
Lucky for me, Robin lives next to her Aunt Teek, so I got to stay in her swanky guest bedroom. It was funny- the minute I laid my head on the pillow, I thought “Oh, good. Strange bed! Adventures ahead.” I slept better in that bed than I have in my own for months!
Reno is an interesting place: there are several parallel lifestyles going on. Locals, who make the city work. Students, who drink all the cheap beer and vomit on the sidewalks. Transplanted outdoorsy types, who take advantage of the amazing weather and proximity to the mountains. Tourists, who look a little lost, and are always carrying stuffed animals.The disenfranchised: chronic gamblers, down on their luck workers, addicts, alcoholics (they might vomit on the sidewalks, too). And the plain old weirdos.
Luckily, I got to hang out with the locals, which means we ate and drank like kings and queens. Basically, Robin and Brad know everyone in town. I have to say, this visit was a revelation. Reno still has that small town feel, but the food scene is very big city, if you know where to go. On Friday night we ate steak frites at Midtown Eats, where I also had The Best Cocktail I’ve Ever Had (okay, I had two). I will admit it, I am in love with a drink called the Cinder, and yes, you can call me Cinderella. Jalapeno infused reposado, tequila, bitters, lime. Sounds simple, yes? It’s like drinking a smoky, spicy limeade. Oh, my. I want one right now. Hope this doesn’t mean I have a problem.
Robin and I had a knockabout day on Friday- we got up late, had coffee, made out with the cutest dog in the universe, and headed out into town. We swung by Oxbow Nature Area for a mini safari. The weather was mild, and the birds were out in force: goldfinch, Stellar’s jays, house finch, redwing blackbirds, and more little brown ones we couldn’t identify. The Truckee was making lovely burbling sounds, so we sat drowsy in the sun for a while.
Then it was time to get our creative on. Robin’s the creative one- always painting, printing, cross-stitching. So talented. Me, not so much. But we took a bottle of wine to the studio, got out the acrylics, and “painted”. It was a blast.
I also met Fluffy that afternoon. He will be coming to live with me. Fluffy is a chipmunk, painted into the most surreal southwestern landscape I’ve ever seen. Robin had it in her studio, and it was love at first sight. He was owned by her cousin, who was kind enough to let me have him. So we ran down to the UPS store, where Denver (from Manila) helped us pack him up. He’ll be here soon. I can’t wait to see him again. Oh, Fluffy!
Saturday meant lunch at Louis Basques Corner, a Reno institution. Classic Basque food, but they’ve also added a simple bar menu. We had Picon Punches and lamb dip sandwiches , and chorizo burgers and sweetbreads. See? Kings and queens! Then we napped.
Saturday night we had a nice light dinner of oysters and pizza at Brasserie St James, then we popped over to Death and Taxes for more fun cocktails. I don’t think 7 is too many for 3 people, do you? It’s a beautiful room, and Ivan (the owner) is passionate about his mixology. It shows. He was also kind enough to give us a taste of Cynar, an artichoke liqueur. That’s one more thing off my bucket list….
I was also fortunate to view the Reno Borealis. This not so rare phenomenon occurs when the low cloud cover reflects the lights from the casinos. Blue from the Silver Legacy, orange from Circus Circus. It was beautiful. Okay, not really, but it’s funny that you can tell which casino casts which color. Oh, Reno.
Sunday was family day. We took Robin’s Aunt Teek and her parents down to the Gold and Silver, where we ate enormous portions of eggs Florentine, biscuits and gravy, quiche. It was absolutely delicious, and exactly what is needed on a Sunday morning in Reno.
And then it was time to leave. I am so happy I visited! This town is quickly changing and if you want a taste of old Reno, you’d better get there soon. But I think the new Reno is going to be even better.
Thanks Robin and Brad and Teek (and Maeby). I had a wonderful trip. I won’t wait so long for the next time!