I’ve been to Reno several times, but I never really paid attention to the food until this past weekend. I went in search of food trucks, but I found much more and I was even inspired to do some cooking of my own.
This is my second posting about my weekend in Reno; the first one was posted a few days ago and it’s about the Party in the Park with Reno Street Food. If you haven’t read it, you might want to give out a quick look. It’s full of tastebud tantalizing photos of street food.
If I did even the slightest internet search about Reno’s food scene, I would have found out about edible RENO-TAHOE magazine before I went and not when my trip was almost over. When you’re talking about a three-day weekend, there isn’t much time left when it’s “almost over”. Man, this magazine is full of food articles, recipes, and a lot more about the Reno-Tahoe area. In the current issue, there’s an article about food trucks, that’s what I was looking for, and an article about Lavender Ridge, which I visited. The magazine is just over a hundred pages and I’m really just beginning to work my way through it. This magazine will be the guide for my next visit; which will be more sooner than later because my in-laws now live in Reno. Oh, and you can read edible RENO-TAHOE online.
Last Friday I left work early, to avoid traffic, for a three hour drive to Reno to check out some food trucks…and of course visit my in-laws. When I got to Reno the first stop was Wild River Grille. It’s situated on the Truckee River which runs through the middle of Reno. I wanted to keep it light, so I started with a cheese plate. It was a nice selection of cheeses, along with fresh fruit, berries, honey, spiced pecans, and lavash.
I looked at the menu some more and even though I was planning on food trucks, I decided to try the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings, made with a spicy orange sauce.
You know, I really should have stopped there but I went on to get the House Sliders with blue cheese, bacon, and garlic aioli. What can I say? I like sampling menus.
I could have eaten more, but it was time for the food trucks.
After you’ve read the rest of this posting, come back here to read about the food trucks I visited while at the Party in the Park with Reno Street Food.
On Saturday I actually back tracked to California to attend the 4th Annual Smokin’ in the Oaks BBQ Cook-off; you can read about that also.
Sunday morning was a georgous day in Reno and it got better when I went to The Stone House Cafe and ordered the BLT Bloody Mary….that’s right, BLT. The vodka was infused with BACON! How cool is that? For a kick, it had house-made guacamole with tiny bits of jalepenos. To top it off, the piece de resistance, Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato on a stick. I think the phrase “I don’t usually like…” is such a cliche, but folks, I don’t usually like Bloody Marys, but I had two of these!
Now on to breakfast… I had chicken and waffles. For those of you who have followed me for awhile, you know that I love Chicken Fried Steak, but I’m totally down with chicken and waffles, especially when they’re Belgian waffles. If you’re new to my posts, I usually let the pictures do the talking.
Also had the Lobster Eggs Benedict. Now when I say “also had”, what I really mean is that I tasted the Lobster Eggs Benedict. I like to eat, but I have limits and I don’t usually eat alone.
Just a warning, if you do find yourself partaking in some good eats with me, I will take a sample of what you have. But only if I don’t have it; so if you don’t want to share with me, it’s best that you get what I get.
Why, just a few weeks ago at the Wine Country Big Q, I had some extra tasting tickets and I knew I wouldn’t use them because I was full of BBQ! So I gave them away to a couple of guys that were sitting at the same table. They got up and went to get some BBQ. They came back in a few minutes and they must have been about 10 meters from me when I spotted a hunk of pork belly on one of their plates. Pork Belly! I love pork belly, I didn’t know there was pork belly to be had at the Big Q. I don’t think I gave them a chance to sit down before I was up, out of my seat, and on the other side of the table. It must be primal instincts because all I managed to say was “pork belly” and the dude was tearing me off a piece. That was my dessert, a perfect ending to a day of BBQ.
But I digress… back to Reno and the breakfast table. I’m always on the quest for the best chicken fried steak and I almost ordered it, but the lure of chicken and waffles prevailed. Luckily, someone else ordered it and let me tell you, that chicken fried steak is a contender for the best I’ve ever had.
One final dish…it was a benedict of some sort…..umm, I can’t rememeber what they called it, but it had spinach and a portabella mushroom and it was good.
If you go and I do recommend it, you’ll want to call for reservations; it gets a bit crowded. Did I mention the outdoor seating? This is a really nice place for patio dining. I usually just take pictures of food, but I should start taking pictures of the places also. So for now, you’ll just have to take my word, it’s a really nice place. Oh, and I thought the service was excellent, especially our waiter….whose name I believe is Wilson. Sounds about right.
Well after breakfast I wanted to take a nap, but instead went to Lavender Ridge. There’s a nice writeup about them is edible RENO-TAHOE, although at the time I did not know that. This is my favorite picture that I took while in Reno. Check out that bee, even he knows there’s a food scene in Reno; just look at him throwing down on some lavender nectar. Can you imagine the honey these bees produce? I so want some.
From the gift shop, I bought some culinary lavender and a cookbook. A few flips through the book and I planned dinner for the night. Okay, it was more than just a few flips, this book is full of wonderful recipes just waiting to be tried.
The main entree for the evening was Grilled Lavender Lamb Loin Chops. Maybe I’ll do a step by step blog for this recipe but for now you’ll just have to settle with knowing the lamb loin chops marinaded for several hours in pomegranate molasses, lemon-lime juice and of course, lavender. I couldn’t find pomegranate molasses, but I did find pomegranate juice and I tried making molasses by adding sugar and reducing it down…was it successful, not exactly, but I made it work. If I do a step by step photo shoot, I’ll make sure to perfect that process. If you want to know what I mean about step by step, check out my posting for Guinness Stout Whoopie Pies.
Those are some beautiful lamb loin chops with just some basic seasoning of salt and pepper before being marinaded.
For a side dish, Lavender Artichokes with a lavender-salt mayo for dipping was in order.
Where’s the pictures of the cooked food? Well, what can I say? I was so enthused about cooking with lavendar that I got a head of myself and ate before getting the pictures I wanted. What are you gonna do, right?
But hey, check out the Lavender Margaritas! Do they look refreshing, or what.
The cookbook has several drink recipes, including one for making a Lavender Sweet and Sour Mix which served as the base for the Margaritas. A little lavender salt on the rim and yumbo! I tried just three recipes out of about 120 that are in the book. The lavender dinner was totally impromptu, I had no idea that I was going to pick up a lavender cookbook. I’m glad I did. Will I try anymore recipes? Hard to say because there’s always some other magazine or book that comes along that’s full of recipes that I’ll want to try.
Will I return to Reno anytime soon? Oh heck yeah. It’s really not that far away and the more I read edible RENO-TAHOE, the more I want to head back.
Andrew Gross liked this post