Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sens-Asian-al Jazmine?

OK, one more Reno post. Before I forget, I must mention Jazmine. Why, you ask? Well, look below!

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Is it anything like the amazing grub, whether it's Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese, that you'll regularly find in our own dear Chinatown? Nope. But for Reno, it will do.

Until China Mama opens a Washoe County outpost, it's OK to settle down here and grab some potstickers. The veggies inside did taste fresh, and the potstickers did keep me satisfied. And the egg rolls were fried just right... Not too greasy, but still crispy outside.

I also ordered the braised tofu with black mushrooms and bok choy. Everything was quite tender to the mouth, and the tofu actually acquired some good flavor from the salty-sweet soy marinade used. But at the same time, I could still taste the natural flavors of the veggies. All in all, not bad.

So while I may not be flying to Reno any time soon to drive to South Meadows in search of "the perfect Asian meal", at least I know I can come here for good grub. (Did you hear that, Santa Fe fans?)

Style: Casually Elegant Pan-Asian
Price: $$
Open: Lunch & Dinner

The Rating

Food: 4.5 (out of 5)
Service: 2.9 (out of 3)
Ambiance: 1.8 (out of 2)
Overall: 9.2 (out of 10)
Solidly Good Grub

Jazmine on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bite of Reno: Sadness at Santa Fe

Have you ever been let down by something that was meant to be "THE experience of a lifetime"? Isn't it saddening? Frustrating? Annoying?

That's how I felt after dinner at Santa Fe in Reno.

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See that food? There was really nothing special about it. The bread tasted like it was from a mass production factory. The soup tasted like it was from a can.

And wait, it doesn't stop there! The chicken tasted extra greasy, and the pork chops were really dry. So this place is supposed to be a "local legend" and they can't even serve decent pork chops?

And what was "Basque" about any of this? I saw a pimiento pepper here and vaguely "Spanish" spices there. As Gertrude Stein would say, "There's no THERE there."

At least the ice cream at the end was OK... But I could tell that was also from somewhere else. Dreyer's, perhaps?

I've made far better Basque food at home. Maybe this just wasn't a good weekend at Santa Fe, so I won't say "NEVER!!!" just yet. However, next time I will ask more questions if someone in Reno tells me about this place I "just HAVE to try!!!" If it weren't for the low prices, I would have been even more let down. Without a doubt, I won't be complaining about spending a few extra dollars next time to enjoy a quality Spanish meal locally at Julian Serrano or Jaleo.

Style: Family Style Neighborhood Hangout
Price: $
Open: Dinner

The Rating

Food: 2.3 (out of 5)
Service: 1.7 (out of 3)
Ambiance: 1.5 (out of 2)
Overall: 5.5 (out of 10)
Bitter Aftertaste, Don't Bother With This Dud

Santa Fe Hotel on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bite of Reno: 5th Street Bakehouse

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These were some of the sights and tastes of 5th Street Bakehouse in Reno last weekend.

I had a "California Breakfast" sandwich that was out of this world. The bread was super fresh, along with the tomato and avocado. The egg was cooked superbly, and was quite fluffy. All in all, I had a good time with that sandwich... And I'm not usually into breakfast sandwiches.

In addition to that lovely sandwich, I also sampled their delectable pastries. In particular, the peanut butter toffee scone really put a smile on my face. It was rich and sweet, but not overly or sickly sweet. The scone also had a flaky texture that made it that much more enjoyable.

Oh, and this place also knows how to do coffee right! My white mocha tasted the way a mocha should, meaning I could still taste the coffee. And thankfully, they used good quality coffee.

And you know what the best part about this breakfast was? It felt "down home"... In a good way. I never felt rushed. We held our table as we awaited more friends. Magazines were available at a table near the front door. It truly felt like a neighborhood cafe.

Getting back to what I talked about yesterday, Reno's culinary culture is quite different from Vegas'. Here, true neighborhood hangouts are few and far between. There, it's just another day at the favorite corner bakery. Here, breakfast on The Strip can be an elaborate affair with eclairs and sushi and sparkling champagne... While breakfast off The Strip is considered "decent" if it didn't come out of a freezer or paper bag. But in Reno, this may actually be awaiting you upon awakening.

Strange, isn't it?

Style: Bakery, Neighborhood Hangout
Price: $
Open: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

The Rating

Food: 4.9 (out of 5)
Service: 1.8 (out of 3)
Ambiance: 2.0 (out of 2)
Overall: 9.7 (out of 10)
Outstanding Destination Eating!

5th St. Bakehouse on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 1, 2011

How Do People Eat in Reno?

Over the weekend, I will be posting reviews from the places I ate during my Northern Sojourn. There was some good grub... And some not so good grub.

But before I get into specifics, I want to talk about this. Reno is just so gawd-damned different! No, really. Think about it.

Reno is proud of its history. And food wise, it cuts both ways. It means there are great culinary institutions in Northern Nevada that stand the test of time, regardless of whatever the hot new foodie trends of the minute may be. However, it may also mean that some places can slack off because they think they can just rest on their past laurels. Honestly, I tasted some of both last weekend.

And in The North, they know what they like. Just because something is hot down here in Vegas doesn't mean Reno or Carson will be following along any time soon. If our foodie fad of the moment is tapas or gourmet burgers or fussified Frenchie fare, Reno may still be happy with down home, local "cowboy cuisine".

I'll get into the specifics more this weekend. I just wanted to prepare you first for what's about to come. Bite of Vegas just took a bite of The North! ;-)

Amazing rural #Nevada scenery near Minden #fb on Twitpic

Now leaving #Reno for #Nevada's Capital #CarsonCity #fb on Twitpic

#MtRose #Reno #Nevada #sunrise :-) #fb on Twitpic

#Sunrise in #Reno #Nevada. Not #VegasParty, but it will do ;-... on Twitpic

#thuglife in #Reno #Nevada :-D #fb on Twitpic