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jjshyne
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We are headed back for the fourth or fifth time in three years soon. First: stay at Siena if you can. The beds are superior. It's not very expensive, either, and has to be the nicest place in Reno.

The Oceana at Peppermill Casino: try the seafood platter for two. Don't pay extra for lobster: not worth it. The Alaskan King Crab legs are the star of the show, along with oyster/tequila/jalapeño shooters. Oyster po boy is also good: nothing here will break the bank and you will not leave hungry. Seriously, the seafood is as good as any I've had anywhere in my life.

La Vecchia: my review and some photos here.

Last time we were there, we asked people: regulars mentioned a restaurant up on the side of a mountain being worth the trip. Beaujolais Bistro.

Avoid Viaggio's FOOD, but go in for good wine. The owner is a very nice guy, but his chef's got a heavy hand with the salt, like maybe he's a smoker. We wanted to be more impressed than we were: it was average, sorry to say.

We ate at Lexie's, and it too was nothing special, but not bad. I'm spoiled living in central California: our salads are amazing. Theirs are likely from bags at Costco. But they're a good value on the upper end of Reno dining.

Anyway, Oceana and La Vecchia are our best bets.

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When in Reno, I cannot recommend the Hotel El Dorado, nor can I speak highly of this hotel's room service. Blecch. I was there on a business trip in which I had no say on the hotel and a really tight schedule.

Usually, I avoid room service issues by following one rule: order at least two dishes. That way, if one sucks, hopefully at least the other dish is edible. In Reno, I came up more or less empty handed.

The El Dorado has several restaurants on-property including an Americanized Chinese spot. I miss this type of food from my days living in NYC and instantly got a craving for pork dumplings and chicken fried rice. The room service menu featured potstickers, but not any variety of fried rice so I made my second dish a simple grilled cheese with ham.

Well, it was all bad. The potstickers were just plain nasty, tasting of...old smoke? Dunno. Just kind of rancid and gross. I ate two and pushed the plate aside. The grilled cheese unfortunately featured none of the hallmarks of a good sandwich. No buttery flavor to the toasted bread. No sharpness to the cheese that was supposed to be cheddar, but tasted more like American. No crisp edges to the parts of the ham hanging over the crust of the bread. The accompaniments (straight from the freezer fries, dried out black olives and a wilted-looking pickle) were particularly sad.

I hope that it's a very long time before I return to downtown Reno. Like maybe never.

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For a place (Viet Pho) that advertises that it's the "Best Pho In Reno", I think that might be a bit of hyperbole. Co-located with a "Port Of Subs" sub shop (which might have been a give-away), the menu looked more promising than the area the restaurant was in. My first clue should have been the dearth of Vietnamese sitting at the tables in a very LARGE room. Being the brave soul I am, I went to the counter and ordered Pho-Ga (chicken pho for the uninitiated). I took my $2.10 change from the $10 I offered and went to find a seat (which wasn't a very difficult undertaking, there were plenty..another clue?). In about 5 minutes, the nice lady who had taken my order (who was Vietnamese by the way) brought the bowl of Pho. The first clue that there was something amiss was the lack of basil on the dish of bean sprouts and jalapeno peppers and lime. The second was the scent which was missing something (I'm going with aroma here, you can choose your own word). The third and most damning problem was that the chicken wasn't nice chunks of white meat chicken, it wasn't nice chunks of dark meat chicken, it was slices of what looked like sliced deli chicken you might put on a sandwich for someone you weren't overly fond of. Okay, it was hot and it did have noodles and with lots of hot sauce, bean sprouts and lime it passed for a pale imitation of Americanized Vietnamese Pho. Unless you're feeling pretty masochistic, the next time you get a craving for pho in Reno, Nevada, may I suggest Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup? At least the chicken is small cubes of what tastes like chicken.

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There is nothing memorable about Reno. Food or otherwise.

That's not entirely true. I had a decent Italian dinner (5 courses, wines, dessert) at La Vecchia. Mind you, about 25% of the food was on the menu, the rest was the chef's one off handiwork.

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I was there about a month ago, but the only time we went out was for Basque food at Louis's. I can't say it was very good, except for the braised oxtail and the Picon Punch, but you might find some decent stuff on the menu. There some other Basque restaurants in the area as well, but this is the only one I've been to.

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Smiling with Hope Pizza, 6135 Lakeside Drive, Suite 101, Reno, Nevada, 89511.  I have never been to this pizzeria, and I probably never will in all honesty as I have no foreseeable plans to be in Reno.  One of the owners, Walter Gloshinski, grew up in my home town.  I spent many a night in the late 1970s and early 1980s watching Walter play the blues in any bar that would have him in and around Newark, New Jersey.  He is one of the best harmonica players I have ever seen.  This is a truly wonderful thing that Walter and Judy are doing.  Pizza With A Social Cause.  See also  Owners of One Nevada Pizzeria Make It a Point to Hire Workers With Disabilities, by Catherine Thorbecke, March 1, 2016, on abcnews.go.com.  If you are in driving distance, hop on over and tell them you are there to see Walter "H.K." Tore and grab a pie.  The "H.K." stands for Harmonica King.

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