A companion to the food truck craze, and a revision


Tom Young at Great Basin Brewing recently won Sparks City Council approval for a new service on Victorian Way – look forward to it in the warmer days, be prepared to do your share of pedaling…!

Hey, it’s April Fool’s Day. Yet, it’s still not a bad idea

Added April 2nd: OK, now: April Fool’s over. And a dear ol’ reader, which is all I have are ol’, not all dear, reminded me that the old column, read by old people, uses the old name, “B Street.” That’s all well-and-good, but I’m learning that too many people don’t know where B Street is (Victorian, to them), and the sadder fact is, that some who once knew “B” have forgotten that also. So for all of them, come to our meeting tonight at Boulevard Pizza Parlor, on 17th Street. (Rock Boulevard’s old name, and no, we’re not meeting, but the Masons had a pizza night last Tuesday at the Boulevard and it’s a great joint!)

Possibly not as great as Tom Young’s rolling brew pub. But good pizza nevertheless.

Reno’s Food King “super”markets


What ever became of the Food King markets – this is a test – you drive past them weekly, some daily, all still stand in Reno. OK, the Bavarian World, at E. Sixth and Valley Road, an unlikely spot for a supermarket in 1961, and some say less-likely as a spot for a German restaurant today.

Out on South Wells Avenue at Ryland, the busy Mini-Market on the northwest corner was our second Food King location. That neighborhood once was a thriving home of middle-of-the-road Reno residents and their families. And finally, at Keystone Avenue when it was first developed north of the railroad tracks, the third Food King opened, probably the largest market in the northwest serving the newly-developing Sproul Homes.

It was a supermarket, later a restaurant, now heavily re-built as Ben’s Fine Liquor, known better by most of us as Ben’s Discount Liquor, or just plain Ben’s – eponymous with Ben Akert, still a heck of a guy we see around town quite a bit – try Simon’s or the Coney.

And there you have them. And we inspired ourselves about Ben’s – maybe someday soon we’ll do a piece about the metamorphosis of Akert’s Market on East Fourth and Alameda!

The El Tavern – Reno’s first truck stop?


Here’s an old friend, just west of town on West Fourth Street – Old Highway 40 – an old friend because as a child, I ate a lot of good meals there in the coffee shop that was generally crowded with Reno residents and long haul truck drivers, breakfast, lunch and dinner

The highway in front of the motel was always lined with trucks – which then were trucks with a cargo body pulling a full trailer, as opposed to the semi-trailers common today (and I  don’t recall any sleeper cabs then, but I could be wrong.) I fudge a little in calling it the first truck stop; it probably was tied for that honor with Ernie’s Flying A on East Fourth Street, which was still Highway 40, or the Lincoln Highway

And the food? Great – after all, the guy that owned it was an old hardscrabble miner from some central Nevada mining camps, operating before WWII. His name was Bill Parker, a good friend of my dad’s. He made his swag mining gold and silver. Which probably accounts for the name of the restaurant he later opened, a few blocks to the east: The Gold ‘n Silver. You’ve probably eaten there…!

New Gig: Restaurant reviews


Still not posting anything publicly, we’re now into the restaurant reviewing business.

Had a great fish ‘n chips at the Brasserie St. James – which site I’ve written of before as the old Crystal Springs Water Company in the 900 block of South Center Street. Now it’s a brasserie and a brew pub. Good lunch with a couple of guys, price right, food good, go back anytime.

In fact, took Linda back the following day (a Friday). Joint was packed. Having no reservation, we left, but not until Linda asked for a card with a phone number so we could call ahead next time. Now it gets good:

The hostess, a rather tall, attractive lady, said, “The phone number’s on our website.” This response, as opposed to, “Here’s a card.”

The restaurant’s website http://brasseriesaintjames.com/ , as of today, is “coming soon; see our ad on Facebook.” I’m not on Facebook. I would predict that the Brasserie St. James will be open for a good long time, particularly if they get somebody at the point of a diner’s first visit with a bit more spunk.