A new spin
Record Street Brewing Company351 E 9th St.
Reno, NV 89512
You might remember the old Record Street Café, formerly located at the corner of Ninth and Record Streets, just south of the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Although it was a popular lunch hangout for dissident graduate students and faculty escaping curriculum meetings, it closed this past March. However, the building was taken over by new ownership in September, and the phoenix that rose from the ashes of the old establishment is definitely worth the attention not only of campus denizens but also of the larger community of Reno diners.
Inclement weather and the unavoidable depopulation of finals week found the place nearly abandoned when my husband and I skidded our way to the new Record Street Brewing Company on a lonely weeknight. A solitary graduate assistant hunched grumpily over some finals he was grading. We were greeted by Lisa, the friendly server and co-owner with her husband, Joe. It didn’t take long to be served two pints of Sierra Nevada pale ale ($4) and shown a promising menu.
The layout and decor are fairly close to the old Record Street Café—at least according to my husband, who frequented the old restaurant, but who is unfortunately in the bottom quartile in attention to detail. The wooden tables are still there and blend nicely with the new bar, glass and marble countertops and wall decorations, making the place cozy, especially on a snowy night. However, the food and the service are what make the new place special.
We were in a veggie mood, so we requested both the garden pizza ($18.89 for a 12 inch pie) and the hot veggie sandwich ($7.49). Our pizza was a cheerfully delivered bounty of tomatoes, broccoli, black olives, red onion, bell peppers, mushrooms and roasted garlic. Especially wonderful on this dish was chef Darryl’s (aka “Big D") use of whole cloves of garlic throughout the pie. The soft and warm cloves all but melted in our mouths and gave the pizza a delightful zing. The sandwich was just barely not as good—maybe a shade heavy on the marinara—but made the best use of eggplant I have enjoyed in many meals. Big D is a talent.
Another treat for us was the chance to talk to our hosts. Big D came out and actually asked if we had any advice for him about the food. Did we miss anything from the old menu? Other than suggesting that he put the extra marinara on the side, I think I’ll just let this guy do his work. We also talked to Joe and Lisa briefly and were struck by their dedication to their business dream even during hard economic times. Nonetheless, I think if the word gets out, these folks will succeed, and I hope they do.
The big question is what kind of microbrew does Record Street Brewing Company serve? The unfortunate answer, for now, is none. But this is no bait-and-switch by the ownership: Joe brews out of his home and is currently enmeshed in some arcane bureaucratic imbroglio with the state over permission to sell his elixirs. So for now, the Sierra Nevada will have to slake the thirst of anyone hooked by the “Brewing Company” portion of the new establishment’s name.