Westside Cafe & Coffee Co.5150 Mae Anne Ave.
Reno, NV 89523
I’m not sure about you, but I haven’t had the best luck finding good breakfast restaurants in Reno. It seems that’s one area in the dining realm that needs to be improved in this town. Casinos and big chain restaurants just don’t do it for me. So, where do you go to have breakfast at a comfy, neighborhood mom-and-pop coffee shop? There aren’t but a handful of these restaurants in Reno. The Westside Café & Coffee Company is one of them.
There really isn’t anything special to me about breakfast food, but the atmosphere usually decides what type of experience I’ll have. When I walked in the Westside Café, I was a little confused as to whether I was supposed to wait to be seated, so I just sat myself. I liked the cafe’s appearance. It has a family-style ambience with a bunch of tables in the front and a long banquette along the side wall all the way to the back. I always prefer to sit at the banquette. Shortly after I sat down, my server brought me a menu and utensils.
I noticed a sign on the wall that said fresh-squeezed orange juice ($1.75), which I love, so I ordered it and a cup of coffee ($1.50). The juice was impressive—nice and sweet and not too pulpy. The coffee was just OK, but I liked the fact that they had self-serve refills at the counter with a choice of different blends. I can’t stand waiting for the server to refill my coffee cup in the morning when what I really need is a funnel in my mouth.
I checked out the menu while I enjoyed my juice and coffee, and the huevos rancheros ($7.49) stood out to me. I ordered it—the dish has been a long-time favorite of mine. The eggs were over-medium, on top of a corn tortilla with refried beans, cheese and salsa ranchera. I’m not exactly sure what’s in the salsa because I’ve seen it done differently so many times. I think it’s just tomatoes, garlic, onions and chilies pureed together and left slightly chunky. It came with home fries and two strips of bacon. The breakfast was pretty good. I liked the eggs, beans, cheese and tortilla, but I thought the salsa tasted a little canned, the bacon was a little dried out, and there could have been more potatoes on the plate.
Overall, it was some pretty tasty grinds, but the portions could be a bit bigger. What made the meal memorable was that fresh-squeezed orange juice and the nonstop supply of coffee.
The service was decent. The crew paid attention to me and made sure that everything was all right—yet they weren’t pushy. There were mainly young people working there, and I could see their elders coaching them along—you gotta start some way. They did a good job, though. I’d bring my mom here. It’s a comfortable, laid-back environment, even when it’s busy. I would also stop here for an early 6 a.m. breakfast burrito or sandwich-to-go before a day of skiing.