Comfort food

Sandy Jaeger presents the “Local’s Omelette.” She says the popular omelette makes up about 20 percent of the food she serves.

Sandy Jaeger presents the “Local’s Omelette.” She says the popular omelette makes up about 20 percent of the food she serves.

Photo By David Robert

Kraig’s Restaurant & Bar

430 N McCarran Blvd.
Sparks, NV 89431

(775) 331-2224

Despite the ever-sprawling suburban development in the Truckee Meadows, it’s great to be able to go into a restaurant like Kraig’s and feel like you’re in a small town. If you’ve ever traveled across the country, passing through the rustic villages of fly-over country, this is the kind of place you’d hope to find for breakfast. The people are welcoming, the servings are a bit too large to handle, and the food is all comfort.

It’s pure Americana alright, with a Western spin and just the right touch of Mexico. It’s mostly burgers and the like with a couple of straightforward Mexican dishes and “local favorites” like fish and chips (this being such a seafaring town and all). This is the kind of place I probably wouldn’t choose for dinner (a time I opt for excitement) but is perfect for a lazy brunch. Sara and I had been planning on a breakfast visit, but we didn’t get there until nearly 2 in the afternoon. Our waitress was friendly enough that we didn’t hesitate to ask if they might make an exception and serve us our breakfast picks.

She supported our right to a late breakfast because, “Sometimes it sure is nice to just sleep in and say the heck with responsibility.” Truer words rarely spoken.

I had the local’s omelette ($9.25): sausage, spinach, green onions, salsa, jack cheese. It must have been made using at least a dozen eggs, it was so damn big and fluffy and quite delicious. Sara had something called “the chicken Nevada” ($9.24), a kind of series of breakfast tacos: a half-dozen flour tortillas stuffed with scrambled eggs, chicken, cheese, zucchini, onion and topped with sour cream. It was a little odd, but it worked.

Because we’d gotten there late, they were out of home fries but were kind enough to allow us to substitute regular french fries, which were not a disappointment. They were thick and large. Sara held up a particularly impressive one. “Just look at that,” she said admiringly.

“It’s the John Holmes of french fries,” I said.

“This is a family restaurant!” she said, gasping.

But what I really like about this place isn’t the potent potatoes. It’s the friendly, down-home atmosphere that makes you feel like you’ve been whisked away to some town with a population of about 60. The other tables held mostly old timers plotting fishing expeditions. The color scheme is all muted reds and browns, and the walls are adorned with old photos of Reno from the 1940s and hunting paintings. Our booth had a beat-up old oil painting of a hunting dog clenching a downed mallard.

You either like this kind of thing, or you don’t. And if you like it, you really like it. Kraig’s has a loyal following of devoted locals, and it’s easy to see why. It’s good food with a quaint, comfortable atmosphere. If I were traveling through town, this is exactly the kind of place I’d want to find for breakfast.