Reno, NV 89509
When I asked my friend Jared if he wanted to come to lunch with me at Country Garden Restaurant, he told me he loves that place because, “You can pick up a lot of older ladies there.” Do I need to even mention that Jared is a creep? And what better place to take your creepy friend than to a “Ladies who Lunch” kind of place owned by the Junior League?
When I arrived, I asked the hostess if there was patio seating available. She looked outside at the four or five empty tables and, more importantly, the other seven filled with rich-looking older women, and then told me it was full. After telling her I would wait for a patio table to open up, she sat me out there immediately. I started to wonder if she was trying to keep me away from the ladies that lunch, not that I blamed her, especially with Jared in tow.
The patio area was quaint and enclosed on the sides with a trellis overtop and trees and plants throughout. We sat at our umbrella covered table for about 10 minutes before someone asked us if we would like anything to drink. I think our waitress was the only one working both the inside and outside seating areas. We went with spiced iced tea ($2), which had some serious kick, with flavors of cinnamon and pepper that burnt my lips in a good way.
Jared started with a bowl of gazpacho ($3.25 a cup). I tend to shy away from cold soups, but this had me rethinking that stance. It was light yet incredibly flavorful with large chunks of fresh vegetables. Jared finally had to slap the spoon out of my hand to get me to stop from finishing it off.
For entrées, I ordered the quiche and half a blue Waldorf salad ($8.95). The broccoli and cheddar quiche was perfection, with a light flaky crust. The quiche wasn’t too heavy, and the broccoli was perfectly cooked, not too soggy, and not too hard. The Blue Waldorf salad had chunks of blue cheese, romaine lettuce, pears, grapes, apples and candied walnuts. The dressing was a light honey-dijon that brought out the blue cheese and apples.
Jared ordered the Miramonte Salad ($9.75 for the large): romaine lettuce, tomatoes, Monterey Jack and Parmesan cheese, almonds and bacon and was tossed with a lemon-garlic dressing. Everything tasted fresh, and the bacon complemented the lemon-garlic dressing. His salad came with a piña colada muffin, which had a light, slightly pineapple-and-coconut taste without being overwhelmingly sweet. Once again, Jared found himself slapping food out of my hand because I tried to eat the entire thing while he checked out the older ladies dining.
Our waitress never really came back to check on us, so at one point I just got up and poured refills of tea and water for us. When the hostess came by to clear our plates, she ended up setting down a bunch of dirty glasses and plates on our table so she could readjust the tray, which took her quite some time and seemed a little odd.
The service might have been a little off, but there was nothing major. Overall, Country Garden is a great place to sit outside and have a fantastic meal, and it might also be a fine place to pick yourself up a dowager—just ask Jared.