Eat, drink, man, woman
Reno, NV 89523
“That place might be too classy for us. They don’t have PBR on tap.”
That was the first thing my friend Mike said to me when I suggested that he, his fiancée, Cindy, and our friend Jared go to the Grape and the Grain. Lest you think Mike is one of those new to the PBR train, he grew up in Wisconsin. PBR was in his baby bottle. Since Mike and Cindy now live in Somersett, I told him he better suck it up and realize that he’s fancy, and places with PBR on tap are a thing of the past.
Walking into the place, I was impressed. It has an open, modern look and a horseshoe bar in the middle with tables surrounding it. One wall houses racks of wine for sale. The floor is stained concrete, and the ceilings are open with exposed rafters. Random oil paintings of various icons surround the place, like one of Johnny Cash and another of Babe Ruth. The lighting is dark, and the place has a really mellow vibe.
I was the first to arrive, so I grabbed a seat at one of the tables and looked at a menu that boasted a lot of alcohol. Not only does Grape and the Grain have an extensive draft beer list, with things like Dogfish, Icky and Lost Coast Brewery, they also have a ton of bottled beers, handcrafted cocktails and a martini list. When Mike, Cindy and Jared showed up, no server had come over yet so I figured this was a self-serve kind of place and went to the bar to get us some drinks. Jared and I went with the Moylan’s Kilt Lifter, which was on special ($3, normally $6).
Eventually, the friendly bartender made her way to our table to take our order. The Grape and the Grain has a limited menu of mostly pizzas, appetizers and salads. This was fine with me, as these are my basic food groups.
We decided to get the Danish Style Hotdogs ($9) which were two European-style hot dogs with remoulade and topped with pickled cucumbers and crunchy fried onions. I was impressed by the size and flavors of the hot dogs, and I thought the remoulade was a nice touch, but I didn’t notice any spicy red sauce. The pickled cucumbers definitely gave this a unique flavor, and the onions were good too, but there seemed to be too many of them and not enough sauce to balance it out.
We also ordered the chicken nachos ($9), which came out in a portion that disappointed us for the price. The nachos were supposed to have black beans, but ours were missing them. The salsa and the guacamole were fantastic, though, and the chips were thick and crispy. Unfortunately, the chicken was sliced in tiny cubes and gave us the impression it came from a bag.
For pizza, we went with a large Gold-digger ($21), which came with salami, pepperoni, black olives, mushrooms and onions. The pizza was pretty good, with a thin crust and light cheese. However, I wished there had been more onions and mushrooms. The service issues arose again when we sat with empty plates on our table for a while, and our second round of beers never came. But overall, there were no major issues, and with a relaxed atmosphere, pretty good food and good drinks, the Grape and the Grain is somewhere I would come back to. If I lived in Somersett, I’d join the other locals there and make this my own private Cheers.