Food & Drink

Editors’ choice

Illustration By John Craig

Best place to gain 20 pounds in one sitting

Claim Jumper
4905 S. Virginia St.

Yeah, it’s another chain restaurant, in an area surrounded by chain restaurants. Who the hell cares? I mean, have you seen the portions they serve at Claim Jumper? They’re ridiculous! Yeah, the meals there cost an arm and a leg, but you’ll be served enough food to gain back the weight you lost in the process of losing those appendages. And the desserts … some of these decadent delights could serve entire rural Nevada counties. If you’re an athlete who needs to move up a weight class fast, here’s the place for you.

Best milkshakes

Johnny Rockets
Reno Hilton, 2500 E. Second St.

This national chain, which harkens back to the 1950s with singing waitresses and jukebox machines, is located in a weird location: right next to the Reno Hilton’s sportsbook, which features enormous, big-screen TVs that line an entire wall. These ain’t your 1950s-era TV sets. Anyway, even though the atmosphere is a little muddled, the milkshakes at Johnny Rockets are impeccable. Feel free to sit down, order a shake, plunk a nickel in the jukebox to hear “Chantilly Lace” and watch your favorite NFL teams in action.

Best pan roasts

John’s Oyster Bar
John Ascuaga’s Nugget, 1100 Nugget Ave., Sparks

For such a land-locked area, the Truckee Meadows is blessed with some wonderful restaurants as far as seafood goes. And regarding pan roasts—seafood soups with a base made up of cream and wine—this area is especially fortunate. The best of the bunch can be found at John’s Oyster Bar. The reasonably priced pan roasts are a taste delight, and the service is always friendly. Plus, as in any Nugget restaurant, you get to indulge in their delicious baked bread. Ah, rapture …

Best local restaurant surrounded by corporate hell

Rickshaw Paddy
4944 S. Virginia St.

Within a couple of blocks of Rickshaw Paddy, there are the following chain restaurants: Olive Garden, Claim Jumper, Chevy’s, Quizno’s Classic Subs, Boston Market, Applebee’s, Houlihan’s, Red Robin, Marie Callender’s, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, On the Border and Chili’s. Wow. But despite all the competition, this odd restaurant—featuring Asian food and Irish music—packs ’em in. Why? The food is superb, and the service is friendly. That makes Rickshaw Paddy a winner.