Food for all-nighters
It’s 3 a.m., you’re drunk and hungry. Where to go.
Reno offers a lot for round-the-clock revelers, and there’s no sense not enjoying yourself with a full stomach. Drinking to the point of starvation can be dangerous, so here are a few of the best options for the late night diner.
The (Little) Nugget
233 N. Virginia St, 323-0716
This one’s a no-brainer. The term “Awful-Awful” is basically synonymous with late-night dining in downtown Reno. This casino/diner is technically called The Nugget, but nobody calls it that, it’s always “The Little Nugget” or “The Nug” or “Awful-Awful.” The “Awful-Awful” ($5.50) is the “awfully big and awfully good” burger that made this place famous. It’s a big, fat hunk of messy deliciousness. They make a point of not catering to diners who aren’t interested in huge, sloppy burgers. Nothing else on the menu is that great, and there’s a sign that reads “nine out of ten vegetarians won’t eat here.” When a health-conscious friend of mine asked what they cook the french fries in, the woman behind the counter just shrugged with disinterest.
The place is cramped, slightly narrower than, say, your average wheelchair, and there’s often a long, buzz-killing wait and an assortment of sketchy-looking characters prowling the joint, but that Awful-Awful makes it all worthwhile.
Scruples Bar and Grill.
91 W. Plumb Lane, 322-7171
For local bars that actually serve food, this 24-hour sports bar is one of the best. The atmosphere is indeed quite “athletic,” but if you’ve already been drinking, it shouldn’t matter. The menu’s great: burgers, chicken wings, nachos, everything your inner jock might be craving. A great place for food and copious amounts of light beer.
790 W. Fourth St., 323-2696
An old family favorite, this place hasn’t changed a lick since like 1970. If you start craving bacon, eggs and hash browns in the middle of the night, this is the place to go. Great, cheap food, pleasantly out-of-style decor, friendly service and smaller, less obnoxious congregations of “dungeon master” teenagers than, say, a local Denny’s. Still, this 24-hour joint is the best for an early breakfast and long, pretentious conversations about the meaning of art with your delirious friends. And, with the cubicle-like walls offering a nice degree of intimacy and privacy, it also seems like the ideal spot to reconvene after a bank robbery (except that it’s also a popular break place for cops).
Los 4 Vientos
145 Casazza Dr., 348-1490
Top-notch, authentic Mexican food in a lively, hooting and hollering atmosphere, this place is 24-hours only on the weekend. It does, however have two important advantages over other local 24-hour Mexican places: close proximity to some of Reno’s best dive bars and, especially important, Los 4 Vientos serves alcohol.
700 E. Second St., 329 8288
Jimboy’s Tacos is a regional fast food chain all over Northern California and Nevada, but the hard-drinking, late-night-eating cognoscenti all agree that this location, on the corner of Second Street and Wells Avenue, is the best. The drive-thru is open late (4 a.m. on the weekends), and, if you don’t have a designated driver, don’t worry, they accept walk-ups and bicyclists. Just be sure to check your order before you pull out of the parking lot because they usually get it wrong the first time. (Anytime you say “beans” into the intercom, they will hear it as “beef” and vice versa). But for alcohol-absorbing, “fourth meal” grub that you would never dream of eating sober, Jimboy’s can’t be beat. The fries are delicious, and everything is just dripping with that curiously addictive, bright orange cooking grease. Yummy.