My big fat Greek lunch

Joseph Dogan (the son of owners Yusef and Nurtan) serves gyros to Lexa, left, and Patti DaVee at Park Lane Café.

Joseph Dogan (the son of owners Yusef and Nurtan) serves gyros to Lexa, left, and Patti DaVee at Park Lane Café.

Photo By David Robert

Park Lane Café

232 E. Plumb Ln.
Reno, NV 89502

(775) 825-0381

While I continued my search for delicious meals for under 10 bucks in Reno, my friend Paige recommended to me the Park Lane Café. This small café seats about 20 people and is owned and operated by a Turkish family, the Dogans. For 22 years, Yusef and Nurtan Dogan have been doing business in Reno. They started by opening a bagel shop, which evolved into a café specializing in scrumptious burgers, kebabs and gyros.

Situated inside Park Lane Mall near the movie theater, Park Lane Café is a perfect place to go for a fast, hearty lunch or early dinner. The menu is modest and not cluttered with too many choices. It ranges from classic American burgers and fries to Mediterranean-style salads, chicken kebabs and gyros. I love gyros ($5.65), so that’s what I ordered, along with a Greek salad ($5.50). As Nurtan took my order, she noticed that I was ordering too much food and was concerned that it was going to be too expensive. (I immediately liked this lady.) Her solution to the problem was to make me one plate combining the two menu items even though it wasn’t a regular menu item because she wanted me to have what I ordered. I thought this was very cool. At most restaurants, this kind of service is unheard of.

The food was delicious, and the beef gyro and Greek salad were both huge. The meat had been cooked on a vertical rotisserie, so it was tender and juicy. The gyro was topped with a creamy cucumber-dill sauce and chopped tomatoes. Alongside the gyro was the Greek salad: romaine lettuce, tomatoes and a bunch of crumbled feta cheese—very satisfying.

After I ordered my food, I told Nurtan that Paige had recommended Park Lane Café to me, and her eyes lit up. “Paige?” she said. “She’s been coming here since she was 5 years old!” Then she brought me my food and sat with me as I ate, telling me about how Paige had been coming there her whole life. I felt like I was in her kitchen at home. I received great service from the get-go, even before Nurtan knew who I was (or rather, who I knew), and it just got better. This is the kind of experience that makes me want to come back.

Nurtan went on to tell me about how they’ve had suggestions of expanding their business to Sparks and Lake Tahoe, but they are humbly not interested in expanding—why risk ruining a good thing? She also told me about their burgers. They’re made with ground rib eye—that’s prime rib, the juiciest, most flavorful cut of beef around.

Park Lane Café is definitely on my list of hot spots to go for under 10 bucks. Next time, I’ll have a burger; the time after that, I’ll have the chicken kebab combination; the time after that … well, you get the idea.