Writers’ choices

Illustration By Shawn Turner

Best place to feel at home over breakfast

Gold-N-Silver Restaurant, 7090 W. Fourth St., 323-2696
Some 45 years ago, members of the Gaels, the basketball team of Reno’s St. Thomas Aquinas School, stopped with their parents for breakfast early one morning at the tiny Gold-N-Silver Cafe before heading to Alturas for a tournament. Teams have been doing that for decades, and the Gold-N-Silver, which is no longer tiny, can accommodate more of them. The Gold-N-Silver is also a place where police officers can get good food with easy access to the parking lot. Then there are the ministers and congregants who eat at the Gold-N-Silver after church on Sunday. In other words, it’s a hometown kind of place.

Best non-corporate bank

Heritage Bank of Nevada, various locations
You can do more than bank at Heritage Bank. You can enjoy its art shows, each lasting a month and each featuring local artists or themes. Or you can check out a book from the lending library of hundreds of titles about Nevada. Or attend the bank’s barbecue thanking its customers. And if you must bank, you’ll get the actual person you need. Growth may someday undercut the bank’s charm, but right now, Heritage is a homey bank.

The best place to get a spicy-pork burrito at 2:17 a.m.

La Michoacana 4950 S. Virginia St., 826-4144
This restaurant is deserving of about a thousand awards: “Best place to get a decent lunch—spicy pork burrito and a glass of horchata—for less than $5.” How about “Mural most likely never to be completed"? OK, maybe that honor goes to the Sushi Pier 2. How about “Restaurant employees most tolerant of gringos’ efforts to speak Spanish"? At any rate, when you look at the spectrum of taquerías around Northern Nevada, from Taco Bell to Beto’s to Super Burrito (both Plumb and the new location in Sparks), you must realize that every single restaurant has aspects to recommend it, but La Michoacana is the only place where you’re gonna get one of the best burritos in town (or tacos or chimichangas or stuffed peppers) when all the less-authentic places are closed.

Best place for a do-it-yourself makeover

Sally Beauty Various locations
Are you bored with your look? Want to transform that plain Jane into a blond bombshell, a ravishing redhead or a sultry brunette without the hair-salon prices? Sally’s gives you the power to change your appearance by offering a wide selection of tints, hair-care products, scissors, clippers and other styling tools as well as cosmetics and skin care products at reasonable prices. But with any DIY project, you’ll only have yourself to blame if your makeover turns you into an ugly duckling. Still, it won’t take much to change back unless you attempted a disastrous haircut. At that point, you might need some hair extensions (which Sally’s also has in stock).