Summer alfresco

Hmm. Do I want to sit in the fresh air? Do I want to eat? Why not do both?

Photo By David Robert

A picnic with service. That is what dining at restaurants with outside patios reminds me of. No noise of plates and glasses being stacked and washed. No distractions, just the sounds of nature—maybe the occasional car driving by.

“The patio is fabulous,” said Record Street Café manager Monica McNeely. “The atmosphere and people are great.”

Record St. Café is a small, friendly eatery near the university on Ninth and Record streets, 329-7227. It’s a great place to hang out in the summer, with lots of iced drinks to cool you down and daily gourmet specials. The cafe will go under new ownership this summer, and, to celebrate, a grand-opening party will be held July 17. Local bands are signing up for all-day entertainment on the patio and inside. It will be a summer block party with outdoor grilling, drinks and music.

Right in the heart of one of Reno’s older residential areas is the Pub N’ Sub on 10th and Ralston streets, 322-8540.

“We have a nice front and back patio,” said manager Tyler Mathers. “And the food is good, of course.”

The best part about the Pub N’ Sub is the fresh submarine sandwiches and cheap beer. It also has half-price pizzas on Mondays and Fridays. Thursdays, starting at 7 p.m., the taps flow with Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller High Life at discounted prices. And for the athletic beer drinkers, rounds of beer pong are played on Saturday nights.

Beer pong is a must for any college student or beer drinker. First, you find your ping pong throwing partner. Then, you pour beer into plastic cups and line them up in a pyramid form. With two people on each side of the ping pong table, you start taking turns tossing ping pong balls into the beer-filled cups. If a ball drops into your cup, then you have to slam the beer. The first team to knock out all of the opponents’ cups wins. It is a fast-paced game full of laughing, stumbling, scrambling and the most competitive beer drinkers in town. It also explains why more people are taking five years to graduate.

The popular Mexican cantina Hacienda Restaurant & Bar, 746-2228, also has an outside dining area. Hacienda is in the Albertson’s shopping center on Seventh Street and North McCarran Boulevard. The restaurant has a bar section, an inside, sit-down dining area and an outside patio with umbrellas to protect you from the sun. You’re not as likely to find beer pongers in this upscale crowd. The food is mouthwatering. There are plenty of iced drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and musical entertainment in the evenings.

Manager-on-duty Tony Castillo said this summer there will be daily margarita specials with a variety of fruit flavors and the usual events like chips and salsa night.

“We are going to add Friday-night specials this summer,” Castillo said. “And we are redoing the patio for the summer.”

It seems there are more places to eat outdoors in the Truckee Meadows than halter tops at the NASCAR track. Here’s a list of some of my favorites:

You can eat, you can go outside, or you can do both at once.

Photo By David Robert

Bully’s Sports Bar and Grill, 2005 Sierra Highlands Drive, 746-8006

Cantina Los Tres Hombres, 926 Victorian Ave., 356-6262

Chevy’s Fresh Mex, 4955 S. Virginia St., 829-8008

Dreamer’s Coffeehouse and Deli, 17 S. Virginia St., 322-8040

Fritz’s Bar and Grill, 1305 N. Virginia St., 348-0808

Great Basin Brewing Company, 846 Victorian Ave., 355-7711

Peg’s Glorified Ham ‘n Eggs, 425 S. Sierra St., 329-2600

Rose’s Deli, 725 S. Center St., 329-7673

Scruples Bar & Grill, 91 W. Plumb Lane, 322-7171

Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery, 124 Wonder St., 324-1864

Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery, 135 N. Sierra St., 284-3300

Skyline Café, 3005 Skyline Blvd, 825-5707

All of these restaurants have good food and an outdoor atmosphere to enjoy in the summer months. As long as Mother Nature allows, eating outside can be relaxing and enjoyable for a quick bite or a full meal.