The veggie option

The Gold n’ Silver serves up food for people with a range of tastes, including vegetarian (and some of the servers are actually quite young).

The Gold n’ Silver serves up food for people with a range of tastes, including vegetarian (and some of the servers are actually quite young).

Photo By David Robert

I am mostly a vegetarian, but trying to find places that have good veggie meals on the menu is tough. You can make anything into a vegetarian meal, but sometimes ordering a turkey sandwich—"Hold the turkey"—is a little ridiculous. I like places where the veggie option is a full meal that doesn’t just taste like a condiment sandwich.

It’s not that I am an animal activist or that I don’t like meat—I just don’t like meat from strange places. “Strange places” could include fast-food joints or random hole-in-the-wall restaurants. They’re basically anywhere that I don’t cook or see the food prepared. I’ve been working in the food industry for five years, so I know what goes on in the kitchens of these types of places, and I realize that customers never know what part of the animal they might be eating or, in some cases, even what animal they are eating.

As my boyfriend and I walked into the Gold n’ Silver, at about 1 p.m., we were instantly hit with a cloud of smoke and the sound of slots. The lady at the cash register was leaning over the counter smoking a cigarette, looking more like a customer than an employee. There was a sign that said “Seat yourself,” so we did. It was awhile before we got a menu.

When our waitress appeared with our menus, she was a happy, older lady, which seems to be a requirement to get a job there. Since the restaurant is open 24 hours, there are a lot of items on the menu to satisfy any craving. The restaurant even offers a low-carb menu for anyone still obsessed with Atkins. Personally, I love carbs.

Gold n’ Silver is one of those places where I don’t trust the meat. Luckily, I can switch any hamburger patty with a Gardenburger patty for just 75 cents. I ordered the avocado and jack burger with curly fries ($8.25), and my boyfriend, Jake, ordered the Philly burger with french fries ($6.95). Jake, who has lived in Reno all his life, speaks highly of the Gold n’ Silver and eats there frequently.

When the food arrived, I was sad to see onion petals in place of my curly fries. Because I was hungry, I decided to ignore the mistake and not complain. (Working in restaurants makes me not want to be that customer.)

One of the nice things about the sandwiches is that the condiments and toppings are served on the side—so if you want mayo or mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, onions or pickles, you can just add them.

I like the Gardenburger because it doesn’t taste like somebody is trying to make fake meat. It has a mushroom-y, leafy flavor, a bit dry but moist enough with a bit of mustard. My only complaint with my meal was the lack of curly fries. The food was hot, it all tasted good, and I went home happy and full. Jake’s burger was piled high with sautéed onions and mushrooms, and he was satisfied.

For vegetarians, the Gold n’ Silver is a good place to eat because they can get a sandwich that isn’t just a salad on bread. For those who aren’t afraid to eat meat in weird places, there are a lot of options, and since it’s a locals’ place, you probably know what type of animal you are consuming.