Wastin’ away in burgerville

The cheese is crispy and the ice cream is creamy at Sierra Glen.

The cheese is crispy and the ice cream is creamy at Sierra Glen.

Photo by Miranda Jesch

When Sierra Glen Restaurant first opened, my sister, Amy, and I were intrigued by advertisements for their specialty: the Crispy Cheeseburger. What the heck is crispy cheese? Was this delectable-sounding victual going to lead us someplace akin to Jimmy Buffet’s “cheeseburger paradise” and into fatty oblivion?

Amy, always the adventurer, chose to eat at Sierra Glen for her birthday, shortly after it opened last fall. That first visit won us over. So, we’re prepared and excited to go again.

As we pull into the parking lot, there’s a sign outside that reads, “Are you ready for Nevada-made ice cream?” We shout, “Yes!” and head inside. A cheerful waitress brings us little paper cups of water, while we stare at the menu on the wall. Amy knows exactly what she wants—a Crispy Cheeseburger platter with french fries and onion rings ($7.95). I want to save room for many scoops of ice cream (the restaurant also houses the Tahoe Creamery ice cream shop), so I get the strangely-named Crispy Furter ($3.60), no platter. The super-friendly waitress brings us loads of condiments, including chopped onions. Hooray!

When it arrives, the furter (a hotdog split down the middle, covered with, indeed, crispy cheese) inspires me to yell, “Fun!” which is the highest compliment my little sister and I bestow upon things, food or otherwise. In this case, it’s also appropriate, as the cheesy-crunchy-hot-diggity goodness is entertaining to eat. Amy laughs more than once as I do the in-my-seat yummy dance. Don’t pretend you don’t know the yummy dance.

Amy is more than content with her platter, even though I poke at it while she’s trying to eat.

“That’s quality lettuce,” I say, noting the green-leaf variety on her burger, which is far superior to the iceberg most places foist upon you. She just says, “Oh yeah?” and returns to eating. I think ignoring people (or humoring them, as I choose to perceive it), is a trait all little sisters cultivate. Like a good big sister, I eat half her onion rings.

The restaurant itself is old-fashioned, without having that ‘50s diner, bubble-gum-jukebox, national-chain style stuff all over the walls. The music, however, is bad. It’s what they call lite rock; it’s supposed to appeal to everybody. My theory? Everyone is simply annoyed by it in the same way. Especially Amy, whom I embarrass with my renditions of ‘80s diva hits.

There’s nothing like public humiliation of family members to whet your appetite for dessert, and I’m glad our waitress is nice enough to come back to the table three times, while we strategize how to maximize our ice cream flavor options. Banana splits ($4.25) are key. I get one with frozen pudding, Dutch apple and Easter Treat ice creams, without syrup. Amy wants cherry vanilla, pistachio and orange pineapple, with raspberry sauce. This is the grossest thing I’ve ever heard, but she enjoys every bite and praises the sauce and all three flavors.

Mine is also excellent, especially the frozen pudding, which is a rum raisin affair with bonus morsels. The Easter Treat also has fun parts like maraschino cherries and chunks of pineapple, which prompt Amy to say, “You’re a pineapple.”

As we waddle out the door, our waitress advises us to come again, so we can try all the flavors. By the looks of the crowd, this is an early afternoon tradition a lot of locals are enjoying.

As they should.