My brother spent the last week visiting me in Reno for spring break, and just left for his hometown in Oregon a few days ago. One thing that my brother loves to do whenever he visits Reno is eating at all of our favorite restaurants (we have similar tastes). After eating at a ton of great Reno restaurants for a week, I realized something. I can’t decide which one is my favorite. I made this list of reviews to both help myself decide on a favorite and expose some of the better food in Reno that a lot of people might not know about.
First of all, there’s Naan & Kabab. Even if you don’t think that you have a taste for Mediterranean food at all, I would strongly urge you to reconsider. Naan & Kabab is located on South Virginia, pretty close to the Peppermill in Reno. There are a lot of great restaurants found on South Virginia, because it stretches throughout a large section of Reno. I like to think that Naan & Kabab is a hidden gem in Reno, even though it is usually moderately busy.
However, I have noticed that a lot of the customers tend to just be usuals. I’ll get to that part later. For now, I want to talk about all of the different things that Naan & Kabab does really well. First and foremost, the quality of a restaurant’s food is the most important. Subpar service can usually be made tolerable if they can bribe me with food. Not to say that Naan & Kabab has bad service. Personally, my favorite dish to order at this Reno restaurant is the Gyro plate.
It may seem pretty plain to a lot of people, since gyros are the stereotypical Mediterranean food that people know of. My brother just says that the hummus is his favorite thing to order, and it’s pretty great too. Nothing beats an actual entree for dinner, though. All of the ingredients taste really fresh. More so than a lot of other Reno restaurants, at least. I have seen a couple new “farmers market” stores popping up all over town, so maybe that’s where the chefs get their ingredients from.
A lot of other customers have given the chefs their compliments in the past, so at least I know there are other possibilities if I ever manage to get tired of the Gyro plate. Naan & Kabab has a pretty big menu, so don’t hesitate to bring picky eaters here. Anything you can add to their list of food they like is probably beneficial. There are also vegetarian options as well, and it feels like the management has gone out of their way to make sure there is something on the menu for everyone.
One more thing that I would like to mention is how great all of the staff is. Not just the servers, but everyone. They all have smiles on their face and regularly put out effort to make sure everyone enjoys their meal. In fact, I have even seen one of the chefs come out and thank people for dining at Naan & Kabab.
How many restaurants get the opportunity to brag about that? It doesn’t take any effort to hide in the kitchen and just cook food. This shows how much Naan & Kabab cares about its customers. Another point that shows how much they care is the prices. Sure, you can find plenty of great food in Reno. But is it always affordable? The fancier restaurants are found in casinos, so the answer is no. All these little bits add up and help a restaurant’s reputation, although I’m sure all of the great online reviews help with that as well.
Second, make sure to stop by Sabrina’s West Street Kitchen when you’re in downtown Reno. If you know where the Riverwalk District in Reno is, then don’t be shy. It’s not like the staff won’t let you in because they don’t know your name or anything. Again, the food you will eat here is nothing short of excellent. Sabrina’s West Street Kitchen serves amazing salads, tacos, and sandwiches, but I think I like the tacos the most.
I know for a fact that if my mom ate here, she would have tried to order fish tacos. She gets them everywhere we go. While my brother was visiting, I decided to order something that I normally wouldn’t. As such, my brother and I both ordered the Luau Kailua pork bowl. I generally shy away from anything that looks like salad, but this was very good.
Good enough to make me come back at the very least, which is what you should always look for in a restaurant. The last time I had pork kalua this good was when I helped a family friend cater for a wedding reception. She’s a native Hawaiian, so it doesn’t really get much better than that. Really high in sodium though. It’s in the sauce. If you need more than one opinion, I would encourage you to read one of the many positive reviews.
Finally, the last restaurant that we went to is Red’s Broken Bat. You’ll be eating in downtown Reno again, not too far from other great restaurants. I typically try to spend all day there if I’m going to be downtown, so I have enough time to digest my food and eat some more before heading home. You can order tacos at Red’s Broken Bat as well, but this restaurant specializes more in barbecued stuff.
I’m not complaining. Barbecued food is one of my favorites. As long as the management can maintain the kitchen. After all, barbecuing is done mostly outside for a reason. Grease traps don’t last as long when they’re being bombarded with smoke and grease. One thing that Red’s Broken Bat does really differently from the other downtown restaurants in Reno is ambience.
Most restaurants I eat at think that food and service are enough to keep customers. But how are you supposed to hold the attention of your customers before they can experience either of those? That’s where the decor comes in, and Red’s Broken Bat’s is not lacking at all. It’s a beautiful restaurant on the interior, and I wish more restaurants could look attractive on the inside.
My brother doesn’t believe me, but I think it makes the food taste better. He and I both left positive online reviews after eating there last time. It’s going to be tough, but I need to go back to cooking my own meals at home again.
If you stop by any of these restaurants throughout the day, you are likely to catch me or one of my coworkers during a meal. Don’t be afraid to stop by and say hello, as it will only add to the friendly environments of each one.