Pho Who? Pho What?

photo 1As winter approaches and Fall weather continues to play out, its good to know where you can get a hot flavorful  soup. Asian Pho is my go to spot for hot noodle soups and Vietnamese food.  Most of us pronounce Pho incorrectly,  it’s actually pronounced fuh, click on the link below if you want to hear the way its suppose to sound http://bit.ly/1rIzIh4.

Asian Pho is located on the corner of Longley Ln and McCarran inside the 7-11 gas station. You can sit down and eat there or call in advance for takeout, unfortunately they do not deliver.  Asian Pho has been open for two years, and they pride themselves in offering healthy fresh Vietnamese food, and a casual but clean dinning atmosphere.

Most people would consider this restaurant a whole in the wall place, as it is within the 7-11 gas station. However their food is amazing, always taste fresh, and doesn’t taste like its been sitting out all day.

You can get traditional Vietnamese Charbroiled  dishes such as Flame broiled beef with lemon grass, Charbroiled shrimp and rice, flame broiled pork, imperial rolls and much more. These options come served with vermicelli noodles and veggies, plus their special sauce. Lunch specials  include two sides and a drink for just $7.95.

I love their  Pho soups, which are traditional Vietnamese noodle soups served with a side dish of bean sprouts, sweet Thai basil, hot peppers, and lime slices. The large soup cost $7 and the Medium cost $6. There really isn’t that big of a difference between the two servings, both are pretty huge.

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I like to put all the toppings on my soup, I don’t discriminate. I throw all the fixings in, plus lemon, Sriracha, and boom! Don’t be afraid to get messy, slurping your delicious broth is also not frowned upon. Technically if it’s good Pho the broth will most likely be a clear color and won’t need much to top it off.

Asian Pho offers a total of 27 delicious soup options. My favorites are the Seafood egg noodle soup, and the shrimp egg noodle soup. They also have the best egg rolls I have tried in town.  If you are looking for a healthier choice, try their amazing spring rolls.

You can get an amazing dinner here for under $10, the service is great, and the servings are huge. For being inside a gas station this restaurant is super clean. Remember the best, most authentic restaurants can be found in the most random places such as gas stations. Check out their web page for more information http://bit.ly/1teEmGA.

What is your favorite Pho restaurant? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Zombie Crawl

BillyReno, NV has many events throughout the year, varying from family friendly to adults only. One of my favorite events geared more towards adults is the Reno Zombie crawl. The Zombie crawl usually takes place a week before Halloween.

What is the Zombie Crawl? Basically an excuse to dress up and get drunk. There are more than 50 bars located in Downtown Reno that participate, and more than 100 drink specials when you buy your crawl cups in advance.

The cups cost only $5, and can be purchased at any of the participating bars, or event sponsors.  There is no cost to participate other than your drink and cup purchases for the night, must be 21 to crawl.

Maps of participating bars are given with cup purchases. The goal is to visit as many bars as you can to cross them of your map, but lets face it the real goal is not to black out!  The odds of going to more than 20 bars are not likely considering long wait times at bars, and pregame drinks.

Most people just really enjoy dressing up, and seeing all the cool costumes. This year I decided to dress up as Billy, the puppet for the Saw movies. I must say it was a popular choice, I must have seen at least 10 other Billy’s running around although none as cool as me, ha ha.

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Every year the crawl starts with a flash mob of zombies who dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller underneath The Reno Arch. This usually takes place around 7pm, and your little ones can participate.  However after that, its best to take the little ones home, as that’s when all the craziness begins.

Anyone can be part of the dance routine and it’s free.  You can take classes in advance, or you can join in without really knowing what you’re doing. No one will really notice.  If you want to look like a pro, dance studios put on free classes to prepare for the event. This year’s was put on by Heart and Sole Dance Academy.

To give you an idea of the crowd size and dance routine here is 2013’s video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3foH-bG7qRI

As with most crawls, large participation is expected. This year approximately  13,000 people showed up.  Most hotels offer discounted price rates, starting at  $50. The Taxi wait times are long during most crawls so its best to get a room downtown. If you aren’t planning on staying downtown, leave home early so you can find close parking.

Reno’s Zombie Crawl is always a blast that consists of awesome costumes, great drink specials, and great company. For more information click on the link here http://renozombiecrawl.com/thriller/.

If you participated in the Zombie Crawl what was your favorite part about it? Leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

Tacos El Rey

photo 3 (2)Where can you get the freshest, best, most authentic Mexican food in Reno? If you’re a little slow, and  didn’t already guess based on the title, the answer is Tacos El Rey. Hands down the best Mexican food joint in Reno.

I have never made a bad food decision at Tacos El Rey.  I can honestly say I’ve tried just about everything on their menu, and have never walked away disappointed.Tacos El Rey has two locations. My favorite is located in the ghetto off of Wedekind and Sutro.

Gringos don’t be alarmed, it’s not super ghetto to where you should be afraid of going. And remember most authentic restaurants are almost always located in not such good neighborhoods. This restaurant has been open as long as I can remember. Basically for the last 20 years if not longer. They recently opened their second location in a better side of town, up in the Mae Anne Area.

Besides their food being made fresh, daily on the spot, their prices are beyond affordable.  3 people can easily grab a meal, plus one beverage for just $25. If in today’s expensive dinning experience that didn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will. Like most Mexican restaurants their portions are a descent size. You’re guaranteed to walk away with left overs.

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Tacos El Rey is a casual Mexican restaurant. No need for high heels or neck ties. Jeans and a t-shirt will work just fine. Although the restaurant’s decorations are dated, it still feels rather cozy inside.  On most days you will find either Futbol or Mexican soap operas on the big screen TV, and Mexican beats playing in the background.

My all time favorite dish here is the Carne Asada Sopes,  served with fresh beans and rice. Sopes are made of Maize, and are usually topped with your choice of meat, beans, crumbly cheese, lettuce and spicy red sauce. For a total of $8 you can get my favorite meal plus a drink.

Their tacos are the best I’ve had in town. I always get the Carne Asada tacos and they are always bomb. The meat is never burnt, or to crunchy. And it never tastes like it’s been sitting out all day. Another traditional Mexican meal  posole, is always on point at Tacos El Rey, always full of great flavors. I could never do this place enough justice.  You simply must go and give it a try. If you do, leave a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Perceptions

Reno5

This collage holds so much truth it’s not even funny.  When I tell people who have never been here where I’m from, they will ask me about prostitution and gambling. As if prostitution is rampant and I’m around it wherever I go. They also assume that as a local, I spend a lot of time gambling my money away in the casinos. Sometimes people won’t even acknowledge that I said I was from Reno, they will say oh “Las Vegas, Nevada.” I do my best to educate folks, however some just don’t listen. Reno holds so much more than just casinos and prostitution, such as  easy and quick access to many wonderful outdoor activities. Not to mention the many events that take place throughout the whole year. My city has an endless amount of activities to keep people entertained. Check out the Reno events calendar link here http://bit.ly/1yTx2Vm to see whats going on.

Pinnochio’s Bar and Grill

Pinnochio's Sparks Location

Pinnochio’s Sparks Location

I know what you’re thinking, automatically your mind goes to Gepetto and his son Pinnochio. When I first heard the name of this restaurant I couldn’t help but assume that they would be serving Italian food.  Sorry to disappoint you, Pinnochio’s is not Italian cuisine, it leans more on American style.

Pinnochio’s Bar & Grill is a  family owned business, that has been serving the Reno community for the last 17 years. They have a restaurant in sparks and Reno, and also offer catering.  The food here is amazing, and their flavors are always on point.

What I love about their menu is that you can substitute veggies for most of their pasta dishes, and yet still get amazing flavors. They also state on their menu that they can remove the gluten from your meals. Guess that’s cool too, if your into the “gluten-free” stuff. See their web page for more information http://bit.ly/1sygr4r.

Not only is their food amazing, the decor is also pretty impressive. There is a lot to look at.  The ceilings are adorned with many unique, random pieces such as; baseball caps,old school tricycles, horses and airplanes.

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Beautiful, detailed Tiffany glass stained lamps hang above most of their booths, and you can also spot some sparkly chandeliers. It’s definitely worth stopping by and checking this local joint out. If you’re not hungry their bar is the perfect place to get a glimpse of it all. Not to mention they have great happy hour specials.

Pinnochio’s offers a relaxed environment, perfect for family outings. I would describe it as eclectic. The dress code is definitely casual, t-shirt and jeans will work just fine. You can get an amazing meal, with big portions for just $20.

My go to item here is the Pasta Bourbon Street, which consists of Mostaccioli, sausage, shrimp, peppers, onions, and mushrooms tossed in a Cajun cream sauce for $17.95. I have had it with pasta, and have substituted the pasta for veggies. Both ways were delicious, but my personal favorite is with the veggies. It’s served with  their house salad and delicious  bread.

The customer service is great , and its a place were many locals choose to dine. While I was there I noticed they knew many of their customers by name. Now that’s excellent customer service. If you happen to check them out leave a comment below, let me know what you think.

Murrieta’s

MurrietasReno, NV has an abundant number of Mexican restaurants that fall under one of the following categories; authentic Mexican or Taco Bell Mexican.

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants is Murrieta’s,  a locally family owned business with two locations in Reno.

What makes Murrieta’s different from the rest?The answer is their bold flavors, and well priced menu. The food here taste home-made, and is always fresh. Not to mention their margaritas are good and cheap.

Murrieta’s chips and salsa are  something  to brag about. The chips are slightly deep-fried, salted just right, and come paired with fresh pico de gallo, and a spicy red salsa. The red salsa always has the right amount of spice.They offer a casual dinning experience,  and  by no means are a fancy restaurant.
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Often times the best Mexican restaurants aren’t that fancy. Or are often found in not so good neighborhoods.If you walk into a Mexican restaurant and it feels and looks fancy, the odds are the food won’t be that good.

What I  love about Murrieta’s is that they prepare everything fresh as you order. They don’t get lazy and use canned re-fried beans or salsa.  Everything is made from scratch, as it would be in a traditional Mexican home.

My absolute favorite meal here is known as Las Suisas, and only  costs $11.99. This delicious plate consists of two cheese enchiladas smothered in a mushroom sauce, topped with sour cream and Guacamole. It comes paired with rice and cheesy beans, simply to die for.

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Their menu is very well priced, and  you can get an amazing meal for under $13. Like most Mexican restaurants their servings are very large. So be prepared to walk away with left overs.

If you’re looking for excellent happy hour specials in Reno, Murrieta’s has you covered.Happy hour goes from 2pm-5pm Monday-Friday. You can get tacos for .99 each. Margaritas, pint drafts, and well drinks are 2 for the price of 1. They  have a wide variety of specialty alcoholic beverages you can find in their cantina themed bar. See the link here for more information http://bit.ly/1xIx0wd.

The customer service is great, the menu is well priced, but best of all you are really getting traditional Mexican food. This isn’t Taco Bell Mexican food, it’s the real deal. Murrieta’s offers the type of delicious food we crave after long nights out. Let me know what your favorite Mexican go to spot is, and I will be sure to check it out.

You scream, I scream, we all scream for yogurt?

Swirl That’s right Renoites, yogurt is gaining great momentum within our community, and my favorite place to grab a delicious yogurt, a.k.a, fro-yo is Yogurt Beach. Yogurt Beach is a family owned and operated business established in Reno since 2010.

Yogurt Beach has a laid back feel and as you probably guessed, the decor is beach themed. The walls have ocean theme murals with  palm trees, and  funky surfboards serve as table tops, as well as decor.

Yogurt Beach offers more than 14 different frozen yogurt flavors. Among these are my favorites watermelon sorbet, and cake batter. What’s cool about Yogurt Beach is they always have something new up their sleeves, as every month they have new flavors, based on seasonal fruit.

It gets better, with 41 different toppings, the flavor combination are endless. Yogurt Beach  has a variety of sauces, fruit, and even cereal that can be added to complete your yogurt creation. My favorite toppings are the delectable cheese cake bites, gummy worms, fresh kiwis and strawberry’s.

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My favorite yogurt flavors are Cake Batter, Pomegranate Raspberry, Strawberry Banana, and Madagascar Vanilla Creme. Yogurt Beach has too many great options to simply have one, that’s pretty much impossible here.

Two people can have a delicious treat for about $10. However this can also be tricky because they charge you based on weight, not cup size. For someone like myself (dessert freak) it can be pricey depending on the type of day I’ve had. I will go absolutely nuts, and put just about everything in my yogurt. If I’m having a rough day, boy can that yogurt get expensive.

You may be asking why would anyone choose yogurt over ice cream? Some might argue that yogurt is much healthier for you as yogurt has probiotics, and is also known to increase vitamin and nutrient absorption.

But, I mean really, it’s probably just as healthy as ice cream after you add all those not so healthy toppings. Don’t get me wrong you can definitely make yourself a healthy serving, but where is the fun in that? At the end of the day it is just a personal choice.

Yogurt is here to stay, and seems to be the new go-to trend to curve sweet tooth cravings. Yogurt Beach has 4  different locations in town, and flavors vary by location. See the link here for more information http://bit.ly/1sdxWIn.