Too Soul Tea Cafe

photo 1Looking for a place to get your Zen on? Reno has you covered with Too Soul Tea Cafe located in the Midtown area. Too Soul Tea Cafe is the only place in Reno specializing in all things tea, see the link here for more information http://bit.ly/1tIS0io.

Besides tea being extremely good for you, it’s also very low in calories.  Too Soul Tea Cafe is a local, family owned and operated business. Open for more than 2 years in the  Midtown area.

They offer more than 100 tea options, ranging from black, green, white, herbal, chai, hibiscus and many more.

Too Soul Tea is a cozy, smaller size cafe which also offers out-door seating. Relaxing music such as John Mayer, and Sade play in the background. There is definitely a relaxing vibe going on. Their staff is super friendly and will gladly  educate you on all things tea.

They have daily samples you can try, and fresh-baked goods for sale. On most days they also offer sandwiches, quiches, wraps and fruit. They also sell a variety of drinking cups, and of course loose leaf tea sold in tins and pouches.

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I ordered the Raspberry Vanilla Mint Green tea which was amazing, no wonder it’s a top seller. My friend had the Strawberry Coconut Creme, which was also delicious.

We helped ourselves to a Cinnamon Toffee scone which was out of this world all for under $9. They are very well priced.Too Soul Tea Cafe offers a collection of calming teas to help you relax, as well as a collection to wake you up.

Both alternatives are much healthier for you than your average cup of Joe. You can also buy their teas online. Too Souls Tea Cafe is a pretty cool local shop be sure to check them out.

Local Tip: Reno has a Davidson’s Tea Warehouse located in Sparks. You can stock up on quality tea at a very low price. They also offer daily samples.

What is your favorite type of tea?

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Dorinda’s Chocolates

Dorindas2Located in Reno’s Riverside District Dorinda’s Chocolates is the perfect place to grab a sweet treat. They have a great selection of hand crafted unique chocolate treats, and fresh made samples everyday. See the link here for more information http://bit.ly/1yPNCCb.

Dorinda’s Chocolates  is a family owned and operated business that has been open in Reno’s Riverside District for more than a year. They pride themselves in using fresh ingredients for all their products (no preservatives added). Dorinda’s Chocolates are designed to be enjoyed sooner than later.

They offer outdoor seating, steps away from the Truckee River, a perfect place to unplug. Another cool fact about Dorinda’s Chocolates is they use neighboring coffee shop The Hub’s coffee grounds in some of their  chocolate treats, in an effort to cross promote one another. Grab a sweet treat at Dorinda’s Chocolates and pair it with a bold espresso from The Hub next door.

This gives us Renoites a perfect chance to support two local business’s at once. Together these unique shops are revitalizing Reno’s Riverside District. Try their  “best most original taste” sea salt caramels they are amazing. Another one of my favorites are their chocolate covered pretzels and caramel apples.

Their customer service is great and you can get a few treats for just $20. They also prepare custom orders and will deliver anywhere in the US. Dorinda’s Chocolates offers a Chocolate of The Month Club, where once a month your  chocolates will be delivered to your doorstep.

During the summer they also prepare the cutest lunch baskets for a picnic by the river. This Wed Nov 19 from 6-730pm, Dorinda’s Chocolates is hosting a chocolate and wine pairing with Fine Wine Winerys. Cost is $20. See the link here for more information http://on.fb.me/1wTzqFY.  Wednesdays can’t get any better than that!

What is your favorite chocolate dessert?

Tha Joint

photo 4 (2) Reno, NV has quite an impressive selection for sushi joints. One of my top choices is Tha Joint. Yes its spelled “Tha Joint.” Sounds a little ghetto, I’ll admit the name used to get on my nerves,  however the sushi here is amazing. See the link here for more information http://bit.ly/1HbLPxe.

What I like most about Tha Joint is their rolls are not jammed packed with rice.They are thinly sliced with lots of sea food. Some sushi joints make their rolls too thick so you get a mouthful of rice and no fish. At Tha Joint their sea food is always fresh, and their flavor combinations are unique and delicious.

Tha Joint is located in Sparks, NV  and in case you didn’t guess by the title, the decorative theme is jail house.  The sushi cooks wear black and white prison attire, and the wait staff wear black shirts with the restaurants name and hand cuffs on them.

They offer Asian cuisine as well as sushi, and you can substitute white rice for brown.  The service is pretty good, although because the restaurant is kind of small, sometimes when they are busy, it feels like they are trying to rush you out. All you can eat sushi dinner is $22.99, and all you can eat lunch is $17.95

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For appetizers I recommend mussels and Yakiton (cream cheese wonton with seafood) Amazing! It’s always good to try the restaurant’s house roll, theirs is called Tha Joint and is pretty good.  My favorites are Tha Pink Lady, The Whole 9 Yards, Tha Latingo, and Tha Sexy House Wife. I can’t forget to mention Tha Shiznit ha ha.

Try their delectable Raspberry Sake, it doesn’t taste as harsh as plain Sake. It has just the right amount of raspberry flavor with a little punch. For dessert try their Mango Mochi,or you can stick to the classic fried banana and ice cream dessert both are delicious.

Tha Joint has never let me down, they are consistently great every time I visit. Next time you’re in Sparks be sure to check them out, you won’t be disappointed.

What is your favorite Sushi Joint in Reno?

 

Little House on Center

unnamedAs I have said before breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I’m always looking for new breakfast joints to check out. My most recent adventures led me to Little House on Center.

Overall a pleasant experience however their breakfast was just so-so. Located in Midtown area Little House on Center serves breakfast and lunch, see the link here for more information http://bit.ly/14peSyk.

I absolutely  loved the home in which the restaurant has been built. Its one of those old school, brick homes found in old Reno with a nice porch. They offer indoor and out-door seating, tables only no booths.

They are also dog friendly, as you can sit outside in the front yard weather permitting.

We were immediately greeted at the door and were instructed to take a seat wherever we’d like. The restaurant is small yet cozy. They have a beautiful fireplace, and an exposed kitchen. You can watch them  make your food every step of the way.

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There is plenty of lighting and Jazzy beats can be heard playing in the background.The walls are a soft minty green, decorated with black and white pictures from the 1950’s. You can also purchase these, however they seemed over priced.

We ordered Banana Pancakes. A side of biscuits and gravy, and their most requested omelet “the Spanish.” The pancakes were pretty good, and made just the way my friend ordered them (with banana inside ).

Their side of biscuits and gravy was just OK. The biscuits didn’t taste fresh, and the gravy was kind of cold. What was different about their gravy was it had bacon bits in it. Although this is great for bacon lovers, it might not be for those who dislike it. It’s also not mentioned on the menu. It tasted a bit too salty for my liking.

The Spanish omelet consists of Pico de Gallo, Colby jack Cheese, and chorizo, served with your choice of bread, and hash browns. I wasn’t too impressed, it was missing flavor. On a positive note  their serving sizes were big, and the service was great. You can get a decent meal for under $10.

Maybe it was just an off day at Little House on Center, I’m certainly up for trying their breakfast again. Or maybe even lunch next time.

Have you tried Little House on Center? If so how was your experience?

Wet Hen Cafe

photo 5Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and is also my most loved meal. There is no better way to start your day, then with the smell of bacon and the sweet aroma of coffee in the morning. I recently came across Wet Hen Cafe, and was extremely happy I did.

Wet Hen Cafe is a family owned and operated business established in Reno, NV in 2010.  Combined between father, mother and son the family boasts over 30 years of culinary experience. Wet Hen Cafe specializes in breakfast and lunch, American style with a french twist.

The family has developed all their own recipes, some that have been passed down from generation, to generation. See the link here for more information http://bit.ly/1tf8zlu.

Everything here is made fresh, which includes roasting a turkey daily for their sandwiches. The customer service is exceptional, in fact some might find it annoying.  They always come by to make sure your drink is never empty, and that you are completely satisfied with your meal.

It is a smaller sized restaurant so when its busy it can feel a little cramped, however the food is great. Wet Hen Cafe’s decor is definitely rustic. Think roosters, chickens, warm colors, and craft items you would find at your grandmother’s house. The ambiance is intimate, pleasant, and comfy. It smells great, and is very clean.

At the Wet Hen Cafe you place your order at the counter, and then seat yourself. We  were served promptly within 10 minutes of ordering. The woman at the counter was also very friendly and recommended a few customer favorites.  I ordered their specialty Eggs Benedict which was delicious.

Hands down best Eggs Benedict I’ve had in town. It comes  paired with fresh fruit and home fries. The fruit was actually fresh, and tasted sweet. The fruit bowl consisted of a pineapple, strawberry, mandarin mix that was delightful. You can have a delicious breakfast at Wet Hen Cafe for under $20.00

They specialize in Quiche platters, and have several options to choose from. Wet Hen Cafe also caters, and includes fresh-baked goods. Put this place on your list of places to check out.

What is your favorite breakfast joint in Reno?

 

Pupusas

El Salvador Restaurant

El Salvador Restaurant

Pupusas are one of the best known traditional Salvadorian foods. As a Salvi it is my duty to guide you to the best Pupusa restaurant in Reno. My absolute favorite Pupusa joint is El Salvador Restaurant located on Forrest street, close to Midtown.

For those of you who don’t know, Pupusas are handmade corn tortillas usually filled with  cheese, re-fried beans, and cooked pork meat. My personal favorite are cheese and loroco Pupusas. Loroco is an edible flower found in Mexico and Central America used for seasoning.  My second go to are Pupusas Revueltas, which are a mix of cheese, beans, and pork.

El Salvador Restaurant has been open in Reno for more than 13 years. They provide excellent customer service and are always more than willing to make suggestions, as well as explain menu content. You can get 2 drinks and 8 Pupusas for just $20.

What I love best about the Pupusas at El Salvador Restaurant, is that they are thin and full of the actual fix ins.

Exceptional Pupusas like the ones my mom makes at home, are always thinly made and full of flavor.  Other Pupusa restaurants in town make theirs too thick, so all your tasting is the corn tortilla and lard.

Pupusas come paired with curtido, which is cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar, And a spicy tomato sauce. I put my tomato sauce on first and then sprinkle the curtido on top.

 

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Typically in my country Pupusas are eaten by hand, here in the USA people eat them with a fork and knife. Either way it doesn’t matter, you won’t be able to get enough after just one taste. You can also add beans and rice, however I’m usually pretty full with just the pupusas.

The decor is funky, yet it still feels homey inside.  Fun facts and beautiful vacation spots in  El Salvador can be found in frames all around the restaurant.  El Salvador Restaurant is well priced and offers many traditional Salvadorian food platters you can try.

Another one of my favorite Salvadorian foods is Platanos Fritos, a typical Salvadorian breakfast platter that comes served with rice and beans. It’s fried plantain with sugar sprinkled on top. Don’t knock it, until you try it.

Dress casual and remember the most authentic restaurants are always those found in random places.

What is your favorite place for Pupusas?

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.