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Jul 12, 2007 08:56 AM

Best of Reno 2007 votes

Best Sandwich: Port of Subs
Best Mexican restaurant: Micasa Too
Best Italian restaurant: Olive Garden
Best new restaurant:
1. B.J.’s Brewery
2. Johnny Carino’s Italian Grill

All solid arguments that democracy sucks.
For those out of the area, Micasa Too is as authentic of a Mexican restaurant as Wienerschnitzel is authentic German food. Killer margaritas, though.

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  1. I'm right with you on those.

    Another one I'd disagree with is
    BEST THAI RESTAURANT: Bangkok Cuisine
    Only been once, but I found it pretty bland and unsatisfying. Very overrated IMHO.

    One you can't argue with too much with

    Haven't been to the new location, but I assume it's the same food as before. I personally prefer Saigon Pearl (which a lot of people seem to be scared of because it's in the El Cortez Hotel)--good quality food and less crowded; but I've never been disappointed by Pho 777, so I have to give it to "the people" on that one.

    I noticed that Sezmu came in at #3 for best new restaurant. It's like Albert Einstein coming in third in a poll for "most intelligent" behind Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

    7 Replies
    1. re: clarence6ybr

      I love Bangkok Cuisine. I think it's the best Thai restaurant in town, although it's slightly Americanized.

      Sezmu and Ciao Reno should be 1 and 2 for best new restaurant.

      1. re: SteveTimko

        I also like Bangkok Cuisine. I eat there at least once a month.

        BJ's Brewery for best new restaurant?? give me a break......

        1. re: SteveTimko

          Have you tried Thai Royal House? I like them a lot better than Bangkok (although as I mentioned I've only tried Bangkok once). For the huge number of Thai places we have in Reno per capita, I don't think we have a truly outstanding one, though.

          1. re: clarence6ybr

            For the record, my favorite Thai is Thai Chile on Virgina. I prefer them over Bangkok, as well.

            1. re: nancyhudson

              I like Thai Chile as well. Just about all the Thai restaurants in Reno and Sparks are pretty good. A much better success rate than the Chinese restaurants.

              1. re: SteveTimko

                Hey Steve, if you had to pick between Jazmine and Peony for Chinese food, which would it be? What do you think Johnathan thinks? I like Jazmine so far, but have not tried Peony. Wasn't there a chowdown recently?

                1. re: MofCarson

                  Just noticed this post. I would say Peony, definitely.

      2. Hmm...I was looking at the list "best restaurants" in the original posting and--for a minute there--I thought we were talking about Fresno!

        (Wasn't the Olive Garden in Fresno voted as the best Italian restaurant? Or am I thinking of Denny's being voted the best breakfast?)

        1. i was disgusted, but can't say i wasn't surprised...did you vote? i didn't. steve, saw your byline today...who knew? i didn't...don't you have some influence over there?

          3 Replies
          1. re: nancyhudson

            Wow. Even though it disappoints me to know that Sezmu turned in third place for best new restaurant, when the first place went to a place that still serves its Atlantic salmon and New York steak “ blackened or flame broiled“, I try to look on the bright side- The real chowhounds will still be able to get a reservation on Friday & Saturday nights! If Sezmu received the 1st place it deserves, a bunch of people, used to going to a brew house & chain Italian restaurant, would be filling the place up every weekend for the next month or so. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be for the talented chef & crew from Sezmu to get numerous special request to “Blacken the salmon, with sauce on the side”, then getting said dish returned because "the customers claimed that the fish is undercooked” when it was sent out a perfect medium? Or families showing up Saturday nights, taking up 6 top tables, with two parents & 4 kids, not only not ordering appetizers, salads or wine, but asking “Can our kids just get spaghetti with marinara and some garlic bread?” and “How come you guys don’t have video games for the children? At least give them place settings with puzzles or something to keep them busy!” Those who seek a good meal will realize right away that this says more about the taste of the average diner in Reno then it does about the qualities of the few good restaurants in Reno. In what other city would Olive Garden win best Italian, or Round Table best pizza? At least Peg’s Glorified Ham & Eggs didn’t get beat by Denny’s for best breakfast. I don’t think they take reservations for breakfast, so I should still be able to pop in there anytime I want for a great breakfast.

            Next time I try to make, and still receive, reservations at Sezmu on a Saturday night, I plan on buying the kitchen a round of drinks to celebrate a fine job on remaining a hidden gem. I don’t think you can change the entire dining scene with one (or two, counting LuLou’s), great restaurants, but if you please those with discriminating tastes, and they tell their friends, you can still remain profitable, pleasurable, and accessible, which for us is a good thing.

            1. re: nancyhudson

              It's how the people vote, Nancy. This ain't Florida.

              1. re: SteveTimko


                But unfortunately, I didn't vote either. And I read the paper every day....but don't remember seeing the ballot.

                Speaking of new restaurants, ate tonight at the new Sushi Pier II (It was son's birthday, and he wanted sushi). The sushi tastes the same (good but not great) but the atmosphere is much improved: very spacious with lots of bar space. We enjoyed it. (Its in the same strip mall as India Garden, on the north side, right across the street from Bangkok Cuisine). Also, noted that the Chinese restaurant that was there and had dim sum for awhile is gone....its going to be a branch of one of the local Italian places....I forget which one, sorry....

            2. My favorites are somewhat different from the "Most Popular", er, "Best of" list:
              Top of the Line: White Orchid in the Peppermill
              Thai: Thai Chili on Virginia, though Bangkok is also good
              Mexican: Rosita's Cocina and Lupita's
              Italian: Luciano's or La Vecchia
              Vietnamese: Depends on what I'm ordering; Pho 777, Golden Flower and Asian Noodle House (near Costco) are all good
              Greek: Nick's Greek Deli (a hole-in-the-wall - try the Royal Plate)
              Chinese: Fortune Palace (Sparks), Palais de Jade, Jazmine
              Indian: India Kabab and Curry
              Steak: Peppermill Steak House or Harrah's Steak House
              Neighborhood lunch: Stonehouse (French onion soup, slider, and fries)
              Persian: Parisa's Cuisine (huge Saturday Persian buffet)
              French: Beaujolais Bistro
              Sinful Burger with grease: Nugget Diner's "AwfulAwful"
              Pizza: Blue Moon
              Breakfast: Legends

              9 Replies
              1. re: bill2975

                Where is Fortune Palace? Never heard of it...

                Is Nick's the place just off Virginia near Cheney? If so, hubby likes it a lot too. I have to agree with a number of your other favorites: India Kabab and Curry (well, my house is better, but technically that's not a restaurant :-), Lupita's, and Beaujolais Bistro are all favorites of mine.....

                1. re: janetofreno

                  Fortune Palace is at 1282 Disc Drive, Sparks - 626-9888 -, off Vista, in Sparks. We've had three very good meals there. It's not Hunans' Home in San Francisco, but what is?

                  Nick's is just off Virginia on Moran. Across the street from "Wild Orchid".

                  Much better than the one time we tried the Blue Plate on Greek night, but that was a few years ago, so maybe that's improved.

                  Speaking of Greek, how about a chowhound outing to the Greek Festival on Lakeside next month? Anyone ever been?

                  1. re: bill2975

                    What are you ordering at Fortune Palace? I was there as recently as two Fridays ago and I still haven't found much I like. It's not bad. Just nothing distinctive.

                    1. re: SteveTimko

                      It's been about six weeks (wrong side of town for us), but I remember having hot and sour soup, the house special fried rice, and some braised eggplant. We also had a shrimp dish, kung pao style, I think, and they were perfectly cooked. Again, it's not SF Chinatown, but it was good.

                      Anyplace here do scallion cakes (green onion pie)?

                    2. re: bill2975

                      Yes, Nick's is the same one my husband really likes.

                      Is Fortune Palace the one in the shopping center across the street from Reed High School, that used to be called something else?

                      Every year DH says he wants to go to the Greek Festival, and every year we're on vacation that week...maybe this is the year to go.......

                      1. re: janetofreno

                        No, Fortune Palace is in a strip mall west of Scolari's on Disc Drive. Fortune Palace is closer to Sparks Boulevard than to Vista Boulevard. It's near the restaurant that used to be the RoadHouse Grille that was operated by the people who own Rapscallions. Now it's something different.

                  2. re: bill2975

                    Splurged on dinner tonight at the White Orchid in the Peppermill Casino with two other couples for a special occasion. As usual, a wonderful meal, though not cheap.

                    I had a tomato and onion salad, followed by a peppercorn-crusted New York steak that was superb. Spouse had a nice salad followed by prawns stuffed with crabmeat and a glass of wine. Later we shared a chocolate dessert.

                    The food, the service, and the ambience were superb, as has been the case each time we have been here - all with Entertainment card, which takes $30 off the total bill. Total for us tonight, with side salads, entrees, glass of wine, and dessert, was an even $100, tax and tip included after deducting the Entertainment card discount.

                    All in all, an extremely pleasant evening with four friends and great food. I've spent more for a show at John Ascuaga's Nugget, and enjoyed it far less.

                    Though we only do this once a year, it's been great for special occasions. I'd also suggest the Peppermill steakhouse, which also takes the Entertainment card, and has had excellent steaks and fish whenever we've visited.

                    1. re: bill2975

                      you were able to get seperate checks for each couple? $100 not too bad inc. wine and dessert. I have the discount card too. I have yet to go. Has anybody else gone, or have thoughts?

                      1. re: MofCarson

                        Separate checks were no problem at all, and because there were six of us we were seated in a private room.

                        All in all, a very pleasant evening in good company, with very good food, exceptional service, and a quiet ambience conducive to conversation.

                        Anyone have any suggestions for other restaurants where you can actually carry on a conversation without the music(?) blasting you out?

                  3. How come there's no category for best Tapas? My vote would go to Costco! :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RevrendAndy

                      If only Costco offered wine with it's small plates.