Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Jul 19, 2009 10:02 PM

Dinner in Elko, NV vs. Winnemucca, NV

We ate at the Star Hotel in Elko for a Basque dinner this week during a roadtrip. Compared to the Martin Hotel in Winnemucca where we ate two years ago, the Martin is older and more atmospheric (smaller room and crowded family style tables) but the Star had better food. The Star is also an old hotel with group tables, but it has been modernized a bit over the years. The dinner included bread, salad, cabbage soup (much better than it sounds), spaghetti (weak), beans, green beans (weak), french fries and of course your main dish. I had the special bacon-wrapped filet mignon ($17.50) which was too large to finish, but prepared well. I overheard some of the local miners saying they wanted the regular order of filet mignon as it was twice the size ($30). I would recommend both restaurants, compared to the other junk available on I-80.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Still haven't eaten at the Star but I've tried The Martin and it was wonderful.

    4 Replies
    1. re: SteveTimko

      I've eaten at both and way prefer the Martin. I live in Winnemucca so we eat there and at Ormacheas quite a bit. Someone told me the Winnemucca Hotel had improved alot (a direct correlation with the owner having stopped drinking). May have to try it.

      1. re: nvcook

        I remember having a great time at Martin Hotel, good table conversation and great ambiance. I don't remember loving the food, although I don't remember it being bad. Can you tell me what to order? Any particular recommendations? Thx

        1. re: JojoSF

          Love the liver at The Martin. Is Tuesday still liver night?
          I haven't been to Ormacheas since the late 1980s. We were told the good Basque restaurant in Winnemucca was on a certain street and we found Ormacheas but didn't like it. It wasn't until later I found out The Martin was on the same street, only on the other side of the main drag.

          1. re: SteveTimko

            Ormacheas changed hands in 1994(?). It is more upscale than the Martin and has really outstanding steaks. My favorite dish is a Basque one called solomo. It is sliced pork tenderloin with roasted red peppers and garlic. I can't figure out how the pork is prepared though. Idon't know if John at the Martin adheres to a real tight schedule as to what days certain thing are offered. Tuesday has been liver night and it has also featured spaghetti. Their sides are more original Basque than Ormacheas. Lamb stew and tongue stew are quite good. The lamb shanks as a main are awesome. They do tend to have prime rib on Sat nights which is like a roast (same as Ormacheas). I also like their halibut and their ribeyes. I guarantee you won't leave either place hungry. BTW - the Martin changed ownership a few years back. Bill Arant sold it to his nephew John and I think it has greatly improved. Quality and consistency.

    2. There are a number of other Basque restaurants also. San Fermin in Winnemucca has been variable but good. Bil Toki, a block east of the Star is also excellent. The Nevada Dinner house half way between has been up and down. Toki Ono on Idaho St. has new owners and I haven't had the opportunity to try it recently--it used to have the best Chicken Fried Steak and eggs for breakfast--the garlic would protect you from vampires all day. The best Picon Punch is to be had at the Star.

      2 Replies
      1. re: NVJims

        San Fermin in Winnemucca closed a year or two ago. I have to disagree on the best picon punch ( I love them!). The Martin wins,

        1. re: nvcook

          Also, for anyone interested, the Martin has a web site;
          On the web site under reviews, a reporter from the NYT wrote in 10/08 that it was the best meal on her cross country trip she had. I believe she had the lamb shanks.