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Awful Awful burger, Reno or Carson City?

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I arrived in Reno last week for the evening but was too full to try the Awful Awful for dinner. I did stop in at the Nugget and went back into the diner to see what the fuss was about. It did look appetizing as did other items people had ordered.

The next day on our way through Carson City I went into the Nugget and had an Awful Awful in their restaurant. The atmosphere is a huge contrast to the dive in the casino in Reno. The burger came as 2 patties with cheese and a large portion of fries that appeared to have batter on them. The fries were a bit unorthodox but the burger was awesomeful. A week later and I still miss this incredible treat. The marvelous flavor and texture of the patties along with everything else in the burger elevates this carnivorous experience into the American icon it deserves.

Are the burgers in each location different? If so, which one is better? I didn't get a close look at the burger in Reno but appeared to be just one patty.

Many thanks to you Chowhounds for this wonderful recommendation.

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  1. Robert:
    I haven't tried the Awful Awful at the Carson Nugget. It sounds like the original formula.
    A man named Dick Graves started a sting of Nugget casinos through out Western Nevada, including Fallon, Reno, Sparks, Carson City and I think one at Tahoe some where.
    The original awful awful was two hamburger patties and various other condiments. It stands for awful big and awful good.
    The Nuggets became owned by different people. John Ascuaga took over the Sparks Nugget and made it the most successful.
    The Reno Nugget passed through a few owners before the current owner took it over. He decided to change the Awful Awful from two smaller patties into one larger patty.
    It's generally acknowledged as the best hamburger in Reno. When Paul Revere (of Paul Revere and the Raiders band fame) opened a night club in the Reno Bowling Stadium, he touted his hamburger as only the second best in town.
    So the other Awful Awfuls are pretty good, but I think the Reno Nugget single-patty version is probably the best.

    1. Ive never been to the one in Reno but almost everyone I know says the Carson Nugget awful awful is better, and is the original with two patties and a chunk of cheese. I can vouch for the one in Carson, it's easily the best burger I've ever had. I usually go once a month and it's a great price for what you're getting.

      4 Replies
      1. re: muxz

        The Reno Nugget has changed owners since this original post and it's two patties now.
        I tried the Carson Awful Awful and didn't like it as much as the Reno Nugget at the time of this post.

        1. re: SteveTimko

          Have to go downtown and compare the two because if it's better than the carson one then I'm in for a major treat. Some friends of mine came up with a theory once when debating awful awfuls that basically the best awful awful is wherever you first had it. I'm gonna have to go to the nugget in Reno and find out for myself. Thanks for the update Steve.

          1. re: muxz

            The Reno Nugget has changed owners since the original post. They've gone back to the two-patty recipe. I don't like it as much.

            1. re: SteveTimko

              and dear Robert, who posted it, has since died. we still miss him. :) he was a real chowhound!