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Jul 26, 2005 02:12 PM

Awful, 8 napkin burger

  • g

finally found my way to Downtown Reno yesterday - and to the Awful, Awful burger at the Little Nugget Diner right by the Arch. The Awful2 is now $4.50 but it's still an 8ounce patty with cheese, secret sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and secret sauce on a toasted sesame bun. All of this on a huge portion of hot, crispy shoestring fries. You won't go away hungry from this lunch. Parking is tough downtown - there is very little on street parking. We ended up at the El Dorado (1.5 blocks away) - where it's 75 cents for 30 minutes or free if you get your ticket validated in the casino.
Here's a visual of our lunch....


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    1. Hmm, they raised the price from $3.50. Too bad. They're still probably losing money. They do it as a loss leader to get people into the casino.
      Gordon, would you rate it as Chowhound worthy, meaning it's a must stop for Chowhounders passing through Reno?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Steve Timko

        I'm not absolutely sure that it's worth a detour but that's partly because I don't know if they are willing to cook them to order. By this I mean that they serve them cooked medium well. I left the ordering to my friend when I went off to take care of some business - I asked for my burger to be cooked medium rare but when I got back he said that the order taker didn't offer any options on how it would be cooked. And I only saw burgers coming off the flat top cooked one way - medium well with little bits of charred edges that were pretty tasty. So even though the burger is quite impressive (very tall- could barely get my choppers into this guy) and there is secret sauce oozing over the patty - it still seemed a bit dry to me so I added some more mustard to mine and washed it down with some iced tea. It did have lettuce, tomato and sliced onion and a slice of american cheese on it also. Now it could also be that the mountain of fries dehydrated me somewhat? For the money - it's still a very decent burger and a great value but I'm not sure I'd push it as a memorable burger on taste alone. If it was served, as ordered: medium rare then this would be quite the burger. Maybe it can be had that way? Now if you're a fan of diners and you're looking to get full at 3am - this is a destination. Lots of locals pop in for a bite and the action at the line is pretty non stop. A caveat: thousands and thousands of Awful, Awfuls have been cooked here over the years - this is a greasy spoon - in every sense of the word. My friend looked around at the walls and vents and asked me if they were open 24 hours a day? When do they get to clean the place? Not very often apparently....I don't mean to say that it's dangerous but some might find it a bit too "real" - especially in the light of day .... an alcoholic glaze might be beneficial. We sat at the counter and were right in front of the fryolater and flat top - lot of action going on. Gotta go once and maybe more, depending on how your sensibilities run. I had a very nice salad for dinner that night.

        1. re: Gordon Wing

          A lot of the atmosphere is expressed by the sign over the entrance: Nine out of 10 vegetarians don't eat here.
          Might be worth a trip downtown to see if it's changed.

          1. re: Gordon Wing

            My motto is: if a place doesn't have their act together enough to ask me how I want my burger cooked, it's not a place I should be eating pink hamburger anyway. Sounds good though.


        2. i paid more than that yesterday for an arbys roast beef, the fries were extra. i thought they would be charging at least $10 and people would think that was a deal. i would pay that.

          1 Reply
          1. re: funchi

            This thread is eight years old!!! The Reno Nugget is no more but the same burger is sold at the Wolf Den on UNR campus. Updated info can be found on this link: