Juan’s Kitchen reopens in Horseshoe Club | NevadaAppeal.com

Juan’s Kitchen reopens in Horseshoe Club

Kirk Caraway
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Brad Horn/Nevada Appeal

One of Carson City’s best culinary secrets has a new home.

Juan’s Kitchen opened in its new space inside the Horseshoe Club last week, after spending 14 years inside Mo & Sluggo’s Bar just a few yards away.

This is in addition to the Juan’s Kitchen that opened inside the Comstock Casino in north Carson City last May.

“My business has been downtown for the last 14 years, so I have a lot of customers around the downtown area,” said owner Juan Salazar. “The Horseshoe Club offered me a good space and a good opportunity to come in, and I’m still in business in downtown.”

Having two Juan’s Kitchens located inside two casinos in different parts of town is a challenge. But that’s OK, because there are two Juans. Juan Jr. helps with managing the restaurant, and the whole family pitches in.

“Everybody’s cooking, everybody’s helping, we’re all busy,” said Juan Sr. “I think I’m a lucky man because I have a great family, and I have great friends here in Carson.”

Salazar moved his family from Los Angeles to Carson City 14 years ago, after spending his life up to that point working in his father’s restaurant.

“He taught me how to cook and how to run a business,” Salazar said.

Over the years while inside Mo & Sluggo’s, Juan’s Kitchen gained a following of people who loved his Mexican favorites and American standards. One of his fans was former Gov. Kenny Guinn, who Salazar said used to come in two or three times a week. In his honor, Salazar created the Governor’s Plate with Guinn’s favorite dish, cheese enchiladas with lettuce and a special Spanish-style sauce.

After years of building a good reputation, Salazar said the owners of the Comstock Casino came to him to have him offer his food to their customers on Goni Road. Then the Horseshoe Club people did the same, giving him a bigger space.

All of Juan’s favorites are still on the menu, plus a few extras.

“We still have Mexican food, plus a touch of the American food, plus a little bit of this and a little bit of that.”

The biggest change is the restaurant now has breakfast. Salazar serves not just Mexican breakfasts, but the usual standards like bacon and eggs and biscuits and gravy, all cooked from scratch.

The Horseshoe Club gave Salazar a bigger dining room and a bigger kitchen, in a more visible place than before, without taking him too far from his customers who have been eating his food for years.

That and the improvements in the downtown area give Salazar a positive outlook on the future.

“I’m very happy to be in downtown,” he said. “I know in three or four years that downtown is coming up, so I’m going to be ready for it.”

– Contact reporter Kirk Caraway at kcaraway@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1261.