Steak and shrimp, anyone?
Last week one of my readers bumped into me in Walmart and asked when I was going to write another “food” column? I had to laugh because my son, Doug, and I’d just thought about going to a local restaurant for dinner that served a great steak with shrimp special.
First, let me explain that we remember going to this particular place years and years ago on Friday or Saturday nights for their special inexpensive shrimp dinner. While the food wasn’t exceptional, we had a favorite waitress who always took good care of us. We were always full. I remember the salad was simply chopped up iceberg lettuce — all too often with brown edges — and the shrimp was served with rice and a vegetable.
The menu served then also included Mexican dishes. Chips and dips were always provided, and I always had a nice bottle of cold bubbly. I mentioned this to Doug about the new owners the last time we had been there. While waiting for our order to be taken, Doug mentioned how on those weekend nights their beautiful, huge bar would be crowded wall-to-wall with locals drinking beer and making a lot of fun noise.
Family members of the owner having their dinner now only occupied that same bar. What a shame. I remember a young boy gave us our menu and I told him I wanted to order a cocktail. He got a waitress for me and I ordered a gin martini, straight up with a lemon twist. It took about five minutes and what I received was a vodka martini with a lime slice. So much for bartending.
However, we’d eaten there a few other times before and found that one particular special was always excellent. The salad, potato and vegetables were always good. But I wondered about something that puzzles me. When a restaurant has a liquor license, why don’t they ask if anybody wants a cocktail? It’s the same with desserts. Anybody who’s ever worked in a restaurant knows that those two items are the ones who make the most money.
Last week, when Doug was having surgery, my son Don came to stay with me and I decided to take him to this same restaurant. I ordered a cocktail, the special being margaritas. We waited and waited. Finally, after 10 minutes, I got up and walked toward the kitchen and grabbed the first waitress I could find. I told her what I’d ordered. She replied, “I’m also the bartender and would get my drink immediately.”
A waitress, the designated bartender? I thought, “let’s be patient a little longer and see what see what happens.” When I finally got my drink, it was the wrong kind, not blended, and without salt. However, when the food arrived, the steak, vegetables and potato were just fine. There was a choice between two kinds of shrimp. And yes, you guessed it; they brought us the wrong kind. I give up; I’ll try Oriental restaurants.
Oriental food is a favorite of mine. Chinese, Japanese or Polynesian, it doesn’t matter, I love them all. Now we have a bunch of them here in town. In my opinion, two serve mediocre food and two serve acceptable food. However, in some of these places, my son won’t enter due to what he considers some cleanliness issues. You’re probably asking how I know what is good or bad oriental food?
Having eaten Oriental food all over this country, in Reno and Carson City, I believe there’s a half dozen or so that serve exceptional quality food. However, unless there’s another reason to rush into Reno, we aren’t going to drive 60 miles just for a meal. Instead, I vote for going to my favorite, Japanese food, in Fernley. They serve a delicious broth first then our platters arrive.
The rice is perfect, the salad just enough dressing. There’s four pieces of assorted vegetables and four shrimp all covered in tempura batter, fried to perfection. Along with this is a dipping sauce. Of course, I have sake. What I like about this particular dish is that it’s always the same. Nothing is ever disappointing. Then there’s another nearby establishment that serves all you can eat prime rib on Friday nights.
They even serve a $3 breakfast that can’t be beat. We’ll continue to visit our local steak and shrimp restaurant and just hope they get my cocktail and our shrimp right the next time.
One can only hope?
Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at email@example.com