Oodles of noodles for oodles of tasters
Hundreds of people filled the streets of Old Town Dayton on Saturday for the 9th annual Oodles of Noodles Cookoff complete with food, drinks and dozens of other vendors.
“I’ve wanted to go since two years ago,” said Michelle Gamboa of Silver Springs. “It’s a lot of fun, and the noodles are a plus, but this (booth) definitely has a long line.”
The festival, which celebrates Dayton’s Chinese and Italian heritage, has become one of the town’s most popular annual events.
Gamboa was one of the people waiting to sample homemade cooked noodles offered with a choice between three sauces – pork, beef or clam – from Virginia City’s Mandarin Garden restaurant.
With 11 competitors in the noodle contest this year, Gamboa said of those she had sampled so far, her favorite was from the Pioneer Crossing booth.
Once Gamboa got to the front of the Mandarin Garden line with her friend and mother, the strategy was for each woman to select a different sauce.
With their bowls filled, they gathered off to the side of the booth so that they would each have an opportunity to sample the three sauces. The consensus? The clam sauce was the tastiest.
Meanwhile, with an equally long line of people eager to sample an Italian treat, Pioneer Crossing’s Tom Van Ardoy served up spoonfuls of southern fettuccine alfredo topped with blackened New York steak.
Van Ardoy was quick to alert fans of the dish that every Tuesday is All-You-Can-Eat Pasta night at Dayton’s Pioneer Crossing Casino Restaurant and Saloon.
Live street entertainment was planned throughout the day with the Gunfighters of Nevada providing an Old West show and plenty of local musicians.
At one point, 16-year-old Stephanie Kulla, of Carson City, played a mean fiddle while dancers entertained with the Virginia Reel.