THE PLACE: Brickies Tavern on West Second Street isn’t a place you take a first date. In fact, it’s more like a place you go to drink away your pain after a nasty breakup.
Since 1956, it’s been a greasy spoon with a full bar that takes pride in local sports and that offers affordable food that’s good before a night of drinking and even better the day after.
THE LOOK: Reno Aces memorabilia, framed images of Wolf Pack sports and classic boxing posters cover nearly every inch of the dark brown wood walls.
There also are classic beer signs, some in etched glass, others with neon lights.
The bar stretches along the right side as you walk in; six tables are on the left. Video poker machines are embedded in the bar. Brickies is small and cozy.
THE MEAL: Burgers are listed first on the one-page menu. After ordering drinks, my buddy debates whether to order the burger. The waitress says, “It’s a burger kind of day. Everyone’s getting burgers.”
Well, that was easy.
I order the little Brickie, a third-pound burger, for $5. It comes with potato salad or chips and salsa. Toppings are $1 each.
Bacon? Oh yes. I need one more. Mild Ortega chile or fried egg? Let’s go with the egg.
The bacon is trapped between the burger and the egg. The yolk barely drips onto the bacon — it’s a nice, clean, wholesome bite.
I walk away a little hungry. I should have ordered the big Brickie, a half-pound burger, for $1 more instead.
KUDOS: The burger has a pleasant flame-broiled taste. How do I know it’s flame-broiled? I see the flames.
I also appreciate the bravery of the cook. The kitchen has the square footage of an office cubicle. Still, he stands there with 3-foot flames rising.
QUIBBLES: The iced tea is a bad choice. It tastes like it’s brewed with Mississippi mud. I should have ordered beer or water.
Also, Brickies strangely doesn’t have a deep fryer, meaning no french fries.
ALTERNATIVES: I’m told the breakfast is solid. The tavern also has a six-item Mexican menu that includes tacos, chiles rellenos, burritos and enchiladas. The most expensive goes for $7. A combo plate with two items is $10.
RETURN TRIP: Yes, but get a few more dates under your belt before you bring your lady friend.