As longtime Renoites know, Washoe Steakhouse occupies the same spot as the old Glory Hole, next to Johnny’s Ristorante Italiano on West Fourth Street.
The steakhouse, owned by Craig Cunningham, has an eclectic following. During two recent visits, the people-watching in the bar almost overshadows the food.
The first week, there’s a wedding reception in the banquet room off the bar with guest attire ranging from backyard barbecue to Plaza Hotel. Last week, I sat behind a solo diner I think must be in a hidden-camera TV show for rude diners.
The bar is casual, with lots of wood and a great fireplace. The formal dining room suits those looking for a white tablecloth experience. The deck, on the east side of the building, beckons on warmer nights.
For the most part, Washoe Steakhouse is a fine dining spot with prices to match. But even fine dining has loopholes.
Friends tell my husband and me to try the burger at Washoe, a stop some folks make before University of Nevada basketball games. We decide to search out the $10 burger bargain.
We both order a grilled burger. It comes with the usual suspects — cheddar cheese, lettuce, onion and tomato — but cornichon (pickled gherkin) aïoli gives it a splash of special. The burger, served with a large portion of steakhouse fries, tastes like one they spent time to make delicious.
The newsprint wax paper the burger and fries are wrapped in offers a nice touch. My husband and I both leave feeling stuffed.
Service is fast and friendly, and the bartender doesn’t make us feel like a waste-of-a-tip for ordering the cheapest entrée on the menu.
The TVs in the bar are small, so it’s not an ideal pregame rally spot.
Try three different sliders (pulled pork, meatball, zucchini) during happy hour from 4:30 to 6 p.m. daily. At $3 a pop, they make for a filling meal that’s less than $10. Chicken, fresh fish, pork and Angus steak tacos are only $2 each during happy hour.
I’m waiting for warm summer nights to enjoy the deck. Everything tastes better outside.