- 1305 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV, 89503
- Overall User Rating:
- (3 ratings)
- 8 a.m. to midnight Sunday-Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday
- Official Web Site:
Ah, those college years! Classes by day, partying by night.
The Wolf Den lies on North Virginia Street across from the University of Nevada, Reno. It's decorated in festive blue and silver, Nevada's colors, and framed sports memorabilia and photographs cover the walls. A chair hanging upside down from the ceiling says it's reserved for UNLV rebels.
The overall feel is upgraded sports bar.
One recent evening, the place fills (mostly) with college guys swilling pitchers of beer and doing shots while watching a San Francisco Giants-Texas Rangers World Series game on giant flatscreen televisions.
The Wolf Den is a great place to go if you're into that scene — and into cheap beer — but if you're not, the cheering makes conversation difficult. And I can't help but feel I'm at a frat party.
The Wolf Den serves breakfast and bar food.
Breakfast items are standbys like a breakfast burrito, pancakes, steak and eggs and a "hangover" omelet. Bar items include sandwiches and salads, pizza, tacos, nachos, chili cheese fries and chicken wings.
Those wings are different. They come tossed in a strong Worcestershire sauce blend. They're extremely pungent, and the Worcestershire overwhelms all other sauce ingredients. Despite the wings' nicely crunchy exterior, I miss traditional sauce.
When my companion and I spoon into a cup of chili, we discover it's cold — as in straight-from-the-refrigerator-and-the cook-forgot-to-heat-it-up cold. The replacement chili is heated and deliciously meaty and spicy. I love the Texas-style cheese and onion toppings.
A Wolf Den club is a classic specimen of the sandwich generously layering turkey, ham, crisp bacon, lettuce and tomato, and swipes of mayonnaise. It arrives with french fries and a side of slaw.
The fries are sprinkled with fresh parsley and well seasoned, but the cabbage slaw is tired, and balsamic dressing is an odd choice.
The Wolf Den's main draw is the Little Nugget's famous Awful Awful burger, which is as juicy and satisfying as it is downtown. It's a must-order featuring a perfectly charred patty on a toasted, buttery bun with cheese, special sauce, red onion, lettuce and tomato.
The burger is served atop a bed of crisp fries — way too many to eat.
Can I get a beer?
Service is mixed.
Customers must order food from one counter and beer and cocktails from the bar, generating two receipts from the same restaurant.
During my visit, the bar is backed up. Instead of jumping in to help the bartender by taking my beer order, the food waitress spends at least five minutes chatting with her friends as I wait.
I realize fulfilling bar orders isn't technically part of her job, but when I waited tables, as I did for many years, serving the customer was the first priority no matter what your job description.
The Wolf Den is a fun place for college students and post-collegiate young adults because of its atmosphere and its affordable beer and grub.
But folks beyond that demographic might want to forego the college party and grab an Awful Awful at the Little Nugget instead.