Just because Las Vegas, Nevada’s glitzy big city, brought the world all-you-can-eat buffets doesn’t mean that the lover of fine and more cultural eats can’t get their fill on a trip through this Western state.
True, Nevada has its fair share of desert, but it also produces a surprising selection of fresh fare, from more typical fruits and vegetables to desert plants like Indian rice grass, yucca fruit, pinion pine nuts and juniper berries, once dietary staples for Native American peoples in the area.
Venture up towards Reno and several other northern cities, and the hungry traveler will discover that a large Basque population has brought with them their culinary traditions, accessible to the non-Basque visitor at one of the various Basque eateries dotting the region. Prep for your meal with a traditional Picon Punch (a stiff drink favored by Basque shepherds) at a family-style table before tucking into a multi-course feast that encompasses sweet bread, beef stew, french fries (done Basque, of course), beans (dunk them in tabasco sauce on your plate to look authentic), and a variety of entrees, from lamb to chicken. Finish off with ice cream and coffee before staggering, thus satiated, back into the bright sunlight of a Reno afternoon.
For more in the fresh produce vein, plan an evening to explore a farmers market in Reno or Las Vegas and get a more comprehensive introduction to the best local fruits and veggies on offer.