BURNCARDS: Reno music, food, opinion, technology, news. » carson city
Posts Tagged ‘carson city’

Some Pre-Weekend Cyclist Humor

Originally taken from this website, we have here NYC cyclist Casey proving a point that the law, even the law you get fined upon infraction, cannot always be followed to the letter.   Granted, his method isn’t exactly suggested, it’s worth a laugh, no matter if you prefer gas pedals or geared ones:



Ride and drive safe out there, folks.

(…thanks to Adam for finding this wonderful gem…)

Distractions Of The Author While…Hold On A Sec, My Phone Just Beeped

The Internet has really changed the way we do things, and it’s getting to the point where we almost take it for granted. Generations like mine (as a mid-thirtysomething) can certainly remember times when we did things “the old-fashioned way,” such as using our minds, pencils and papers to write or research something. We were also the first generation to grow up using computers as an every-day interaction in our schools—-I began school in 1984, which means we had a library full of Apple IIe computers that all the classes used. Once a day, we got one hour on the computer. There was a computer in my learning curve ever since, and little has changed today.

One thing we don’t realize is the valuable process we lose by using the ever-increasing technology that we enjoy on a daily basis. I know a couple of friends of mine jokingly were calling any phone with any kind of Google searchability “The Oracle,” as questions can and will be answered. I’m only getting to the point now where I realize I have a pocket full of information with my phone, which makes us only more interdependent on our silicon-based lifestyle. One that will poke us in the ribs every time someone tweets, messages or demands our instant attention, no matter what we’re doing. I’ve done everything I can to make me in control of my blasted phone, rather than the other way around.

When I write, it is usually on a computer. A once-steady hand of pen-holding and paper medium, I probably couldn’t write more than a page or so before my hand started to cramp up. Muscles gone to hell in a once proud method I used constantly, before this infernal laptop and phone began routinely joining my travels. Similar as it goes, according to this article, those seeking a writing refuge in Iowa City, long known for its tradition in writing, will find many using the old ways, and sternly encouraged to do so!  From a lack of distraction to a long history of fiction writing that has become a cultural norm there, it’s good to see people even attempting to find out what writing, publishing and the writing environment really means without necessarily the help of some kind of bothersome technology.

What about students?

Recently, my partner Zack was at home watching “The Whitest Kids U Know,” and this amusingly offensive and NSFW video touched upon something that teachers undoubtedly are probably fighting every day: the telltale “Internet reference,” such as… “…but Wikipedia said so!”

You know when it’s become part of our comedy routines, it’s at least common enough to question how technologically-reliant we are, or the common denominator like an informational website like Wikipedia being the first (and sometimes only) stop in our quest for knowledge.

At the same time, what would have happened in 1984 when I was in school had things been different, or say I was a first grader right now? Likely, if I wasn’t being forced to do some kind of research in a stinky, old library with stinky, old librarians, I’d probably be ignorant to my subject matter, or at the whim of some teacher’s interpretation of the information. Wikipedia, arguably, if not correct, at least naturally opens doors in which we didn’t have back then, either. Otherwise, ignorant of information we would stay, unless that is, we stuck with stinky, old-fashioned learning and continued into higher education.

It’s a pointless battle to choose sides and say one is superior to the other. Long have we had the information and we have been just as dedicated (or lazy) at obtaining and retaining it, and perhaps we just have to remember the experience is best, and we’ll leave that up to the individual to discover (or rediscover, if you will). Distracted or not.

Mining Tax Cap Elimination Gains Support and Another “Claim Tax” Deemed Unconstitutional

The Nevada mining and minerals industry is really on a roller coaster these days.

Those in Nevada opposed to the elimination of the tax cap put on state net proceeds of mines (Constitutionally at 5% currently) are likely none too happy with state Senators Ben Kieckhefer (R) of Reno and Michael Roberson of Las Vegas (R) as they cross party lines and join the Democrats in support to amend the Nevada State Constitution.  The movement partially-known as the “Fair Mining Tax,” soon, it will be going to the State Assembly for a vote: we’ll just have to wait and see what turns out. If voted in-favor, it would be required to be approved by State Legislature in 2013, and then put on the election ballot in 2014. Incidentally, the two main groups behind changing the constitution to eliminate caps on mining taxation are the Nevada Teachers’ Association and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. It’s another polarized political push in the name of perceived “good.”

Why is this happening in such a fiery manner? The unthinkable has perhaps happened: Casinos are failing, and we’re going broke. We got too used to one industry padding our system here in Nevada, and with few to choose from, we’re asking old ideas to work with a different industry rather than fixing the problem.

It’s true, I’m one of those none too happy, as someone who makes a living doing geotechnical assistance for minerals exploration in this state, it means one of two things to me. The first being that these tax-cap percentages are now unhindered, and mining opponents, the kind of people who apparently dislike working Nevadans, have access to push through taxation on Nevada’s best job opportunities and state growth potentials. Taxes are almost never lowered, they’re re-named (as I’ll go into on another subject below) and raised, often without representation, but usually they just get higher, usually due to increased spending, thus, more hands get held out. The second being what those taxes actually mean to the producing mines (who they are intended to penalize—-and I choose that word carefully) and what that means on down the chain of economics in Nevada. Workers get thinned out, hours cut, benefits reconsidered, less possibility of mine (and then job) expansion, etc. That’s just at the surface. Likely, the workers will then blame the company (they’re not accountants, nor would they want to be), possibly form unions because they’re “being treated badly,” and force what they once had, further buckle the company…okay, that’s extreme. It’s also how these things can happen.

Back on my side of the fence, if larger companies can’t invest in us little guys because they’re paying taxes, well, we don’t get the clients, we don’t get hired, and then we don’t pay our taxes, and then we go out of business and collect unemployment. Again, extreme, but that’s a timeline of possibility. Even half of those in my fine hyperbole might be a bad thing, and certainly isn’t good for a shaky economy, statewide or even nationally. This is just my opinion.

On the other hand, wouldn’t more taxes for Nevada be good? It’s my argument and understanding that a tax dollar is a tax dollar. It can come from anywhere if we put our minds to it. Usually, our simple minds look at simple numbers, say, the price of gold, and immediately (and seemingly sensibly) put two and two together: Our state mines, gold is at an all-time high. Sure, the big production companies are doing well. Will they in 10 years? Gold has a bad habit of not staying the same in price: that’s why the Mining Law of 1872 and helpful things like 5% caps on mining taxes in Nevada are there. If gold goes back down to $200/oz, Nevada will be stuck paying 8%, 10%, 25% taxes on production: which means, we’d be broke either way, if we’re as broke as we are now AND suddenly gold takes a dump. It won’t support us, and it will punish our industry. What a wonderful thing if you just happen be anti-mining ala Bob Fulkerson.  Masquerading as solutions equates fanatical success–don’t let spun, misleading pie charts fool you.  What mines pay in other taxes and fees outside production is WHY the taxes are what they are.

In good news, in an emergency session last year, not known much by the public, known to the chagrin of mining claims holders, a “fee” on all mining claims in the State of Nevada.  This has recently been deemed unconstitutional by a Carson City judge. What is this “fee” you ask? It happened to be a fee of as low as $70 and as high as $195 per mining claim filed with the BLM, handled by the county, and piped right into the state’s “general fund.” That’s right, it was a tax that was dodged by use of wording (aka, “fee”), was not voted on whatsoever, and blew right past everyone to become law. The only repercussion of not paying this fee was…yep, more fees. It was really causing havoc with the counties (as they were responsible for collecting the money and doing the paperwork…the state just sat back and watched the unconstitutional tax money roll in) and the smaller mining companies.  They had no idea who was in charge of what, or what would happen if they were late, or didn’t file. Ah, but finally enough protest and uproar from the counties and claim owners went to court, and now these taxes are on hold until further notice. My question is now, what about the money they collected unconstitutionally? When will we be seeing that returned?

Mines are expensive to run. It is not the same as oil producing, log cutting or any of the other industries that produce raw materials that come from the earth. Profit gained based upon money spent by said company is usually not in favor of the industry, with exception to rare times like we’re in currently. It’s a bust or boom industry, it always has been: fat or famine. Mining, as an industry, are among the most environmentally-scrutinized, safety-necessary and harrowing jobs out there. They indeed can be clean, profitable and beneficial, especially to our state.  It’s the only industry that actually cleans up other old mines, sets aside wildlife sanctuaries and wetlands, and makes an attempt to give back (…casinos don’t even do that!). This is why we have to be very careful about what are “fees” and “taxes,” and why they are there.

I believe we as Nevadans owe it to mining to scrutinize our politicians and the obstructionists that would like nothing more than for mining to just pack up shop and head to China, make sure we know what their real angles are, look beyond the words “Fair!”  “It’s for Nevada!”   “It’s for the people!”   “It’s for the earth!”    Mantras that have been used as leverage for years.  We need Nevada MAKING something again—-something besides tax laws: we all know how great California’s doing. Traveling this truly vast state,  I know there is plenty of Nevada for all of us, as citizens, nature-lovers and industry folk alike (which to my reckoning is all of us), and we can, in fact, get state revenue without punishing someone else.

(info from mineweb.com — a great resource for all news Nevada mining)

(image WSJ)

Unhinged Reno Park Authority Gets Filmed

Quite honestly, I don’t even know what to say about this. Something about removing a fly from a friend’s nose with a hatchet, or to that effect.

While I am perfectly okay and with the guy getting pissed off about some kids making his job harder, spending tax dollars to fix the park, but can we say “public relations?”

In today’s world, Big Brother is actually, and most likely, someone’s little brother, with an iPhone or some other kind of recording device, catching people in what should be considered embarrassing acts. Would the City of Reno or Washoe County be particularly thrilled to hear this guy talking like this to the kids of taxpayers? Lack of identification aside, even if he were an authority with a badge, should he be engaging people like this? Most notably, saying Reno is a shit hole meanwhile trying to instill a sense of fear and morality of local youth, even more while supposed to be doing a job for the City of Reno.   Interesting approach.

Especially since the kids were of the general opinion, “Okay, we’ll leave—-sorry…”  None of the youth were being jerks, well, unless you ask the trees and landscaping.  And this guy.

I’ll let the rest of you decide. It’s funny in one way, disturbing in others, and filled with not-safe-for-work audio content.

QRA saves the day.

Two Years of The Hub Coffee Company!

Mark Trujillo and his son, Joey, opened The Hub Coffee Company on June 17 2009, and it’s time for a little 2 year appreciation!  I thought I’d tell you a little about one of my favorite spots in town.  For years, I have been nuts about coffee, and The Hub was just the place I needed to fuel my appreciation for this over-complexified yet misunderstood, energetic concoction.

Caffeinated instinct, a love for the combination of cycling and good coffee, gut feelings and not having too much control, The Hub started doing coffee in Reno a different way.  For a small niche (physically and figuratively) market of newly-refined coffee palettes, he’s doing quite well.  One satisfied customer at a time!

Speaking to the owner Mark, his original idea was to simply bring a standard of coffee not seen in Reno, establishing something unique.  Everyone has had Starbucks, but had they had coffee before?  Did they know where it came from?  Did they even know why it tasted the way it did, or that it might have been roasted right here in Reno?

Some might say The Hub is a “coffee snob” kind of place, since the baristas will frequently unload tons of information about their coffee beans’ origins and locales, roasting techniques, flavor profiles and suggestions on how to enjoy them.  For example, try the coffee BEFORE you dump in the half-and-half and sugar.  At first, even I made this mistake:  now I don’t even use sugar anymore.  Seriously, coffee, when done right, can  stand on its own.  This appreciation (“snobbery,” if you will) is special though:  anyone is invited.

If you want to learn about your coffee, maybe even develop tastes you didn’t know you liked, The Hub will begin your journey.   A word of warning, though:  it’s an addicting habit.   Luckily, their prices are still among the cheapest in town.  So come, be a snob with us!

Don’t like coffee?  That’s okay, no one will hold that against you.  There’s tea, iced or hot, by Intelligentsia, gourmet hot cocoa (with their homemade chocolate syrup!) and fresh pastries (but get ’em fast, when they’re gone, they’re gone).

Mark might own the hub, but the customers made the experience.  Mark was surprised how the customers “took over,” by making so much of the Hub their own.  No one knows, amongst doubts, how this little, hole-in-the-wall joint was breaking all of the rules and suggestions and defying failure to become what it is.

Tiny but not claustrophobic, The Hub gives off a vibe—-people LIKE it here.  So small, so comfortable.  Like most business owners, he had a grand plan, but he knew better than to fight the evolution of something special.   That’s how Mark rolls, and he won’t hide it.  He has his own thing going on.   Make no mistake, Mark might not be a stereotypical business owner in Reno, he’s very savvy in what he wants.  Friendly, extremely outgoing and welcoming, his warm simplicity at running a business has truly planted a different seed in this town.

Joey is Mark’s son and right-hand-man, lending a creative, youthful and unique barista talent to The Hub.   Joey runs The Hub at the ground level (pun intended). For being in his early twenties, he’s on top of it. Doing some schooling in Portland, working as a barista there, and connecting with other baristas, he eventually found himself at American Barista and Coffee. There, he learned even more, and notably, the admiration of the owner, who told his father that by going back to Reno, he was taking one of Portland’s best baristas with him. Joey isn’t the bragging type. Generally speaking, he just says he has a knack for making coffee–I’d have to agree. Overall, he’s striving to have a Portland-like experience here in Reno, and would love that standard to spread to other coffee and restaurants in town.

So, what if you already know about coffee?  Well, if you already know your stuff, not only might you have already heard of The Hub, but also them selling and pressing out coffee from Barefoot Coffee Works (San Jose), Ecco Coffee (recently bought by Intelligentsia) in Santa Rosa, and Ritual Coffee from San Francisco.  Most importantly, Mark just started doing small batch roasting right here in Reno!

Speaking of Reno, both Trujillos want to keep The Hub a Reno thing… they like it here. They realize there’s both room for this and a real need for it.   Joey said it best to me when I spoke with him: “I want to introduce this [kind of coffee experience] to Reno…Portland already has plenty of it.”

So what’s next?  Expansion as far as other locations have been considered, however their focus is going to be local roasting…perhaps a little more…at the roasting location coming nearby to The Hub. I can’t wait!

Located at 32 Cheney Street (just opposite Maytan Music on the south side), they will be extending hours from 6am-9pm M-F, 7am-9pm Sat, 7am-5pm Sun starting next week!

As you can see, I love The Hub.  Everyone fits in (somehow, by magic), talks, and enjoys a slice of life.  I have made new friends there, opened up my world, and I’m so thankful for it.  Thanks Mark and Joey, and best of luck, I’ll be along for the ride for another two years!

It’s Meme versus “Me Me Me” These Days

Granted, I have no idea if the owner of this license plate is a physicist that works long, arduous hours up at the Desert Research Institute playing around with molecular structure and different forms of matter, but generally speaking, they usually aren’t driving polished Soccer Mom SUVs, either.  There’s a practicality problem with that lineup.

It could be a very enthusiastic voter, encouraging others to matter, too.

More to the point, I had to wonder if this person simply has taken Mr. Rogers’ message to heart, and has ran away realizing that they are not only unique, special, and need to turn that sheepish “cog in the wheel” feeling upside down and declare:  “I matter!”

As Ken might say, “Of course you do, sweetie!”

It’s another example in my theory we’ve ruined our X and Y generation with false notions of being important.  Wait, they aren’t important?  My little angel children I tried to shield from the 1980s and all of its terrors and let be raised by the apathy and faux-hippie 1990s?

I sort of talk about it more  in another article “Quick-Fix Politics: The War Against Politeness.” Fueled by pills such as antidepressants and Ritalin, they forged a new path of can-do-no-wrong, growing up after this era and having kids of their own.  While largely not a disagreeable bunch, I sometimes wonder what will become of them.

I have never before seen 30+ year old adults sit around without jobs, unemployment numbers be damned.  The sheer amount of  irresponsible Generation X/Y-ers that just don’t care.  They aren’t looking, and until it come served on a silver platter, refuse to go another step.  Homelessness?  No way, I always have a safety net.   I had one kid mention recently his married mother and father were quite happy on unemployment, and could just sell a thing or two on ebay their grandmother gave them for money.  Say what?  This is child rearing, eh?

“Kids these days!”  as I shake my fist.   They aren’t all too bad, just lost, I suppose, but generally speaking, stick close to home, within a block or less, don’t go outside, for fear of the child molester–like their teacher.   Yet news reports abound about video social networking sites that host “video chat,” and even teenagers in the digital age are going to do funny things without clothing given the chance to be around one another.  Even if it is from their own bedrooms.   They have their own MySpace pedestal, credit cards, and it isn’t a matter of “…if I get a car when I turn 16….” it’s a simple choice of what color and model–totally expected.  Television shows of wealthy family situations, “You Can Be A Star Too, Joe and Jenny Average Boy or Girl!”  show us the spotlight is available, ever brighter, ever further.

I can’t say I am/was immune from this either.  Something fundamental (and I don’t mean religious, either) has changed with our attitudes, and life now is just expected to be easy.   Working is farther down on the list of important things to do than ever, degrees are for superfluous “experience,” than a job (philosophy, liberal arts, English), everything we do hurts something or someone, so therefore, do nothing.

Personally, I have had times when I needed a job, and breaking the inertia to go do it was almost impossible.  I would have rather figured out a way to survive by my own means than be “owned” by someone else.  Even if it meant a drastic change in my lifestyle.  You know, probably even harder than getting a full-time job.   In my youth, I don’t remember too many people telling me to do otherwise.   See?  Even right there:  I’m more willing to blame someone else rather than my own inability to get out of my own way–and in conflict I am.   I know I’m not the only one.

I wasn’t unique or special (gasp), I don’t think other kids were told it was more important what we chose to do, in lieu of what what we were.

Because, after all, you, I matter, we all matter.  Just by being you.  Our simplicity of entertainment is even so bad we’ll soak up anything original, because practically no one in pop society is even trying anymore, what with remakes showing us how great our past was (consequently showing us how lame we are now)–enter the age of the Internet meme!  Instant satisfaction and easily amused; we’ll wear anything on a t-shirt.  Nyan Cat anyone?  (That reference will be obscure in three months from now.)

Let’s face it:  we get what we want, and we don’t have to do anything.  China will make us stuff, Japan will ship us cars, Canadians give us syrup, India answers our tech gripes, some Arab guy gives us oil, Australia makes us laugh, Europe gives us suggestions on how we should live , and there’s always a fruit-bearing tree giving us the means (we don’t even have to get up and pick said fruit–thanks, Mom and Dad!) and it will never, ever run out.  Ever.  It’s always been this way, so far as we know.

Thanks, feel-good entropic society.  You have given us utopia at last.

Gourmelt – Cheese On Wheels

Taken from the fresh, melty pages of the RJG, it would seem there’s a new food truck that isn’t serving tacos, it’s serving grilled sandwiches. The mobile truck has a schedule (viewed best here from their website) and I believe your local Burncards crew will be stopping by for a visit soon enough.

Prices seem reasonable for what you are getting. Some eateries don’t seem shy in charging more than ten bucks for bread with cheese, but this truck is slingin’ em out with more than just that on top…and is more in the $7 range. click here for a PDF menu. Touting local eggs, local bread and working with our local community food co-op, I hope they’re easy to find with that big yellow truck.

We’ll see you soon, Gourmelt.

Lithium Mining – Nevada’s New Green

Western Lithium Reno

Yep, did that one on purpose…I love catchy double-meaning titles, don’t you?

Well, Nevada needs the money kind of green, as in taxes, revenue and jobs, and there’s likely room for there being some of the movement known as “green,” too. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a way to establish another actual industry for Nevada? While at the same time supporting one of the existing ones?

Lithium has long been a source for battery production. In fact, the chances of you yourself using some lithium in a battery is almost assured. Have an iPod? A cell phone? A laptop?  Thinking larger, how about hybrid or electric vehicles that are becoming so popular and important?   That’s just the beginning.  There’s already some interest in making Nevada a lithium mining hub, which would beg for new, green sources of power gathering (such as solar), which then would naturally need a way to hold such power… batteries?  Gold and silver production are already one of Nevada’s great products and active industries, perhaps lithium mining would fit right in.

According to this article in the New York Times, some developers would like to bill Nevada as the next place to really consider for some lithium mining, all while using new techniques to extract lithium from the earth.   Western Lithium,  which has an office here in Reno, is already drumming up some business interest and capital for the project.  Named King’s Valley (at the extreme middle-north end of the state), years of lithium mining and production there could open Nevada up to an entirely new industry.   One hurdle, the capital to be raised is quite lofty ($250M), because this new process to extract the lithium, which as to do with heating clay and making the lithium water-leachable,  is quite expensive–hopefully not too expensive in the current economic climate.   More locally though, perhaps more importantly to those here, this project’s location will mean even more to Northern Nevada for jobs and other potential.

The other issue they’re going to face is  on Capitol Hill.  Like most new mining operations, there are miles of red tape, permits, and process one must go through in order to get something like this going.   There’s a lot of people out there that don’t like mining or view it as solely destructive, that could hinder an already arduous task to get to production with all the politics, people, ideals, and other speed bumps.   Hopefully they find a few friends over there in Washington D.C.

If the hurdles can be cleared, we (as Nevada AND the USA) could be on the forefront of production, competing with China, Chile and Argentina–and doing something our country isn’t doing a lot of by comparison to other countries:  making something.  90% of the world’s lithium is supplied from outside North America, too.   Lithium demand and prices are both high, and this could be a gold rush without the gold.  Especially if those at Western Lithium and us Nevadans play our cards right.  I think the biggest selling point to naysayers and politically is the less environmentally-invasive mining techniques–this could keep the political, possibly pointless, obstructions to a minimum.   The Kings Valley project holds the fifth largest known lithium deposit in the world… no small potatoes.   This means good things for “green,”  job seekers, and tax revenue for the state.

For Nevada, this, again, could provide a HUGE opportunity.  California has Silicon Valley, Detroit has Motor City, Texas has oil– I can easily see Nevada being Battery Alley.   Or something to that degree.  They just need to get started with mining at Kings Valley in 2014, which isn’t far away.

A hopeful possibility, I wish the King’s Valley project, Western Lithium and all who are working towards it the best of luck:  you have my support!

(information courtesy Western Lithium and the New York Times – image courtesy WLC)


Squeeze In – Caught Between Truckee and a Hard Place

I chose my title for this restaurant review carefully for two reasons.  One, I’ve made it a habit to attempt dialogue with the folks who either manage, own or run a restaurant when it isn’t an absolutely stellar review.  I find a small town that needs community mixed with a “hidden Internet persona,” doing reviews is probably a bad idea.  I also don’t intend to bash or blindside anyone, and introducing yourself is just a respectable thing to do.

The second reason is absolutely about Reno, which you’ll read below.

“Squeeze In,” is a Truckee, California landmark, 37 years of serving alpine locals, travelers and ski bums eggs and things.  Personally, I had never been there.  I don’t ski, and I never had a strategic reason for stopping in Truckee, except the time I worked semi-sober at a snow-tube facility in Kingvale, in which Truckee provided the Port-of-Subs sandwiches we took with us for the day.

Two locations of  Squeeze In have appeared on the Reno scene, on in the northwest at 5020 Las Brisas, and one in the south part of town, in the new shopping center kit-a-corner to Winco, 25 Foothill Road.   My father and I went to the latter, south of town, for lunch.

Upon entering, we were hesitant to stay because it was about 1:45PM, and they close at 2:00PM, but they were more than willing to seat us.  While being a little rushed, they still attended to us properly.   The interior was a whirlwind of  sunrise colors, oranges and yellows, stuff haphazardly dangling from the ceiling and walls,  and wall-writing that looked like someone’s ill-tempered two year old went nuts.  My first impression was “The Desert Trying To Be Surfer Cool Santa Cruz Boardwalk.”   While not really my cup of tea, there was an image of “fun” they were going for.  All fine and dandy, but how was the food?

You had to get to the food first.  One of my first hurdles with the place was the menu.  HUGE.  I later found out, noticing the not-quite-linear number system, 20 items had been removed from the already one-hundred or more dishes they had going on.  This would have been alright if there was variety within the menu, but it’s literally separated into roughly three categories:  Breakfast, notably, omelets, as they claim, “Best Omelettes on the Planet,” sandwiches and burgers.   There’s also a salad section, but isn’t as expanded as their other categories.   It’s a breakfast/lunch place:  fare offered was perfectly understandable.

Second problem with the menu:  in-house subculture.  For someone who had just stepped into the Squeeze In for the first time, I had no idea what any of this lingo was.   The “fun” obfuscated what I was trying to be sold to eat.   Inside jokes and nomenclature galore:  I just didn’t get it.  I just wanted to order a sandwich.  I guess I’m one of those no-bullshit kind of guys, especially when I’m hungry.   Couple that with symbols to denote meat-free and “most popular” (the peace sign) it just took a while.

Alienated, I throw a mental dart at a #30, “The Day After,” a concoction of turkey, cream cheese and cranberry, on my choice of sourdough.  Hey, if it’s a wacky place, let’s get wacky, folks.  My father had…wait what did he have?   We couldn’t remember.   It was a grilled chicken breast with fries.   It came with lettuce, tomato and onion.

I do have to admit, my sandwich was not good.   Canned cranberry sauce, turkey that was relatively unflavorful, and gobs of cream cheese on a triple-decker untoasted sourdough stack.   None of the flavors were really developed, it simply tasted like something my friend’s mother might have made us at lunch when we were nine to get us out of the house and shut us up.  At $9.49, I was lucky to have enjoyed the fruit cup which was obviously fresh cut strawberries, blueberries, musk melon, and pineapple.   My father was okay with his sandwich, he said the chicken was cooked and flavored well, the fries were basic fare, nothing fancy.   It hurt a little bit with the food presentation and what I had experienced at close to $30 after tip.

I did speak to Shila Morris, who runs the third installment of the Squeeze In, like I do most of the places with which I haven’t quite meshed so well.   She right away came to speak to me and listened to my concerns, and was extremely nice to me.  We talked a little about the history of the place (which you can read here), about my experience, and found out she lives about a block away from me–you never know who your neighbors are!  I’m very glad I met with her, hopefully she’ll still talk to me after this review!

Squeeze In may do very well here in Reno, that isn’t for me to decide.  Reno is a hard place to do restauranting.  Lofty ideas like the defunct “Island Burger,” which got next to no attention from our town, and a LOT of cash got put into it, turning the old TGI Fridays into a joint that can only be described as “A Lot Of Money Trying To Wow A Small, Podunk Town.”  We didn’t buy it–happy trails, Island Burger.  Expensive menu and mediocre food just won’t do here.

Squeeze In has an obvious following in Truckee and years of excellent reviews, endorsement from the Food Network and the like, but I find it trying a little hard to “be something” in Reno.   I have been in very old establishments that have carved tables from years of patrons making their mark, writing-on-the-walls kind of bars, but in some place that’s been open a month or two, it just seemed messy.  37 years of homey-ness is hard to replicate in a new location.  Prices are high, probably because of the “Tahoe lifestyle,” and Californian skiers/travelers that happily pay whatever.   Reno is a simple town, $10+ egg and sandwich plates have been the biggest complaint about this place I’ve heard from locals so far.    Ho-hum food is the second.

The casino culture here has owned eating out for YEARS and is only recently relinquishing its nasty-buffet grip, and is creating a VERY fertile ground in which to sow your restaurant seeds.  Squeeze In will have to see where it will fit in.  In my world, food speaks the loudest, above fun, beyond distractions, away from novelty.

My talk with Shila has already spurred some closer looks at their sandwich line.  This flexibility and willingness to listen is encouraging.   With my travel experience, (what I think is) good taste and sense of value, including quite a bit of restaurant work,  Squeeze In has the foundation, but perhaps maybe to consider that Reno isn’t Truckee.   A questionable economy and obviously taking a risk opening up new locations, I wish the Squeeze In quite a bit of luck out there– there is a family-honed and friendly bunch of folk working there,  local neighbors and people I personally want to see do well!  This is OUR town, after all, most of us here want what is best for it!

Maybe I’ll stop in for some eggs and see how true their headlining motto holds–there’s no grudge on my end, sometimes everyone, including restaurants, just have an off day.