Saturday, August 9, 2014

Adventures in Midtown and Sparks.

May Trip to Reno, Part 12;
May 17, 2014

Again I started the day with a walk from Yvonne’s workplace, but this time bypassed the usual haunts north of the river, and ventured towards Midtown.

At Dreamer's Coffee House I hoped for a familiar taste with some Moroccan mint tea. That fact that it came as individual serving bags and not loose should have been a red flag, but I opted to steep two in hot water. It was painfully weak.

From there I made my way to PJ & Company on S. Wells where I hoped to meet Yvonne for breakfast. Settled in at the bar I had polished off half of a decent Bloody Mary before Yvonne arrived. From there we chose a sunny table outside for our meal.

I ordered the Chili Cheese Omelet, while Yvonne selected the Huevos Rancheros, uniquely built atop a plain egg omelet. As our plates were brought to the table it was plain to see that big breakfasts are the norm here. My omelet was most certainly filling, but the spiciness of the ‘spicy’ chili was rather pedestrian.

At PJ & Co. in Reno, from left: A Bloody Mary, part of a balanced breakfast – Oh who am I kidding? It is breakfast!; the Chili Cheese Omelet.

At PJ & Co. in Reno, from left: Huevos Rancheros; strawberry jam and salsa.

Sides of strawberry jam and salsa were the centerpiece of our table, and I can tell you that the salsa was excellent! A perfect topping for P.J.’s breakfast potatoes, as well as pepping up the lackluster chili.

Sadly, Yvonne’s work intruded upon our meal, ending the morning’s pleasantries. After parting company, I took a few more bites of my omelet then packed up her half eaten meal in a go box to lug it the mile or so up Wells to her place of work. Its ultimate fate remained elusive, and a funk of disappointment clouded over me.

When anxiety, depression, or anger befuddles me, I tend to act impulsively. In this instance I reckoned a walk over to Sparks was in order. And so I followed the bike trail along the Truckee River, until I ventured through the grounds of the Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, a rather quiet, slightly abandoned-looking campus. The solitude perked me up somewhat.

While passing by buildings of the Nevada Department of Agriculture, I received a voice message call from Amtrak informing me of an indeterminable issue with the train I would take back home the next day. Perturbed, I called back to speak to an agent.

It turned out that a rock slide in Colorado had closed off the usual route between Salt Lake City and Denver, and the train would be routed through Wyoming instead. I was excited over the news! The scenery of southern Wyoming is quite different from that of Colorado. I’ve only traveled through the state twice, once by Greyhound, then again via a westbound California Zephyr that had a detour due to track work in Colorado.

After that considerable walk, I was quite parched by the time I had reached the bars at Victorian Square. Thanks to a Doctor Who reference on a chalk sandwich board, I ventured into The Blind Onion for a Spoiler cocktail, made with rum, blue Curaçao, pineapple juice, and Grand Marnier. I don’t know if the cocktail is the preferred drink of saucy, redheaded time travelers or not, but its sweetness certainly masks whatever punch lies within, not unlike certain saucy, redheaded time travelers. Spoilers!

From left: Stylish logo of the Northern Nevada Labor Temple; Apparently the citizens of Sparks, Nevada are prone to start kitchen fires – A tip: don't run off for a case of beer while boiling spaghetti; The Spoiler at The Blind Onion in Sparks.

Back on the mend, I indulged in some "me" time with a tour of the train consist parked across the street in Lillard Park. A fun time was had by all, namely myself. I took plenty of photos of the Executive car [see blog post] and the caboose [see blog post]. Afterward I enjoyed an approachable, easy-to-drink Icky IPA at the boisterously crowded Great Basin Brewing Company.

Southern Pacific 8, a steam locomotive built in 1907.

Yvonne picked me up, and while performing errands I scurried off to another location of Great Basin Brewing, this one on S. Virginia in south Reno, to quaff a malty, gently hopped Wild Horse Ale. I enjoyed considerably more lebensraum at this location as well.

From left: Great Basin Brewing's Icky IPA and Wild Horse Ale.

Yvonne and I took to a movie that night, with dinner at a Fatburger adjacent to the movie theater. I enjoyed a medium Fatburger with a fried egg, while sharing a side of onion rings. I was rather taken by Fatburger on visiting its Las Vegas Strip location a number of years ago [see blog post], and was pleased that the burger I enjoyed was comparable. The rings were okay, but not worth revisiting.

A medium Fatburger with a fried egg, plus a side of onion rings.

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