Basque Dining in Winnemucca!
The Martin Hotel
A week after our first Basque experience, Don and I passed back through Nevada and just had to try one more wonderful family owned Basque restaurant!
Looking In and Out
I love windows with words. From the front porch we couldn't peer through the curtains, but we could read the words and start to wonder about the hotel and restaurant, established in 1898. Once inside, we heard the whistle and watched a train rumble by from the front window.
The bar and dining areas were cozy and worn. It reminded me of a grandmother's house...a grandmother too content or too busy to bother with remodeling updates. It was 11:30 and the place was already filling up with locals, many greeting one another. We started to sit in the room with wood paneling, but there were only large community tables. We chose a cozy table for 2 in a corner where we could study old framed photos, belt buckle collections and a display of sheep knickknacks.
We were relieved to have lunch options instead of a many coursed feast like our last experience. I started with a cup of the garlic soup! The Nancy Burger came with a choice of fries or mashed. I've never had mashed potatoes with a burger and I've never had such incredible gravy either! Gravy, with chunks of bacon and onion!
A week ago we missed out on the Picon Punch tradition. Even though it was lunch and we had 5 hours of driving ahead, we let the sign above the bar persuade us. Owner, John Arant was very excited to know we'd been to JT's in Gardnerville 200 miles away. He teased that he made a much better Picon than Marie at JT's. I'm sure only wimps split a Picon, but it was a good compromise. Now we have really been initiated into the world of Basque dining!
The chicken sandwich was huge and Basque fries were piping hot and crispy. No lamb or beef tongue this time, but the garlic soup and picon gave us two new Basque specialties. Note the pressed tin walls and flowered carpet. Best of all, the table made us feel like we were eating at my mom's old drop leaf kitchen table.
There was a nice little tiled area in the hall between the men's room and ladies room...where we could freshen up before hitting the road. Gotta love that touch, left over from the day when the building was a boarding house for Basque sheep herders.
To be honest, the ladies room did have its own sink, but the men had to use these sinks...along with one of those great powdered soap dispensers!
Cheers to The Martin Hotel for feeding us well and making us feel more than welcome. I would love to come back for an evening feast and sit at a community table locals!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.