About 50 years ago, the building that would become Postal Cafe was a gas station in Reno. In the early '70s, someone decided to pick up the whole structure and move it to Washoe Valley. Once the gas station ran dry, the building evolved over the years into a video store, a post office, and, finally, this community favorite of a caf?. The overhang that once covered gas pumps still stands, now shading outdoor tables. And though locals can't pick up their mail anymore?they could up until just recently?meals are handmade and hand-delivered to their tables.
Making food from scratch is vital to chef-owner Bella, who begins each day assembling breakfasts of pancakes, veggie- and meat-infused scrambles, and biscuits with housemade gravy. For lunch, she whips up a special dressing to drizzle atop reubens, tops hand-formed burgers with pepperjack cheese and green chilies, and roasts turkey and beef for sandwiches. Even customers who lick their plate clean should stick around for dessert?Bella graduated from Portland's Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts with a degree in baking and pastry arts. Every day, she bakes scones, brownies, cookies, and pies.
The cantina's colorful emblem displays its namesake, "three hombres," who all sport different facial hair but seem to share a single, spacious sombrero. This same blending of whimsy and tradition inspires Cantina Los Tres Hombres's signature margaritas and expansive menu of authentic Mexican dishes.
Natural light plunges through large picture windows, as tables populate with sizzling fajitas, massive burritos, and hearty combination platters overflowing with mesquite-grilled steak or chicken, fresh seafood, and crispy pork carnitas. Chefs add zip to their culinary creations with a variety of specialty sauces ranging from the smoky chipotle chili adobo to the rich and herbaceous butter, white-wine, and fresh-cilantro sauce. Salt-rimmed margaritas complement south-of-the-border morsels, and live acoustic tunes on Tuesday through Friday complement south-of-the-ankle foot twitches.
Funtime Theater’s Dinner Murder Mysteries transforms audience members into amateur detectives, tasking them with solving an interactive theatrical mystery while chowing down on café eats. Actors mingle among theatergoers throughout the show, chatting them up during an abbreviated cocktail hour (6:30 p.m.–7 p.m.) and comfort-fare-filled dinner from Hog Wild Café. The first two fatalities occur once meals are served, leaving patrons, a lone detective, and a wisecracking Great Dane puppy to unravel the thicket of green-chili-stained clues. A prize is awarded to the participant who deduces the solution of the mystery. Like department-store windows and freestyle-rapping telegrams, Funtime Theater’s performances may take on a holiday theme: the October 8 rendition will transport guests to a portentous Halloween party, the November 12 showing may feature Turkey Day-themed intrigue, and the December 10 edition plans to incorporate motifs and characters plucked from Charles Dickens’ Christmas tales. Though sinister wheelings and dealings abound throughout the show, the tone of Funtime Theater’s criminal cavalcades is lighthearted and intended for audiences of all ages.
When not busy battling for burger supremacy in national forums such as the Travel Channel’s Food Wars, the meat-slinging chefs at Rosie’s Café dash together beefy eats from their hearth at the heart of the Nugget Casino Resort. Sink choppers into a welcoming bite of the signature Awful Awful ($6.95), whose name belies the savory science of a recipe honed over the course of five decades. After grinding their own beef, baking their own buns, and hewing their own toothpicks, Rosie’s cooks drape juicy patties in melted cheese before enrobing burgers in generous helpings of traditional hamburger fixins. Rosie’s Café also flips other variations on the theme of beef, such as the deluxe mushroom burger, which arrives slathered in melty swiss, sour cream, and sautéed onions and ‘shrooms ($7.50), or the Sonoma burger, in which the beef is grilled, the cheese is jack, and the accessory is avocado ($7.50).
“Laissez les bon temps rouler” is a favorite saying at Jazz, a Louisiana Kitchen; translated from French, it means, “let the good times roll.” With a blend of Cajun cuisine, cold drinks, and live music, the restaurant recreates the rollicking atmosphere of New Orleans' French Quarter. In the kitchen, chefs orchestrate multiple Gulf Coast flavors in classic louisiana catfish po' boys and blackened-shrimp platters, or let simple, properly prepared oysters and broiled crayfish stand on their own. Servers, meanwhile, draw frothy mugs of beer or mix specialty cocktails and frozen daiquiris. The lively atmosphere attracts local jazz musicians for open mics and accomplished players for special sets or scat-sung renditions of the menu.
The scene is a classic American diner: uniformed waitresses walk past rows of booths, pausing to refill coffee mugs and set down towering stacks of pancakes. Large, sunlit booths provide parents and kids with a venue to converse or sign a treaty that finally ends bitter remote-control battles. Behind the service window, cooks bustle about the kitchen, whipping up generous portions of biscuits and gravy, three-egg omelets, and Mexican-inspired specialties—including chilaquiles, eggs with chorizo, and giant breakfast burritos. Come lunchtime, kitchen staffers turn their attention toward hearty burgers, hot specialty sandwiches, and chicken-fried steaks.