Tuesday, October 16, 2012
eating out in reno
i didn't eat much when we were flying out here and so was happy to find out that we were staying in a hotel-casino, because that meant that, not only was our room cheap, there would be cheap food, too. and yep, there was a "as seen in the classic movie american graffiti" mel's diner in our hotel, which provided a good burger at the end of the day.
since we're trying to keep our expenses within the money the school gave us, my plan was to find a grocery store, buy some bread, peanut butter, and cereal and live off of that part of my meals. i asked the guy at the counter at mel's if there was a store close by. he gave me directions to a "safe mart" (or "save" mart?) that was within walking distance. jess and i looked up the directions on our phones. the yelp reviews for any of the grocery stores within walking. any place we could get to had reviews of two stars or less and reviews that left me sure i'd get hepatitis if we shopped there. there was a four and a half co-op that we could get to but was closed for the night.
the next morning jess found a boutique bakery a few blocks away that we decided to go to for breakfast. after walking past probably a dozen broken motels and stores advertising "LIQUOR and groceries", we got to "homage", a house that had been converted into a coffee shop/bakery. their music was as good as their pastries and we decided we'd be back every day we were here.
the co-op grocery store was clean and had good food but kind of blew our plan to stay cheap. it was a "whole foods" sort of place, where EVERYTHING is organic. i found a half-gallon of milk for $3 but cereal was a problem. it was all of the kashi stuff and a small box was a minimum of $6. this rate, finding cheap casino restaurant deals wouldn't be any more expensive. i considered the $2 bag of rice puffs, but they looked so "healthy" they'd make rice krispies look sweet. we ended up going with a small box of "save the planet" children's cereal, specifically "enviro-kidz leapin' lemur puffs", because they were chocolate and peanut butter. jess bought a loaf of sour-dough bread for $5 and the cheapest peanut butter we could find, which was the fresh-made from the machine at $5/lb. (the jar of almond butter was $18.) i grabbed a few extra plastic containers to use a bowls for cereal.
back at the room, i realized that there was no refrigerator (thank you, hotel-casino) and had to figure out how to keep my milk cold. and so i've been making trips to the ice machine down the hall every few hours to keep my milk fresh just like my grandparents did.
in all fairness to the co-op, we stopped in a gas station (need i say it was sketchy?) and the jar of jiffy in there was $5.25, so maybe we didn't do so bad after all.
but i had in-n-out for dinner yesterday, so reno has been a culinary success as far as i'm concerned.