Most of this blog bit is actually being composed on Sunday, March 13th. This marks exactly one year to the day that I moved to Reno, Nevada, from Phoenix, Airheadzona. It's been a mixed bag, but mostly a massive disappointment. (Don't get me started, y'all.)
However, there are two areas in which Reno has offered more than I anticipated. Two things I really love are 1) old buildings with vintage signs, and 2) Mexican food.
I like my food bold and spicy, which is why Mexican has always been my favorite. I'm sure I could eat it every day and never grow tired of it. I'm an Angeleno - born and raised - so I consider myself a connoisseur of excellent 'South Of The Border' food.
Surprisingly, I think, overall, Reno may have more top-notch Mexican restaurants than Phoenix has. I've found five I really like, but two are too expensive.
Believe it or not, my #1 choice can actually be found in a casino. For food quality, great atmosphere, lowest prices, and good service, you can't beat 'PANCHO & WILLIE'S CANTINA' in the Western Village casino:
But what's cooler than old buildings with old-style signs? And Reno has a plethora of 'em. (Eventually I'll do a blog bit that highlights my favorites.)
However, there's one place where my love of vintage buildings and signs and excellent Mexican food come together, and that's 'CARLILLO'S COCINA' (aka 'CARLITO'S COCINA').
It's located in a tiny, authentic 1950s diner. The place seats only 25 customers at the counter, from which you will be only a few feet away from the owner while he cooks your meal. His wife will wait on you and his Pa puts all the finishing touches on the plates - everything arranged with an eye toward color and design. I'm not kidding! The food is excellent but Carlillo's is only open for breakfast and lunch and is closed on Sundays. (I asked the owner / cook once which Mexican restaurants he liked best in Reno, outside of his own. He said that he cooks so much Mexican food during the week that he prefers to eat Pizzas and Hamburgers. Ha! I un'erstan' that.)
|WILL THIS SATISFY YOUR APPETITE?|
I found the place one day by accident. I was driving by and saw that miniature 1950s style diner, looking like it was a set for the movie 'AMERICAN GRAFFITI'. I had to park so I could get a closer look. From the street, it appeared to be out of business, but pressing my nose to a window I could see that it was truly a functioning restaurant that was merely closed for the day. I made it a point to return when it was open.
I've probably eaten there about 7 or 8 times now, and in those visits I've heard at least 4 other customers say that it was their first time and they were definitely coming back again. It does a lot of repeat business. You can read local reviews by clicking HERE. One of my favorite dishes at 'CARLILLO'S' is the Chilaquiles Con Salsa Verde, but I've enjoyed everything I've tired thus far. (You gotta sneak in your own Margaritas spiked with Habanero sauce because 'Carlillo's' serves no booze, and Mexican cerveza is no bueno anyway.)
I hear ya. You're asking: "OK, but what does all this have to do with 'Battle Of The Bands', DogG?"
Well, on one wall in 'CARLILLO'S COCINA' there's a video jukebox that sometimes plays old Rock 'N' Roll. You know, stuffs like 'Runaround Sue' by Dion And The Belmonts.
I was in there having breakfast one morning when the biggest hit song for legendary Rhythm & Blues singer Bobby "Blue" Bland, 'Ain't Nothing You Can Do', played on the jukebox. I immediately thought that might make a good 'Battle Of The Bands' match-up with Van Morrison.
So, even if you can't dig into the food at 'CARLILLO'S COCINA' while rubbing elbows with a cool, sexy, charismatic guy like me at the counter, you can still vote on the music.
BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (‘BOTB’)
Alright, let's get on it...
'AIN'T NOTHING YOU CAN DO' - BOBBY "BLUE" BLAND
'AIN'T NOTHING YOU CAN DO' - VAN MORRISON
After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to
Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JANIE JUNEBUG, RIGHTING & EDITING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'NOVELBREWS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE.
@ 'REINVINTAGED' by clicking HERE.
@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS & HOLLERS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'EVIL POP TART' by clicking HERE.
As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy