I recently did a road trip with my daughter from Berkeley to Boulder. As always I planned the trip around grand scenery and good food. For the food I rely on roadfood.com. Through them I learned that northwestern Nevada, which I had previously considered a wasteland, has a number of venerable Basque restaurants. As Winnemucca was the edge of our target range the first night I relied on this posting on Roadfood for guidance, https://roadfood.com/restaurants/martin-hotel/. It was an inspired choice…
We were delayed by traffic so we arrived at 8:30 just half-an-hour before the kitchen closed. No worries as we were seated at the family style tables shortly after arrival and commenced a feast with just a few sour notes. We began with cocktails; I had a “Classic Martini” with Ford’s gin and the daughter had a mescal creation…mescal in northwest Nevada? We knew we were onto something.
We had the traditional Basque dinner for $47 per person including wine. Perhaps considered pricey for this neck of the woods but so worth it.
First course an incredible soup, Basque chorizo and potato…
This was incredible. A bit salty for some FTCers but I loved it. I knew there were many more courses coming so I didn’t have as much as I wanted…my tastebuds tend to overrule my stomach so I pace myself. Ebeth went a little crazy on it (I forgot to mention and photograph there was really good homemade bread and real butter to start).
Next was a salad I have never come across before. It was iceberg with a few veggies and a salty vinaigrette, but they offset the iceberg with these wonderful stewed beans. Who would have thought to combine tasteless, but sturdy iceberg, with hot beans? Big plus, and again I ate less than I wanted to.
Next course was veggies. A miss here as the glazed carrots were everything I hate about cooked carrots apart from being fresh not canned. Still I ate a few bites. The garlic mashed potatoes were great, and again I had to restrain myself as the mains hadn’t been served yet. The chickpea dish was good, but not on a par with the potatoes.
Then came the mains; my lamb shank was awesome. It must have been American lamb, because it was not in the slightest bit gamey. Falling off the bone, savory, and dressed with fresh,not too sharp garlic, and a wonderful sauce I was so glad I had restrained myself for this!
Lizzie’s main, a Basque specialty, solomo, was the biggest disappointment of the night. It had a lovely pepper garnish but the pork loin was so overcooked as to be inedible. It was so tough it would have made a good baseball mitt.
Along with all this food they plied us with great French fries; which we barely touched. If only that soup and salad hadn’t been so good…I know better than to eat bread before dinner, but I sometimes do anyway…
We took the dessert, bread pudding home to the motel and didn’t take pictures. I was too full to eat more than a bite.
If you are ever stuck in northwest Nevada I highly recommend the Martin Hotel!