THE PLACE: Reno Bites, the annual celebration of Reno food culture, runs through Oct. 16. Several restaurants around town are offering $10 meals deals.
For this Reno Bites edition of 2 for $20, I have lunch at Homage Bakery and check in with Rapscallion (more on that below).
THE LOOK: Homage occupies a renovated bungalow on Ralston Street just off West Fifth Street.
Head up the stairs, across the porch and through the doors, and you’ll find two cozy dining rooms and espresso machines awhir, a signboard listing lunch specials and a pastry case and baskets offering items like muffins and scones, lemon posset and thick slices of peanut butter pie.
Homage is quaint and charming without being twee, and during nice weather, folks take to the porch and to tables set beneath trees.
HOMAGE BAKERY (RENO BITES LUNCH)
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily through Oct. 16 (no online orders)
Where: 519 Ralston St.
THE MEAL: For Reno Bites, Homage Bakery is offering 10 lunches for two people for $20: three meal salads, five sandwiches and wraps, a quiche of the day, and a soup and salad combo. The meal deals include house wine or beer and a small desert (chef’s choice).
I’m in a Black Forest ham mood (three times in the last two weeks), so back into the trees I head at Homage with ham, smoked cheddar, arugula, apple, and a swath of stone ground mustard, all on ciabatta.
The sandwich is a good looking fella, with just a little chew, its sweet, crisp apple balancing the bite of peppery arugula and ground mustard.
My partner in 2 for $20 orders a Middle Eastern wrap embracing spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, hummus, chèvre, curried eggplant relish and pearled couscous for some extra bulk. The wrap is light yet substantial; there’s a jot of appealing sweetness.
A lightly dressed side salad with some juicy grape tomatoes accompanies the sandwich and wrap. To finish, there’s a small slice of perfectly made cheesecake. I don’t care for cheesecake, but somehow, I’m done with mine and glancing covetously at my friend’s portion. It’s that good.
KUDOS: For $20 for two, the lunches are generously supplied, the food prepared with a light touch. And that cheesecake — am I becoming a cheesecake person? What’s next? A return to crème brûlée? (Never.)
QUIBBLES: Not a one.
ALTERNATIVES: I also drop in solo to Rapscallion Seafood House & Bar. For its $10 Reno Bites special (there also are $20 and $30 meal deals), the kitchen is sending out a crab and sourdough B.L.A.T. (bacon, Bibb lettuce, avocado, tomato). Alongside: really good hot crisp fries.
RAPSCALLION SEAFOOD HOUSE & BAR
What: Reno Bites $10 special
Where: 1555 S. Wells Ave.
Among the other restaurants doing $10 specials for Reno Bites: Campo, the Cheese Board, GourMelt Grilled Cheese Shop, Mellow Fellow GastroPub, Moo Dang Thai Food, the Mustard Seed, Noble Pie Parlor, Roundabout Grill, Süp and Wedge Cheese Shop.
RETURN TRIP?: There might be cheesecake in my future. Or a fancy BLT.