Basking in Basque Cuisine in Northern Nevada

Customers sit at communal tables for the Basque-style meal at The Martin Hotel in Winnemucca, Nevada

Customers sit at communal tables for the Basque-style meal at The Martin Hotel in Winnemucca, Nevada

A quick glance at the The Martin Hotel‘s dinner menu is a bit sobering for the frugal road tripper. Thirty-two bucks for lamb shank, $28 for a full rack of ribs. But those plate-filling main courses are well into the future should you decide to sit down at a long, shared table in this Basque-style restaurant in Winnemucca, Nevada (Note: There’s a strong Basque presence in northern Nevada, thanks to long-ago gold mining and sheep herding immigrants).

For starters, there’s soup and salad, along with a basket of bread. Then arrive little dishes of green beans, mashed potatoes and chorizo. Did I mention, the server plunks down a carafe or two of included red wine for the table? All this is mere preamble to the table-shuddering mains, along with an overflowing plate of fries. Oh, there’s bread pudding or maybe ice cream for dessert. Hope you crawled through the mountain desert for three days to prepare for this extravaganza.

There seems no getting around this all-in, very popular, menu. But I manage to sweet talk my way into ordering just a side dish of that Basque specialty, tongue ($7), plus a few furtive sips of wine.

A Basque specialty, a heaping bowl of tongue

A Basque specialty, a heaping bowl of tongue

And I must say, it kinda tastes like…. beef stew. Lots of tender, thin slices of tongue in a rich sauce; must be more than one critter’s mouth parts sacrificed for the cause.

As I leave, a bartender shouts out: “How was the tongue?” “Cat got it.”

As for the rest of the full-fledged customers, suffice to say no one staggers away hungry. Not sure they all stagger away.

The Martin Hotel
94 West Railroad Street, Winnemucca, Nevada
Lunch weekdays 11:30 am-2 pm, dinner daily 4 pm-9 pm
Martin Hotel on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Basking in Basque Cuisine in Northern Nevada

  1. islandeditions

    I have a Basque cookbook, from when I was a sales rep, that was published by the University of Nevada Press, so I knew there was a large community of Basque origin in the state. An interesting cuisine.

    Like

    Reply
  2. Pingback: What do visitors think of Winnemucca? | Buckaroo News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s