Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Travel Channel starts "War" over Reno region's famous Awful Awful burger

The Travel Channel wants to know where would you rather eat your Awful Awful burger — at the Little Nugget Diner in Reno or John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks? Travel Channel’s hit series, “Food Wars,” wants the loudest and proudest hamburger fans to tell viewers everywhere which Awful Awful burger is better.

“This is huge for the Little Nugget Diner. People come from all over the world to have the Awful Awful in town, and the burger is finally getting the exposure it deserves,” says George Buddy, General Manager of the Little Nugget Diner. “The Awful Awful is really something special. It’s a fantastic deal and the Little Nugget Diner is one of the few places where you know you’re getting exactly what you ordered.”

“We’re obviously thrilled to have the Travel Channel here at John Ascuaga’s Nugget once again. While the main focus will be our signature burger against another, the larger view allows the country to yet again see our area as a fun, quirky and unique destination,” says Michael Traum, Public Relations Manager of John Ascuaga’s Nugget. “One premise of 'Food Wars' is to invite viewers to come to Reno and decide for themselves which burger they like best, and that’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

Below is the filming schedule, open to the public. If you want to be a part of the ultimate face-off, be sure to attend Friday’s shoot.

• Wednesday, June 30th at Rosie’s Café in John Ascuaga’s Nugget from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (1100 Nugget Avenue, Sparks, NV 89431)

• Thursday, July 1st at the Little Nugget Diner from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (233 North Virginia St)

• Friday, July 2nd is the Food Wars Challenge at the Poolside Terrace or Celebrity Showroom (TBD) at John Ascuaga’s Nugget from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Fans of either restaurant interested in being interviewed for the show should contact foodfancasting@gmail.com.

Photo by Charlie Johnston (patrons enjoy an Awful Awful at Little Nugget Diner in Reno).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Las Vegas Rocks Cafe

By Shelley Stepanek

The Neonopolis has awakened again. The space formerly known as Jillian’s has a new tenant and a great new theme after a sleek renovation. The Las Vegas Rocks Cafe, co-owned by TV host Tony Sacca and chef Josette Leblond (known for Josette’s Bistro in Las Vegas), have teamed up with a new concept. Opening in December 2009, the pair has partnered with all their experience in food and entertainment to revitalize the Fremont Street Experience area.

The menu consists of themed foods such as The Siegfried and Roy turkey, ham, Swiss cheese sandwich; the Elvis Delight grilled banana and peanut-butter sandwich; The Ratpack Antipasto; and the Charo Chili. For entrees, The Sammy Steak, a big rib-eye; The Topless Dancer, an open-faced turkey breast; the Cirque Du Sole Filet; and topping off the desert menu, The Glitter Gulch Crème Brule and The Sin City Dessert.

The 20,000-square-foot venue, which has hosted such stars as Terry Fator and Louis Prima, this can hold up to 3,000 people in a standing room concert area.

Sacca has been doing his television show, “Entertainment Las Vegas Style,” for 24 years. He wrote the song “Las Vegas Rocks” four years ago and began marketing his musical clock and a line of souvenirs. He has produced, hosted, and researched Las Vegas history for his TV show and has developed a library of photos and catalogs with more than 500 celebrities and entertainers. With videos running in the restaurant on numerous TV screens, you can immerse yourself in fascinating history as you watch the crowd strolling by on Fremont Street.

Leblond has owned bakeries in Las Vegas and Los Angeles for years, and her Josette’s Bistro has been a mainstay on West Flamingo Road. She has had her own cooking show for the last couple of years.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CSI: The Experience

By Shelley Stepanek

Have you sat glued to the set watching CSI for years? Have you wanted to be there with actor Gil Grissom and his team? Have you wanted to take classes in forensics?

Well, now you can do it all. Debuting last year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, CSI: The Experience is there for all who want to see, feel, hear, smell, and solve. Entering a Briefing Theater to orientate the novice, and give you instructions, Grissom steps out from behind his desk. He says, "Keep an open mind," and you start your journey through one of three crime scenes.

In "A House Collided," a car has run into the living-room window. In the driver's seat is a man slumped over. The windshield is shattered, and the door is shut. Inside the room there are muddy shoeprints, drops of blood, and a stain near the sofa.

In "Who Got Served?" a woman has been found dead in an alley behind a Las Vegas motel, in the seedier part of town. By the dumpster, she is wearing a waitress uniform. There is a tire tread across her abdomen.

In "No Bones About It!" a hiker has found a human skull in the middle of the desert. Partially buried by silt and debris, the bones are scattered. There is a visible hole in the scull.

You exit and head into a huge room of crime scene photos and clues. With drawings of your investigation in front of you, you go from checking fibers, blood samples, insects, photos, dental records, and missing-persons reports. Through science and deduction of the clues, you continue, seeing fragments of possible clues.

With DNA samples from the victims, you analyze the cause of death. Natural, homicide, suicide? Can you crack the case? With the newest scientific means to solve your crime, you submit your final analysis to the FBI for positive identification.

The attraction is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with last admission at 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Free Fishing Day Events Statewide

If you have been trying to figure out a way to get the kids off the computer and out of the house, then the Nevada Department of Wildlife has a plan, and here’s the best part...it’s free.

Nevada Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 12. Anglers may fish in any public fishing water in the state without needing a fishing license or trout stamp. All limits and other regulations apply. “Free Fishing Day provides the perfect opportunity for families to spend the day together in an activity they may have never tried before,” says Chris Vasey, Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) Regional Outdoor Education Coordinator. He adds that NDOW has stocked fish in many of Nevada’s waters in preparation for Saturday. “Your chances should be pretty good for catching a fish,” he said.

This year NDOW is helping to put on several events around the state from Las Vegas to Ely to Sparks. Many of the events include prizes and free goodies for the kids.

Even if you don’t plan on attending any of the scheduled events, NDOW wants to remind everyone that Free Fishing Day is statewide and for anglers of all ages. “People are allowed to fish in any public fishing water in the state without needing a fishing license or trout stamp,” Vasey says. “We want people to get out there and check out what Nevada has to offer, and maybe if you like what you see, you will think about buying a license for the year or a short term permit.”

An annual fishing license in Nevada costs $29, $13 for a junior (12-15 years of age) or a senior (65 years of age or older) fishing license, and $9 for as short term fishing permit. Fishing licenses are available online at www.ndow.org. Here is a list of the events being offered around the state:


Las Vegas - This year’s Free Fishing Day event for the Las Vegas Valley will be held at the Boulder City Pond in the Veterans’ Memorial Park, Boulder City. Registration will start at 7:30 a.m. and the event will kick off at 8 a.m. and conclude at 11 a.m. The first 300 kids will receive a goody bag with a tackle box. Prizes will be given out throughout the event for all ages. This event is being sponsored by a partnership between NDOW, Boulder City Parks and Recreation, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Public Lands Institute. There will also be informational booths on fishing activities, such as casting, fish identification, baits and lures, etc. along with booths on desert wildlife, boating safety, fish art, and much more. A limited amount of loaner rods and reels will be available free of charge. For more information contact Ivy Santee at (702) 486-5127, extension 3503.

Pioche - Echo Canyon State Park will be holding a Free Fishing Day Derby from 8 a.m. to noon. Rangers at the park have a reputation for putting on a great event complete with prizes, raffles, food and other options. Echo Canyon is located just east of Pioche in Lincoln County. For more information about this event contact State Park Ranger Ben Johnson at (775) 962-5102.


Elko/Carlin - NDOW will be holding a non-competitive Kids Fishing Derby at the Chinese Garden Nature Study Area Pond in Carlin from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 am. Registration will start at 8 a.m., with the first 50 anglers to register receiving a free T-shirt. The derby is for children 16 and under, but everyone is welcome to come out and fish that day. The event is sponsored by NDOW, the City of Carlin and the Ruby Mountain Chapter of Safari Club International. NDOW will have limited rods and reels available for new anglers to borrow as well as angler education volunteers to help you rig your outfits and give you fishing tips. There will also be a fly tying booth with members of the Ruby Mountain Flycasters showing young anglers how to tie flies and give them a chance to tie their own wooly bugger. There will be a free drawing for prizes for all the children who sign up for the derby between 11:30 a.m. and noon. Prizes include rod and reel combos, fly fishing outfits, and tackle boxes. Children must be 16 or under to be eligible for the prizes.

Ely - NDOW will host the annual Kid’s Free Fishing Day Derby at Cave Lake State Park. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the kids fishing derby runs from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There is no charge for the participants, though parents must be present with their children. Between 11:30 a.m. and noon, there will be a free drawing for prizes for children who sign up for the derby. Prizes include rod and reel combos, fly fishing outfits, and tackle boxes. There will also be free grab bags for all participants. Children must be under 18 to be eligible for the prizes.


Sparks/Reno - Once again The Sparks Rotary Club, NDOW and the City of Sparks Parks and Recreation Department have joined forces to offer a special community event for the area’s children. Kids will enjoy a fun-filled morning of fishing (see photo) along the south shore of the Sparks Marina from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Commemorative t-shirts and fishing poles will be distributed at the registration area until supplies run out. There will be fun games and face painting for all ages, and a free barbecue lunch will begin at 9 a.m. with hot dogs, soda and ice cream for registered children. In addition to the Sparks Rotary Club, NDOW and the City of Sparks Parks and Recreation, many generous sponsors enable this free event to take place. Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, Safari Club International and the Reno Rodeo Foundation are providing generous cash donations. Mark Fore and Strike Sporting Goods and Model Dairy have been sponsors since the event began, and are returning again with in-kind donations. Other generous sponsors, as well as information on the event can be found by clicking “latest news” on the Sparks Rotary Club’s website at www.sparksrotary.org. Rotary members from Sparks and Reno, and staff from the Nevada Department of Wildlife will be on hand to assist those with little or no fishing experience. Fishing equipment will be available for children to use if they don't have their own. Parents must accompany their children to the event. For those who plan on fishing any of the other urban ponds in Washoe County, NDOW wants to remind everyone that the limit is three fish at all urban ponds in the County.