Driving along Hwy 395 will eventually bring you to Minden-Gardnerville, NV. Five eateries there serve local flavor along with the hash browns and coffee.
Katie’s Country Kitchen
1627 US Highway 395 N
Carson Valley Inn’s Katie’s Country Kitchen isn’t the dowdy casino cafe one would expect. Its new remodel oddly celebrates Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge while still serving American breakfasts 24 hours a day. My husband’s Giant Hamsteak and Eggs ($5.99) arrived on a huge square platter.
From fresh fruit to omelets, Katie’s keeps hungry gamblers and travelers going. Check out their breakfast menu.
1267 US Hwy 395, Suite K
This aging sports bar in Gardnerville belies its good food and friendly staff. My husband’s HAM radio club meets there monthly and receives friendly service despite the growing number of people around the table.
While it’s basic diner fare, there’s always a unique Breakfast Special. The Grand Slam always wins with pancakes, two eggs and both bacon and sausage. My favorite is American Toast, an alternative to French Toast. It’s delicately crispy outside, a perfect platform for butter and maple syrup.
1679 Hwy 395
Locals line up for the great food and western decor. Everything from Roy Rogers lunch boxes, John Wayne photos, buckaroo tools and tack, even that toy BB gun every boy wanted for Christmas, hangs on the walls.
Fresh-squeezed orange juice washes down big servings of American fare, including tri-tip scrambles and huevos rancheros. Local buckaroos would probably eat here if it weren’t so crowded.
I love the waitress wearing the cowboy boots. If she’s a little grumpy, maybe her feet hurt. Those boots weren’t made for walkin’.
88 Cups and Tea
1663 Lucerne St
This artsy coffee house is tucked inside an office complex, but is part of a triumvirate that includes a bookstore and yarn shop. Join friends inside or out to sip spressos, smoothies, artisan teas, frappes, Italian creme sodas, and fresh juices. When Erik carried several carrots and apples to make my juice, I entered Nirvana. It doesn’t stop there. Omelets, sandwiches, and salads round out the menu.
1150 Airport Rd
Few think an airport cafe is more than a greasy spoon, but the Taildragger provides great food along with friendly service and an aeronautical atmosphere.
Renee runs fast keeping coffee cups filled and platters of huevos rancheros and omelets, even salads, sandwiches, and burgers coming. Local clubs gather here, so you’re likely to see restored antique cars parked outside or glider and trike pilots fueling-up before catching the next thermal.