Thursday, December 6, 2018

Beefy's - A New Year's Resolution

I honestly don't like the concept of New Year's Resolutions and I see it as just another way to set myself up for failure year after year.

For years I swore, on every New Year's Eve at the strike of midnight, that I was going to quit smoking or lose the massive amount of weight I'd been carrying around.  In 2009 I quit smoking and in 2014 after 7 years of life changes, I had lost over 140 lbs and I can honestly say that none of it was a result of a New Year's resolution.

Instead of being motivated, I found myself buying useless gym memberships and drugs that promised fast and effortless weight-loss. I even bought the drug that Anna-Nicole Smith was pushing and all it did was lighten my wallet.

As a result of my weight loss life changes I have had to learn how to pass on certain foods to maintain my weight because my motto is "never lose the same pound twice". I don't want to always pass on the chocolate and my favorite foods so every now and then, if I've exercised and maintained a healthy frame of mind about food, I indulge.

That being said, shortly after I moved to Reno, NV I found myself in a small and I mean extremely small burger joint called "Beefy's". In this picture the entire restaurant looks smaller than the black pickup truck in the foreground but trust me, it's just perspective. The joint is actually a little bigger than that black pickup and I tell you that lovingly.

View of Beefy's from Virginia Street
Beefy's Street View-Thanks Google Maps
Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google LLC, used with permission.
When you walk in the door you are greeted with a loud and happy, "Sit anywhere ya want, I'll come get your order." There is only one table in the joint and it seats about 5, the counter with old school truck stop type stools will seat about 6 (I've never counted), there is another counter against the south wall that will seat about 4 and then in a little cubby in the corner, there is a tall ledge that will sit 3. I jokingly call this "the table for lovers".

If you were counting there, it comes out to about 18 and you'd better not stand around loitering or take too long to find a place to sit because you will be told to sit down and get out of the way because things move spectacularly fast at Beefy's.

Have no fear my darlings, if you don't like to share a table with strangers or sit at a counter, feel free to sit at one of the two picnic tables on the side of the building and have your burger while you watch the eclectic foot traffic of midtown Reno on Virginia Street. You don't have to worry about rain or weather in Reno, you are in the high desert and there is sunshine about 270 days a year.

I love the tight and bustling atmosphere of the restaurant and I hope they never change a thing about the place. Trust me, it adds to the charm and you never know who you will be sitting with because if you are the first one to the table made for 5 and it's only you and a buddy, someone will sit at the table with you and if you're lucky, they will leave as your friend. (Caution: don't over chat though, it's a fine line)

I guess it was September 2017 when I was introduced to Beefy's and the burger of the month was the "Monster Burger". If I remember right, the price was somewhere between $10-$15 and the meal included a generous stack of fries and a can of soda.

Below is a picture of the Monster Burger and I'm afraid I can't tell you everything they put on this beauty but the one thing I can tell you is that the condiment that tied this amazing burger together was a handmade sundried tomato catsup (ketchup if you prefer) that was the design of the owner himself.

Beefy's Monster Burger - September 2017
On this particular day, the owner was also our waiter and when he asked me how the burger was, I had to gush about how delicious the it was. The blend of flavors was flawless and when I asked what kind of catsup he used he graciously described the way he'd made this delicious condiment and even brought out an extra little cup of it for me so I could have some extra. How cool is that?

He then told me that they have a different "Burger of the Month" every single month and that each of them are his own creation.

I know that it was nowhere near the end of the year but I'd already started to devise a plan. I turned to my husband and said, "I never want to miss a burger of the month at Beefy's" and that is how I decided the New Year's resolution to beat all others.

On New Year's Eve I loudly proclaimed that 2018 was going to be the "Year of the Beefy's Burger" and I eagerly awaited the opportunity to try each and every one. I wish I would have taken a picture of all of them or at lease written down what each of them included because each and every one is a work of art but I feel like if I'd done that, I would be giving away the secret recipes of Beefy's and that is not my intention.

I'm going to highlight a few of my most memorable burgers.

The first stand out was in March and the name of the burger was the "Jersey Shore". This bad boy lived up to it's name. I wasn't certain where the name came from till they brought it out and it was Spam, Burger, Cheeses, an Egg, onions and who knows what else on a mouth watering onion bun. I realized as they put it in front of me that it was so named because of the hodge podge of ingredients (whatever washes ashore) which was a genius name.

Don't go thinking you can recreate this one of a kind burger. There is magic in the sauces and ingredients that the maestro uses to create these works of art. Notice that I had the parmesan garlic herb fries on this occasion.

The Jersey Shore - Beefy's March Burger of the Month
I was out of town most of April and had a busy May but I squeezed in a burger here and there but when June arrived and I found myself at the Beefy's counter I was met with a challenge that I fear makes my resolution a failure.

The June burger of the month was a Jelly Donut, sliced and used as the bun with a burger and peanut butter condiment. I stood on the brink, something in me cringed at the thought of a jelly donut as a bun and based on principle, I could not order the jelly donut burger and I wussed out and ordered a substitute burger. I think it was the Vietnamese burger or Korean burger. The truth is that I was so shook up that I could not eat the monthly burger that I actually forget the exact Asian nation that hosted this burger but it was actually delicious. Would you like to see a picture?

Beefy's Korean Burger and Garlic Fries
With more determination than before, I decided then and there as I licked the last of the juices from the Korean burger from my fingers that I was not going to wuss out again. Carbs be damned, I was never going to use a substitution burger again.

The months and burgers came and went and each one was delicious and worthy of mention. Have you ever had Steak Diane? Well, the genius that owns Beefy's made a Burger Diane on a toasted french roll for August. It required 3 napkins, a fork and knife and it created a huge smile of satisfaction as I devoured it. Not my favorite but still delicious.

The last week of August and the first week of September I hiked the rim of Lake Tahoe which was 174 miles and took 15 days. It was the equivalent of hiking Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 four times. All the while, I knew that my reward was going to be the September Beefy's Burger of the Month. I told all the other hikers about the burgers and my resolution but I was worried that I would not have time in my schedule to go have the burger. I was expected to leave the trail and within a couple of days, attend the Reno Air Races for 5 days and then with a one day turnaround, we were planning to leave for a month long visit to Nebraska to see the grandchildren.

In the few short days between the hike and the air races I headed to Beefy's, I was tired and starving and when I got there I found out that they had a lunch rush and had run out of ingredients. The owner was going after a resupply of lobster for the "Lobster Burger" they had for the special.

Of course I had no problem waiting for the lobster to arrive. I was more than willing to wait so I could fulfill my September obligation to my resolution and after a relatively short wait, I was served with what I would describe as the absolutely most amazing burger of my lifetime.

"Lobster Burger" Beefy's September Burger of the Month and Parmesan Herb Fries
When this burger arrived I knew I was in love. You can not imagine the aroma rising from this burger. I doubt that this will ever be beat, not only was it covered in lobster, the beef patty was resting on lobster and covered in a light sauce and cheese. All the flavors blended to a lovely symphony of flavors. I savored this one slowly and lovingly. It was obscene.

October brought a Burger Cordon Bleu that included a burger, chicken breast, ham and cheese and yes it was as amazing as it sound. Again, not my favorite but definitely yummy.

I'm not fond of curry since I had an unfortunate experience during a 5 day hike of the Grand Canyon where I swore off anything with the word curry but remembering the Jelly Donut Burger of June that I'd avoided, I bravely ordered the Thai Curry Burger they were offering for the November burger of the month. I wish I had a picture of the burger they served. I wanted to devour it before the plate hit the counter.  It was a perfectly cooked beef patty on a french roll smothered in a mildly spicy curry sauce of coconut and eggplant. Fantastic!

As I left the establishment the owner told me he hadn't locked it in yet but he was thinking of a Greek Burger for December. Mediterranean has some of my favorite flavors so I was excited to hear that. Unfortunately it was November 9th when he told me this so I had 3 weeks of anxiety as I waited for December to arrive.

I finally found my way into Beefy's on December 6th and I'd brought a couple of friends to share the whole experience. They all loved the cozy atmosphere. We sat at the table and I anxiously ran over to the specials board to see what the special was. "The Greek"!!! I was so excited and as an extra bonus, it was served with "Greek Fries".

Everyone at the table ordered something difference, my husband had the "Awesome, Awesome", Ray had the Nevadan, Vicki had some veggie thing with avocado that actually looked pretty yummy too but I had no question about what I was having, it was "The Greek".

This heavenly burger was a perfectly cooked hamburger, feta, homemade tzatziki, kalamata olives, other heavenly spices and ingredients topped with  dolmathakia (dol-mah-THAH-kya) which is normally rice and herbs wrapped in grape leaves all served on a lightly toasted ciabatta bun. ((deep breath) The fries alone are worth a second December visit to Beefy's, this abundance of fries was tossed with herbs, feta and chopped kalamata olives. Look at this delectable dish...

"The Greek" Beefy's December Burger of the Month and Greek Fries
The only regret I have about this visit is that Stella didn't take my order but she arrived before I finished my meal and she adds a ton of flavor to anything you decide to have at Beefy's. The owner wasn't there today and I would have loved to have gotten a picture of him and me with "The Greek" but I will have to save that photo op for another time.

There is a lot more to Beefy's to discover since they have a full menu of unique burgers from the "Plain Jane" to "The Moo, Cluck and Oink!". Check out their menu. (Beefy's Menu) If you have a thirst, they have dozens of beers, wine and soft drinks and if at the end of it all you decide you have the room for it, you must order one of their shakes. After they mix it up for you, they even give you the mixer container that has the overflow in it.

Since I skipped June and didn't try the Jelly Donut burger with the peanut butter it feels like this resolution is incomplete.

What do you think, should I do the same New Year's Resolution for 2019?

It looks like it's Beefy's Burgers for another year and if you're smart, you'll do it too.

Tell them Lizzie Flower sent you

Peace and Love,

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