Another gaming bar and restaurant? It may not be what you think Reno needed, but the way Old Southwest Social House has done it—let’s just say, we’re fans. Opened in the Village Shopping Center on California Avenue, the former home of Truckee River Bar & Grill is offering a modern and more culinary-focused spot for gaming in Reno.
The vibes are reminiscent of The Parlor—a South Reno non-smoking gaming restaurant with modern touches and better-than-your-typical-bar-food. In fact, the menu isn’t reminiscent of a gaming establishment at all, but rather any sort of new restaurant likely to pop up in Reno.
It’s the type of place you can bring a group of friends to share small plates, order entrees with a date or even kick back with the kids (as long as you aren’t sitting at the bar where the video screens are located). Watch the game or just enjoy your company over plates of truffle fries, onion rings, jalapeño poppers and more.
The spinach and caramelized onion dip is served with customer’s choice of chips or bread—or, you know, both if you ask nicely. The dip is delicious and creamy with a fresh, homemade taste that takes it above your typical bar variety. The bread, however, is on the harder side, a little crispy instead of the soft roll you may be expecting.
Trash can nachos are another stand out, in large part because of the tableside presentation. With your choice of meat, a pile of chips is loaded high with olives, cheddar cheese and jalapeños before they are smothered in beer cheese and salsa. The presentation will make sense when you see it and appears to more evenly coat the nachos in toppings.
Salads and burgers are standard American fare, but Old Southwest offers a fun spin on a few classics. If you grew up in the days of Hot Pockets in front of the TV, you’ll embrace the whimsical value of the ham with mac and cheese. Essentially, the chef stuffs macaroni and cheese and ham into a homemade bread pocket to recreate the after-school staple for an older generation, and cooks it in, you know, not the microwave.
The pork wings might be the actual best item on the menu. Braised pork shank served on the bone is rolled generously in barbecue sauce and cooked to fall-off-of-the-bone perfection. At our large table the pork wings were everyone’s favorite dish that hit.
The poutine, however, comes as a close second. This Americanized version won’t do any Canadians proud but served over tater tots and piled high with meat, gravy and green onions, we’re still here for it.
Editor’s Note: The online menu version seems to be different than what was served on location so keep that in mind before ordering.
1113 California Ave., Reno, Nev. 89509
Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Still hungry? Tacos topped with chicken, cod, shrimp or carne asada, finished with coleslaw and salsa; a mushroom ravioli to compete with the masses in Reno; and thick-cut polenta fries served with spicy sriracha tartar sauce all hold their own.
While OSW Social House offers a full bar to patrons, one aspect missing from the menu is a proper cocktail list. Order what you want, but there are no specialties listed here—or at least not yet. There is also beer, wine and canned cocktails to enjoy. Long drink, anyone?
Correction: The Parlor in South Reno is no longer a cigar bar, but still has gaming and is smoke-free.
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor’s in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.