The Cheese Board debuted in Reno in 1981 and has become a Reno classic. It took more than 40 years, but the sisters who currently run the cafe, Caitlin Fletcher and Krista Phillips, have added a second location, taking the popular midtown eatery to south Reno, specifically the new Meadow Creek shopping center on Wedge Parkway.
The second location has a lot in common with the original, including a dedication to wine, cheese and lunch specials for hungry locals. Both spaces provide cozy gathering tables for friends and families to enjoy food and wine together, plus a grab-and-go area to buy bottles of wine and other goods.
Although under the same business umbrella, the two locations have their own personalities. The new south location offers a light, airy and open space punctuated with big open windows and bright white décor. Here, guests can get a glass of wine to enjoy on the patio overlooking Reno Ice or dine for lunch or dinner inside.
The collection of wines available by the glass is short and sweet, with reds and whites available. Customers can order sparkling wines in splits from the grab-and-go grocery case. There aren’t many options, but there is variation and certainly some labels that aren’t prominent in Reno.
In my opinion, the best way to enjoy the wine is alongside a warm and melty panini. The tuna melt is a favorite, served with sliced tomatoes and Swiss cheese on golden-brown sourdough. It’s cooked to perfection—warm and soft on the inside but crunchy on the outside.
Another go-to is the adult grilled cheese, combining provolone, Swiss and aged cheddar for a trio of ooey-gooey goodness. Pepper jack can be substituted for one of the other cheeses to add a little spice. The best way to elevate this sandwich, however, is with tomatoes and avocado.
As for sides, there are several options. There’s no better choice than the fried potato dippers, a clever cross between a French fry and a homemade potato chip, and perhaps one of the best items on the menu. They are served with a bearnaise sauce, but ketchup and ranch are available upon request.
These warm sandwiches are only the start of a menu that keeps it simple with soups, salads, and warm and cold sandwiches. Some items are favorites from the California Avenue location, while others are unique to Meadow Creek.
One of the best additions for this family-friendly restaurant is the “lil’ cheese curds” menu, a collection of easy meals for kids, including chicken tenders, grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, grilled cheese dippers and a half sandwich.
The Boujee Lunchable takes the brand’s famous snack boards—hence the name—and makes them kid-sized, offering up meat, cheese, Ritz crackers, grapes and sliced apples.
And true to the Cheese Board name, the grazing board comes in an adult-size, too. The beautifully designed boards are almost as fun to look at as they are to eat. They’re packed with artisan cheeses, cured meats, fresh and dried fruit, nuts, olives and crackers with whole grain mustard and savory-sweet jam for dipping.
If you can’t decide what to order, try out the duet, a perfect opportunity to get a half sandwich with soup or salad or just a soup and salad.