by Anne Vargas
How else can I explain why I had never heard of Clary’s Bar & Grill? It’s been in existence since 2009 on South Virginia street, next to Ruby Steakhouse, right across the street from the Peppermill. Where have I been?
It won Reno News & Review’s Best Breakfast award for both 2015 and 2016. It has a fanatically faithful following, which is how we heard about it; friends who are "regulars" were amazed to discover we had never been there. So, we went for breakfast one Sunday morning. Then we went back for lunch. We, too, were surprised we had never been there. A straightforward basic bar menu but It’s good; it’s very good.
Clary’s Bar & Grill is owned and operated by the three equal partners John, Shawnee and Kyle Erickson, who are proud of their product and their popularity. It’s a "mellow" kind of place, focusing on the mellow, serving just plain good food in a pleasant and friendly atmosphere with outstanding service. Clary’s is somewhat reminiscent of the TV show Cheers where everybody knows your name.
Over breakfast we chatted with some of the "regulars", comparing menu choices and favorite dishes. We were all enjoying various and differing specials, "Everything Benedict" features five different preparations of the dish; the one I chose was great. So were the pancakes, several varieties in either full stack or short stack. Someone nearby was getting serious about his Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs and there are all the predictable egg dishes with a range of meat options.
The regular menu features six different salads: Caesar, Cobb, Pasta, House, Taco and Wedge. There are eight different burgers with choices of cheese as well as nine sandwich selections, and all come with a choice of side: soup, salad, fries, cole slaw, cottage cheese or onion rings.
I tried one of the Burgers but deciding on which was challenging I chose the Bacon Burger with Bleu cheese. I could have, and should have, ordered satisfying soup of the day or a healthy salad as accompaniment but I opted for the French Fries in the spirit of testing them for readers. Good! The Burger was perfectly cooked; juicy, flavorful and enormous and the fries were abundant. Now I need to go back seven more times to try the others. No reservations, but Kyle assured me there is usually no trouble getting in. Not sure I believe that; the restaurant was full when we were there.