Are you a gambling enthusiast? Do you like it fast-paced, loud and crowded, a.k.a., Las Vegas style gambling? Or do you prefer to stop and smell the roses as you're gambling, and take the time to enjoy the scenery at a leisurly pace? While you're gambling, are you in the mood for a great breakfast, but you're not an early bird? If you like leisurly gambling, the Banc Club in Tonopah is for you, and if you like a good breakfast at a fair price, then Cisco's Restaurant at the Banc Club is for you.
Photo: Cisco's Restaurant is located inside the Banc Club, on the north end of town. Check out the old mining machinery in the parking lot, and the lack of cars parked on the lot on this dreary Sunday morning.
Just after the restaurant opened, at 0805 on Sunday, October 24, 2010, I walked into the Banc Club and made my way to the rear of the casino, where the restaurant is located. Prior to visiting Banc Club, I'd noticed the banners on the outside of the club advertising the special meal of a 8 oz New York steak, served with eggs, hash brown potatoes and sourdough toast for the price of $8.99, for either breakfast or lunch - I was staying at the motel across the street, so I'd had plenty of time to review the banners. Trust me, at 0800 on a late October morning, the casino at Banc Club was as dead as King Tut's tomb, as I could see only one obviously hung-over old dude swaying on a stool, feeding nickels into a slot machine with a very shaky hand, and a skinny, 30's-something gal who looked like a crack addict drearily feeding quarters into a progressive slot machine. Such is the gambling scene at the Banc Club on a chilly, October Sunday morning.
Tonopah is definitely a "one horse" town, as the Banc Club casino closes at midnight, and curiously, the restaurant is open only from 0800 to 2100. Who ever heard of a casino that doesn't have a restaurant open during casino hours? How many casinos close at midnight? Consider that this is Tonopah, which achieved it's zenith many years ago, when mining was king.
On this Sunday morning, Cisco's Restaurant at the Banc Club was sparsely populated, as there were only a couple of occupied tables. The restaurant is quite small, and features about a dozen booths, which have the booth portion placed against the wall, and the rest is tables and chairs. Tables and chairs occupy the center of the restaurant. On this Sunday morning, there exactly two staff members keeping the place going; the cook and our waitress, Ashley.
Photo: You're not supposed to take photos inside a casino, and although the Banc Club was as dead as it gets, I refrained from taking photos, out of fear of the casino goons, but I reasoned it would be OK to snap a photo of the entrance to the restaurant, from the casino. I was correct in my reasoning, as I wasn't approached by the casino enforcers.
Photo: Inside the compact dining room, looking just inside the restaurant from the casino. Ashley, the sole server on duty, takes an order, while the cook, dressed in white to the left of the photo, chats with a couple of diners. Such is a laid-back Sunday morning at the Banc Club.
Ashley greeted me and invited me to sit anywhere of my choosing, which wasn't a problem as I nearly had the restaurant to myself. I seated myself at a booth, took off my cowboy hat and set it on the table, and I was rewarded by a fresh cup of coffee, a menu, and a smile from the friendly server, Ashley. Of course the menu features a vast array of breakfast choices - breakfast is served anytime the restaurant is opened - but my mind kept drifting back to the banner on the outside of the restaurant, and the poster displayed in the dining room, advertising the $8.99 New York steak and eggs special for breakfast or lunch. OK, at $8.99, it's not a bargain, but when you're hungry, and you're on vacation, and it's 35 degrees outside, with a 20 mile hour wind, and alternating between cold rain and mushy snow, who will argue $8.99 for a hot, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast? Another factor is there aren't many sit-down restaurants that serve a decent breakfast in Tonopah, so I threw in the towel and ordered the steak and eggs special.
There was absolutely nothing to regret about my choice of breakfast, as my breakfast arrived promptly, served with a smile from my friendly waitress, Ashley. My large New York steak was cooked perfectly as ordered - medium - and the steak sported perfect cross hatch grill marks, which separate the men from the boys among the New York steak brotherhood. The steak was brown and grilled perfectly on the outside, and just a little pink on the inside: Gosh, the description of how I like my steak seems to parallel with the kind of women I prefer... hmmmmm. Naturally, my two eggs, fried over easy, were cooked perfectly, and my hashbrowns were just the way that I like them, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The sourdough toast was perfect, but how can you mess up an order of sourdough toast?
Photo: I snap Ashley's photo as she poses by my breakfast that she's just set on the table. Yes, partner, that's my cowboy hat that I removed from my bald head to show the world that I have some shred of manners.
Photo: Ashley graciously snapped my photo with my delicious breakfast in front of me. For her great service, and for putting up with my photos and my endless questions, I left her a very generous tip, as per my usual custom, when I'm treated to exceptional service.
I enjoyed a great breakfast, at a restaurant, located in a small-town Nevada casino. As I sat at my booth, enjoying breakfast, I was treated to countless refills of my coffee cup from my friendly waitress, Ashley. Did I say endless refills of delicious coffee, which was quite appropriate for this cold October morning.
As I enjoyed breakfast, and took photos, and I asked Ashley to pose in front of the table, after she'd delivered my breakfast, she asked the usual question, which has been asked many times..., "Why are you taking photos?..." ... everybody, I repeat, everybody always ask that question... and I always have to explain to them that I'm a "foodie," and a free-lance writer who, while on vacation, takes lots of intrusive photos, asks weird questions from the staff members, and then publishes the whole thing on this web site. For me, it comes as standard operating procedure, as I'm used to the "standard" questions, as I admit it's weird for someone to be seemingly enjoying breakfast, but keeping a notebook and a camera as a constant companion.
I guess that Ashley sort of thought my behaviour was strange, with me taking photos and asking lots of questions, and she asked me if I was a pro food critic for one of the cable television channels. I suppose that I should consider that a compliment, but told her that was just little ole me, writing on my web site, and enjoying a delicious breakfast in Tonopah. She told me that they don't get many people in who take photos like I did - I only took about 8 photos inside - she should see some of the "power shoots" that I do! Despite the "weirdness" of what I was doing, I found Ashley to be very gracious and accommodating.
Photo: My attractive, perfectly-cooked, delicious breakfast of steak, eggs, hashbrown potatoes, and a cup of delicious coffee that never runs dry. This breakfast is great!
Cisco's Restaurant at the Banc Club serves an outstanding breakfast of steak and eggs, as the food is great, the service is friendly, the price is right, and your coffee cup will never run dry. I highly recommend enjoying a breakfast of steak and eggs at the Banc Club.
Restaurant at the Banc Club
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