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Now, let's see what comes to your mind when  you visit Reno, Nevada?  Gambling, (yesssss!) skiing, four-wheeling, relaxation?  Or how about just getting away from the daily hum-drum existence that seems to plague almost all working-class stiffs.  Since we only live a couple of hours from Reno, we subscribe to Reno's version of frequent flier miles, and when we head to Reno for a few days of vacation and, seriously trying-to-get-rich, we tend to stay at Fitzgerald's Hotel and Casino, in downtown Reno.  We've been staying with them for quite a few years, so as previously stated, we're on their regular visitor program, so we usually get our rooms for free, or for the very-severely discounted price of $29.99 per night.  Try to match that at that national motel chain that advertises that "We'll leave the light on for you..."

Left:  Downtown Reno, with Fitzgerald's Hotel Casino to the left.  Right: When you're seated at Molly's Garden, you get to view the casino, just outside of the restaurant.

The "Fitz" is good, as it is located in central Reno, and as an avid railfan, I like the location, as it's located near the railroad tracks.  As an aside, I usually request a room that faces the tracks, but if that's not your preference, you can acquire a room elsewhere, which will free you from the noise of the railroad.  However, after spending some quality time at the Blackjack tables and attempting to outsmart the one-arm bandits, now almost totally computerized, you get hungry.  We normally eat at "Fitz's" buffet, as it is the most inexpensive in downtown Reno and offers an outstanding value, but what if you want something a bit different, and you don't want to eat-until-you-drop, as per the custom at Reno buffets?  Not to mention, you don't want to leave the "Fitz?"  Well, I have a suggestion:  Head to the second floor, just past the welcome center and a lot of slot machines, and you'll find Molly's Garden Restaurant, a great and convenient place to eat.

Left:  The entrance to Molly's Garden, on the second floor of Fitzgeralds Hotel/Casino in downtown Reno.  Right: We're greeted with a smile.

The place has class, but you don't have to don your evening gown or suit, as they won't turn you away as you approach the entrance in your shorts and tank tops.  The friendly cashier/greeter welcomes you, and then you're seated and presented a menu and an opportunity to order drinks.  Sharlene and I had been hitting the 'bandits hard, but weren't really all that hungry, so we decided to order al-a-carte.  I elected to order a rather odd combination of a plate of buffalo wings, one of my favorite appetizers and sometimes main dish, and a green salad, Sharlene chose pasta and a chicken-filled wrap.  She had ice tea to drink and I, in my usually fashion, ordered a draft beer.

Left:  Molly's Garden has a bar, if that's where you prefer to dine.  Right:  I forsake my excellent meal of buffalo wings and fresh green salad to photograph Sharlene as she consumes her wrap and pasta.

Oh yes, the food is great, the presentation is excellent, and the service is efficient, but not intrusive.  Molly's is not cheap, but you receive good value for your dollar and you will not go away hungry.  The dining area is subdued, intimate, yet while you're gazing into the eyes of your beautiful wife or significant other, you can look out to the casino floor and hear the muted sounds of the slot machines in action, and listen to the shouts of jubilant winners, and perhaps even see and hear someone slap a "hi-five" as they win the big one.  Oh yes, your favorite Keno hostess will come around and give you a chance to win that $100,000, which I have yet to do.  Well, maybe on the next visit...

Photos:  Draft beer, green salad with ranch dressing on the side, and a plate of buffalo wings, some already consumed.  What a fine meal at an excellent restaurant like Molly's Garden!

A final note is that the "Fitz" and all other Reno resort/casinos frown on you taking pictures in their establishments.  I was requested, several times, to put away my digital camera.  I did the "dumb" approach and simply said that I'd just bought it and, why mister, I didn't know why it just went off?  I'm trying to see what went wrong, and of course, I'll erase any photos if I accidently saved one.  Rest assured, although some of the photos in this article were taken with stealth in mind, there is no proprietary information shown, so forget about a lawsuit, if you're one of the "Fitz's" goons.  

If you can't handle a buffet, and you're stayhing at "The Fitz," eat at Molly's Garden Restaurant, for a wonderful Reno dining experience.  You'll be glad you ate there.


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