Located in a small storefront in downtown Reno is the Nugget casino, one of the last of the small casinos left that hasn’t been turned into a pawn shop. The other Nuggets, like the Carson Nugget and John Asquaga’s in Sparks, are bigger and more prominent, but this little downtown Nugget I think predates them all. And if you brave a journey into the cramped casino and make your way all the way to the back (or come in the secret entrance from the alley) you’ll find yourself in the Nugget Diner, home of one of the best hamburgers in the West, the Awful Awful.
Now, if you’ve patronized the other two Nuggets, you’ll know that they too have something called an Awful Awful on their menu. It’s a huge patty on a huge bun, and it’s so named because it’s awful big and awful good. But just like they stole the name of their casinos from the original, so too did they steal the name of this burger for their menus. If you want to have a real Awful Awful you have to suck it up and go downtown. I myself haven’t had an Awful Awful burger in something like ten years, but I can still remember every bite of its greasy goodness. And the most remarkable part is that it cost less than most other restaurant burgers, even less than most fast food burgers. The Awful Awful with a side of fries used to only cost $3.50. But now, as Myrna The Minx reports, inflation has kicked in and the price has gone up two dollars, to $5.50. So it’s still a deal, just somewhat less of one.
But it’s still a good sign that in this land of million-dollar houses you can get something as good as an Awful Awful for that low of a price.