Showing posts with label Good Eats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Good Eats. Show all posts

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Aladdin's Market & Kitchen - A Magic Carpet Ride to Amazing Middle Eastern/Mediterranean Homecooked Food

Chicken Shawarma Plate

1180 Holcomb Ave Reno, NV 89502 (Midtown)
(775) 737-4244

Click to Enlarge

If you've been to New York and you're a foodie, chances are you probably know about the notorious Halal Guys' food carts found on the streets of the busiest areas in downtown.  They're pretty hard to miss with their long lines stretching down the block.  

People line up for their outrageously satisfying foods composed of grilled meats, rice, hummus, & veggies topped with a tahini/hummus type sauce that brings the whole dish together.  

At Aladdin's, you can get the same type of flavorful food, but without the wait.

Aladdin's Market & Kitchen is the only local Mediterranean market in Reno and is run by a sweet owner, Radi.

I got the sampler and chicken kabob plate (my favorite) and boy was I jumping up and down with joy when I tasted how amazing the food was.  

The chicken kabob plate was perfectly balanced with spices, had super juicy chicken, and came with a garlic tahini antzatziki sauce that was finger licking good.  You'll probably want to order extra if you want to play it safe.

The beef kabob (kofta) could use a bit more flavor, but nonetheless was still great for its freshness. 

Though some of the desserts were a tad too sweet for me, I still encourage you to try them out if you have a sweet tooth.  Lots of people like them.

Their tabouli salad, made of finely chopped ingredients, including parsley, tomato, cucumber, bulgur wheat, and a citrus dressing, was the perfect side.

I can't wait to try their kibbeh (meat wrapped in wheat dough and fried), fries, and soup next visit. 

The owner moved to Reno 40 years ago and while he admired the city, he felt like something was missing - meditarranean/middle eastern food.  

I'm so glad he followed his heart and worked his butt off in starting this business.  Me and many other locals are thankful for this passport to amazing food.  

Aladdin's Sampler

What You Will Find at the Market:
*Hot, Fresh Food, Made to Order 
-Appetizers (Dolmas, Hummus, Fries, flatbreads)
    -Shawarma Plates (meat thinly sliced, stacked, and roasted)
    -vegetarian and vegan options (falafel plates, hummus, and sides)
    -desserts like baklava
*Grocery items- Frozen and Pantry (no fresh produce), snacks and drinks

Their Tabouli Salad is the BOMB

-You can browse the grocery side while waiting
-You can easily customize a meal.  Just let them know
-Order online for pickup or delivery through their website (link above)
-Parking lot can be full depending on time of day, but you can find street parking nearby. 
-There are a couple of tables inside the market available for dining
-Halal Certified (food and products accepted in accordance to Islamic Law)
-They have prepackaged sides & desserts for sale

Falafel Wrap

Different styles of Baklava. A little too sweet for me but worth trying if you have a sweet tooth.

Categorized Under Good Eats and International Markets

Friday, December 9, 2022

A Surprising Place in Reno to Get Tasty Donuts & Delicious Breakfast Sandwiches 24/7


Business Snapshot

Jelly Donut is a local donut shop in Midtown Reno that offers tasty donuts and breakfast sandwiches at affordable prices.  This shop is open 24/7 and is run by a nice family.

Their jelly donuts are the jam!

It's hard to miss this shop while making a trip to Midtown.  If you're one of the people that have been wondering about Jelly Donut, wonder no more.

Jelly Donut is legit, with friendly service, fresh and tasty donuts, and hot and tasty breakfast sandwiches.  

It's incredible that we have a donut shop that's open 24/7.  Late night/early morning cravings?  No problem!  

Why is this shop so surprising to me?  It's outdated.  You'd think you were on a movie set taking place in the 1950s.  Let's just say that this is a great "don't judge a book by its cover" example.

Outdated shop, but don't be deceived.  They have yummy food!  People are always here buying boxes of donuts to-go.

Every single donut I've tasted from here was really good and I love that they're not too big and have just the right amount of sweetness.  They have that traditional yeast flavor everyone loves from a good donut and will keep you coming back for more.

You must try their lemon-filled jelly donut.  The sweetness of the glaze with the freshness of the jelly paired with the right amount of moist dough makes for a great treat.

For an option that's not too sweet, try their Hawaiian style donuts called Malasadas: donut balls filled with jam and coated with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.  They are bit more chewy with a bread like texture and not as sweet as their traditional donuts.  Like their jelly donuts, the jelly fillings in their malasadas are super fresh tasting.  Try their guava filled with powdered sugar.  Malasadas are a great alternative for people watching their sugar intake and are the perfect treat for children.

Lemon filled jelly donut, glaze, plain old-fashion (from left to right).  All yummy.

If you're the type that doesn't accept donuts on their own as a complete breakfast, you'll have all of your traditional breakfast sandwiches to choose from.

Bread: croissant, sliced bread, bagels
Protein: bacon, sausage, egg, tuna, ham, turkey
Veggies: lettuce, onion, tomato
Condiments: mayo, mustard, black pepper

Their croissants are made in house and make the best breakfast sandwich when paired with a nice and fluffy egg, gooey cheese, and meat of your choice.   

Croissant, egg, & cheese breakfast sandwich. Yum!  They make a nice and fluffy microwaved egg.  Sandwich served hot.

I tried their bacon, egg, and cheese croissant and love that they give a decent amount of bacon that's not too salty and fatty.  

I also tried their tuna sandwich and loved it.    

Classic tuna salad with onion, lettuce, & tomato on a bagel.  Everything was fresh and yummy.


If you're looking for a great spot for donuts and breakfast sandwiches, you can depend on  Jelly Donut 24/7 to help fulfill your donut, breakfast, and lunch needs (yes, you need these foods in your life).

Friendly service and great tasting food @ great prices.

Know of any other rad hole-in-the wall places in Reno?  If so, please let me know on Instagram.  I'll make sure to check them out and show them some love.

*They have coffee, juice, milk, smoothies, and boba available.  The time I visited, they didn't have boba on hand.
*If you're looking to complete the meal with good quality coffee, head around the corner to Magpie Coffee Roasters (1-2 minute walk).
*DoughBoy's Donuts is still the best, but this is another great option around the Midtown area.  I prefer Jelly Donut over Sprinkles and Donut Bistro.

Categorized Under "Good Eats" ---> "Donut Shops"

©Katherine Fung

*All opinions are my own.  Information subject to change.  Please check in with business for latest updates.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Where to go for Some of the Best Authentic Italian Food in Reno, Nevada

(You can find them here year-round)
Winter - Saturdays 9am-12 pm
Summer - Saturdays 4pm-8 pm

Business Snapshot

Pasta Fresca is an authentic Italian restaurant in Reno that makes amazing homemade pastas and sauces (always organic when possible).  They offer indoor seating in a bistro-like setting and have various types of fresh pastas and sauces on hand in store for to-go orders.  You can also purchase their food at various farmer's markets throughout the year. Gluten-Free and vegan friendly.

Organic flour for their homemade pastas.
Their pretzels are the BEST.  Find them in summer.

How I Discovered Pasta Fresca

I first discovered Pasta Fresca while visiting one of my favorite ice cream shops in town, Icecycle Creamery, which is right next door.  

Of course, I pulled up my handy dandy Yelp app to see how others liked this restaurant.  I was so happy to see their rating of five stars and was eager to learn what the raves were about.  

I called in and placed a to-go order and the worker, kind and enthusiastic, suggested their ravioli tarfuto - Spinach ravioli, ricotta cheese, porchini mushrooms, black truffle, and white wine truffle cream butter sauce.  

The moment I opened my container, I was met with comforting scents of cream, garlic, and butter.  

My first bite of pasta was filled with so much flavor and the perfect textures, and put a big smile on my face.  At this moment, I knew I had found my favorite Italian restaurant in town. 

Discovering Pasta Fresca at The Riverside Farmer's Market

Super kind Carlos (left) & Paolo (right)
Pick up their packaged pastas in store and at the farmer's markets

Some years ago, while strolling around at our amazing year-round Riverside Farmer's Market, I was pleasantly surprised to run into PF and their fridge stocked full of fresh uncooked pastas and sauces. 

I was so excited that I could take their incredible noodles home.

Riverside Farmer's Market is our only year-round farmer's market that focuses on highlighting local farmers, artisans, crafters, bakers, and services.

The market is located at the Mckinley Arts & Cultural Center next to Idlewild and has the best scene, with the arts center that children love running around, lots grassy areas for the perfect picnic, huge shade trees ideal to retreat under during hot summer days, a kid friendly area filled with activities, live entertainment from local talent, and the Truckee River across the street to enjoy.

The market is an amazing place to hang out with the whole family and the perfect place to meet local businesses and make lots of friends and memories.

Cooking Their Incredible Pasta and Sauce at Home

At home, I cooked Pasta Fresca's fresh pasta, fusilli, to be exact, and was so shocked when reading the instructions for cooking the pasta.  Three minutes?!?!

I don't know about you, but that screams fresh to me.  Compared to the usual 10-13 minutes with packaged pasta from the grocery store, that's definitely a record of sorts. 

Never have I ever bit into a plain piece of fusilli pasta (one of my favorite types since it has so many cracks and crevices for ingredients to hang out in) and had an eyes-wide-open moment.  The pasta was simple, yet incredibly fresh, and delicious and had the best texture.  

Each time I cook their pasta, whatever the style, I get to relive this moment again and again because their pasta has that kind of effect on me. 

Tweak to your liking.  Add veggies, meats, seasonings. 
I added one chopped yellow onion, plenty more garlic, and olive oil.  Topped with Pepper Flakes. 

Dining at Their Restaurant
Dining at their brick and mortar is always a lovely experience.

The atmosphere at Pasta Fresca is comfy and welcoming and includes tables lined with traditional checkered tablecloths (upgraded to a nice blue), fresh herbs on the counter, and a nice selection of wines on display.

Did you know that the traditional red-checkered tablecloth usually symbolizes that a restaurant is affordable, friendly, and authentic? (source)    

I love that each table is stocked with extra condiments. Whip up a nice balsamic vinegar and olive oil combination to dip their house bread in or adjust your dish to your liking, though their dishes are always tasty on their own without any adjustments. 

Suggestions: Caprese, charcuterie appetizer (cheese, crackers, and honey), ravioli tarfuto, vincenzo, rigatoni in spicy tomato arribiata with shrimp added.


If you're looking for the perfect place and atmosphere to enjoy authentic and delicious Italian fare that's made with the best ingredients, lots of passion, and served with a smile, Pasta Fresca is the place to visit.  

*Gluten Free and Vegan Friendly 
*They keep things interesting with their seasonal offerings
*During summer, Alex makes the best parmesan pretzel in town (150 year old recipe handed down generation to generation.  Find them at the restaurant (call in for availability) and the Riverside Farmer's Market.
*Paolo was taught to cook authentic Italian by his grandmother
*Follow them on Instagram for updates on their whereabouts and specials (including holiday specials)
*They can usually be found at our year-round Riverside Farmer's Market.
*Restaurant located in the Shops at Bartley
*Bartley Ranch Park located across the street 
*Their pastas are amazing for home cooking and special occasions
*Try their amazing desserts - cannoli and tiramisu
*Wine selection on hand
*If everything goes according to plan, you should see a bake shop (run by them) open up soon two doors down
*Audrey Harris Overlook is super close and worth checking out
*If you love all things Italian, Reno has a yearly event - The El Dorado Great Italian Festival this year October 8 & 9, 2022. Pasta sauce competition with samples from many competitors.  Grape stomping competition, craft and food vendors, live entertainment, and so much more. 

Love their drink selections in their cold case.

Why Shop & Support Local?
*Buying local helps keep diverse and unique businesses open, which are generally run by passionate local business owners who provide outstanding service and create quality products and offerings.
*Local businesses that are successful at what they do have the power to create more jobs and opportunities for the local community.   
*Local businesses are generally great employers.
*Local businesses are more likely to support other local businesses like themselves, helping strengthen our community, making it a happier and more personal place to live. 
*Local businesses are more involved in the betterment of their community and are more likely to contribute to a good cause
*You're supporting a neighbor's dreams. 

Categorized Under "Good Eats" ---> "Italian"

© Katherine Fung 
All rights reserved.

*All opinions are my own.  
*Information subject to change. Please check in with business for the latest updates and info. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

MOD Pizza - Not Your Ordinary Pizza Chain

4945 S Virginia St Suite A 
Reno, NV 89502
(775) 826-0232

What's to Love
*High quality ingredients
*Great tasting
*Build your own
*Gluten free, Vegan, vegetarian Friendly
*Fast & Friendly Service
*Wide variety of toppings and Sauces
*Helps out community
*Wide selection of beverages
*Rewards program

I walked into this build-your-own-pizza joint not having any previous knowledge of it, not even information from reviews. The name alone caught me and I had to find out what or who put the Mod into Mod pizza.

Upon entry, I was stunned at how many toppings were available and how they charged a flat fee for each size pizza regardless, of how many toppings one would choose.

Upon pickup, I noticed how many sauces they offered, free of charge. If you don't know, sauces, when combined in different ways, can make the world go round. Balsamic and honey anyone? Buffalo and BBQ was a favorite of a worker that handed me my pizzas. Needless to say, I had to give it a try and surprise — it was also a winning combination of their sauces. Have their sauces on the side (to prevent pizza from getting soggy for to-go orders) or put them on before they hit the oven, if dining at their place.

Their pizzas were amazingly fresh, with delicious-tasting, thin-crust dough that was perfect in texture- light, chewy, and fluffy. I ordered their equivalent to BBQ Chicken- Caspian (with pickled onions and roasted garlic added), a build-your-own hawaiian-style pizza (ham, pineaaple, onions, olives), their cheesy bread (dough, cheese, dried rosemary), and a build-your-own vegetarian pizza that I topped with all veggies except for jalapenos.

The veggie pizza was sooooo good. It surprised me because it looked like it was going to taste like a plain salad. Boy was I wrong. The Caspian and Hawaiian were equally satisfying. The only selection I wasn't too excited about was their cheesy bread (it's a favorite with other customers), which I felt was good, but a little heavy on the cheese. I did forget to ask for marinara sauce, so next time, I'll give it a second chance (light cheese next time with parm added), since at Mod, they're all about second chances.

These pizzas were so satisfying, esp. dipped in their sauces (veggie in ranch; veggie in balsamic and honey; Caspian in ranch and Buffalo BBQ). I had a mad scientist moment with my food and it was fun.

With good food, must come good drinks. They had that covered. Their drink case was loaded with different selections and among them, a favorite- San Pellegrino (carbonated fruit juices). I also found beer on tap and additional fountain drinks on top of the usual.

Service was outstanding. The workers that served me were down-to-earth and downright friendly.

To my surprise, I found out that this company not only churns out great pizzas, it is also making a lasting impact in many communities around America. As mentioned before, Mod is all about second chances, hiring those who have disabilities, those who've been out of the work force, those (like mothers) who need a more flexible schedule, and those who have gotten into trouble in the past.

They believe that a happy workforce creates a perfect work environment.

Another goal of theirs is to provide delicious gourmet food at an affordable price (come on over college students).

They are all for profit, but the creators have also carefully thought out how they can contribute to the greater good at the same time.

I am digging this restaurant and its mission and I know now the meaning behind its name. Just when I thought the ordinary chain couldn't get any better, Mod comes along and proves me wrong. You must try them out; you won't be sorry.

P.S. You see that No Name Cake at checkout? They didn't name it because there was no name good enough for it. I dare you to test it out and see what you think.

-Download MOD App and earn rewards toward menu items. Order ahead and reorder favorites.
-Gluten-free crust and Vegan cheese available upon request
-get free food with Mod rewards
-Delivery available with Uber Eats and Door Dash
-build your own salads
-Can be found in the same plaza as Hallmark, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, World Market, Nordstrom Rack

Categorized under "Good Eats"