The great oatmeal quest

So we went up to Reno to celebrate my 60th birthday, as alluded to in another post. Stayed at the Eldorado, with a 24-hour restaurant (Tivoli Gardens) that used to have an absurdly long and varied menu and still has a fairly long and varied menu.

First morning after getting there, my wife was under the weather, and didn’t finally make it down for “breakfast” until something like 1:30 p.m. All she really wanted to eat was oatmeal.

Most of Tivoli Gardens’ menu is either available 24 hours a day or available from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. Oatmeal, as she guessed it might be, is an exception: The menu says it’s available from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. I don’t know: Maybe there’s something mystical about making oatmeal.

She asked. They said “You’re about two hours late.” The best they could do was Cream of Wheat, which is not really in the same ballpark. She coped.

Next morning, we were still a bit late to breakfast: We got there around 9:30 or 10. She ordered oatmeal. They were out: “ran out a little while ago.” She ordered something else.

Final morning in Reno, we made it in pretty early: Around 8:15-8:30. She ordered oatmeal.

They were out. Less than two hours after they started serving oatmeal.

Either there’s something special about oatmeal and Reno, or all they fix is one little pot at 7 a.m., or maybe they don’t really serve oatmeal at all.

Oh, the next morning we were in Sonora, at the Best Western Sonora Oaks. Had breakfast at the Pine Tree, a restaurant on the motel’s grounds. She ordered oatmeal. They brought her oatmeal. Good oatmeal, too, she says.

[What? You’re waiting for the big moral? Deeper significance? Did you notice the name of this here blog?]

5 Responses to “The great oatmeal quest”

  1. rochelle Says:

    My guess is that they never have oatmeal ready. My husband is an oatmeal person, and I’ve heard the “sorry we’re out” plenty of times. You’d think that they’d at least keep those individual packets of mushy oatmeal for emergencies. My husband is also a big fan of peanut butter and frequently asks for it with his toast. Amazing how many restaurants don’t keep an industrial-sized jar of Jif on the counter for kids of all ages. When I go out for breakfast, though, I want something that I can’t make at home, or can’t make as well, like a feta/spinach omelette and good hash browns.

  2. Brian Says:

    As with jam in Looking-Glass land, perhaps it’s oatmeal every other day in Reno.

  3. walt Says:

    Wonderful! [Rochelle: The waiters swore that they’d actually served oatmeal each day…but that’s not 100% proof. ]

    There was another not-quite-so-odd outage: At dinner the first evening, a light dinner, I noticed that they had Ferarri-Carano’s high-end chardonnay by the glass for around $9–which, for a wine that goes for $30+ in stores, isn’t awful. That made sense: The Carano family owns the Eldorado. Unfortunately, they didn’t actually have any available. Fortunately, the $3.50/glass house chardonnay was unusually good for the price.

    The next evening, having a casual dinner at Silver Legacy–next door to and partially co-owned with the Eldorado–we noticed the same chardonnay. At $15 a glass, which I wasn’t willing to pay but which would represent standard restaurant markup. What I will say for Silver Legacy, besides having less foul air than the other major downtown casinos: If I was playing quarter slots and asked whether I wanted a drink and responded “chardonnay,” I actually got decent, recognizable chardonnay, cold but not icy, in a wine glass. Two-three years ago, all you’d ever get st most casinos would be lukewarm cheap white wine in a plastic cup.

  4. Eli Says:

    Happy 60th, Walt!

  5. walt Says:

    Thanks. Fortunately, I’m healthier than I was at age 40, and my 50s were probably my most productive decade (but I’m not done yet, by any means). And I must admit that I really don’t think of myself as a cranky old geezer (although it was always a fun pose), so I guess I’m grateful to Steven C. for convincing me to drop the age/crankiness gambit.


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