Saturday, September 3, 2011

Who is Gar Wood…

you’re asking yourself. Huh? You aren’t asking? Too bad. I am going to tell you anyway.

“Garfield Wood…was a noted engineer, industrialist and inventor, but perhaps he is most renowned for his unique, sleek and handsome racing power and pleasure boats…His quest for building the fastest power boat in the world came to pass in 1930 by piloting ‘Miss America X’ to a new world's record of 102 miles per hour…In the early 1920s, Gar Wood developed a line of pleasure craft and runabouts that were an offshoot of his successful racing hulls. These elegant boats were produced through the 1940s and featured beautiful mahogany exteriors, luxurious appointments, and powerful engines” (

We were driving back to Reno from Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay and searching for lunch. There on the right was the Gar Woods Grill & Pier (named for the aforementioned Garfield Wood) with the only parking lot that would accommodate The Big White Truck.

We would eat here even though we were T-shirt-clad and somewhat sweaty. Thank heavens I didn’t choose to wear my Sturgis, SD, shirt depicting Yosemite Sam riding a snorting buffalo. Or my Joensy’s shirt from Solon,IA, with the message on the back “Who let the pigs out? Oink. Oink. Oink.”

There would be a wait if we wanted to sit on the deck, but our inside seats were next to large open windows, so we still got a great breeze from Lake Tahoe.

The dining room was quietly chic with tan painted walls and dark green banquettes.

The rather pricy menu did contain some interesting items—Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Dungeness Crab Sandwich, Crab Cake Sliders, Mahi-Mahi Fish Tacos, Crab Chile Relleno, and Grilled Curried Chicken Sandwich plus soups, salads, and appetizers.

Chuck’s choice was the Prime Rib French Dip with caramelized onions and horseradish cream that came with a small (emphasis on the small) side of fries and an equally small dish of a jus. All of the individual components of his meal were first rate.

The roll was crisp and chewy; the thin sliced beef was tender and juicy; the fries were hot and crisp. But it did seem like a skimpy portion for the price (which shall not be revealed here).

I selected the Pacific Nicoise Salad, but when I saw the Peppered Tenderloin and Blue Cheese Salad passing through the dining room to another table, I began to second guess myself. But my first choice proved to be a good one. Rather than a composed Nicoise Salad, this was presented in a large salad bowl and contained mixed greens tossed with a light balsamic vinaigrette, red potato quarters, green beans, kalamata olives, cucumbers, shaved fennel, and sliced hardboiled egg. This was topped with a piece of smoked steelhead trout (a variety of rainbow trout that is much like salmon in color, taste, and texture). And the trout was garnished with a pomegranate relish which gave both a sweet and tart contrast to the somewhat strong tasting smoked fish. My only complaint is with the potato quarters. These were obviously been roasted earlier in the day and, before being added to the salad, reheated in the microwave. Too many of them had that leathery texture that over-“nuked” foods acquire.

It wasn’t the meal we were looking for—we would preferred a “fish shack.” Still, it warrants 4.0 Addies.

There were few places to pull off the highway for photos, but we did manage one stop on the way back to Reno and to preparations for traveling to Napa.

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