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|Elko, NV. Posted on 05/31/2002.
Map from Mapblast
Our first sleep stop along I-80 was Elko, NV, a former mining town with a renowned wild frontier past. Checking into our Motel 6 (serviceable accommodations, not much else to say), I noticed ads for a variety of Basque restaurants in the phone book. Dad had talked up the possibility of getting a Basque meal before we arrived, (lots of sheep in this part of the country) so I showed him what I found. The man behind the counter, William, told us in no uncertain terms that there was one place to go for such a dinner -- The Star Hotel. Considering William's enthusiasm and his size, we opted to follow his suggestion.
And we weren't disappointed. The place was packed when we entered, so we got our name on the list, and got some drinks at the bar. After 30 minutes or so, we sat down to a Basque meal -- dad got the baked lamb, and I got the baked beef. If you've never eaten Basque food, than you wouldn't know that it's standard operating procedure to shove more food at you than you could possibly eat. And you have no say in it. You sit down, you get bread. Then comes the soup. Then a salad. Then the main course comes, surrounded by various vegetables. Then dessert with coffee. In all, costing about $15. And filling you up for, oh, two weeks.
Happily, high quantity didn't mean low quality -- all the dishes were very well prepared, and the beef was moist and flavorful.
We rolled ourselves home, and the following morning made our foray for coffee and a bite to eat. We ended up at the place pictured above, because I couldn't pass up an establishment named "Donuts 'n Mor". And I still can't, for the life of me, figure why they spelled it "mor". For what it's worth, the donuts sucked and the coffee was bad.
For folks interested in learning more about Basque culture and the Star Hotel, a Google Search turned up the Basque Oral History Project, which features an interview with Mary Aguirre about growing up in the Star Hotel, and an old photo of the Star Hotel. It seems that the hotel was a huge part of Basque life in the area.
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Wow. That's awesome you went to Elko. One of my dearest friends (who is Basque) in college grew up in Elko. In fact I was sitting in a park in Elko the day Jerry Garcia died. Is it a place you would travel to again?
Posted by sarah @ 05/31/2002 03:23 PM PST [link to this comment]
I'd definitely stop off in Elko again. Poking around the Web has revealed there's quite a history there, and, well, you can't do much better around these parts than dinner at the Star Hotel.
Posted by peterme @ 06/02/2002 05:51 AM PST [link to this comment]
Glad you made it to the Star. It is one of the great treats of the high desert, I think. I live in Louisiana, and I suppose that makes the high desert west exotic, but I really do like poking around there. Last year we went again, and found ourselves in the very northwest corner of Nevada picking up obsidian rocks that Susan later polished up some of.
Posted by James Edmunds @ 06/17/2002 11:11 AM PST [link to this comment]
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