Saturday, April 18, 2009

Virginia City, Nevada

We didn't get too far today but it was a good decision.

After another late start, we decided to check out Virginia City which is only about 10 miles from Carson City but a world away in terms of vibe. When we arrived, it was a bit touristed out, even though it's technically still off season. But as the day progressed, the day trippers moved on and the city calmed. We opted to spend the night in the new, pet friendly Ramada Inn a block below the main drag and are glad we did.

We hung out at the newly re-opened Red Dog Saloon where they suggested we dine at Cafe Del Rio.

Cafe Del Rio is one of those great finds in a town of questionable dining choices. A few blocks past where the main business district seems to end, it's a jewel of a dining experience. Serving Southwest cuisine, the food was fabulous and the service great. I had the mushroom and spinach enchilada, with savory mushrooms and a roasted tomato sauce that was perfectly balanced. Steve had the skirt steak fajitas which he enjoyed immensely also. Steve and I both felt that it was one of the best meals we've had while traveling.

I would wholeheartedly recommend the place but for the sucker punch at the end of the meal when they present you with the check and a lovely note that if you chose to use a credit card, they will add on a 3% surcharge. Aside from the fact that this violates their merchant agreement with Mastercard and Visa, it's just a crappy little surprise at the end of a meal. I left a note on my credit card slip, expressing my displeasure. As I told the server, it's a shame that such an awesome experience had to end on such a negative note, all over $1.16 (in our case). I made it very clear to her that, as evidenced by the 20+% tip we left, we were very pleased with the food and the service, just quite annoyed with the management. She told me that she hated it too, it was the only place she'd ever served where the owners did so and that not only did they charge the customers the 3% but they also charged the staff 3% on any credit card tips.

My take would be that, as a business, either you take credit cards and suck up the fees or you don't take credit cards. It's a cost of doing business.

After dinner, we headed back to the Red Dog Saloon where we listened to a bit of the Nevada Hazzurds. I then called it a night while Steve stayed out a bit longer to soak up the atmosphere (and a few beers).

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