A Basque Experience

Mid-October Company Dinner


As Maya mentioned in the last weblog, we here at Southgate sure love any excuse to party! And boy was she right.

Last Saturday Rusty and Marie treated us to a company dinner after work at Louis’ Basque Restaurant on 4th Street downtown. Now, if you have never eaten Basque food or been to a Basque restaurant, let me fill you in… first and foremost, the seating arrangements are “family style” which mean that they sit you right up next to a complete stranger and everyone at the table are supposed to share the offerings and pass everything around. The next thing is the food. And Basque food is known for being the kind that “stick to your ribs” and is very filling. The staff even advise you to not fill up on the first course that they bring out, because there will be seven more courses to eat through! Sign me up, right?

Now, I am sure you wondering to yourself, “Why out of all the places in Reno for the staff to go eat at, did they pick such a peculiar place?” And the answer my friends is simple. Because of me! Well, okay, there’s more to the story than that. You see, since I only work part-time during the semester, I do not work on Mondays and Wednesdays. And Halloween this year turns out to be on a Wednesday! So not wanting to miss out on all the fun we have here at the store on Halloween, I begged one of my professors to offer me some kind of make-up work for missing class that day. And you know what, going to a Basque restaurant was my make-up assignment. Alright, bring it on!

About three weeks ago I gathered Rusty and Marie together and told them the “situation.” And it went a little something like this, “You know guys, it just wouldn’t be Halloween without me, and I already have the best costume picked-out. So instead of having the worst Halloween ever, let’s have you take Maya and me out to Louis’ Basque sometime for dinner. PPLLLEEAASSSSEEEE!!!” Well as you can imagine, my sophisticated persuasion landed us a company dinner that next weekend.

Here’s my fellow partner in crime to tell you more about our exciting adventure on Fourth Street.

As Amy mentioned, a family-style meal is nothing to bock about! However, in comparison to our adventures getting to, and taking pictures outside the restaurant, it was nothing! Let me fill you in…

On the Saturday we decided to celebrate, everyone stayed a little bit later at work and did some extra tidying-up, since Louis’ Basque Restaurant didn’t open until 5:00pm. Well, we all took our own cars from our store on South Virginia, all the way up Virginia to 4th Street. However, our little caravan became very complicated! We set off in the order of Rusty-Amy-Me-Marie. Well, Marie and I get stuck at a stoplight, and at the same time, Rusty and Amy (who are ahead of Marie and me) pull into the Atlantis so Rusty can get a paper. Well, not knowing what was going on, Amy calls me saying that Marie and I should stop there, too. By the time she told me, I had already passed the Atlantis! Then, thinking that I must have been crazy, Marie got in front of me, and we just continued on to the restaurant. Little did Marie know, Rusty and Amy were far behind us, and she was trying to catch up to nobody! In any case, we arrived there safe and sound—but just a little out of order.

So, next up for any special occasion is picture-taking (as you well know by now!) So, here we are, standing on the street, and we are all lined up and waving at the camera that’s across the street… How did it get there, you ask? Well, Rusty with his handy-dandy timer, ran across the street, set up the camera for the perfect picture, and then timed it just right so that he could run back across the street quickly enough to make it into the shot! He did it twice, even!

By the time we actually made it inside the restaurant, everyone was wondering how Rusty survived after battling 4th Street traffic. He made it, though, and the hostess then sat us down for dinner. Oh boy, then the fun began: First off, we order drinks, just like you would at a normal restaurant. Then they bring out bread and butter to start us off, and right behind that is a huge bowl of soup, with salad to go with. (Sounds like a meal in itself, right?) Well, the waiter warned us to save room for the courses to come, and lo and behold they come out with a plate full of chicken and rice, with beans to go on the side— delicious! As we’re munching on all the food already on the table, they come and take our orders for the main course. We got a choice; either we could have lamb chops with mint jelly, or a 10-ounce Top Sirloin. Yum, yum! Well, being the steak person that I am, I had to choose the Top Sirloin. Apparently, Rusty and Marie were thinking the same thought I was! Only Little Miss Amy got the lamb chops. Man, when they brought out the main courses you could definitely see the twinkle in everyone’s eyes. We all knew the food was going to be superb, and after tasting it, it certainly met and exceeded our expectations. Of course, as any traditional Basque restaurant would do, they also brought out a plate of French fries for the “steak and potatoes” type of people (ie: me). We spent our time filling our bellies and talking, just enjoying the company and atmosphere of the place. The last course, however, was a choice (that I thought was pretty clear): for dessert, we could either have a bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup drizzled all over, or… we could have sliced dry cheese. Hmm… all of our company decided that the first option was the better choice.

One thing I can definitely say is that Basque people know how to feed you! Everything from the crusty bread to the delicious, mouth-watering steak was all prepared with love, and you could tell.

Thanks Maya! It is pretty apparent that we all had a wonderful time at Louis’ Basque. And thankfully we were sat with a friendly couple who are native to Colorado. We spent our time fellowshipping with our new friends who work by day as a UNR professor and an employee of IBM. What a night!

I think Maya put it best when she said that, “We all left there with full bellies, and smiles on our faces.”

Until next time,

Amy and Maya