Welcome to the Reno News & Review’s 2018 Dining Guide. I find it a little daunting to examine such a broad topic as food. I was a picky eater as a kid. Any sauce or exotic seasoning would instantly make a dish inedible to my childish taste buds. I would say my tastes still fall to the blander side of the spectrum. But the more I thought about my daily interaction with food, the more I began to consider the facets of dining beyond just what lands on my plate three times a day.

Starting at the source, Reno’s embrace of farm-to-fork restaurants in recent years begs the question of where our food even comes from. In the story “Field work,” you can read about my trip to an urban farm within Reno’s city limits, and the process behind bringing the food chain a little closer to home.

Once that food hits the kitchens of Reno’s restaurant scene, of course, it’s transformed by the chefs and kitchen staff that feed the Truckee Meadows’ inhabitants every day. In the interest of knowing who cooks our food a little more personally, we had them introduce themselves in our annual “Spill the Beans” survey.

There’s perhaps no greater introduction to a new culture than through food. For this guide, Associate Editor Jeri Chadwell took a metaphorical trip around the world through Reno’s ethnic and national cuisine offerings. You can read about some of the diverse dishes she sampled, and the people who made them, in the story “World class.”

But perhaps the man who’s most familiar with Reno’s menus is our resident food critic, Todd South. For this guide, he elaborates on where to find the best vegan and vegetarian options—even though he’s an avowed omnivore. You can read about his various veggie recommendations for meat-eaters in “Hold the meat.”

The final steps between a restaurant kitchen and your plate, however, are often taken by someone whose job is to make sure you enjoy your dining experience. Servers sometimes perform their duties thanklessly, so I put together some advice on how to make their job a little easier. Read it in “Tough customers.”

Even though I’m still just as happy to scarf down a whole loaf of bread as I would be eating at any fine-dining establishment, my real appreciation for food comes from learning exactly how much work goes into producing, shipping and preparing the multitude of options we enjoy every day. And, man, am I thankful I don’t have to do it all myself. Regardless of your tastes, I hope this guide will do the same for you. Thanks for reading.

Best regards,

Matt Bieker, Special Projects Editor

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