The contenders are the famous Awful Awful burgers of John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks and the Little Nugget casino in downtown Reno. Once a part of the same family of casinos, the Nuggets of northern Nevada now are all separately owned though they all still serve the signature burger.
At the end of June, a crew from the “Food Wars” show visited the two Nugget locations to film their chefs in action preparing the famous burger. While the Awful Awful served in Reno is made at a hole-in-the-wall location popular with the late-night Virginia Street crowd, the Sparks version is cooked up in the more family-friendly confines of Rosie’s Cafe.
“This is huge for the Little Nugget Diner,” George Buddy, general manager of the Little Nugget Diner, said in June. “People come from all over the world to have the Awful Awful in town and the burger is finally getting the exposure it deserves. The Awful Awful is really something special. It’s a fantastic deal and the Little Nugget Diner is one of the few places where you know you’re getting exactly what you ordered.”
While the most famous culinary contribution of John Ascuaga’s Nugget might be the annual Best in the West Rib Cook-Off, the burger is a mainstay of the hotel-casino’s offering. Spokesman Mike Traum said no matter who wins or loses on today’s show, the exposure makes the region a winner.
“While we think it would be great to win this, overall this is great for northern Nevada,” Traum said.
The Travel Channel will show this episode of “Food Wars” tonight at 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.travelchannel.com.