Nevada Magazine doesn’t post all of its articles online, but here’s a look at the printed version of my July/August article, “Casale’s Halfway Club: Family passes sauce and tradition through five generations,” as well as some photos from my visit.
A journey of 400 miles
Red sauce-covered pasta and parmesan cheese. These are a few of my favorite things. Yet it isn’t the food (yummy as it is) that defines Casale’s Halfway Club. It’s the family.
Five generations of Casale-Stempecks have run Casale’s over the past 80 years in Reno-Sparks, making it the oldest continuously family-owned and operated Nevada restaurant. The feisty proprietor, Mama Inez, celebrated her 90th birthday earlier this year.
Inez and her little brother, Jerry, have been with the restaurant since Day 1.
Sauce is in their blood
It’s been said that everyone is treated like family at Casale’s Halfway Club, and I have to admit, it’s true. As soon as I walked in, I truly felt at home.
Jerry, Mama Inez and her sister-in-law, son and grandchildren spent several hours answering my questions, sharing stories, even feeding me. They showed me around the restaurant (including the secret “kissing” room).
It was a comforting mixture of family-oriented food and friendliness.
Home Means Nevada
I’ve only been to Reno a few times (primarily for high school choir competitions), but I’d like to eventually go back to Casale’s with my own family, and also explore the Reno-Sparks area. Las Vegas and Reno may be far apart physically, but it’s a quick and easy flight (less than an hour).
Plus, we share the Silver State’s name. That makes us part of the same family.
Inside Nevada Magazine
Here’s a look at the printed version of the article I wrote on Casale’s for Nevada Magazine: