Oxtail stew is a popular specialty at J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room.
The communal tables at Portland’s Family Supper and San Francisco’s Piperade are hip but nothing new. Breaking bread with strangers is a tradition at Basque eateries in the West.
BASQUE HOTEL Fresno, Calif. The restaurant in this 103-year-old landmark seats up to 250 at long tables. Lamb chops with garlic are a favorite dish. (559) 233-2286.
EPI’S BASQUE RESTAURANT Meridian, Idaho. Sisters Gina Urquidi and Chris Ansotegui named their charming restaurant for their grandmother, who ran a Basque boardinghouse. (208) 884-0142.
J.T. BASQUE BAR & DINING ROOM Gardnerville, Nev. Savor lamb shoulder steak with garlic at this bustling spot many swear is the best. (775) 782-2074.
MARTIN HOTEL Winnemucca, Nev. Locals and visitors stop back often for sweetbreads with sage; pigs’ feet; and chorizo and hominy. (775) 623-3197.
OLD BASQUE INN Jordan Valley, Ore. A warm community spirit pervades this restaurant in a tiny town right on the Idaho border. Nearby, visit a 1915 pelota (handball) court built with hand-hewn stones. (541) 586-2800
SANTA FE HOTEL Reno. Near Harrah’s but a world away from Reno’s flash. Beef tongue (Saturdays only) and lamb shanks are standouts. (775) 323-1891.
STAR HOTEL Elko, Nev. Scott Ygoa bought this 95-year-old boardinghouse last year, and the seasoned steak, baked lamb, and sides are as pleasing as ever. (775) 738-9925.
Photography by Mitch Tobias
This article was first published in March 2006. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.