Choose cheese: Old-school lasagna, modern pizza and gooey German comfort can help you get through the rest of winter

March is a weird month. Taxes are being calculated; the days are getting longer; there’s that sudden and intense urge to declutter; and, of course, there’s the decision on whether to retire your winter coat.  

In a time of transitions and uncertainties, there remains one constant: cheese—the humble, unwavering white knight which never fails to deliver comfort when all might seem lost.  

This month’s Best 3 Things features fromage in dishes that are consistently delicious, for when you need that reminder that some things never change. 

What: Lasagna 

Where: Casale’s Halfway Club, 2501 E. Fourth St., Reno 

Price: $21 

Contact: 775-323-3979; 

If you’ve been to Casale’s Halfway Club, then you know the incredible charm of the 87-year-old establishment that touts itself as “Nevada’s oldest family-run restaurant.” If you haven’t been, then add it to the top of your list. The menu features exactly what you’d expect from a classic Italian joint—things like spaghetti with meatballs, pizza, house-made ravioli and, of course, lasagna. 

Casale’s lasagna is like a warm embrace from a good friend: A crock of thick layers of pasta arrives oozing with rich Bolognese, blanketed in a crispy layer of bubbling cheese. It’s delicious, comforting and may require a nap after consuming. 

What: Special pizza 

Where: Cosmo’s Snack Bar, 253 E. Arroyo St., Reno 

Price: $27 


Cosmo’s Snack Bar is arguably one of Reno’s coolest new restaurants, with a concise menu where everything is thoughtfully curated and, as a result, delicious. While I’m a sucker for their crispy pepperoni cup pizza, I tend to opt for their “special pizza” when I visit, because it’s always a surprisingly delicious combination of ingredients. 

February’s special pizza featured a chive cream base, kale, sausage, mozzarella and pickled red onions. The bright-green chive-cream base topped with fuchsia pickled red onions might seem strange to pizza purists, but the way the flavors perfectly complemented the nuggets of savory sausage made for a very special pizza indeed. 

What: Spätzle with Swiss and Gruyere cheeses  

Where: Von Bismarck, 805 S. Wells Ave., Reno 

Price: $12 

Contact: 775-622-3687, 

Whenever I visit Von Bismarck, I have to remind myself that I’m in Reno. If you had told me a decade ago that we would have a posh restaurant with food from “eastern and northern Europe” and elegant branding, ample and intentional outdoor family-style seating, a wood-fired grill, and menu items written in German (causing an inevitable point-to-the-menu while ordering), I would have told you that you somehow confused the Biggest Little City with San Francisco. But, thankfully, Von Bismarck is our very own gem. 

While Von Bismarck is perhaps best known for schnitzels, no meal is complete without the spätzle with Swiss and Gruyere cheese. In fact, sometimes that is my meal. The spätzle are pillowy little fresh dumplings coated with melty cheeses—the only comparison I can make is that they’re akin to a German-style mac and cheese. I firmly believe that one must order the wood-fire grilled sauerkraut in tandem with the spätzle for the perfect bite, but that could just be my German ancestry talking.