Travel Channel’s Food Wars takes on the Awful Awful

The date was June 30, 2010.

The place – Rosie’s Cafe in John Ascuaga’s Nugget – day one of a three day shoot with the Travel Channel’s “Food Wars”.

Travel Channel WelcomeThe Travel Channel journeyed to Reno, Nevada to find out where locals would rather eat an Awful Awful burger – at the Little Nugget Diner in downtown Reno or John Ascuaga’s Nugget? In this week’s episode of “Food Wars, host Camille Ford faces a fifty year battle between two casinos.

The original Awful Awful Burger was created by Dick Graves and featured two quarter pound beef patties topped with American cheese and a special sauce served on a mountain of fries.  Graves served his trademark burger at his casinos in Idaho but when gambling was outlawed in the state in 1953 he brought his slot machines and burger south to Reno.  Within two years Graves had opened both the “Little” Nugget Casino and the Nugget in Sparks (now known as the John Ascuaga’s Nugget) and served his signature burger at both.  The two casinos have been battling for the best Awful Awful burger ever since.

“This is huge for the Little Nugget Diner. People come from all over the world to have the Awful Awful in town, and the burger is finally getting the exposure it deserves,” said George Buddy, General Manager of the Little Nugget Diner. “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.”

“We’re obviously thrilled to have the Travel Channel here at John Ascuaga’s Nugget once again. While the main focus will be our signature burger against another, the larger view allows the country to yet again see our area as a fun, quirky and unique destination,” said Michael Traum, Public Relations Manager of John Ascuaga’s Nugget. “One premise of “Food Wars” is to invite viewers to come to Reno and decide for themselves which burger they like best, and that’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

he Food War between the two Awful Awful burgers is a true celebration of all things fantastically funky in Reno Tahoe USA, home of the burger as big as your head.

Catch the episode Wednesday, November 11, at 10:00 pm ET on the Travel Channel. The episode will include Reno foodie Barbara Mills of Back of the House Culinary Adventures ( and  Josh Ozersky, burger virtuoso and author of “The Hamburger: A History”.

About Food Wars: There’s a debate brewing across the country, and it’s taking place in Everytown, USA, with legions of loyal fans passionately defending the local eateries and the iconic dishes that make their towns famous. Host Camille Ford, travel enthusiast and lover of all things food, sets out to find the country’s most celebrated dishes — foods that define destinations and create local rivalries spanning generations. From family feuds to stolen recipes to secret ingredients, Food Wars pits the nation’s most famous culinary rivals against one another for a final showdown, where a blind taste test will settle the debate: Who makes the Best Dish in Town?  To learn more about the hit series Food Wars click here:

About the RSCVA: The RSCVA is the primary tourism agency supporting convention and tourism business for the Reno Tahoe region.  Reno Tahoe supports unlimited possibilities from outdoor recreation to 24-hour Nevada style gaming and entertainment.

For more information about Reno-Tahoe call 800-FOR-RENO (800-367-7366) or visit

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