It had been awhile since we had last made the 4 or 5 hour trek from the San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe, so we thought we’d try it out in the summer. Read our most recent write-up on the Summer Adventure & Nature Guide to South Lake Tahoe from our August adventures as well as our experience with Spring Skiing at Heavenly and our Spring Spring Adventure Guide to the area. Here, we focus on food, one of our favorite things to do in a destination. There are countless choices of course, but you’ll get a taste of what is on offer by the diversity of our Top 6 Selection.
Michael’s at The Landing
During the spring time, we stayed at The Landing, a lovely boutique luxury hotel in South Lake Tahoe when it first opened around two years ago and at the time, had a lovely dinner with the owner and restaurant manager at the time. We loved our stay — it was relaxing and yet simple and the service was top-notch! The food and wine pairing was divine and so we thought we’d return to see what they’ve been up to and rest assured, the quality was still as we had remembered!
The first call out goes to the Maple Farms Duck Breast with orange infused farrow, marinated cherries and fennel, although the fish of the day with fennel puree, fennel slaw and a citrus beurre blanc made for a great lighter option, especially as I was in the mood for white wine all night.
Delicious mussel appetizer, which they served with cherry tomato, fennel and ouzo in a delicious garlicky broth.
They surprised us by bringing out a plate of bacon — it’s hard to admit it, but we finished the whole thing with two entrees on their way.
Fresh fish of the day…I paired this with two chardonnays, both of which were distinctive. I fell in love with the De Tierra Sargenti Vineyard Chardonnay from Monterey (yup, it had that classic buttery finish to it I love so much) and the Carmenet, which surprised me. From Sonoma, it had flavors of apple, vanilla and butterscotch with are not that uncommon, but banana as well, which really made the wine stand out.
Luxury this little cafe is not, but it’s quaint, authentic and delicious. Getaway Cafe is a very casual spot for lunch, and makes for a great stop over on your way out of town since it is located right after a toll gateway on your way out of town.
In the summer, you can eat outside in their lovely courtyard area and while they don’t tout anything out of the ordinary or unique, their standard lunch options are fresh and the service is great. We went for salads since we overdid it on sushi the night before, however they were so flexible that they allowed us to alter our meat and cheese options to mix and match what we wanted.
Anthony had a delicious blackened salad with bacon, avocado, tomatoes, red onions, bleu cheese and gorgonzola ranch dressing (above) and I went for a traditional classic Cobb, however with a whole lotta avocado and a burger on top! Yes, really. It was fabulous accompanied by fresh onions, hard boiled eggs and bacon to boot!
This is a casual restaurant located inside the very family-focused Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel but with a fabulous menu selection and great food. Sal, the well known chef on the property takes great pride in getting “creative” with his dishes and because we were on a high protein, low carb diet, we made some modifications such as having the sauce on the side and staying away from any pasta or carb-rich dish. That said, there were plenty of options to choose from, such as our favorite: the Buffalo appetizer with mozzarella and tomatoes — the yellow tomatoes were sweet and delicious and the meat was tender! Bravo Sal!
Our second favorite was the Lamb – below. Truth be told, this was so good, we took a “doggy” bag and I munched on a chop in the morning cold and it was delicious!
A couple of other delicious high protein choices…..we have been staying away from carbs lately. Notice the fresh Rosemary twig! They used a number of fresh root vegetables which they grilled on a couple of their dishes – they were incredibly fresh and to be honest, hit the spot on every mouthful.
They make lovely salads as well and you can have it topped with shrimp, salmon or chicken if you wish. The salmon was a perfect option and they have a nice selection of white wines which you can pair it with, or one of their fabulous cocktails.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their cocktails a second time — be sure to try their Coconut Mojito! It’s simply to die for — YUM!
You may not expect a lakeside resort to do much with sushi but this neighborhood place has been around since 1984 and my understanding is that two of the founding chefs are still there. Since I was staying away from carbs, I let Anthony and Jenn go to town with their many scrumptious rolls…..
So many choices, so little time. I stuck to sashimi all night long, but pretty much tried them all, from torro to himachi and everything in between. They had butter fish as well which was so tender, it melted in your mouth. The chef below had a great sense of humor and so I had to see what he was up to behind the counter. Yum!
Located on Lake Tahoe Boulevard, it’s not a fine dining ambiance, but it is most certainly a fun one. They are known for hosting groups and larger parties and even have their own room in the back for such an occasion. In addition to sushi and sashimi, they offer cooked entrees and the service was definitely a stand-out!
Blue Angel Cafe
Blue Angel Cafe is a special place and not just because they offer a wide array of vegetarian and vegan options. Located in a convenient spot on Ski Run Boulevard, this husband and wife team has created a warm ambiance with a whole lotta tender loving care that trickles down from the top. We were there for lunch but had we hung our hat there later, I would have gladly tried their homemade mulled wine.
The Blue Angel Cafe offers fresh innovative food from around the world and they tout fresh, organic and of course a variety of vegan options. They cook Thai-styled curries, fish tacos from Baja and hand rolled pizzas from Italy. Their salads are scrumptious and so is their craft beer selection, locally roasted Alpen Sierra coffee and boutique wine selections.
They also do catering as well for those wanting to farm it out. Starters are equally out of this world, from extra firm tofu crusted with coconut panko and flour with a Thai sweet chili sauce, gluten free mussels with rosemary-garlic butter, chicken wings and our favorite of all, this chicken curry salad with grapes and COCONUT — Yum! It was to die for and let’s just say there wasn’t any left over on Anthony’s plate.
Lucky Beaver Burger & Bar
Let’s move onto burgers, since every location has to have their favorites. While there are several places to get a burger in this town, Lucky Beaver Burger & Bar is about as casual as it gets, is a stone’s throw from the casino’s and is open 24/7. That’s right — you want a burger at 3 in the morning, you can order one. They boast their signature 100% chopped steak burgers, refreshing brews and the loosest table slots in Northern Nevada with locations in both Reno and South Tahoe.
We all went for the BEAVER burger of course, which was massive in size and oh btw, there were bigger ones on the menu as well. You had topping choices of course, from cheese and onions to tomatoes, lettuce and pickles. Bring it on! My colleague had fries but I stayed away from the carbs and had mine minus the bun! Oh so delicious.
There’s a story behind the meat apparently. Mark Pastore, who was called the “Magician of Meat” by the New York Times, is the man behind Pat LaFreida Meats, which is 100% Black Angus Choice, Upper Choice and Prime cuts, and that’s what they use at the Beaver Bar.
I have to admit, it was mighty delicious and the service was great despite the fact that this is about as casual of a joint as it gets with outdoor and indoor seating. The bar is a bit noisy and you can gamble solo if you’d like and it’s a tad on the young side, but if you’re hungry at midnight, and in the mood for a burger, this is your spot.