TahoeLoco.com » Eat/drink


Crazy about this place

December 31, 2008 by  
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Where we eat

Real reviews by real people. We’ve eaten at these places. We like them. We recommend them to our friends and we recommend them to you. You might not agree with our take on every restaurant. But you can know that it is honestly held.

Restaurants/bars by town:
Incline Village
Kings Beach
South Lake Tahoe/Meyers
Tahoe City


PDQ Deli

6890 West Lake Blvd.
Tahoma, CA 96142
(530) 525-7411


The PDQ Deli is our favorite deli on the West Shore. Located a few miles south of Homewood Ski Resort, PDQ bakes their bread daily and their ingredients taste just as fresh. Although their deli, with its huge sandwiches, is the main attraction, we recommend their “build your own” sandwich bar. You can use most of the ingredients their deli has at its disposal, at a fraction of the price. An excellent sandwich ends up costing only three or four dollars. If you find yourself on the West Shore looking for lunch, PDQ is an excellent choice.
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Incline Village

T’s Mesquite Rotisserie


901 Tahoe Blvd
Incline Village, NV 89451
(775) 831-2832

When you find yourself in Incline Village, T’s Mesquite Rotisserie is an excellent choice for lunch or dinner. Located on the corner of Village Blvd. and Highway 28, this Americanized Mexican food restaurant serves the best burrito in town. In keeping true to their name, T’s cooks all their meat on a rotisserie. The tri-tip burrito with salsa verde is our usual order, but the chicken and pork are also excellent. T’s is cash only, but you won’t need more than ten dollars to fill yourself up after a day at Mt. Rose or Diamond Peak. This place used to be a local secret. No longer. Be prepared to wait in a line out the door during peak hours.
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South Lake Tahoe/Meyers Station

The Divided Sky


3200 US Hwy 50
Meyers, CA 96155
(530) 577-0775

Our take: Whenever we are on the south shore and have a hankering for food that not only tastes good but is good for you, we think of The Divided Sky. Their menu is filled with items that make the perfect capper to a day of climbing at the nearby Luther Spires, cycling in Markleeville or just hanging in South Lake Tahoe. Start with one of their organic greens salads — the two spinach choices are equally good — and then move on to a hot-broiled sandwich. You have your choice of at least four veggie varieties plus new twists on old favorites like the Paul Reuben (organic sauerkraut, natch), the Munich (turkey breast, basil aoili) and the Waterhouse (smoked salmon, basil pesto). Finish it off with some carrot cake or the mud pie. You really cannot go wrong with the food here, and on weekends the place doubles as one of the area’s best music and dance venues.
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Freshies Restaurant and Bar

American, Hawaiian, health food

3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd
Suite 3
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 542-3630

As soon as you pass the “Please turn your cell phone off” sign on the way into the Hawaiian-themed dining area at Freshies you know you’re in a rare kind of restaurant. Although it’s not the cheapest option in South Lake, Freshies offers an impressive array of dining options, especially for a place with about ten tables and a tiny bar. There are both vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. Among the best: the potato bathe blackened chicken sandwich and the peel and eat shrimp. But our favorite item is the fish tacos. Order them Jamacian style and you’re in for treat. We and many others in these parts swear they are the best fish tacos in California. Freshies is located directly off Highway 50 in the California side of South Lake, a short drive from Heavenly in a nondescript little strip mall.
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Squaw Valley/Alpine



The Village at Squaw
1850 Village Rd, Ste 52
Olympic Valley, CA 96146
(530) 584-0110

Our take: As they say in the real estate biz: location, location, location. Mamasake, in the village at the foot of Squaw, is ideally situated. But that wouldn’t be enough if the food was bad. And Mama’s is good. From the sunomono cucumber salad, to the sashimi, sushi and huge handrolls, the dishes are consistantly fresh and clean. And don’t miss Mama’s Balls — tempura pockets of tofu, shrimp, tuna and other delicacies. The restaurant can be loud — the massive indoor/outdoor television screen blaring the latest sports event ensures that — but it’s a great spot after a day of skiing or riding to unwind with friends and enjoy a meal and a beer. If you are not a sushi fan, don’t worry, the menu also includes steak and potatoes as well as other cooked fare!
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Crest Cafe

The Crest Cafe
150 Alpine Meadows Rd
Alpine Meadows, CA 96146
(530) 581-3037


The Crest Cafe is located at the bottom of the Alpine Meadows access road about three miles from Tahoe City. The Crest isn’t very big inside, but they offer catering, so they have a huge menu. If the weather is nice there is patio seating overlooking the river, where you can nurse a beer or their homemade ginger brew and enjoy the gurgling Truckee. They offer breakfast in the morning, with an excellent selection of locally roasted coffee. We usually order the Chicken BBQ Wrap when we go for lunch, but the turkey panini or the grilled cheese are also tasty. The Crest Cafe always has a casual friendly atmosphere, it usually isn’t too busy, and the prices are modest compared to other nearby restaurants.
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Tahoe City

The Dam Cafe

deli/coffee/natural foods

55 W. Lake Boulevard
Tahoe City, CA 96145
(530) 581-0278

Our take: Looking for a spot to relax and refuel on a bike ride along the Tahoe shore? A lunch to pack on a day hike or cross country ski? The little Dam Cafe is one of our favorites. The tiny building sits across the street from the Tahoe shore at the point where the lake drains into the Truckee River. Try their famous breakfast burritos, their bagel sandwiches or their delicious veggie sandwich. Enjoy them on a sunny day at one of their outdoor tables. Then stock up on juices and cookies and you’re good to go.
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Burger Me


10418 Donner Pass Rd
Truckee, CA 96160
(530) 587-8852

Burger Me is a fairly new addition to old Truckee, in the Brickeltown area on the west side just as you approach from I-80. Burger Me doesn’t serve the cheapest burger in town, but it is deffinitly one of the best. They use all-natural beef from the Five Dot Ranch and offer turkey and veggie burgers in addition to the basic cow. If none of that turns you on they also have a hot dog. Our favorite: the double cheeseburger with bacon. Burger Me also makes tasty sweet potato fries and milkshakes, fresh sun tea and lemonade. The staff is friendly and the food is fresh.

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Tacos Jalisco


11400 Donner Pass Rd
Truckee, CA 96161
(530) 587-1131

Our take: The secret is getting out, but Taco’s Jalisco still remains a little known gem among Truckee eateries. Located in the back corner of the same parking lot as the 7-11 off Donner Pass Road, Taco’s Jalisco offers a large array of authentic Mexican food. The staff speaks mostly Spanish and the clientele runs toward locals and resort employees of all nationalities. The style is informal to the max: line up at the counter to order and then find your own seat at one of the dining bars in the front room or a booth in the back and wait for your food to be delivered. While the prices are higher than those found in large cities, this hole in the wall joint is still a very affordable option for dinner in Truckee. Our favorite dish: the little street tacos. We have been known to down 10 of them in one sitting. But if you are starved after a long day on the mountain you should try the Armadillo, a flavorful concoction of shrimp, beef, pork, and cacti.

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Java Sushi

Sushi, Japanese

11357 Donner Pass Rd
Ste F
Truckee, CA 96161
(530) 582-1144

Our take: You wouldn’t expect to find great sushi in a storefront restaurant tucked away in an anonymous Truckee strip mall, but Java Sushi has never disappointed us. The food isn’t cheap and the table service is not always blinding fast. But the sushi is worth the wait. It’s fresh, clean and tasty. Our favorite rolls include the Maui Wowie, the Southwest and the Spicy Tuna. The yellowtail sashimi is also a treat. Check it out near the intersection of Donner Pass Road and Highway 89.
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