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Lake Tahoe and Reno - one week

Hi guys. I've been searching, reading, and searching some more! We will be in Lake Tahoe for a week. We are not limited to Lake Tahoe though. I mean, we drive a bit over 2hrs for bbq now. I guess I'm looking for those restaurants that you would take out of town visitors to, the places locals love. No tourist traps. We love all cuisines, hole-in-the-wall, high-end, food trucks, chef-owned, etc... We are 2 adults and 2 kids if that helps any. We will spend a day in Reno so anything there would be helpful as well. Also, we will have a kitchen. Is there a grocery store we should not miss? Oh and is there a brunch spot in Lake Tahoe that is recommended?

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  1. Oh yeah and is there a local dish we should not leave without trying?

    1. Check out posts from myself and Steve Timko, who's a very respected hound. Steve has more knowledge of Reno, I'm based in Tahoe.

      4 Replies
      1. re: RevrendAndy

        Thanks I did my research on RevrendAndy and Steve Timko! LOL. The posts by you guys is exactly what I was looking for. A few things are pulling me in already... the housemade charcuterie at Moody's, sweetbreads at Baxter's, and so on. For Reno, we are flying in and out of there... I may go with 775 Gastropub. I would have loved La Vecchia, but they don't serve lunch on Saturdays. Is it worth the drive back into Reno on another day? BTW, we are staying at High Sierra Lodge.

        Question for Reno peeps... (Steve T or others) are the tortas at Las Palomas made with telera bread or bolillo bread?

        Hubby and I once had a fantastic grilled veggie sandwich in Big Sur (from the Big Sur deli) and we can't seem to find another like it. If anyone has recs on one, we'd be happy to test it out. It was pretty basic actually, grilled zucchini, grilled red bell pepper, grilled shrooms, grilled onions, artichokes, fresh tomato, cheese (gouda), pesto on sourdough. It was warm and perfect after that hike.

        Also, I'll keep looking, but would like artisan spots for bread, cheese, dried/cured meats. I saw one post about a spot in Truckee so I'll research that one a bit more. Thanks again!

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        Las Palomas
        1435 S Saint Francis Dr, Santa Fe, NM 87505

        1. re: isabel13

          Las Palomas is not bolillo, I know that. So I'm guessing it's telera? I don't know. Another great torta place is Panderia Azteca Mexico that just opened in Sparks at Prater and McCarran. They sell boillio, but the sandwiches I had I believe were telera.
          I'd recommend Fifth Street Bakehouse on Fifth Street near Keystone. Small menu but well done.

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          Las Palomas
          1435 S Saint Francis Dr, Santa Fe, NM 87505

          1. re: SteveTimko

            I prefer Telera from most torta applications, but bolillo for fajita and carnitas. So I guess it depends on what I'm in the mood for. I did notice 5th street Bakehouse in one of your other posts. It will probably be the go to place on our way out of Reno for a quick grab and go. Thank you for all of your input.

          2. re: isabel13

            I was thinking the place in Truckee was Florian's but yelp and others indicate it's closed. Does anyone have any info on that?

            I really like Village Market but I think the Raleys in Incline is really top notch when it comes to chain groceries. Far better than the Safeway in Kings Beach.

        2. I believe you're in Incline Village for your stay - my home town. Love, love Art's next to Village Market for cofee and Mexican-themed breakfast - not of the beans, rice, huevos rancheros type, but breakfast burritos, tacos, enchilads - pork chile verde tacos...yum! The Village Market is outstanding, too, if you're doing any cooking-in. Small and independent-not in the style of Whole Foods, but has some nice organic produce and a beautiful butcher shop. I'm a fan of Bite, a small plate spot on Tahoe Blvd., in the strip mall next to the movie theater. And also next to the theater is T's Rotissiere - another mexican-style spot. Where you're staying is The Lone Eagle - not a fan, really, of the restaurant however the bar overlooks the lake and has a great outdoor firepit for lake side cocktailing. Enjoy your stay - so, so much snow and abudant sunshien in the forecast.

          4 Replies
          1. re: nancyhudson

            Sunshine Bakery had been a great deli for prepared foods with everything made from scratch. They were in the process of changing ownership when I left for the season last fall. Nancy, have you been there recently and if so are they up to their previous standards or dumbing things down to pare costs, which happens so often?

            1. re: RevrendAndy

              I checked out Sunshine Bakery online and saw this sandwich on their menu for this week : Turkey w/Cranberry Cream Cheese/Avocado on Pretzel Roll
              Everyone seems to be doing Pretzel Rolls these days, but I have not seen it with Turkey and Cranberry Cream Cheese, then the extra fat (creamy-ness) from the Avocado, sounds appetizing. Will be on my 'look out' list! Thanks.

            2. re: nancyhudson

              Thanks Nancy. I'm sure we will be visiting Village Market, we love having snacks around (read: don't have to wake up too early to feed the kids). I've saved off their phone and hours.

              1. re: nancyhudson

                Re the Hyatt, I've had many years worth of great breakfasts in the cafe' and, though we never do the buffet, it looks terrific. Certainly worth a walk through. Love T's. We STILL haven't eaten at Art's --- maybe when you're back. And we haven't eaten at Bite. Haven't eaten at Austins (across the street from the Hyatt) recently but have always had good food and certainly kid friendly.

              2. Just curious -- why is this thread on the Southwest board?

                2 Replies
                1. re: pikawicca

                  Reno is part of the Southwest board; we were moved from the California board about a year ago.

                  1. re: nancyhudson

                    But hopefully OP is also looking on the CA board for Truckee, Northstar, etc. This decision still makes me crazy. I don't understand why they couldn't have noted "Nevada except for Reno." But it's been proven time and time again that *I* don't get to make the decisions :)

                2. Another Incline local checking in. Austin's is great for comfort food but be patient, the wait can be long. I really enjoy T's, Thai Recipe, and the Vietnamese place in the Christmas Tree Plaza (the new owner says she will be adding curries too, since she's Sri Lankan). Bite's is fun, but as the name implies, it's small servings. I love Greg's Green Balls there - seedless grapes wrapped in goat cheese and rolled in pistachios. Their Ahi sliders are also excellent. Agree with breakfast at Art's - their quiches are great. It's more of a place where you pick up quick breakfast items rather than a sit down and order eggs and hash browns place. For a major splurge, the Big Water Grille.... mmmm.

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                  Big Water Grille
                  341 Ski Way, Incline Village, NV 89451

                  Christmas Tree Restaurant
                  455 N Woodland Rd, Lakeside, AZ 85929

                  Thai Recipe
                  901 Tahoe Blvd, Incline Village, NV 89451

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: AhhTahoe

                    Oh! I forgot about Asian Noodles Too in Christmas Tree Plaza ... love that place, especially the Pho!

                    1. re: nancyhudson

                      According to Yelp, Asian Noodles Too recently changed hands and is now run bya Sri Lankan couple.

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                      Asian Noodle Bar
                      318 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

                  2. We had a great trip! Oh my, weather was fantastic, gorgeous for skiing. Here' s my rundown...
                    I would have liked to eat out more, but somehow the timing just didn't work out. We knew we'd have a kitchen so upon arrival we scrammed over to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Picked up some of the usual stuff (milk, nuts, fruits, etc). Our goal was to get to Incline before dark so we picked up sandwiches while at WFs and ran toward Incline, but it got dark on us about 1/3 of the way up. I will post each of my reviews separately.

                    1. Sierra Cafe at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe-

                      Because we hadn't explored the area yet and had no idea what was where, we had our first breakfast at the Sierra Cafe at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe (we stayed at the vacation club lodge). We had the oatmeal with roasted fruit. That was a disappointment. The only roasted fruit included were granny smith apples. boring. I was hoping for the same roasted fruits I'd had at other Hyatt restaurants (peaches, bananas, plums, etc). We also had the Ham and Cheddar Panini. The fried egg was overcooked. That may be okay with some ppl. Let me say that this sandwich is strong in flavor. The ham really pops with it's saltiness, the cheddar is sharp, and the dijon spread pops with it's acidity. Nothing wrong with that if that's what your palate is looking for. I liked it. If you absolutely LOVE crab, then the Crab Cake Benedict is for you. The crab is abundant and was the overwhelming flavor, big crap flavor. That was a good thing because the english muffin was run-of-the-mill-grocery-store-variety. The hollandaise was nothing special, needed some kick. I will say that I would have preferred they tried harder to not break up the the crab meat as much. Oh yeah, coffee was horrible and I couldn't believe my son's hot chocolate. I tasted it because he said it was too sweet and sure enough, tasted just like heated milk with Hershey's syrup. Overall.. I would not return.

                      1. Burger Me-

                        I really wanted to hit up Baxter's, but with kids in tow and thinking we were not really dressed for it (right after snowmobiling), we decided to hit up Burger Me. Great, but pricey for burgers. Was it pricey because Truckee is a tourist destination or because the burgers are that good? They are $10 good, but not $14 good. It adds up when you have 4 ppl and your kids never order from the kids menu. I was a bit disappointed in that the meat is 1/4 lb, for fancy-pants burgers here (with grass-fed natural beef, bison, etc) we get 1/2 pounders. I was also disappointed with the turkey chili. The chili powders weren't loud enough, very bland, no kick. However, as a whole, the burger was delicious, but would have been better without the chili and without that special sauce. We had a Truckee Trainwreck, 1/4 lb bison, turkey chili, onion ring, bacon, cheese (cheddar I think) and a fried egg along with the usual lettuce, tomato, and their special sauce. We also 'constructed' our own with bison, carmalized onions, grilled mushrooms, bleu cheese, and cheddar cheese.. I skipped the special sauce, nothing special about it, but more importantly I wanted the cheeses to be the center of attention. We also ordered a popular BBQ bison burger (forgot what it was called). Meh, I needed more bbq flavor. I didn't want more BBQ sauce, I wanted some smokiness, maybe a good rub on the patty. BBQ was missing in my opinion. The fries were okay. Sweet potato fries were better. Most importantly, the meat was cooked med-rare and that is perfect.

                        I should add, service was friendly and they were patient with us as we perused the chalkboard menu.

                        1. Bite -

                          We fed the kiddos some frozen food stuffs and headed over for a quiet dinner at Bite. We arrived a bit after 5pm and that happened to be when HH was kicking off. I started with a glass of Tempranillo and my husband with a shot of some hard liquor unknown to me. So many things sounded delicious on the happy hour menu and on the regular dinner menu that we had a hard time deciding. We went with 2 items on the happy hour menu and 2 items off the regular dinner menu.

                          First up - Beef Shortrib Sliders with Crispy Onions and a Sweet Pepper spread. These sliders were fantastic. The shortrib was tender as it should be and had great flavor imparted by the braising process, perfectly balanced. The crispy onions were a nice textural contrast. The sweet pepper spread didn't add anything to it and it was cold so it took away some of the warmth of the sliders and it was heavy... perhaps a heavy hand in the kitchen that night? These were my husbands favorite of the night.

                          Second up to bat and also from the hh menu - Fiery Honey Baby Back Ribs. These were our least favorite and we wouldn't order them again. The sauce is way too salty with no fire in it, but they were sweet. The meat was tender, falling off the bone.

                          Third - Tuscan Grilled Cheese Bites with Mozzarella, Provolone, Tomato and Pesto on Sourdough because I wanted something with cheese and some veggies. This was a glorified grilled cheese sandwich. That's a good thing in my book. My one and only small quibble is that the provolone could be a bit sharper. The bites were nicely melted and completely warm throughout. The pesto announced itself properly and the sourdough held up.

                          Fourth - Vegetable Empanadas..Horacio’s Salsa Verde, Grilled Avocado & Cotija Cheese. I'm usually a stickler for the delivery vessel, but these empanadas were made with puff pastry and it worked well. They contained the vegetables (creamy potato and carrots) without falling apart and steam rose as you cut into the empanada. Puff pastry is tricky and can become soggy, but Bite knows what they are doing with this dish. The grilled avocado was a nice surprise, we'd never had our avocado grilled. I would not say that it changed the avocado in any way, but it helped keep the dish warm. With the warm temperature of this dish, it absolutely needed something to brighten it up and the cold salsa verde did just that. It was light and refreshingly well-balanced tartness and acidity.

                          Another round of drinks, good conversation, great service from the bartender, great food and our evening was complete.

                          -----
                          Bite
                          907 Tahoe Blvd Unit 21, Incline Village, NV 89451

                          1. Lone Eagle Grille -

                            I took Nancy's advice on this one too (see Bite). She was absolutely right, food not up to par but great for cocktails. Fed the kids frozen food stuff again and headed out. A little tip for any locals who don't yet know... The Lone Eagle Grille has Tahoe Tuesdays! Every Tuesday from 5-8pm or maybe it is 6-8. The TT menu has wine by the glass for $5, a few cocktails for $5, Sam Adams brews for $3, and tapas for $5. Oh, and a live band. I went with the DR Loosen Riesling and enjoyed every sip through my evening. We sat at the bar because it was snowing and raining outdoors, but it was still lovely. As far as the food, we ordered the Chef's choice pizza and it was a simple play on margherita, but I do prefer my pizza thin (Neopolitano style) so it was a bit too doughy for me and I felt it lacked the fresh yeast scent. It was just okay. We also ordered the elk pâté. I was looking forward to it because I'd never had elk pâté before. I love spreadable pâté and tend to order it quite a bit. My husband doesn't care much for it. The pickles and mustard were exactly what they should be sweet, pungent, acidic.. all the things that go great with a rich and fatty pâté. However, the pâté missed that mark for me. It was a sliced pâté and had the texture of headcheese which is the reason my husband actually liked it. I expected something creamier, fatty and rich. Something that was actually spreadable and it was NOT. I also didn't get any elk flavor, but I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not. And now that I think about it, I didn't get ANY flavor at all. Good thing the mustard and pickles were there to accompany the bread. I'd recommend it as Nancy said.. for happy hour cocktails, but don't expect any great culinary experiences.

                            -----
                            Lone Eagle Grille
                            111 Country Club Dr., Incline Village, NV 89451

                            1. Ok... How many ppl love isabel13?? Nice follow-up post-experiences!! Nod to you!