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Sep 25, 2011 06:39 PM

healthy, inexpensive N. Tahoe and Grass Valley options?

I'm heading to Squaw Valley and then to Grass Valley for a few days.

Planning on a stop at Golden Dragon for lunch (this Wednesday, if anyone wants to join me) and then east.

Looking for inexpensive breakfast options in Squaw or Truckee, and healthy lunch and dinner nearby. Will probably hit Moody's or Wild Goose one day for happy hour, and I remember the burgers being good at Plumpjack.

What am I missing?

Also has anyone tried the weekend steak dinners at the Holbrooke in Grass Valley?

Thanks for any ideas, especially any chow-worthy detours. Originally I'd planned to stay on the south shore, but now have to ditch the Apple Hill and Placerville stops. Would still love to find an orchard with cider and doughnuts if that exists along 1-80.

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  1. Can you describe "healthy" a little bit more - the burgers and steak you recommend might not made the grade in some people's definitions.

    All things in moderation is "healthy" for me. Do you mean "organic" or what exactly as healthy? I personally subscribe to Julia Child's admonition if you don't like to use butter, then use cream. ;-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: glbtrtr

      Thanks for asking. I eat everything, and am talking about balance and calories rather than organic. Not that I'd object to interesting local foods.

      I would prefer more vegetables and fruit and whole grains rather than overdressed Cobb salads, charcuterie, nachos, and chowder. The occasional lean steak or burger is no problem.

      Restaurants catering to skiers and mountain bikers seem to think everyone burns 4000 calories a day. Hope that helps.

    2. Diegos in Grass Valley. excellent

      Kanes is nice too. Inexpensive? (well that depends


      The Chinese place (Asian garden)at Brunswick Basin in the Fowler Center is really good too.

      7 Replies
      1. re: bennyboy1

        Diego's looks great. Anything in particular to recommend? I'd be tempted to drop in for music Friday, which might be my only meal out in Grass Valley.

        1. re: Windy

          I like the specials myself. I lived downt he street so I ate there a lot then and everything is awesome. The soups are incredible. Nice mixing of style sand flavors. Might be the most adventurous restaurant in Nevada County.

          1. re: bennyboy1

            Sold. I'll see if my friends have been, and otherwise head there myself. Thanks bennyboy.

        2. re: bennyboy1

          Bennyboy1, have you seen Chef Kane in the infomercials on TV promoting those little counter top infrared cookers? He says he can't make his restaurant function without them.

          1. re: BN1

            Same Chef? No I havent seen those.... (

            1. re: bennyboy1

              I don't know him, but the onscreen label said Chef Kane, Grass Valley, CA.

              1. re: BN1

                yes, it is Chef Kane, same guy. It's true he's using those microwave-type machines in his kitchen. On the plus side, he's not cooking wild salmon that way - it's probably not a bad way to prepare farmed salmon

        3. The original comment has been removed
          1. Quick report:

            Liked but didn't love Golden Dragon. The dumplings were as silky as promised, and the red oil was tasty; but the Sichuan peppercorns were sprinkled on top. Chongqing chicken wings were deboned nuggets. Not bad, but greasy with heat added after. Skip the numbing cucumbers.

            I'd definitely give the pink menu another try if I were nearby, maybe after emphasizing upfront I want the real stuff. Or maybe the chef from Sichuan only cooks dinner? This is the first Chinese restaurant in California where I've had to ask for chopsticks :)

            Stocked up on produce in Newcastle. Newcastle Produce had a wide assortment of local apples and apple pears, and a great selection of meats and cheeses and healthy snacks. Unfriendly cashier seemed to think it was my job to know the prices, or varieties of plums I'd selected.

            I ended up eating breakfast in my kitchen in Squaw, so the only restaurant meals were a bagel in Tahoe City, so so fish tacos in King's Beach, and dinner in the bar at Plumpjack. It's funny, Tahoe is ridiculously friendly in the off season, like a small town. The post office clerk knows everyone and was cracking jokes. The check in staff was super nice, like Mayberry; the woman at the small grocery in the Village exceptionally helpful and cheery.

            Except at Plumpjack, which seems to have imported both its clientele and servers from Marin. (Was I the only one there without a yacht?) Aside from the maitre d who couldn't have been friendlier, the rest of the staff was standoffish. The wine list is worth half an hour to enjoy the selections at retail prices. But I was alone that night, so I just had a glass of syrah from somewhere in El Dorado (generous pour, delicious). Chile verde with mini-Caesar salad was exceptional. How do they get the cheese to cling to the lettuce like that, and serve it so crisp but not frozen? Dessert was architectural and too sweet, although I loved my glass of Tokay. What a frustrating place!

            I had a chicken burger at midmountain at Northstar, and then dinner at Diego's in Grass Valley. What a lovely spot! Chilean-hippie. My lamb kebobs were tender and juicy. The house cilantro lime vinaigrette was so good I asked for the recipe (the secret is stone ground mustard--and love). The people around me were regulars. Huge portions, great prices, and warm service. I even got hugged. Thumbs up to the key lime pie on graham cracker crust too, and tea served in antique cups and saucers.

            Grass Valley has exploded with wine bars since the last time I was there, but I had a drive ahead so didn't partake. Which ones are good?

            The rest of the meals were from my friend's garden, where we picked and then made tomato jam, pear butter, and raspberry muffins. Heaven. Also known as California in the fall.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Windy

              Thanks for your report - we all learn so much from the first hand feedback. Glad you had a good time and helped build up the info about this area.