Monday, July 23, 2007

South Lake Tahoe - Mmm Mmm Good

Sorry for the delay in posting - I was in Vegas and we all know how that goes! So...back to Tahoe. My personal preference when traveling is to find locally-owned restaurants that you can't experience anywhere else. Chains are nice for when you are starving and in desperate need of food right away but if there's time to look around or plan a little, I always go for the local flair. I have included some highlights below and even threw in one on the North shore of the Lake for good measure (thanks Kell!). If you've ever been to any of these or know of some others that are worth checking out - definitely leave a comment!

First one that I must mention is Izzy's Burger Spa (2591 Lake Tahoe Blvd/US Route 50)...I know what you're thinking, spa?? But yes, that's the real name and no, there is no spa in sight. But when the burgers are this good, nobody ever argues! They specialize in delicious burgers that are made to order with toppings as simple as cheese or as complex as teriyaki with a pineapple slice on top! FYI - If you hit Izzy's during peak hours, be prepared for a bit of a wait.

For a little romance, head to Cafe Fiore. The restaurant is small (under 10 tables) and very intimate, perfect for some alone time. I would sit outside if you have the option. The menu features a mixture of classics and unusual dishes that you aren't likely to find. They have a vast wine list and if you go to the Web site, you can search the wine selections with an interactive system. That way, you can check to see if your favorite wine is available for you and your sweetheart!

Evan's American Gourmet Cafe is another small restaurant located in a cozy home and serves up an excellent selection of upscale American cuisine. It's a little farther than some of the other locations but definitely worth the effort. Evan's is owned by a darling couple and they also own The Cantina (another on my list). Check out their Web site, I especially like the "map" link with directions from London. :)

If you are craving Mexican - head over to The Cantina for a delicious margarita and some authentic Mexican favorites. They have numerous accolades and specials Tuesdays-Fridays. Additionally for you beer lovers, there are 30 beers to choose from with 16 on tap!

You can't leave Tahoe without a little seafood and the best place I experienced was The Fresh Ketch which is located right on the Lake (and voted best seafood by Tahoe locals). We had a lovely cruise on the lake after the wedding and stopped here for dinner. They offer a variety of dishes so even a seafood beginner can find something tasty. And I must say, if you like oysters, definitely get "Oysters on the Half Shell" YUM! And if you are there on a Tuesday - they are only $1.25. They have specials each day of the week so be sure to check before heading over if you are interested in getting a deal.

And lastly, Ernie's Coffee Shop - the staple of good ole' fashioned American classics. The food is as good as home cooked, very reasonably priced and the service is with a smile. And rumor has it that the gas station next door is the cheapest in town - never hurts to check that out while you're there!

**For the North Lake Tahoe visitor - check out Gar Woods Grill and Pier Restaurant on the North Shore. A good friend of mine tells me there is patio seating with a great view and a potent daquiri drink called the Wet Woody. She claims is delicious but warns that it's "guaranteed hangover material!" So...enjoy at your own risk!


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