A Trip to Tahoe and Back
And Eating Options Along the Way
This post is based on my latest article for SFist in which I eat my way around the Bay Area in alphabetical order. For the letter T I wanted to share ideas with my readers about where to eat when travelling to the Tahoe area.
Tis the season to be snowboarding and skiing. And for some San Franciscans, that means road trips to Tahoe a plenty. For me the big question always is where to eat? You may well accuse me of thinking too much of my belly, but believe me, after all that energy expended on the slopes, I always feel like I deserve a hearty meal. I thought we'd share a few of our finds in the hope that our readers have a few Tahoe travel gems to share too.
Before I even hit the slopes, there is the journey to think of. From the Bay Area, there is a long drive ahead. During peak Winter traffic, if you handle it in less than four hours, then you must be related to a racing-driver-wannabe Frenchman I know. After a gazillion journies to and from Tahoe, I have come to rely upon Davis as the best place enroute to stop for some chow.
Ignore the calls of roadside giants like Taco Bell, Mcdonalds and Jack-in-the-Box. Instead, exit here for downtown Davis:
Davis is a bustling little University with a distinct town centre packed full of decent places to eat stuff. You will find variety too - Thai, Indian Chaat, Bagels, Spanish, Bistro, Mexican, Pizza and Crepes are all represented. As long as you aren't expecting anything too swanky, Davis will provide just about whatever takes your fancy.
Last year we tested out the Chef's Market but were none to impressed, so this time through we opted new spot in town, Bistro 33.
The place was busy, with waits for tables, so I asked if we could sit at the bar. We didn't want to take too long as we'd left one of our party snoozing in the car. You couldn't find friendlier staff anywhere and we immediately felt welcomed and attended to. The menu has a wide range of options catering to different tastes. Fred and I both chose pizza. The little pies arrived fast from the wood-fired oven and although they were nothing revolutionary, they tasted good enough and hit the right spot.
Another Davis eaterie we are fond of, just off of the 80, and opposite the far less imaginative In and Out, is Redrum Burger, formerly known as Murder Burger. The menu, quite adventurous for such a small shack, caters well for vegetarians, carries Italian soda syrup and even has options for the more health conscious burger-eater:
To my taste Redrum's regular beef burger is pretty tasty, especially when topped with mushrooms and cheese. The ostrich version has less flavour but is perfectly palatable nonetheless. Davis must have first dibs on all the friendly genes in the world, this is another place where the staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
Another place I sometimes like to stop, on the way home from Tahoe, especially if the journey is gruelling and long, and my travelling companions are gasping for refreshment before we are even in sight of Davis, is Umisaka Sushi in Rocklin. There is something quite virtuous about eating Sushi after a trip to the slopes and a bowl of Miso is always a good way to warm up after driving through the snowy mountains.
Conversely, I can do little to recommend the nearby Cattlebarons in Penryn, and suggest you avoid it like the plague unless a fondue of 'plastic' cheese is your idea of a satisfying meal.
When it comes to Tahoe itself, once Fred and I are ensconced in a cabin full of old friends and new, we usually find that home cooking is more cost effective, fun and easier to organise than dining out in large groups. With superstores like Raley's in Incline Village, providing almost every ingredient I could hope for, including aisles full of organic-friendly and gluten-free food, it isn't too difficult to whip up a good meal without having to dine out. If you are fussy about what kind of cheese goes into your fondue, however, you would do well to bring up the fancy foreign stuff up with you from a cheese shop in the City.
Having said that, if we ever find ourselves down on the South Shore we usually make sure to stop by the charming, if a little olde-fashioned, Swiss Chalet. It always comes in handy as an alternative if you forget to bring that stash of Emmental, Gruyere, and Appenzeller with you to the mountains!
If have any favourite spots on the way to, or in Tahoe and Davis, please feel free to share in the comments. SFist readers had some great suggestions which you can check out here.
Links, Resources and Further Reading
Tahoe Travel Resources & Map Links:
A guide to eating at North Tahoe Lodges by SFgate.
Chef's Market, 117 E St, Davis (530)756-6888
Bistro 33, 226 F St. Davis, CA 530.756-4556.
Redrum Burger, 978 Olive Dr, Davis, (530) 756-2142
Umisaka Sushi, 4210 Rocklin Rd, Rocklin, (916) 632-1276
Cattle Baron's Cafe, 3129 Penryn Rd , Loomis, (916) 652-7262
Raley's, 930 Tahoe Blvd, Incline Village, NV, (775) 831-3111
The Swiss Chalet, 2544 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, 530 544 3304
Daily weight loss, weightwatchers and diet notes:
There is nothing of much interest to report about my Sunday diet. I tried all sorts of healthy low fat, low-sugar experiments in the kitchen and they all tasted fairly awful. The most satistfying thing I ate all day was a toasted sandwich filled with the 'to go' chicken I'd brought home with me from a restaurant the night before and some spicy Dijon. The beautiful-looking beet soup I cooked up tasted so blah, I couldn't even eat it. It looked very pretty, though, as I washed the remains of its claret-red self away down our white porcelain sink. (Yes, it was that bad.) Next time I am for certain going to be experimenting with the cheese rinds in my soup (perhaps not beet, though). Thanks to everyone for their great cheese rind tips yesterday. I have tried three non-sugar dessert recipes so far and they have all been failures on one count or another. Oh well, back to the drawing board on that one. We did do some exercise for a change, though, so perhaps the Sunday was not completely wasted. WW, for those of you who don't know how it works, allows you to accumulate extra eating points for every time you do a physical workout. Now there's an incentive to get fit!
|Archive Alert! On this date in 2005: How not to make mayo, period!|
Food | Restaurant Reviews | Tahoe | Davis | Weight Watchers | Diet A Trip to Tahoe and Back