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Current South Lake Tahoe Rest Recs!

This is too late for you but others will be looking for good food at Tahoe. We had our favorite lunch at Freshies Restaurant and Bar (3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd.) last week. We couldn't remember EVER having French fries as good....no grease, no off-flavor of cheap /old oil, just perfectly done potatoes. The fish was ultra-fresh, served with a wonderful dill sauce, malt vinegar, lime wedges and lemon wedges, so you could choose one or all. Chicken strips in Tempura batter were outstanding, as was the cole slaw dressed with an Asian sesame sauce that was the perfect amalgam of sweet and sour with a bite. Coconut cream pie was a light and fluffy concoction I keep trying to duplicate. And people in a neighboring booth were swooning over their Key Lime cheesecake. Others raved about the fish Tacos cooked your choice of 3 ways. The waitress said she preferred the blackened fish. I'm still salivating, wanting to go back and eat my way through the entire menu. P.S. It's a good place for vegetarians and picky eaters who look for the most flavor for the least calories. Nothing is dripping in oil.

Jun 08, 2008
Bahb in California

Best Dining area near Lake Tahoe for SC Hound

Danna, the sad truth about Tahoe is that the good restaurants come and go quickly. Last Summer I got a list of the good ones here, but when we got to Tahoe none of them existed anymore. I've chanced upon some greats, then found them gone when I returned a few months later. Always we've had better luck dining in Truckee.

Our son recently stayed at the Marriott at South Shore and liked his room with a kitchen because he could turn out better food than any of the restaurants he had tried a couple of months earlier.(There's a Raley's grocery store in walking distance, with a credible deli and bakery. Get a loaf of the bakery's Rustic French bread and ask them to slice it, and get some fresh-sliced pastrami and Havarti cheese from the Deli. The deli tamales are gross! There arre several other dinner options I haven't tried. Most of the salads are okay.)

There are a couple of chain mexican food places in the same complex as the Marriott, and both were really bad, on recent visits.

For sure stay away from the buffets at the major casinos at South Shore.

Too bad I'm more up on what's bad than what's good. We go to Tahoe a lot because we now live about 45 minutes away and often have houseguests who want to go. I'll be anxiously awaiting some dining recommends, even a good breakfast.

Mar 21, 2007
Bahb in California

Title S.F.ALA Carte Recipe Needed

Message

The Junior League published S.F. ALA Carte cookbook from which I need the Chocolate Cake Recipe. Can anyone provide the one that uses sour cream?

Thanks,
Bahb

Mar 21, 2007
Bahb in Home Cooking

storing celery?

I cut off the waste at both ends, trash the outer 2 or 3 layers of big, tough and stringy stalks, then wrap the remainder in a kitchen towel, dampen the whole thing under the faucet, store in the crisper drawer. Usually I keep all salad fixings in the same drawer, all cleaned and drained, under one big damp dish towel.

It takes practice, to be able to trash so much of a head of celery, but when you only store the parts you REALLY like to eat, you'd be surprised how fast you use it up. It lasts at least 2 weeks when kept in the dampened towel.

Nov 15, 2006
Bahb in General Topics

Turning Chocolate Candy Into chocolate Chips - Is This Not a Good Idea?

Just last week I used an 8 oz. Hershey's Special Deluxe candy bar, broken up with a hammer, and Cook's Illustrated choco chip cookie recipe. I think it was Cook's Illustrated that did a study on chocolate for baking a few years ago and rated that particular Hershey bar as best. It's not easy to break it up, but I've done it many times uasing different "techniques" and ended up just beating it to pieces on a wooden board, with a hammer.

Anyway, next time, I'll use less sugar in the cookie recipe. That Hershey bar is very dark chocolate but still a bit sweet for the amount of sugar in the recipe.

I stopped using Nestle's choco chips because, if they don't contain mostly wax, you sure could have fooled me. The only resemblance they have to the choco chips Nestle's made a few years ago is color and shape.

Nov 15, 2006
Bahb in Home Cooking

ItÂ’s Apple Hill Time!!!

In Pollock Pines, right next door to Apple Hill, there's a Chinese restaurant (The Mandarin) that has the best Won Ton soup I've ever had anywhere. Spring Rolls are great there too. Maybe lots of other things we haven't tried.

The huge Koi in a tank are so gross-looking, don't sit near them except if you bring kids who need entertaining.

There's no bar and the atmosphere is nothing to write home about, but we travel a long ways for that Won Ton soup

Across the parking lot there's a Mexican restaurant that's usually hopping with a youngish crowd on weekends. The food is usually good except early in the week, and there's a full bar.

Apple Hill is transitioning to wine country, so you'll see most of the apple orchards have been replaced by vineyards. That's why you'll seldom find unique apples on Apple Hill anymore. I did find some Mutsu apples at Larsen's. And we always make a stop at Goldbud, which is on the main drag near Abel's Orchards. Usually whatever they're selling is great quality.

Don't miss Bill's Apples and Felice's Dolls, near Grandpa's Cellar, for some unique gifty items and a feel-good experience because they're such a nice elderly couple with a beautiful relaxing site and gorgeous rose bushes.

Rainbow Orchards donuts? UMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! You order them and wait while they make them and you'll want to return every day!

Nov 06, 2006
Bahb in California

Need cheap lunch or dinner on way back from Desolation Wilderness off Hwy 50-Z-Pie Report w/ pics

Wow! I'm suprised at the Redbud Cafe recommend. We ate lunch there Friday and were sorely disappointed. A pork sandwich (I think they called it ElCedro) was dry as a bone, tough, and in a stale ordinary Kaiser-type bun. In the center of the bun was a tiny dab of some kind of mayonnaise-type sauce. There was a "dipping sauce" that tasted like a roux that hadn't cooked long enough, was missing any seasonings, and used old fat of some sort as the base. Nasty stuff!

The Won Ton salad had two or 3 pieces of fried won ton skins and nothing else to distinguish it from every other salad I saw being served close by. And the bottled dressing on it tasted old, metallic, and just like the dressing on the salad my daughter had (Can't remember what they called hers.) The "baby greens" were 99% stickery bitter stuff that should be left in the weed patch.

How can you mess up "french fried onion strings?" They came in a very novel attractive container, but the off-taste on those was the same as the off-taste of the water......and the same as the off-taste at the Hoosegow in Placerville. It's so "off" that Hoosegow offers lemon slices with their water, to cut that chemical taste. Must be the water supply needs help.

My friend had a club sandwich of sorts, lots of avocado and bacon, but the chicken was so dry and tough .....well, there was so much food we couldn't eat, the waitress asked us 3 times if we wanted a box to take it with us. No point telling her we're hearty eaters but the food was inedible. The staff is very pleasant and the service reasonably quick, by the way.

There's lots of patio dining, but the outside is an unattractive mish mash of potted plants, as though someone dropped in at a huge nursery and bought one of everything that was in a pot.

We REALLY wanted to like this restaurant, since good food in this area is not easy to find. Maybe Redbud Cafe had a novice in the kitchen that day, but I think even a pro couldn't take the old and tough and stale out of the food.

Maybe we just made bad choices from a very interesting menu!

Nov 06, 2006
Bahb in California

Placerville Restaurant

Unfortunately the new owners tried really hard but missed the boat by quite a bit. And there's no point in listing how and why now, since they're gone.

The owners before them opened a To Go place called ALLEZ! in ElDorado, with the idea that you could pick up a gourmet dinner on the way home from work.....or just a side, or an entree or a dessert......everything quite different. Their cooking is great but the concept is unique and maybe a bit too sophisticated for this area. I hope they make it!

As for the brand new owners of Zachary Jacques (I think they've been there less than a month now), the place is getting some badly-needed lighting and sprucing up outside. Hopefully inside too. I'll report as soon as we get a chance to try dinner.

Oct 16, 2006
Bahb in California

Sutter Creek/Plymouth

Sorry I gave that Taste website wrong. It's www.restauranttaste.com

(I clicked on "edit" but nothing happened, so I couldn't edit my post) Old dog needs to learn new trick!

Oct 16, 2006
Bahb in California

Best places to eat LUNCH in Auburn?

Ikeda's had good hamburgers (and alot of other good things) until they branched out and became just another over-crowded, dirty, rushed, noisy joint, in my opinion.

I've heard breakfast and lunch at the restaurant at the airport (off Bell Road) are great, but I haven't made it there yet.

Oct 16, 2006
Bahb in California

Sutter Creek/Plymouth

My all-time favorite dining experience was at Taste, a couple of weeks ago. We live just 20 miles away and have skittered through Plymouth many times on our way elsewhere. I thought of it as a tiny run-down ghost town. Then I read about Taste on CH and was fascinated that anyone would find anything to stop for in Plymouth. I made a reservation. Maybe that's what got us the best table in the place, Table 24. And then we got a Server I wanted to take home, Cheryl, because she seemed like someone I'd had as a best friend all my life.

Everything about taste is Understated Elegance...the guests, the decor, the table settings, the Servers, the Hostess(I'm sure a model I've seen in Vogue), the menu. It's so odd that a large restaurant filled with people can sound so happy and feel so comfortable. No one seemed rushed. The music was never too loud or too soft. Everyone was talking, yet the conversation at our own table seemed easy and private. There was just not one annoying or distracting thing about it. I LOVED being there, though I would say I was by far the oldest person around.

As for the food......whatever you do, don't miss the Mushroom Cigars. There were 3 of us so we ordered 3 "Small Plates", intending to share. We were charged just for the 3 but in fact each came as a course, already divided up, and the presentation of each was so gorgeous, it seemed a shame to spoil the artistry by eating it. Those 9 pieces of art only cost us $22.50. And every bite was delectable.( Prawns Gazpacho, Mushroom Cigars, and Spring Rolls like none you've ever had before.)

For "Large Plates", one of us had rabbit, another had lamb chops, the other had filet mignon. All exquisite, all with "surprises". For instance, the 3 inch thick steak was topped with a small "crown" of something out of this world that, among things, had finely chopped walnuts in it. Everything tasted as if it had perfect essence of... in it. The mushroom cigars were startlingly and gloriously mushroomy. The smashed potatoes were startlingly and gloriously earthy. The string beans were cooked perfectly and startlingly and gloriously as string beany as you've always dreamed them.

The bread basket was just incredibly fresh sour dough slices and a few rosemary slices, but not the usual. Elegant is the only word I can find....perfect! And instead of the usual heavy, yuck olive oil dip that's replaced the butter I loved for years, Taste serves a pool of something they call "olive oil" that seems neither oily nor olivey, but perfect, with a pool of perfect vinegar in the center. The vinegar is Delizia, which I have yet to find in a market. Taste will sell you a bottle, however!

The coffee was so great, I wish I had asked the brand. I'm 71, so you know I've had a few thousand cups of coffee in my life and have NEVER had a cup of coffee as good as the one I had that night.

I don't recall the dessert choices, but we had ginger cake with a bit of some perfect sauce, and fruit brulee. Neither was particularly outstanding except the presentation was beautiful.

We're not wine buffs, really, but the 2004 Boeger Merlot ($25.00)we chose (because we live right near that winery) was so good we had a second bottle.

Taste is at the beginning (or end) of the Shenandoah Wine Country , depending on which route you take. So come for a day of wine tasting, and finish with dinner at Taste. Or just come for dinner.....it's worth a two-hour trip, at least.

The address is 9402 Main St., Plymouth. The phone is 209-245-3463. The interesting web site is at tasterestaurant.com, but don't use the web site for making reservations. Just pluck off the recipes. Cheryl told us the reservations we tried to make on-line were probably missed because "we aren't there just yet."

Oct 16, 2006
Bahb in California