South Lake Tahoe

Dining experiences in South Lake Tahoe

Embassy Vacation Resorts Lake Tahoe

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Hapy2cu on December 25, 2005

Best Things Nearby:
Emerald Bay Tahoe Queen lake cruise. Vikingsholm day hike - bring water - land view of Emerald Bay. Drive around the lake - great day trip. Prepare to stop a lot. Casinos and lots of entertaining things to do.

Best Things About the Resort:
Walking distance to grocery, shopping, activities. Go Blue shuttle bus - cheap transportation when you don't want a designated driver - staff is helpful, but biased!

Resort Experience:
Embassy itself is a typical vacation resort - amenities and activities were plentiful - with a great family vacation location. Lots of information is available from the concierge. Stay away from rooms 109, 209, 309, 409, or any other rooms located behind the elevators - they are noisy, and you hear the elevators all night. Overall, it's a good place to stay--make sure you get everything in writing if they make any adjustments for you, or you could end up with nothing.

Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort
901 Ski Run Blvd.
South Lake Tahoe, California, 96150
(530) 541-6122

The Naked Fish

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Hapy2cu on December 25, 2005

Fresh delicious sushi, made to order. A little pricey. Our total bill for three people including drinks was $81. Typical roll (Maui Wowee my favorite) averages about $9, and you only get 6 to 8 bite size pieces. Excellent sake selection to accompany the meal. My husband had beef teriyaki, (he hates sushi) and the portion was good for the price $15.95. You can sit at the sushi bar (about 12 seats) or wait for a table. The place was packed when we got there and we had a 40-minute wait for a table. Small wooden tables, not the best atmosphere, but the food makes up for it. The place is small, but worth the wait. The staff is knowledgeable, but not very talkative with "new clients". Lots of locals seems to eat there. We would definitely go back.
Naked Fish Sushi Restaurant
3940 Lake Tahoe Boulevard
South Lake Tahoe, California, 96150
(530) 541-3474

Beacon Bar & Grill

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Hapy2cu on December 25, 2005

Beacon was recommended by the concierge, Harlee, at EVR Lake Tahoe. We should have listened more carefully to what he said. Harlee recommended the Beacon for their fried calamari and rum runner drinks (on special 2-for-1 either Tuesday or Wednesday). He said it was the best, and he was right about the calamari and the rum runner drinks (yum), and the location was beautiful, overlooking Lake Tahoe. The regular food, however, was horrible and expensive. Dinner for three included one appetizer, one soup, three entrees, and three alcoholic beverages and came to $111. OUCH!!! The appetizer, fried calamari, was awesome, tender and plentiful!! The soup (YUCK) was like a thick paste, more like a dip then soup, and the flavor was just awful. We should have avoided it for $5.95, and the waiter never questioned why we didn't eat most of it. (No, we don't complain when we eat out for fear of what people do to your food. In hindsight, we should have asked the soup be removed from the bill.)

On to dinner... my husband had prime rib, which was smothered in some sort of salty, spicy seasoning and overcooked at $22.95. My son had the flat iron steak at $27.95, and it was way overcooked, and therefore very tough. My son ordered it medium to medium rare, and they said they couldn't cook it that way. I had the sesame ahi tuna, $26.95, which was good but lacked any real flavor. The garlic mashed potatoes were excellent and the steamed vegetable were plain but fresh. I had a rum runner (yum) and my son and husband each tried a recommended beer for their meals. The server was helpful in recommending what beverage should accompany the meal, and he was very friendly. Overall, the atmosphere and location did not compensate for the poor-quality food. My recommendation--go for the view. Go on Tuesday or Wednesday for the special on the rum runners and keep to the calamari

Beacon Bar & Grill
1900 Jameson Beach Road
South Lake Tahoe, California, 96158
(530) 541-0630

Cecil's Steak & Brew

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Hapy2cu on December 25, 2005

Cecil's was being advertised on TV and it looked good, so we decided to try it. Its location is right near everything, but there is no real view to enjoy. We went on Friday evening around 6:30pm and it was busy but we had no wait. The atmosphere is an open floor/sports bar feel (large-screen TV on the wall), and you can see them cooking. No booths, just tables. The staff is knowledgeable about the food, so if you have questions, just ask. The meal came to $125 for three, with a 15% tip, a little pricey given what we had, but everything was well cooked and delicious.

So on to dinner.... we ordered a bowl of cabbage soup, $3.95, which was homemade, excellent in flavor, and worth it (side note--if we had clipped the coupon from the local activity book, the soup would have been free). We then ordered two beers and a glass of wine to accompany what we ordered for food. My husband had the 10 oz. prime rib with au jus, baked potato, and vegetables for $24.95, my son had the 14 oz. NY sirloin with garlic mashed and veggies for $29.95, and I had the 14 oz. rib eye, also with garlic mashed and veggies, for $27.95. Of the three, my son's had the most flavor, mine was okay but a little tough, and my husband's prime rib was flavorful and fork tender. All steaks were cooked rare to medium rare and were cooked as ordered. The meal also came with complimentary bread, boring, dry, and not worth bringing to the table--it could be improved by serving it with some sort of flavored butters to embellish the taste.

All in all, I would go again, but I would definitely look for coupons to bring the price down. The meat was not amazing but good, so there may be better places to eat steak for a lower price. I would ask around locally, not just depend on TV commercials to recommend a great steak place. (Harlee, the concierge at EVR Lake Tahoe, recommended Echo's for steak and baked French onion soup. It was right next door; maybe we should have gone there instead.) Cecil's was memorable, and given the choice, I would eat there again. I only wish the price was a little lower.

Cecil's Steak & Brew
4118 Lake Tahoe Boulevard
South Lake Tahoe, California, 96150
(530) 542-9000

Vikingsholm Mansion

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Hapy2cu on December 25, 2005

Vikingsholm is located about 30 minutes up Route 89 headed north away from South Lake Tahoe. The drive there is winding and beautiful. Take your time and take in the beauty of the huge trees and the mountain and lake views.

Use caution around the hairpin turns, as traffic travelling in the opposite direction sometimes goes over the line and into your lane, and in some locations there are no guard rails and no room for error. The speed limit is 25 to 30mph, and I would recommend doing the speed limit just to be able to take it all in, but also for safety's sake. Locals may want to pass you, and there are pull-offs to will let them go by.

Vikingsholm is a true historical moment filled with beauty. When you get there, be prepared to take pictures and make sure you bring plenty of water for the hike to Eagle Falls. There is a 1-mile hike to Vikingsholm itself, and from there you can hike to Eagle Falls and other places. This section of Lake Tahoe is referred to as Emerald Bay and is beautiful (see my additional section down below).

Fitness requirement: It's all downhill, but 1 mile down feels like 5 miles going back. Take your time and enjoy the day. We were there in December and the path was a little snowy and requires an amount of surefootedness, but the hike itself was great. There are "restrooms" at the bottom of the hill, and they were open while we were there. We spent over 3 hours and could have spent longer if we had water and better shoes. It looks like the summer months would be really busy, but there are planned activities and more to see.

The trails are easy, but because you have to go back UPhill, the hike back can be strenuous on the no-so fit. If you don't exercise, be prepared to stop a lot on the way back. Take your time. I am completely out of shape and at one point thought I was going to have a heart attack!! My pulse was 160, and I was seriously overheating and dehydrated. (The 1-mile "road" is wheelchair-passable, but it would be very, very strenuous on the driver. Controlling that rate of descent and then going back uphill could be a fitness disaster in the making. The elevation changes from 6,630 down to 6,230 on that 1-mile trail.)

A great way to complete this journey it to plan a trip on the Tahoe Queen cruise to Emerald Bay. The Tahoe Queen offers a different view of Vikingsholm and adds some valuable historical information about the location and the people who made it all possible.

Vikingsholm was a great little find for us and made our trip to South Lake Tahoe very enjoyable. It was an awesome day trip adventure, and I would recommend this to everyone but the seriously fitness impaired.

Vikingsholm Mansion
7595 W Lake Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, California, 96142
(530) 525-3345

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