Sunday, August 28, 2011

“It’s a South Lake Tahoe Landmark"

“It’s easy to see why this is a favorite local spot. Full of local character and charm, including Lake Tahoe’s favorite detective’s favorite breakfast, the Owen McKenna Omelette. The Red Hut Café was opened in 1959 and was originally called the old Donut Shop located at Stateline before it was physically moved to its current location. When Dick and Nancy Gardner purchased The Hut in 1984, they made sure the original layout and charm remained untouched.

“An L-shaped breakfast counter and old fashioned booths occupy all the space inside. Vintage Tahoe photos and soda pop posters cover the walls. Inside you’ll hear people reminis-cing about the good old days, or just catching up. Besides the nostalgic atmosphere and local vibe, the breakfast and lunch dishes are well loved with little to no surprises. Just good home cooking” (

Well, this may be a local favorite, but it was no favorite of ours. And this is what happens when you leave home without a plan.

Since we didn’t know where we would be at lunch time, I only did a cursory bit of investigation about restaurants in the Stateline (NV)/South Lake Tahoe (CA) area. As we were driving down Highway 50, I recognized the name “Red Hut Café”. It seemed to be as good a place as any for a quick meal.

Open for only breakfast and lunch, the Red Hut’s lunch menu was pretty basic—burgers and sandwiches (BLT, turkey, ham and cheese, tuna melt, grilled cheese). You get the picture. It seems that breakfast rules, and I saw a gentleman dig into an omelet that would have served a family of four.

Chuck chose the Mac Burger, a half-pound burger on a “hoagie” roll with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, mustard, and pickles. Oh, hold the lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard and pickles. My selection was the Patty Melt on grilled rye with grilled onions and cheese. Both came with fries.

First, the good news. The fries were pretty good.

Now for the bad news. My hamburger patty was nice and moist, the cheese was appropriate-ly melted and stringy, and the grilled onions still had a bit of crunch. But the assembled sandwich had been grilled too long and the bread has a definite taste of burned toast. By rights, I should have sent this back and asked that it be remade but the place was busy, and our server was keeping a low profile. (Dining Tip: When your bill comes with your food, you’re not going to see your server again.)

Chuck didn’t fare much better. First, even though he ordered his hamburger cooked medium, it was done far past that point. It was dry.

And a question for you. What do you get when you place a round patty on an oblong roll? You get two ends of the roll with no meat between them. If you are serving a hamburger on a long roll, shouldn’t you make a patty to fit the roll? Just asking.
Locals may love this place, but I can’t give it more than 1.5 Addies—the fries were pretty good.

I think we should have ordered breakfast.

But it was a nice day, so we headed across the Highway 50, past the Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort, toward the lake.

We entered the grounds of the Ski Run Boat Company. The area seemed to be part sculpture garden,

part beach,

and part water recreational equipment rental. The colorful in-ventory of
"vehicles," included paddle craft, kayaks, and personal water craft.

Also, among the craft was what appeared to be a three-wheeler of some sort.

This one young customer, walking among the various choices, seemed to be giving considerable thought to his "pur-chase". We thought he would choose something that went with his shirt and shorts.

A bit of rushed activity occurred when the person in charge of the water craft rental took off after a customer who was not following the correct route.

No comments: