Thanks to the Chowhounds who made suggestions in the South Tahoe thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/883657 Most of my meals cost less than $25, which I thought was reasonable for a tourist town.
Highlights in Stateline, South Tahoe:
Freshies (recommended by swampnurse) seemed to attract a lot of locals on a Sunday afternoon. I enjoyed the fish and shrimp tacos. http://freshiestahoe.com/
Local's Brunch Cafe was the budget-priced highlight of my visit. The chile verde, fish taco, carne asada taco and chicken tamale at Local's Brunch Cafe,which offers brunch foods as well as Mexican dishes. Our lunch for 3 came to $27. A very friendly man was cooking and serving.http://www.localsbrunchcafesouthlaket...
The Naked Fish (recommended by revrendandy, as well as a non-Chowhound friend). Although this place has been recommended frequently, I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw so many contemporary/trendy rolls on the menu. We decided to try a few contemporary rolls aka 'The Naked Fish specialties', since that seems to be the thing to order at the Naked Fish (Rainbow roll, Hot & Wild, Maui Wowie) http://thenakedfish.com/restaurant-a-.... One friend also tried the tempura cheesecake that a non-Chowhound friend recommended. The Naked Fish offers less non-sushi dishes than most Japanese restaurants I've visited, but our friends who didn't want to order sushi seemed to like the tempura appetizer and fried calamari. Quite good, certainly decent for a tourist town, and reasonably priced. http://thenakedfish.com/
Dinner at Riva Grill (recommended by c oliver). I wasn't too hungry, so I just ordered the crab chile relleno appetizer, and my friends tried the nicoise salad, lobster bisque and ahi poke stack. Nice view of the lake, and good food. I thought the portion sizes were on the large side, so others might be satisfied with an appetizer or 2, if they're watching their waistline or pocketbook, since most mains are in the upper $30s range. http://www.rivagrill.com/
Base Camp Pizza in Heavenly Village . I would have liked to have tried the Base Camp pizza (deluxe with pepperoni, mushrooms et al), but my friend preferred the Mediterraneo (sundried tomatoes, artichokes, feta, mushrooms), so that's what we had, which was fine. Also enjoyed the garlic chips (basically garlic and cheese on pizza dough, without sauce). They don't take reservations, so I'd recommend going early or late, or be prepared to wait 45 minutes plus. http://basecamppizzaco.com/
The OK in Stateline:
Stateline Brewery. This place was chosen by our group leader for a first dinner. I just ordered a garden salad, which was decent for a brewpub, but others enjoyed the ribs and pizza. Large portions. They take reservations for large groups. http://statelinebrewery.com/
Echo Restaurant at the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel. I had dinner here twice, when I went with the flow with the group. While I preferred the other restaurants I visited, I did like the fried chicken salad ($11) at Echo. I wouldn't recommend the Thu night $16.95 flat iron steak and shrimp special, which came with cold steak and shrimp, and over garlicky vegetables. Better to order a la carte. While I wouldn't go out of my way for Echo, and the atmosphere is very 1980s hotel restaurant, it's reasonably priced. Friendly service. https://www.tahoeresorthotel.com/dini...
Highlight in Incline, North Tahoe
Lone Eagle Grille
This was the upscale highlight of my trip. We weren't too hungry, so three of us shared several dishes: the beet salad, hamachi tartar, truffle fries, creamless creamed spinach (with cauliflower), the Wagyu short rib. I probably wouldn't reorder the spinach, but I found everything else we ordered was delicious. Lovely bread basket, with at least 3 different breads, exceptionally good service, beautiful views of the lake. Our server kindly gave our table a complimentary chocolate mousse dessert to share. I'm not eating chocolate these days, so I didn't try it, but the friend who likes chocolate enjoyed it.
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