Whenever we travel as a family, my husband and I seek out local brewpubs. We gravitate toward microbrewery restaurants not only because we love to try local beers (and usually need one by dinnertime, after a day of sightseeing or adventuring with the kids), but we know all four of us will find something we like to eat at a pub — even if a kids’ menu isn’t available (and I can’t think of one American brewpub we’ve been to recently that doesn’t have offerings specifically for children). The Stateline Brewery in South Lake Tahoe hosted me and my fellow SATW Western Chapter members for lunch last month, and although our group was solely comprised of adults, I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my kids to Stateline Brewery.
The restaurant is in a lower-level (read: basement) location in Heavenly Village, just steps from the Heavenly gondola and the family-friendly Embassy Suites in South Lake Tahoe. The acoustics don’t allow for intimate conversations, but because the restaurant is generally a noisy spot (TV sports and a cavernous space also contribute to the clatter), boisterous kids fit right in. The steel brewing vats are situated right at the entrance to the restaurant, and not hidden in a back room, which I think is pretty cool; they add to the industrial feel of the underground location.
The lunchtime pub menu is varied; in addition to soups, salads and sandwiches (such as my tasty portobello, red peppers, zucchini & melted mozzarella on rosemary foccacia), items include ribs and fish tacos for entrees, plus hearty pastas and pizzas. After mowing through a plate of beer-battered fries, which were deliciously seasoned and perfectly crisp, I was too full for The Outrageous Mountain Dessert: designed for sharing, it’s a big ol’ brownie sundae with chocolate and caramel sauce. The children’s menu is pretty standard for a family restaurant: spaghetti & meatballs, chicken tenders & fries, chicken & pasta, cheese quesadilla or a one-topping pizza for $6.95.
I sampled two beers on the light end of the spectrum (a Pilsner and a wheat) and give them both thumb’s up. Stateline also brews a pale ale and a “Double Time Strong Ale”; selections vary, depending on what’s been freshly brewed. Still more choices include other area microbrews and your common Coors. There’s a wine list, too, but it just feels wrong to be drinking out of a wine glass instead of a pint glass at a brewpub.
Stateline Brewery is open for lunch, dinner & happy hour — but remember it’s always 5 o’clock here. Check out the brewery’s logo: the shape the California-Nevada border makes as it cuts through Lake Tahoe is just like the arms of a clock that reads 5:00! (Clever, clever.)
For more family-friendly dining options in South Lake Tahoe, check out the restaurant listings at the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority website.