Story and photos by Jenn Sheridan  ·

 

 

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The West Shore café’s lakefront location is the perfect spot to launch a kayak.  ·

On a hot summer day, I dread the thought of sitting in my car, which lacks air conditioning, and waiting in traffic. The idea of skipping across the lake from one destination to the next seems much more appealing, so I was excited to take the recent opportunity to check out the North Lake Tahoe Water Shuttle on a recent trip to West Shore cafe.

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Beat the traffic and take the Water Shuttle.

The Water Shuttle is a custom-built, 30-foot Centurion. It can hold 12 passengers, plus bikes. The shuttle makes stops at Gar Wood’s in Carnelian Bay, the Tahoe City Marina, West Shore café and Obexer’s Marina in Homewood between 9:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily through Labor Day, with a reduced schedule afterwards.

I boarded the Water Shuttle at Tahoe City Marina with my co-workers Annmarie Snorsky and Mael Passanessi and headed out for a morning on the West Shore. Along the way, we took in the sights of the Tahoe shoreline, Blackwood Canyon and Alpine Meadows as our Captains, Warren and Matt, chatted about the area. Thirty minutes later, we arrived on the pier at West Shore café.

 

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Explore the West Shore with kayak rentals from Homewood Mountain Resort.

Kayak, SUP fun

The West Shore offers endless opportunities for fun during the summer. We decided to start the morning off with a little paddling. Homewood Mountain Resort offers kayak and paddleboard rentals daily with an easily accessible launch at the West Shore café.

I started with the paddleboard, but after struggling against the strong winds that day, I opted to switch to the kayak, which proved to be a bit more maneuverable. We paddled south along the shoreline checking out the boats, marinas and lakefront properties. For those looking to stay dry, Homewood also offers a fleet of bike rentals. Whether you seek a cruiser to hit the bike path or a mountain bike to rip the trails, they’ve got you covered. The hiking and biking trails at the resort provide breathtaking views of the lake.

 

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The Lobster Roll was a popular choice with our dining party.

Lunchtime delights at West Shore

A relaxing morning paddling on the lake had worked up our appetites, so we returned to the pier at West Shore café for lunch where we were joined by the rest of the office staff at The Weekly. We started with an order of the New Orleans-style barbeque shrimp and the fried asparagus and squash blossoms. The blossoms are stuffed with a ricotta cheese and topped with a smoked tomato jam that perfectly complements the delicate flavors.

The lunch menu offers a variety of salads, juicy burgers, fish and chips, and pastas, as well as a full bar. The lobster roll was a popular choice at our table. The poached lobster is lightly tossed with a classic aioli that delicately complements the flavor of the meat and is served on a hoagie roll. Another member of our party tried the Pasta Pomodoro, which starts with handmade fettuccini topped with sautéed tomatoes, fresh basil and Manchego cheese.

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The Pasta Pomodoro features fresh, housemade fettuccini noodles topped with tomatoes, asparagus, basil and Manchego cheese.

All of the dishes at the West Shore café are carefully crafted from scratch using organic and natural ingredients. Executive Chef Mike Davis brings a signature style of cooking crafted from years of training in kitchens across the nation. He has opened a number of restaurants on the West Coast and earned many accolades for his craft before the call of the mountains brought him to Tahoe and the West Shore café.

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The table shared the Craquelin Cream Puff and the New Orleans Beignets.

We couldn’t pass up on a few desserts to share with the table. The Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée was a rich, creamy delight with a perfect crust and the Traditional New Orleans Beignets were fantastic, but my favorite was the Craquelin Cream Puffs. The flaky pastry and caramel cream was the perfect end to a delicious meal.

After lunch, it was tempting to spend the rest of the afternoon on the West Shore café’s lawn for a few rounds of cornhole or bocce ball in the afternoon shade, but it was time to catch the Water Shuttle back to Tahoe City.

 

The North Lake Tahoe Water Shuttle operates daily until Labor Day and reservations are required for the shuttle. For more information or to book a reservation, visit northlaketahoewatershuttle.com. West Shore café is open for lunch and dinner daily until Labor Day, with dinner only Monday to Thursday from Sept. 1 to 30. For more information or to make a reservation, call (530) 525-5200 or visit westshorecafe.com. Receive $2 off dining at West Shore café when you arrive by the Water Shuttle.

 

North Lake Tahoe Water Shuttle

Daily | 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
$10 adults | $7 kids
Stops along North & West shores

West Shore café

Champagne Bunch
Aug. 8-10 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Full Moon Party
Aug. 10 | 5:30 p.m.
Live music from Jeff Jones

Live music
5:30 p.m. | Every Friday
Featuring Ben Fuller & Jeff Jones

Summer Yoga Series
8 a.m. | Wednesdays & Saturdays