Summer may be over but the grills in the Tahoe Sierra are still putting out some heat and cooking burger patties to perfection. There are a lot of great burger places in the area that take pride in their flavorful patties, but here are a few that especially stand out in my mind.
Earlier this summer, I went in search of the Best Burgers in Tahoe for an article in July “One person’s completely subjective picks for the best burgers in Tahoe.” Since it published, our readers have shared some of their favorites around the Tahoe Sierra, so I set out to taste for myself.
Jax at the Tracks | Cajun Blackened Burger
Coming from a round of golf and looking for a hearty meal, I stopped at Jax at the Tracks in Truckee because their burgers had come highly recommended from several locals. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Jax has an extensive menu with many burger options including the popular Truckee ½-lb. Burger and the Outrageous 1-lb. Stuffed Burger with bacon and cheese.
Served with a light and healthy tasting coleslaw, the Cajun Blackened Burger had so much flavor and it paired well with a frothy chai latte.
Village Pub | Amigo
I enjoy the Village Pub’s “Cheers”-like atmosphere in Incline Village, Nev. I usually order the Senorita, a chicken burger, but I was in the mood for her beefy boyfriend, the Amigo. Sipping on the Pub’s signature Coco Loco drink, which tastes like a spiked Orange Julius, I basked in the cool air in front of a pokey machine and watched some pre-season football.
The top three sellers on the Pub’s burger menu are Pubber, Piggyback and Holy Cow, which are all one-third-pound patties served on poppy seed, dill or onion garlic buns.
“I love the Pubber because it’s just a good classic American burger,” says owner Nick Webber.
Onion rings and sweet potato fries are served a la carte, but are must-haves with one of the burgers. The Amigo is chocked with so much flavor and a hint of secret sauce. In less than 10 minutes I was stuffed.
Morgan’s Lobster Shack & Fish Market | Wicked Burger
This little seafood shack on West River Street in Truckee is perfect to drop into during a day of shopping or exploring. There’s a modest number of tables inside and on the patio. Morgan’s Lobster Shack & Fish Market’s serves everything from crab quesadillas to oyster po’ boys, but is known for its Wicked Burger.
There was an assortment of smells that came out of the burger when it was served — whiffs of garlic emanated from a layer of lobster but the taste of pure beef patty came out in the first bite along with the tender notes of seafood, a hint of cheddar cheese and a light sour cream-like mayonnaise rounding it out. The Wicked Burger also comes with bacon and avocado. It’s a bit on the pricier side at $20, but worth it if you are looking for something unique.
Lucky Beaver Bar & Burger | Gold Rush
Lucky Beaver Bar & Burger in Stateline, Nev., is open all day, every day and has everything from salads and steaks to sandwiches, breakfast and their featured item: burgers. Lucky Beaver has nine burger choices on its main menu, all named after gaming terms. They are served with fresh-cut fries or regular, Cajun or garlic parmesan tater tots. There’s even a 50-day dry-aged premium burger on the menu for $19 and a Morning Wood breakfast burger that comes with a fried egg on it.
The Gambler is the most popular burger, which features Applewood bacon, a beer-battered onion ring, smoky barbecue sauce and aged cheddar cheese. However, I ordered the Gold Rush, which is a half-pound steak patty wedged between a bun with fresh avocado, pepper jack cheese and all the fixings. It comes served with a full-sized knife stuck in it to hold it together. It was gigantic, but definitely delicious.
Burger Lounge | Dessert Delight
Located on Emerald Bay Road in South Lake Tahoe, Burger Lounge features 16 half-pound beef burgers on one part of its menu, hot dogs and a variety of sandwiches and salads — and six veggie burger options. Where do you ever find that many veggie burger options? It was hard to decide which one to choose. Names such as Blazer, Jiffy Burger and Meatlovers Dream were enticing burger choices, especially since you can switch out the beef or the bun for a turkey patty or lettuce wrap at no charge.
A vegan burger patty with grilled cactus, pepper jack cheese and chipotle mayo within a whole wheat bun makes up the Desert Delight. The cactus was chewy, a little tangy and had a texture similar to an Ortega chili. I was impressed with the black-bean patty, which held most of the flavor and tasted a lot like its beefy equivalent. I’ll be back to try the others.
Did we miss one of your favorite burgers in the Tahoe Sierra? Post your picks at facebook.com/TheTahoeWeekly.