Pumpkin spice and everything nice: Autumn-inspired foods, drinks
Lake Tahoe Action
There is nothing quite like the fall season in Tahoe — flannel shirts, crunchy leaves, glowing yellow trees, the large crowds have dissipated and it’s still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors without skis.
However, there is another thing about autumn in Tahoe that is quite spice-tacular — the seasonal treats.
For those of us obsessed with all things pumpkin and spice, some local restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops know how to ring in the harvest season.
This is the perfect time to go out and please your palate with pumpkin and other seasonal treats.
While pumpkin spice has become quite the cultural phenomenon, not every autumn drink has to feature pumpkin spice and it sure doesn’t have the spotlight in the case of Revive Coffee and Wine’s Fallen Leaf Latte.
While sipping this specialty autumn delight outside at Revive, fall leaves drop all around.
It’s only fitting to drink this while sitting under golden aspens.
This tasty latte consists of caramel sauce, maple spice syrup, ground nutmeg and maple whipped cream if desired (it’s an obvious yes for this author).
While Revive does have the infamous pumpkin spice latte on the menu, it’s not the feature drink this fall. The Fallen Leaf Latte had notes of autumn maple, a hint of vanilla and a subtle sweetness.
It tastes like it is preparing for the holidays. Maya Harvey, a barista at the Revive, says this “warm and cozy” drink has been popular.
The drink was created by the owner’s daughter, Sammantha Bender, and named the drink after the popular fall destination, Fallen Leaf Lake.
The ambience of the entire coffee shop fits the drink title with surrounding aspens shedding their leaves.
CoffeeBar Truckee’s Apple Pie Chai made with oat milk, crisp apple cider and organic chai has to be on your must-try list.
While the yellow and orange leaves blanket streets outside, cozy up and get your seasonal fix of apple pie paired with chai.
Spice, spice baby.
This drink is subtly sweet from the apple cider and the spice of chai.
The apple cider is steamed with oat milk, cinnamon and a chai infused syrup. The chai tea comes from Davidson’s Organic, a local partner of Coffeebar, who focuses on direct-from-garden tea leafs based out of Reno.
Coffee Bar Truckee also has yummy pumpkin pastries to pair with your chai.
Say farewell to summer’s fruity libations and welcome in the harvest season with hearty dishes and warm soups. The Lake House in South Lake Tahoe is serving up warm butternut squash soup.
The soup is a perfect way to showcase the fall harvest. The soup is a cozy blend of roasted and pureed butternut squash topped with toasted pecans, creme fraiche, sage and chives.
The soup complements the seasons and makes you want to start winter hibernation early by cozying up to the fire. Pair it with The Lake House’s seasonal fall salad that is made on a bed of arugula and has dry-aged gouda, figs, shredded prosciutto, toasted pecans, red onions with a balsamic reduction and champagne vinaigrette.
The River Bar & Grill in Tahoe City sits on the Truckee River surrounded by golden aspens, enhancing their seasonal dishes. This fall, they are offering an Autumn Quinoa Salad.
This salad sits on a bed of arugula along with quinoa, roasted vegetables, feta cheese, kalamata olives complete with a creamy balsamic dressing. They will also be featuring a butternut squash and Granny Smith apple soup. For the main entree, The River Bar & Grill is sprucing up traditional raviolis with their autumn inspired butternut squash raviolis. These raviolis are created with roasted shiitake mushrooms, candied pecans, and madeira cream. This dish screams autumn is here.
Fall just wouldn’t be complete without pumpkin.
This season, Don’s Cakes by the Lake will be taking Autumn on by the thorns.
With everything made from scratch, Don’s Cakes will make a pumpkin roulade with a mascarpone filling along with pumpkin cheesecake with marbled chocolate throughout.
Harvest season at Crazy Good Bakery means pumpkin breads, spiced cakes, seasonal jams and more. The owner, Christine Smith has several homemade jams. Just a few of the many specialty jams include strawberry rhubarb, cranberry orange and apple cider (that pair well with their infamous apple cider doughnuts). The fruit comes from the local autumn hotspot, Apple Hill. They also have a pumpkin cranberry danish that leaves you ready for the fall season.
Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe will create its pumpkin spice creme brulée. This decadent dessert includes a rich pumpkin spice custard topped with a layer of hardened caramelized sugar and of course, topped with a mint leaf. This dessert is garnished with sweet cinnamon whipped cream. Don’t forget to order dessert at this place.
If you aren’t a complete sweets person and prefer something more full of spirit, Sidellis Lake Tahoe currently has two beers for the autumn season. There is the Okt-Tahoe-fest Lager and the Bodie Ghost Town Brown.
The Okt-Tahoe-fest Lager is a dark, rich lager that complements fall weather. The Bodie Ghost Town Brown is a must for Halloween. This brown ale is light-bodied but has roasted flavors with subtle notes of bread and biscuits. This locally-owned brewery is making sure to serve up the best brews honoring the fall.
Spice things up a bit at The Hangar. Last Sunday, The Hangar’s pumpkin patch opened to the public and now they will be serving spiced hard ciders and warm cider.