When you're surrounded by the pines of South Lake Tahoe, you sort of expect to find some kind of chalet-style American lodge. What I didn't expect to find was a Swiss restaurant owned by the same Swiss family for 55 years! Yea! I can add Swiss to my list!
The Baumann family opened their restaurant in 1957.
That means I am the same age as this restaurant.
Judging by this photo...I am very old!
Ralph Baumann is not as old as this restaurant. His parents moved from Switzerland and started the Swiss Chalet before he was born. By the time he was 6, he was standing on a bucket and cracking eggs. He said the restaurant was his babysitter. His parents have passed, but he and his brother Peter are the owner/chefs now.
3 bonus points for a pretty interesting chat with someone who was born into the restaurant business. Ralph was honest enough to make it clear that he didn't have a whole lot of choice in his career path.
Tim, the bartender is serving up a pot of fondue. He came to South Lake Tahoe 30 years ago...and never left. Bartending is Tim's retirement and although a little quiet, he calls all the local cutsomers by name. 1 bonus for Tim!
The cozy lounge is filled with worn wooden furniture and Swiss knickknacks. And you have to love a little bar with a stone fireplace! 1 bonus for that!
The dining room looks like it hasn't changed since opening day? Those nice flat chair backs are pretty awesome! Some music with a little yodeling was getting the wait staff geared up for the dinner crowd!
I love it when places don't change! I've never been here before, but I'm pretty sure this is how the restaurant looked 55 years ago! 3 bonus points for authentic '50's Swiss look!
It was too early for dinner, but our afternoon hike left us hungry enough for a big pot of Swiss fondue! A blend of Emmenthal and Gruyere cheese with white wine, garlic and spices. A couple beers was needed to wash it down. I will give the Chalet 5 points for food, since this seemed pretty authentic to me.
One bonus point for the fact I didn't have to clean out the pan. I have some gruesome memories of cleaning cheese out of pans...back in the fondue making days!
14 points for Baumann's Swiss Chalet!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.