EAT and Drink This Week: Keys Café’s Purple Haze and Sausage Breakfast Burrito

On a typical week, we look to feature a dish and drink separately — a dish that looks to squelch those pangs of hunger and a drink that showcases the many places around the lake to whet your whistle. But this week we are changing up a bit and combining forces to give you a full breakfast option at Key’s Café. 

Let’s kick it off with the food side of things – their breakfast burrito. While you do get your choice of meat, we’re talking breakfast sausage this week. The meat is combined with eggs, potatoes, and cheddar cheese, rolled into a flour tortilla and then heated through on a grill press to give it a little exterior texture. 

This week’s featured EAT dish is Keys Café’s Sausage Breakfast Burrito.
Robert Galloway/Tahoe Daily Tribune

While you’re able to add things like avocado (or other veggies), this burrito is so loaded you’d think it’s been on a two-week bender (that’s code for saying this is burrito is huge). And, as a side note, their local Tuesday special gives you a loaded burrito for only eight bucks. If you play your cards right, this is big enough to be breakfast and lunch which makes this one of the better values in town. 

It’s served with a side of house made salsa, which for me is a must – it ratchets everything up with little pops of sweet and savory without going over the top with heat. If you’re as much of a salsa lover as I am, I overload each bite so you might want to ask for an additional serving. 

The sausage adds saltiness to the huge amount of scrambled eggs and creaminess of the country-style potatoes. If you’re looking for a straightforward, well-done breakfast burrito, this is your jam. 

However, if you’re looking for something a little different to help wash it down, here’s where the fun kicks in. Their Purple Haze is a combination of vanilla chai and lavender and is their number one selling chai drink. 

You have the option to get it iced or hot, but in my visit the morning was warm and I just can’t crack through warm drinks on warm days so I opted for the iced version. But, spoiler alert, either option is utterly amazing. 

This week’s featured drink is Keys Café’s Purple Haze.
Robert Galloway/Tahoe Daily Tribune

There is also the option, as with all their drinks, to include whichever milk you’d like. I didn’t stray far from their number one used milk choice (oat milk) and it added a slightly sweet and nutty flavor to the overall smoothness of the drink. In all honesty, I sucked it down way faster than a human should. 

Chai can be a polarizing flavor. Most folks I know are either all in or all out when it comes to chai. For those of you on the fence and have never taken a stroll down Chai Avenue, it has a spicy and sweetness that’s not super far off from pumpkin. 

The chai in this drinks ropes in vanilla to help punch up the sweetness, but the subtle addition of the lavender is the big draw. It is not overflowing with lavender notes, but it in the background just enough to throw out those familiar mellow notes that you can help but feel relaxation seeping into your bones. 

While the name Purple Haze is more famous for being a thrashing and unrelenting Jimi Hendrix tune, the drink side of it is actually quite the opposite – although it’s just as smooth as that left-handed guitar-playing genius. 

The Keys Café is located at 2279 Lake Tahoe Blvd, Ste. 2 in South Lake Tahoe. For menu and drink information visit them online at or via phone at 530-542-3800. 

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.