EAT This Week: Libation Lodge by SLBC’s All American Smash Burger

To try and decide each week where and what to eat around the basin can be a challenge – there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next.

If your belly doesn’t reach out to you every few weeks or so and start screaming that its in the mood for a good burger, we obviously aren’t the same. But, even if your belly doesn’t give you these signs, it’s ok to admit that a really good burger sounds pretty dang tasty. If that’s the case, then I got your back with this week’s feature.

Libation Lodge by SLBC’s All American Smash Burger.
Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune

The key to a good smash burger is all in the technique, which is on point at the Libation Lodge. Using an 80/20 blend of Angus beef, they give you two patties that are smashed to break down some of those proteins and unlock the juiciness while simultaneously gathering a superior crusty exterior. They are draped with melted cheddar then placed on a brioche bun with the burger staples of lettuce, tomato and red onion.

The kicker is the addition of their secret sauce. While I was not sworn to secrecy on the components that make up the sauce, I also didn’t get the curtain pulled back to reveal all its secrets. But, to give you a rough idea of the shenanigans its bringing, think Asian flavors meets Thousand Island dressing and that should give you an idea.

Everything in (or is it on?) this burger knows exactly what it’s supposed to be doing and how to do it. The end result is everything you want a burger to be: flavorful, juicy, textures, and of course, filling.

It’s served with a side of hand-cut fries, which you can also substitute in sweet potato fries (or a side salad) if your heart desires. You can also modify the burger pretty much however you’d like. Substitute blue or Swiss cheese for cheddar? Sure. Have it as a lettuce wrap instead of bun? Absolutely. Only have one patty instead of two? Are you crazy?

All American is the perfect name for this dish. The only thing missing is an American flag and some fireworks – although the fireworks do come on the taste buds, so perhaps they’re right on point.

South Lake Brewing Company has two locations in South Lake Tahoe: The food-serving Libation Lodge at 4000 Lake Tahoe Blvd. #26 in the Village Center and the Brewery at 1920 Lake Tahoe Blvd. For beer, food and brewery information visit them online at or reach the Brewery at 530-578-0087.

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