EAT This Week: Sorensen’s Café’s “Classics” 

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.  

Every now and then, we like to change it up a bit. So this week, the aforementioned “classics” in the headline actually refer to two dishes that are available at the iconic Sorensen’s Café, and have been for over the past 40 years. And while you might have to take a short drive to enjoy this two-fer, I’m giving you a bit of a head start to plan your fall colors drive – because if you’ve ever been to Hope Valley, you know it’s one of the best places to view the changing of the seasons in the Sierra.  

I’m told that people will drive to this restaurant just to have one of these options (or both) – and they’re so beloved that if they were ever taken off the menu, they might never come back. That’s some hardcore fandom. But, after diving in to each dish, I can certainly see why.  

Burgundy Stew: I’ve heard from several people this past week that it’s starting to feel like fall. If there’s a dish that goes hand in hand with that feeling, it’s this one.  

Beef sirloin is browed and then braised in a party of mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery), red wine, baby red potatoes, cremini mushrooms, beef stock, fresh thyme, and bay leaf anywhere from three and a half to four hours.  

Sorensen’s Café’s Burgundy Stew.
Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Once reduced it gets served up with sliced bread to help you sop up all that extra tasty stock (if there’s any left). The meat is insanely tender and the depth of flavor just wants to reach out of the bowl and give you a hug. The preparation of this dish is pretty classic, but when something is as delicious as this, you don’t mess with perfection.  

Berry Cobbler: Similarly, this dessert is pretty straightforward with a trio of fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) getting cooked down with vanilla and mint until that syrupy goodness starts bursting at the seams.  

It is served with a scone doused with a little orange zest, a sprig of fresh mint, and vanilla ice cream. While they are not the stars of the dish, the orange and vanilla notes really come through on the back end in this dish.  

Sorensen’s Café’s Berry Cobbler.
Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune

The berries are indeed the stars and they are the things that really send this dish over the top. That warm goodness with the cold melt-y ice cream, are a great juxtaposition. When you get the texture of the scone along with it, I can certainly see why people keep coming back – and threaten not to.  

The drive will be worth it, trust me.  

Sorensen’s Cafe is located at 14255 CA HWY 88 at the Desolation Hotel in Hope Valley. For more information visit them online at or reach them via phone at 530-694-2203.  

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