Take Out of the Week: Primo’s Italian Bistro and Red Hut Cafe

As we navigate through this time of uncertainty, we have postponed the Drink of the Week column and are replacing it with a takeout option for the week. Support local businesses and stay safe, Tahoe.

Primo’s Italian Bistro

Whenever I think about the best Italian food I always picture the Italian grandmother rolling dough and making pasta from scratch with the Sunday gravy sitting on the back burner. While Primo’s Italian Bistro isn’t quite that, it might as well be.

That’s because, like the Italian grandmother they are rolling out their sauces and pastas (and desserts) from scratch, which sounds like as good a place as any to start.

Anytime we’re talking pasta at Primo’s we got to talk about the fettuccine Alfredo. Those fresh noodles swimming in a river of cream, butter and cheese, it’s like a ride down the lagoon of love where the only direction is down (my belly).

If we’re going to give some play to the fettuccine, we also have to mention its big brother: rigatoni. Airy cylinders sopping wet with vodka sauce paired with chunks of sausage and sliced mushrooms, you’ll feel like Joe Pesci is watching you to make sure you give it its proper due.

The whole menu is littered with other locals’ favorites like the Sambuca shrimp with house-made crostini, and the pillow-like calzone, which comes wrapping three fillings and three cheeses. And if you need the comfort of a good old pizza, you can’t go wrong with their two topping pie for only $10.

If you’re craving something with a little more meat on it’s bones, then the osso bucco is your prince charming; it’s fall off the bone tender with sauce for days sitting on a bed of creamy parmesan polenta. It’s Bill Gates rich and oh so worth it.

They are also doing 20% off their wine bottles to go, so you can make certain your meal has the perfect pairing. Also, for you frontline health care employees, they are offering a 50% discount, because you definitely deserve it.

All that and to-go tiramisu, too? Fuggedaboutit.

Primo’s Italian Bistro is located at 2180 Lake Tahoe Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe. Currently they are open Tuesday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. for take out. For more information or learn about dining room availability, visit them online at or call them at 530-600-2220.

Red Hut Cafe

Full heart and a full tummy — that’s the feeling that Red Hut Café wants you to have after your experience with them. With the actual dining experience still taking shape in both California and Nevada, let’s focus on that full tummy part. Because no matter which location you’re closest to, you can get the full menu to go and unbuckle that belt in the comfort of your own home.

If I asked everyone around town what Red Hut was probably known best for, the answer should overwhelmingly come back breakfast. But, let’s turn this on its head a bit and talk first about what you might not think of them for: their burgers.

Yes, only one location (Ski Run) serves the dinner menu, but if that sun starts to roll down the mountains and you’ve suddenly got a craving for a nice juicy burger, I’d recommend trying the Double Diamond.

This monster is packed to the gills with flavor and fully loaded. Yeah sure it’s got the 1/3-pound angus patty, but it’s also stacked with an onion ring, bacon, cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, thousand island sauce, jalapenos and pickles. If it sounds like a mouthful, well yeah, but what a glorious mouthful it is.

I don’t want to make this completely about dinner, because after all, we did dangle that breakfast carrot. So for all you people who are waking up later and going to work in your pajama pants, you can always make a quick run to grab the most important meal of the day. Just make sure to turn off your Zoom camera if you’re going to be eating and meeting at the same time.

Let’s start by letting you know throughout the month of May you can get a different special every day for only $5. Whether it’s the classic combo of two pancakes, two eggs and hash browns (Thursdays) or a bacon waffle (Mondays) – yes, that’s a bacon waffle folks – you’ll find something for everyone.

If there were a café equivalent of “Cheers,” the Red Hut might be it – that comfortable and happy place with people you know. Regardless if you’re just trying them out, or a customer for life, they’ll be glad you came.

Red Hut Café has three locations on the South Shore: 2723 Lake Tahoe Blvd., 229 Kingsbury Grade (Stateline, NV), and 3660 Lake Tahoe Blvd. (corner of Ski Run). Current hours are 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. for the Nevada location, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Ski Run) and 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the O.G location. Visit them at for phone numbers and more information.

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