Take Out of the Week: Sonney’s BBQ Shack and Berties

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.

Sonney’s BBQ Shack

Picture this: a warm sunny afternoon, good company, perhaps a cold beverage in one hand, and then you get that ever-so-familiar waft of smoke that penetrates the nose. Yes, that scent that invariably leads you to turn to your company and say, “somebody’s barbecuing.”

If it’s not coming from your backyard, then maybe the next best thing you can hope for is a trip to Sonney’s. If you’re not a grill master, then it might even be a better alternative.

Yes, the Shack is back for all you locals that have been craving those menu items (mac n cheese balls, anyone?) that you can’t go through life without. If that item was their bourbon bloody mary with the slice of bacon stirring stick, then yeah, that’s available, too. The only thing they aren’t doing is dessert. But when you have good barbecue, who ever has room for dessert anyways, right?

Where do you start when talking about the menu items? Pork butt of course. That delectable cut that is the magic behind their pulled pork sandwiches and many other menu items, goes in the smoker around 9 p.m. It sleeps through the night amongst the smoke rings and awakens from its 14-hour slumber around 11 a.m. – just in time for lunch. It gets a hand-pulled shred, and in the case of the sandwich, gets comfortably laid to rest on fresh sourdough delivered six days a week from local Truckee Sourdough Co.

And just like you might think, brisket and half chickens are also getting their due in the smoker each day – but let’s not forget the chile verde. Yes, you might not think you need a warm bowl of roasted tomatillo and jalapeno sauce dancing with tender pork shoulder with the weather heating up, but you’d be wrong. Just admit it so we can move along.

The bottom line is that they are doing what they do every day and making everything from scratch. This includes those sauces that range from sweet-n-smoky to Carolina mustard (perfect for dipping those onion rings into).

Great for lunch or dinner, there are plenty of items to make that perfect combo your crew needs. And if you get the urge to order a rack of ribs for lunch and find yourself asking if it’s too indulgent, just tell yourself that you’re buying two meals (lunch and dinner). It might not go a long way if you bring a half-eaten rack of ribs home to the rest of the family for dinner, but it’ll sure make you feel better about yourself at lunch time.

Sonney’s BBQ shack is located at 787 Emerald Bay Road in South Lake Tahoe. They are open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. everyday for subside pickup and to-go orders. For more information or their full menu, visit or call them at 530-541-7427.

Bertie’s Hot Chicken

Before we get into anything, we need to set the record straight on what Nashville Hot Chicken is. However, it might be easier to say what it’s not: buffalo-style fried chicken. To tell you what it really is, why don’t I just take you through the Bertie’s process.

First, the chicken soaks in a buttermilk and hot sauce bath for 24 hours. From there it’s dredged in their seasoned house breading, which includes phantom spice, and then fried to golden perfection. Normally, most people would be ready to throw that down their gullet, but this is where the Nashville favorite gets its calling card. It’s dipped in your choice of sauce (ranging from honey butter to cluck’n nuts) where you decide the Scoville Scale for your taste buds.

If it tears the paint off when you breathe, congratulations. You’ve earned a spot in the I-don’t-want-to-be-you-hall-of-fame. Regardless of your tolerance, there’s a delicious sauce waiting to tingle those tasters or to go along with the mood you’re in. You also have the option for grilled or blackened to help you chicken out if need be.

The rest of the menu is southern comfort to its core. Sides range from waffle fries to cowboy caviar to Tennessee slaw (which pairs nicely with the hotter chicken). But, why talk about sides when you have big beautiful pieces of chicken that you can also throw on a bun.

Whether for lunch or dinner, the choices of chicken sandwiches are a hit with the locals. The most popular: the Dixie Chicken, which combines crispy chicken with that aforementioned slaw and pickles, and the ‘Bama Bird, which swaps the slaw out for that southern staple of pimento cheese for a smooth and gooey bite.

As long as we’re talking between two buns, don’t sleep on their burgers. They grind their beef in house as a mixture of brisket and chuck for a killer blend that comes with all the fixin’s that you’re looking for.

The full menu is available and if you’re looking to feed the crew you’re sheltered with, they just started their family boxes that come with eight pieces of chicken and two sides for only $20. If you find that it’s just too much chicken to eat in one sitting, then welcome to one of the finer things in life you may not know about: cold fried chicken. This luxurious leftover might even be best described the same as revenge: a dish best served cold.

Bertie’s Hot Chicken is located at 903 Tahoe Blvd. in Incline Village. They are open daily from 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. (closed Tuesdays) for take out. For complete menu visit them online at or call them at 775-413-5050 to order.

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