Himmel Haus, South Lake Tahoe


Many gifted athletes come from the Lake Tahoe area.  Some were born and raised in the area.  Others move there because they want to train with the best.  As me and Mister Jack faithfully watch the Winter Olympics, I have this nagging wish to stay in South Lake Tahoe for at least a week.  Enough snow has fallen to open the ski resorts and attract skiers and snowboarders.  For people who work, this is the time to take the day off or call in sick because none of us know when the next snow storm will come.  I am not a skier or a snowboarder, but I do like to hole up in our timeshare and write away the hours.  Sometimes, I’ll break away and take photographs of the Tahoe landscape.  I would also like to visit the Himmel Haus before we leave.

When we travel, Mister Jack and I are always striking up conversations with the locals.  Usually, they are very helpful when it comes to suggesting great places to eat and how to get to the tourist destinations.  If we’re lucky, they’ll tell us little secrets about places where the tourists don’t go.  

Although we have visited Tahoe most of our lives, we are only beginning to enjoy the out-of-the-way locations.  South Lake Tahoe is known for its casinos, but if you look past them, you’ll appreciate Tahoe’s natural beauty.  It’s all about Lake Tahoe, the forests and the outdoor sports.  It truly is year-round Paradise.

Location, Location, Location

Himmel Haus is a German restaurant and pub located right across the street from Heavenly Valley.  I have no doubt that anyone who is familiar with Heavenly stopped at this restaurant to unwind with a beer and good food.

As spoiled suburbanites, we had a hard time seeing the street signs at night because the neighborhood streets don’t have any street lights to guide you.  By the time we got to Himmel Haus, the dirt parking lot was packed.  As we pulled up, someone did leave.  Otherwise, we would have moved on.

Inside, the long, black dining tables are to the left.  To the right is the bar.  Despite the noises coming from the bar, the dining room is a little dark, but quiet enough for community dining.  Families with children and couples are welcome. 

Do You Spatzle or Schnitzel?

I’ve never tried German food.  The waitress was very patient with me, and answered all of my questions.  She suggested that I try the pork schnitzel.  That was her favorite dish.  I’ve heard a lot about spatzle, but it’s a simple dish equivalent to pasta.  I had a recipe for it, so I decided to skip the spatzle and try to make that at home.   

Generous Servings 

I could not believe the amount of food that was served to me and Mister Jack.  My pork schnitzel was huge.  Since the pork was thin, breaded, and fried, the meat was so crisp and flavorful.  The cabbage and the mashed potatoes were something I haven’t had.  There was also a small bowl of thick gravy.  I enjoyed the whole meal, and there was so much of it left, that I had the remainder for breakfast. 


 Mister Jack ordered German sausage for dinner, and we were both surprised to see four different sausages over mashed potatoes.  Plus four types of mustard.  My husband is 6’4″ (and a little more).  He could only eat one sausage. 


For dessert, we shared a scoop of ice cream with apple strudel.  We usually skip dessert, but could not pass up the apple strudel.

Don’t Forget the Beer

If you want to get acquainted with German beer, this is the place.  Like Mister Jack, you may be in for a nice surprise.




As a flatlander, I always have South Lake Tahoe on my mind.  Sun or snow–it doesn’t matter.  For us, it will always been an escape from urban living.  And a chance to try out the hangouts frequented by the locals.  So far, we haven’t been disappointed.















  1. Raymund · February 14, 2014

    After reading this I suddenly missed Munich, I ate a lot of this kinds of food when I was there paired with enormous amounts of Weissbier

    • Arlene Poma · February 14, 2014

      Raymund, I would love to travel as much as you do–and write about it! For now, recovery from my kidney transplant takes top priority. Tahoe will have to wait, but as a rule, we spend Mister Jack’s birthday in Tahoe (March). German food is so comforting. I don’t drink beer, but the German beer was a nice change for Mister Jack because he is a big fan of Sierra Nevada and Lagunitas. We would love to visit Munich!

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