The dining scene at summertime Lake Tahoe is off to a great start, with the best tables found outdoors on decks and patios.
Example: Though Sal's BBQ isn't on the water per se, it is situated in a grand people-watching venue. An elevated patio in front of Embassy Suites fronting Highway 50 - near Harrah's hotel-casino and the Heavenly Valley gondola ride - has been set up to accommodate diners hungry for grilled goods and in the mood for music.
Offerings off the grill range from burgers and bratwursts to baby back ribs and hard-to-find skirt steak. Wash them down with draft beer (Hefeweizen and Kona Longboard), smoothies and sodas. Overseeing things is restaurant manager Terry Darmer.
Food prices range from $11 to $14. The children's menu features a burger, hot dog and cheese quesadilla ($5 to $7).
The food's good, as is the live music. We dropped by Saturday afternoon and caught one-man-band singer-musician Fabrizio, whose playlist ranges from reggae and pop to country and oldies rock. He plays weekends, with other live acts Thursdays and Fridays.
Sal's BBQ is an arm of the Echo restaurant inside Embassy Suites, and named for executive chef Sal Delgado.
Check it out from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 7 p.m. Sundays, through Labor Day. It's happening at 4130 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe; (530) 543-2140, www.embassysuiteslaketahoe.com.