Marty’s Cafe

Review by: Jess Dawson

Since he was young, chef Marty Carlton liked to eat well. Starting at age 15, he was working in restaurants, then spent a decade in Southern California before making his way to Maine, where he cooked for President Bush Sr. and his wife. At Marty’s, he applies what he’s always known to be true: simplicity is key. There are no fancy ingredients on his menu. Just recognizable dishes done well. 

The building sits right in the middle of charming downtown Truckee, and once served as a loading dock and freight station for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Inside, there are strong mom’s-kitchen vibes, and the open kitchen overlooks the small dining room.

There’s a slightly exotic, sometimes-French twist to some of the food. The green chile and chorizo breakfast burrito is chock full of scrambled eggs, Spanish rice, a lime-tomatillo salsa, enchilada sauce, guacamole, scallions, sour cream, and feta cheese. It’s huge, and arrives with a huge steak knife slicing through its middle. 

One of my favorites is the Southwest sloppy Joe with Swiss cheese, chili peppers, and avocado on salty garlic bread. These sandwiches are huge, and are available in halves, so definitely come hungry (or prepare to bring home dinner). If you get a whole Joe, you get two sides. We had fresh greens and creamy potato salad, the latter more like delicious mashed potatoes with crunchy onions on top.

A fried egg sandwich is served open-face with French bread, a slice of Gruyere, bacon, and two sunny-side-up eggs. Next to it are fresh baby greens with a creamy lemon aioli, and a house potato cake that needs some salt.

A Philly cheesesteak comes dripping with sauce, sautéed onions, bell peppers and melted cheddar. The meat is thin and well-seasoned, and the bread has great crunch. 

This relaxed spot is exactly what you’d expect in Tahoe. It’s not trying too hard, but offers a good meal — including all-day breakfast — in a welcoming setting. Plus, a post-meal stroll around Truckee is a great way to finish things off. 

What To Eat

Southwest Sloppy Joe

Potato Salad

Philly Cheesesteak

Breakfast Sandwich


Marty’s Cafe Recipes


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