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Happy Hour: Uniquely Alaska

Happy Hour: Uniquely Alaska

Happy Hour: Uniquely Alaska

With all the recent attention on President Obama’s historic visit to Alaska this week, I thought this would be the perfect time for my last post on my own Alaska trip earlier this summer.

As a foodie and travel junkie, I absolutely had to try some of the local cuisine.  Fortunately, I had plenty of family members that supplied me with tips for their favorite eateries in the Anchorage area.  Sadly for me, I didn’t have near enough time to hit every place on the growing list.  However, I did get to a few; here are the highlights:

donuts at The Kobuk Coffee Co.

donuts at The Kobuk Coffee Co.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that donuts and tea are a few of my foodie loves–which is why we had to stop at The Kobuk in downtown Anchorage on the way to lunch.  Yes, you read that right–donut appetizers.  This cafe/gift shop is located in an historic building built in 1915 as a general store.  The front of the store is a cute gift shop dominated by Alaska-made items.  There’s a whole wall of shelves filled with loose tea in glass canisters and a little pastry cafe in the back.  Their “old fashioned” donuts are not like the heavy, dense cake donuts back East, but closer to the yeast-raised consistency of a glazed donut.  Nice dose of yum to get the taste buds going.

 

Reindeer burger at Humpy's

Reindeer burger at Humpy’s

Lunch was at Humpy’s, which bills itself as a “great Alaskan alehouse.”  Humpy’s is clearly a local favorite, and we had perfect weather to take advantage of their outdoor seating.   Their menu is loaded with seafood (as is to be expected in Alaska), but I felt compelled to try their reindeer burger.  I went “halfsies” with my teenaged cousin and we split a reindeer burger and a crabby patty sandwich–made with Alaskan king crab meat.  I was expecting a distinctive, maybe gamey, flavor from the reindeer; but it tasted mostly like beef.  The king crab meat in the crabby patty was also indistinguishable; but maybe that’s because I’m so particular about my crabcakes.  Still, a fun outing on a rare sunny afternoon in Anchorage.

smoked salmon club at Glacier Brewhouse

smoked salmon club at Glacier Brewhouse

On a different day, we lunched at the Glacier Brewhouse; another local Anchorage favorite.  This an upscale brewpub with great atmosphere and an actual brewery on the premises.  Lots of great choices on their menu, and I opted for the smoked salmon club sandwich.  Delish.  Lots of flavorful smoked salmon, nice texture with the toasted French bread, creamy avocado, and crisp, peppery bacon.  Highly recommend!

reindeer sausage pizza at the Silver Gulch

reindeer sausage pizza at the Silver Gulch

One of the best meals of my Alaska trip was at the airport.  This was a complete surprise, particularly since I decided to give reindeer meat another go.  After my disappointing reindeer burger earlier, I was advised to try reindeer sausage before I return home.  Lo and behold, I’m at the airport in search of a pre-flight dinner.  I seek out the Silver Gulch pub on the recommendation of another cousin–and they have reindeer sausage pizza on their menu.  I think this must not be a coincidence that I’m finding this on my very last meal in Alaska, so I order up the reindeer pizza with a glacier blueberry soda.  The reindeer sausage was somewhere between a kielbasa and a chorizo–spicy with a unique flavor.  Definitely not pork or beef, but not as gamey as venison.  That, on top of a nice bready crust with melted cheeses, peppers and olives, and a refreshingly light blueberry fizzy to wash it down.  Good stuff.

When I next return to Alaska, I plan to hit some of the sushi restaurant recommendations that I didn’t get to this time.  Many thanks to all the family members and new friends that volunteered their favorite places to eat and drink!  And special thanks to my cousins who drove me everywhere on my quest for uniquely Alaskan fare.

I shall return.  🙂

 

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