Two Doors Down (Urbano Cafe), Dallas, 8/9/18

exterior
exterior

Urbano Cafe has been around for 9 years, located in the shopping center that has Jimmy’s Food Store.  Owner Mitch Kauffman had tried several other locations before settling here.  It is a small BYOB restaurant with fun choices but early this year they opened Two Doors Down (2DD) next door.  It serves the same menu but also offers wine by the glass and bottle.  It is nice to have the choice if you forgot to bring wine and are there too late to swing into Jimmy’s and pick up something.  They serve lunch and dinner with a small menu and a menu of specials that changes regularly.  The small bare wood tables are fairly closely spaced and a small bar is at one end of the room.  The opposite end looks out to the street but the blinds were closed when we were there as you entered through Urbano Cafe.  The lights are dimmed and there is a hum of people talking softly and having fun.  Service was efficient and reasonably helpful.   Continue reading

F Street Station Bar and Grill, Anchorage, 8/4/18

exterior
exterior

F Street Station Bar and Grill opened the bar an hour before the grill.  It was established in 1944 as the Mur-Mac Lounge and is the “oldest downtown Anchorage bar still in its original location.”  Apparently it was a favorite of aviators serving the bush community as well as workers in the federal building across the street.  After the 1964 earthquake the building it was in had to be replaced with the F Building.  The current owners bought it in 1983 and renamed it the F Street Station and added the grill.   It was still a favorite with pilots, of which there are many in Anchorage.  There are 2 bar areas and several high top tables all appointed with padded stools that swiveled.  The walls were filled with patches and other airline things.   They feature a number of locally brewed beers on tap as well as a full bar.  The people were very friendly.   Continue reading

Marx Bros. Café, Anchorage, 8/3/18

exterior
exterior

Marx Bros. Café is in a small 102 year old house with two of the rooms set up with 14 small tables.  The restaurant originally was a wine club run by 4 guys who moved it into this house in 1979.   Apparently the moving night was reminiscent of a Marx Brothers movie and thus the name changed to Marx Bros. Café from the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society.  The tables are nicely spaced and set with white tableclothes and napkins.  Music played in the background and the walls are filled with photos and paintings.  A staircase divided the two dining rooms and those walls were lined with awards and certificates, which you can study, as it led to the bathroom.  They left the back and front doors open because they didn’t seem to have air conditioning.  The many windows on the wall of the house didn’t appear to be operational.  The menu was small but did offer a couple nightly specials.  The general manager also served as the sommelier and while they have an adequate wine list they offer no hard liquor.   Service was scattered but pleasant.   Continue reading

Club Paris Restaurant, Anchorage, 8/3/18

street sign
street sign

Club Paris is a long narrow dark place with tons of stuff on the walls.  The walls are lined with booths sized for 2 or 4 people and closely placed tables running down the middle.  The tables were set with “office chairs” complete with rolling wheels.  The low ceiling had fans and 60’s rock played in the background.  A large bar took up a lot of the front of the restaurant and it looked like you could eat there too.  It was full of people so a reservation is a good idea but with a carpeted floor the noise level was not too bad.  The floor did seem to be hollow underneath so you could feel/hear the staff running back and forth.  Service was friendly and efficient but there wasn’t much time for chatting with so many people.  It did die down some while we were there so I’m guessing a lot of the crowd was there for lunch during the workday where time was of the essence.  There was a great vibe to the place and many renditions of the Eiffel Tower as well as Paris references.   Outside was a wonderful sign that looked like it dated back quite a ways.  Continue reading

El Green-Go’s, Anchorage, 8/2&3/18

exterior
exterior

El Green-Go’s is a permanently installed food truck serving local, organic Mexican and American Cuisine.  They source local  and organic ingredients for their food.  It is mostly breakfast and lunch, closing at 5:00 pm.  Interestingly, they are located right across the street from the Snow City Cafe and we chose to eat here twice rather than go back and stand in line across the street.   A friendly young couple run the place with Tyler doing the cooking and Crystal taking orders, bringing out food and taking your money.  The menu had few ingredients combined in a number of different ways.  Many include a choice of protein which were pork, chicken, tofu or halibut (for an additional $6).  In the back he had a grill/smoker set up where he cooked the meat and it also provided a wonderful aroma for your dining experience. They offer to make any of their items vegan or gluten free for no additional charge.   Continue reading

The Crow’s Nest, Anchorage, 8/2/18

wine storage
wine storage

The Crow’s Nest is on the 20th floor of the Captain Cook Hotel, which are the 3 tall buildings in the downtown area.  It was built around 1976-77 and offers a wonderful view of the city.  The restaurant faces the water while the bar area faces downtown.  The ceiling of the entire area is carved to resemble the skeleton of an inverted boat bottom.  As you got off the elevator the large bar is in front of you, finished with lots of wood and low lighting.  To one side is the medium sized dining room.  Widely spaced tables are set into deep booths or against the floor to ceiling windows.  Tables are draped in beautiful embossed linens with matching napkins.  Service was exemplary – friendly and helpful – and very polished. They offered probably the biggest wine list we found in town.   Continue reading

Wild Scoops, Anchorage, 8/2/18

entrance
entrance

Wild Scoops is a local ice cream maker (all made in Anchorage) and wildly popular, if the line was any indication.  Their ice cream is made in small batches and tries to feature local flavors.  They offered enough flavors to choose from but not so many that it got confusing.  The hand dipped creamy flavors came in a cup or cone, some of which were made on site.  The waffle cone is made with cinnamon and their baked Alaska cone is topped with marshmallow fluff that is torched.  The place smells divine while you wait for your turn.   They also had lots of products for sale as well as souvenirs.  We tried the Sitka Swirl which was sweet cream with homemade salted caramel made with sea salt.  It was a lovely sweet, smooth ice cream that was nicely swirled with rich flavorful caramel.  The Alaska Birch almond was sweet cream and toasted almonds with Bridge Creek Birch Syrup.  Also, perfectly creamy and wonderfully flavored with the almonds which also added a little texture.   Stop by if you’re in the area. Continue reading