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

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

Holly Dogs, Anchorage, 8/2/18

front of stand
front of stand

Holly Dogs is a gourmet sausage stand next to the PAC in Town Square.  She usually opens in the afternoon and sells anything from reindeer sausage to bratwurst.   She has an on site grill where they are readied and then she splits them and fills it with sautéed onions.  There are other topping too as well as chips, drinks and a grilled cheese for sale.  If you’re walking around downtown Anchorage and want a quick lunch or just a fun snack this one is a winner.  We tried the reindeer sausage, which actually included some pork in the sausage, with onions and mustard on a rainy downtown stroll.  It was wonderful, juicy and full of flavor.  Also the proprietor of the stand,  Holly Shirk, is very friendly and knowledgable about Anchorage.  In fact she recommended another place where we had a fabulous lunch. Continue reading

Jens’ Restaurant, Anchorage, 8/2/18

building
building

Jens’ Restaurant was a large place in a strip shopping center.  Jens Hansen was the original owner and his photo hangs in one room.  He passed away in 2012 and in 2016 his Executive Chef Nancy Alip bought the place and still continues as chef.  As you entered there was a large bar area set up with dining places on the counter and an additional large dining room with walls accented with wine paraphenalia and art that mostly was for sale.  There were two really interesting  ceiling fixtures with colored glass pieces in the room, some music in the background and white tableclothes and napkins on the nicely spaced tables.  The walls were accented by a strip of corks that were where a waincot might have ended.  They offered a large menu that featured some Danish dishes as well as crepes, pasta, seafood, meat and a daily special.  The waiter told us that all the seafood was fresh, never frozen, thus you would find no crab on their menu.  Service was friendly and helpful.  They did charge a split fee for a pasta entree they divided for us in the kitchen.   Continue reading

Kincaid Grill, Anchorage, 8/1/18

exterior
exterior

Kincaid Grill was in a strip mall location, a short ride from downtown.  It was made up of 2 good sized rooms filled with widely spaced white draped tables and a bar with some seating.  Lights were lowered and there was a hum of crowd noise, but conversation was easy.  Windows were on several walls so natural light came in but the view was minimal.  However, once inside you forgot you were in a strip shopping center.  It offered a tasting menu in the winter but was only a la carte in the summer. They also had a couple specials for the evening featuring rockfish or halibut.  Service was efficient and friendly, in fact we connected with the server and later in our trip visited her sausage stand.   Continue reading

Artic Roadrunner, Anchorage, 8/1/18

exterior
exterior

Artic Roadrunner was started by Richard Sanchis in the mid-1960’s.  He recently passed away and one of his last wishes was to have the location on Arctic Blvd. to close.  However the location on Old Seward Hwy. would continue, so even if you can’t go to the location where we did you can still get the food.  It was a funky place with a drive-through window and indoor eating area.  It was a ‘line up and order’ and then they call your number when your food is ready for you to pick up, system.  There was a condiment bar where you could dress up what you get as you wish and I bet the system is similar at the other location.  They offer a variety of burgers, specialty sandwiches, fried foods and ice cream drinks.  No checks or credit cards were accepted.   Continue reading

Snow City Cafe, Anchorage, 8/1/18

other side exterior (fun door handles)
exterior (fun door handles)

Snow City Cafe was a large place that had a line to get in every time we walked by.  I overheard the greeter say they do take a few reservations and those folks were able to get seated promptly but if you don’t call ahead and get one expect to wait at least 45 minutes.  They did have coffee urns and cups for you to use while you wait and a supply of toys to keep the kids occupied.  They also had shelves and racks of named goods that you can purchase as a souvenir.  There was a take out counter with some pre-packaged salads, sandwiches, etc. and a counter of baked goods.  These were of particular note because when President Obama visited Anchorage in 2015, he went to the Snow City Cafe and purchased all the cinnamon buns they had in the counter.  They did look delicious but I would have called them a pecan roll, so maybe this was something else.   Continue reading

Haute Quarter Grill, Anchorage, 7/31/18

exterior
exterior

Haute Quarter Grill was a a fairly large rectangular place where you entered into a good sized bar and the other end was the kitchen.  The dining area was divided by a low wall that anchored partitions for booth seating on both sides.  A large wine storage area was on one wall and that also accommodated larger tables and was not divided into cubicles.  An interesting lighting system brought lights over to each table with some being brighter than others.  It felt nicely private at our table but it was a tad strange to not see many of the other customers.  Service was friendly but not overly so with pacing of the meal being on the rapid side and explanations of what you had, non-existent.   Continue reading