While living in Hawaii, CJ and Julia von Imhof got hooked on açai bowls, colorful portions of fruits munched by surfers for a natural, vitamin-packed energy boost. The base of the bowls, açai, is a restorative fruit found in Brazilian palm trees, rumored to be a superfood for its high antioxidant content and ability to deflect bullets. The von Imhofs craved the superhealthy food when they moved to Alaska, inspiring them to open their own açai café and “healthy-lifestyle shop.”
The little restaurant brought a slice of island life to Alaska; as a food critic at the Anchorage Daily News wrote, “A distinctly Hawaiian influence was evident on my first visit; I was instantly transported to a beachfront surf shack.” The shop’s signature dish, the açai bowl, starts with a base of açai blended with dark berries and topped with a tasty variety of tropical fruits, chia seeds, chopped almonds, goji berries, spirulina, and bee pollen. The vegan-friendly bowls contain no added sugars or preservatives, yet still taste as sweet as dessert, breakfast cereal, or revenge, leading to delighted reviews by food critics from Examiner.
It all starts with unbleached flour and a recipe—free from trans fats—that's distinguished Alaska Bagel Restaurant since its original founding in 1994. From there, the restaurant's bakers make more than two dozen varieties of their signature item, bagels, which come in flavors such as asiago cheese, pesto, apple cinnamon, and sun-dried tomato.
Those circles of fresh-baked dough are only the beginning, however. Alaska Bagel's team might top them in a walnut-raisin fruit shmear or use the more savory varieties to construct its signature Mt. McKinley bagel sandwich, which layers together cream cheese, avocado, tomato, onion, and sprouts. The chefs can also grill burgers and load plates high with chicken and waffles.
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Arctic Playgroundz is 2,000 square feet of indoor play-park fun flanked by a full-service espresso and sandwich bar. As children plunge down slides, grapple with the tricks of existence on the climbing wall, or sail off in a pirate ship while sipping anti-scurvy lemon juice, parents—who get in for free—can claim a couch or chair and help deplete the air’s supply of free WiFi. Most of the center’s kiddie equipment is intended for children ages 6 and under, and a separate, softer play area awaits infants.