Bangkok Cafe's Thai chef Vue Oor sprinkles his curry and noodle entrees with traditional spices to spark palates, prompting the Anchorage Daily News to praise the restaurant's authentic "layers of flavor." Guests can practice stealthily unfolding a rival's origami collection with an appetizer of fresh spring rolls, whose cucumber, egg, chicken, shrimp, and noodle filling welcomes dips into homemade peanut sauce. The Gang panang mingles veggies and a chosen meat—beef, pork, chicken, or shrimp—in a coconut milk panang curry, and a classic portion of pad thai pairs stir-fried rice noodles with bean sprouts, peanuts, eggs, and green onions. For a satisfying crunch without gnawing on squares of bubble wrap, feasters can sink teeth into the pad cashew's blend of cashews, carrots, and water chestnuts. Chefs splash orders with mild, medium, or hot spices by request, and quell herbivorous cravings with a roster of vegetarian dishes that substitute tofu for meat.
Snowy City Cafe's innovative brunch fare, most of which is prepped from scratch with ingredients from local vendors, has garnered the Best Breakfast award every year from the Anchorage Press since 2003 and Anchorage Daily News since 2006. Guests can sift through the Heart Attack on a Plate's medley of hash browns, bacon crumbles, cheddar cheese, and veggies, or dress tongues in a coat and mittens for treks across the Tundra Scramble omelet filled with morsels of ground reindeer sausage. The stuffed french toast suffuses a baguette with mandarin orange cream cheese and toasted walnuts before lathering on layers of syrup and raspberry butter. For a riverside take on a classic, the Ship Creek Benedict piles a toasted english muffin with poached eggs and Snow City salmon cakes that pair nicely with Kaladi drip coffee and the lilting accordion riffs of a morning sea shanty. Patrons can savor their early bird treats with additional libations, including freshly brewed iced tea and fruit juices. Popular selections from the lunch menu include the Seattle chop salad with grilled chicken, blue cheese, bacon, tomatoes, and macaroni on a bed of mixed greens with vinaigrette and the 4th Avenue Special, a turkey sandwich on marble rye with bacon, cheddar, swiss, tomatoes, sprouts and herb mayo.
A pair of skilled fists punches a glob of dough, effortlessly spins it in the air, and plops it on the counter. After crowning the doughy disk with marinara, a medley of mozzarella and provolone cheese, and dashes of spiced parmesan, the hands grasp a wooden paddle to transport their creation to the stone oven to incubate until the sauces sizzle and cheeses ooze over the crispy crust. Since 1993, the chefs at Uncle Joe's Pizzeria have been following these simple steps to create pizzas that now parade to tables in 18 specialty flavors daily or one racy piece of pepperoni when the chefs aren't looking. Along with pizza, each of the four locations sate tastes for the Mediterranean with salads, gyros, and calzones, whose flavors carefully balance with glasses of beer, wine, and bubbly soda.
Frommer’s described the food at Sacks Cafe And Restaurant as “terrific,” saying, “the cuisine defies categorization but is consistently interesting and creative.” It’s an impressive achievement for an eatery that switches up lunch and dinner options on a daily basis, offering hearty sandwiches, local-seafood entrees, and plenty of vegetarian and meaty choices.
Diners perched at the tables or tapas bar also feast on weekend brunch options such as poached eggs on crab and scallop cakes and omelets clutching tiger prawns or Alaska-reindeer sausage. Mimosas with freshly squeezed orange juice and freshly popped champagne make getting out of bed almost as easy as not getting out of bed.
Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse lures locals and celebrities, such as Adam Richman of Man v. Food, with a dinner menu of hearty Alaskan pub fare and local draught beers. Flash fried with herbs and breadcrumbs, Alaskan-king-crab nuggets herald dinners of marinated-portobello-mushroom burgers drizzled with pesto aioli. The pub’s hand-tossed pizzas include the Olympian, which lives up to its name with a mountain of kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, sausages, and crunchy marble statues. Though not included with dinner, foam-crowned pints of beer ($5.25–$9.75) include local brews such as Denali Chuli stout and Silver Gulch Fairbanks lager, as well as imported pours of Lindeman’s Framboise and Delirium Tremens. As ales effervesce, big-screen and plasma TVs flicker with sports games above marine-life murals, wall-mounted tap handles, and a moose paid to serve as the pub’s coat rack.
A third-generation Alaskan native, Mike Dodge is proud of his roots through and through. This dedication shines through in his cooking; he insists on using as many fresh and local ingredients as possible in order to support Alaskan businesses. Yet as the executive chef and owner of Hott Stixx, Mike isn’t afraid to look elsewhere for inspiration. He often blends his local raw materials with recipes plucked from all over the world. His appetizer selection—including ginger black-bean tacos, steamed pork buns, samosas, and spicy thai peanut wings—provides insight into the eclectic assortment of dishes. Incorporating international flavors throughout his menu, Mike also uses cooking techniques he learned from his parents, who taught him at a young age to cook baby formula from scratch.
Town Square Grill's culinarians cater to epicurean proclivities with new lunch and dinner menus of flame-kissed entrees, adorning plates within a casual, yet upscale eatery with art-speckled walls. Appetizers, such as the wildberry-stuffed brie or the famed sauce-soused wings, kick off evenings of eating, conversing, and competing to see who can whistle Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with a full mouth. Dinner entrees such as the rosemary-crusted rack of lamb loiter in a cranberry and mint demi-glace, and the mustard grilled salmon swathes itself in a blanket of brandy cream on a divan of caper and sourdough bread pudding. For lunch, stews du jour vie with the dependable chicken tortilla soup, and unique salads include the poached pears and candied almonds on spring greens and fresh mozzarella. The selection of sandwiches culls inspiration from all over the world—from the Cuban-style pork shoulder of the El Cubano to the American-spawned TSG burger draped in bacon, avocado, and white balsamic vinaigrette. Otherwise, squash, zucchini, red onion, and portobellos come together to reconcile their long-standing rivalries on the hallowed ground of a grilled pita in the grilled vegetable sandwich.