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.
The bold herbs and spices of Nepalese, Indian, Burmese, and Tibetan cuisines converge on Namaste Shangri-La's menu, giving diners a brief overview of the Himalayan region's rich culinary offerings. These dishes vary in their heat and intensity, ranging from tender lamb in an incendiary vindaloo sauce to skewers of jumbo shrimp that are marinated in savory Indian spices and then roasted inside a clay tandoor oven.
Many of the entrees eschew meat entirely while still embracing the rich flavors that characterize Himalayan cooking. Cubes of homemade cottage cheese simmer in a fragrant tomato-onion sauce with a dash of fenugreek seeds, and pomegranate sauce adds a hint of sweetness to orders of organic chickpeas. With its lemon-yellow walls, scattered artwork, and display cases full of imported rainbows, Namaste Shangri-La's dining room complements the vibrant flavors featured in its cuisine.
A quaint, family-friendly eatery ensconced in a deep red, house-like building in the heart of Girdwood’s town square, Silvertip Grill cooks homespun American classics and slakes thirsts with a wide assortment of beer and wine. In addition to timeless dinner entrees such as fish 'n' chips, Silvertip's staff prepares breakfast all day. At the hand-built spruce bar, tenders pour eight beers from the tap and pass out approximately 30 varieties of microbrews and specialty bottles. The libation crew also liquefies stemmed glassware with 10–12 wines. Outside in the spacious beer garden, guests can practice tossing or trying on horseshoes in one of two pits, gather around a fire pit—which is typically used for pig roasts—or dine to the beat of live music on the weekends.
The aroma of freshly ground coffee beans fills that air at Java Haus as baristas brew fair-trade, organic espresso roasted locally by K-Bay Caffe in Homer, Alaska. K-Bay Caffe works to provide a fair wage to Third-World coffee farmers and farm workers in order to help them raise their quality of life.