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Trip Report - Alaska May 2013

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I made my first trip to Alaska last month. Here is my report:

-- Ketchikan: The Landing (breakfast)

Arrived on the early flight to embark on a cruise. Ended up having a late breakfast at the Landing, the restaurant in the Best Western across from the airport ferry, before embarking on a cruise. Actually had a delicious (albeit not fancy) breakfast and, interestingly, some of the best service of my entire two weeks in Alaska. The restaurant wasn't listed in my guidebook and didn't get a lot of play on Yelp, perhaps because it is 2 miles from the historic downtown and cruise docks, but it was filled with locals. I looked in on the Pioneer Cafe later in the day, and liked that the Landing was the less kitschy-er of the two.

-- Anchorage: Dinner at Peter's Sushi, breakfast at City Diner, snack at the Anchorage Market & Festival

I had a car and was staying in Midtown, so I tried Peter's Sushi Spot on the basis of some local recommendations. Since I have access to good sashimi in my hometown, I focused on items that I can't readily get at home. Started with the tempura halibut, followed by the king crab roll and two pieces of steak "sushi", both of which were posted as specials. The king crab roll was giant, delish and one of the food highlights of my trip. The next day, I was running too late to get eggs at the joint near my hotel, so went to City Diner, which is across the parking lot from Peter's Sushi. My choice was merely one of convenience, but I was heartened by the number of folks inside, all enjoying late breakfasts. Unfortunately, my omelette was way over-cooked, the home fries were unbearably greasy and they were chintzy with the tea. Made me wish Peter's was open on a Sunday morning! Before I left town, I walked around the Anchorage Market and Festival, and thoroughly enjoyed my smoked salmon egg roll that I had has an afternoon snack. [Unfortunately I have sensitivities to certain ingredients used in sausage, so reindeer and other exotic sausages on 4th were out for me.] I also stopped in at New Sagaya Market's Midtown location on my way to the Seward Highway in case there was anything worth picking up for my road trip south to Homer. I ended up not buying anything, but enjoyed looking at the selection of seafood and also saw a brand of Asian-inspired ice creams from California that I had never seen before, including a halo halo flavor. (Unfortunately they only had it in quart size.)

-- Seward: Christo's for dinner.

I had a bummer time trying to eat in Seward. Perhaps because it was Sunday night, or just the very beginning of summer season, the entire town was pretty much closed up by 8:30 p.m. when I drove in. I was almost ready to give in and rely on the peanut butter and crackers I had in the car when the kitchen at Christos' agreed to fire one more pizza for me (so long as I took it to go). I'm not really a big pizza eater, but it was a pretty good pizza all things considered, and the next day I was glad to have the leftovers, as _no_ place in town was open for breakfast.

-- Homer: Dinners at Fat Olives and Captain Pattie's.

It felt like heaven to have so many options after my 12 hours in Seward. My first night in town I had a very filling plate of pasta at Fat Olives; wished I had saved room for dessert as the house made desserts looked amazing. The second night I ate at Captain Pattie's on the Spit on the earnest recommendation of my B&B host (I mentioned that I wanted to make sure I had halibut before I left Homer). The halibut was delicious, and the view was fantastic (interestingly, apparently not many restaurants other than those on the Spit offer any view to speak of).

-- Girdwood: Dinner at Double Musky and lunch at the Aurora Bar & Grill inside the Alyeska.

Ended up at the Double Musky for dinner, and probably had the best meal of my trip along with my dinner at Peter's Sushi. The service was great and the food solid. Nothing I had was particularly Cajun -- in keeping with my goal to eat Alaskan seafood whenever possible, I had crab and halibut. Again, I failed to leave room for dessert, but the desserts looked worth the calories! The next day I ended up having a burger at the casual restaurant inside the Alyeska -- the burger was good (actually, perfectly cooked), but the service was abominable! In addition to some of the hiccups I suffered, the table next to me ordered tiramisu, and our server brought them creme brulee and disappeared before the customers could alert her to the mistake. When she reappeared 15 minutes later, she admitted that she didn't know the difference between the two desserts. I appreciate that I was there at the very beginning of the summer season, but....

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