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BBQ and Fat Birds in Alaska

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Alaska has many good restaurants, but after you’ve visited a few times and had your fill of reindeer sausage and fresh salmon, you’ll realize there are few that are truly great. I adore Seven Glaciers in Girdwood, but  the great views are definitely a good seasoning. 🙂 But clearly, food is not the main reason to visit Alaska.

And as for the salmon, it was a sad realization that if you’ve had access to fresh salmon at other good restaurants in the lower 48, you won’t necessarily be more impressed by what the local restaurants are serving. I’ve no doubt if I caught it myself though it would taste much better!

So whenever I go to Anchorage I’m always interested to try new places and see which ones rise from mediocrity. This time I wound up trying pizza and barbecue of all things!

fat ptarmigan anchorage restaurants sign

My first stop was at the Fat Ptarmigan which features local ingredients, wood-fired pizza, and craft beer. I’m not going to lie, I’m not usually a pizza person. But the snow was coming down in earnest at that point and we were hungry and cold. And I do adore chubby birds, so the name was a big draw.

fat ptarmigan anchorage restaurants interior

fat ptarmigan anchorage restaurants seating

Once we got in and saw what people were having, I couldn’t think of anything else but pizza, though they had salads and pasta dishes.

fat ptarmigan anchorage restaurants menu

Our server was super helpful and after scouring the menu we wound up ordering the pizzas he recommended.

The Hot Coppa with sweet fennel sausage, roasted red peppers, pepperoni, spicy hot coppa, cheese blend with a spicy red sauce.
fat ptarmigan anchorage restaurants hot coppa pizza
The Mushroom with assorted roasted mushrooms, caramelized red onions, cheese blend white our white sauce and finished with a lot of truffle oil.fat ptarmigan anchorage restaurants mushrooms
One pizza would have been enough for both of us, but they were so good we barely left leftovers.
Outstanding pizza (not just for Alaska) if one is in the mood for pizza! And if you need something with reindeer sausages they have a few options.
The next day, after standing outside for hours for the iditarod we decided to try Roscoe’s Catfish & BBQ (formerly Tito’s Gyros) which was only a block or two away from the race and the Sheraton. It is a tiny space, so try to get there before or after the rush.
roscoes bbq anchorage restaurants interior
The staff are really friendly, but the wait was long, unexpected for a BBQ joint where you figure everything has already been cooking for hours. We waited at least 30 minutes for our ribs — pork and short rib.
roscoes bbq menu anchorage restaurants
roscoes bbq anchorage restaurants baby back ribs
Huge and meaty and not cheap at $18, but not *quite* as flavorful as what I’ve grown used to in the south. And wasn’t a fan of the sauce being in the plate underneath the dishes of sides. But for Alaska, good eatin’!
The mac & cheese was good. The green beans were actually fresh vs the canned kind, so different then what I expected but good flavor. The cornbread was just how I liked it. Sweet a little crumbly.
roscoes bbq anchorage restaurants cornbread
If you’re a BBQ snob like me — it’s great for Alaska, fine for BBQ. If your BBQ standards are a little broader you’ll definitely be happy.

 

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

3 Comments

  1. Alaska Deb

    March 12, 2016 at 5:19 am

    I don’t usually comment to blogs. But, no one appreciates reading condescending remarks about our hometown.

    Alaskan don’t eat salmon at restaurants … in the winter. Because we wait till it’s fresh … in the summer. Cooper River salmon a few hours out of water, OMG! Nothing better.

    I do enjoy your blog.

    • Keri Anderson

      March 12, 2016 at 5:24 am

      Oh no! I’m sorry, it wasn’t meant to be condescending. I LOVE Alaska and have been probably 10 times. Just recognizing that cuisine isn’t the primary reason to visit, though there are good restaurants. Great tip about the salmon! Will make sure I get near the Cooper river on my next visit!

  2. Glenn (The Military Frequent Flyer)

    March 13, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Just to set the record straight, it’s Copper River salmon. And we do eat salmon in the winter, it is just the frozen stuff we caught last summer. Not quite as good as right out of the stream, but hey it’s winter…
    Copper River is pretty far away, I suggest you try for some fresh catch from the Russian River. Even better, go there to catch some yourself!

    Glenn

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