Olivia Dish

Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

Reindeer on the Menu

In Alaska, Local Flavor on March 21, 2010 at 8:15 am

Iditarod Street Food

Some people see reindeer on the menu and think Rudolph.  I see reindeer on the menu and wonder wild or farm-raised?

I had reindeer sausage for breakfast at Snow City Cafe in Anchorage, Alaska.  A robust reddish color, the sausage was fairly lean but moist, spicy in a way that made me think of kielbasa.

It was quite good, and quite a bit better than expected.  I failed to ask then where Snow City gets their reindeer sausage or how many plates of it they sell, so I emailed them this morning.

Meanwhile, I did a little Google investigating of my own.

I discovered that reindeer were brought to Alaska by the U.S. government to provide livelihood for native Alaskans and to supplement their traditional food supply— seal, walrus and game that were being depleted.  There’s an interesting account of the “reindeer solution” here.

I also happened across an article explaining how reindeer offer a Viagra alternative.  Read the rest of this entry »


Sacks in Anchorage

In Alaska, Restaurant on March 14, 2010 at 11:12 am
Sacks in Anchorage

Venture down G Street and stop here.

When I was getting ready for my first trip to Anchorage, my friend Virginia Snap said, “Eat at Sacks.” I trust her: she’s been to Alaska several times; we worked on a miserable food TV show, so share that been-in-the-trenches-together bond; and most important, we like the same food.

Okay, Sacks.  Odd name. Not sure what to expect. But Sacks it would be.

My first night in town, a strapping oil man insisted on shepherding me to a brewpub for an after-work beer. As we walked the block to get there, he cautioned that Alaska was treacherous. The implication: My coat and heels were insufficient. Better stick close to strapping oil men. Or call a cab.

“Where you eating dinner?” he shouted over beers at the rustic wooden bar.

“Sacks,” I said, feeling in the know.

“Oh,” he said. “The vegetarian place.” He looked me up and down. “You’ll probably like it.”

Read the rest of this entry »

A Sunflower Salad

In Homemade, Local Flavor on March 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm
sunflower salad

Sunflower sprouts, seeds, and Jerusalem artichoke slices tossed with greens

I have recently fallen head over heels for sunflower sprouts, thanks to a gift from my friend Whit DeSpoon.

Now that an in-town farm is growing them and I know where to get a steady supply, I find myself daydreaming about those adorable sprouts, the last time I saw them, and when we’ll be meeting for dinner again.

In one of those dazy-eyed moments, I had a little thought.

I’ve always loved Jerusalem artichokes, which are sunflower roots. (My parents used to make relish with them.)

Now I love sunflower sprouts.

What if I whipped up a sunflower-themed salad–seeds, sprouts, roots?

I’d be sort of like those people who use the pig snout to tail, right?

Read the rest of this entry »