Olivia Dish

Archive for the ‘Alaska’ Category

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 »

Snow City Cafe

In Alaska, Local Flavor, Restaurant on May 1, 2009 at 2:14 am

Snow City Cafe

The first time I had breakfast at Snow City Cafe in Anchorage, it was 9:00 on a November morning and dark as midnight.  This time, I was there earlier–7am–and the light outside was downright noonish.

No matter.  The mood inside Snow City Cafe is always just right.  They do serve lunch here but it’s breakfast I come for–and that they serve all day.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alaskan Groceries

In Alaska, Local Flavor, Markets on April 26, 2009 at 1:28 am

New Sagaya Market in Anchorage

Giant cabbages nurtured by the midnight sun.  Fierce, pincer-snapping Alaskan King Crab.  Fresh ground bear burgers.

The mind reels at the possibilities of a local Alaskan grocery store–which is what New Sagaya promises.  Ah, yes, The Whole Foods of Anchorage–but better.  I notified my contact above the Arctic Circle.  My assignment would have to wait.  There was a grocery store to explore

My driver, Willow, told me that New Sagaya’s Midtown Market was the larger of their two stores, so we headed there.


Alaskan Halibut

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Fat & Lean

In Alaska, Local Flavor on November 30, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Local Flavor

When an Eskimo shaman takes you to lunch, you don’t ask a lot of questions.  So, when we stopped here, somewhere south of Anchorage, I smiled and said politely:  “Wow, I’ve always wanted to have lunch at a liquor store.”

This is Alaska, after all, home of the untamed.  A place where governors shoot wolves from helicopters.  Just the sort of place that would issue hard core souvenirs.


What makes it a double?

Lucky for me (I think), we were not destined to dine at Mary Lou’s….the place was closed.

As was the famed Double Musky Inn.

So the shaman and I trudged on across the early winter snow to Girdwood, arriving at Jack Sprat. Read the rest of this entry »