by Jack Ventura
October 26, 2002
We parked our van next to about a dozen buses. Some of my friends walked across the highway to find souvenirs and a place to eat. The rest of us went inside the Princess Lodge to find food.
The Summit Dining Room was a large and efficient space. It reminded me somewhat of a Las Vegas dinner theater. Tables were spread across three tiered, semi-circular stages meant to give every diner a view out of the restaurant’s expansive panoramic window.
Curiously, it was practically empty of diners. I suspect though that, true to the norm aboard a cruise ship, the restaurant would, at the appointed hour, be full with several hundred people. We were escorted to a table right up against the window. Crisp white linens, polished silverware and crystal clean stemware made it clear that we were in a fine dining establishment. I felt underdressed.
The view is wonderful. A grassy walkway disappears into a gorge cut by the Nenana River.
The food was equally excellent. Pasta, in my experience at the majority of restaurants I’ve been to, is rarely a bad bet, and just as rarely a first rate plate. I ordered an angel hair prima vera, hoping for better than average. It was competently prepared, angel hair being especially vulnerable to being overcooked. The vegetable mix was crisp, but not undercooked. I also stole nibbles of various seafood off the plates of my friends, who were all pleased with their orders.
The coffee that topped my meal was satisfyingly rich.
From journal Road to Denali