on February 13, 2013
We wanted a good, hearty breakfast before our whitewater rafting adventure. Some of the other tourists recommended the Denali Park Salmon Bake for that. We went across the George Parks Highway from our lodge to the Salmon Bake. The Salmon Bake is located about a hundred yards south of the Denali "village" boardwalk area. Upon entering the Salmon Bake, it’s quite obvious that this is an eclectic place. There are two dining areas to either side of the main door, and a bar upstairs. Some of the wooden floors in the Salmon Bake are a little crooked at best, as it’s quite obvious that it’s built into a hillside. That might prove to be a little fun after a few drinks. Both lower dining areas were quite full, so we were led upstairs to the bar, which only had a few tables occupied. Our friendly server/bartender greeted us with menus and took our drink order.The menu was a combined breakfast and dinner menu. Some of the dinner items included Alaska seafood, such as halibut, and of course, salmon dishes, as well as burgers and other favorites. The breakfast side included omelets, waffles, pancakes, and skillet breakfasts. My friends chose the country biscuits and gravy, breakfast burrito, and I chose the sourdough breakfast sandwich.Looking around the inside of the bar, as well as the rest of the restaurant, a lot of knotty pine wood is featured on the walls, floor, and furniture. Pictures and historical news articles of Denali and other Alaskan scenery adorn the walls. Our booth at the bar had windows with a nice view of our lodge and Mount Healy behind it. There is also free Wi-Fi available here.We chatted with our server for a little bit and found out that most everybody working the entire area are young adults from all over the country, even a few from outside of the United States. A lot of the workers at the Denali "village" shops and restaurants stay at the cabins owned by the Denali Park Salmon Bake, just behind the restaurant. While it’s a long day’s work, she said it’s a nice, friendly dorm like atmosphere in the cabins and their work rotations gives them some good time off to enjoy Denali and what it has to offer.Our breakfasts arrived in a timely fashion with a smile from our server. One of my friends had the country biscuits and gravy with a breakfast sausage patty. The biscuits were totally drenched in a nice peppery gravy. That’s definitely going to stick to your ribs. My other friend had the breakfast burrito. It’s a fairly good sized burrito filled with scrambled eggs, potatoes, breakfast sausage, refried beans, cheddar and pepper jack cheese. It’s served with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. I had the sourdough breakfast sandwich with breakfast potatoes. Inside the sourdough sandwich are reindeer sausage slices and scrambled eggs on melted white cheddar. The sandwich was quite good, albeit a slight bit dry. Regardless, we were all hungry and finished up all our food, even the huge breakfast burrito. We would need our energy for the whitewater rafting and hiking afterwards.Our total bill came out to $41 with coffee and juice. While this might seem a bit expensive, bear in mind that everything out here in Denali is slightly more expensive than in the city. Everything needs to be trucked out here. We were quite satisfied with our breakfast. The bar here would probably be quite a fun place to return in the evening.
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