Anchorage Stories and Tips

Dining in Anchorage

Inside at Rumrunners Photo, Anchorage, Alaska

It would seem that most places to get food in this city are pubs or bars. I think Anchorage would give Milwaukee a run for their money on the number of bars per capita! I do know that there are fine dining establishments in Anchorage; we even stopped in a couple on our last night in town for an evening dessert since we had a late lunch. It just seemed that the most recommended places to go out for lunch or dinner are pubs.

On this trip we dined for lunch on Sunday at Rumrunners (need I say more?) and on Monday night we had dinner with Cathy's friend Dan at Humpy's (I should say nothing!). Both meals were good, but a bit on the pricey side.

At Rumrunners we stopped in once all of the sled dog teams had left the starting line, knowing we had about an hour before they'd be heading back down 4th Avenue. I also had a $5 off coupon from my 2010 Northern Lights coupon book, so convenience and savings won out.

The place was jammed in the main dining area, so the host suggested we head back to the rear bar. That was fine with us, so we staked out a corner booth. The USA vs. Canada gold medal ice hockey game was on the TV's throughout the place and when the USA tied it up with about 30 seconds to go the place erupted. Of course, TeamUSA went on to lose the game in the first overtime period, but it was an exciting game to be watching in a bar.

Cathy had the fish & chips and I had the "halibut burger". I really wasn't sure what to expect, but it was as I suppose described. A patty of fish (not a filet) made of what I'm trusting to be halibut. It was served with fries, in spite of my request to sub onion rings. Who beer batters french fries? Ick! I ate a couple of them, but left most. I must say, however, I did have probably the best fountain diet coke I can remember. It was perfectly carbonated with great flavor. It really quenched my thirst after a long time out in the street photographing the sled dogs.

The next night it was Humpy's Great Alaskan Ale House for dinner. I should have taken Cathy's lead and ordered what I thought were pretty expensive king crab legs. She said they were heavenly. The chunk of meat she got out of the claw was almost as big as my fist. I struggled with the menu, as I really wanted crab cakes but the only way to get them was by ordering the $124.95 "Man vs. Food" deal that included among other things, seven crab cakes, a few pounds of king crab legs, and who knows what else. I even asked about the crab cakes ala carte, but no dice. So I settled for a the "crab nuggets" and a dinner salad.

The nuggets were more breading than crab, but with enough crab to know you were eating seafood. Actually, they were a pretty pitiful attempt in my opinion. The dinner salad was outstanding, however . . . and Cathy ordered a wild berry crisp served with ice cream which I sampled. It was good, but at that point, I really wasn't hungry so it really was just a sample.

Cathy's friend Dan had the halibut dinner with an interesting horseradish style sauce over it. He said it was good, so that seemed to work out well.

Service at both Rumrunners and Humpy's was very good. Our servers (guys) were attentive and right there for refills on our beverages. The guy at Humpy's said he would send me two of their special brewhouse Iditarod glasses that were coming out later in the week. We'll see.

On Tuesday night, we went into town to do some last minute gift shopping but town was pretty much rolled up by 7:00pm so that just left looking for an evening snack or dessert. Our first stop was at the Glacier Brewhouse but it was overflowing with people and had a 45 minute wait. We did walk through the place to see if there were any seats available in the bar area, but alas, there weren't. The dinners looked wonderful, and the open flame pit grill had huge slabs of salmon cooking. Too bad we weren't hungry for dinner because this place looked really good!

Next door was Orso, a globally inspired restaurant that had a very eclectic and interesting menu featuring Alaskan seafood and ingredients. Even their desserts were on the strange side, with almost everything with some sort of liqueur in it. Not that I'm a teetotaler, I just didn't want booze with or in my dessert. I struggled but eventually selected the berry tart. Our server came back out to regretfully inform me that they were out of that.

At that point, I said I would take a pass on dessert. Not sure how it came up but she did mention that they are also owned by the same people that have the Brewhouse next door. She asked if they had anything on their menu that I would like. Having checked it out on the way in over there, I did see that they had a pecan pie tart, so that was my choice. WHEW . . . who would think ordering dessert would be so darn tough?

Cathy had the tiramisu which she said was very rich and scrumptious! So all in all, dessert turned out to be a good adventure too!

For more information on these four restaurants, check them out:

Rumrunners
4th and E Street, Anchorage
http://www.rumrunnersak.com/

Humpy's
610 W 6th Avenue, Anchorage
http://www.humpys.com/

Glacier Brewhouse
737 W 5th Street Suite 110, Anchorage
http://www.glacierbrewhouse.com/

Orso
737 W 5th Street, Anchorage
http://www.orsoalaska.com

One last word of advice . . . VISA/MC . . . don't leave home without them. (Eating out in Anchorage and most of Alaska is expensive!)

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