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Cruisin' to Alaska and the chow we found


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Cruisin' to Alaska and the chow we found

TomSwift | Jul 8, 2005 12:19 PM

We just returned from 2 weeks in Alaska, with a day in Vancouver and one in Victoria. To preserve the focus of this board, comments about Canada will be posted on the Canada board, although they really do have to do with the Alaskan cruise experience.

Since we don't have a car and aren't in port for dinner our options were somewhat limited. Over the years, though, we've found some favorites for lunch. One can absorb only so much butter, cream and other Crystal Cruise cuisine before craving some real world food.

Ketchakan - Our favorite burger stand, Burger Queen, was closed on Sundays so no go. Great burgers. Flavorful beef cooked on the rare side of medium rare (difficult to find in Southern California). Ask for the grilled onions. A favorite with senior ship's officers. Located just on the other side of the tunnel. A few locals (young clerks and jaded looking guys in the BPOE bar) told us about a place called Tator's, another burger stand, with reportedly great burgers and delicious fries with various dipping sauces. The sour cream and chive dip is supposed to be wonderful. Alas, it, too, was closed on Sunday so I have no personal knowledge. Also here is the Halibut Hole, a fish and chips place right on the creek and next to the BPOE. Family-run with OK fried fish and fries that they can't seem to get well-done enough. They also were closed on Sunday but the BPOE did a fish fry - $10 for 3 pieces of frozen fish, not greasy but somewhat dry, a mass of fries that need to be ordered well-done, and a pretty tasty cole slaw. Not bad. Get your beers from the BPOE bar. The winner in the Best Sign competition is Chico's Mexican Food, whose sign reads "Chico's Mexican Food, Best Pizza In Town." Didn't have time for the pizza, but the chips were house made and the salsa was spicy and good. The cheese enchaladas were excellent but only average by LA standards. Specify onions inside. We were the only non-Hispanics in the full restaurant at lunch (15 tables). The same guys who recommended Tator's said the pizza is wonderful, thick crust.

Sitka - The clear winner was the guy selling fresh Dungeness crab out of the back of his pick-up in the parking lot of a store. $12 for a whole crab that he claimed he caught that morning and cooked by his wife. Delicious. The actual lunch was at a new place called Little Tokyo Sushi/Sandwiches/Soup & Espresso/Bagels. The place was packed. The wild Alaskan white salmon sashimi and Yukon River salmon were out of this world. The ami ebi was frozen but good. Beware, they drizzle sweet eel sauce on their salmon skin rolls which does a great job of making them soggy. This is one of those places where you order everything all at once (even at the bar) so things have a tendency to get soggy. We'd go back.

Haines - A hotspot of Alaska, we took the ferry over to Skagway ($24 pp each way). We heard from locals in both Haines and Skagway that Grizzly Greg's has the best pizza in town. Didn't try it. It's hard to describe Haines, but on the street that leads from the pier to THE street is a little kiosk selling fish tacos that are delicious - the ship's executive chef was eating them too. It's right next door to a smoked salmon place with good fish, and you can watch them gut and smoke the fish. Watching fish smoke is one of the most exciting things to do in Haines.

Juneau - Pizza is the ticket here. We used to favor Pizza Verona, just down the street from the Red Dog. Thick crust style, with generous toppings and good sauce. Then we discovered Pizzeria Roma, in the Wharf Building, the blue one at the end of the quay. Thin crust style. We had a 15 inch New Roma Combination (pepperoni, sausage, bell pepper, mushrooms and diced red onion) for $20. It was pretty darn good, with a nice char on the edge of the crust. Also got a 9 inch Islander (canadian bacon and pineapple) for one of the crew for $8. It looked great but we didn't taste. They have a wide selection of veggie pies. And exotics like wild salmon or Jamacan bacon. Also foccacia, salads and lasagna. Favored by ship's officers.

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