Food and Entertainment
At the intersection of the Girdwood Spur Road and Seward Highway is a little strip mall with a variety of services, including a gas station–convenience store, a coin laundry, a video store, and a restaurant. Travelers heading south to Seward or north to Anchorage stop here before pushing back out on the highway.
Alpine Diner & Bakery (907/783-2550) serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it is best known for enormous pastries. There’s always a queue on winter mornings as the pre-ski gang comes in to inject sugar and caffeine into their veins.
In business since 1962, famous Double Musky Inn (907/783-2822, www.doublemuskyinn.com, Tues.–Thurs. 5–10 p.m., Fri.–Sun. 4:30–10 p.m. early Dec.–late Oct., entrées $22–46) is 0.25 miles up Crow Creek Road on the left. It’s crowded and loud, with long waits, a tacky New Orleans–meets-Alaska decor, and brief visits from your server. They don’t take reservations either. Despite these drawbacks, the food is dependably good, if not stellar. Featured attractions are Cajun shrimp, garlic seafood pasta, rack of lamb, and the house specialty, French pepper steak. Save space for the ultra-rich Double Musky pie. A close friend of former Senator Ted Stevens, the restaurant’s owner figured prominently in his trial.
At the Alyeska resort is The Bake Shop (907/783-2831, www.thebakeshop.com, daily until 7 p.m. summer, $6–9), a fine spot for lunch or an after-ski warm-up. Homemade sourdough bread, hearty soups, sandwiches, big breakfasts, and pizza fill out the menu. The front yard is packed with flowers, including some enormous peonies. Get espresso or surf the Web on the computers at Java Haus (907/783-2827, www.girdwoodjava.com, daily 7 a.m.–2 p.m.), a couple of doors away.
Down the hill on Arlberg Street is Jack Sprat Restaurant (907/783-5225, www.jacksprat.net, Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m.–10 p.m.), with “fat and lean world cuisine” in a relaxed atmosphere. Dinners include everything from halibut burritos ($18) to filet mignon ($33), plus scallop Vietnamese pho ($21) and a decadent crème brûlée for dessert. Brunches are available on weekends, featuring Alaskan Benedict, tofu scramble, and blintzes.
Located next to the post office on Hightower Road, Chair 5 Restaurant (907/783-2500, www.chairfive.com) is a townie spot for very good pizzas (around $20), halibut curry, rib-eye steaks, and daily specials. The bar has a great choice of single malt scotches and microbrews.
For quick burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and seviche, escape to Casa del Sol (907/783-0088, Sun. 2–10 p.m., Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.) in the coin laundry building behind Chair 5—they don’t call it Laundromex for nothin’. Most items run $5–10.
Après-ski partiers head to the Sitzmark Bar & Grill at Alyeska Resort for a pitcher of beer and the chance to dance the night away to live bands on winter weekends; Sitzmark is closed in the summer.
On top of the mountain, Seven Glaciers Restaurant (907/754-2237, www.alyeskaresort.com, daily 5–10 p.m. summer, variable winter hours) offers excellent food with one of the best views you’re ever likely to get while dining. Sitting on a crag at 2,303 feet above sea level, you can see the valley below, across to the Crow Pass area, and up Turnagain Arm. Main courses such as ginger-citrus encrusted halibut, Alaskan king crab, or grilled elk rib eye run $34–59, or try the chef’s tasting menu with six courses for $95 per person. Très élégant, but not at all stuffy or pretentious. The seven-minute tram ride gives you the chance to survey the area, and if you have dinner reservations (required), the tram ride is free.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition