Posts Tagged With: Bering Sea

Great Arctic Eats – Nome, Alaska

Great Arctic Eats – Nome, Alaska

Are you a diner who loves to eat, but is skittish around people? Do you feel naked going outside without a parka or, at the very least, a good sweater? Do you want to see huskies race across a finish line? If you answered yes to these questions, then you owe it to yourself to fly to Nome, Alaska where the beaches are never crowded and the seafood is oh so fresh.
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There are 15 restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm)! Let’s dine at the top five eateries.
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The most exciting establishment is Pingo Bakery – Seafood House. This eatery really is the place to go to if you only have time for one meal in Nome. (Although why you’d travel all the way to Nome for just one meal is beyond me. However, to each his own.) It has charming service, quaint atmosphere, fresh items in their outstanding bakery, and homemade ice cream. However, their seafood remains the star of this establishment. They serve seafood omelettes, for goodness sake.  (You can even order a half-size omelette.) You get a choice of roasted halibut or red king crabmeat. And there’s three seafood pizzas: salmon and artichoke heats, roasted halibut, and crab with roasted garlic and mushrooms. Can you get these culinary wonders at your local pizzerias? No, I didn’t think so. They also serve Belgian waffles and if you’re adventurous, the Chef’s Surprise Breakfast. Go there!

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Second on our restaurant tour is Bering Tea Co. They earned a perfect 5.0 rating. Congratulations, Bering Tea! They are known for their great coffee and tea. Especially their coffee. People love their coffee. They will make coffees to your specifications and with your choice of toppings and other ingredients. They offer wonderful handmade snacks. Go there early for tasty omelettes as they sell out quickly. Bering Tea has a reputation for being the friendliest eatery/cafe in town. And it’s next to Pingo Bakery. Is this a great town or what?
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Winning the bronze medal is Milano’s Pizzeria. This restaurant serves the best pizza in all of Nome. The atmosphere is rustic and local. Milano’s serves up many other cuisines beside pizza including sushi, Korean, and lobster. If you want to tour the world without ever leaving your table, this is the restaurant to visit. And it’s all served up by a friendly staff.

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Next on our Arctic food-lovers tour is the wonderfully named Polar Bear Cafe, a favorite with the locals. You can’t beat its view. It’s only a few feet away from the turbulent Bering Sea. It’s known for its large servings of crab legs and breakfasts all served  by a friendly and efficient staff.
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Special mention goes to Board of Trade Saloon.  Apparently, you haven’t had the full Nome experience unless you drink beer here and then go outside to pee in the frigid Bering Sea. Honest.
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The best way to reach Nome is by air, probably Alaska Air.

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Be sure to visit Carrie M, McLain Memorial Museum. Don’t let the lack of official, accessible websites fool you, visitors love it. It’s charming, informative, and multi-sensory. Well, visual and audial. You’re on own about touching the exhibits. Find out about the fascinating traditional and Gold Rush times of Nome.

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Then hop, skip, and jump or even take an all-terrain vehicle to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (BLBNP). But the most popular way to get there is by bush plane. There’s also trekking or sledding if you’re really resourceful. It sports great, informative displays. The staff is friendly and helpful. And there is no better place to learn about mammoths and mastodons. You can see a remnant of the great land bridge connecting Asia and North America. Our Asian ancestors used this land bridge to settle the Americas. But why, I keep asking myself, what possessed these worthy humans to go so far north? It had to be double-dang cold even back then. It’s a mystery, but one you can investigate at the BLBNP.

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Then get a friend in an ATV to take you to the White Alice Site. You can even hike there if you’re hardy enough. I have no idea why it’s called White Alice. Were they talking about Alice’s ethnicity? And why Alice’s heritage? Why not someone else’s? Did Alice see a ghost? Did Alice run naked here after taking an oatmeal-milk bath? It would have been cold for poor, mad Alice. And no one would have been brave enough to brave the frigid air to see her, just like Lady Godiva. Anyway, the site boasts of beautiful scenery and a panoramic view of Nome and the Bering Sea. Be sure to investigate the Cold War early warning communication site.

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Visit Katirvik Cultural Center. It’s in the same building as the McLain Memorial Museum. Hit two must-see places at once, Learn about native ways from the past millennia. The center has great interactive exhibits. The staff is friendly and helpful

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Finally, shop at Maruskiya’s. Buy amazing Alaska Native bead work and walrus-ivory carvings for your loved ones and dear friends. Buy the inevitable touristy t-shirts for everyone else.

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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Arctic Eats – Kotzebue, Alaska

Great Arctic Eats – Kotzebue, Alaska

Are you an introvert who loves to dine out? Did you visit Florence, Italy only to be terrified by the mobs of tourists who completely fill entire streets? Do you love Chinese and Italian food, but simply cannot live without fresh reindeer stew? Is southern Alaska too urban for you? Well, I have the place where you can chill out where it’s chilly and feast where it freezes. It’s Kotzebue, Alaska!
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There are five restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm).  So, the competition for your cuisine cash will be intense. Let’s take in the local cuisine.
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The top rated dining establishment is the highly regarded Little Louie’s. They serve a scrumptious reindeer sausage. Yet Little Louie’s is also vegetarian friendly. They make their own sweets. Hooray!  It has great pizza. All its food is good. They pour great coffee. The service is good. What more do you want?

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Next on our restaurant tour is the Bayside Restaurant. Their Mongolian beef platter is great. (Probably because Kotzebue is about as far west you can get in the continental U.S. before hitting Mongolia. Indeed, the Bayside Restaurant is a beacon in the Western Alaskan culinary scene.) Vegetarians will find themselves welcome here. All diners will appreciate their friendly service.
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Winning the culinary bronze medal is  Nullagvik Restaurant. While known for good food, you really must try their reindeer stew. Does your hometown serve great reindeer stew? No, I didn’t think so. Don’t leave Kotzebue without dining on reindeer stew at the Nullagvik Restaurant.

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Next on our list is the Empress Chinese Restaurant. It has the best Chinese food in town. If you crave Chinese cuisine by the Bering Sea, then the Empress Chinese Restaurant is your dining destination.
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Honorable mention goes to the Uutuku restaurant. People have complained that it was only okay, but that it did serve good spicy chicken. For goodness sakes people, how can it be only okay if it plates good spicy chicken? If you’re still not impressed, let me tell you that there isn’t a restaurant within hundreds of miles that makes spicy chicken as good as they do here. And they’re open until midnight. So there.
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Flying to Kotzebue is by far the easiest way to get there. I suppose you could find a way to book passage on some ice breaker or fishing boat. After that, the ease of getting to Kotzebue by other means, such as by car or unicycle, drops off dramatically. Anyway, there are many interesting places to visit here.

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Be sure to visit The Northwest Arctic Heritage Center. It’s run by the National Park Service. It’s chock full of interesting displays and films that help you discover the rich cultures and natural wonders of the Northwest Arctic Circle. The staff is pleasant and helpful. What more do you want?

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By all means, by plane really, go to the Noatak National Preserve. See polar bears, seals, peregrine falcons, and wolves. Just don’t be gauche and complain to your tour leaders about the lack of cell-phone coverage. Don’t make me come up there.

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Immerse yourself in the Northwest Alaska Areas. The best way to get there is through Golden Eagle Outfitters. See grizzly bears and local birds. Go fishing for char, salmon, and Arctic grayling.
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Go to Serpentine Hot Springs where you can witness caribou migrations if you go during the right times of the year. If you appear during caribou-free months, forget your cares in the private bath house. Luxuriate in hot water from Serpentine’s hot spring.

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Other things to see are: Cape Krusenstern National Monument, and Sulianich Art Center (not to be confused with a sandwich center).

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119 people moved to Kotzebue from 2000 to 2010. No doubt, more moved there in the eleven years since then. So don’t wait. See Kotzebue before it turns into a bustling metropolis.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Durban Masala

South African Appetizer

DURBAN MASALA

durbanmasalaINGREDIENTS

½ teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1¼ teaspoons coriander
1¼ teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon fenugreek
¾ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon mace
⅛ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric

Makes ¼ cup. Takes 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add all ingredients to mixing. Mix with whisk until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) Durban is a city in South Africa. Durban rhymes with Durban. This is useful when constructing rhyming poems. In much the same way, gnome rhymes with Nome, a city in Alaska. Over 20,000 gnomes live in Nome, admired for their strong work ethic. They’ll guard your garden for amazing lengths of time and everyone knows much polar bears fear gnomes.

4) Gnomes first came to Massachusetts on the Mayflower, fleeing persecution from waffle eaters. Later, they worked their way south, guarding spice gardens along the way. The little guys eventually settled in Chancellorsville, Virginia–Why not?–to lead a safe, if not totally accepted existence.

5) Tragedy struck in 1863. General Stonewall Jackson was shot after the battle of Chancellorsville. Enraged townsfolk held a gnome fired the fatal shot and drove the wee ones out of town.

6) The gnomes drifted ever northwestward, until they reached Nome on the Bering Sea. They could drift no longer. They wore parkas to keep warm. The parkas covered their faces, just like the natives. You couldn’t tell the gnomes and the people apart. Sure, gnomes are much shorter than people, but you always keep your face to the ground during a blizzard. And 19th-century Nome always had blizzards. The townsfolk didn’t even notice the little folk until 1941, when World War II broke out. People. after kneeling, worked shoulder to shoulder with the gnomes to defeat the common foe. The gnomes gained acceptance into one career after another. Today, Nome’s the gnome genome sequencing capital of the world.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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