Serious Eats: Talk
Fairbanks & North Part 2
Back to Fairbanks late and the only thing open that wasn't a chain - major criteria for me - was the Family Restaurant on Airport Way. Good fried chicken. Inedible meatloaf, very overcooked porkchops. My sister's grilled cheese was a regular old white bread American slices grilled cheese.
Then it was up to Chena Hot Springs resort. The restaurant there is good, not great. Standouts were the tomato basil soup - made from tomatoes and basil grown in their own greenhouse, which is an interesting thing to visit on the "Geothermal tour." The halibut for dinner was excellent, very nicely cooked and served with good fresh vegetables from their greenhouse, and the clam chowder was excellent, though a bit saltier and creamier than I tend to like it, lots of clams. The "famous" blueberry pancakes were ok but I can't imagine why they'd be famous.
Back to Fairbanks and we wereexhausted. We thought about going to Lemongrass Thai - even though it seems odd to be coming from Los Angeles (home of the world's largest Thai community outside of Thailand) and going to a Thai restaurant. But we were too tired so we trudged back across the parking lot to Pike's Landing again. The King Crab legs were good. The Killer Shrimp were good, garlickly, a bit spicy, buttery but what is it with all that salt? Do people in Alaska have a low blood pressure problem or something? Again, excellent draft beers.
My flight left too early for any more meals but my sister, who lives in Chicago, did go to Lemongrass Thai that evening before her flight and liked it a lot. She had a halibut dish that she said was excellent. I asked her how they managed to get any fresh Thai ingredients in Fairbanks in February and she concluded, from looking around, that they must stick to dishes that they can cook with what they can get seasonally - as her halibut didn't seem to have any fresh Thai ingredients that might have been a problem. But she is very familiar with Thai food and said it was excellent.