That Food Guy
Friday, September 02, 2016

Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant 

Anchorage, Alaska

It was a long and tiring trip northward, back to Alaska. My good buddy Larry met me at the airport. That’s right! There are two Larrys and when you get the two of us together there is bound to be trouble so beware. It was an arrival in the wee hours of the morning so it was off to his place to crash for the little that was left of the night. After a welcome sleep I was up early for Alaska but late for the East Coast. Over coffee we caught up on the news of the day. There were lots of things to do that day. I needed to get a new battery for the pickup so I would have wheels and I needed get some groceries to stock the pantry. But before any of that it was time for breakfast.

If you have been in the greater Anchorage area very long then you must have heard about Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant. It is located in Spenard, an area a bit removed from downtown Anchorage during the rough and ready days of the Alaska Pipeline construction. Spenard was where the oil field workers would go to seek female companionship. The unofficial rumor is that the upper floors of Gweenie’s saw a lot of action back then. Those wild frontier days are long gone and the area has mellowed and is now busy with tourism and general commerce. But Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant is still there.

The décor of Gwennie’s features rock walls, stuffed bears, a wishing well in the middle of the dining room; all the Alaska kitsch you can think of. It is also know for tasty food at Alaska prices. It was off to Gweenie’s for breakfast.

Our server was named Sparky. It was a good name for her. She was always busy but always there when you needed her. She brought our coffee quickly and left a carafe with more coffee. Sipping our coffee we studied the menu. The other Larry decided on a broccoli and mushroom omelet (Broccoli and Mushroom Omelet $11.75 Omelets served with melted cheese sauce: All omelets served with choice of home fries or grits, toast or biscuits.) with the home fries and toast. It was large and filling meal, an omelet filled with mushrooms and bright green broccoli covered with melted cheese. It was well cooked without any crispy edges. Larry enjoyed his omelet saying that it tasted very good, had loads of mushrooms and broccoli. The home fries are primitive in nature consisting of various sizes and shape of potato. Apparently cooked in masse on a griddle, there are many textures that make for an interesting dish.  Some are golden brown all over and some have darker crispy edges.

This Larry was going to order eggs and the potatoes I just couldn’t decide on what breakfast meat. It had been a long time since I had corned beef hash and I finally decided on that. (Breakfast served anytime: Corned beef hash or ham or sausage or bacon and eggs.$8.75 Served with a choice of home fries or grits, toast or biscuit.)  I also ordered the home fries and toast. The eggs were cooked to order and I had a good-sized serving of the same potatoes the other Larry had. There was a very large serving of corned beef hash. This hash wasn’t made in the kitchen; it came ready to heat and serve in a large container form a supplier. That’s not to say it wasn’t good. A bit of a salty tang as normal, it was fully equal to the premium canned corned beef hash you would get at your local super market. There was lots of corned beef and a small amount of diced potato. The toast was thick slices of bread toasted golden brown. It was a big and filling meal, one that I fully enjoyed.

If you are ever fortunate enough to be in anchorage, Alaska, seek out Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant for one of your meals. It is Alaska however and where else could you say that you had breakfast in a bawdy house?

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