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Posts Tagged ‘casual dining’

It’s a chilly afternoon and this listless lady’s thoughts are turning to – of all things – cake. But not just any cake — I’m craving a luscious little bacon cheesecake from the Alaska Cake Studio. Yes, a cake of my very own. That is just what I need to cheer me up on this cold, windy winter day.

Bacon Cheesecake from Alaska Cake Studio

Alaska Cake Studio is a delicious spot to make a stop no matter the season or weather. During one of my Cake Studio visits the individual dessert items on display included a Madagascar Vanilla Mousse, my favorite Bacon Cheesecake, and a Mojito Truffle dessert. Cupcakes at the Alaska Cake Studio are offered in two flavors per day, and rotate on both a daily and monthly basis. Red Velvet, S’mores, and Strawberry Champagne cupcakes are popular with both visitors and locals alike.

Owner Will McDonald and his staff at Alaska Cake Studio have been bringing sweetness and light to Downtown Anchorage and 4th Avenue since December 2009. But why locate the shop on 4th Avenue, an area of town that has foot traffic but little in the way of parking? As it turns out, a storefront was just what he was looking for, as McDonald revealed during our conversation.

“You get people with the smell, the scent of baking,” he confided. “I wanted to bring something to Anchorage that we didn’t have … a shop with a warm, comforting feel where people can browse, sample pastries and cakes, or purchase specialty items.”

He’s quick to add, “It’s all about the cake. I believe the cake should stand alone — frosting is just an accessory.”

The warm and very inviting interior of the Alaska Cake Studio

There are many delectables available in addition to cakes made on the premises. You’ll also find a wide selection of gourmet sugars and pearls for decorating your own confections; specialty sugars such as Demerara, (more…)

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If you detect the scent of smoke near Indian along the Seward Highway this season, don’t dial 911. Instead, slow down and watch for the red-roofed building near Mile 103. That’s where you’ll find the Turnagain Arm Pit BBQ, one of Alaska’s newest roadside eateries.

Depending on your sense of humor, the “Arm Pit” portion of the name may be either amusing or off-putting. If you fall into the second group, it may help to reframe it. Think of the Arm Pit as a casual spot for some smoky pit-style barbecue, in a scenic location along the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet. I’ll wager the Arm Pit has the best view of any BBQ shop in Alaska or the Lower 48.  During nice weather, you can enjoy your meal on the large, outside deck, taking in the views of the Chugach Mountains behind the shop and the vista of the Kenai range across the inlet.

View from the deck, the Kenai Mountains across the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet

I’d heard the Arm Pit BBQ described as Texas style, so I walked in with preconceived expectations about the menu. One glance dispelled Texas as the point of origin for the restaurant. Nary a beef rib to be found, and a Texas BBQ joint would not have pulled pork featured at the top of the menu. Giving top billing to pork is no longer considered a hanging offense in Texas, but the Arm Pit’s signature item would raise eyebrows in Longhorn country. The “Boar Tide” is a pulled pork sandwich (more…)

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