I’ve thought about this article for years. I want to write about my personal favorite little food spots in the twins cities area, solely for the tourists to enjoy.
Before you locals call me Judas, I want you to consider the life of a small business owner. Any business is good business. If this article helps them get out of the red, then so be it. People, we want your money. If this article was about home renovation I might shamelessly plug the best cabinet and countertop shop in town called Mt. Spurr Cabinets and Millwork. But I won’t. Because I’m better than that. So let’s begin, shall we?
I won’t talk about locations, your job is to Google or Facebook it. Sorry, this is the world we live in. My laziness mixed with technology is a burden for others.
The Moose is Loose bakery makes me lose my mind. It’s charming and I secretly feel like a princess when I walk into their Snow White looking cottage. The people in my life agree that their champagne cake and apple fritters easily rule the pastry heavens. If you want to make people that moved away from here have regrets, casually mention the maple bar donuts. Watch them fall apart.
Echo Lake Meats (Locker) jalapeño cheese spread. This cheese deserves a statue in the park. One time we were canoeing down the Swanson River after a big storm. We saw a canoe wrapped around a rock and fresh camping gear everywhere around the river. As we were picking up the mess, out of the corner of my eye I saw a package of that cheese. My ultimate fat girl radar is always waiting for moments like this. It probably sat in the sun for at least two days, but I still tried to justify eating it! I didn’t. But that’s how good it is!
Burger Bus is in the same area as Veronica’s Old Town Cafe in Kenai. Anyone that grew up around here has memories of first dates, growing pains, and finding yourself at these very different establishments. Burger Bus is the OG in the food truck game before it was even a thing. They serve quality burgers and deep fried mushrooms that pleases my palate. I always run into my parents there. They love that place.
Veronica’s looks and feels like a tucked away ocean cottage. It’s got great coffee, elegance, and soul. It’s one of those hidden gems that when you find it, it makes you richer. The chicken cashew salad is what I usually consume and all their soups are delicious. I’m picky about soups, it’s the only thing I’m good at making so finding a good bowl is my constant mission in life.
Main Street Tap &Grill also has my soup heart. I literally ate a bowl of their soup for lunch three times a week. It cost the same as fast food, but was a homemade healthier option so that’s how I justified my addiction.
I’ve never met a club sandwich I didn’t like, but Ginger’s serves it up perfectly. If you enjoy the marriage between a burger and milkshake, Ginger’s will not disappoint you.
I love our area. You can always find a liquor store, a church, or a Mexican restaurant. I enjoy all three. The best part is when the chips and salsa arrive. I feel like my friends are all here and I’m not ready to look at the bottom of the basket and have them abandon me just yet. I mostly hang at Acapulco’s or Playa Azul, I’ve just never had a bad experience and our kids are school mates so loyalty probably plays a part. Like a true compañero.
My husband took me to Soldotna Pizza Boys for gelato one evening. Both his date night idea and gelato were pretty smooth. It’s more than a little pizza parlor, it’s got that Alice in Wonderland magic. You’re not expecting it to be so rustic modern chic inside, but it is. On a bad day their Maui Wowie pizza cures all.
Here’s the thing: All the local eateries deserve a shout out, but this article is small. I’ll jam pack some info! Buckets Sports Grill has my favorite cheeseburger, their Buckets Burger. I like their sweet potato fries. Sushi Exchange and Lazy Fish Sushi makes excellent peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches. I’m kidding, they create beautiful, delicious sushi. Froso’s and Paradiso’s has my favorite salad bar. St. Elias Brewing Company makes artisan pizza and Kenai River Brewing Company makes those gravy poutine fries. Just try them all. Fine Thyme and Totally Radish have healthier options, but doesn’t spare flavor. I dream of Odie’s sandwiches in the middle of the night. The Flats Bistro is my favorite farm-to-table fancy spot. Enjoy!
Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.