Saturday, September 17, 2016

Rustic Goat - Anchorage

We only spent a little time in Anchorage. Long enough to fly in and rent a car and leave to the north. Then return and pass through, and stay the night, on the way to the south. Then finally back to the airport to catch a bus to Whittier for our cruise ship voyage. 

However, I had my best salmon of the trip in Anchorage at The Rustic Goat, a tavern. 

We were seated upstairs.
As a matter of context, before the trip I mentioned to one of my partners that I was going to try and learn all about the five Alaska salmon species. He's a fisherman and very knowledgeable about fish and fishing. He said he'd had sockeye a few times and hated it. That was my experience with sockeye as well. Sockeye was very red, very mushy and very strong tasting, not in a good way. However, everything I was reading about sockeye in preparation for the trip was positive, many considered it the best tasting of the Alaskan salmon. In Alaska itself, I kept hearing about Copper River sockeye. I learned later that Copper River sockeye is considered the best of the best. The Copper River empties into the Gulf of Alaska east of Whittier and travels nearly 300 miles inland into the high mountains of the Wrangell/St. Elias Range. The salmon that go up that river have to be hardy and very fat because they don't eat once they start up river. As a result the Copper River sockeye have some of the highest fat content of any of the sockeye in Alaska. 

The Rustic Goat had Copper River sockeye with rice, mushroom, arugula and diced red pepper and some kind of a dressing. The salmon was under-cooked, as I'd ordered it, and was a very dark orange-red. It sliced like butter and the rice, mushroom, arugula combination mixed with it perfectly. In fact, as I've tried more wild salmon since, I've learned that salmon with rice and greens is my favorite way to have it, those ingredients just work really well together. 

Inside view of the sockeye filet - moist, tender and colorful. 
Well, I learned that I love sockeye. I had more sockeye later in the trip and it was also very good. As I've tried to analyze why my experience and my partner's experience with sockeye was so bad, the only thing I can figure is that the salmon we've had was caught up-river, further into the spawn after the salmon is depleted.

Judy got a chili with red beans and corn bread crumbled on top. She liked it, I didn't try it. 
We shared an order of grilled veggies, in season. In keeping with much of the veggies we had in Alaska, it was broccoli and potatoes, with sprinkles of Parmesan cheese. It was nice.
Judy got a pizza with asparagus, mushrooms, cured beef and cheese. I'm not normally a big pizza person, but this was very good - big chunks of vegetables and the crust was not overly done. 

The other thing I really liked were the pottery dishes we were served on. A very nice meal. 

1 comment:

  1. The setting was also very nice--tall windows and very high ceilings, clean and modern. I loved the cured beef on my pizza. Strongly flavored, salty, and very un-pepperoni-like, it was a very unusual topping.