Chinook’s Bar ~ Where great food and great views meet

View from Chinooks Downstairs Dining Room

View from Chinooks Downstairs Dining Room

Chinook’s  Waterfront Restaurant is now Chinook’s Bar. Located in the Seward Small Boat Harbor, for the first time in many years this establishment has been open throughout the winter.  Last summer when our housekeeping staff and I would lunch out, the girls favorite place to eat was Chinooks.  It  was their favorite for the setting and large windows; and because there were two large flat screens that had a movie of Alaska wildlife and scenery.

We thought, after hearing positive reviews from locals this winter, we would have a Friday night out, and try a meal at Chinooks. We didn’t realize it had become more bar than restaurant.

Our seats are on the lower level in the dining area with the windows looking out over the harbor.  We didn’t get a window seat, since it was rather crowded when we arrived, even though it was just 5:30 p.m. To reach our table, we had to walk through the bar, between two bar areas with people drinking. There wasn’t any other way to get where we were going. There are other seats to the right that you can get to without having to walk through the bar, without as good a view. In summer, if the 2nd floor dining area is open, it has an extraordinary view. They have removed the flat screens from the lower dining room; the girls would be sad. The ambiance is much more bar like than restaurant now. Not sure what the upstairs atmosphere will be like.

As far as the meal, I will start by saying, my preference if for people to stop messing around trying to “mix it up” or spice it up, or whatever the new 21st century cuisine is trying to do.  I couldn’t even wrap my head around some of the descriptions of things on the menu. I suspect the reason for some of this new “cuisine” is that chemicals, additives, artificial flavoring and the ubiquitous “natural” flavoring have ruined most people’s taste buds. People can’t taste normally anymore, so they must have, what I can only call “weird” combinations. My husband and I, eat organically when possible; and avoid at all costs chemicals, additives and packaged products.

We were looking forward to fresh Halibut! Seriously! April is when they start fishing for Halibut, and we haven’t gone out fishing yet. There is nothing so delicious as a piece of well prepared, fresh, Halibut! A nice grilled fillet, or perhaps some fresh halibut fish & chips. We both love halibut, and were so looking forward to a great meal of it.

Photo Apr 18, 7 49 36 PM

Halibut BLT

I should warn you, we are a couple of old fogies when it comes to eating out! We like nice straight forward, well prepared and seasoned meal. We don’t care for a lot of show or unusual flavor combinations. The menus came and our waitress took our beverage order. We both ordered ginger ale.  None of the appetizers sounded appealing to us. Well, that’s no big deal, we didn’t really need them. 😉 On to dinner:  the Dinner Special was Halibut wrapped in prosciutto. The Halibut sandwich was a halibut BLT.  The very last thing I wanted was my halibut wrapped in bacon. I gave up and ordered the chicken sandwich instead.Paul ordered the halibut BLT, thinking he would just take the bacon off.

The drinks came. When someone orders Ginger Ale and you intend to serve them Vernor’s, you should tell them. I was expecting a Canada Dry style. It’s ok, we  can both drink it; it  just would have been nice to know. I might have ordered Sprite or 7-UP instead. I had started out with one of those, then thought of the ginger ale as a nice alternative. We don’t drink soda on a regular basis, so it’s like a splurge.

Our food arrived after a while. It was busy. My chicken sandwich came with a nice, but cold, ciabatta bun. There was a nice handful of small leaf lettuce and a couple of slices of tomato.  I rarely eat a sandwich by hand. I prefer eating the protein and veggies with my silverware; I dislike wasting the bun, but I’ve learned that cooks don’t like special orders of “hold the bun.”

Both sandwiches had a “sauce” or condiment on the bottom bun. This is a twofold problem.  For people who eat their sandwiches the way I do, we miss out on the sauce because it’s mostly soaked into the bottom bun.  For people who pick their sandwiches up, the sauce has made the bottom bun soft and mushy. Eventually, it falls apart; most likely, long before the person finishes eating.  They end up like me, with their silverware.

Chicken Sandwich

Chicken Sandwich

Paul’s halibut BLT didn’t come on a ciabatta bun, but instead came on what appeared as a better than average, plain, un-toasted, hamburger bun. The sauce had the predicted effect on his bun.

Both sandwiches had bacon, totally different from each other; both thick cut. We were given a choice of sweet potato fries or just potato. I didn’t realize I could have had a side salad instead of fries; I might have done that. I liked the style of potato fries although I would prefer a darker crisper fry. These aren’t my favorite sweet potato fries, but I liked them ok.

We had time to kill, so we tried some dessert. A slice of flour-less chocolate cake, and a slice of goat-cheese lemon cheesecake.  (I forgot to take photos!) We were not informed by our wait-person that the desserts are made on site, but have heard since that they do make their desserts, which is rare for Seward, especially in April!  There was no goat-cheese flavor, it was just a light lemon cheesecake. The chocolate cake was quite dense and intense. They were both fine.

We don’t eat out a lot. We were just looking for a good, simple meal. We don’t need the scenery since we live here. We have no idea what’s at the bar; we don’t drink.

Look at the menu when you get there, or here if you’re planning head.  If you see things that look good to you, go for it. The view from the dining rooms is awesome, the windows quite large and clean. The food was fine. The service was good. 🙂

Thank you Dear Reader,
With Great Love, Namaste’
❤ LAMP ❤

P.S. I welcome your comments and questions!

P.P.S. Any pepper or salt you see in the photos, we added. I almost forgot to take photos; luckily I caught us before we’d cut into things! 🙂

Wi-Fi that Works! Best Improvement Award of 2012!

As some guests know, there have been problems getting a good wi-fi signal in some locations at Angels Rest.  Some of the funniest/saddest stories would be from guests at the Gatehouse, that would have to stand in the kitchen, or sit in the bathroom, to get connected to the Internet.  There were “dead” spots in all three of the waterfront cabins, and depending on what kind of equipment guests had, they had various success.  It was always my least favorite discussion. I’d have to suggest, to those having real signal problems, that they’d have to “get closer” to the Guest Services Building; come sit on the porch…..

When we first opened, we tended to encourage people to enjoy the view and “unplug!” With the spread of smart phones and the pervasiveness of social media, there is no “unplugging.” The ability to upload perhaps hundreds of photos, so friends and family can follow along, have increased demand for good wi-fi and there is no denying the need.

Sometimes, to solve a problem, you just need patience, and to let technology catch up with your needs.  We get our Internet via DSL from our local telephone company.  For years, every Spring, we’d call TelAlaska, and talk to them about what we might be able to do to strengthen our wi-fi signal for our customers.  Finally, in 2012, a solution! Whoo Hoo!!!!

In several locations around the property you may notice small white “mouse” like looking devices,  on the buildings.  These are the relay devices.  It was an expensive investment.

As we near the end of the first year of the new hi-speed, property wide, wi-fi, I’m struck with a complete sense of joy and peace.  In the year since we’ve had this wi-fi network, there has been one time that the router needed resetting.  The only other question or problem we ever had with it has simply been folks needing the password.

In a world where our money is often spent on disappointing experiences, it’s so nice to say this was a worthy investment, worth every penny! Thank you to the Universe, and TelAlaska for a great solution! Guests can enjoy wi-fi anywhere at Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay, LLC, Waterfront Lodging & Retreat Center!

Thank you Dear Reader,
With Great Love, Namaste’
❤ LAMP ❤

P.S. I welcome your comments and questions!

Spring’s Struggle with Old Man Winter

April 6, 2013

April 6, 2013

April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013

Our days are growing longer by almost 6 minutes a day and we’re close approaching that time of year in Alaska, when it’s light out when we get up, light out when we go to bed, and light most of the time we’re sleeping. The long days of sunshine warm the ground. These are the predictable aspects of spring. The atmosphere that wraps around the Planet Earth, and results in the weather, is as unpredictable as the wildest tiger! Mother Nature is whimsical or has become more whimsical as the years have passed, I’m not sure.

Everyone seems to agree that the groundhog, who predicted an early spring, was badly mistaken this year. Although the Seward Highway is remarkably clear of pack ice, road damage and frost heaves are more plentiful this year. The seemingly constant snow is melting off the highway quickly, and long days make a round trip to Anchorage easily possible. Time to start stocking up for summer! Just a short month till our summer staff arrives!

Thank you Dear Reader,
With Great Love, Namaste’
❤ LAMP ❤

P.S. I welcome your comments and questions!