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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
A PERSONAL REVIEW OF RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD

ANNABELLE'S RESTAURANT
KETCHIKAN, ALASKA

Anchorage is a different story, but of all the restaurants we sampled during a trip through southern Alaska, this was our favorite spot.  It's right at the cruise ship dock and we worried about it being a tourist trap.  What put us over the top were several beaming recommendations from locals who live in Ketchikan.

The menu is printed up like a small, daily newspaper.  The star here is fresh fish including the two fish you find the most often in this part of the world -- wild salmon and halibut.

As our drink orders were taken (two unsweetened ice teas) our great server immediately brought hot bread to the table.  The restaurant is famous for this bread but it wasn't my favorite.  It was kind of crumbly and was highly flavored by herbs.  I kept burping it up for a couple of hours after lunch!

Annabelle's is said to have some of the best clam chowder in Alaska so my wife started with a cup of it.  I started out with a bowl of it.  The chowder was excellent.  I've had better in New England but it was piping hot and delicious.

I fought mentally with myself over whether to get grilled, fresh, wild, king salmon or go with the beer battered fresh halibut and chips.  It had to be halibut and my wife headed in the same direction.

The fish was insanely hot when it arrived at the table.  It was very, very fresh, the portion more than ample and the beer batter was extremely crisp and wonderful.  And unlike most beer batters, you really could taste the beer.

As I mentioned, the portions were big---four large filets---and while she carefully checked out the dessert menu and was tempted, my wife was too stuffed to even think about dessert.

Tip for dining in Alaska:  Never order Alaskan King Crab in Alaska!  Why not?  Because it's usually between $31-$38 a pound and it's the same thing we get back in the lower 48 on sale for as little as $8 a pound at the store. Reheat it yourself and save a bundle! It's often cheaper than Alaska prices even in restaurants at home. The crab is always frozen so it's the same whether you buy it in Alaska or when you get home. If, however, you should ever see it fresh---and I've only seen it fresh once in Vegas---it might be worth trying in Alaska.  But to be honest with you, the fresh, uncooked King Crab I had in Vegas, once cooked, was no better than the pre-cooked stuff and it went for a stupefying price of $60 a pound!  NOT worth it!

The people here were extremely nice and we really enjoyed our fresh fish here.  They have a combined hotel/restaurant web site here that will provide vectors.  Enjoy!

Additional Alaska Restaurant Reviews

Glacier Brewhouse - Anchorage
Hangar On The Wharf - Juneau
Sea Galley - Anchorage

Simon And Seafort's Saloon & Grill - Anchorage
Skagway Fish Company - Skagway

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