There’s a t-shirt that you can find in most Alaskan gift shops that says, “Size Does Matter”, showing an outline of the state of Alaska and well within those boundaries, Texas. It’s a pretty funny t-shirt, particularly if you want to rib one of your Texas friends, but the notion of “bigger is better” is alive and well in Alaskan diners.
We stopped at Rose’s Cafe in Healy, several miles north of the entrance to Denali National Park. Rose’s is a fairly typical diner, but they really like serving large portions of food. The entrance area is filled with pictures of individuals who have eaten the one-pound burger (or burgers consisting of several of the one-pound patties — one guy ate a 5 pounder!). OK, that’s for the crazy people, but Rose’s also has normal sizes, thank god.
My son decides to order pancakes. The waitress informed him that one would be enough. One pancake? For a hungry 9-year old? She must be crazy. Well, the picture above shows you that the waitress gave us great advice.
Another example of ridiculous portions comes from the less-than-average, well-past-its-prime, tourist-trap Gwennie’s in Anchorage. This is really a lousy restaurant, the worst one we visited in Alaska, but the place didn’t disappoint when it came to quantity of food. My father-in-law decided to eat breakfast for dinner, and he ordered a waffle and a side of reindeer sausage. We had first had reindeer sausage at our Anchorage B&B, the wonderful Alaska House of Jade, and my father-in-law wanted some more. Well, he got a lot more. The amount of sausage he received was so great that it turned his stomach (mine, too). We hardly touched the stuff.
Not every place in Alaska serves humungous portions, but we didn’t find a place that skimped on quantity. Maybe size does matter — at least when eating in Alaska.