Dinner at the Chowder House, Fairbanks, AK

We came here for a late dinner when it was freezing out and all I wanted was some hot soup. They had several different chowders, so I wanted to try them out and see how they compared to the chowders in New England or Seattle. (Seattle wins)

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Here’s a pane of extremely morbid stained glass they have of a lobster/crawfish? enjoying a warm bath in a cup of soup.

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I got the new england clam chowder which was a little starchy/floury for my taste – they could have put more bacon or y’know, more clams to increase the flavour.

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They also do a variety of quiches, and the quiche special of the day was a spicy bacon and cheddar quiche which I thought was pretty amazing. It was kind of salty because it had both spicy bacon and ham, and a ton of melted shredded cheddar on top, but it worked, despite how unfrench it was :P

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Z had a half sandwich filled with crab salad and various greens. They used surimi (mock crab meat) but it still tasted really good.

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For dessert the four of us shared a tiramisu and a peanut butter bar, the best looking things on the menu. The tiramisu had way too much mascarpone and cream compared to the lady fingers, which was almost a single layer. I’m not sure why because in general I assumed savoiardi fingers are much cheaper than mascarpone, but I could be wrong about that since I did have quite a bit of trouble finding savoiardi fingers in the supermarket when I made a tiramisu last september. The marsala taste also wasn’t too strong, but at least the mascarpone/zabaglione layer was pretty creamy.

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I liked the peanut butter bar a little better, but it had a strange oat layer that tasted like sweet wrappers because it was so difficult to chew through. They probably shouldn’t use uncooked rolled oats if it’s not going to soften up in the caramel! Even crushed up loacker crackers would make an ersatz feuilletine.

In general I found the quiches and sandwiches here more interesting than the chowders. They were pretty empty the night we went, but there were a bunch of people driving by and collecting their take-out orders so I think they are pretty popular. Just that in Fairbanks, if only one person needs to be sacrificed to go out and hunt for the take-out, then nobody would want to leave the warmth of their homes just for some chowder and a slice of pie. I do notice myself sending Z out for ramen/udon whenever the weather gets a little colder.

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