AK Fam had fallen into a rut in the road, if you will. We, like so many other families, had become so used to eating at our same few favorite restaurants that we surely had worn a path from our home in East Anchorage. “The Usual“, despite being excellent in the realm of AK Fam’s criteria for restaurants, had left us feeling as if we were missing the hundreds of options left behind. So we broke out, went right instead of left, on to the other side, and ended up at the Spenard Roadhouse.
No strangers to the Roadhouse, now in its own niche among eateries after acquiring the old Hogg Brothers barbecue joint a few years ago, AK Dad and I had just never really considered it a place to take AK Kid, what with the extensive bourbon selection and all. We had considered it a Date Night spot, a grown-ups-only sort of place where adults can converse about things other than Dora and Diego and their latest jungle debacle. Turns out we were wrong, sort of.
Spenard Roadhouse is one of those rare restaurants that indeed welcomes the after-office set with smoothly orchestrated Happy Hours and lovely cocktails, but also gets the point that sometimes the kids do come along, and appeases not only their appetites, but their attitudes. Hard to do.
Located on Northern Lights Boulevard just east of Spenard Road, the Roadhouse is becoming a kid-friendly hangout, if the ten or so kids I spotted last week were any indication. Crowded, noisy (another bonus), and yet quick with service, the Roadhouse managed to seat our family of three within ten minutes of our arrival, and promptly plopped AK Kid down with some crayons and an interesting Children’s Menu of word puzzles and pictures of Alaskana.
While AK Dad and I pondered the cocktail selection (I chose a delish strawberry lemonade with infused vodka), Kid managed to find the word “Noodles” and knew exactly how to order the unadorned, butter-laden dish of shells and an side plate of raw veggies and plain old ranch dressing. How perfect is that? My refrigerator found the Roadhouse, go figure. Other items included Mac n’ Cheese with no icky breadcrumbs on the top, Cheeseburgers, and Tator Tots (oh, how I love those). Spenard Roadhouse also does, breakfast, by the way, and check this out: They serve Lucky Charms. Yes, those magically-delicious stars, moons, clovers, and such with a splash or two of Matanuska Creamery milk on top. Ohhhhh, the memories. They also offer French Toast and a basic Breakfast Plate of eggs, potatoes, and sausage, bacon, or ham. Good enough for me.
But back to dinnner. While AK Kid scooped into his noodles, I savored a Black Bean Burger, covered in red pepper corn relish and curried aioli. Incredibly filling, I probably should have saved half for the next day but just couldn’t stop. I skipped the Tots and had a lovely, fresh House Salad with Tahini Soy Ginger dressing and my night was completely satisfied. AK Dad tried the Bacon Jam Burger and was thrilled with the Cambozola cheese topping coupled with bacon jam. Whoa. He chose French Fries and we both enjoyed the mealy inside and crunchy outside.
Even though a 5.0 earthquake made hanging lights swing and rattled nerves, we still felt at home. After all, if the earth decided to move, why not be someplace comfortable?
Spenard Roadhouse offers a large Take-Out Menu, too, offering much of the main menu. Call 907-770-ROAD (7623) or visit their web site HERE. The restaurant provides booster seats and comfy booths for small child containment. Nobody seemed to care a bit about our chatty five-year old or the baby crying at the table across from us. Nice.