By Paddy Notar
Special to the Turnagain Times
Ken Smith/Turnagain Times
Several bikers park in front of the Brown Bear in Indian. Over 50 bikers showed up for a party July 12. The bar is a popular stopover for motorcycle enthusiasts, especially Harley riders.
Well, Forest Fair happened. It was the usual good times for all those who attended and too good of a time for a few others who found themselves drunk and disorderly and in the clink. The weather held out for the most part and the vendors all saw a lot of traffic. So did downtown Girdwood into the wee hours of the morning.
Bands played at the Silvertip, Maxines, and Casa Del Sol, as well as some impromptu shows by just about anyone with a guitar on their shoulder. Of course Fire Chief Bill Chadwick stayed busy with campers and those who felt the need to stay warm by a 50-gallon drum stuffed with wood and set ablaze. Once again, the beer garden was the place to be and the food choices were enough to give you indigestion just by thinking about them. Good times had by all.
The Brown Bear had their Motorcycle Enthusiasts party this past weekend. About 50 bikers showed up to brag about their hogs and eat meat on a stick. It was great to listen to 20 motorcycles leave at once. Deafening. Julie does a great job putting on the event, and I can’t wait for next year. Speaking of the Brown Bear, come on down for an Alaska dog for only $4! Where else can you get that price? It’s loaded with grilled onions and put on a nice hoagie bun. How about the Buffalo brat for five-dollars! It comes with a heaping pile of sauerkraut. The prices just can’t be beat and the food feeds the soul. Just make sure Matty’s mind isn’t on the planet Aintlissenen when he takes your order.
Speaking of comfort food, I finally made it over to the Turnagain Arm Pit in Indian. It’s the latest BBQ joint on the Arm. Actually, it’s the only one. I had the Boar Tide sandwich to start. It’s $12.50 and worth every penny. Wow, what a great sandwich! One-third of a pound of pulled pork with four slices of bacon. My heart stopped twice while I ate it, but I didn’t care. This thing was huge and delicious. Much like my personality. They serve it with coleslaw and baked beans. I think the slaw needed more flavor but it was fresh nonetheless and the baked beans are the best I’ve ever had. I mean incredible. The barbeque sauces are the traditional sweet and smokey flavor and the other was a mustard flavor. I loved the mustard based one. It complements the pork perfectly and allows the bacon to add the smoke to the sandwich. I like putting the cole slaw right on top of the pork, cover it all in the mustard sauce, put the bun on top and eat away.
Not to be missed are the Baby Back Ribs and the St. Louis Ribs. They’re $13 for a half-rack and $24 for a whole one. Both had a nice smoke to them and took well to the sauces. I just wish the ribs came already slopped up with the sauce rather than applying it yourself, but I bet they’d do it for you if you asked.
The beef brisket sandwich falls apart in your mouth and you can get it sliced or chopped. This is as good as anything in Texas. If you go, don’t forget to order the fried Okra. Lightly breaded, deep fried, and served with a tangy sauce that is spiced up and creamy with a slight vinegar flavor. The fried pickles are great to just snack on while you’re having a frosty one at home. Hit the Turnagain Arm Pit when you get the chance. You’ll be in hog heaven. I needed a nap after I ate.
Don’t forget to stop by O’Brady’s in the Carrs Huffman plaza on your way home. It’s a great place to leave your significant other in the car and say you’re going to get groceries. Once inside, take a left and sneak down the hallway to Mo’s for a quick beer. Run back to Carr’s, grab a muffin, and say they were still making them and that’s what took so long. The guilt gets easier to deal with every time you get away with it. Get the pot roast dinner, that’s enough for two people, for $13. I can’t talk about it enough. When you get done eating the down home recipes you’ll ask Mo to be your mom. And he’ll graciously accept. The food is that good. Go there and tell Dawn, Paddy said ‘hello.’ She won’t know who I am.
I still can’t get that beautiful taste of salmon and Brie with Pesto out of mind that I had at Bowman’s in Hope. I will return. This place is worthy of a Michelin Star just for being the nicest, most relaxing, five-star restaurant in Alaska. Stress doesn’t exist at Bowman’s. Just great cuisine and nice people. What a rarity in today’s world. I can’t wait to return.
If you’re heading out to see music check out John Statz July 25 from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Silvertip. On July 29, it’s Lee Penn Sky from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. I like how you can mix up the words and make different sentences. Anyway, on July 31, it’s my favorite reggae band Iya Ites from 8 to 10 p.m. outside in the courtyard. This band is great reggae, and I will be there.