Tag Archives: purealaska

Red’s: Blues Burger

Bonus post for today.  I’ve been slacking on my posts as of late.  I’m not sorry about it, I’ve been busy…drinking…and other things.  Anyway, this post is going back to late summer.  I’ve been putting it off since it is outside of Anchorage.  I was down in Seward doing some halibut fishing (see the pictures, we slayed that shit).  It also happened to be when the POTUS was cruising around Alaska.  It sucked a little bit when we had to wait in the harbor for an hour while my Commander in Chief decided to go out for a little boat ride.  This was a free charter fishing trip through the Army’s BOSS program (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers).  It was a 4 day paid trip to Seward for some of the best fishing in the world.  Stayed at a military resort they have down there that was decent.  My favorite part was the bar (shocking), and the grill your own steak dinner.  Fucking money.  They just give a big old slab of beef and let you go nuts on the grill while you’re drinking.  How awesome is that? It was a 4 day trip that had two days of fishing planned, however day one of fishing was canceled because of weather.  So I basically walked around Seward for a couple days trying to hit every bar they have to offer.  Mission accomplished.  My new friend, Hannah, saw this burger joint on the north side of town so we went and checked it out.  Best idea of the weekend (well, other than sneaking a fifth of whiskey onto the boat).

This joint is basically a food truck they built a little wooden shack around.  If you don’t like food trucks then I don’t like you.  In typical Alaska fashion their menu offers a slew of game meat patties you can get on any of the burgers. Another gimmick this place has going for it is that they took and old school bus and basically gutted it and turned it into a dining area.  I went of card since I was out of town and strayed from the typical cheeseburger option.  I went with the Blues Burger which is your standard patty with steak sauce, a healthy serving of blue cheese and topped with an onion ring.  It was like there was a party in my mouth.  I wish this place was in Anchorage because it would rival Tommy’s.  I’m not saying this because I was drunk and walked like 2 miles to get there, it was actually really good.  I had already had a burger at the brewery earlier that day and this blew it out of the water.  I love burgers so I was obviously excited to eat one.  But this was different.  It is like when you are going to see a movie you are really anticipating.  Like when I saw the new Bond movie this last weekend.  I’m going to like it because its a Bond movie, but then I find out they have this hot like number, Lea Seydoux, who looks like a young Amy Smart with a better rack.  Double bonus.  Just takes it to another level.  So to any of my peeps out there who are going to be in Seward any time soon (well, next summer because it basically shuts down in the winter) hit up Red’s, you won’t be disappointed.

Tastee Freez: Double Cheeseburger

I am breaking one of my rules with Tastee Freez.  It is a chain, which usually rules out the establishment for rankings.  However, this Tastee Freez has been in Anchorage since 1958 and has been a part of the community since it’s opening.  They had a lot of history up in the restaurant that I forgot but I do remember something about their trucks helping the city by providing power after the earthquake of ’64.  With it being locally owned and operated I decided to make an exception and include them on this list.  Plus their burger kicked ass and they have some motherfucking cheesy tots.  Tater tots please the fat kid in me, which has had me called a man-boy before, but I give zero fucks.

When you walk in it has that old school burger joint feel.  A bunch of high school kids working the grill and shit.  I of course got a double cheeseburger, because I’m a man.  I ordered it with bacon, which they forgot, but I ate it anyway with out complaining.  The place was busy and I didn’t feel like waiting any longer, I was pretty hungry.  I don’t have to say anything about the cheesy tots, they are cheesy tots, they explain them-self.  The burger was hearty without being too big and was not over cooked.  Just all around a solid sandwich, nothing crazy but it was refreshing finding someone who can still make your regular cheeseburger without fucking it up.  It is not the best burger in Anchorage but it is better than most.  I would put it on par with Kriner’s Diner.  It is on the south side so it is a bit out of the way for me, but worth it if you live out that way.  I’ve also heard good things about their whole menu so go nuts, eat like a fatty and enjoy it you tubby bastards.

Tommy’s Burger Stop: The Sicilian Mobster

There are only a few things that bring me to a state of pure jubilation.  Touching boobs, beer, a good day fishing, a good cheeseburger (obviously), and until this last weekend, football.  I was going to go on a long rant about the Michigan game, or the Seahawk’s game, but that would take away from what I have to say about this burger. and I’m really trying to move on.  This masterpiece deserves no negative context along side its glory.  So let me compare it to boobs.  Everyone loves boobs.  For the most part, bad boobs are still good, however, great boobs go into the history books.  This burger is like great boobs.  Any good man knows that it’s not all about size.  At a certain point it starts to become a novelty.  Don’t get me wrong, a novelty is great from time to time, but it doesn’t last, and you get tired of it quick.  This is true with burgers as well.  This burger is big enough that you definitely get your fill.  Could I have eaten more?  Of course.  Was I left satisfied?  Abso-fucking-lutely.  Not every burger needs to be a Heidi Montag, and to be honest, I would rather have a Marisa Miller every day over a Mia Khalifa.  Once you start serving up Heidi’s you start crossing the line into cuisine for fun and not cuisine for quality.  Plus we all know more than a handful is risking it anyway.  Could I continue to the eat this burger over and over again?  Yes, the answer is yes

When I first read the ingredients that went into this beautiful son of a bitch, I was a little skeptical thinking they added too much.  5.5 oz Australian beef patty, loaded with grilled mozzarella, balsamic onions and pepperoncinis, topped with house bacon jam.  I was very wrong.  The balsamic onions were a little sweet and didn’t give that overwhelming vinegar tinge, but cut the bacon jam perfectly with a slight tartness.  Just look at that grilled mozzarella too.  A lovely golden brown tan like it has been sun bathing on the beaches of Barcelona for weeks (which are topless beaches, FYI). Throw the rest on with a side of cajun fries and you have yourself a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model of a burger.  Only downside is that this was a special and no longer available.  But the good thing about swimsuit models is that once they are gone, there is always a new one to replace it.  So if you missed it, hit up Tommy’s for their new special, you will not be disappointed.  This burger took Tommy’s to the top of the Anchorage Rankings, breaking its tie with the Arctic Roadrunner, and I don’t see it losing the top spot before I leave in 2 months.  

Nitro Burger: The Nitro Burger

There aren’t a lot of people that read this blog and those that do (holla) are mostly my military buddies up here in Alaska.  So for the few that aren’t and were not on this 11 day field exercise I will explain a little bit how shitty going to the field is.  First of all, it’s not like your family camping trip, you don’t plan around the weather.  It is safe to assume that if you are going to the field it is going to rain.  No tent, no campfire, no booze, pretty much take every thing that you like about camping and throw it off a bridge into a fiery river of misery.  Next, we don’t get to drive there, no, we sit crammed into a flying tin can with about 75lbs of “equipment” that they tell you to pack sitting on your lap cutting off circulation to your legs while wearing a 50lb parachute on a mesh seat.  I don’t care how scared of heights you are there is nothing that will stop you from hitting that door with the same furry as Kam Chancellor hitting a TE from San Fran.  Then you get about 45 seconds of relief before smashing all 300lbs of yourself and gear onto a goddamn runway.  No matter how good you are at PLF’s, you pretty much feel like you got hit by a truck.  This is then followed by 4 days for carrying heavy shit around, sleeping in the rain, and cramming an MRE (meal-ready-to-eat) into your pie hole when you get the chance.  So, with that background knowledge bomb all up in your head, I’ll get to this burger.

On the way back from this field event, they decided to bus us straight to a second field event.  The one perk the entire time was that we got to stop in Glenn Allen to get some snacks, drop a grumpy, or whatever you want to do.  This is the first time that this food truck was there, Nitro Burger.  The new guy in my section said he stopped there on his way up here and they have some bomb burgers.  No brainer, I’m getting a burger and smashing it into my face.  I of course go with their signature ‘Nitro Burger.’ This burger consists of 1/3lb burger patty, sausage patty, two cheeses, bacon, grilled onions and jalapenos. It looks unimposing in the picture, and it all reality it probably was.  But after a 4 day suck fest and eating MRE’s it tasted like the best thing I put in my mouth since that last fish taco I ate.  I will give them props that their patties are all fresh pressed and one of the things they do with their other burgers is mix different ingredients into the patty that adds a tremendous amount of flavor to the meat, which should be the focal point of your burger.  With the Nitro the sausage patty had a rich sage flavor to it that overpowered the beef patty.  Don’t get me wrong, sausage is great, in the military I’ve been to my fair share of sausagefests, however, I wanted a burger.  The way I would describe it is like this.  You meet this great girl and you guys start dating.  Things pick up a little bit, nothing super serious, but enough that stop trolling for strange.  So she decides to have you over for a dinner party with a bunch of her friends.  Well you get dressed to impress and are ready to convince the jury that you are worthy only to find out that her friend is banging hot.  Now for the entire party you are distracted by her hot friend in the tube top and mostly forget about your wonderful burger patty to the point you get yourself in trouble.  Overall an enjoyable evening, but when you leave you really forgot what your original intentions where.  But in about 85 days when I begin Cheeseburgers Across America, I will definitely stop and try one of their other burgers.  If you ever drive through Alaska, Glenn Allen will be on your way and I suggest you stop and get a sammie from these bitches.

The Alaska State Fair

Today marks the glorious return of the NFL.  First game of the season, which they call Sunday Night Football on Thursday night because they are a bunch of unoriginal fucktards.   Same reason that when any quasi-scandal happens they immediately call it whatever-gate.  Deflategate, spygate, Dick-selfie-gate, or whatever we are going to have this year.  They even dubbed the interception last year the “Immaculate Interception.”  They had an entire off-season to come up with something, but no, they just spit out some recycled shit from like 30 years ago.  In the 2 minutes I’ve been writing I could come up with something better…”The Superbowl Giveaway.”  See, not hard.  It wasn’t even that great but it is better than what they put out.  Why even try to be clever though when people are going to watch anyway.  That’s why people like John Madden and Joe Buck have careers.  You could have John Madden farting on a xylophone for 2.5 hours and people would still just mute it and watch the game.  But I digress.  Thursday night football also means that my posts will be more regular.  Eat a cheeseburger on Wednesday, write about it on Thursday while watching football.  Unfortunately they closed the sports bar on post that I would frequent and drink (by myself) while writing.  So now I have to sneak my booze into the day room in the barracks, use the free wi-fi and order pizza.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Here is my Thursday night football kick off.

I’ve eaten a lot of burgers since my last post.  Don’t worry, you will hear about them.  However, I’m kicking off the blog season with a post about the Alaska State Fair.  I grew up in Puyallup, Washington.  A small/medium-sized town in the suburbs of Seattle (hence my love of the Seahawks).  Puyallup has the 4th largest fair in the country.  The fair is a big deal and growing up there is “fair day.” From elementary school through high school on fair day you get a free ticket and a day off of school to attend the Puyallup Fair.  It is not just locally, it is all of western Washington.  Everything from the pig races to the scones to the hypnotist are fond memories of every Washingtonian’s childhood/adulthood.  I love fairs but my 15 years in Michigan deprived me of this joy.  When I got stationed in Alaska and people talked about the fair I got excited.  As an adult a care less about the rides and the pig races as much as I care about the food and the beer tents.  With my memories of the Puyallup Fair there was no way I was not going to be disappointed even though I knew not to get excited.  Outside of the 2×4 Jenga, the beer tents were Alaska priced and disappointing, the rides lacked, people watching was prime (but that is true anywhere in Alaska), but the food…the food fucking killed it.

The first place (besides the Sluice Box) that I had to hit was Gourmet Burgers, home of the famous “Doughnut Burger.”  They have some other burgers on the menu that look absolutely delicious but a fair is the for the freak show.  This is by far the most novel burger I have tried.  It is basically a breakfast with a burger patty.  You get your burger with bacon, cheddar, a fried egg all sandwiched between a glazed doughnut.  It was delicious, and at the same time it is nothing I will ever eat again.  You have to try it, but if I wasn’t at a fair I would never think about getting this monstrosity of calories.  I would compare it to a fancy McGriddle, only it cost me about 5x as much.  It is the burger version of an Alaskan strip club.  You know it’s expensive, you know it’s not that great, you go for it anyway, and yet you have zero regrets when it is all over.

Second stop was M.A.’s Gourmet Dogs…immediately after the burger.  M.A.’s has been featured on T.V. but I can’t remember what shows.  They do have one of the best reindeer sausage in town and there are some bomb.com reindeer sausage carts downtown.  I decided to switch it up since I don’t think I could pick a best reindeer sausage in town and see what else they had.  I went with their Louisiana Hot Link, I added sauerkraut, Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Mustard, and Sriracha.  Fuck yeah.  I even got props from the vendor for my creativity in condiments.  The first thing I noticed though was that the link filled up the bun in a matrimonial pairing.  Next, the link was spicy, add the Sriracha, sweet mustard and cut from the sauerkraut and it’s a party in your mouth.  If any one visits me in the next 3 months, I will take you to M.A.’s downtown, you’re welcome in advance.

Third and final food stop was on the way out. After all the shenanigans I had enough money left over for some tacos for myself and my friends as we departed.  We wondered the grounds searching for what looked like the best tacos and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t wrong.  It just said “Steak Tacos.” Sold.  Solidly filled with seasoned steak, all the taco fixings and their spicy salsa.  Now, I have had better tacos in many places outside of Mexico.  Mexican Town in Detroit, Southern California, pretty much anywhere in the lower 48.  But in Alaska you have some bullshit Mexican so this was a nice treat.  One taco is not much but this is pretty much a fair spot.  Only grip I have is that they use one soft corn tortilla.  That shit falls apart when you look at it wrong.  You need two to hold that glory together.  But their salsa made up for it, so I’ll give em a break.  Plus they are raping consumers with fair prices and cutting corners, can’t blame them it was the end of the night either, they may have been running low.  I’d eat it again.

All in all the fair trip was a success.  Big Jenga, good food and Alaskan beer all with good friends.  And now that I have drank about half a fif of Evan Williams and eat a whole large pizza its time for me to chill and watch the end of this game…and maybe finish that fif and regret it tomorrow at PT.  Deuces.








Spenard Roadhouse: Bacon Jam Burger

As I sit here sipping on whiskey watching the NBA finals I thought to myself “Self, you should make another burger post that you have been slacking on for weeks you fucking slack ass.” Who am I to argue with myself.  I do have to make it known that I am rooting for Golden State in this year’s finals.  Usually once the Pistons are out I don’t care too much.  However, consider that in recent history that is usually by the all-star break, I’ve been trying to keep somewhat involved come playoff time.  Stephen Curry is like watching lightning strike. pure electricity and will shoot the lights out (even though he is struggling tonight).  I’m still impressed with the show he put on in the NCAA tourney a few years back.  That shit was legendary.  Also, I am a huge fan of any team playing anybody from Ohio.  Fuck Ohio, fuck Cleveland, fuck OSU, so on and so forth.

That out-of-the-way, let’s get to the Roadhouse.  This has been one of my favorite breakfast spots in the city since I’ve been up here.  They took a hit when they inexplicably took chicken and waffles off the menu, that shit was the bomb.  What they still have going for them is their excellent whiskey selection (yes, for breakfast, don’t judge me), and their bacon of the month.  It is what is sounds like, every month they have a new appetizer that is purely bacon focused.  Last one I tried was cubed pork belly with a watermelon jam for dipping.  The salty-sweet combo with the very thick pork belly was delectable.  This leads into the Bacon Jam Burger.  It’s not some fancy name, they actually have a jam made from bacon.  Typically I’m not all about the crazy ass burgers that some places like to put out there.  The bacon cheeseburger has worked since the dawn of burgers.  This is probably the craziest burger you will find on my list and it’s fucking out there.  The burger consists of a beef patty (obviously), bacon jam, cambozola, grilled apple, arugula, house mayo all on a toasted bun.  So if you are like me and have no idea was cabozola is, it is defined as ” a cow’s milk cheese that is a combination of a French soft-ripened triple cream cheese and Italian Gorgonzola.”  Or most often marketed as a blue brie.  With arugula and what not this is turning into one high maintenance burger.  All this does come together very nicely though.  The sweet-salty bacon jam cuts the cheese nicely, somehow that grilled apple slice makes up for the arugula on this burger that is kind of pointless other than color and that crisp lettuce texture that goes so well with a beef patty.  This is definitely one of the top burgers in Anchorage, but without trying the other “regular” burgers at the Roadhouse I’m going to hold of on ranking this place.  Roadhouse is a local restaurant that needs visiting, and this a burger that you won’t find anywhere else.  But it’s just a little too off the chart to make a reasonable comparison.  Plus it is pricey for a burger.  You upgrade to the super tots (mandatory by the way) and you are spending $20 on a burger.  The super tots are amazing, which you can also order and an appetizer.  They take tots, add cheddar, bacon, green onions and sour cream.  Fabulous.  Now, this game just went to overtime and I’m about hit my 4th glass of whiskey.  Later nerds.

Arctic Roadrunner: Kodiak Islander

Kodiak Islander

Kodiak Islander

The Arctic Roadrunner has been at the top of my list for a long time followed closely by Burger Jim’s, and now solely in third place Tommy’s.  This is because Long Branch, one of the first places I ever got a burger in Anchorage, had a kitchen fire and is out indefinitely.  The original Arctic Roadrunner on Arctic Blvd was the one that got the top ranking with their Kenai Whopper, a double cheeseburger that was fucking on point.  I decided to try their second location at Old Seward and International (across the street from the Peanut Farm or The Great Alaskan Bush Co. depending on your preference for drinking holes).  This time I decided to try something a little different, the Kodiak Islander.  It comes with mayo, lettuce, tomato, mild chili peppers, bologna, salami, ham, american cheese, mozzarella cheese and topped with an onion ring.  Of course I was not disappointed.  Their 1/4 lb patties are fresh pressed and not frozen, and they are actually cooked to order.  I ordered it medium and it came out with some pink in the middle.  Hard to find places that pull that off up here.  Granted I would like a little more meat but it was juicy enough I didn’t care.  Even with the amount of toppings they put on this burger they didn’t take away from the heart of a cheeseburger, the cheese and burger.  You could still get a full beefy flavor in every bite.  Their buns also do their job, just enough fluff and stability to hold the whole thing together.  I would prefer the Kenai Whopper again next time I go, or their straight up bacon burger is pretty fucking good as well.   The Kodiak is a nice twist though if you want something a little different.

This location is a much bigger venue than the original drive up stand on Arctic.  Plenty of seating and has all kinds of Alaskan swag on the walls.  This location is also great in the summer time with their patio seating right on the little stream that runs past it.  One thing about both locations though is that they are cash only.  The prices are pretty fair, my burger, medium fries and drink were around $11.50 and filled me up.  I will be putting this place to the test when I get back from this event in California next month.  Burger Jim’s and Tommy’s are coming for the belt, nobody stays on top forever.  This isn’t the Mayweather of burger joints, it will have to fight Pacquioa to prove itself.  Plus the Local Burgerman won’t beat your wife or girlfriend, it will treat her real respectable like.  Even give her free refills if she wants.

Inside the Road Runner

Inside the Road Runner

Picture of Long Branch on fire

Picture of Long Branch on fire

Yoga: Whatever

As you may have noticed this site is Yoga and Cheeseburgers.  I touch on it slightly in How It Started.  Yes, I did have done do yoga.  I also did a zumba class so I could hang out with my friend when I was on leave one summer.  I’ve had my chest waxed after losing a bet (thanks Red Wings).  I wore a bunny onsie when I was drunk at Eater. Whatever, I like hanging out with friends and having fun, sometimes it backfires.  This last summer in Alaska I broke my thumb playing in a co-ed soccer game.  This took me from working out twice a day to working out zero times a day.  With the amount of food that I eat and beers that I drink I started gaining weight.  It happens.  With the profile I was on at work it limited me to not doing anything that made me sweat.  Casts smell bad enough as it is after six weeks, imagine running every day with one on.  Of course for three months I had to hear every NCO (who is automatically an expert in everything ever once they get stripes) give me shit and say “what does a broken thumb have to do with running…” Other than the fact that I had a direct order from and officer, and real doctor, not to do so, many other reasons.  This led to yoga in the park.  The Alaska Club teams up with a local radio station and puts on free Yoga in the park.  A friend of mine wanted to start getting back in shape, and I needed something to do to keep me sane and get me out of the barracks.  It then lead to getting cheeseburgers after every yoga session (a little counter productive, but worth it).  Besides, if you have never been outside during the summer in Alaska, then you are missing out.

First of all, yoga is not really exercise.  It really isn’t even close.  We would stand in some funny positions, and do about six push ups over the hour.  I probably burned more calories driving downtown from post than I did during the actual “work out.”  It should also be very clear that yoga is not pilates.  Joseph Pilates, a German born physical-culturalist, developed the system in the early 20th century as a way for strengthening your core, improving flexibility and alignment of some other shit.  Many athletes and dancers used it to improve their balance.  He studied yoga and there are similarities between the disciplines activities with the whole mind/body/breathing thing, but they are still very different.  It would be like comparing weight lifting to cross fit.  Yes you use weights in both, but they are two completely different worlds.

Yoga on the other hand is not about physical fitness.  At least that is not how I perceive it.  Yoga is a much older practice that has become as highly commercialized as college football. Originating in India thousands of years ago (which I presume is before anyone cared about physical fitness) yoga is more a form of meditation.  I’m sure that there are more advanced yoga classes than free yoga in park because they have to keep it simple for the extreme variety of people who show up.  But in that sense it was still relaxing being outside in the summer time, surrounded by girls in yoga pants.  Relaxing is a slept upon way to help control weight gain.  Stress can throw your whole system off in negative ways.  There is some science behind that, but I don’t know it exactly and don’t want to look it up.  You can’t deny though how good it feels when you are on vacation.  This relaxing didn’t necessarily help me control my weight.  I still blew up 15 pounds over the 12 weeks I was on profile.  I would have to assume it was the mass amounts of cheeseburgers I ate.  I still ate like I worked out twice a day, but really just did yoga once a week.  Even though it ended both my soccer and baseball seasons, I enjoyed the shit out of that summer.

This brings me to the philosophy of Yoga and Cheeseburgers.  To me they are one and the same.  To quote a great man, Ron Swanson “Fishing relaxes me.  It’s like yoga, except I still get to kill something.” I won’t tell anyone to go do yoga in park if they don’t want to.  Yoga works for many people, but it isn’t for everyone.  Find your own yoga in whatever it is you do.  It can be anything from fishing/hunting to weightlifting to walking your dog or actual yoga.  For me it is cheeseburgers and beer, sometimes pizza, and then working off all those calories anyway I can.  Just whatever you do, don’t be an asshole.  Nobody likes and asshole.  Now I have to go run off this day whiskey I’ve been drinking and get back to drinking.

Ted Stevens International: Of Course it’s Humpy’s

Traveling can be stressful, that is why they put bars in airports. Ted Stevens here in Anchorage is small, which is nice since it took me about 7 minutes to check in, check my bag and get through security. Reminds me a lot of Flint Bishop. The only problem with that is that they are very limited on bars. I always go to Humpy’s, for obvious reasons. Besides, my other choice is Chilis Too and some other place I don’t remember. A smaller menu but basically the same as in town. I’d say the halibut burger is good, but come on, it’s a fish sandwich not a burger.

One thing they don’t screw up is the beer, a much smaller selection but mostly Alaska brewed beers and some Oregon brews from Deschutes and Widmer. I usually run into another soldier traveling out for leave somewhere. That isn’t always a blessing though. About a year ago sitting in this exact spot with my friend Baca, two of our other friends show up. Well they were already so drunk that they immediately got kicked out when trying to order a beers. One was on the same flight as Baca and the other on my flight about an hour later. We decide to split and keep an eye on these guys, as we should.

Well Baca took off and they got on the plane with no issue. I, however, had my hands full. We spent about 20 minutes walking around trying to find a smoking area that doesn’t exist because he just had to have a smoke. Eventually he gave up, went into the bathroom and power hit a Newport in the bathroom for about a minute and bailed before security was able to get there. We headed to a different bar and ordered a beer. Well the gentleman sitting next to us immediately pinned us as military and wanted to buy us a beer. Well my buddy’s response was “Fuck you!” Then he got up and walked away. Interesting strategy. I stuck around, had a beer and entertained this “veteran.” Wether he served or not, I don’t care, he was a nice guy doing a nice gesture.

I finish my beer and go on a mission to find my buddy, who God knows where he wandered off too. Barely coherent at this point I found him wandering the terminal luckily not far from our gate. I muster him up and we go to get on board. He can’t find his boarding pass. We spend a few minutes looking through is his stuff, he “checks” his pockets and still nothing. I take him up to the counter at the gate to get a new one and it took about 5 words before they said “no way, you are way to drunk to get on this flight, we are calling security…” Well shit, not sure what to do at this point. The flight attendant looks over at me “what the fuck do you need?” I show her my boarding pass and say nothing. She then strongly suggests I get on the flight. I’m not missing my Christmas vacation in Cali because my boy can’t handle his booze. I say good luck as security walks up and I board the plane with no issues.

I get a phone call the next day from my buddy asking me what happened the day before since he didn’t remember. He also didn’t call me first since he thought he was with my other buddy the whole night. I recap the story as I did above. He was lucky enough to get a new flight out two days later and didn’t have to cancel his whole vacation. Which can happen because our whole brigade goes on the leave the same time so seats on outbound going flights fill up fast and prices skyrocket. It turns out his boarding pass was in his chest pocket the whole time and he was too drunk to realize it. Moral of the story…well there isn’t really a moral, just don’t suck at travel drinking.

Humpy’s: Again and Again

Well this was a pleasant surprise. My buddy Mendez and I went to basic training together, airborne school together, both got stationed here in Alaska and were in the same section together. He gets out of the army next weekend because he had the foresight to only sign up for 3.5 years instead of the 4.5 that I did. Of course I have to take him out for a “few” drinks before he leaves. I took him on a bar tour of downtown away from the clubs he usually frequents.

First stop is obviously Humpy’s. I didn’t even plan on eating when we went out but our waitress (who was also my date for the Xmas party) pointed out the burger special they had going on. They always have some kind of burger special which is typically their regular burger with a twist. But this one was the A1 Steak Burger. Ground sirloin instead of the regular chuck, provolone and an A1-blue cheese sauce to top it off. Goddamnit this burger was good. Cooked to perfection, the cheese was melty as all hell and you could taste the steak in it. Dripping with flavor and one of the few times it wouldn’t be inappropriate to tell someone to smell your fingers. Originally on the menu for $25 but I got for $14. People like me. Follow that up with a couple PB&J’s (24 oz. PBR and shot of Jameson, not the sandwich) and this night started off right. If they had this burger every day they would be moving up on the list, but unfortunately it was only a one night stand. Not one of those regrettable ones either. This is one where you’re kicking yourself for screwing it up by sneaking out at 07:00 and calling your buddy to come pick you up at the intersection down the street when you really should have stayed for breakfast.