Written by Lane Latimer
Welcome to Alaska! Enjoy your stay at the Last Frontier, complete with low forty, high thirty degree weather this week, and if you get too cold, you are welcome to thaw out at this week’s biscuit haven. Introducing, Snow City Café, where an eclectic mix of part diner, part espresso bar, part bakery, can satisfy all of your stomach needs. Whether your stomach, brain, and heart call for all the meat you can treat yourself to or completely vegan options, you will be at home at this Anchorage locals’ favorite dining experience.
As other diners have lamented before, this haven has warmly housed tattooed covered, colorful hair creative types in close quarters with suited up, court officials without a bat of an eye. This may be why the Snow City Café is packed to the brim everyday by every walk of life. Locals come in all shapes and sizes and so does the local food. Sourcing as local as possible, not an easy feat in Alaska, the freshest of foods made from scratch and with plenty of love.
Becky Geist, executive chef, comments on the love-baking technique that makes their biscuits so grand, “We keep the recipe simple and emphasize using the proper procedure, which includes no machine mixing...all hand mixing. This isn't special or (I hope) different from other biscuit makers, but it consistently yields a quality product.” Just like any good robot movie would suggest, love is by hand, not machines!
This restaurant is known for many things: for opening up at 7:00am every day and serving breakfast until it closes eight hours later (a Biscuit Fest favorite quality), for catering to the gluten-free, vegan, and omnivore dietary needs throughout their whole menu and dessert choices, for their amazing coffee and espresso options, for the monthly rotating art on the walls, and for keeping it modest and low key, as you may think of the restaurant from the outside before their food has a chance to grace your tongue.
The restaurant sits on a corner, right on the edge of downtown Anchorage. The booths are just as massive as their serving sizes. Sitting down with more elbow room with a broad counter, you can feel the anticipation of the other diners as they wait for their food. With pancakes as large as their head, their hash browns as big as an entrée but served on the side, French toast so stuffed with cream cheese you’ll be more stuffed than you can imagine; this place feeds giant appetites, and the pictures of their food create them. Large eyes wait for their large quantities in the warm and cozy atmosphere of many people chatting away. This is where great biscuits come from!
Geist anticipated biscuits being perfect for pairing, “Amazing biscuits are light and fluffy inside with a moderate crust and a hint of buttermilk flavor, which when done right, becomes the perfect vehicle for sausage gravy”. Sign us up! Nothing beats biscuits and gravy.
Similar to how you enter the cafe; frozen and then warmed to the perfect temperature with your hot coffee; that’s how Geist makes the biscuits. “Once the dry ingredients are mixed, we shred frozen butter & mix it in with the dry mix and then add the wet ingredients. We mix by hand until the dough just comes together, then we cut the biscuits & place them side by side on a parchment lined baking sheet, touching but not crowded. Freeze them, then bake them from a frozen state.”
Everything is baked in house and served straight to you since 1998. Even in it’s first year it was awarded Anchorage’s Favorite New Restaurant, and not much as changed since then. Especially considering it has won Best Breakfast for the past nine years. It might not be the best new restaurant, but it is safe to say, it is still considered the best.
So, open the spoon and fork door of Snow City Café and get ready to fall in love with all of the amazing things they have to offer, like salmon cakes, stuffed French toast, omelets, hash browns, and crowd-favorite hummus.
Oh, did humus catch your eye? Well, we're changing up our usual biscuit recipe with the decadent hummus this cafe so proudly serves!
1 - #10 can Garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
1/3 cup minced garlic
1 TBL+1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup tahini
~2 cups olive oil
Mix it all together in a food processor. Pour the olive oil as the food processor runs & stop when it reaches the proper consistency (sticks to container sides/just able to be poured) - usually around 2 cups. This basic hummus recipe is excellent, and serves as a great jumping off point for more additions (peppers, eggplant, etc.).
So, next time you are in Alaska, if you need any more convincing, stop by Snow City Café, where you are always welcome, but may need to make a reservation (hint,hint).
1034th W 4th Ave
Lane Latimer, Nashville native, is a seasoned International Biscuit Festival Intern, UTK Senior, and doubles as an AC Entertainment Intern. She prides herself in goofy marketing techniques while remaining grounded in the woes of the business-professional atmosphere.