Review: Redd's in Rozzie

Locally sourced goodness, with a touch of the South
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  September 9, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

Desserts look Southern, but I found a peach crisp ($6.95) local and a little light and sour on the peaches (it had been a slow summer of green peaches and nectarines), saved by outstanding house-made vanilla ice cream. "Oma's pecan pie" ($4.95) is an excellent value but not remarkable. Panna cotta ($4.95) surprised me with fresh red currants and black raspberries among the berries, though the actual panna cotta seemed less gelatin and more pudding than most. Another excellent dessert value, though.

Service is a strong point at Redd's, despite outdoor seating, a sports bar, indoor tables, and every kind of possible crowd and confusion. Our dishes came promptly and accurately at the height of a weeknight rush.

***

This and two previous columns were substantially written on a visit to Alaska, which is a terrific place to eat in the summertime. Our host started our first night with planked silver salmon he had caught the day before. That was followed by halibut and king salmon brought forth on successive evenings by the same epicure, and I even got to cook someone else's halibut a couple of times. There were also crab legs, salmon and razor-clam chowder, and salmon jerky I can still taste in my mind. We foraged decent wild mushrooms and the makings of a splendid wild-berry cobbler (bog blueberries, regular blueberries, service berries, crowberries, and a few wild currants).

Our best restaurant meal may have been at an Anchorage pizza palace, the Moose's Tooth, where they pile a "Santa's Helper" with everything but reindeer. You can buy reindeer meat (or win a hunting license to shoot your own), but it doesn't go on pizza. There are microbrewers in Alaska, and even a fruit-wine winery in Homer. And a roadhouse (The Roadhouse, actually) in Seward has mastered the elusive sweet-potato French fry. We came across several Mexican restaurants, and even a sushi bar here and there, and found some Thai stew at a farmer's market. Of course, you can't get a real tomato in August up there, but at least the famous mosquitoes are gone by then.

Robert Nadeau can be reached atrobtnadeau@aol.com.

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