Rich photographs of Alaska wildlife and close-up scenery hang on the walls inside of the Caffe D’arte at Dimond and King Street. It’s First Friday for the month of May! The air is filled with the smell of coffee and the soothing sound of Jonathan Heynen, a local musician. He sings and plays the guitar while people look at the artwork. Jonathan performs by himself and with another person at locations around Anchorage. He will be the subject of a soon to be produced Anchorage Free Press article showcasing local Alaskan artists. The photographer whose colorful photos adorn the walls is Joanie Havenner, another local artist. She’s done other first Friday event at other locations, but is her first time at Caffe D’arte. Among the free samples sitting on the tables for guests, Joanie displays her artwork that has been published in Alaska Magazine, and will also be included in a 2020 personal calendar and the wildlife calendar from Greatland Graphics, here in Anchorage. The calendar will be available for sale at local gift stores on June 1st. You can see more about her artwork online at http://www.photosbyjoanie.com, also http://www.wildalaskaimages.com. Joanie is on Facebook and Instagram under Wild Alaska Images and Photos by Joanie.
Timothy and I walk through the parking lot of the Alaska Native Cultural School, he is spying for a place to pick up trash. He talks about his daughter joining in picking up trash this year. Then, we reminisce about our childhood cleanup experiences. He grew up on the East Coast and I grew up on the West Coast, neither one of us remember any type of citywide cleanup efforts. Anchorage, Alaska truly is a beautiful place, with a lot of good people. Today, we are getting out and showing love for community, just like Anchorage Women’s Clinic volunteers working along the East side of Northern Lights. Please join in today, 2 PM to 6 PM, there are opportunities for food, and to pick up as a group. Cleanup all week long, during this citywide cleanup organized by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. There is free dump access also. Check with the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, online anchoragechamber.org.
The snow is melting, but look at all that trash laying around! People of Anchorage! please come out this week and help clean up the trash. Let’s work together to care for our home, Anchorage, Alaska. The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce has organized a citywide cleanup effort which will kick off Saturday, April 27, 2pm -6pm. There are going to be several locations around Anchorage, including The Lakefront Anchorage, a hotel at Lake Hood, in the Spenard area. Anchorage Waste will be there with supplies to collect trash, along with food, for those participating. Laurel Andrews at Anchorage Waste, pointed out that Picking up litter means reducing water poisoning.
The very first event of the kick off is the “Super Sweeper”, where students, parents, families, and others in the community come together at participating schools to pick up. Like, the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School at 550 Bragaw. Fred Meyer, has distributed bags to the community and has contributed $5000 worth of gift cards to be received for picking up trash. The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce has information regarding this week long event, including tomorrow’s kick off, on their website http://anchoragechamber.org. Detailed information about the locations and participants can be found on Facebook: Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. Post pictures of yourself having fun, with the hashtag, #anccitywidecleanup.
My mouth is salivating as I head over to Alaska Sweet & Savory’s grand opening at the Gathering AK Café. The Café is a part of Anchorage re:MADE’s project “Guest Chef”, to help local people with their dreams of becoming restaurant owners. Today is the sixth and final grand opening at the café. As revealed in a previous article of Anchorage Good News, the word is… the lasagna is “amazing”. Even a customer in the store today, talked about how popular the lasagna is. Unfortunately, I have some dietary restrictions, but that does not deter Shawn Dinkins owner of Alaska Sweet & Savory catering, she has gluten-free and even vegan options. The menu has its regular items, but she also adds a couple of different entrees, like meatloaf, to the menu each week.
Looking back over the last week, in all these different local restaurants, the most important thing to each one of these chefs: customer service. No matter what day I went in, if a customer had a particular need, the chef was there, eager to listen and to provide good food. To see The list of restaurants currently at the café and their menus go to Gathering AK Café on Facebook.
Through the large white flakes falling from the sky, you can see the sign. the red and yellow letters, along side old Seward Highway. Frank Canha is certainly learning a lot from experiences with the Guest Chef program available at Anchorage re:MADE. Another sign, over the door to the café, leads you into the dining room, where red and yellow balloons float above the tables. In the corner stands a table arranged with delicious dessert treats, and a keg of root beer, chilled and ready to go. Frank and coworker/co-owner Dinna Domdom, sport matching baseball cap and polo shirt, emblazoned with Frank’s Bat-B-Que logo. All of these elements, with their interconnected subtleties, is part of what it takes to have a business. Of course, the center being the food. And that’s what Frank and Dinna are focused on today. Frank’s barbecue does have an online website, at franksbarbque.com you can see the menu and photos of the food.
Every time a plate of Cuban sandwiches was brought out to a table, people happily shared it with those around them. Today’s grand opening of the restaurant, Cuban Bred, is all about sharing good food, and being with family and friends. A Cuban style sandwich and “hamburger” made with ham, chorizo and other delicious ingredients, served with banana chips. Handmade desserts are available and unique sodas brought from Cuba. Cuban Bred is one of the 6 local chefs that have joined a program with Anchorage re:MADE, a local recycling hub. Not only do they beautifully remake donated items with volunteer, expert care, but with their newest class, Guest Chef, people’s lives can be remade to follow their dreams. For more information about their offerings, go to www.anchorageREMADE.com. Come meet the Brown family at Cuban Bred, open every Wednesday from 11 to 5, at the Gathering AK Café, 13500 Old Seward Hwy., south of Huffman.
Not only are they gluten-free, but they have no wheat. The bread of Mochileros is made from corn, and topped with unique Guatemalan inspired recipes, with a little American twist, because the owners are Guatemalan Ana Pleitez and American Whit Parker. Mochileros, open Tuesdays 11am – 8pm, is Spanish for “backpackers” in honor of the adventures in backpacking to be enjoyed here in the Anchorage area. Also, I’m sure it’s not coincidental that you don’t need a fork to eat their food. This is number 2, of 6 local chefs, having grand openings at the Gathering AK Café, adjacent to the Anchorage re:MADE store on Old Seward Highway, south of Huffman. You can see photos and their menus on the Facebook: Gathering AK Café.
You’re not always going to be able to find some good, gluten-free pizza at the Gathering AK Café, next to the store for Anchorage re:MADE, so enjoy the grand opening, and get to know them better. Good Little Bakery is the establishment opened by Shimei Goode, local chef and entrepreneur, as part of the Guest Chef program offered through Anchorage re:MADE classes. Information and applications are available at anchorageremade.com and gatheringakcafe.com. Good Little Bakery is open from 11am to 5pm on Mondays, and host to a variety of handmade baked good items that offers gluten-free options. To see the menu and photographs of the food visit Gathering AK Café on Facebook.
Frank’s Bar-B-Que has brisket on the menu this coming Friday to celebrate the grand opening of the individual businesses in the guest chef program at Anchorage re:MADE. Every day is a different menu cooked by different chefs in the kitchen and served at The Gathering Café that is adjacent to Anchorage re:MADE store located on Old Seward Highway, south of Huffman. If you haven’t made lunch plans this week, you may want to Google maps Anchorage re:MADE. To see a more through listing, menus, and photographs of the food, check out Gathering AK Café on Facebook.
Gathering AK Café is having a grand opening April 15-20, showcasing 6 local “guest chefs”, that have a passion for food and a strong desire to start a small business. Depending on the day you go to the Café, Filipino food, barbecue, baked goods with gluten-free options, and more, are on the menu, and in the refrigerator. Anchorage re:MADE is repurposing the café and commercial kitchen at their building on the Old Seward Highway, to help local entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams. Frank’s Barbeque grand open is Friday, April 19th, 11-8, but he’s already been open for a few weeks now. Frank has seen an increase in his customers. The idea is for the business not to remain at Gathering AK Café but to become a viable business with its own location. So each store can move closer to your part of town, depending on interest. According to Annette Buist, Anchorage re:MADE volunteer, “this is like the apartment you get, before the house that you buy.” Being able to be a guest chef in the Café comes after participation in a small business class that Anchorage re:MADE offers. The brain-child of Patti Buist, this is the first event that Anchorage re:MADE has organized with cooking. Application for the “Dreamers” classes are available online, to reduce paper use, and classes may eventually be offered online. Monday through Saturday, at 13500 Old Seward Highway, south of Huffman, the hours vary slightly from chef to chef. You can see a schedule at gatherak.com and check out the event on Facebook: Gathering AK Café. Other classes and opportunities available at www.anchorageREMADE.com.