By Daniella Cortez
Recently our editor Victoria Barber wrote an article for our print edition that gave readers a list of 10 places to get brunch in Anchorage. She really hit on all my favorite haunts for a hearty hang-over meal and while Benedicts aren’t really my jam, her article made me want to go try a few of them that I had skipped over on my own brunch travels.
We did receive an email from a reader who had a different take on the article however and as she says, “[I’m] seriously not showing up to Sacks for brunch with a wicked hangover if I can barely get out of bed, much less dress myself appropriately.” We hear you and have been there. Recently even.
Well, dear readers, I’ve got a new list just for those of us that don’t feel quite up to par the day after and aren’t sure we are fancy enough for brunch at Sacks or patient enough for Snow City. Here are my picks for drunches (drunk brunches), these are the places you can get solid hangover food when you’re not quite fresh enough for cloth linens.
This, along will all our lists, is not an exhaustive compilation of what Anchorage has to offer. It is simply what we could speak to from personal experience. If you have more to add, we’d love to hear about them in the comments section.
1. Gwennie’s Old Alaskan — My papa has been taking me to breakfast at Gwennie’s since I was a wee tot, but when I wake up on a friend’s floor in Spenard after too many whiskey gingers this is my first stop. I’m pretty sure the grill hasn’t been cleaned since 1992 but we’ll just say it adds character. Take a little trip past the taxidermy and over the bridge to my favorite table near the back, brush up on your Alaska geography with their place mats and soon enough the room will stop spinning. I usually stick to the French toast but their chicken fried steak and eggs ($13.75) have magical powers known to cure everything from rejection to depression. Absolutely do not order the coffee here, it is some of the worst diner coffee I’ve ever had in my life. (4333 Spenard Rd.)
2. Peggy’s — It’s giant, it’s purple and it’s been there since dinosaurs roamed Fairview. Best known for her pies, Peggy’s takes “greasy spoon” to the next level. Thankfully the menus are encased in those plastic binder thingys so if you slop on them they’re easy to wipe down. The wait staff is full of octogenarians who will predictably call you things like “sweetheart” and “sugar” but they also won’t bat an eye at last night’s slept-in makeup or six inch stilettos at breakfast. The pork chop and eggs is my favorite here ($14.95) but for a cheap eat try the short stack of pancakes ($5.95) or the side order of biscuits and gravy ($5.45), though again I don’t recommend the coffee but at least they have the little flavored creamers that make it a tad more palatable. (1675 E. Fifth Ave.)
3. Judy’s Café — Way out on the Southside, Judy’s Café is often filled with families or elderly couples on an average weekend morning. You might get some strange sideways glances if you stumble in Sunday morning dressed for Saturday night, but the sausage mushroom omelet ($8.95) is enough to make it worth the brief moment of public shaming. Also, this is by far some of the best diner coffee I’ve encountered and I consider myself a connoisseur. Just keep in mind that you’ll need cash on hand, as they don’t accept credit or debit cards. It’s a cute little place but the parking situation is a nightmare, in the winter especially, so if you’re close enough hoofing it might be your best option. Plus a little fresh air really clears last night’s ills out of your system. (11620 Old Seward Hwy)
4. Glacier Brew House — Sure it’s a kind of fancy place, but they’ve only just started serving brunches and a lot of Anchorage hasn’t caught on to the hype yet. The great thing about grabbing a bite here the morning after is that they also serve booze. A little hair of the dog with your biscuits and gravy make for an excellent combination. They’ve got big tables so you can bring your whole crew if you need to play fill in the blanks from the night before. While you might think they’re a little pricey, consider how expensive even the greasy spoons have gotten lately. It’s worth an extra buck or two to feel a little classy when you’ve still got Friday night glitter in places we’d rather not mention. The oatmeal stout waffle (made with the breweries oatmeal stout, naturally) is a hearty and delicious breakfast choice. (737 W. Fifth Ave.)
5. The White Spot — So you need a quiet place to recover, alone with your thoughts. We hear you and the White Spot is just the place to do that. It’s tiny, in a super old strip mall across from the Fifth Avenue parking garage. It looks like the sort of place truckers would eat if they could find parking downtown. It’s cheap, it’s quick, and no one wants to hear your life story. They serve simple food, full of grease and charm, and they’re still one of the cheapest places in town for the quality you get. The only problem is breakfast is on a tight schedule, it’s only served until 10:50 a.m. But if you find yourself sneaking out of someone’s apartment in the wee hours of morning and need a place to recollect your dignity, this is it. The eggs, potatoes and toast breakfast ($7) is totally filling and comes with free coffee. (109 W. Fourth Ave.)