Tag Archives: dining

The Gateway to Kenai Fjords

Back from our fishing trip to Seward, Alaska. Here are just a few of the Seward Sights:

Upon arrival, we hit the beach in late afternoon to wet our lines. This seagull watched patiently, hoping we would eventually catch it a salmon dinner.

Apparently, Seward is the Mural Capital of Alaska, a tidbit that had eluded me up until this past week. This one graces the wall of The Fish House, which is a great place to pick up any gear that one leaves in Fairbanks. It is also a pretty kick-ass hardware store.

Seward is the southern terminus for the Alaska Railroad. Across the street from the little depot, is one of the best breakfast places in town, called The Smoke Shack. This small diner is located in a complex known as The Train Rec. Made up of several retired Alaska Railroad cars, The Train Rec has a great view of the harbor.

The Train Rec complex

Last Man Standing

The last Happy Chef
The last Happy Chef

The original Happy Chef restaurant opened in Mankato, MN in 1963, and it is still open, even though the original owner is trying to find a new buyer.

When I was a kid, we would stop here for breakfast every time we made the drive to see the relatives in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Traveling down US Hwy 169 once again, I had to swing in, for old times sake. Good times, and very good memories.

At The Happy Chef’s peak, there were 80 of these restaurants throughout the midwest, most of them with the giant, smiling Chef outside to greet diners. Today, the original in Mankato is the last one.

Happy Chef - Mankato