A Slice of Fried Gold

The Final: Bear Tooth vs. Hula Hands

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
This is it folks! The showdown between the two finalists in my March Madness tourney of Anchorage restaurants. All that is left is Bear Tooth and Hula Hands, and given my affinity for these two places it isn't surprising. It's been a long road and I appreciate everyone reading, and I'm looking forward to getting back to my regular programming. This was a hell of a thing to do.

No less, on with the show. Who will take the crown as the best restaurant in Anchorage (according to me)? Find out below.

Bear Tooth: Let's get back to the facts about Bear Tooth. It's a restaurant that serves inventive and delicious meals that come in at reasonable prices (between $11 and $15 for the most part). It features two actual restaurants really, with the grill side serving things like Halibut Tacos and Moroccan Chicke, while the other side serves a Moose's Tooth like collection of pizzas along with burritos, nachos and other things. The service is very good, with the wait staff being friendly and mostly young hipster types. They serve beer, wine and liquor, and high class versions of all three no less. Nearly all of these previously stated facts can be combined with a movie (in which you can eat/drink during) or the occasional concert (in which you can drink but you have to eat before).

I mean come on, that's ridiculous.

Yet it has a fairly prevalent negative, and perhaps the only real negative of this final in my mind: wait times. Just like Moose's Tooth, you can expect the occasionally ridiculous wait. While that doesn't kill the experience, it does bring it down a notch or two.

Hula Hands: This place is so locked in it's unreal. Their food always tastes exactly as good as it did the previous time (incredibly good, in case you were wondering). The food is served unbelievably fast (3 to 5 minutes) and with a smile. The prices are extremely reasonable, getting down to around $7.50 for a plate with a huge serving of Kahlua Pig and mac salad/rice. They have two locations, one in Mountain View and one off Fireweed. They served a surprisingly robust selection of beer (La Fin Du Monde!) at good prices, as well as a nice wine list.

This place is perpetually surprising. It has no negatives in my mind and the worst experience I've had is better than most of the ones I've had at other restaurants on this list. In short, this place kicks ass.

The Showdown: Oh man, this is it. This is the ultimate matchup. Do you take Bear Tooth, the joint that is so versatile its absurd and can give you peak Anchorage dining experiences but also can make you wait for it at great lengths? Or do you take the metronome like consistency of Hula Hands, providing tasty food at crazy fast speeds and extremely reasonable prices?

I'll leave the decision to situational greatness. If it was someone's birthday and I was going to offer to take them to dinner where would I go? If I wanted to celebrate something in general, where would I go? Assuming no wait at both spots, where would I go? If it was my last meal, who would I want food from?

While slow and steady wins races with tortoises and hares, that doesn't work here. In the Anchorage restaurant scene, the hare wins, and the hare is Bear Tooth. In my mind, Bear Tooth is the best Anchorage dining has to offer.

The Winner: Bear Tooth


Girvman said...

Okay I forgive you for knocking Thai Orchid out in the first round. I agree with this call. Great job Ref! This is a double win for me. Have not been to Hula Hands yet so....I get to celebrate a V and check out some new eats! Life is good.

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