Ma Vie En Rose: Favorite Spaces in Fairbanks, Alaska

Hari Om Indian Cuisine. Fairbanks, Alaska.

The husband and I have fallen into a routine during the weekend.  Soon after we drop our daughter off at her ballet school for several hours, we incorporate sitting down for lunch in the middle of running our boring but much adulting needed errands.

In a way, I believe we are somewhat nostalgically preparing ourselves for when the last baby bird leaves the nest. We are not even anywhere near our 50s, but I guess that is one of the rare benefits of having children in our 20s.

So. A bit of historical background living in Fairbanks, Alaska: one knows the areas and the buildings in those areas, and since so many business often don’t thrive past the seven year mark, every Fairbanksan can recall what business occupied an abandoned building, or the previous business that was once stationed in the building.

For example, I’ve been hearing amazing reviews about the newest Indian Cuisine Restaurant located in South Cushman. I only go to South Cushman when I need to go to the Asian store, period. It isn’t a street one would usually put on their top ten list to visit. However, Hari Om Indian Cuisine Restaurant is one of those hole in a wall places where you would make the special trip to South Cushman. The building in which Hari Om is now housed included a past with many failed restaurants attempts, unfortunately.  Once, I took the advice of a close friend and ate at the Mexican restaurant that was once there, and I regretted it the minute I saw the cuisine. There wasn’t a photo filter in the world that would have made what I ordered pretty or scrumptious looking.

Hari Om’s dishes, on the other hand, is introducing Fairbanks to experiment with their palates. It reminds me of that book made into movie starring Helen Mirren, and Manish Dayal’s in “The One Hundred Foot Journey,” where the people in the small quaint French village were introduced to the spices and cuisines of Mumbai.

Ok, so Fairbanks isn’t quaint nor is it considered a village, but the point is Hari Om is pretty amazing.

Hari Om’s Pakoras. Photo by JAH.


Hari Om’s Goat Tikka Misala. Photo by JAH.
A platter of beauty. Hari Om. Photo by JAH.


Hari Om’s mango lassi. Photo by JAH.

If Hari Om is getting some new found love among Fairbanksans, Blue Roof Bistro on the east side experiments with traditional favorites with not so traditional flavors.  Located in a building that looks like a blue house, it used to be called the Hair Palace (where my mother in-law used to go to)–the hair dresser and owner had an amazing husband who built it for her.  However, as the years went by, she retired from doing hair and they sold the building. I’m sure it has evolved into many different businesses that I ignored, but not now.

The fries–I could eat all day and not be fried out–is mixed with some fried leeks adding a texture and flavor to what could be a traditionally boring basket of fries. We usually order burgers, but on the day that my husband and I decided to lunch, I ordered their empanadas, and fries (of course). While the hubs decided to make his grilled cheese all grown up by asking to include bacon (a carnivore’s comfort food).

These fries though. Blue Tin Roof. Photo by JAH.


Blue Tin Roof’s empanadas. Photo by JAH.


Fries, empanadas, and grilled cheese. Blue Tin Roof. Photo by JAH.


Fairbanks, Alaska is already known to be the small city that has the most Thai Food restaurants–honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day, this little city will start attracting foodies as well.

So, if you’re ever in Fairbanks–now you know a couple of places to try out some not so Fairbanks-like cuisine.


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