Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yak and Yeti

Yak and Yeti is a funky little slice of the Himalayas right in the heart of Anchorage. Located on Spenard Road (characterized by the famous saying "What happens in Spenard, stays in Spenard!"), it seems to be part of a cluster of eateries from more exotic climes. However, we had been hearing about this place since shortly after we got to Anchorage. Everyone we spoke to had liked it, but been a little hesitant to recommend, as in "I don't know how you feel about Tibetan food...?" We like Indian food, we like food from many of the other countries around Tibet, so we took a chance. Also, the notion was so bizarre we had to go. And eat!
In all seriousness, I was a little bit hoping it would be weirder than it was. I looked in vain for yak butter tea, but what was there was delicious. Also, they have goat curry for lunch on Mondays, so I plan to go back for that at some point!
Y&Y is a smallish family-run business, short on table space but long on charm and great food. Following the link at left will take you to their website, where you can read their story, which is quite interesting, and also get a look at the menu and the hours. Be aware that they are only open for dinner certain days of the week - plan accordingly!
We started with an appetizer of Aloo Tikka, which is basically crispy fried potato cakes, served with a couple of chutneys. They had a great texture and a good, lightly spiced flavor. One of the chutneys, a creamy green one, was so good we finished it off with spoons. For our entrees, Mr EA had Kalimpong Shapta, which is stir-fried pork. The pork was tender and wonderfully flavorful. Subtle but flavorful spicing enhanced the taste of the meat, but did not hide it. This came with two delicate steamed buns. I had Mutar Paneer, which was also delicious. This dish consists of cubes of paneer (fresh, mild cheese) and peas in a rich tomatoey sauce. It came with rice, which I used to mop up all the sauce I hadn't managed to eat with the paneer and peas. I looooooooove sauce!
My entree choice was partly tactical. My parents will be coming up to visit us in about a month and a half or so, so I am on the lookout for places I can take them. My mom is a vegetarian, so I try to keep an eye out for places where she will be able to find good choices! She gets tired of just having sides, or spaghetti with no meatballs, or a salad. I am happy to report that vegetarians will have a really good variety of clearly labelled dishes to choose from. And if our meal was anything to judge by, it is all delicious!
We finished off with Gajar Ki Halwa, shredded carrot cooked in sweetened milk. It is light and mildly sweet and better than it sounds like it would be. Mr EA intended to have just a spoonful of it just to try it. He wound up having around half!
So I won't be tentative. You'll like Tibetan food. You'll like Yak and Yeti. Go there - you'll be glad you did!


Feathers said...

HAH! I laughed out loud at your proclamation of how you loooove sauce--I am the same way!! It strikes my family as a little nutty at times, I think, but I love foods with sauces! ..I mean, I've even been known to add water to Chef Boyardee ravioli in order to attain the perfect saucy-ness.. =D

Must check out Yak and Yeti! I've been wanting to there for months, and you've beat me to it. =)

Say, on the subject of good vegetarian food, have you been to Namaste Shangri-La? I don't remember if you've ever posted about them. They're in the little strip mall just off the southeast corner of Tudor and Lake Otis (next to the UPS Store) and their food is DELICIOUS. I think it's a combination of Nepalese, Indian and Tibetan; it's a couple (and their family) and one is from Nepal and one is from India, I think. =) Really nice people, very very gracious. And the food..! You like sauces, you'll love the stuff they have there. ...can't remember what the exact name of the dishes we had were, but I remember that mine was a sampler deal..oh so good.

Off to bed for me now!

Laurie Constantino said...

I love Yak & Yeti - my favorites are the eggplant and the peas/ground beef - but I've never had a bad bite of food there. I'll second the recommendation for Namaste Shangri-La - the food there is also incredibly flavorful and a really good place to take a vegetarian.

Claudia said...

I've never had Tibetan food - and there is a restaurant in the Twin Cities I thought about trying. Your descriptions make me really want to go. Interesting post. I also love sauces. What's not to love?

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