It took three years but I finally made it back to Fairbanks for my fifth visit. One place I wanted to be sure to visit again was Chatanika Lodge Restaurant. I stopped in twice during my stay; the first time Russell fixed a delicious fish'n'chip meal and the second time one of the owners, Shirley, fixed me really good bacon/cheddar cheeseburger.
In addition to the meals I like the Alaska memorabilia, the decorative winter lights and the general feeling of authenticity about the place.
It was nice chatting with the owners while having lunch at the counter and just meandering around the restaurant enjoying the atmosphere.
It is a scenic route up the Steese Highway, over Cleary Summit (mile marker 20.9) and then about 8 miles down to mile marker 28.5 to get there; a lovely drive on a clear March day. I've made sure to stop in on each trip, and I will do so again whenever I get back to Fairbanks.