The Clam Chowder Bread Bowl at the Hangar on the Wharf, Jan. 1, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

The Clam Chowder Bread Bowl at the Hangar on the Wharf, Jan. 1, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

A most perfect container: An ode to the bread bowl

Beyond the Ale lands at Hangar on the Wharf

Correction: A previous version of this review incorrectly stated that one of our reporters reviewed the clam chowder. He reviewed the halibut chowder. The article has been updated to reflect this.

While the Hangar on the Wharf is more of a restaurant, less of a bar, but we’re more a bunch of news reporters and less food critics, so we’ll call it even and move on. We ordered off the pub menu to limit ourselves to more bar food than the restaurant’s more involved entrees.

The Hangar has one of the best views of all the establishments in town, looking out over the channel. While early nightfall prevented us from seeing much there after work on a recent evening, it’s a great place to grab a bite and a pint during lunch while the tourists aren’t running rampant in town. The difference between the Hangar and the other bars we’ve covered in Beyond the Ale is apparent, especially in things like how fast the food gets to us.

Whereas many of the places we’ve covered are expansions, like Nano’s, or shoehorned in after the fact, like the Imperial, the Hangar was built from the hull out as a restaurant and bar, which shows in presentation and accommodation. Food was extremely quick, and dedicated waitstaff meant we weren’t nipping back and forth to the bar for pints. The Hangar was definitely the most “sit-down” eating experience we’ve reviewed.

Peter Segall

Halibut Chowder Bread Bowl

It’s no surprise the place that’s really more restaurant than bar had the best food. The chowder had a good, strong flavor that was well balanced between the cream and halibut and vegetables. It was cooked just enough that the vegetables weren’t too mushy but still meshed well with the soup. The bread bowl was quality sourdough and made for good eats after the chowder.

When you’re eating soup, what do you want with your soup? Bread. But with the bread bowl, the bowl IS your bread. Whoever came up with the bread bowl is a true hero of humanity.

It came with a side salad which was … a side salad. But the lettuce was crispy, and the dressing good.

The Macho Nachos at the Hangar on the Wharf, Jan. 1, 2020. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

The Macho Nachos at the Hangar on the Wharf, Jan. 1, 2020. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Ben Hohenstatt

Macho Nachos

The Macho Nachos were a neat pile of tortilla chips, veggies, meat, beans and cheese. Whether macho is inherently an indicator of substantial size and quality is up for debate but the strength of the dish is not. The nachos arrived quickly and piping hot, which is exceptional. Often times, a plate of nachos is a minefield of lukewarm semi-congealed cheese, but these were consistent and tasty. The taste is sort of dominated by red onion, but I’m game for that sort of thing.

They’re topped with generous dollops of salsa, sour cream and guacamole, which sort of comingle to form a zesty goop while you work your way through the plate.

Michael S. Lockett

Lazy Sushi

The Lazy Sushi was an inspired decision. Fresh fish on top of a bed of rice, with superb seasoning and spice, the Lazy Sushi lies at the intersection of two very disparate circles in a Venn diagram, sushi and salad. Good portion size for someone who doesn’t want to feel stuffed, good flavor for those who eat food for reasons other than basic sustenance, and good tasty green things which I believe are healthy.

The Lazy Sushi was an unexpected but welcome delight, especially after an exceptionally harrowing New Year’s Day that involved a bracing dip by Auke Bay.

Emily Russo Miller

Halibut Tacos

This dish was delightfully tangy, and comes with a cute taco stand. Though the halibut was dry and under seasoned, the spicy crema helped add flavor and the portion of halibut itself was generous. Speedy, professional service and a snappy Moscow mule made the overall experience here very pleasant.

Overall

8.75/10

Great service. Food arrived fresh, fast, and in optimum consumption conditions. Good view, great options on the pub menu alone, much less the restaurant’s full menu. It definitely has more of a restaurant vibe than a bar, which one imagines is a plus for families and the like. Winter’s definitely the time to go, before downtown becomes crowded once again.

About Beyond The Ale

Our staff picked a range of food and evaluated it independently. All of these evaluations reflect the experience of the individual journalist, and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation for or against any given restaurant.

Beyond The Ale will return next week with our next bar food review.


• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.


The Lazy Sushi at the Hangar on the Wharf, Jan. 1, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

The Lazy Sushi at the Hangar on the Wharf, Jan. 1, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

The Halibut Tacos at the Hangar on the Wharf, Jan. 1, 2020. (Emily Russo Miller | Juneau Empire)

The Halibut Tacos at the Hangar on the Wharf, Jan. 1, 2020. (Emily Russo Miller | Juneau Empire)

The Halibut Tacos at the Hangar on the Wharf, Jan. 1, 2020. (Emily Russo Miller | Juneau Empire)

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