A loaded tots from Nano’s Kitchen at Louie’s Douglas Inn, Dec. 23, 2019. (Robert Monteith | Juneau Empire)

A loaded tots from Nano’s Kitchen at Louie’s Douglas Inn, Dec. 23, 2019. (Robert Monteith | Juneau Empire)

Beyond the Ale: Nano’s Grill at Louie’s Douglas Inn

An outstanding showing from a modest patio kitchen

Louie’s in Douglas is already a gem, tucked away from downtown and the valley in downtown Douglas, a short walk from Sandy Beach. An ideal bar for a weeknight pint or a weekend afternoon, Louie’s is also home to Nano’s, a kitchen tucked out back of the bar on the patio that sees more use during the months when it’s not quite so dreary.

Nano’s Grill is a general-service bar food source, less a full kitchen and more a grill. But it’s reliable, and the food that makes its way from its modest home is as tasty as anything elsewhere in town. The menu is heavier on what I’d term football food — ribs, wings, and burgers — than elsewhere. It also didn’t appear to have as much seafood as some of the other bar kitchens.

And it is a one-man band, as far as I can tell. That means that the food might take a little longer to arrive than other places. But it’s very much worth the wait.

Ben Hohenstatt

Patty Melt

Much like, Outkast circa 2000, Nano’s grill has patty melts, and I had one. It’s exactly what one would expect, a tasty, slightly spicy and crispy patty served in the middle of what is essentially a grilled cheese sandwich. This is a work horse, not a show horse. It did not contain horse.

Michael S. Lockett

Egg-Chili-Cheeseburger

I ordered a cheeseburger and was immediately gratified by the extras I could throw on. An egg invariably improves the food it’s thrown upon, be it sandwiches, burgers or pizza. Likewise for chili. There is no situation that is not improved with the addition of chili. I will never say, no, please do not add chili to this meal.

It was hot. It was good. It was juicy. I found it very satisfactory to eat.

Emily Russo Miller

Tri Tip Cheesesteak

Cheesy, gooey and tasty? Yes. A Philly cheesesteak? Definitely not. I was expecting to get a little messy with a sub stuffed to the brim with beef, cheese, onions and peppers. Instead, the meager meat-to-ciabatta-bun ratio left me wanting, and was just too bar-fancy neat for my taste. Pile it on, ma. Spice from the peppers saved this fare, plus the overall warm, toasty, melty-ness.

Robert Monteith

Loaded Tots

We sat there in the half light, the plate between us.

We couldn’t see everything, so we explored by taste. Tomato. Bacon. Onion. Cheese. Fried potatoes, of course. And what was that? Another kind of meat, or something else? The egg on top, what was it seasoned with? We’ll probably never know for sure. But we were reminded that the magic in any dish is how disparate ingredients come together to form something greater.

Two of us at that table came from Virginia. One went Ivy League. The other went military.

The couple across from me talked about their recent wedding while I got text messages from my very pregnant wife of 10 years.

We discussed music, the philistine among us stating that he didn’t like the Beatles. I told them why I thought “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” was a terrible film.

They shouted me down.

On the projection screen Louie’s sets up for football games, Aaron Rodgers told us how he beat the Vikings. One of us actually cared.

While we disagreed on the merits of BoJack Horseman and Broad City, someone looked up at me with a pleased smile and said, “This dish has changed my entire perception of this place.”

I went home after that, and I loved Juneau a little more.Ben Hohenstatt’s take on tots: The loaded tots are a Lovecraftian manifestation of man’s basest desires — tater tots smothered in veggies, meat, onions, peppers, a fried egg and assorted cheese.

Emily Russo Miller on the tots: This also hit woman’s basest desires. I could not put down my fork, stop to breathe, think about anything else other than this truly beastly yet beautiful mash of heavenly perfection. I had a great time out with co-workers for this review, but could not wait to bring these tots home, so I could devour them later in the privacy of my bedroom while binge watching Broad City. Just as god intended.

Overall

8.33/10 The delay between ordering and getting your food can be a little long, though it was a fairly busy Monday when we went in. The food was delicious and the Louie’s comfortable interior is a fine place to eat it.

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.


A patty melt from Nano’s Kitchen at Louie’s Douglas Inn, Dec. 23, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

A patty melt from Nano’s Kitchen at Louie’s Douglas Inn, Dec. 23, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

A cheeseburger with egg and chili from Nano’s Kitchen at Louie’s Douglas Inn, Dec. 23, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

A cheeseburger with egg and chili from Nano’s Kitchen at Louie’s Douglas Inn, Dec. 23, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

A tri-tip cheesesteak from Nano’s Kitchen at Louie’s Douglas Inn, Dec. 23, 2019. (Emily Miller | Juneau Empire)

A tri-tip cheesesteak from Nano’s Kitchen at Louie’s Douglas Inn, Dec. 23, 2019. (Emily Miller | Juneau Empire)

A loaded tots from Nano’s Kitchen at Louie’s Douglas Inn, Dec. 23, 2019. (Robert Monteith | Juneau Empire)

A loaded tots from Nano’s Kitchen at Louie’s Douglas Inn, Dec. 23, 2019. (Robert Monteith | Juneau Empire)

A loaded tots from Nano’s Kitchen at Louie’s Douglas Inn, Dec. 23, 2019. (Robert Monteith | Juneau Empire)

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