Flow Tailgate Alaska: Awesome eats should never be overlooked

Words: Graham Mueller
Photos: Aaron Gotthardt

Shredding all day in the cold burns a ton of calories. It’s science, right there with gravity. If you’re like many Tailgaters, you pack away Clif Bars and other packaged food to replace some of this energy. Delicious and nutritious though they are, you can only maintain sanity for so long on food that comes in a wrapper. Eventually, you’ll need a real meal. Luckily, you have some options right at base camp.

The Candy Van sounds like something your mother warned you about. At Tailgate, The Candy Van is a legit rolling breakfast establishment. The local vendor, Deb, makes the rounds every morning selling a variety of coffee drinks, breakfast burritos and, yes, candy. Keep your eyes open though, she’s usually in and out by 10am.

El Gato Grande is Gordy’s food tent. Gordy has a long history in snowboarding and with Tailgate founder Mark Sullivan. Chances are you’ve heard some of his announcing work at larger contests. At base camp he cooks up fish tacos with Alaskan cod and bagels with salmon. While you’re waiting for your fish, munch on the best fresh-fried tortilla chips you’ll ever eat topped off with his own special sauces. This big cat can cook!

Mike from the Tonsina River Lodge is a master of Russian cuisine. Never had Russian food? Start out with some borscht (beet soup) and then grab a pork kebab. Feeling more adventurous? The menu is full of things you can’t pronounce, unless you’re Russian. In which case, you’ve already eaten here. Mike broke his shoulder on the road run a few days back, but he’s doing ok. He’s still cooking up the vittles and smoking the competition at ping-pong.

If you’re totally broke, seek out Pam Robinson. Pam is the mother of Jason and the late Aaron Robinson. She’s also the mother of Tailgate, one rad woman and a hell of a cook. Most days she runs the grill by the office and churns out lunches. Some days others will get involved.

Alaska Hook and Line Seafoods (photo above) is a sponsor this year and they’ve already treated us to one crab lunch. I’m looking forward to more from them, not that I don’t like cheeseburgers and all.

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