Midwest Living Review
Located alongside busy US-82 and next to Dakota Square Mall, Alaska Alder Grill is a bit of a dining anomaly. There's the sign out front, hand-painted to read: Serious food. Steak Walleye Halibut Prime Rib Salmon All-Eat Home Side. Huh? And there's the tepee out front; you can sit inside and dine there at tables, if you'd like. There are tables on an outdoor patio, some of which are near a fountain that bubbles out onto the ground, plus an outdoor bar. The inside struck us as a Western-themed version of the Cracker Barrel chain restaurants: lots of interesting Native American and Western art and stuffed bison, some kitschy Beatles knickknacks. Some of the tables are well-made solid wood with matching chairs; some of the booths are cheap with fast-food-standard tabletops.The weather was pleasant, so we sat outside and ordered some fried mozzarella sticks to satisfy a craving. They were from the freezer but cooked fine and sated that need. For dinner, we tried the salmon served planked on the cedar wood and coated in a peppery honey-mustard sauce with mashed potatoes and sweet corn alongside. The sides are what you'd find at grandma's house, and they were good. The salmon was exceptional, packing in great smoky flavor, thanks to the wood plank. But the house-special bison burger topped with ham and cheese was so overdone, it was bone dry. Our waitress volunteered to take it off our bill and offered to bring another, which is great service. We decided instead to just enjoy the salmon and order dessert -- chokecherry ice cream from North Dakota's Bottineau Pride Dairy, a lovely pink ending to match the sunset. Dinner for two ended up being about $40, which was reasonable for all we ordered. We'd go back to Alaska Alder Grill again, despite the bad burger, because the service was so warm and the atmosphere just right for a fun summer night out.