The Double Musky Inn is a restaurant located at .3 mile Crow Creek Road, Girdwood, Alaska. It is a small, unpretentious little house on the side of the road that you can easily drive past if you aren’t specifically looking for it. It’s surrounded by trees, and is backed up against a shoulder of the Chugach mountain range. The interior fits the exterior, and is wooden – walls, floor, ceiling beams - at least as far as you can tell through the collection of signs, curios, and knick-knacks that cover every flat surface. The look and feel of the whole place is so classically Alaskan that you expect to look over in the corner and see crusty gold miners utilizing a spittoon. If you go in on the right night, you might.
The Double Musky is right down the road from the Alyeska ski resort, and started out as an after-ski bar. Julian and Cathy Maule, the founders, had a cabin on the site and were known for the parties they threw after skiing. Julian in particular was famous for his Double Muscatel wine spritzers. In 1962, Julian and Cathy built the Double Musky and named it after Julian's drink. It struggled along as a bar for a few years, and has since developed into a first-rate restaurant under current owners Bob and Deanna Persons. The atmosphere is comfortable and genial, the wait staff are mostly pony-tailed and extremely nice, and the wine list is very good.
The food, however, is the main thing that sets the Double Musky apart from any other Alaskan roadhouse restaurant. Ah, the food: a 14 oz. filet mignon so tender you can cut it with your fork; chicken breast with a honey, mustard, and pecan crust, served with Cajun sausage dressing; halibut steak stuffed with spicy crab meat dressing and served with Creole beurre blanc. The food is ridiculously good. All the beef is corn-fed, all the seafood is fresh, and the cook and recipes are excellent.
The menu varies yearly and includes such classic Cajun fare as shrimp etouffee and jambalaya, as well as an array of steaks and seafood prepared with a Cajun twist. The menus also have the delightful footnote/warning “All of our food is spicy.”
For years, the Double Musky was known simply as a Cajun restaurant, but recently the owners have started advertising it as serving “…classic New Orleans dishes prepared with Alaska seafood…” This may be closer to the description of the food actually served at the restaurant, but local people still just call it Cajun, and wait in line for hours to eat it.
Another nice feature of the Double Musky is that they publish their recipes on their website, even for the dishes that aren’t currently on the menu, so you can try your hand at cooking your favorites. It also gives you the ability to have some of the beer-battered coconut salmon you’ve been craving without having to pay the Double Musky's rather high prices, or drive all the way out to Girdwood. (That’s quite a drive, even if you live in Alaska.) You can check out their website at www.doublemuskyinn.com